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I have an older brother who’s five years older.
A beautiful older brother who looked like mom, not like me who looked like dad.
When I was little, I remember him taking good care of me.
My brother didn’t hate me even when I wouldn’t let go of him.
My big brother is not a perfect superhuman. His grades and athletic ability are decent and I feel like he’s only a bit above average.
However, his appearance was like the finest beauty.
Mom often said that he’s even more beautiful than her.
But when did I start avoiding my big brother?
It’s not like I dislike him.
I also didn’t hear anything bad about him.
…right, it’s probably──
When I was in fifth grade, I had a fight with a classmate and my parents were at work and couldn’t come so my big brother came to school instead.
Big brother was in his second year of high school at that time.
It happened that this day was the anniversary of his school’s founding, so he’s home.
Big brother, who was part of the tennis club, also seemed to have just returned from his run…
He took a shower and came out like that, arriving at my school with his hair still wet.
I guess he didn’t have time to use the hairdryer.
…and that’s why my big brother never came to my school again.
“I’m Aoyama Sou’s older brother. I couldn’t get in touch with my parents so I came instead.”
Wet…rather, his hair was damp because he just took a shower.
Taking a shower after running is my big brother’s daily routine.
My homeroom teacher suddenly blushed.
My big brother looked like a woman, but he looked handsome right now.
I found something like love letters in my big brother’s bag. And it’s not just once or twice.
On Valentine’s Day and birthdays, it’s common for him to bring gifts from women home.
Big brother is kind to me, but a little cold to others.
He didn’t like having friends in his room, and he never invited anyone.
However, it wasn’t that he didn’t have any friends, since I sometimes saw big brother walking with people who seemed to be his friends.
“Aoyama-kun violently attacked my Hiroshi!? Why didn’t your parents come?”
Yamada’s parent said in a loud voice.
Seems like big brother was a bit confused, maybe because he’s also a child so the parent was quite aggressive.
“…I apologize for Sou’s actions, but if your child didn’t do anything, my younger brother wouldn’t suddenly become violent.”
“Sou. Did he say anything?”
Amidst the screaming of Yamada’s parent, he asked me plainly.
“Our Hiroshi didn’t do anything!”
Yamada’s parent yelled before I could answer.
But my big brother isn’t afraid or confused and was waiting for my reply.
…isn’t he scared?
I hurriedly opened my mouth when he urged a reply.
“I’m not good at basketball, so I quit the club…”
There’s a period for club time in fifth grade.
So I joined the basketball club, but for me who couldn’t dribble, Yamada told me to quit because I was in the way.
So I became frustrated with how I suck and──hit him.
I know I’m not good at it.
That’s why I bought a ball and practiced at home.
However, I wouldn’t improve that easily.
Everyone is already doing practice matches, but I’m still practicing dribbling and shooting.
Then I was told that I’m an obstacle.
Because of me, there are fewer places for everyone to practice…
“He said I’ll only be in the way, so I should go to another club…”
With that plain answer, I wonder if my big brother also thought so.
I felt frustrated and almost cried.
“But Sou, that’s what bad boys do. Apologize for hitting him.”
“Why!? He’s the bad one!”
He told me to apologize and I argued.
I’m not the one at fault.
“Sou, don’t you know that violence is bad? …let me tell you this. Someone would always laugh at someone else’s efforts. Just look back at those who laughed. Even if they’re good right now, it might be different in junior high school and high school. …I’m not very good at playing tennis when I first started either. At that time, I was told to quit since I suck.”
“Eh!? Big brother!? But you went to participate in the prefectural competition the other day!”
──that surprised me.
For a long time, I thought that my big brother is good at tennis.
I didn’t even notice that the people around me had surprised looks.
“I did, and I’m even better than those guys who thought I suck, you know? So good luck!”
Big brother stroked my head and smiled.
Dad once said that a beautiful woman’s smile is destructive, but does it apply here?
My homeroom teacher already seemed to have hearts in his eyes.
“You can do it, Sou. I can do it, so Sou can also do it.”
I often hear “if I can do it, you can do it” at home.
When I hear those words, it seems like I can do anything.
When I was taught how to read the time, or when I was studying hiragana or when I learned the multiplication tables…
My big brother said that I could do it.
