“Someone you don’t know.”
“Not a student?”
“He graduated already.”
“What’s with that?” I made my disbelief obvious.
“That doesn’t matter, just tell us what he saw already,” Maria said. Everyone made sounds of agreement.
“Okay. Well, people who don’t believe it don’t have to listen…” Satoru glanced at me slyly. I pretended not to notice. It would have been better to walk away, but I actually wanted to hear what he had to say.
“When students are present, teachers never open the door that leads to he courtyard, right? You know, the one in front of the administration building that’s made of evergreen wood. But that time, they accidentally forgot to check if there were people around and opened the door.”
“You already told us this,” Ken pressed.
“In there was…an incredible number of graves!” He was obviously exaggerating, but everyone else seemed awestruck.
“That’s freaky,” Maria covered her ears with her hands. I told her she was being ridiculous.
“So, whose graves are those?”
“Huh?” Satoru had been enjoying the effect his scary story had on the others and was caught unprepared.
“Since there are so many of them, whose are they?”
“I dunno. Anyway, there was a ginormous number of them.”
“Why would they deliberately put graves in the school courtyard?”
“Like I said, I only know that much.”
It seemed like Satoru was taking the easy way out by insisting that since he only heard this from someone else, he didn’t have the answer to everything.
“…maybe they’re students’ graves?” Ken said, and everyone fell silent.
“Students? From when? Why did so many die?” Maria asked in a low voice.
“I’m not sure, but I’ve heard that some people don’t graduate from here and just disappear…”
The students in the three schools in our town all entered school at the same time, but for reasons I’ll explain later, graduated at different times. But this time it felt like Ken’s words had somehow touched on a subject that was deeply taboo and no one knew what to say to that.
At that moment, Shun, who had been sitting apart from us reading a book, looked over. In the light coming in from the windows, I realized that he had really long eyelashes.
“There aren’t any graves.”
Everyone was relieved by his words, but then a huge question occurred to us.
“What do you mean there aren’t any? How do you know?” I asked for all of us, and Shun answered nonchalantly.