Sunday, April 17, 2016

Toradora! Volume 07

Chapter 1

––She didn't really want to admit she had been bothered about something else, but...

Sitting on a frozen, battered bench, and hanging her neck low with a glove resting on her head, Kushieda Minori still couldn't bring herself to stand up. Each of her teammates tried to give her words of encouragement. Chief, please cheer up; Everybody was in bad shape today; These days happen; It's only a practice match, don't worry about it. ......She couldn't not worry about it. As their chief, it was too pathetic. She couldn't forgive herself for fouling up this miserably.

If she'd been asked if she played in this match, with really, honestly, no distractions, at 100% concentration, the fact was that she couldn't give a firm yes.

It had happened at the end of the ninth inning, with two outs, bases empty, and a three to one lead at the final stretch.

The ball, making a dumb sound as it was hit, had come falling down in a slow bounded arc, like it was saying catch me to the glove she had drawn out. Okay, we won, then, catch. Throw it to first and
game over, or what should have been game over. But instead of that, "What!?" "What are you doing, Kushieda!" "Kya!"

The screaming had come from their bench. Shouts of, "We did it, we did it!" "Go, run!" were coming from the bench of the other school. No way. All the hairs on her head bristled. For some reason, the ball fell out of her glove before she could throw it. The more she panicked, the more the situation worsened, and when she tried to pick up the rolling ball, she accidently kicked it away. There were cries telling her to run. Nowaynowaynoway, not good, not good, not good. When she failed at picking it up again, the runner had already made it to second base. With screaming and cheering in the backdrop, she finally picked up the ball and threw it to third base. But, it was a bad throw. The runner made it to home plate. So then.

The dust had been so thick she could choke from it.

Her body had been chilled by the midwinter wind.

It had been the late afternoon of one Sunday day. The light of the sun was tilted.

She had sat there, vanquished and unable to rise up.

......It was like a domino effect. The stupid mistake of their ace number, Kushieda Minori, was the trigger that broke the team's concentration and since then, it didn't recover. One person went to first base due to a base on balls, and in no time flat, the other team scored back one point thanks to more and more errors, and then finally, a homerun.

"Aaaa......no......"

She hunched her back while holding her glove-hooded head. She pushed her nose against her knee, not minding the dirt on it. It wasn't her team's fault. It wasn't okay because it was a practice match. It wasn't that she was in bad shape. It wasn't just today.


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