I was spending the day in a depressed mood.
After the one incident with Mifuyu, I had lost the ability to trust anyone.
Mifuyu had tried to talk to me several times, but I had pretended not to notice everything.
There was nothing to talk to Mifuyu about now.
Today is another uneventful day, just waking up and going to bed.
I sigh deeply as I get ready to go home and was about to leave the classroom.
The school was already red in the evening sun, and no one was there but me.
I suddenly heard a voice from behind me.
Who is it?
I turned around.
There stood a girl wearing glasses and a waist-length braid.
Who was she?
I let my thoughts wander.
Thinking of the names of my classmates one by one.
Then one answer emerged from my brain.
As I recall, that is her name.
Seo is always alone.
I had never seen her talking happily with anyone.
When I was trying to get along with everyone, I tried to talk to Seo as well, but I couldn’t get along with her.
What does Seo want with me?
“What is it?”
Seo looked straight into my eyes.
It made me feel a little uncomfortable.
“Have you finally taken off your mask?”
I couldn’t speak.
My heart beat faster.
“W-What are you talking about?”
“Ara, you’re playing dumb?”
For some reason, I felt as if the girl in front of me could see right through me.
I knew I couldn’t lie to her, so I told her the truth.
“T-that’s right. Maybe this is the real me.”
“Of course it is.”
“How did you know I was pretending to be something I’m not?”
I asked genuinely.
“Because you used to be so distorted and weird.”
“What do you mean?”
“I used to pretend to be something I’m not until I was in middle school, trying to have a good relationship with people around me.”
Just like me.
“I didn’t want people to hate me.”
Yeah, I totally get that.
“But if I did that, I became a convenient person.”
Same with me.
“One day, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I told them what I really thought. Why are you relying on me? I’m sick of it.”
I was also scattered by Himari and Mifuyu.
“Naturally, everyone left me when I told them how I really felt.”
This is the same situation I’m in right now.
“Then I thought to myself, “I’m done with this.” I couldn’t stand to be around people anymore.”
It’s the same situation I’m in now.
“I get the same feeling from you right now as I do. I think you can relate to what I just said, no?”
“….Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.”
I really do.
“Here’s where you and I differ. Dear, if you keep this up, you’re really going to end up irrevocably lost, you know that?”
I somehow knew what I was getting myself into without anyone telling me.
“Ara, you seem to know your situation pretty well, huh? Yes, as you can imagine, if things continue as they are, your heart will completely break, and worst of all, you may end up taking your own life.”
All I could do was listen in silence.
I think it’s time to let ease your heart.”
Maybe I’ve already gone over the edge.
“What was I supposed to do….”
I muttered, a little desperate.
“I don’t think what you did was wrong.”
I asked back.
“The worst thing that happened in the first place was those people who trampled on people’s feelings.”
I felt a warmth running down my cheeks.
“It must have been hard for you. You have been in a lot of pain. Let is all out of your mind. Even if everyone blames you, I’m on your side.”
“Fu, ugh, uuuuuuuuuuugh…”
I couldn’t take it anymore.
I fell to my knees.
I cried aloud, even though I was still in high school.
It was not only because of the pain and suffering I had been through, but more than that, it was because I felt as if the girl in front of me had acknowledged my existence.
“I hope you’ve calmed down a little.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry, I’m a little distracted.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
I felt a little embarrassed and asked her what I was wondering.
“Hey, why did you ask me?”
Seo was silent for a moment and then opened her mouth.
“…Nothing, it’s just that it reminded me of the old me”
I guess that’s really all there is to it.
Even so, I was saved by Seo.
It saved me enough to realize that my heart had become lighter.
“…I didn’t do anything you should be thanking me for.”
“Nevertheless, I want to thank you.”
Seo turned away.
“So, dear, what are you going to do now?”
Seo asked me that question.
“What am I going to do?”
“I mean your personality.”
Thinking for a moment.
“… I think I’m going to keep it the way it is.”
“You’re not going to ask me why?”
“I just don’t have to.”
“Of course you don’t.”
In fact, I’m really okay with the way things are.
I’m not going to put on a mask again, I’m just going to be used again.
On the other hand, I also feel a little sad.
Up until now, I enjoyed being with people even if it was only on the surface.
I feel a little sad to lose that completely.
“Well then, I’m leaving.”
Seo lifts her bag and tries to leave the classroom.
I stopped her for some reason.
“What is it?”
Seo asks me, tilting her head.
“Uhm, will you be my friend?”
I said something I hadn’t expected to say.
No, that is not the right word.
In fact, it would be more correct to say that I had unknowingly spoken out my true feelings.
“Ara, you don’t have many friends, I see.”
Seo smiled a little.
“I don’t want to be told by you.”
I naturally laughed too.
“Well, all right, take care of me then from now on”
“Yeah, same here.”
For the first time since I entered high school, I really wanted to be friends with someone.
And I was really happy to be friends.
I had already made up my mind not to trust anyone.
But with Seo, I thought I might be able to trust her.