Todokanai Koi Script

Digital Novel

“The Love that Would Not Reach, has Reached”
『届かない恋、届いた』

  1. “The action committee chairman’s… assistant?”
    「実行委員さん……の、お手伝いさん?」
  2. “Ogiso…?
    「小木曽……?」
  3. “Are you, perhaps… the guitarist?”
    「もしかして……あなたが、ギターの人……?」
  4. “White Album”…
    WHITE ALBUM……
  5. A melody that connected Music Room #1 and Music Room #2, that evening on the rooftop, with a month remaining before the school festival—one might call it a coincidence, one might call it an inevitability, one might call it a miracle.
    それは、学園祭まで一月を切った夕暮れの日に、第一音楽室と第二音楽室と屋上で繋がった、誰かにとっては偶然の、誰かにとっては必然の、誰かにとっては奇跡の旋律。
  6. The first song for just the three of them: “He played guitar, she filled it in with piano, and she sang.”
    初めての、“彼がギターを弾き、彼女がピアノで繋ぎ、そして彼女が歌った”三人のためだけの曲。
  7. And…
    そして……
  8. “…What is this?”
    「……何、これ?」
  9. “Ah, um, well…”
    「あ~、いや、その……」
  10. “A new song. The third one. Our last number.”
    「新曲。三曲目。ラストナンバー」
  11. “Oh…”
    「え……」
  12. Nearly a month later, on a Friday…
    それから一月近く経った金曜日。
  13. One person became two, two became three, and at last, they had reached the day before the school festival concert…
    一人がふたりになり、ふたりが三人になって、いよいよ学園祭ライブを翌日に控えたその時に……
  14. “Kitahara wrote the lyrics, I set them to music, and you’re going to sing, Ogiso. A song for just the three of us.”
    「北原が詞を書いて、あたしが曲をつけて、小木曽が歌う、三人のためだけの歌、だ」
  15. One more song, just for the three of them, was completed here.
    もうひとつの、三人のためだけの曲が、ここに完成した。
  16. Chapter 1 Haruki
    第一章 春希
  17. “That’s not really a problem. I told you, there’s a second guitar.”
    「別にいいじゃん。セカンドギターがいたってさ」
  18. “No, I told you, I’m not doing it.”
    「いや、だから出ないって俺は」
  19. Half a year before the school festival, in early May…
    学園祭から半年も前の五月上旬。
  20. Four male students were gathered in Music Room #1 after school, and a heated argument was unfolding.
    放課後の第一音楽室には五人の男子生徒が集い、激しい議論を繰り広げていた。
  21. “It’s fine, Haruki. Even if we start now, we’ll have more than enough time.”
    「大丈夫だって春希。今からでも十分間に合うって」
  22. “Quit trying to pacify me, Takeya. I know best what my own abilities are.”
    「気休めはやめろって武也。自分の実力は自分が一番よくわかってる」
  23. “It’s true that your skills right now are pretty hopeless. There’s not much likelihood of a drastic improvement in half a year. But the school festival is just a festival, right?”
    「そりゃ確かに、お前の腕は箸にも棒にもかからないよ? これから半年で劇的に成長する見込みもないよ? けどさ、学園祭ってたかがお祭りだろ?」
  24. “I’m not playing. Absolutely not, no way.”
    「弾かない、もう絶対に弾かない」
  25. No, to be more precise—just now, out of all of them, only two of them were arguing… Takeya Iizuka, and Haruki Kitahara.
    いや、その表現は少し正確ではなく、たった今議論しているのはその中でも二人……飯塚武也と、北原春希だけだった。
  26. The other three around watched their quarrel from a distance, playing the instruments they held, fiddling with their phones, relaxing with a fairly unbothered attitude.
    他の三人は、二人の言い合いを遠巻きに眺めながら、手に持った楽器を弾いたり、携帯をいじったりと、割とどうでもいい態度でまったりしていた。
  27. This was because the current discussion was more or less inconsequential, having been born out of a much more serious discussion concerning choosing and inviting a vocalist.
    それもそのはずで、今話し合われているのは『ボーカル選出と勧誘について』という深刻な議題のついでに提出された、割とどうでもいい相談事だったから。
  28. “Concerning the promotion of Haruki Kitahara, substitute guitarist, to an official member”
    『補欠ギター・北原春希の正式メンバー昇格について』
  29. “Then, air guitar, maybe…”
    「ならエアギターとか……」
  30. “Takeya, I hope you aren’t telling me to be a street performer.”
    「武也、お前、俺に大道芸やれって言うのかよ?」
  31. This impromptu band, formed merely one month earlier, the “Light Music Club,” was a gathering of showy, superficial guys who planned on flaunting their own coolness in the school festival six months later, aiming for the arrival of the last-minute popularity that came at the end of one’s school life—with these extremely trivial, flimsy, light motives it was formed.
    結成されてたった一月の即席バンド『軽音楽同好会』は、半年後の学園祭でカッコいいところを見せつけて、学園生活最後のモテ期到来を目指そうぜという、とても軽くて薄くてライトな動機で結成された、超チャラい男たちの集まりだった。
  32. However, the members, who originally had been steeped in the opportunistic ideology of “If we play instruments then we’ll be popular with girls,” having now sacrificed themselves to this dogma, had somehow or another mostly become more or less an experienced band lineup.
    ただ、元からそういう『楽器やってりゃ女にモテんだろ』みたいなご都合主義の思想に染まったメンバーたちは、その教義に殉じたがゆえ、曲がりなりにもほぼ全員がバンド経験者という陣容で。
  33. When it was asked whether the one exception to this “mostly,” the guitar abilities of Haruki, who joined after being invited by his friend, would come to something good after half a year, everybody couldn’t help feeling doubtful.
