Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai: Volume 7 The Second Time
 The Second Time
"Here. I fixed up the opening scenes, so we can at least start working on that."
It was now the next day after school.
The first thing Yozora said upon entering the clubroom was the above.
"Nice, good work."
I thanked Yozora, and we all took our scripts.
We talked a bit about it after we decided on the new cast yesterday, but aside from making Mari into a little brother so I can play the role (the name was obviously changed too), we noted a fair amount of points that needed to be revised.
According to Yozora it'd take a while to revise the whole script, so we decided that after she finished fixing up the opening scenes that we'd start filming and have Yozora continue revising at the same time.
I was impressed at how Yozora didn't complain about having to revise the script, and I began reading the new script with that in mind——... I began readi——...
A giant "?" appeared above my head.
"...What is this?"
Sena made a dubious expression.
The rest of the club members all wore similar looks of confusion.
"Alright, we'll go out and shoot these first few scenes now. Everyone get ready."
"H-hold it, Yozora!"
I said in a panic, trying to stop Yozora, who was trying to quickly move things along.
Yozora asked in a level voice.
"What do you mean, 'what'... This is, like..."
I flipped through the script one more time just to be sure, and then timidly asked,
"...Isn't this a whole different story?"
"It's just your imagination."
"No it's not!"
Sena quickly retorted to Yozora's answer to my question.
The revised script Yozora had made for today was completely different from the script we read yesterday.
The biggest change was the large increase in appearances for the protagonist's little sister "Mari" turned little brother, "Kotarou."
It wasn't just the gender that changed, the story was now set up so that Kuuya and Kotarou were twin brothers going to the same school.
Mari didn't show up until around the middle of the story in the script from yesterday, but in the revised script Kotarou has constant appearances from basically the start of the story.
And not only that, but the protagonist, Kuuya, was in far fewer scenes now, to the point that there were more scenes where Kotarou and Hirotaka were together than there were scenes of Kuuya and Hirotaka.
Of course, it's not like it'd be weird for Hirotaka to be old friends with Kuuya's little brother too, but this is just way too different from when Kuuya had a little sister and not a little brother.
Here are some specific examples:
Hirotaka transfers into Kuuya's class.
Hirotaka was Kuuya's childhood friend.
Kuuya: "I-is that you, Hirotaka!?"
Hirotaka: "Yo, been a while hasn't it, Kuuya. Let's be friends again from now on!"
Hirotaka transfers into Kuuya's class.
Hirotaka was Kuuya's childhood friend, and got along with Kuuya's little brother, Kotarou, too.
Kuuya: "E-excuse me, but is your name Nakagawa?"
Hirotaka: "Yo, been a while hasn't it, umm... Kuu...? Anyway, how's Kotarou doing these days? I wanna be friends with Kotarou again from now on!"
"Hirotaka forgot Kuuya's name!? And why is Kuuya calling Hirotaka 'Nakagawa' now!? And why is he acting so formal!?"
Yozora casually replied to my remarks by saying,
"I couldn't help it. Hirotaka and Kuuya never really got along in the first place."
The main point of the story got flipped on its head just now.
"Hirotaka saw Kuuya as more like... a friend of a friend. Kuuya was always with Kotarou, so they hung out as a group of three, but Kuuya wasn't really his friend."
"Don't you feel bad for Kuuya!? Why can't all three of them be friends!? What's so wrong about that!?"
I yelled, to which Yozora replied in a gentle voice as though teaching a child something new,
"Kodaka... the friends of a friend... aren't your friends."
"They're not. The truth is the time Hirotaka, Kotarou, and Kuuya spent together wasn't a group of 'three people,' but rather a group of 'two people plus one extra.' "
"That's just way too sad for Kuuya!"
Although, it's true that I know what she's talking about...
Whenever I was in a group of three or four people at my old schools, it'd look like we were all getting along, but whenever we split up and it was just me and someone else, the conversation would die all of a sudden.
Whenever that happened, I'd always end up thinking, "Huh? Do this guy and I actually not get along very well...?"
"...I see... Kuuya was the extra in the group of 'two people plus one extra'... I guess you really couldn't help it then..."
I said, thoroughly convinced by Yozora.
However, that's when Sena jumped into the conversation.
"Hold it! I get how one person in a group of three might not really get along with the other two, but why does Kuuya have to be the extra!? Couldn't you have just made Kotarou the extra and left the story how it was!?"
Sena yelled, but Yozora didn't budge.
"I couldn't help it. It was only natural to me that if Kuuya had a little brother instead of a little sister that Hirotaka would've gotten along better with the little brother than Kuuya."
"Because Kodaka's playing Kotarou... there was nothing I could do about it."
"There was plenty you could do about it... what, are you saying it's because he's your childhood friend again?"
Yozora nodded as though boasting with her chest slightly puffed out in pride.
An unpleasant expression rose to Sena's face upon seeing that, and she then said——
"This is the present, it doesn't matter what happened in the past!!"
That one sentence was all it took,
for the look on Yozora's face to freeze over.
".........Meat... what did you just say...?"
Yozora's voice was so heavy it sounded like it was echoing from beneath the ground.
It even felt like the air in the room had gotten heavier and colder.
"...It doesn't... matter...? You god damn..."
I unconsciously gulped after seeing Yozora's gaze of hatred that was so strong it felt murderous.
An uncomfortable cold sweat ran down Rika's face, and it might just be me, but Yukimura seems on edge too. Even Maria looks like she's terrified and about to burst into tears.
