EIDBT – June 15, 2011 – Leaving it all behind
You know, having moved around so often in my life, I’ve never really focused on the hard part of leaving a place. I always found excuses to appreciate leaving. Sometimes I forget that it’s not that way for everyone.
So this morning, Morooka gave us a long lecture about how we were going to misbehave on the camping trip and how we should all be wearing chastity belts or something. I wasn’t paying a ton of attention. He did try and catch Yosuke off guard by asking him what “pend” means, but I got his back by letting him know that it basically means “to hang.” Damnit, dude. You need to pay more attention.
After class, I couldn’t find Chie, so I went to go hang out with Yukiko. We ended up going to Tatsuhime Shrine because she wanted to pay her respects. When we were done, we sat on the grounds and took the space in.
“I come here every so often. It’s nice and quiet… I visit here with the waitresses, too. Like before a big guest arrives. We make our annual hatsumode visits here. The exam charm was here, too… Once I leave this town… I won’t be able to come here again, will I…?” That was something I didn’t really fully understand. I asked if she was really going to leave this place forever.
“I mean… I couldn’t face my parents again…” As Yukiko was looking down at the ground, contemplating what coming back would mean, a woman in a kimono approached us.
“Kasai-san… What are you doing here?” Obviously Yukiko knew her.
“Taking a little break after ordering from the liquor store.” She sighed. “So now you know.”
“O-Oh, I won’t tell…”
“Hahaha, just kidding. Oh! is that the rumored boyfriend? I see… That hard work in the kitchen paid off, huh?” Yukiko blushed up a storm.
“I-It’s not like that!!”
“Wow, your face is burning red. Well, I’ll let you two be alone!” She walked off humming.
“Sh-Sheesh… I-I’m sorry about that. Oh, that was one of our waitresses. They all have the wrong idea… I’m really sorry…” They didn’t really have it all that wrong, to be honest… I decided to tell her what I thought about that honestly.
“Huh…? S-Stop that… That kind of joke’s not very funny…” She seemed really nervous. “Kasai-san is teaching me how to cook, along with the other waitresses and chefs. I said I’d learn on my own, but I kept messing up… I burnt myself a couple of times… ‘Please let us teach you,’ they said. It’s usually the other way around, you know? They use their break time for my lessons… They’re so nice to me… When I was halfway successful one time, everyone gathered around and taste-tested it, saying how good it was… I didn’t know what to say… I was just happy… Plus, I have my friends at school… All things considered, I’m pretty lucky… I want to do my best… For everyone’s sake…”
Her passion really shone through to me. As usual, voices rang through my head.
“But I’m trying to leave… betraying those who’ve been kind to me… I… can’t help that, I suppose…” I didn’t really know what to say that, so instead we started talking about other things. Eventually, we both went out separate ways.
When I got home, I just made envelopes. Nanako looked like she might have wanted to talk to me, but I was too intent on thinking about this whole situation with Yukiko.
You know, I once heard a song with a lyric: “I’m burning all my bridges with these matches I light to illuminate my path to what is right.” * And you know, even though Yukiko is heading down a path that she really sees as the right one, I think that she’s prematurely burning those bridges. She’s convinced herself that in order to be independent, she has to give up everything that defined who she was back in Inaba. I don’t think that’s the way to do it. I’ve kept things with me from my past homes, and I’ve never looked back when I’ve left. I know her circumstances are different than mine, but are they really that different?