* 41 *
The sun had mostly set, so it became easier to tail Hiiragi. Normally it would be harder with less people, but the town was still just the right level of crowded; a good day for stalking.
Hiiragi swiftly moved through the dim town. She was a fast walker.
People accustomed to being alone forget how to walk with others, and they're always displeased with where they are, want to be anywhere but, so they walk really fast - that's my theory, anyway.
And the opposite's true too; happy people who are pleased with the moment and where they are walk slow. Tokiwa and Tsugumi walked verrry slow.
They walked so dreadfully slowly, lightly pushing each other, cuddling with each other, looking at each other, that tailing them was a huge pain.
They were already so happy being together that they were in no hurry to get anywhere.
How fast you walk when there's nothing particularly urgent to attend to is a great indicator of happiness. I mean it.
So I thought about all that as I followed Hiiragi. In addition to walking fast, she had a terrible sense of direction.
She'd be walking straight ahead, then suddenly duck into an alley, then come back out ten seconds later like nothing happened.
She'd come to a stop, suddenly cross the street, then cross back to the side she was on before.
What was she even trying to do? I knew she wasn't good with directions, but I'd never seen it so bad before.
Maybe she was drunk? Maybe she went crazy?
But the real reason was actually quite clear. If you followed Hiiragi's gaze, it was obvious what her target was.
However, it took me about thirty minutes to catch on. I'll admit it, I'm an idiot.
Hiiragi came to a halt and hid in the shadow of a nearby pole. After a while, she timidly peeked out from behind it, then resumed walking quickly.
Even I could figure it out at that point.
She was following someone.
I looked toward where Hiiragi was looking. I spotted him just a few seconds, a few meters ahead.
Yes, you probably guessed it already - it was Tokiwa who Hiiragi was following.
I knew Hiiragi and I were similar, but we didn't have to be that similar, I thought.