Kaede Mitobe POV
I, Kaede Mitobe, have never been able to talk well with people.
I become so nervous that I would stammer and stutter every sentence, unable to say even half of what I wanted to say.
It was obvious that I would be isolated in class. Of course, when I was younger, I had friends. But as I grew older, my friends woke up to fashion and left me.
Luckily, I found books. Books calmed down my spirit. It gave me the strength to be alone.
Today, the class was noisy again.
The class’s popular group gathered around Kyoko Inomata, a famous beautiful girl.
I thought it was none of my business to be apart of them.
“Oh, Mitobe, we’re all going to karaoke today, do you want to go too?” (Kyoko)
“Eh, uh” (Mitobe)
Suddenly, the top of the class caste spoke to me, and I was shocked.
Even if I look around, it’s clear that I’m the one she’s talking to.
Popular and karaoke…..
I’m definitely going to regret saying it. I tried to find the courage to say no, and I tried to speak up.
“Wow, I—” (Mitobe)
“Yes, it’s decided! Then, I’ll be waiting at the karaoke Basara in front of the station after school! I’m looking forward to it!” (Kyoko)
I understood the situation I was in.
The reason for inviting such a fat and ugly girl like me is to tease me.
That’s all I can think of why she would invite me. It’s just that…… I’ve been alone for so long. If I don’t…… go, it would probably get even worse.
But today, my mind was a little bit more upbeat.
That’s because…… someone sent me some fan art for a web novel I’ve been posting.
I was going to reply to it, but I was worried that if I did so right away, the person would think I was weird and didn’t do nothing else with my life.
I wrote a long thank you note, but I didn’t want the person to think I was weird, so I deleted it.
……Yeah, I’ll write it again when I get home.
I was waiting alone in front of the Karaoke Basara.
I hated my reflection in the glass. I was wearing a tacky school uniform, round glasses and an old-fashioned haircut. I have a communication disorder, so I can’t even speak properly.
But novels are different. The characters I created would tell the story for me.
I look at the fan art on the wallpaper of my phone.
There was the boy who was my ideal protagonist.
“–I’ve read so much of the original work that I can see the character coming out from the inside. You’re an amazing writer.” (This is what Hayato probably said to Mitobe)
It’s just one picture, but it’s not amateur level. I was shocked. It was better than any other illustrator I’ve ever seen.
“Whoa, who’s there? ……Mito-be? Kaede?” (Classmate)
“What? I’m the one who called you. There’s a lot of people, so we’ll have two rooms.” (Kyoko)
“Oh, yeah. Let’s just play.” (Classmate)
“Haha, I’ll lose if we play. Let’s have fun singing.” (Classmate)
“Oh, yeah, sure.” (Classmate)
My classmates have arrived
I didn’t think they would actually come. I thought for sure I would have to wait for about three hours and then trudge home.
–There were about a dozen of them in total.
No one would make eye contact with me
Kyoko, who invited me to the party, is um, sitting next to Kagurazaka.
Kagurazaka is a bit strange.
He has a handsome face, but sometimes he says things that are out of the ordinary.
The kids in the class are amused by watching him, but…… it’s not very pleasant to watch.
But I can’t do anything about it……. I think about this as I fall into self-loathing.
I’ve never seen Kagurazaka smile properly, by the way.
He always just twists his mouth into a smile.
When I see that, I feel terribly disturbed. I’m really curious as to why he smiles like that.
“Come on, Mitobe, hurry up! Come in this room!” (Classmate???)
“Ha, ha…….” (Mitobe)
I headed for the karaoke room, my heart pounding in my chest.
–I can’t wait to go home.
I hadn’t felt this way since the incident in junior high school.
In junior high school, I was still plain, fat and ugly.
My childhood friend, Takeru, who is full of life, was always bothering me, and because of this, I was harassed by the girly girls in my class.
Takeru, who is insensitive and misunderstood, doesn’t care about that.
He tries to take care of me.
To top it off, he even asked me to go to school with him.
