This is Chapter 2 from Volume 1 of the Kanon light novel series.
The text is from Baka-tsuki.
“The sun. The sun is coming out.”
I forgot to tell Nayuki to give me another alarm clock yesterday.
“Eat breakfast, and go to school!”
I stretched my hand under the sheets and stopped the alarm clock. My hand touched here and there and pressed the button of the remote control and adjusted the temperature of the air conditioner higher.
Although a winter’s morning sucked wherever you were, it was even tougher here. I moved on the bed slovenly and got up after the room had been warmed.
In case I forget to change the alarm clock again, I knocked Nayuki’s door.
“Are you awake?"
She couldn’t have woken up. After a while, although I heard the chorus of those alarm clocks, there wasn’t any other living sound in the house. After saying stuff like ‘I am coming in’, I gave the door a light push.
Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring. Dong, dong, dong. Beep, beep, beep, beep. Get up! Get up! Get up! Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
The room was rife not with air but with noise. Nosiy as hell. Placed on the cupboards and tables were different kinds of, big and small, cute, pretty, even some scary, alarm clocks. They were ringing in unison.
Behind them, Nayuki was sleeping soundly and peacefully.
Wearing pajamas with cat prints, she had beside her a frog plushie; though a bit childish, her long hair scattered on the bed and her closed eyes and eyelashes look extremely feminine.
I had to first doubt why she could still sleep so peacefully in this environment. My!
“Hey, Nayuki! Wake up, Nayuki.”
As if wanting to wipe away the waver in myself, I tried to call Nayuki with a harsh voice.
“What’s the matter, Yuichi?”
Akiko’s voice came from downstairs. My voice was clear and loud, heard even on the first floor, yet Nayuki didn’t even twitch.
“Sorry, there isn’t anything.”
Let me leave it to Akiko then, there isn’t another way than shaking her. Just when I decided to give up, Nayuki made a ‘Kumi’ sound, shook her a head several times, and opened her eyes.
Nayuki murmured and asked why I was here and such, but I heard nothing because of the noisy alarm clocks. I gestured to her to turn off the alarm clocks and go downstairs.
“What a rare scene, to see Nayuki waking up and going downstairs normally.”
Akiko expressed her awe beside the breakfast table.
“Is that really waking up normally?”
“From now on, why don’t you wake her up every morning?”
It was Nayuki’s mother all right. What she said went completely off track from the topic. Anyway, I decided to reject her suggestion at the spot.
“Yuichi, did you go home right after school yesterday?”
Nayuki asked, while spreading jam on the toast.
“No. I took a stroll at the shopping district. I wanted to remember where some shops are.”
“I see. But there isn’t much difference from back then.”
“Um…I seem to have forgotten a lot of things.”
“Is that so?”
Nayuki stopped the toast that was being thrown into her mouth and eyed at me.
I gulped down the coffee and stood up, for I felt being sympathised or reproached when Nayuki eyed me like that.
“Hurry. We’ve got to go, Nayuki.”
“It’s still early.”
Nayuki ate her toast with gusto.
“Breakfast is more delicious when you taste it slowly.”
“Okay, hurry. What you say about time isn’t reliable.”
I forced her to complete her breakfast.
Only after I had arrived to school did I remember I had forgotten to tell her about the alarm clock.
“Ah! So you two are living together?”
During break time, Kitgawa’s shocking scream became the centre of attention.
“No, um, that's…”
“Yes, you’re right.”
Nayuki said at the same time as I did, wasting my efforts of denial.
“Yuichi woke me up this morning.”
Ohoh…the class was aroused.
“Good job, Aizawa.”
“What. I thought of being your girlfriend, Aizawa.”
These random and even strange comments came in, placing Nayuki and I now in the centre of attention.
It all started when Kitagawa asked for my house’s telephone number, and while I was pondering, Nayuki jumped in and told him her number.
I was now in deep regret for not stopping Nayuki beforehand to keep the fact that we were living together a secret.
On the other hand, Nayuki was just lightly blinking her eyes, unable to read the atmosphere, asking Kaori, “Why is everyone so surprised?”
For Kaori, she just smiled with a troublesome look, as if she knew what would happen. What was she really thinking?