Faced with that overwhelming gaze being directed right at her,
"That's right. It doesn't matter."
Sena didn't falter in the least.
"It doesn't matter if you and Kodaka used to be friends; that's all in the past. What matters right now is that you revise the script for our movie the right way, god damn it."
Sena stated as though it were obvious, all the while taking the hatred in Yozora's gaze head on.
Yozora's face twisted in agony at her words.
"...Y-you god damn... Do you... Do you have any idea how I——"
Sena then yelled, cutting Yozora off.
"Are you deaf!? I said that crap doesn't matter! Quit living in the past and do what you have to do now, in the present!"
Yozora was overwhelmed by Sena's pointed words—— and just then, tears started welling up in her eyes.
...Those were the same words Sena used to answer me a week ago at the cafe in Nagaya when I asked her how she felt about Yozora and I being childhood friends.
——The past doesn't matter.
——It's stupid to keep letting the past hold you down.
Sena's words were so blunt... so optimistic... only looking ahead.
They were all too right.
They were all too dazzling.
They had a light to them so strong that someone trapped by their past could do nothing but try to avert their gaze.
...I was fine.
"...If only you... If only you weren't here, by now I'd...! ...Uu...!"
Yozora glared at Sena with both tears and hatred in her eyes, and then——
"Sena Kashiwazaki you big fat morooonnnnn!!"
She yelled like a child before fleeing the scene.
I was so flustered it took me a second to call out to her, but Yozora had already left the clubroom by the time I did.
BAM, went the door as it shut.
...If Yozora's and Sena's positions were reversed, then this would be something I've grown used to seeing here with the Neighbors Club, but...
"Sheesh... That idiot..."
Sena let out a forlorn sigh as she stared over at the door.
She then quietly added,
"...'If only you weren't here,' huh..."
There was a terribly sad look on her face.
"...I hate her guts too, but... I've never thought things would be better without her..."
"Haaaaaaaaaaaa~~" went Sena as she let out a big sigh.
"...I'm going home for today too."
No sooner had she finished her sentence than had Sena grabbed her bag and left the clubroom.
"H-hey, Sena...!? You too...?"
"...What should we do now, Kodaka-senpai?"
The remaining club members, Rika, Yukimura, and Maria, all looked to me for an answer.
It's not like I knew what we should do now either, but despite that, I said,
"...I guess we can just call it a day."
Upon leaving the clubroom and entering the chapel, I ran into Yozora standing outside.
"Yozora!? Didn't you go home...?"
I asked, to which Yozora responded by awkwardly fiddling with her bangs as she said,
"...I left my bag in the clubroom."
"Oh yeah, you did, didn't you... Should we work on the movie after all then? Ah, but Sena already went home."
The expression on Yozora's face turned into one of displeasure the second Sena's name came up.
She must've seen Sena leaving then. Did she come back to get her bag now that Sena was gone?
"...Anyway, what're you gonna do about the script?"
Yozora didn't say a word in response to my question.
"If we can make it work with that revised script you made, I don't have any real problems with it. I think it's kind of a waste since the original was so good, but as long as the revised version is good too, I doubt even Sena will complain."
The silence continues.
However, Yozora eventually said, in a tiny voice,
"...Which do you think is better, Kodaka? Do you think Hirotaka should be old friends with Kuuya, or Kotarou?
So basically, do I think Hirotaka (played by Yozora) should be friends with Kuuya (played by Yukimura), or Kotarou (played by me)?
I pondered the question, including the information Yozora left out.
"...Well, it's a movie, right? I don't mind who he was friends with as long as it's interesting."
Yozora pursed her lips as though she were pouting upon hearing my answer.
".........I should be childhood friends with Kodaka."
Yozora murmured something, but I couldn't really hear her.
"Eh, what'd you say?"
"Nothing! I was just talking about how annoying Meat is!"
I then said, while wincing at Yozora's wild tone of voice,
"...But, well, I do think what Sena said has some truth to it."
Yozora furrowed her brow.
"...You shouldn't let your past control you so much that it... ruins the script."
Yozora made an irritated look on her face, and then
"...Which is more important to you, Kodaka, your memories from 10 years ago, or now?"
She threw that loaded question my way.
".........There's no way I can just pick one."
That was the only way I could answer her.
"...You really are wishy-washy, aren't you?"
Yozora said with a tinge of anger in her voice.
I then decided to ask her in return,
"...Then could you pick one?"
Yozora made a startled look on her face.
"Which is more important to you, Yozora, 10 years ago, or now?"
10 years ago—— the time when Yozora and I... when Sora and Taka were best friends.
Now—— the time we spend doing all kinds of stupid stuff with other people who don't have friends like us.
"...I... O-obviously 10 years ago is more important..."
I pressed Yozora further after hearing her weak answer.
"So right now isn't important to you then?"
Yozora kept quiet.
The time we spent together 10 years ago was wonderful.
But the present... the things we do now are fun enough that I can't possibly say they're not important.
I'm sure that Yozora feels the same way.
Yozora made a weak wry smile, sighed as though spitting it out, and then quietly said,
".........That's a hard question~..."
I made a wry smile as well after hearing Yozora's answer.
We spent the next few moments staring at each other with wry smiles on our faces.
After spending those few moments in silence, I don't know who moved first, but one of us looked away, and we each walked off.
Yozora headed for the chapel.
I headed for the school gates.
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