(continued from part 28)
I had the sensation of my life I have never felt before last night. I was like, “Is this for real?” when it was going on, but I don’t want to talk about it.
Anyways, today is the cultural festival at Kotomi’s school. I didn’t know what to wear, so I just wore my uniform. Saeko, who has been hiding somewhere in the house since before I arrived home last night, only came out of hiding after Kenjiro and I left. Kotomi is already busy helping out people this early in the morning that she can’t stop and talk to me. She did say that her siblings are around when she ran past me.
Oh, Kotomi’s siblings… I haven’t seen them since I went to that country with Haruna and some of my current classmates not too long ago. It was such a large group that they probably didn’t notice me there as though I was invisible. I did see Shin’ichi there, but he was too preoccupied with whatever he was doing. On top of that, they probably don’t recognize me without my uniform on. Not to mention that I was stuck in a wheelchair and can’t do absolutely anything. Saeko didn’t even call them out as she never saw them before that day, but I have, at the Miyazawa household almost a year ago. We never met face-to-face that day, as though we didn’t see each other that day.
Kotomi’s siblings’ age gaps with Kotomi are so great that I first thought they belonged to someone else as I was surrounded by so many unfamiliar people, including those whom were from my school at that time, until they address her as the older sister. It’s that unfamiliarity the reason why I stayed close to Kotomi most of the time on her birthday. Although they had seen me on that day, I don’t know if their memories on what they had known me as are modified like everyone else as they don’t work with my company, but Kotomi and their uncle are. Are they here yet? If so, where?
Izumi: “Oh? Isn’t that Hisakawa-oneechan? Hey! Over here!”
I stopped walking, paused, and started to turn around.
Shin’ichi: “Hey, you’re calling the wrong person!”
Izumi: “What are you talking about?”
Kousei: “She’s Kotomi-oneechan’s close friend and visited her birthday party last year! Don’t you remember?”
Shin’ichi: “What are you both talking about? Nee-chan’s best friend is a guy!”
Ah, mixed reactions. Her oldest younger sibling still remembers me as a guy, while the other two remembers me as a girl…. Kotomi did told me that she had said to one of her siblings in November last year about Kotomi and I being boyfriends and girlfriends. It feels weird to have that relationship since I turned into a girl 4-5 months later. What I’m curious is why does he still know me as what I was.
Me: “Oh, Shin’ichi-kun, Kousei-kun, Izumi-chan! Long time no see! Your older sister did tell me that you three were visiting.”
Izumi: “You’re Saeko Hisakawa, right? My older brother keeps thinking you’re a guy named Itsuki Hisakawa. He’s weird isn’t he?”
Mentally, yes, but physically, no. I’m stuck with the cloned body of myself while the one controlling my original body is a random lost soul. It behaves a lot like me because it has my memories and knowledge but absolutely nothing from its former self. Or is it the other way around? It would be scary and hard to believe to think that my mind was that lost soul because it didn’t seem that way to me. Also, I need to explain my situation to Shin’ichi away from the others. But how?
Me (looking at Shin’ichi): “WHAT!? You think that I’m a guy!? How can you say that when you have seen me before?! Come with me! Oh Izumi-chan, Kousei-kun, you can go wonder around while I deal with this weird brother of yours.”
I know, I made Shin’ichi unnecessarily scared. But it’s the only way I could think of.
Izumi: “Ha ha! You got scolded! Hisakwa-oneechan, I’ll see you later.”
The other two are now out of sight. Shin’ichi is still trembling from my (fake) scolding.
Me: “Are you all right? I didn’t mean to scold you. I don’t know what exactly Kotomi told you about me, but as for what you said earlier, I am that Itsuki.”
Shin’ichi: “Huh? How can a beautiful girl with a sweet voice like you be him? You look nowhere near to be cross-dressing, unless you have done it very perfectly.”
Huh? What’s with that last sentence? Let’s pretend I never heard that.
Me: “It’s hard for me to belief it myself too. I was working on something one night, and then I found myself to be like this the next day. To tell you the truth, I actually want to be what I am now. What I’m still puzzled is why you and the employees of the company I work for still knows the old me while everyone’s memory about me has changed.”
Shin’ichi: “No wonder I saw Kotomi-oneechan becoming quite depressed since May until quite recently. However, just the day before yesterday, I heard her watching a video and her repeatedly saying ‘I don’t want to die!’, sounding as though she is in tears. I saw her carrying the old computer into her room not long before that, saying something about transferring files to the new computer I saw her bought in end-November last year. But, still, how do I know you are whom you say to be and not his little-known sister? Tell me something that I know about Itsuki that neither of us has already said.”
You mean the computer the video file Saeko had transferred into was on the old computer that she hardly uses? That explains her recent behavior, because she just saw it. So that time travel to last year from the future is as good as traveling to the day before. Judging by the noise outside Kotomi’s room that Saeko heard back then was probably on Kotomi’s birthday last year, but she was too preoccupied and saw no reason to bother checking that computer even though it was placed on the computer desktop.
Me: “Hmm, this is hard, considering that I don’t know what you know. Let’s see, I was in class 1-3, joined the music club when I was still here, Kotomi changed her hairstyle before the first day of high school, she wrote a strange love letter with the name ‘Coltrane Gorbachev’, I was in the news several times for being stabbed to death…”
Shin’ichi: “Ok, that’s enough. You are the Itsuki Hisakawa I used to know. Wait, did you say being stabbed to death?”
Me: “That’s right. Three times, not including the unreported rape. I was already a girl when all of them happened.”
I can’t believe how casually I can say such things as though it’s a daily thing.
Shin’ichi: “News report… wait, I saw another girl who looks exactly like you. Mamiko or something. News report says that she’s your twin, but you don’t have a sibling…”
Me: “Actually, that girl is my clone. Or rather, I am that clone, so technically, it’s not wrong for your siblings to call me Saeko instead of Mamiko. It’s hard to tell if my current mind was transferred from or created from my original though, because it seem that I know I entered a strange machine that looked like a teleporter and found myself to be suddenly at the other part of the room when I was being cloned. However, I saw someone who looked very much like me at where I was teleported form. Was it a cloning machine, or a failed teleporter? One thing for sure is that my body, especially my eyes, felt like they were never used before, like I was just born at that time. Also it would be impossible for me to turn back into a guy as my current body was never a guy in the first place, so that means I can no longer be your sister’s boyfriend again. It’s still possible with whoever is in my original body though.”
He was at a loss of words and don’t seem to know what to say.
Shin’ichi: “So how can I tell you two apart?”
Me: “Let’s see, I am wearing a swimsuit of some sort that seem impossible to remove. (Wonder how it even got on.) You can see a bit of it if you look around my neck or when I wear short sleeves. Other than that, only our behavior is the noticeably different. You can tell if you were to simply observe. Asking what we both know is useless as we share information of what either of us encounter. Even right now, the other me knows that I’m talking to you and what I had just said even though she’s nowhere near here.”
Shin’ichi: “Sound like you are having a tough time adjusting to all those events that happen in just a short time. Oh, I should go now. It would be suspicious if I talk to you for too long. We would drop by to see you act later on.”
Me: “Your’re right, I forgot about them. Pretend that I have been giving you a long lecture of whatever I was pretending to be scolding you for from earlier when you get back to them.”
Shin’ichi: “Yeah, see you.”
I saw him having a sigh of relief when he walked away.
Oh! I should be heading to Kotomi’s class at 2-1 now. They must be waiting for me to test out the costume.
(to be continued in Part 30)
[Author’s note: It feels like I have been repeating what I have already said in the earlier parts.]