Then the worst thing happened.
For some reason, Takeru was reading the plot notes I had written. I had put it away inside of my desk!
The girls were smiling and laughing at me.
“Hmm, the main character is a bit creepy. Is this just a novel with the author’s desires written on it? Whose novel is this? Huh, Konno?” (Takeru)
Before I could get to Takeru, the girl Konno-san snatched the notebook away from him.
“I’m really paranoid. It’s super creepy! I want to see the author writing it! Hahaha, well, my pen name is Hamuske……, and my name is Dassa–, hmm, gosh, um, “The poor girl who was betrothed—” (Konno)
Konno began to read the plot out loud.
Something in my heart felt like it was going to break.
So I sat in my seat, covered my ears, and waited for the time to pass…….
I don’t know how much time passed, but when I take my hands off my ears, I can still hear Konno’s voice.
Before I knew it, a day had passed.
The plot notes were on my notebook.
I wanted to throw the notebook away……., but I can’t do that.
Because this is my treasure. This notebook is everything to me.
So I will never pay attention to those around me, I will keep writing.
From that day on, I really didn’t talk to anyone anymore.
If I had time to cry, I would write.
I became a real loner.
–It’s a hell of a time, just like that time…….
The situation is different, but everyone is talking happily, making noise and singing.
I’m just sitting in the corner of the room with my tambourine, banging away.
My other classmates are already singing the third round of the song.
My sense of alienation was at its peak.
It was as if I was the only one who couldn’t see them or communicate with them.
“Oh, I’m going to the restroom………….” (Mitobe)
Just as the song ended, I moved.
There was a moment of silence when no one spoke. It was very awkward.
As I left the room, I heard a voice laughing very loudly.
Why am I doing karaoke today?
Feeling sad, I walked out of the karaoke room to get some fresh air.
I didn’t expect to find anybody else there.
I had never been harassed in such a vicious way before.
I’m glad that I was able to get along with Kagurazaka-kun….. the divine artist…… thanks to that, but…….
It was a very complicated feeling.
Kagurazaka-kun had an amazing knowledge of manga. He was also a person who read every detail of the novel.
I couldn’t help but feel happy and spoke quickly. You may have thought I was creepy……
But I had so much fun that I forgot about that little thing.
But I had so much fun that I forgot about that little thing.
“huh onee-chan looks happy? I mean, onee-chan is super cute when she smiles, but she’s always so sullen.”
“Shut up! I’m fat anyways!” (Mitobe)
“Yes, yes, seriously, don’t lose weight. If you lose any weight, you’ll be too popular.” (Sister)
“Ugh, you idiot” (Mitobe)
“So, you met a artist, huh? I’m so jealous. Oh, your face is red.” (Sister)
I was blessed with a family, and the time I spent talking with my sister was a source of healing for me.
My father and mother are also very caring and loving.
I was blessed with a family of my own……. But if I ate a little less rice, I would still be able to lose a bit of weight and still eat……
For the first time in a while I was glad I to know the people around me.
At this time, I didn’t expect such an incident to happen the next day.
“What were you talking about yesterday with Hayato. What were you both talking about Mitobe? (Kyoko)
“Oh, yeah, uh, um…….” (Mitobe)
I was to scared and couldn’t make a voice. I was almost crushed by the intimidation of the popular.
Kyoko-san seems to have seen me talking happily while walking with Kagurazaka.
……Maybe she was sneaking around in the shadows to see our reaction to being left behind?
….I have a very bad feeling.
I wonder why she did this….
Kagurazaka-kun’s childhood friend, Kyoko-san, likes Kagurazaka-kun no matter how you look at it. But I don’t know why, but she seems to look down on him.
Even I, who is dull in love, can see it at a glance.
“It has nothing to do with you—” (Mitobe)
“What do you mean, it has nothing to do with me? Who the hell are you? You’re a creepy woman.” (Kyoko)
“Hey, you’re being a little harsh, aren’t you? Kyoko, calm down a little…” (???)