“It’s for a while only. Our family planned to move in at spring, but because of school, I had to come first and live at Nayuki’s house.”
I was quite embarrassed, as I felt my face heating up.
“So in return for letting you live there, you’re going to wake Minase up?”
Someone sitting faraway made a thoughtless response, making me infuriated.
Shit! It isn’t like I wanted to come!
“So? Everyone has their own private affairs. It’s rude to barge in.”
If it wasn’t for Kaori who helped us, it might have gone even worse.
“Yeah. They are cousins after all.”
Kitagawa stood at my side as well.
The two of them soothed the classroom back to its calmness. I heaved a sigh and rested my chin on my hands.
There were a few classmates who came and talked with us with that topic as an excuse, so it wasn’t all bad that my classmates knew Nayuki and I were living together.
Even so, I didn’t feel all that well for Nayuki to speak without considering the effect and those involved.
I wanted to let myself free from these affairs for a while, so…
“Yuichi, hey. Club activities are suspended tomorrow, so let’s go to the shopping district together.”
After school, when Nayuki offered this meeting, I quickly…
…rejected her coldly.
“There’s a large CD shop, but it’s difficult to find.”
“I’ll find it myself. Oh, it’s time to go to the club, isn’t it?”
“Yes…um…tell me if you can’t find it, Yuichi.”
Smiling, Nayuki waved her hands, and went to the building for club activities.
So I went out of the entrance by myself. It was snowing outside again.
I didn’t bring an umbrella.
Although I wanted to go to the shopping district to kill some time, it looked impossible with this amount of snow.
I threw my backpack on my head and ran out.
That girl…who ate Taiyaki and was called Ayu…she should be there at the shopping district today too.
Running, I start to remember her small figure with wings flapping on her bag.
On the second day, I woke up without the alarm clock.
On the breakfast table, I pushed forth the alarm clock recorded with Nayuki’s voice.
“I’m sorry. Can you give me another one?”
Eating the strawberry jam toast happily, Nayuki stopped.
“…um, actually, I can’t really get up in the morning too, so I need something more powerful in the morning. This one you gave me is quite something, but…”
“Okay, I understand.”
Nayuki remained smiling, and continued eating her toast.
“I’ll bring the biggest alarm clock to your room tonight, Yuichi.”
I thought she would get mad and say that she gave me the one she loved the most, but what she said now caught me off guard.
Nayuki drank the orange juice and wiped her lips with a napkin.
“You’re pretty quick today.”
She would eat two loafs of toast usually, but she only ate one today.
“Because we ran yesterday and the day before, so I’m thinking of walking today.”
“Is that so?”
But probably she was still mad that I mentioned about the alarm clock, so she couldn’t eat…no, I don’t think she will care about this stuff…Ehhh!
“Eh? Is the coffee very bitter, Yuichi?”
Akiko said, looking at my face.
“No. It’s good today too.”
I made a smile in a flurry.
I don’t understand. For example, I like Nayuki’s sleeping face, but I get frustrated when she treats me gently. And her weird character gets on my nerves; when I begin to ponder whether I had hurt her, my heart would grieve.
What is wrong with me?
Nuisances keep coming up from the past I can’t remember.
Nayuki and I walked on the street earlier than usual.
The snow had ceased yesterday, so the weather was good today. Yet it was cold even when the sun was out. The wind blew against the piled snow, the snowflakes fluttering like white smoke.
Nayuki walked without saying anything.
When I tried to find something to talk about, Nayuki stopped.
Nayuki usually looks something afar while walking, but she was now staring at a point.
It was the eaves of somebody’s house.
“There’s a kitten.”
There the brown kitten sat. It was kneeling down, folding her front legs, and purred like yawning.
“What’s wrong with the cat?”
“It’s so cute…”
Nayuki said with a sweet, husky voice that hinted harm. Her puppy eyes grew larger as they become captivated by the kitten.
“Cute? That’s just a normal cat.”
“It’s so cute!”
I shrieked from her immediate disagreement. I couldn’t believe she would respond so quickly.
“Yuichi, it's weird to say that cute thing isn’t cute. It’s so cute. Will it let me pet it? I want to touch it and hug it.”
