|Writer: 西岡麻衣子 (Nishioka Maiko)|
|Location: 1-A Classroom|
I see~. So you'd like to make a snowglobe for Itsuki-senpai.
I understand. If that's the case, I might be able to help you out, even if I'm not that good at it.
Ya mean it, Hajime-kun?!
I do. I have a snowglobe making kit right here, actually.
Yup yup! Last Christmas, Hajime-chan made snowglobes for his little brothers and sisters as presents.
That's right, I told you about that, didn't I~♪ I remember doing so when we saw some at a storefront.
Yup. You said they really liked to too, didn't you? So I thought it'd be nice if Mika-chan-senpai made one for Oshisan-senpai too!
I think that'd be nice as well. ♪ I'm certain Itsuki-senpai would be delighted to receive it, and maybe it'd help him get better soon too.
Ya think so..?
... Okay, I'll do it. Fer Oshi-san's sake, I'll do m'best an' try to make a good one!
... Ugh. T-This place is..?
(A bed..? In the infirmary, it would seem...
Ah..! Where is Mademoiselle?!)
Mademoiselle! ... Ah, you're laying beside me. What a relief.
"I'm fine, Shu-kun. But how about yourself? Your fever seems to have gone down considerably. You were sweating quite profusely."
Indeed. Sweating to such a degree was truly abhorrent. But it is thanks to that that my fever has dropped as it has, and as a result my condition has improved somewhat.
That may change on a moment's notice, but it seems for now that I'm able to remain up.
Hm? A towel fell off when I sat up, but from where..?
"It was on your forehead, Shu-kun. Mika-chan has been doing all he can to nurse you back to health."
Hmph. I thought that may be the case. I'm surrounded by the remains of his sloppy bedside manner, after all. Honestly... He's as careless of a person as ever.
"My goodness, you really shouldn't say things like that. Shu-kun, you ought to be giving thanks to Mika-chan, who helped you feel better."
Thank him? For such crude, less-than-mediocre care? Non! I would not even dare joke about it.
... Is what I would like to say, but he did treat you with enough care.
Speaking of that boy, where has he run off to? It seems he isn't here.
"I'm sorry... Before I knew it, Mika-chan had already fled the infirmary... I'm not sure of his whereabouts now."
Hmph. There's no need for you to apologize, Mademoiselle. If he's gone then he is, and I'd be relieved to have no one to bother me.
"Oh, there you go again. You aren't being honest with yourself at all. Come now, if he really left us, you'd certainly bawl your eyes out."
Hmph... I don't believe that sort of future will occur in the slightest.
In any case, it would indeed seem that Kagehira is here no longer, as I too have realized. Therefore, there is no need for us to overstay our welcome. Mademoiselle, let us return... Ugh.
"Ah, you mustn't, Shu-kun. Aren't you still dizzy? Don't push yourself, let's lie down for a little longer instead."
"I'd like to follow up by taking care of you myself, but it's too difficult for me alone. I'm sorry, Shu-kun."
Your consideration of my well-being is enough. It's not something to concern yourself over, after all.
Nonetheless... Ah, right. When Kagehira was taking care of me, I had something of a nostalgic dream, didn't I..?
"A dream? What did you dream of?"
When I was young, the same sudden fever befell me. My mother spent the whole time nursing me back to health, without a single break.
There wasn't anything particularly noteworthy about it.
However, each and every time my towel would warm, she would replace it with another immediately. She made me food that was easy on my stomach, and stayed at my side well into morning.
The hand rubbing my back was warm as well.
Such is where the word "treatment" comes from, after all. Since the days of old, the most common way for providing care was to place one's hand on the affected area. I don't think they were necessarily wrong in that thought process.
It softened the unknowns and pain that came with illness.
I felt guilty being such a burden upon my mother, to the point of bursting into tears.
"My, what a wonderful memory. But it's rare for you to faint, isn't it, Shu-kun?"
"This time it was clear you collapsed due to overworking yourself, but aren't you usually strict with your own self-care otherwise?"
"Or could it be that you were not the same when you were a child, perhaps?"
How incredibly discourteous of you. I have always been striving towards perfection ever since I was a young boy!
Still... I wonder. What happened then, that caused me such a fever..?
|1.↑ The gist is that Shu is talking about the origins of the word 手当て, and how it is made up with the kanji for hand (手) and apply (当). Back in the day, the common way to provide care was to place (当) your hand (手) on the affected area.|