    で、その“ほぼ全員”から外れた唯一人、友達に誘われてなんとなく加入した春希のギターの腕前は、半年後にモノになっているかと聞かれれば、誰もが首を傾げざるを得ない状態だった訳で。
  34. “But it’s the school festival, right? Even you will probably want a girl or two by then, right, Haruki?”
    「でもさ、せっかくの学園祭だぜ? 春希だって、そろそろ彼女の一人や二人欲しいだろ?」
  35. “What do you mean, ‘two’? I’m not you, Takeya. No, forget about that. The point is, I’m not playing.”
    「武也じゃないんだから二人もいるかよ。じゃなくて、とにかく俺は出ない」
  36. “Haruki…”
    「春希……」
  37. Even Haruki, who grasped the mood of his surroundings more clearly than anyone, would probably thoroughly reject this proposal from Takeya, even though there was pure friendship in his attempts to lure him in.
    そんな周囲の空気を誰よりも感じ取っていた春希は、多分、それでも純粋な友情も込みで誘ってくれている武也の申し出を徹底的に突っぱねて……
  38. “But, there is just one thing I want to do. Can I tell you that?”
    「けど、たった一つ、やりたいことがあるんだ。聞いてくれるか?」
  39. “What?”
    「なんだよ?」
  40. Right at that moment, as an alternative suggestion, he put forth this single hope, his heart’s desire.
    即座に、その代替案とばかりに、一つの、そして本命の希望を申し出た。
  41. Because Haruki knew.
    なぜなら、春希は知っていたから。
  42. In order to convey what he really wanted to do, first he had to give the other person a feeling of obligation, forming up an atmosphere for drawing out concessions and compromises—he knew that this was an effective method.
    本当にやりたいことを通すためには、まずは相手に負い目を感じさせ、譲歩を引き出す空気を形成しておくのが効果的だということを。
  43. “Ohhh, that might be good, huh?”
    「お~、それいいんじゃね?」
  44. “It would. A way of showing some of our real color…”
    「そうだよな、俺たちのカラーみたいなのも出せるし」
  45. “It would definitely get all the people at the school festival worked up and excited…”
    「やっぱ学園祭は皆で盛り上がるもんだしな~」
  46. And so, Haruki’s underhanded… no, clever strategy seemed to have borne fruit…
    そして、そんな春希の姑息な……いや巧妙な作戦が功を奏したのか……
  47. The other members, who until now had been half-heartedly “pretending to” support Takeya, when presented with this humble alternative suggestion, threw their support behind it assertively, relief showing plainly on their faces.
    さっきまで、消極的に武也を支持する『ふりをしていた』他のメンバーたちは、そのちょっと控えめな代替案を、今度は積極的に支持し、あからさまにほっとした表情を見せる。
  48. Because, to them, Haruki was not even remotely a hindrance to the group.
    なぜなら彼らにとって、春希は決して邪魔な存在じゃなかったから。
  49. Their abilities as band members were what they were, but to a club that had been just formed this year with no backing, the rumored leverage of the “secret school festival action committee chairman,” and his well-established political strength, were unquestionably crucial.
    バンドメンバーとしての実力はアレだったけれど、『学園祭の裏実行委員長』とまことしやかに囁かれるその行動力と、これまで築き上げてきた政治力は、今年結成されたばかりの、なんの後ろ盾もない同好会にとってはどうしても必要だったから。
  50. “So, any objections?”
    「じゃあ、みんな異存はないな?」
  51. “What about you, Haruki? You good with things being like this?”
    「春希こそ、そんなんでいいのか?」
  52. “It’s not about ‘things being like this,’ Takeya.”
    「“そんなん”じゃないよ、武也」
  53. Takeya, the only one out of the group with a slight but truly vexed expression, was faced by Haruki, who answered with his own slightly but truly satisfied expression.
    そんな中、ただ一人、少しだけ本当に残念そうな表情の武也に向けて春希は、こちらも少しだけ、本当に満足そうな表情で応える。
  54. “This is the culmination of my three years here.”
    「俺の、三年間の集大成だ」
  55. “Huh…”
    「う~ん……」
  56. And, that night…
    そしてその夜……
  57. Taking a break from studying in his room, Haruki opened up a new notebook, wrote “Title:” on the first line, and having finished those five letters he flung his pencil away and looked toward the sky.
    自分の部屋で勉強の息抜きとばかりに、新しいノートを広げ、一行目に『タイトル:』と五文字書いただけで、春希は、いきなり鉛筆を放り投げて天を仰いだ。
  58. “Writing lyrics… What the hell have I talked myself into…?”
    「作詞とか……何イタいこと言っちゃってんだよ俺……」
  59. “Writing lyrics for an original number, to be played at the school festival”
    『学園祭発表用の、オリジナルナンバーの作詞』
  60. When it came to the school festival concert, what Haruki had wanted was this behind-the-scenes position—in a sense, a very important one.
    学園祭ライブに向けて春希が希望したのは、そんな裏方の、そしてある意味重要なポジションだった。
  61. At the time, thinking from the perspective of his grades in Modern Japanese class, he had judged that this part would suit him best, and believed it to be a solid choice…
    現国の成績から考えて、このパートが一番自分向きと判断しての堅実な選択だと、あの時は思っていたのだけれど……
  62. But the fact that he had used his academic performance as a basis for evaluation in the first place may in and of itself have been proof that he wasn’t cut out to be in a band.
    そもそもその、学業成績を判断基準にすることこそが、春希がまるでバンド活動なんかには向いていない証左でもあったりした。
  63. “If I at least had a question to answer…”
    「設問さえあればなぁ……」
  64. Yes, if this were a problem on a test…
    そう、これがテスト問題なら。
  65. If something like “State the emotions of the main character at this time” were written on the blank page, Haruki could easily cram the paper full of detailed, scathing critiques of every single problem with the character’s attitude and behavior, even going beyond what the question asked…
    『この時の主人公の心情を述べよ』とさえ答案用紙に書かれていれば、聞かれもしないのに主人公の態度や言動における問題点なんかをいちいち詳細に辛辣に説教くさく、解答用紙をはみ出るくらい書き連ねることができる春希だったけれど……
  66. But, now that he was thinking about it, even that required at least an example sentence to work with.
    けれど思い起こせば、それもつまり、例文あってのことだった。
  67. And so, having finally realized his own extreme ineptitude in devising such an “example sentence,” Haruki still spent an hour, copy-pasting bits of lyrics from recent, major songs he knew and stringing them together… only to shriek in frustration and rip them up in the space of a second.