Her speech gradually returned to its slow tone, and entranced, she approached, wobbly, to the eaves where the cat was. Noticing Nayuki, the kitten did not escape but became cautious. It was a stray cat, but it had got used to dealing with people.
But I pulled Nayuki’s stretching hand in reflex and stopped her.
Nayuki also shook off her hand in reflex, but I wouldn’t let go of her.
“Stop. Kitty, kitty.”
Nayuki complained like a kid.
“No way, you’re allergic to cats.”
Reproached, Nayuki turned around with surprise.
“Have you remembered? Yuichi, of the things in the past…”
“It just sprang into my mind.”
Those memories were still vague. There was a scene of Nayuki and a cat.
Nayuki, in tears, was holding a cat, with Akiko at a side, troubled.
“I love kittens.”
Trying to touch the cat as much as she can, the little Nayuki wanted to rub the cat with her cheeks, despite her reddening nose.
“it’s not recovered yet. If you touch the cat, you won’t be able to bring that face to school.”
“I don’t care. Yuichi, let go.”
“If I let go, you’ll run off to the cat.”
“Because it’s a kitten.”
“This isn’t an answer at all!”
I forcefully pulled her by the wrist.
“Yuichi, I hate you. Kitty…kitty…it might be an abandoned cat. It might be hungry too. I have snacks in my bag for you, kitty.”
“That’s enough, come back.”
Being pulled, Nayuki left two lines on the snow by her legs.
Even when we had arrived to school, she kept talking about kittens before the lesson.
By the way, the progress at this school was quite fast. I had no idea of what was being taught.
Naturally, I spent more time idling in class, half-awake.
I eyed at Nayuki beside me. She was concentrating on listening the teacher.
The mechanical pencil she was using for notes had a big, round cat figure on it.
To think about it, her pajamas were printed with cats, and so was the jacket she always wore.
She really like cats.
Still, she couldn’t touch them.
Yes…at that time too…
The first time Nayuki picked up a cat was when I went to play at the Minase house.
She found a cat along the road, with me at her side. Nayuki said she heard purring sounds from a paper box. With deeper observation, the paper box was taped, mostly by the one who abandoned it. Nayuki and I tore the tape madly and opened the box. The weak cat, just opening its eyes, was purring for help. Nayuki held the cat in her hands and brought her home.
“Mum, look at this poor kitten. Can we adopt it? Please?”
Nayuki with braids, pleaded to Akiko in tears.
Akiko of course agreed, but since that night, Nayuki’s face became strange.
Hearing Nayuki crying, I ran to look for Akiko.
“What’s wrong, Nayuki?”
“My body is hot.”
Sleeping with the kitten under the sheets made Nayuki’s face heated and red. Although Akiko quickly made her drink some children fever medicine, she still sneezed all night, seemingly in pain.
On the next day, Nayuki was brought to hospital and diagnosed with an allergy to cats.
Akiko couldn’t help but to tell Nayuki that they couldn’t take care of cats.
“Mummy will find an owner for it.”
“No…I want to take care of it. I want to care of this kitten.”
Nayuki cried, holding the kitten. Her sorrowful tears came along with her allergic tears, covering her face.
“Because I love kittens.”
I, who had been looking at Nayuki for a while, couldn’t help myself after seeing her cry.
“Nayuki, it’s fine. One day, when you grow up, there will definitely be a medicine to cure cat allergy. You can then take care of cats.”
“Yes. Of course.”
I had no evidence, but I nodded just to comfort her.
Though crying, she showed a smile.
That kitten was finally adopted by a kind, old wife and husband.
The sad thing was that there was no cure to cat allergy even now, but Nayuki’s love for cats hadn’t changed any bit.
Despite being allergic, she thrived to feed the stray cats.
Not only cats, but also birds having fallen from nests, and rabbits coming from nowhere would fall into her caring category.
And she was now taking care of a dissentious boy who had vague memories…uh?
“What the hell.”
I laughed in a low voice of my own ridiculous thought.
Nayuki must have looked at me because of my voice, but I remained composed and waved at her.
Nayuki returned late today. Even when she had club activities, she wouldn’t be as late as returning when Akiko had prepared dinner.
“Hey, what happened, Nayuki?”
“But isn’t your face red?”
