15 February 2012
Because You Were There For Me: Matsui Rena
This week is a special double release of the Shukan Asahi interview translations. For this special week, we have SKE48's W Matsui pair!
In this interview, Matsui Rena talks about her friends from high school, how they still thought of her even though she wasn't really friendly with them. Just like during her school days, she has also become more cheerful and not as shy as before.
The Friendship That Was Engraved In A Trivial Photo
Translated by emptystring
My days are very productive - everything about my job is stimulating and definitely worth doing. But occasionally I wonder if I am losing sight of myself? I do feel that way sometimes. On nights like those, I get back on track by looking at one particular photo.
My high school life was the only thing I had outside of SKE during those years. I go to school in the morning, then go to SKE dance lessons in the afternoon, followed by performance. I went to a business high school so the lessons were very specialized/professional, and it was hard to catch up if you missed even just one class. Because of this, I always borrowed notes from people around me and did nothing but copy them. It felt like my day was over in the blink of an eye.
As a result, I didn't have any friends. I am also extremely shy. Because I transferred during elementary school, I was scared to talk to people. I would always think, "Am I talking too much" or "Maybe this person really didn't want to talk to me."
If someone asked me about appearing on TV, I was not able to respond because I felt embarrassed. I felt like I didn't fit in.
The fall of 2nd year in high school is "Field Trip" season. I wanted to go on the trip, but in the end I couldn't go due to work commitments.
The day after everyone left for Okinawa, I was getting extra lessons by myself. This is my chance to catch up with school. Then my hand stopped writing. I was wondering if everyone is having a good time there. If I went, though, maybe no one will let me hang out with them, so maybe staying in school was better after all. In this deserted classroom, the 10-minute break felt like eternity.
I went to school on the 4th day after they returned from Okinawa - I was able to go to school in the morning for the first time in a while. A couple of students gave me bags and said, "Rena, we got souvenirs for you! Everyone pitched in to get you something because you couldn't come. We hope you like these!"
In those bags were famous snacks from Okinawa, like sweet biscuits or yam tarts, and accessories like cellphone straps. I couldn't believe everyone combined their pocket money and bought me something. Does this mean they were thinking about me when they were in Okinawa? Maybe I am in their hearts after all!
Surprised but happy, combined with the loneliness that I have felt in the past, I didn't know how to react and ran to the restroom. I locked myself in a stall, covered my mouth with my sleeve and silently wept. "Thank you, everyone..."
From then on, in addition to copying notes during breaks, I was able to contribute to conversations around me. I wish it had been this way since the very beginning.
It's been one year since I graduated. You almost couldn't find me in the graduation album, but that's ok! Because there is that one photo...
It was just a mundane photo taken during the break. You could see me in a corner of the classroom, being tutored by my friends. My classmates found this picture of me because they desperately wanted me in the graduation album.
The "graduation photo" that was chosen by everyone - every time I look at this photo, it lightens my mood.