    そんなわけで、その“例文”をひねり出すのが極端に苦手だったと今になって思い知らされた春希は、それでも一時間かけて、まずは自分の知っている最近のメジャーな曲の詞をコピペして適当に繋いでみて……奇声を上げ一秒で破り捨てた。
  68. Then, reflecting that “plagiarism was a bad thing,” he roused himself up to write again, seriously this time, using his own words… and wrote nothing for a further hour.
    それから『さすがにパクりはマズいな』と反省し、今度こそ真面目に自分の言葉を使ってみようと奮起して……一時間、手を止めた。
  69. The fact was, none of the words that came to his mind from his own experiences created images that could be conveyed by melody of a guitar, or the rhythm of the drums.
    何しろ、自分の経験から浮かぶ言葉が、ギターの旋律で、ドラムのリズムで語られるイメージが湧かない。
  70. Haruki’s daily life to this point was completely incompatible with rock music.
    これまでの春希の日常は、ロックとは徹底的に相容れない存在だった。
  71. He wasn’t dissatisfied with society.
    社会に対する不満なんか持っていない。
  72. He couldn’t put his gloomy thoughts about his family into words.
    家族に対する鬱屈した思いは言葉にできない。
  73. Love, then… But there was no such thing in his ashen school life.
    だったら恋愛……自分の、灰色の学園生活にそんなものは存在しない。
  74. “…I’ll do it tomorrow.”
    「……明日にしよ」
  75. In the end, after wasting three hours, Haruki glanced at the clock—it was almost two in the morning—then put the lyrics notebook sitting before him into a drawer, and took down a reference book from his bookshelf.
    結局、三時間無駄にして、そろそろ午前二時を指し示す時計を目にしたとき、春希は目の前の作詞ノートを引き出しにしまい、棚から参考書を取り出した。
  76. And the time passed, and August came.
    そして時は過ぎ八月。
  77. One evening, toward the middle of the summer holidays…
    夏休みも中盤に差し掛かった日の夕刻。
  78. Haruki rushed at full speed up the stairs of his apartment building, flew into his room, and began rooting around in his desk drawer, without even stopping to get changed or dry off his waterfalls of sweat.
    全速力でマンションの階段を駆け上がり部屋に帰ってきた春希は、制服を着替えることも、滝のように流れ出る汗を拭くことも後回しで、机の引き出しをまさぐった。
  79. “…Found it!”
    「っ……あった!」
  80. And finally, after throwing all of the tidily organized contents into disarray, he found the single notebook resting at the very back of the drawer and held it above his head with a roar of victory.
    そして、整然と詰められていた中身をめちゃくちゃに荒らした末に、その一番奥に眠っていた一冊のノートを見つけると、勝利の雄叫びとともに誇らしく頭上に掲げる。
  81. …This was his moment of reunion with the lyrics notebook, after three months.
    ……それこそが、あの作詞ノートとの、三か月ぶりの再会の瞬間だった。
  82. In the beginning, he felt embarrassed, trying to assemble words out of emotions.
    最初は、叙情的な言葉を紡ぎ出すのが恥ずかしく。
  83. On top of that, his failure to make any significant improvement with the guitar had caused him to start losing passion for the band.
    さらには、なかなか上達しないギターの腕につられて、バンドへの情熱を失いかけ。
  84. Meanwhile, even though he was just supposed to be assisting, his duties as festival committee chair were growing more and more hectic, leaving him little time to think.
    ついでに、単なる手伝いのはずなのに、どんどん忙しくなる学園祭実行委員の雑務が心の余裕を奪い。
  85. And so, with one thing and another, for the past three months, the lyric composition for the original festival number had not progressed whatsoever.
    そんなこんなで、この三か月の間、学園祭向けのオリジナルナンバーの作詞は、結局のところ何も進んでいなかった。
  86. But, today, something had happened that renewed his motivation.
    けれど今日は、そのモチベーションをふたたび取り戻す出来事があった。
  87. He had managed to play a song all the way through.
    初めて、一曲を通して弾けた。
  88. His favorite song had become the one song he could play.
    自分が一番好きだった曲が、自分が唯一弾ける曲になった。
  89. That excitement, that uplift, reawakened Haruki’s desire to commit his emotions to words.
    そんな興奮が、高揚感が、春希に、自分の感情を文字に起こす気持ちを蘇らせた。
  90. He didn’t care if it wasn’t in the current popular style. He didn’t care if it was outdated.
    今の流行なんかどうでもいい。古くさくてもいい。
  91. He didn’t care if it wasn’t “rock.” All he knew was western-style pop, anyway, so there was no helping that.
    ロックじゃなくてもいい。歌謡曲しか知らないんだからしょうがない。
  92. And love… Even if he had never felt it, he could picture it now.
    そして恋愛なんか……してなくたって、今なら思い描くことはできる。
  93. “…to be lonely…”
    「孤独な……」
  94. What Haruki tried to picture was his ideal girl, who existed only in his imagination.
    思い描くべきは、あくまで想像の中の、春希の理想の少女。
  95. For example, that worn-out sense of distance between those who sit next to each other in class.
    例えば、席が隣同士という、使い古された距離感。
  96. An aloof girl who had nothing to do with anyone, the kind of setting that would draw the interest of the listeners.
    誰とも触れあわない孤高な少女という、聞き手に興味を持たせるための舞台装置。
  97. But it made for a scene that was convenient for both creator and listener—directing kind words at oneself, and nobody else.
