“Saki,” he said, sounding as if he were waking from a dream.
The hazy evening light made it impossible to read his expression.
“What’s wrong?” I took a step toward him.
“Stay back!” he said sharply.
I halted. We were twenty meters apart.
“Why?” my voice rang with sadness.
“…sorry. But I want to be alone.”
“Yeah.” He looked straight at me, then averted his gaze.
“Is that why you broke up with Satoru?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“But why? You want to be alone so much that you’d abandon all your friends?”
“That’s…even if I explain, you won’t understand.” Shun took something out of his pocket.
Metal orbs glittered in the setting sun. Wasp balls. You use your cantus to levitate them and spin them around at high speed to produce a buzzing sound. It was one of the first toys we used at Sage Academy to develop our powers. No one in our class bothered with them anymore, so it was strange to see someone as skilled as Shun using them.
“I don’t think we’ll be able to meet for a while.”
The three balls orbited Shun’s head, catching the light of the sun and buzzing discordantly.
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t go to school for the time being. I have to get treatment.”
“Are you sick?” I was extremely worried. Was he contagious? Was that why he couldn’t come near us?
“Hm. Sick…it’s not like a cold or a stomach flu. How should I say this? It’s not my body that’s sick. It’s my mind.”