“I told you it’s nothing.”
Watching television at the living room, I took a glance at her face while pretending to get beverages at the kitchen.
“It’ll get good quickly…ayychu…what’s for dinner?”
Her nose was red and puffy, her eyes teary.
I immediately knew the reason of her poor state.
Cat’s fur was stuck on her uniform and skirt.
“Dinner is wonton soup.”
Akiko touched Nayuki’s forehead. Telling her it was fine, she took off her hand.
“I like wonton soup. Let me first change my clothes.”
Sneezing repeatedly, Nayuki climbed up the stairs lightly.
I called her from behind.
“What’s wrong? Yuichi.”
Nayuki stopped and turned around in front of her door.
“Brush it with a brusher when you’re done changing.”
“If you don’t, you’ll get allergic again.”
“Yuichi, good eyesight…”
“This isn’t what I mean.”
“Okay, I’m going to brush it. Thanks.”
It wasn’t the first day she derailed the topic.
“Um. Did you find it? That cat this morning.”
“Yes. Close from the place we were. When I approached it, it didn’t run away and let me pet it. It wasn’t unhappy when I held it in my hands too.”
As if remembering the lingering touch of the cat, she closed her palms in front of her chest and closed her eyes.
“Warm, and soft…kitty…”
I could imagine her playing with the cat, tears running down her face.
She would have purred along with the cat, forgetting she was a human herself, playing ecstatically.
“I’m really sorry.”
“I promised you that there will be a medicine to cure cat allergy, yet there isn’t.”
“…ah…you remember those things, in the past.’
I nodded, and she smiled.
“It’ll be great if I can remember them bit by bit.”
“Um…wait, so don’t talk about me for now.”
I lightly patted her head. Letting out a sound ‘It hurts’, she pressed her head with her hand.
“Um…anyway, it doesn’t matter if there isn’t any medicine to cure the allergy.”
“Because whether I’m allergic doesn’t affect my love for cats.”
I felt a feeling almost of respect towards the speaking and nodding Nayuki.
If I were Nayuki, I wouldn't touch cats if I couldn’t, even if I love them. Moreover, I might even bear hate for being allergic to cats, despite loving them so much. Perhaps I would tell myself, it’s enough. I hate cats and anything about them.
Nayuki didn’t think or put too much thought into this stuff, regardless in the past or at the present; she was very honest and direct to the things she love.
…to me, as well, probably.
I felt I could start to understand the sophisticated feeling I held towards her.
“Oh, by the way,”
Nayuki went into her room and brought an alarm clock so big she had to use both hands.
“You wanted a powerful alarm clock, right? I don’t use this very often, so it can wake you up at the spot.”
“I don’t need it now.”
Maybe an alarm clock of that size would only be harmful to my heart.
“Is that so? Okay.”
“That one is fine.”
“That one? Which?”
“Um…that one with your voice.”
Sparks flashed from her eyes. Did I worry too much?
On the following day, after school.
“Your club activities are suspended today, right?”
“Then, why don’t we go to the shopping district today? I said I didn’t want to, but it’ll be quite a hassle to find the CD shop by myself.”
“Sure, let’s do it.”
“Are you two going out together?”
Kaori seemed to have heard our conversation. Kitagawa smiled mischievously.
“We didn’t really plan to go just by ourselves.”
“Do you want to go too, Kaori and Kitagawa?”
“I have a part-time job.”
“I’ll pass today.”
Kaori smiled with an ulterior meaning. I could sense her smile was the smile she put on when I first introduced myself.
Soon after leaving school, the two of us parted ways from Kaori and Kitagawa.
The shopping district was having the winter special sale, bustling with noise and excitement.
“This shop sells the most manga.”
“This is the best ramen shop in the whole street.”
Familiar with the shops, Nayuki was a local indeed.
She even knew where the CD shop that was so hard to find was. And I found the new album I wanted to buy.
Then, she stopped in front of a café named ‘A Hundred Flowers’.
“Yuichi, the strawberry parfait here is super delicious!”
“It’s really delicious. The strawberry parfait here.”
“The strawberry parfait here is yummy.”
“I know, I know! Let’s go in!”
“You have to treat me, Yuichi.”