In fact, he was right since I could do it.
Even big brother did it, so I should do my best.
“Apologize for hitting him.”
“I understand…Yamada, I’m sorry for hitting you.”
I bowed towards Yamada.
Yamada looked awkward.
Maybe I shouldn’t get close to Yamada anymore.
As big brother said, it’s just a waste to think of someone who makes a fool of you.
“Do you think that’s enough!?”
Yamada’s parent screamed.
“My Hiroshi was beaten!? Look! His cheeks are so bright red…!”
Certainly, I hit Yamada’s cheek.
There was no blood, his mouth wasn’t cut, and only his cheeks turned red.
…still, I was the one who hit him.
So I apologized.
“Since it’s like that, get hit also!”
I saw a swinging hand.
(I’ll be hit…!)
I unintentionally closed my eyes.
A dry sound echoed.
But it didn’t hurt.
When I opened my eyes, I saw a back in front of me.
Was my brother slapped instead of me?
When I looked, his cheek was so bright that it can’t compare to Yamada.
Fingers clearly imprinted on his cheek, looking like it hurt a lot.
I can only look up in a daze.
But my brother had cold eyes that I had never seen before.
As if he didn’t feel any pain from his cheeks…
“While saying that violence is no good, you did it yourself? …well, whatever. I’m fine with this. For the time being, I’m also a “minor”. …if you don’t want to be accused of raising your hand at a minor, don’t shout and just go home. …this is the end of this, right? We’re going home.”
Big brother, who looked coldly at Yamada’s parent, turned to my homeroom teacher then looked back at me.
Maybe because he looked like a beautiful woman, I’m scared when my brother gets angry.
Seems like I’m not the only one who thought so since even Yamada’s parent couldn’t say anything and went out in a hurry.
I went home while chasing after my big brother.
“Ah, big brother, I’m sorry.”
If I didn’t hit Yamada, my brother wouldn’t be hit.
The fingerprints on his face looked painful, so I’m sure it’d be talked about a lot in school.
Big brother looked back…with his usual face.
“Be careful next time.”
Those words said with a smile struck my chest.
My big brother is sweet to me.
He’d never use an angry voice at me.
Is it because I’m five years younger?
The next day, when I went to school, I was surrounded.
…mainly by girls.
“Aoyama’s big brother looks really cool! But you don’t look alike at all.”
“…I’m like my dad and my big brother look like my mom.”
Others asked me this question long ago.
Why does it feel so frustrating when they said we don’t look alike?
“Is he with someone?”
“..dunno? Seems like he’s popular, though.”
Or rather, what’s it to you…
My big brother is a high school student, and I don’t think he’ll deal with elementary school students.
…but, come to think of it, he had no woman at all.
He might just be devoted to tennis and didn’t care.
If he wants a woman, it seemed easy to have one.
“Is he a tennis player?”
“…isn’t that the case? My big brother participated in the prefectural tournament, but he didn’t win.”
Seems like he also didn’t win the district tournament last year. Given that, I think he’s getting stronger.
However, he said that the person who won the championship at the national level would become a professional, and big brother said that it’s impossible for him.
He said that he’d become a salaryman in the future.
But when you think about it, it’s such a waste.
He has such a nice face, so a host…doesn’t seem like it since his gender would deceive people, so he should be a model.
“It’s wonderful that such a prince is nearby.”
Did I just hear some strange words?
That big brother?
He might look like that, but…
He’s more the sloppy type than a perfectionist.
Did no one dislike him because of his appearance even though he’s cold to them?
But, it’s been a long time…
He wouldn’t even ask anything to our parents.
Sometimes, I think the reason why they never angry got with him was that he didn’t ask for anything.
I really don’t know much about what my big brother is thinking.
(Huh? Why do I feel somehow offended?)
Is there some sort of secret I don’t know?
However, my heart is big…though I think so, my suspicion wouldn’t go away.
From that day on, I stopped sticking to my big brother.
And yet, my big brother didn’t say anything.
“Rebellious phase”, he dismissed it with just those words.
So I couldn’t get closer again…
But it wasn’t just because it was awkward.
But also that it’s too late for regrets.
…because I don’t have a big brother anymore──
─？（younger brother）side end─
Sorry, fixed up the confusing part.