    けれど、他の誰でもない自分だけには優しい言葉を掛けてくれるという、作り手にも受け手にも都合のいい設定。
  98. “…couldn’t help but wonder…”
    「気になっていた……」
  99. …and so a particular character began spilling, from these odds and ends that he spun together, so much that he managed to fool even himself.
    ……などと自分を誤魔化すしかないほどに、紡ぎ出す言葉の端々から、特定の人物が溢れ出していた。
  100. The girl he was picturing was, without a doubt, a real girl—the one next to him.
    思い描いてしまっているのは、どう見ても実在の、春希のお隣の少女。
  101. The one in the next desk over, who never had anything to do with anyone.
    席が隣同士で、誰とも触れあわず。
  102. …But, today, she had become his guitar teacher, this classmate with long black hair.
    ……けれど今日、自分のギターの師匠になってくれた、長い黒髪の、同級生。
  103. “…Wait.”
    「……うわ」
  104. And, somehow, he had written a song…
    そして、なんとか一番が書き上がり……
  105. Naturally, as he looked at these overly imaginative lyrics, Haruki gave a strained smile through a cold sweat, but he still nodded in approval, took out a red pen, and began making revisions.
    さすがに、あまりにも創作っぽくなくなってしまったその歌詞を見て、春希は冷や汗混じりに苦笑を浮かべたが、それでも納得したように頷くと、今度は赤ペンを取り出し、書き上げた詞に修正を入れていく。
  106. Correcting a piece of work according to set rules was Haruki’s area of expertise.
    出来たものを一定の法則に従って直すことに関しては、もはや春希の得意分野だ。
  107. First, he made the content as ambiguous as possible.
    まず、内容はできるだけぼかす。
  108. He made the gender of the person singing, and that of the object of their feelings, unclear.
    歌っている人間と、想い人の性別は不明にする。
  109. He didn’t use first person. He restricted it to second person—“You.”
    一人称は出さない。二人称すら『あなた』に抑える。
  110. Because the hero of this song was not Haruki Kitahara.
    だからこの詞の主人公は北原春希じゃない。
  111. Because the “you” was not Kazusa Touma, the one who sat next to Haruki and taught him how to play the guitar.
    だから『あなた』は、春希の隣の席で、ギターを教えてくれた冬馬かずさじゃない。
  112. This was that most common of stories—“An ordinary person, longing for someone they could never reach.”
    これはただの、どこにでもいる『決して届かないひとに憧れる、平凡な人間の物語』。
  113. “…Well, I figure that should do it.”
    「……まぁ、これくらいなら、大丈夫だろ」
  114. Haruki looked at the notebook, the text so covered in red that no one apart from him would be able to make head or tail of it, and nodded, slightly embarrassed, but quite satisfied.
    真っ赤に埋め尽くされ、もはや自分以外は何が書いてあるかわからないノートを見て、春希は少し照れくさそうに、けれどとても満足そうに頷いた。
  115. For just a moment, he pictured the annoyed face of the girl he had used as his model, and he almost lost his nerve, but it faded quickly.
    ちょっとばかり、モデルにされた少女の迷惑そうな表情がちらついて、いたたまれない気持ちになりかけたけれど、それも一瞬のこと。
  116. “All right. Let’s see about the second one.”
    「じゃ、二番いってみようか」
  117. Haruki vigorously turned the page of the notebook, unaware that the sun had long since set.
    とっくに日が暮れていたことにも気づかないまま、春希は勢いよくノートをめくった。
  118. Chapter 2 Kazusa
    第二章 かずさ
  119. “…Oh, right, I almost forgot. Read this.”
    「……と、そうだ、忘れてた。これ、読んでみてくれ」
  120. “What kind of joke are you pulling this time?”
    「で、今度はどんな冗談だ?」
  121. “If you can… I want you to make this guy’s real wish come true.”
    「できれば……あいつの本当の夢を叶えてやって欲しい」
  122. “What…”
    「え……」
  123. With this exchange, Takeya Iizuka, temporary head of the light music club, gave her a notebook, wearing an uncharacteristically serious expression.
    そんなやり取りとともに、軽音楽同好会のかりそめの部長、飯塚武也から、彼にしては珍しい、真剣な表情で託された一冊のノート。
  124. “…Pff…”
    「……ぷっ」
  125. …was the first word she said, or rather the first sound she made, after opening it.
    ……を初めて開いた彼女の第一声、というか第一息がこれだった。
  126. “You’re telling me he came up with this? I don’t even… Aha, ahaha…”
    「これをあいつが考えたって? なんて言うか、なぁ? あは、あはは……」
  127. And the next sound she made was this—a laugh that was refreshing, in a sense, though it could have been taken for sneering or snickering.
    そして、続いての第二声がこの、嘲笑とも失笑とも取れる、ある意味清々しいまでの微笑だった。
  128. Kazusa Touma—
    冬馬かずさ――
  129. Houjou High School, third year, class E.
    峰城大学付属学園三年E組所属。
  130. She was a tall girl, with long, straight black hair that was a point of pride—or rather, it was clear that she had chosen to grow it out herself.
    女子にしては長身で、自慢の……ではなく、本人にしてみれば勝手に生えてる程度にしか思っていない長くまっすぐな黒髪を持つ少女。
  131. …Incidentally, while she had an aloof personality and did not socialize with anyone, she was a kind girl at the core, with a meddlesome classmate who couldn’t play guitar sitting next to her.
    ……ついでに、誰とも触れあわない孤高の性格で、隣の席にお節介でギターの下手なクラスメイトを持つ、実は根の優しい少女。
  132. Mid-November…
    十一月の中旬。
  133. A late autumn night, a week before the school festival concert.
    いよいよ、学園祭ライブを一週間後に控えた晩秋の夜。
  134. In the music studio in the basement of her home, Kazusa set the open notebook on the music stand of her piano, and fully enjoyed its contents in several senses.
