Endo And Kobayashi's Live Commentary On The Villainess - novelonlinefull.com
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In the first game, the team from the high school we were facing were regular compet.i.tors.
Our team was decently strong for our prefecture, but we didn't make it to Koshien last year either.
After 6 innings, it seemed like everyone's heads had gone down. The score was 0-7. The first match was probably going to be a loss.
“…Ahh, maybe I ought to just go home after all?
As I said that a little louder than I meant to, Kobayashi turned to look at me.
“You don't want to watch the rest here?”
“I guess, the thing is that… Somehow… It feels like I'm going to cry. Pathetic, right…?”
This will definitely be a loss.
I don't know if it's any one thing, but maybe my regret that I couldn't take the mount myself, the sadness I felt for the baseball clubthose guys, or maybe some other feelings I couldn't put into words, for some reason I felt like the only way those feelings would leave my body was through tears.
The only thing I knew was that, for now, they hadn't escaped my eyes just yet.
And that I was ashamed.
“Then, if that's the case, let's just watch it at your place. Endo-kun, you live alone, right?”
That's right, because of various circ.u.mstances, I live alone.
It didn't seem like Kobayashi-san was worried too much at all about going to the home of a young man who lived alone, though.
Thinking about that actually just made me want to cry even more.
“Are you saying you want to see me crying that much? Kobayashi-san, that's a bit…”
Even though I tried to play her off with a joke, I felt my voice quiver as it died away.
“I saw your crying face last year anyway, so why not now?”
When I saw her smiling at me like that, I finally felt the tears in my eyes.
I really did cry a lot last year.
I was aiming for Koshien along with the rest of the baseball club until last year, but during a district-qualifying match I broke my shoulder and had to quit.
Baseball was basically the only thing I really knew up until that point, so it felt like my life was over.
That's what lead to me falling in love with her.
I'd always liked baseball, ever since I was a kid.
My father, a junior high school teacher, used to play baseball back in his youth and still served as the advisor to the baseball club at school.
Maybe it was his influence? Since I was the middle sibling between my older and younger sisters, I never really had a brother to play catch with, but the old man often took me to baseball games.
I eventually played baseball at the elementary and junior high school level, and when it was time to pick a high school to go to, I made my choice based on the strength of their baseball team.
In my prefecture, there was a high school with a strong team that was coincidentally located near the apartment where my aunty lived.
On the same floor of the apartment, there was another room that my aunty also owned which was used by my grandmother until she pa.s.sed away, so it was decided I could live there during my time at high school.
My aunt is a single professional who usually works late so we don't see much of each other, but since my mother is a housewife she often comes around to check on me and I'm also not too much of a slouch when it comes to housework, so I haven't really run into any trouble.
It's not as if I'm on bad terms with my family, but I don't know what I'd do to keep myself entertained in a house full of women over the summer break, so I was only planning on going home for a single week over the holidays.
Maybe the reason I don't feel so close to them is that I spent so much of my time as a kid playing baseball, it felt like I didn't ever see them much.
I've stopped playing baseball now, but it wasn't as if my quitting the sport last year was something I had ever wanted to do.
It happened in autumn last year, during the middle of a match.
I remember when the cla.s.s was discussing who would be competing for the school sports compet.i.tion in volleyball, basketball, table tennis, and softball.
“Endo ain't playing in the baseball club anymore, so he can play softball, right?”
Someone said that suddenly.
The club members for the specific sports weren't allowed to compete in them, and the baseball club was banned from playing softball.
The rule was probably put in place to keep everything fun and fair for everybody, but naturally, people still wanted to find loopholes to give their team a better chance of winning.
Finding someone who had played the sport for years but wasn't in a club must seem like the ultimate catch to them.
“If Endo is in the team, then we'll win for sure!”
“Oooh, if we have a fastball pitcher like that, no one can stand up to him, huh?”
“We'll win the next three years in a row!”
“Does anyone volunteer to be Endo's catcher?”
Suddenly, a wave of selfish expectations thrust on me washed through the cla.s.sroom.
No, my shoulder is broken, you know?
Well, truth be told, I had recovered enough so that my shoulder doesn't hinder my day to day life and it hasn't really bothered me for a while, but it would still be very hard to play anything properly.
Maybe if I took it easy as I played it would be fine, but the idea of our team losing because of that left a bad taste in my mouth.
At the time, I tried to appeal to the homeroom teacher with my eyes to find some way to calm everyone down.
