“There weren’t any when I saw it.”
“Shun, you’ve seen it?”
“You’re kidding, right?”
We showered him with questions. Satoru looked disappointed at having his thunder stolen.
“I guess I never mentioned this before. Last year, there was one time when the homework wasn’t collected. An assignment on a personal observation for science class. The teacher told me to bring them when they were all turned in, so I went over to the administration wing.”
We all waited with bated breath for him to continue, but Shun took his time marking the book he was reading with a bookmark.
“One of the rooms filled with books has windows that looks into the courtyard. There were some strange things out there, but no graves.”
It seemed like he wanted the conversation to end there. I still had about a thousand questions I wanted to ask, so I took a deep breath.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Satoru said in an unsteady voice I’d never heard before. “What ‘strange things’? Explain properly.”
You didn’t want to explain anything yourself, I thought, but I wanted to hear Shun’s answer, so I didn’t interrupt.
“Um, how should I say this. Lined up at the far end of the courtyard were about five of what looked like brick storage rooms, with big wooden doors in front of them.”
Although his answer didn’t explain anything, it had a strange truth to it. Satoru, unable to think of further questions, tsk-ed.
“So, Satoru, that one guy who graduated, what did he see again?” I pressed. He seemed to realize that the situation had turned on him and hesitated to answer.
“Like I said, I only heard it from someone else, so I don’t really know. Maybe he mistook what he saw, or maybe at that time there were actually graves,” he dug himself deeper into the hole.
“Then why are the graves gone?”