The chairperson, Misuzu Misudare, tries to calm down Kyoko-San
But that got her even more heated…..
“SHUT UP OUTSIDER! This is a conversation between this creepy woman and me. I’m sure you also want to question her.” (Kyoko)
“……Well, I don’t really want too……” (Misuzu)
I’m not sure if this is happening because of romance or drama… I’m not a fan of this kind of thing.
“I’m not sure if you’re listening to me or not. I’m talking to you, am I not? Huh what’s that note there?” (Kyoko)
After yesterday, I was in a state of high spirits and had left my notebook on my desk. I had a new plot idea, so I thought I’d write it down right away.
My face turns pale—
I impatiently tried to put the notebook away in my bag, but…
Kyoko grabbed my hand and said, “Hmm, that’s important, isn’t it?”
With a disgusting smile on her face, Kyoko took my notebook away from me.
“What’s this……, pfft, is this your imagination writing? Hey, isn’t this delusional? Hey, look at this…” (Kyoko)
She handed the notebook to her friend.
It was no longer at a level where I could do anything about it.
Kyoko took one look at me and went back to her seat.
“Seriously, what is this? Everyone come have a look” (Kyoko)
“Hmmm, a romance novel? A sober girl?” (Classmate)
“Wow, that’s gotta hurt.” (Classmate)
–Don’t worry, when the storm passes it will all be over… when the storm passes…
I plopped down on my desk covering my ears, just like I did in middle school.
My heart was supposed to be strong……, and I was supposed to be okay…….
I tried to control my sobs, but I couldn’t stop them. I was so frustrated and disappointed that I couldn’t stop crying–
So I was surprised to hear Kagurazaka-kun’s true voice, this is not the usual him–
“Stop messing around with her” (Hayato)
No, please stop Kagurazaka-kun, you’ll get harassed too–
I looked up, and what I saw was…
Kagurazaka-kun with a fearless face and a serious expression.
what’s this?…… That look is completely different than usual…….
Every time Kagurazaka utters a voice, something echoes in my heart.
I thought I was not good with men because of what happened to Kakeru-kun…
(Flashback from Mitobe)
Kakeru-kun was not my friend. He made fun of my novel.
Even when we talked at the graduation ceremony.
“You’re still writing novels? Since we’re in high school together, let’s do some club activities for a fresh start!” (Kakeru)
“I’m going to a different high school” (Mitobe)
“What? No, you don’t, I looked it up.” (Kakeru)
“And I don’t want to be associated with anyone who says tells me that my novels are bad!” (Mitobe)
“Because you can’t write a novel and become a professional…” (Kakeru)
“-Because I WILL become a professional. The book will be released and then don’t show your face to me ever again—!” (Mitobe)
“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! We’re childhood friends, right? And if my friend is a writer, I can brag about it… Oh, come on…” (Kakeru)
(Snap back to reality)
–This is a story from the past that I’ve already erased from my memory.
I’m sure you’re not the only one…
Kagurazaka-kun was staring at me.
I had never seen such an expression on him like this before. He looked like he was crying. Why…? Are you sad…?
I happen to be writing a novel, and Kagurazaka-kun happens to be drawing pictures for it.
I’m not getting my hopes up. I’m not expecting anything……..
It was supposed to be……….
“I need you. Please be my first friend.” (Hayato)
The words sank into my chest.
The words were so strong that I couldn’t even breathe, and I couldn’t stop myself from choking up.
It was the same line from a scene in a novel that only we could understand.
But it was different from the novel. Those words were not borrowed. They were unmistakably Kagurazaka-kun’s words, filled with his emotions.
–I wanted to have a friend too…….
I nodded my head over and over as I cried.
TL/ED- Well I will not lie that last part was beautiful I was listening to “memory of the lost” ost while translating this part and it was beautiful goes to show how music can make things so much better than it already is but if there are any errors or questions please comment them down below and I hope you enjoyed chapter 2 of the series