So they play chess with special
I wonder what these rules might be like
Morph wrote:I hate the Sicilian defence...
Well, I didn't pick the game based on the defense.
Twenty Minutes Ago:
She enters the room and sits down on the other side of the table where I’ve already set up the chess board. We randomly determined who will play which color earlier, and I won white. Which is good because, statistically, more games are won by white.
I look over the rules changes she had given me earlier. There isn’t much to it, really. The rule for what happens when capturing non-pawn pieces is the most ridiculous change. That’s the most fun. The better you’re doing, the more distracted you get,
was the justification she had written.
I shake my head as I continue reading.
Two Months Ago:
Ikezawa reached for the pen and paper. Why are you being so nice to me?
I thought about my response for a moment. Because there is no point to being mean. You are not my enemy.
But you and Misha have been mean to me before. Because you don’t get along with Lilly.
I sighed at that. Satou and I go back a ways. The roots of our conflict… aren’t important right now.
Satou and I are like fire and ice, that’s true. ‘We don’t get along’ is quite an understatement. You’ve been caught by the shrapnel of our conflict.
Ikezawa giggled at that—at least it looked like she giggled—which surprised me. I didn’t expect her to show amusement under her current circumstances.
She must have seen the surprise on my face, for she wrote, Something wrong?
I didn’t expect you to laugh after all the crying you’ve just done,
I wrote back.
I’ve started to become more comfortable around people. But sometimes, like you just saw, people’s reactions to my appearance still upset me.
I had to think about that. Looking back over the last few weeks, I realized that Ikezawa had
seemed a little more social than before. I asked, What happened that made you more comfortable?
She smiled as she wrote, Hisao.
That gave me pause. Was she in love with Hisao? I’d seen the three of them hanging out a lot: Hisao, Ikezawa, and Satou. But Hisao always looked like he only had eyes for Satou.
I wondered if I should even ask. Well, in for a penny as they say. Are you in love with him?
Again she smiled. No. But he has been a great friend. I think I could have loved him, but he loves Lilly.
Now I had to smile in return. Taking the pen, I wrote, That’s funny. If Hisao hadn’t taken Satou’s side before the festival and had joined the Student Council like I had asked him to, I might have been in love with him, too.
Ikezawa read that and started to laugh. Really laugh. Her face got flushed, and her chest shook so much she seemed to have trouble breathing. Then I couldn’t help but join in the laughter. We laughed for what must have easily been five minutes.
Ikezawa started to write, but she found it difficult because of all the laughter. Maybe we could start a club. Some kind of ‘I could have fallen in love with Hisao if only’ club.
Oh, that set me off again. I was laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes. Who else would be in it?
I don’t know. Maybe Emi? Hisao mentioned he started running with her the first week he was here. But he found it too hard to run.
Sure, that’s it. Emi will say, ‘If only Hisao had stuck with running with me, I might have fallen in love with him.’ This is fun! Who else?
We couldn’t keep it up. We laughed and laughed until we settled into giggles as we sat there.
Eventually, my phone vibrated. Checking it, I found a text from Misha: where r u? prncpl sent us home. in SC room
I sighed. Back to the rest of the world. Music Room w/Ikezawa. B there soon,
I texted back.
Will you be okay now?
I asked Ikezawa.
Yeah. Just do me a favor, okay?
What is it?
Call me ‘Hanako’ from now on.
I smiled as I took the pen back. Only if you call me ‘Shizune’. Deal?
With that, I stood up and helped Hanako to her feet. We left the Music Room and parted ways, her going back to the dorms, me to Student Council room.
As she left, Hanako surprised me by signing one of the simplest things to sign: “Thank you.”
I smiled as I nodded to her in acknowledgement. Then she turned and left.
Hmm, she declined to take my Knight but accepted the Knight exchange.
Well, there’s only one thing that can be done now.
We each take off one of our shoes.
Edit: Tweaked the 'Twenty Minutes Ago'. Have I mentioned it's the part that gets the most changes?
Found a picture on the shimmie that's somewhat appropriate for this chapter:
Chapter 1 Chapter 3