I didn’t know what had happened, but it looked like the Earth had tried to swallow Shun’s house whole. It seemed impossible to survive something like that. So why was I convinced that Shun was still alive?
Where was he now? Was he okay? Did he need help? All these unanswerable questions whirled around in my head.
“You said he left home, right? So he’s gotta be okay,” Satoru said, more to himself than to me. “Let’s go look for him tomorrow morning. I’m sure we’ll find him.”
“Shouldn’t we go right now?”
“The sun’s going to set soon. We don’t have a clue where Shun is right now. I know you’re worried, but we’ll have a fresh start tomorrow.”
How could he be so calm? Wasn’t he worried? Unlike Satoru, I wasn’t confident at all.
We arrived at the park where we were supposed to meet up with Maria and Mamoru, but there was no sign of them. We waited for a bit, but decided to go home.
“See you tomorrow, then.”
The words were unsuited for the situation. It sounded like we were parting after a picnic in the park. We went our separate ways; Satoru headed toward Hayring and I took my canoe back to Waterwheel.
Shadows stretched across the village as the sun went down over Mt. Tsukuba. Braziers were lit all over town, making the waterways sparkle with orange reflections. This was always my favorite time of the day, when I could enjoy the scenery as I reflected on the day’s events and looked forward to what the next day had to offer.
I tied up the canoe behind our house and went in through the back door. I was surprised to see that both my parents were home early.
“Welcome home,” mother smiled. “Dinner is ready. It’s been a while since we’ve eaten together.”
Father stared at me as I sat down at the table, then grinned broadly.
“Look at you. You’re all covered in dirt. Go wash up”