93-all-most perfect...

I remember the day she was revealed to have a dual personality.

My name is Alina Hibane. Nice to meet you.

I vividly remember the day we met in the infirmary.
She was like a rose that bloomed more gracefully and seductively than anyone else, but on that day, I learned her secret. I was astonished and at the same time worried that the original Alina would never return.

I lost track of time and froze. It may have been only a few seconds, maybe longer. Normally, I would have just let the joke slide. In fact, that's what I was going to do.
I know the way she looked at me, the way her eye lids opened, the way her eyes looked into my soul. That's why I unfortunately knew that she wasn't joking when she looked at me with doubt in her eyes, her teary bags slightly raised.
She doesn't know me. She really doesn't know me.

No, I'm wrong. I'm sorry. I thought you were Shirana.
'But you. You called my name.
'I just mispronounced it because Nippa was standing next to me. Hakuna, thanks for yesterday.

Shirana turns her head but shows her own natural ability and says calmly, 'You're welcome~.
Alina looks at me and Shirana alternately as if she doesn't understand. Honestly, I wanted her to stop. I wanted her to stop looking at me. Every time she looks at me, I am reminded that I am a stranger to her. We are no longer friends or acquaintances.

Then that's it.

I can't do this anymore.
Now that I know she has forgotten me, I must play the role of irrelevance for her. I may cause her stress because of the discrepancy between memory and reality. It's a choice that has to be made with her delicate head in mind. Especially since she is now unstable due to the death of her immediate family.
I believe this is for the best.
I am not going to cancel the original project even if she forgets me. I will only be able to watch from a distance, but I will figure out how to do that later.


As I turned my back and took a step forward with my right foot, Alina Nippa's voice echoed through the hallway again.

'You...' she said. Who are you? Hmm, did Shirana have a boyfriend? Could it be Shirana's boyfriend?''
'Hey Alina-san, what are you talking about! Don't say weird things!

Shirana is flustered, but Alina doesn't care and stares at me as if demanding an answer.
You shouldn't call yourself Comet Sakakimagi. At least not now. It would be troublesome if Shirana gets confused and spills out an unnecessary word.
It is a painful way out, but it is unavoidable.

I have to go to the bathroom. I drank too much tomato juice.

With that, he scurries away. I heard a voice holding me back, as if regretting leaving.
I wanted to cover my ears with my hands.

(Really? ......)

Returning from the restroom and taking a seat, I once again despaired of the current situation.
What was the last thing I remembered with her? All the feelings, words, and activities I had shared with her for the past few months were all gone, too cruel. Am I supposed to avoid Alina and be a stranger to her from now on? I may never be able to call her by name again, and I may graduate without ever speaking to her again, without her memory coming back.
In no small part, my high school life had been fulfilling ever since I met Alina, and I had a feeling that my last year would be even more enjoyable. But the past and the future seem to have fallen apart.

I think about her condition in class.
I have learned something else besides forgetting Comet Sakakibiki in the short time I was there. I remember Shirana Namiki, and her language has changed slightly.
I thought that she had forgotten me because she had developed a new personality, but that line has disappeared because she seemed to know who Shirana was. I may have forgotten something other than the existence of Comet Sakakimagi, but the fact that I have retained my memories does not mean that I am a new personality. This is because there is an example of two persons, Arina the Tongue and Arina the Angel, who cannot share their memories. We will find out what they have forgotten and what they have retained.
The language was a mass of discomfort. There was no way she would apologize in a straightforward manner. Her tone of voice was serious and apologetic, not threatening and coarse for a first meeting. A normal Alina would have told me to go away, and would have sprayed me with 100 percent juice with the intention of killing me. The fact that she didn't was a sign that she had changed.

So what.

There's nothing I can do about it.
You've decided that staying away from Alina is important for her mental health. The only contradiction in her reality cannot appear before her eyes. Maybe her rehabilitation has already reached its goal. If that's the case, it's even less my place.
The day ended without seeing Alina.

The next day, Saturday.
I woke up and checked the time. I knew that on holidays, I should sleep in. Saturday mornings are the best because I suffer from the torture of getting up early on weekdays. By the way, Friday night is the best. The special combo of the peace of mind of being able to go to sleep without fear of anything and the consecutive holidays to be ready for anything is the best.
So, what shall we do today?
If the living room is not occupied, I'll watch a movie. Deciding this, I pick up my phone and walk down the stairs.
He casually looks at the screen of his phone and sees a missed call. I'm sorry to the caller, but I never notice it because I have my phone on silent mode to prevent it from disturbing my sleep.

Alina Nippa, missed call.

'Wow, seriously ......'

I didn't expect it to be Alina. I thought Makoto had pulled some kind of annoying ping-pong dash prank on me.
I thought it was a ballsy move on Alina's part to call me yesterday after all these years. How could she decide to call me, whom she had never met before? I would have seen my name in her call history. If she had the contact information of a man she'd never met before, she would have been scared and deleted it.

I had decided not to get involved with her, and after only one day, I was about to fail fast. On the other hand, I was happy. I still had a connection with Alina.
Should I call her back? Should I ignore it?
If I call her back, I'm sure she'll question me. She will ask me who I am and why my call history is still there. For her sake, it is better to ignore it. I should wait until I disappear from her phone, from her consciousness.
But the shameful thing is that I wanted to hear Alina's voice.

Get out of my way!

I stopped in the middle of the stairs, and Ugin came down from the second floor to kick me off, showing me the soles of his feet.

'Wait! If you kick me here, one of your precious lives will be taken to heaven.
'I'll kick you if it will save the many ants you'll trample to death,' he said.
'Your brother is no better than an ant.'
'I realized that the only people on my side are the anteaters.

