71-forgetting the year of a crane...

It was December 22, the day before winter vacation.
The weather was clear, but the air was dry and dry, and it was cold and stiff.
Tomorrow is the long-awaited winter vacation. It will be a vacation for the time being. It would be perfect if it weren't for homework and all that crap.
I'll be released from this prison after the closing ceremony this afternoon, but I'm so anxious to get out of here that time seems to move a little slower than I'd like. It's only the second period. Lunch is still far away.

Only a little more than a week remains in this year. Next year I will be a senior in high school. And the hellish life of entrance examinations will begin again.
I'm a science person by nature, so I chose the science course. I chose engineering, biology, geology, and so on. I decided to take the engineering course because it matched my grades.
Makoto chose the liberal arts, and Tsuru was also in the liberal arts. Hakuna is also a liberal arts major, and Alina is also a liberal arts major.
This phenomenon of the humanities flourishing not only around me but also in the whole school year was such a tendency. For some reason, there were few science majors. This did not mean that the class was completely divided into science and humanities, but it did not seem to have anything to do with them. The classes are held at the same time, and the students move from one classroom to another. The common courses will be taken in the same class as usual.
I do not know what kind of classes I will be in, but in this high school with a large number of students, I am sure that I will meet many people for the first time. I will miss my friends who will be in other classes, but I am looking forward to meeting new people.

During a short break, I was playing with a rolling can of tomato juice when Nidotsuru came bouncing up and down.

You're in a good mood,' he said.
'I got good grades on my final exam!
Congratulations on being first in your grade. I don't need to look at the rankings to know you're a crane.
'I'm glad I was able to keep my pride~'
'Well, I noticed at the student assembly that you're in charge of the secretary again. I thought a first-year student would do it.
'It's easy. I definitely don't want to be president or vice president.
'I think it looks good on you.
'Because you can't wear out the uniform, can you? It's not in my character to wear it well.'
'As long as you're in the student council, I don't think it matters if you're the secretary.
''It's okay! I don't get out in the public eye as much as the president or something!
'Well, I guess I tolerate him because of his genius skin. ...... If Tsuru was just a gal, it would be a different story.'
'Kyapi '.
It's like a little gal with a big hairy face. Aaaaaaah, cute and cutesy. A little cuter than me.
'It's so humiliating. I'm pretty popular, you know?

Tsuru is certainly one of the best JKs who have been given enough attention to be included in the ranking of the best JKs by boys.
At first glance, she looks like a girl who is not good at multiplication and division, but in fact, she is the most brilliant and talented girl in this school year. I wonder if she is an idol.
She must have come to me because she has something to do.

So, what do you want?
'Can't I approach the comet without a reason?'
'Of course not. You can jump into my chest anytime you want.
'No thanks.
'I'm sorry, sir.'
'Mm-hmm. Hey, how about a year-end party of some sort?'
''Year-end party?''
'Oh, you don't know the kanji. You know, it's ...... and it means the year of forgetting.'
'I'm a person who breathes and drinks water, too. I can count from one to a hundred and I can read the alphabet. I know that much.
'Sorry. I didn't know.'
I don't know how you've been able to interact with me without feeling uncomfortable.''

She deliberately held her hand out with a pursed motion at her mouth, and a look of agitation came over her face. Tsuru seems to enjoy making fun of me. (according to Alina).

'You're talking about getting together with your classmates?'
'Oh, yeah. We're planning to invite our friends and get together for dinner somewhere! And invite Makoto and the others! And definitely invite Alina. Okay? You have to invite me, okay?''
'That's what you asked me to do, isn't it?
'Yes, but... If Comet comes, Alina comes, too. That's the only reason I'm inviting you. Don't be smug, okay?''
'Koooooooooooooooooooooo It stings my heart oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Harsh!'
'I'm just kidding! Just kidding! I really, really like comets, don't you?''
'That's not good. Okay, I'll ask him out.
'M...... something doesn't add up. Anyway, please?

Before I knew it, Tsuru naturally called me 'Alina' instead of 'Alina-san'.
Alina would go to the party even if I didn't tell her to. Arina has definitely changed. I think Tsuru and Shirana know that very well. Or is there some kind of barrier unique to girls?
In any case, it seems like fun to get together and talk. It must be a fresh sight to see everyone in uniforms gathered together in plain clothes. I've been wanting to see Alina in her plain clothes again, so this is a good opportunity.
I'll ask Makoto to join us for now.

'Hey, Takane Makoto.'
'What's the matter with your formal way of talking?
'Don't tell anyone, okay? Actually, Tsuru's been gathering rebels.
'...... What? Is this high school over?''
'I hear you. I'm going to cry to Alina that she's being bullied by the comet.

d*mn you, hell-ears. You're not only sharp in the head but also in the senses.

