Alternatively titled “The Shimoda Monologues.”
伊 ― Aizawa Natsumi
I wake up each morning and immediately open my blinds. I want to see what she’s up to. Mizukoshi Saki. My best friend. We’ve been neighbours for as long as I can remember. Her face has greeted me every morning, day after day, year after year. I couldn’t imagine a life without her, but now she’s telling me she’s moving away. Well, not on my watch.
There’s so many unfulfilled promises between the two of us. She promised me we’d play doubles together until the end of middle school. She promised that we’re going to the prefectural tournament together! And now that she’s leaving, she’s acting like she never made those promises to me. I’m not going to let her get away with that.
Besides, we all know she doesn’t actually want to move. Saki’s always like that. She never stands up for herself, always going along with other people’s plans. In all our years together, she’s never texted me first. She’s never offered to hang out. It’s like she doesn’t really know what she wants. That, or she’s too afraid to say. I think that’s dumb. I don’t think she should have to move if she doesn’t want to. I know I don’t want her to move. I’ll take her in. I’m sure I’ll figure something out. Plus, our families are so close, I’m sure Mom would be alright with Saki living with us. Even if Saki pretends like she’s alright with moving, I’m really not. I want her here. With me. I’m willing to fight for what I want, and I won’t have it any other way.
I am selfishness.
呂 ― Mizukoshi Saki
I’m fourteen. That’s a strange age to be. Am I an adult, or am I a child? I certainly feel more adult-like. After all, I’ve moved on from cutesy, frilly skirts and twintails, haven’t I?
I’m moving away at the end of this summer. I’ve packed all my things into little cardboard boxes, just like Mom told me to. Everyone’s making a big fuss about it, but honestly, what can I do? Cry like a little girl? Throw a tantrum? None of that’s going to help, is it? Plus, Dad’s dream was to work on that island. I can’t ruin his dream because I want to be with my friends. That’s selfish. That’s childish.
I never quite understood why Natsumi got all worked up about the whole tennis thing. I’m leaving, so there’s really no way I could fulfill my promise to her, is there? What’s the point of bringing something like that up, anyways? I’m leaving, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. The sooner she realizes that, the faster she’ll come to terms with reality.
Though… I haven’t quite come to terms with reality myself. To be honest, I’m scared. They’re going to forget me, aren’t they? They have to. That’s what time and distance does to relationships. I don’t want that. I don’t want them to forget me. I don’t want to leave them. I hate myself for being so selfish, sometimes. I feel like I’m in this hole that I can’t get out of― I try my best to act mature and responsible, but then I’m just frustrated with myself and my anxieties. God, I wonder how adults deal with this. I want to know. Now. But I don’t want to ask anyone. I’d feel dumb.
I am haste.
波 ― Hanaki Yuka
That big rock is so cool! I can use it to make all my dreams come true. I don’t have to work another day in my life if I can just figure out how that big rock works.
Saki thinks I’m childish because I’m still trying to become an idol, but I think she’s dumb for giving up on her dreams. I never give up on my dreams, nope. Without them, I’m nothing. They grant me strength, make me feel alive. Plus, now that I have this rock here, I can almost do anything I want. I even became Saki and almost kissed Takashi! I’ll definitely succeed, on my own terms, next time.
Natsumi wants to keep Saki here, in Shimoda. Well that’s not very realistic! Saki needs to be with her mom and dad. She’s only fourteen. Natsumi’s always talking about how she’ll keep Saki at her house, but that’s so ridiculous! Working (well, watching Mom work, really) at the inn’s taught me that one more mouth to feed means big trouble for everyone. Natsumi doesn’t know because she’s never had to deal with that.
I have a better idea. I’ll write to Saki. I’ll call her. Text her. Every single day, for the rest of my life. I’ll even make trips over to her little island, whenever I can. It’s not that far. A nice weekend trip! I’ll scrounge up the money myself, maybe even start actually working… maybe. We’ll see. Nothing’s impossible for me.
I am ambition.
耳 ― Tamaki Rinko
I wonder why Mr. Whale always pops up whenever I get sick? He’s been with me all these years, but I’m not really sure why. He just swims around, floating through space, without a care in the world.
I guess that’s why I wanted to fly, too. Working in a shrine means I’m often outdoors. When I’m sweeping the grounds, I can’t help but look up at the deep blue sky and wonder to myself… what’s it like to be up there? What do the birds see? What would I look like, to them?
I think it’s too bad people don’t take shrines seriously anymore. I work there everyday, so I know what it’s really like. Sometimes, you really can feel something watching over you. I’ve always believed that they were there, and now I’ve been proven right. That big rock is a god! And there are others like it, too! I’m sure that’s why Saki disappeared in the hot spring. There’s no way our big rock could work all the way out on a little tiny island, far from Shimoda. There’s got to be others like it.
I’ve heard from Mama and Papa that there’s “eight million gods (八百万の神々)” out there. I wonder how many there actually are? I should try to meet all of them. The world is big, and I am small, but it’s okay. I think it’d be fun to see it all.
I am curiosity.