I couldn’t say no since she had lead the way.
With dark brown floors, silk tablecloth, and hanging flower circles, this was certainly a shop girls would like.
Although embarrassed, I casted away my doubts once I could see Nayuki eating strawberry parfait happily.
“Strawberry jam and parfait. You really like strawberries, Nayuki.”
“Yes. I love them…so can we order one more?”
“I don’t have enough money today.”
“I-If you have enough money another day, will you treat me? Say yes.”
Nayuki’s senses grow sharp at things related to strawberries.
When we left the shop, Nayuki said she wanted to have a look at the clock shop. So I waited for her in front of the shop.
At this moment, someone patted my shoulder from behind.
Turning around, I saw a winged bag, a jacket, and mittens. There wasn’t any taiyaki today.
“Good afternoon, Yuichi.”
“Oh, it’s just Ayu.”
“Ugu…you’re so rude.”
"I was thinking—it couldn’t be Nayuki.”
I was facing the door standing, so Nayuki couldn’t have possibly gone to my back without my noticing.
Ayu said the name she hadn’t heard before and titled her head.
“Is it food?”
At this moment, Nayuki came out of the shop holding a bag of stuff.
“That’s Nayuki. Do you want to try eating it?”
Nayuki looked at Ayu and I, back and forth.
“Oh, this is Ayu. Her occupation is taiyaki thief.”
“N-No. I will apologise to that old man later and pay him back. I was just too hungry back then.”
I then explained to Nayuki of how I met Ayu.
So now I introduce Nayuki to Ayu.
“This is my cousin, the daughter of the family I’m now living together with.”
Ayu looked at Nayuki with a moment of enlightenment.
“Okay, can I call you Ayu-chan?”
Nayuki entered the conversation.
“Sure. Ayu-chan works fine.”
“You can call me Nayuki-chan too.”
“Help, stop it, no.”
“What a shame…”
I compared Nayuki and Ayu.
Nayuki: has a slim body of a track athlete, long hair, and looks like having a peaceful dream.
Ayu: has a small body and slim like a boy, bright eyes that swirled with energy.
Although they make two opposite impressions, they agree on my rudeness and chatted happily.
“What are you going to do now, Ayu-chan?”
Ayu’s eyes lost its glamour instantly.
“Is there something wrong?”
“I-I am looking for something here.”
“Something to buy?”
“No. Something I lost. I plan to look for it every day before I find it.”
“Let’s look for it together, shall we?”
Ayu shook her head. Her smile that was now drained of all the energy looked surprisingly weak and superficial, astonishing me.
But it was only for a moment.
“So it’s time we leave. Ayu-chan.”
“Yes, see you. Nayuki-chan, Yuichi.”
Ayu regained her smile when she left.
“Ayu-chan is so cute.”
Nayuki said, when we had walked near our house.
“But she’s a freak.”
“I don’t think she wants you to call her that.”
“You said you met her three days ago for the first time. Is it true?”
“Yes. What about it?”
“I think I’ve heard of her. About meeting with Ayu before…or probably just her name.”
What Nayuki was saying probably had to do with my lost memories.
To ask why, I had a nostalgic feeling when I first met Ayu.
“I really met her three days ago.”
But I still reckon I had only met her for just a short time.
The doors of my memories were opening slowly, and it wasn’t all that painful a thing. When I find myself able to remember the allergy Nayuki had to cats, I feel a lot better.
But I can’t for Ayu, at least not now.
There was something, something strong that is resisting my memories from connecting to Ayu.
Akiko seemed to have returned home, as we could smell the aroma of dinner upon opening the door.
“We should have invited Ayu-chan for dinner.”
I deliberately changed the topic.
“Oh, what did you buy at the clock shop?”
Nayuki looked amused of my question and smiled.
“An alarm clock.”
Weren’t there enough alarm clocks in her room?
“You won’t get up even if you have more alarm clocks, Nayuki.”
“I bought a big one today, so it’ll be fine tomorrow.”
Nayuki nodded in confidence.
“I’m telling you. This is the reason your room is stuffed with alarm clocks.”
I am going to wake up! Nayuki said, but I reckon that impossible.
Of course, what happened tomorrow was exactly as I had expected.