The truth is that Tsuru wants to have a year-end party. He's in the middle of gathering people. So I'd like to invite you and Ryuuka.
'Great! Do you know when?''
'Hold on a minute. Tsuru! Elder cranes!
'Because it's a gnat! What?'
''Is there a set schedule?''
'We will adapt to the convenience of the participants!
'So they say. I guess that means I should report the days I'm free.
'Okay. I'm in. I'll talk to Ryuka.

How will Makoto spend his winter vacation? I wonder if she's going to have a lot of dates with Ryuka during the winter break. Sounds like she's busy.
By the way, I'm planning to "rot on the sofa. I'm going to spend my winter vacation writing end-of-year programs in my brain. Some people will criticize me for being wasteful, or for getting out of the house. But unfortunately, not thinking or doing anything is the best time for me.
When I thought about who I should invite next, the people from the club who helped me in the project of Alina's rehabilitation came to my mind immediately.
So I invited Shinji Miyazaki, the head of the art club who had previously used Alina as a model.

It feels like it happened a long time ago.
'Really? That was months ago, remember?
When Comet brought Alina, I wondered what would happen, but everyone was concentrating on their sketches. I also lost myself in the drawing.
It was great to watch. It's amazing how talented people are.
'...... Can I ask you to do it again? There is a strong demand from the club members to paint Alina again. If it's not too much trouble, I'd like to ask you to do it.
'Alina will be at that year-end party, so ask her. It's okay. Alina is more rounded than she used to be, and you can have a good conversation with her.
'Yes, I'll ask him. Alina, you've changed. Is it because of the comet?
'You know. I think he's finally getting the nutritional support he needs to reach his mental age.
'I wonder where I've been putting my nutritional needs: ......'

I'm sure it's your tongue skills.

I invited the head of the newspaper club, the tea ceremony club, the tennis club, and so on. When I mentioned the year-end party to him, he said, 'Tsuru asked me about it. The first time I saw him, he replied, "I'm not a good person.
When I told him the name of the person I had invited, his face clouded over in frustration.

You look like you're in a recession. Is it the strong yen?
'...... Alina asked you out?'
'I'm going to ask her out after school.'

He let out a sigh of relief and returned to smiling as brightly as a sunflower again.

''Yes! Good job, comet! Keep it up!''
'Alina, you should have asked me out.'
'You tomato addict! Read the air a little bit!
'Thank you for the honorific title of honor.'
'Comets are ineffective when they curse. I thought you weren't good at old Japanese? Can I recite The Tale of Genji?''
'Don't. You'll die.'

The morning classes were finally over and it was time for lunch.
Thanks to my advice, Makoto now eats lunch with Ryuka. I am glad to see her so happy. Ryuka's cheeks are slightly pink and she seems to be still not used to it. The same goes for Makoto. With that as a snack, I open my tomato juice, take a sip, and open my lunch box.

About ten minutes before the lunch break was over, everyone started to move to the gymnasium where the closing ceremony was to be held.
We flowed into the gymnasium with the flow of people.
When I found the line for my class, I went into the last row. I was always in the back of the line because of the order of our backs. It was the same in elementary school and junior high school.
Alina was diagonally in front of me on my left. She brought a scarf to the closing ceremony, too.

Hey, you little rose with a sharp tongue...
'Shut up. Who's making that Mosquito noise?
'Too difficult for a throat that can't even produce soprano anymore'.
'Oh, my. It's you. What a surprise.
'Yes. Comet Sakakiki. We're having a year-end party over winter break.
Just the two of you?

I never said 'the two of us. This isn't a year-end party anymore. Let's just get together and talk. Tsuru's planning it. You coming too?
'Yes, I'm coming.
'Yes, sir. Tsuru will arrange the date and time, so just wait. And take off your scarf. You'll stand out.
"If you take the scarf off, I'll--I'll die, you know?
'What's with the self-defeating threats?
'You'll die if you lick my cold feet.
I'm not cold.
'...... I hope you go to hell.'
'Excuse me! I'm Pokataro, with a warm body temperature, so I don't understand the whole "cold" thing! Poor Alina! I wish I could share the pain with you!
'You'll be getting plastic surgery in the near future.

Alina is probably going to smash my face in with a large hammer used by the special forces of the police force. Laughing.
Tsuru will be happy that I invited Alina. Then there was Hakuna, whom I was a little reluctant to talk to. She had just received a serious confession.
I will ask her after the closing ceremony.