    自宅の地下にある音楽スタジオで、かずさはピアノの譜面台にそのノートを広げ、色んな意味でその内容を満喫していた。
  135. “So, even he has the kind of sensitivity that leads him to get lost in these pitiful delusions.”
    『あいつにも、こんな痛々しい妄想にふける感性ってやつがあったんだなぁ』
  136. Her feelings, which had been a little hazy after a small argument with a friend shortly before, seemed to be clearing up now.
    ついさっき、友達とのちょっとした言い合いでもやもやしていた気持ちが、なんとなく晴れていく気がしていた。
  137. It was ridiculous that a relationship between two girls should become strained over the kind of blundering guy who wrote embarrassing poetry like this.
    何しろ、こんな痛々しいポエムを書くような勘違い男を巡って女二人が微妙な雰囲気になるなんて、馬鹿馬鹿しいにも程があると思えてきたから。
  138. To Kazusa, Haruki Kitahara, the one responsible for writing these lyrics, was an irritating classmate who was always flitting around in her line of sight, a thorn in her side, an idiot who couldn’t be left to his own devices, and something like a favored pupil.
    かずさにとって、この詞を作った張本人、北原春希は、目の前をいつもちらついている鬱陶しいクラスメイトで、目の上のたんこぶな世話焼きで、目が離せない馬鹿で、そして目をかけている弟子みたいな存在だった。
  139. To their classmates and teachers, he seemed incomparably trustworthy, reliable, and easy to use to one’s own convenience, like a god who would grant prayers without being given an offering.
    クラスメイトや教師からは、自分とは比べ物にならないくらい信用され、頼られ、そして便利に使い倒されていている、賽銭なしで願いを叶えてくれそうな神様みたいに見られていて。
  140. And yet, for Kazusa, he seemed only like a hopeless pest, depressing, weirdly dependent, and bringing burden after burden.
    なのにかずさにしてみれば、単に鬱陶しくて、変に頼ってきて、そして次から次へと厄介ごとを持ち込んでくる、どうしようもない疫病神にしか見えなくて。
  141. And so, this notebook of dark secrets, full of the embarrassing words that he penned, provided a once-in-a-lifetime chance to clear her pent-up frustrations.
    だから、そんな彼が恥ずかしい言葉を綴ったこの黒歴史ノートは、今までの鬱憤を晴らす千載一遇のチャンスだった。
  142. As she pondered how best to use this new fact about that overly serious chairman, his secret hidden side as a deluded poet, Kazusa began tickling the piano keys lightly, not bothering to hide the smile on her face.
    あのくそ真面目な委員長が、裏ではこんな勘違いポエマーだったというこの事実をどう利用してやろうかと、かずさは思わず緩んでしまう頬を隠すこともせず、軽く鍵盤を弾く。
  143. “Are you pretending to be lonely?”
    『孤独な、ふりを、してるの』
  144. The melody with her right hand, the accompaniment with her left.
    右手で主旋律を、左手で伴奏を。
  145. She played a tune she had never used anywhere else, off the cuff, fitting it to these lyrics.
    未だにどこにも用意されていない、その詞に合った曲を、即興で弾く。
  146. After all, this notebook contained only the lyrics and the name of the lyricist.
    何しろノートには、詞と、作詞者の名前しか書かれていなかった。
  147. No score, no music writing credit—nothing.
    譜面も、作曲者のクレジットも、なにもなかった。
  148. Which meant that, as it was, there was no way this could be used in the show.
    だから今のままでは、ライブに使える訳がなかった。
  149. “Couldn’t help but wonder why…”
    『何故だろう、気になっていた』
  150. She scribbled down notations in pencil on the music paper that she had set up next to the notebook.
    ノートの隣に立てかけた五線紙に、鉛筆で音符を書き加えていく。
  151. Her left hand continued roaming over the keys, seeking out sounds to adorn the melody.
    左手は相変わらず鍵盤の上を彷徨い、主旋律を飾る音を探している。
  152. Moments ago, she had thoroughly laughed off these lyrics, but now, she faced them seriously.
    さっきまで、散々笑い飛ばしたその詞に、今は真剣に向き合っている。
  153. Really, she hadn’t had any complaint with the execution of the lyrics in the first place.
    というか元々、詞そのものの出来に文句なんかなかった。
  154. Even though they were a little clumsy, and a little too earnest.
    ちょっと不器用だけど、ちょっと真剣過ぎるけど。
  155. That was exactly what made the honest feelings in them come across so directly.
    だからこそ、まっすぐな想いがダイレクトに伝わってきた。
  156. To be fully honest, she found herself just a bit moved.
    本音を言えば、少し、グっときていた。
  157. …At the same time, when she pictured the face of the person who had written it, all she could do was laugh.
    ……ただ、一緒にそれを作った人間の顔が浮かんでしまうから笑えるだけで。
  158. “How can I make you see my heart…”
    『どうすれば、この心は……』
  159. “…Ah.”
    「……あ」
  160. But, the moment she reached the B section of the song, Kazusa unconsciously stopped playing.
    けれど、Bメロに入ったところで、思わずかずさは手を止めた。
  161. Her gaze was fixed on the room’s digital clock.
    その視線は、部屋に置かれたデジタル表示の時計に注がれている。
  162. “What am I even doing…?”
    「何やってんだ、あたし……」
  163. It was the day a week before the school festival, not yet past midnight.
    その、真夜中過ぎた時刻ではなく、学園祭まで一週間を切った日付に。
  164. In one week, she would get that lousy guitarist into shape, make things work with the second song, “Sound of Destiny,” fine-tune the programming…
    あと一週間で、へたくそなギターをなんとか形にして、二曲目の『SOUND OF DESTINY』を合わせて、打ち込みを調整して……
  165. And, finally, lead the school festival concert to success.
    結果、学園祭ステージを成功に導く。
  166. Out of the three who would appear in the concert, she was the only one with any stage experience, and she would see all of it through.