I gave up and proceeded down the stairs to the living room. Ugin, dressed in her pajamas, also came into the living room and seemed to be slacking off.
Lately, she seems to be becoming more and more like me in her laziness. This is bad, sister. You used to be a little more active. This past month you've been an old man, to say the least.
I don't want to see you lying around with mayonnaise on a string of clams. Can you at least stop with the shellfish. Or salmon roe... Why the choice of an old man who likes to drink? I almost cried when I saw him on his back with a squid on his stomach playing with his phone.
The cry from his heart didn't reach his sister, and she groaned and took out mayonnaise from the fridge. This is the signal that the image of Ugin Sakakimoku is about to be destroyed. Not wanting to see my proud little sister turned into an old man, I ran to the bathroom. I ran to the bathroom, trusting that I would find the usual Ugin when I returned.

When I returned after washing my face, I found the old man.
He was lying on the sofa, watching TV with his face liquefied. I want to say "He's rotten," but I've already given up on him, so I accept the reality and sit down on the other couch.
I sit down on the other couch. For a while, the only sound is the TV. I watch it silently, sipping my cocoa and thinking about what I'm going to do today. Oh, I was going to watch a movie if the living room wasn't occupied. Now, what should I do with this old man? I guess it's best to suck him up with a rag since he's liquefied.
Hey, keep your belly button out, belly button out. You don't do that at school, do you? Some people fetishize bellybuttons.



My phone on the table shook like an earthquake of intensity 4. I had deactivated the silent mode, so the default ringtone and vibrating sound echoed through the living room. I looked at the screen and saw it was Alina.


The phone keeps ringing.
Me, who keeps looking at the TV.
Ugin keeping his hand on the shell strap, his attention on the phone.

'Smart phone'.
'That's from Alina!

The phone keeps ringing.
Me watching the TV.
Ugin reaches for my phone.

I see it and immediately retrieve my phone.

'What, you're not going to answer it, are you?
'It's not good if you leave.
'Huh? What are you going to do then?'

I said I'm going to do something, but I'm going to ignore it. For Alina's sake.
But Ugin, who has Alina's contact information withheld, might contact her with something he doesn't want. Besides, Ugin might find out what's going on with Alina if we ignore her so blatantly. This would inevitably lead to trouble.
So I had no choice but to answer.

Yes, this is Sakakiki.

Leaving the old man alone, I walked out of the living room and picked up the phone.
I held her voice while suppressing a surge of emotion.

Oh, it's connected. Is this Comet Sakakiki?
'Yes, it is.'
'Good. I'm Alina Hiba. I'm calling to ask you something, if you don't mind.

I squatted down. An indescribable sense of relief washes over me. I was so simple-minded that I was angry at myself for being so naive.

Are you someone who is important to me?

My mind went blank when I heard those words. I forgot to swallow my spit, and the sensation of spit spreading in my mouth took over me. My eyes hurt from looking so wide open, and tears welled up in my eyes.
I fall silent at the unexpected question.
I thought it was a continuation of the other day. I thought he had asked me who I was through the phone, but then he asked me a deeper and more penetrating question, and I was at a loss for words.
Why did she sense that I might be important to her? I think it's a tough situation to come to such a conclusion.

Are you listening to me? Oh, I wonder if I'm in a bad reception area.
'I can hear you.
'Yeah? Did you hear me?

'So, what about it?

Let's avoid this as much as possible. Let's end the conversation that way.

'Why did you think such an impossible thing?
'Eh, because, in that ...... note, no, not ......'.

That's what I mean. .......
It's Alina's secret notebook. I know because she showed it to me on the day of the school festival. She read the page with me on it.
So, no. I'm too much in her shadow. It was always a hard line to follow.

'It's just a misunderstanding.
'...... I don't know anything about you. But I have your contact information and other things.
'Have you noticed anything unusual lately?'
'Yes, there are some, but ......'
What is it?
'No, I don't want to tell you.
'Memory clouding? Or is it something about personality?
'...... wait, how much do they know about me?'
'You're just guessing.'
'Lies. I knew you were hiding something. I'm going to tell you right now that I had amnesia. But a few days ago I remembered everything. I remembered people I'd forgotten, bad things from the past, my past... Everything.

You remembered everything? You mean to say that you remembered everything you remembered before the ninth grade? If it was because of your father's death?
If that's true, she's still a rose with a tongue. The angel Alina does not know how to treat Shirana, Yuri, and Ran. Nor does she seem to have a unified personality. And she represents 'Angel Alina' as another personality. This is a proof that he has established a complete identity.

Looking back, I feel like I've said a lot of terrible things. I'm such an idiot. I should apologize to Shirana and Tsuru. But you know, I don't understand why you are the way you are. Isn't it funny? I don't think he's a bad person. That's why I thought I'd call you.'
'I'm not a bad person, don't worry.'
I know.

I can't get my story straight.
It's not working, Alina. I can't go after your contradictions. You're strangling yourself. If you don't mind the contradiction, you can accept and digest all that is past, and you can live without pretense from now on.
If you suffer trying to remember me, your amnesia may come back!

'I'm sleepy, can we continue next time?'
'Yes, I'm sorry to bother you this morning. Can I ask one last thing?

I respond with a flat 'ah' in a hushed tone.

I'm in love with you?

Trying to keep my voice from shaking, I said, trying to sound calm.

'No. He hated me. I think that's why he forgot about me. It's better to forget me before you remember something you don't like.

She seemed crestfallen.
I hung up and took a deep breath.

There was no going back.