There's a trio of school girls sitting on the old weathered bench, the two on the ends both leaning into the one in the middle, all three with their attention locked on the cell phone. They're taking a selfie, in the cool fall twilight, waiting(more) for their ride home. Their excited chatter is loud enough that it reaches him down the road, where he's lingering by the tree - though he can't pick out the individual words. It doesn't really matter, what they're saying.
He'd missed coming out last year; something had come up - and the year before that Masayoshi had been ill and the day passed unnoticed. It left a funny feeling in his chest that he could forget, now - that he could allow this day to just be another day and pass him by.
He felt guilty.
Masayoshi's arm brushed his, and he linked their arms automatically. "You all right?" Masayoshi asked - he'd stayed back as he'd promised but Gotou had stopped, hadn't approached the bus stop like he usually would.
The girls were taking another picture together, and there was a brief burst of light as the camera's flash triggered in the twilight.
/Squinting up at a tiny cell phone camera as she poked her finger into his cheek, trying to prod the expression out of him; "smile for me, Gocchin!"
"I am smiling!"
"Are you sure? I think you just have gas."/
Gotou looked over to Masayoshi, who was watching him quietly with a concerned expression on his face and he realized, suddenly, that this was the last time he would come here. He glanced back to the bus stop and smiled finally.
"Yeah," Gotou said, and patted Masayoshi's hand on his arm. "Yeah, I am. Let's go home."(less)