    一緒にステージに上がる三人のうち、ステージ経験があるのは自分だけの状況で、それを全て為し遂げる。
  167. For Kazusa, who lately had only touched the piano in the spirit of playing around, even for her main profession, this was plainly a burden that could be considered “overwork.”
    その負担は、最近では本職のピアノですらお遊び程度にしか触っていなかったかずさにとって、明らかにオーバーワークとも言える量だった。
  168. Thinking rationally, this was no time to be taking the long way around.
    冷静に考えれば、今はこんな寄り道をしている場合じゃない。
  169. First of all, making this still-at-risk show succeed without a hitch was definitely the top priority.
    まずは、今でさえ危ないステージを無難に成功させることこそが最優先に決まっている。
  170. But…
    けれど……
  171. “At this point, will you be able to make it in time? Is this too much, even for you, Touma?”
    『今からじゃ間に合わないか? いくら冬馬でも、こればっかりは無茶なのか?』
  172. “…I’ve got plenty of time.”
    「……余裕に決まってるだろ」
  173. Finally, Kazusa returned her fingers to the piano.
    結局かずさは、もう一度鍵盤に自分の指を戻す。
  174. She put on as much affectation as she could, following along with the cheap provocation that existed only in her own imagination.
    ただの想像の中の安っぽい挑発に乗って、思いっきり見栄を張りながら。
  175. “I’m the only one who can save him…”
    「あいつらを救えるのは、あたしだけだ……」
  176. Long ago, up until middle school, Kazusa believed…
    昔の、中学生までのかずさは、信じていた。
  177. that when it came to music, as long as she put forth a serious effort, there was nothing she couldn’t do.
    相手が音楽なら、自分が本気さえ出せば、出来ないことなんか何もないと。
  178. For a while, the talent was abandoned, forsaken by its real mother.
    一度は、実の母親に見捨てられ、諦められた才能だったけれど。
  179. Still, if it was just making one song…
    それでも、あと一曲作るくらいなら。
  180. Just enough to succeed at the school festival show…
    学園祭のステージで成功する程度なら。
  181. At a level that would get a reaction out of that idiot… She had plenty of time.
    そして、あの馬鹿をあっと言わせるレベルなら……今の自分でも、余裕だと。
  182. “How can I make you see my heart, reflected in the mirror?”
    『どうすれば、この心は、鏡に映るの』
  183. Once more, the melody of the piano rang through the room.
    もう一度、ピアノの旋律が部屋に響く。
  184. Empathizing with these honest lyrics, with all her might…
    力いっぱい、このまっすぐな詞に感情移入して。
  185. and driving all thoughts of the one who wrote them from her mind, Kazusa composed.
    作った奴のことを、極力頭から追い払って、かずさは作る。
  186. A song about feelings for someone who seemed solitary.
    孤独なふりをした、誰かを思う曲を。
  187. A song about trying to reach out to a closed-off, blunt, bitter, lonely person.
    なかなか心を開いてくれない、つっけんどんで、ひねくれていて、そして、寂しがり屋な誰かに触れようとする曲を。
  188. It was a fortunate misconception.
    それは、幸せな勘違い。
  189. And a fatal misunderstanding.
    そして、致命的な思い違い。
  190. Until the very, very end, Kazusa didn’t realize.
    かずさは、最後の最後の最後まで、気づかなかった。
  191. The true identity of the someone who seemed solitary.
    孤独なふりをした、誰かの正体に。
  192. The name of the lonely someone who never opened her heart.
    なかなか心を開いてくれない、寂しがり屋な誰かの名前に。
  193. Not even the plain, honest feelings directed at that someone.
    そして、そんな誰かに向けられた、あからさまに真っ直ぐな気持ちにさえも。
  194. But at this point, for Kazusa, there was no helping that.
    けれどそれは、その時のかずさにとっては仕方のないことで……
  195. Because, at that moment, Kazusa Touma was a completely different person from the character who appeared in these lyrics.
    なぜならその瞬間、冬馬かずさは、その詞に出てくる登場人物とはまるで別人だった。
  196. She wasn’t solitary.
    孤独ではなかった。
  197. She wasn’t lonely.
    寂しくなかった。
  198. She was friendly.
    優しかった。
  199. She was open.
    素直だった。
  200. …Indeed, her heart was open.
    ……誰かに、心を開いていた。
  201. Chapter 3 Setsuna
    第三章 雪菜
  202. “…What is this?”
    「……何、これ?」
  203. “Ah, um, well…”
    「あ~、いや、その……」
  204. “A new song. The third one. Our last number.”
    「新曲。三曲目。ラストナンバー」
  205. “Oh…”
    「え……」
  206. “Kitahara wrote the lyrics, I set them to music, and you’re going to sing, Ogiso. A song for just the three of us.”
    「北原が詞を書いて、あたしが曲をつけて、小木曽が歌う、三人のためだけの歌、だ」
  207. With this exchange, Kazusa Touma, true head of the light music club, gave her a sheaf of sheet music, wearing an uncharacteristically encouraging smile.
    そんなやり取りとともに、軽音楽同好会の実質的な部長、冬馬かずさから、彼女にしては珍しい、力強い笑顔で託された一束の楽譜。
  208. “A song… for the three of us?”
    「三人の……歌?」
  209. …was the first thing she said after reading it.
    ……を初めて読んだ彼女の第一声がこれだった。
  210. Setsuna Ogiso—
    小木曽雪菜――
  211. Houjou High School, third year, class A.
    峰城大学付属学園三年A組所属。
  212. She was a girl with the perfect balance of traits that boys idealized, a lovely appearance and a gentle manner that were a point of pride—or possibly an unwelcome blessing.
