One Week of Evil -- Chapter 2 "Tuesday"

How tragic... how pitiable... "No sense crying over regrets." If I think about recent times, this could be the proverb that comes to mind. The next day, I harboured dreadful thoughts of regret in my knapsack when I went to school. But still, without cursing myself though I was immature and caused these situations, I resented the people around me and my cousin's older brother.
"That older brother, he so didn't show me that!" I raged.
I thought about it while making a sour face...
At this time, I continued as usual through the school zone while trying not to trample over frog corpses. But as I approached the school, I got more angry at seemingly nothing, it was the single emotion that rose up in my throat.
"Ahh. When I arrive at school, the guys in my class will all be talking about yesterday's incident, won't they... But even so, they're just children. When I made the fire flare up suddenly, they weren't angry then were they? Now I'm hated by the same group but when I see their faces... I really won't know what to do..."
In my fifth year of grade school, I was embracing heavy worries. With both feet trampling down the road, and the same damp, humid air and mud, I held on to that mood and glared without concern at the fifty monsters. Those two emotions I found were too much for me, and at last I reached my school after trudging along.

When I entered the classroom I was expecting the development that I feared. The people there said
"Were you scolded? Hey, were you scolded? Well, well?"
Everyone came bombarding me with worthless questions,
"It was a disaster, wasn't it... Cheer up! Hey, are you mad?"
Somehow it was a superficial comfort when those people couldn't conceal their inquisitive looks.
"Show me show me! I want to try too!!"
Hahaha... With the 100-yen lighter in one hand, just like yesterday I thrust my finger into the flame for them, for their frivolous and hollow laughter...
I could only do it with a forced smile, but in my mind I thought,
"Whoa, whoa, you idiots. Stop asking me if you can try, even though you'll be scolded for being a child carrying a lighter. You know if the homeroom teacher finds out later we'd be scolded, and even I will have nothing to say to you after that!"
"Because if Hitoshi can do it... Everyone can follow along perfectly."
I could not put into words the look in our homeroom teacher's eyes, when they settled in my direction.

While the people around me showed tiny smiles, my own eyes kept wandering to the classroom entrance.
"When that girl comes, I'll have to apologize again..."
Thinking about that, the morning bell sounded just before she came into sight. I walked briskly over as she approached her desk.
"I'm sorry about yesterday, okay? ...Are you alright?"
She listened and said,
"Yeah. I'm all right. Don't worry about it, okay?"
It was a miraculous thing, just like that, her words released me from the leaden chains I was bound in.
At once I felt relieved, thinking that yesterday's incident was already a thing of the past, but my relaxed mood opened up the gates of hell once again. At that time, I didn't think it could happen even in dreams.

By the time I had finished eating lunch at the end of fourth period, I'd already become happier and headed to the newly built gymnasium with everyone. It was rather large because it still hadn't had the basket goals installed, and in the rain the schoolyard was not really useful for baseball. Still, you'd expect that hitting around a regular tennis ball was a little risky, so for indoor times, such a ball was instead replaced with an inflatable ball that we could use. But, the bat we used was made of metal. We used the ordinary rules but since we were indoors there was no square marked for a home run, so when it rebounded from the back wall, people on the floor would be looking out for the ball, and if they caught it then the home run was an automatic out. We decided these childish, simple rules.
That day as usual, I was the third base catcher, and I was thinking about it up until the beginning of fifth period. It was when the second batter stood at the plate that it happened. With just around 5 minutes left to the lunch break, when I wondered if even one more person could hit, it was my turn to swing the bat.
The people around me were unanimously cheering me on,
"Here, it's the last one isn't it, it's up to you Hitoshi! So the runners will come home right!"
From the time the opening sounded until it stopped, we were coming to victory. It was only a trivial point now, but if the third base and second base runners could be sent home, my team would win. Bracing myself, I stepped up to the plate, and the pitcher guy sent off two pitches.
"They're relying on you so just give up and strike," he said, showing a bold smile. "OK, this will be the magic ball!"
It was stirring restlessly inside his glove.
"It doesn't matter just do it fast!"
While saying that, I prepared myself and the pitcher swung his arm and hurled a dreadfully fast ball.
"It's a great ball!"
Disregarding those strikes, as the ball got halfway I swung with all the power in my body.
"Unngh! What a feeling..." I thought, at the same time as I heard the sound of breaking glass. The ball had broken through the glass window of the second floor gallery. I questioned it inside my head. When looking at everyone around me, they all stood dumbfounded as I was.
"How? How could it be done with a rubber ball?"

Just like in still air the time stopped, and there was one guy hanging his head in shame like he was crying. It was the pitcher. I saw his face and understood. It was an unbelievable thing, he had switched the rubber ball with a tennis ball that was concealed in his pocket, and had let it loose with all his strength. And by chance I had hit it with all my might, therefore I was the cause of the disastrous scene of the gymnasium's broken glass.
"Ehh... No way... such a thing..."
The people around me too were finally grasping the situation, and instead of dealing with what would happen they left me as I was, holding the bat. Furthermore, what thrust me to the very bottom of despair was that even that pitcher who supposedly started this incident made a hasty retreat.

Eventually, I heard the principal coming to get me. He brought me to the staff room and called my homeroom teacher who in the end lectured me. After shouting back and forth with the homeroom teacher, when she sent me scurrying back to the classroom I'd have to stay by myself long after the end of classes until it was time to go home alone...

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