“Ah, Endo-kun is in the broadcasting club, so he can't really be playing full-time!”
Then, a high pitched yet strong voice cut through the loud room.
“…Eh, since when?”
I wanted to know that too.
As her friend timidly asked her that, an energetic girl stood in the middle of the cla.s.sroom with a confident grin as if standing in the limelight was only natural for her. It was Kobayashi-san.
“Since yesterday. I figured Endo-kun had a good voice, so I invited him. Someone who used to be in the baseball club would be good at shouting from their belly, right!?”
“Ehh~” “No way…?” “That's too bad…” As various disappointed voices rang through the cla.s.sroom, Kobayashi-san smirked at me mischievously.
“Now, now, now! Being in the broadcast club means he has a job to do, after all. You all aren't going to play unfair now, are you? Right?”
Sensing an opportunity, the homeroom teacher finally got involved to settle things down.
In the end, it was decided I'd play a small role in the social basketball matches that took place in the morning before any of the real matches took place.
“…So, apparently, I joined the broadcasting club yesterday?”
After school, I followed after Kobayashi-san who was making her way to the broadcasting club's studio.
“Oh, you want to start today? Just be careful about the first day jitters.”
Even though I had more I wanted to say, there was something about that smile of hers that stopped my thoughts dead in their tracks.
To be blunt, I was dazed by that smile.
“Well, if you don't like it you can't just leave any time you want, so why not join us for now? The broadcasting club is cool, you know? Besides, if you're involved in the broadcasting you can enjoy all the sports, not just the ball games! We only have club activities once a week too. Well, there's broadcasting duty as well, but if you're not feeling up to that there's always someone who can step in.”
Then, she opened the door to the broadcasting studio near the back of the school, which was used as the clubroom.
With that bright smile never leaving her face, she held open the door as she turned to look back at me.
Like she was inviting me to join her.
Into her clubroom, into her daily club life.
“…You saved me.”
With a quick bow of my head, I entered.
It was Tuesday, so the only people inside were two seniors from the 2nd year, whom I greeted.
After signing my name to the club sheet, I was told I'd be meeting the other members tomorrow.
After delivering the sheet to the club advisor in the staff room, it was time to go home, although that was when we discovered by coincidence that we traveled back the same way.
“Everyone sure is being tough on the walking wounded, huh?”
Suddenly saying that, she laughed softly.
“Well, to be fair, my shoulder doesn't cause me any trouble from day to day anymore. But, still, you saved me. Thank you.”
As I lowered my head to her again, Kobayashi-san gave both my arms a light pat.
“No, no, not at all. I really did think that Endo-kun would have a good voice so I've been scouting you for a while, you know? That's cause the people in the sports teams, especially the baseball team, seem to have really good voices to them. That's why, I'm really happy you joined the broadcasting club, Endo-kun!”
The smile on her face looked full of joy, but for some reason I saw a glimpse of a snake and an apple.
“My… voice?” I don't know if I should be happy if that's the only thing I've got left.”
I didn't mean to, but a really pessimistic thought found its way to my mouth.
“Ha ha, you're a gla.s.s half empty guy, huh?”
Those negative words of mine that seemed to be begging for sympathy instead elicited a small laugh from Kobayashi-san.
For some reason, I was happier to hear that.
“But… even if you break your shoulder, it's not as if you've lost everything, right?”
Then, suddenly, she said that quietly.
“Baseball isn't just about playing, right? Even if you become a coach or a physio or even a commentator… I'm sure you can use all that skill and experience you've gained somewhere, Endo-kun.”
She was always the center of attention in cla.s.s and I had always thought she was a noisy person by nature, but there was something about those gently spoken words that reached deep into my heart.
“Is… that so…?”
Just why was it? The tears that never flowed even after listening to the doctor at the hospital or having to hand in my form to quit the club suddenly began to drip down my face.
I didn't say anything as I walked beside her in silence.
“…Ah, here's my place. I'll give you a towel and some tissues, and some tea and cakes if you like.”
We entered through the gate to her house as she pulled me along by the hand.
No, I can't.
We're just cla.s.smates.
I would be a bother to her.
At the time, I tried to stop myself with reasons like that, but I'm glad that at the time I just accepted it in silence.
I knew just how unreasonable I was being, but as I sat on her doorstep the tears wouldn't stop coming as I wept, crying about all the years I had spent on baseball having come to such a cruel end.
And, by the time my tears dried, I realized that I had already fallen in love with her.