    男子の理想を完璧にバランスよく配置した、自慢の……というか、本人にしてみればありがた迷惑かもしれない、可愛らしい容姿と柔らかい物腰の少女。
  213. …Incidentally, even though everyone recognized her demeanor as “the true essence of a school idol,” she was a girl with a slightly impish nature, who was occupied single-mindedly with the most stubborn honor student in the whole school.
    ……ついでに立ち振る舞いも『これぞ学園のアイドル』と誰もが認めているのに、学園一の堅物優等生にばかりかまけている、ちょびっとだけ悪戯っぽい本質を持つ女の子。
  214. Late November…
    十一月の下旬。
  215. The first day of the school festival had finally arrived.
    とうとう始まった学園祭の初日。
  216. It was three o’clock in the afternoon on Friday, with the main event—the concert—set to take place the next day.
    そして、メインイベントのライブを明日に控えた金曜の午後三時。
  217. Setsuna, working as a hostess to round up customers for her class’s Taisho-style tearoom, had spotted Haruki and abruptly abducted him, then spirited him down into the Touma house’s basement studio while still in her hostess outfit, where they had spent a day full of many ups and downs.
    クラスの出し物である、大正浪漫喫茶の看板娘として接客に駆り出されていた雪菜は、そこに突如として現れた春希に拉致され、こうして女給服姿のまま冬馬家の地下スタジオに連れ込まれるという波瀾万丈の一日を過ごしていた。
  218. And the clincher, the biggest surprise that brought all this madness, had just been announced by the owner of this studio.
    そしてとどめとばかりに、今、この混乱を締めくくる最大のサプライズが、この部屋の主から告げられたところだった。
  219. “The love that… would not reach…”
    「届かない、恋……」
  220. Until yesterday, Setsuna and the other members of the Light Music Club had been visited by crisis after crisis.
    昨日まで、雪菜たち軽音楽同好会の面々には、次から次へとトラブルが舞い込んでいた。
  221. The guitar solo meant to serve as the centerpiece of the second song, “Sound of Destiny,” was still incomplete.
    二曲目『SOUND OF DESTINY』の目玉であるギターソロは未完成。
  222. Kazusa, who was supposed to be the primary emotional support for the members, suddenly got sick and had to withdraw.
    メンバーの精神的支柱だったかずさの、突然の体調不良による離脱。
  223. With Kazusa and Haruki both out of the picture, Setsuna faced her rehearsal alone, only to find that her voice wouldn’t come, either—it was a fiasco.
    かずさと春希を失い、たった一人でリハーサルに臨んだ雪菜の、こちらも突然声が出なくなるという大失態。
  224. Mere hours before, considering everybody’s problems, it had seemed uncertain whether they would even be able to stand onstage at all, let alone pull off a successful show.
    誰も彼もが問題を抱え、もはやライブの成功どころか、当日ステージに立つことすら風前の灯火かと思われていた、ほんの数時間前。
  225. But now, the situation had changed…
    なのに今の、この状況は……
  226. “Well, I, um… Since I’ve been in this club from the start, I figured I should at least write one song, or something.”
    「あ、いや、あのさ……もともと俺が同好会に参加したのって、一曲だけでも書かせてもらうためだったと言うか」
  227. Haruki was playing the part of the cool guy, Kazusa had made a full recovery, and Setsuna had managed to reunite with her friends.
    春希はカッコいい男の子を演じ切り、かずさは完全に復調し、そして雪菜は仲間たちとの再会を果たし。
  228. This sort of massive turnaround from the brink of disaster should have been cause for great excitement.
    そんな起死回生の大逆転に大興奮する場面のはずなのに。
  229. In fact, until Haruki had snatched it away shortly before, that was definitely the case.
    いや、春希が奪ってくれたほんの少し前までは、確かにそうだったのに。
  230. “Are you pretending to be lonely?”
    『孤独な、ふりを、してるの』
  231. “Couldn’t help but wonder why.”
    『何故だろう、気になっていた』
  232. “We had Takeya to play guitar, so I never thought that I would actually be onstage.”
    「ギターは武也がいたから、自分がステージに上がるなんて考えてなかったし」
  233. Haruki’s sheepish voice seemed to come from a great distance away.
    春希の照れた声が、遠くから聞こえてくる。
  234. In fact, he was right next to her, practically speaking right into her ear, but barely any of what he said was making its way into her head.
    本当はすぐ近く、耳元で喋っているはずなのに、その内容はほとんど頭に入ってこない。
  235. Right now, Setsuna had been left behind by the high spirits of the other two.
    今は、雪菜だけが二人の高いテンションから取り残されていた。
  236. “Next thing I knew, somehow…”
    『気づけば、いつの間にか』
  237. “I wanted you more than anybody else.”
    『誰より、惹かれていた』
  238. “But, well, whether this is the culmination of three years, or just a bit of stupidity…”
    「けど、ま、三年間の集大成というか、たった一つの馬鹿というか……」
  239. She had never understood the meanings of musical notation, but today, her eyes weren’t even seeing it at all.
    音符の意味はもとからわからなかったけれど、そもそも今は目に入らなかった。
  240. She was looking below that.
    見えていたのは、その下。
  241. At the lyrics that read, “Kitahara wrote this,” written one-by-one above the notes like phonetic readings.
    一つ一つの音符に、ルビのように振られていた、『北原が書いた』という歌詞の方。
  242. “How can I make you see my heart, reflected in the mirror?”
    『どうすれば、この心は、鏡に映るの』
  243. The scene began to form itself vividly in Setsuna’s brain, down to every detail.
    雪菜の脳裏に、その情景が一つ一つ鮮明に浮かんでくる。
  244. How could it not?
    浮かんでこないはずがなかった。
  245. After all, these words, this song…
    だってこの詞は、この歌は……
  246. An honor student’s clumsy love awakening for the bad girl by the window.
    優等生の少年が、窓際の不良少女に、不器用な恋心を抱き。
  247. These feelings put into writing, feelings that wouldn’t be conveyed, were too embarrassing to be conveyed, and yet hoped to be conveyed—they were all-too-transparent words of confession.
