Epilogue

 

“Why did I disappear from all of you?”

Mishima Shuujirou’s smile had changed little from 7 years previous, and he still smoked Short Hopes. His handsome face shone in the afternoon sun.

Madoka was excited to know that Shuujirou still lived. But on the other hand, mysteriously, he no longer seemed to have been part of the same world they had once lived in. In this manner Mishima Shuujirou was a mystery to Madoka.

“That’s right. To Hikaru and me it was a huge shock. We couldn’t even eat for a while.” Madoka said in a sweet sounding voice. At the same time, other than to Kyousuke, she never used this type of straight intimacy with anyone and it was a bit bewildering.

Madoka, while waiting, had smoked 3 Salems when Shuujirou, a tall, smart man, finally entered the restaurant. Both of them let out the same small smile simultaneously and with a simple “yo!” he bowed before her.

For Shuujirou, to have Madoka suddenly visit had been quite a surprise. On top of that when he had heard that the girls asking about him on Aoyama Doori had been Madoka his penetrating eyes had gone round and he had whistled. “I’m glad I never chased after all. It would have been embarrassing,” he tried to joke badly. Shuujirou wore a company jumper, and seemed a bit embarrassed having come straight from work.

“I… You… I disappeared from the comrades because…” Shuujirou let out a puff of smoke from his cigarette and let his eyes follow it, and simply began talking. “I thought I should make a clean… complete disappearance.”

“Clean… complete?”

“Yeah… As it was, as long as I was in town and everyone being who they were, they’d keep searching and drawing me out. That’s what I thought. So, Oneechan and the Police conspired and took me out the back way… carried me to the hospital because I was dying…”

“No way…”

“Mean, wasn’t it? But, Madoka, I left the town behind. They weren’t able to find me. There would have been 2 or 3 times as many victims… Absolutely.”

“…Shuujirou-san…”

Undoubtedly, the local police who had had trouble with two large gangs, used “Shuujirou’s death” as a foundation to make them weaker. While one or two other people might have stood out, one month after the accident, no more motorcycle gangs could seen found.

“I would be less than honest if my blunder hadn’t been a problem for everyone… it was for the best that I simply drop from the face of the planet.”

“Hmm…” Madoka didn’t answer with words. The shock of having heard of Shuujirou’s death was obviously still a shock. And of course, Hikaru, and all their friends from the gang as well, as if they had each died as well, they had all fallen into a dark depression like a fire in the chest.

But now the 22 year-old woman, upon understanding the situation and his actions, the first thing that came to mind was the woman who had been her friend.

“Shuujirou-san?”

“Hmm?”

“Ryouko-san… How is Ryouko-san?”

“Ah… she’s fine, fine. She’s a complete Education Mama.”

“Education… Mama? Our Ryouko-san?”

“Yep! She works with her son’s kindergarten, representing the PTA.”

Madoka let out a puff of air in spite of herself.

If she thought about it, Ryouko would be about that age now. This woman who had been silently helping delinquents and high school dropouts, once one could imagine her having a son in kindergarten, it didn’t seem quite so strange.

“Odd, isn’t it Madoka.”

“Odd. Very strange.”

“Shit. You too, some day soon…”

“And as for Shuujirou-san?”

“I’ll have a boy sometime this summer.”

“A boy?”

“Yes. Absolutely a boy.”

“Yada… already decided…”

“Of course. For the second time, Shuujirou.” (This is the line – I can come up with three interpretations for it that make sense in the story. Do with it what you will)

Madoka and Shuujirou both laughed loudly. At this late afternoon time, customers were scattered sparsely through the restaurant, and they all turned to look every time they laughed. But for now Madoka didn’t even notice the surrounding eyes.

More than anything, after even this day full of all kinds of thoughts, she decided she couldn’t help but be happy about all this.

Not just that Shuujirou-san was alive. Shuujirou’s life wasn’t some strong living thing (i.e. a ghost). She wouldn’t be conscious of his being the opposite sex.

Still, for the emotional girl Madoka had once been, there was no one she respected more, and no one’s existence she had love more. By the same token, that Madoka had exposed herself bare before his eyes.

---Absolutely, she had done it with the single intention of consoling the wounded man. So she knew she had nothing to fear.

“Shuujirou-san…” Madoka said as if something suddenly came to mind.

“Hmm?”

“I… I have someone I’d like… Shuujirou-san to meet.”

 

Achoo!

I had nothing to fear from Madoka meeting that person either, but the sneezes (someone was saying some rumor or some such about me it seemed) came as I was returning Hikaru-chan back to her home in Otaru.

Then I was bad to Hikaru-chan. Although Hikaru-chan and I had had a pleasant time overall in the time slip. It really truly couldn’t be helped.

But… when I returned to the real world, using the Power I erased her memory of the time slip and everything else.

Once I returned from Otaru, Madoka’s voice was on my answering machine.

This person, this anxious girl said, “Anyway suddenly I didn’t ask this of you” then “I have someone I’d like Kyousuke to meet.” Really, it sounded a bit willful.

I said, “Okay, okay. Naturally, this is now, and I have a lot of things to ask you.” And with this feeling I picked up the phone.

I had Madoka’s home phone number as a speed dial, and so I pressed it. The phone soon rang and it’s calling sound could be heard.

First of all, there’s one thing I have to ask.

Hey, Madoka-kun.

How come you never told me you met Mishima Shuujirou?

This time, that Kimagure Angel was left speechless. At least that’s what Kasuga Kyousuke thinks…

 

END