    その伝わらない、伝えるのが恥ずかしい、でも伝わって欲しい気持ちをそのまま文字にしただけの、あまりにも見え見えな告白台詞だったから。
  248. Feelings so strong that they came across even to Setsuna, who had known both the honor student boy and the delinquent girl for only a month.
    優等生の少年を、窓際の不良少女を、たった一月しか知らない自分にすら、そこまで伝わってしまうほどの強い気持ちだったから。
  249. “This love may never reach you, but the day may come when it appears…”
    『届かない恋をしていても、映し出す日が来るかな』
  250. And so, Setsuna understood that which had not even entered the brain of the lyricist.
    だから雪菜は、この作詞者の脳裏に浮かんでいないものまでわかってしまう。
  251. That before the honor student boy’s gaze, there was another girl, from a different class—one he had met only a month before—who was not appearing to him.
    優等生の少年の視線の先に、一月前に知り合ったばかりの、別のクラスの少女の姿が映っていないことに。
  252. “U-um, this part, here!”
    「あ、あのっ、これ!」
  253. “What? Is there something weird? It would help me out a lot if you could give me some harsh critiques.”
    「なに? どこが変だった? できれば駄目出ししてくれると助かるんだけど」
  254. “No, it’s not that… Here.”
    「そうじゃなくて……これ」
  255. After looking at the boy’s blank, puzzled expression, she fixed her eyes hard on the girl in front of the piano.
    きょとんとした少年の表情を見た後、ピアノの前の少女をじっと見つめる。
  256. And that girl… Kazusa, shrugged her shoulders in resignation, and smiled at Setsuna with a sigh.
    と、その少女……かずさは、やれやれとばかりに肩をすくめ、ため息混じりに雪菜に笑いかける。
  257. In the depths of her eyes shone a soft, gentle light, full of affection, which she never showed anyone.
    その瞳の奥に、いつもは見せない、柔らかで、優しくて、愛情に満ちた光をたたえて。
  258. It wasn’t composure, or gratitude, and certainly not ill will.
    それは余裕でも、謝意でも、ましてや悪意でもなく。
  259. And so, Setsuna understood yet another thing.
    だから雪菜は、もうひとつのことまで、わかってしまった。
  260. That these words, this song, were still in progress.
    この詞は、この歌は、まだ進行中なのだと。
  261. That the hero’s feelings were still in the air, still hadn’t reached the heroine.
    主人公の想いは宙に浮いたまま、未だにヒロインに届いていないのだと。
  262. “Ready to go, Ogiso?”
    「そろそろ行けそうか? 小木曽」
  263. “Y-yes…”
    「う、うん……」
  264. At Kazusa’s call, it finally struck home to Setsuna that the time had come.
    かずさの呼びかけに、雪菜は、とうとうその時が来てしまったことを悟る。
  265. The moment when all their individual practice was over, and they would come together as a trio…
    各々の個人練習が終わり、三人で合わせる瞬間……
  266. The moment when she had to sing Haruki’s song about his feelings for Kazusa.
    春希がかずさを想うこの歌を、自分が歌わなくてはならない瞬間が。
  267. “Can you come too, Kitahara?”
    「北原も、行けるか?」
  268. “Yeah…”
    「ああ……」
  269. Even at this moment, Setsuna was not confident.
    この瞬間になっても、雪菜には自信がなかった。
  270. She couldn’t possibly feel confident in her ability to sing these lyrics, this song, all the way through, with a genuine smile on her face, like it was just another solo karaoke performance.
    この詞を、この歌を、いつものヒトカラのように、心からの笑顔で歌いきれる自信なんか、持てる訳がなかった。
  271. But this was Haruki’s dream.
    けれどこれは、春希の夢。
  272. His greatest dream of the past three years, which Kazusa had worked herself half to death trying to grant.
    かずさが叶えようと、体を壊してまで頑張った、三年間で一番大きな夢。
  273. It wasn’t entirely possible to tell exactly how strong Kazusa’s own feelings were…
    かずさの想いにどれほどの強さがあるのか、全部は読み切れなかったけれど。
  274. But she hadn’t hidden her actions in support of Haruki from Setsuna.
    それでも彼女は、春希を後押しする自分の行動を、雪菜に隠さなかった。
  275. That alone made her an insurmountably formidable enemy.
    それだけでも、もう、敵わないほどの強敵だった。
  276. “Let’s go, then… you two.”
    「じゃ、行くぞ……二人とも」
  277. “Yeah.”
    「ああ」
  278. “…Right.”
    「……うんっ」
  279. In which case, all Setsuna could do was support Haruki, like Kazusa had.
    だったら雪菜は、かずさと同じく、春希を後押しするしかなかった。
  280. Her strongest rival had worked this hard, so she couldn’t possibly back down.
    最強のライバルがここまで頑張っているのに、自分だけが降りるわけにはいかなかった。
  281. The guitar rang out, the piano played on…
    ギターが鳴る、ピアノが続く……
  282. In that moment, the scene of that day rose up in Setsuna’s eyes and ears.
    瞬間、雪菜の目に、耳に、あの日の情景が浮かび上がる。
  283. The rooftop at dusk, her own slight boredom.
    屋上の夕暮れと、少しだけ退屈していた自分と。
  284. The melody of “White Album,” which beckoned her into something more enjoyable.
    そんな自分を楽しい時間に誘ってくれた、あの『WHITE ALBUM』の旋律が。
  285. “Yes, of course… This is the continuation of that moment…”
    “ああ、そっか……これって、あのときの続きなんだ……”
  286. “Which means that, now, I can pay it back.”
    “だったら今は、恩返しをしよう”
  287. “To the guitar and piano that guided me then…”
    “あのとき、わたしを導いてくれたギターとピアノに”
  288. “I will add as much of my voice as I can.”
    “自分が出せる限りの声を、載せていこう”