Facing Each Other
Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
-sensei: A suffix and noun that literally means teacher.
I was called by Shuri and went to the rooftop after school. She hadn’t arrived yet. With a nervous look on my face, I thought back to what happened yesterday.
I’m sure I’ll get slapped again… Considering how he felt, I knew he didn’t want to see me. Regardless, I still wanted to talk to him. I wanted to apologize for all I’ve done.
But… I thought back to the words he said yesterday. “I don’t see the point in such an empty apology,” and as soon as I heard them, unease washed over me. Wouldn’t my words be empty in their eyes? Will they mean anything to him? Will they… reach him?
My feelings of atonement are genuine, but if they don’t get through, they are ultimately meaningless. Still, I have to voice them in order to convey what needs to be conveyed.
While pondering on what to say to him and the words I’d use, I heard a clank on the quiet rooftop. Shuri had just opened the door and walked out.
“…Yeah,” My voice was quaky, anxious.
“You don’t need to be so nervous… I’m not gonna do anything to you.”
“Well then… Sorry again. I stepped over the line yesterday.”
“Uh, no, um… I’m the one who should be apologizing. I didn’t even consider your feelings, Shuri-san,” I replied with a slurred voice. Her apology came out of left field for me.
“…But I’ll never forgive you for what you did to Tatsumi.”
I look downcast at her words.
“Isn’t it natural of me? You trampled on his goodwill, backstabbed his trust…”
“…Yes,” I had no other reply.
However, Shuri continued. “But… Tatsumi told me not to hate you.”
“Don’t get me wrong. It’s not about you. It’s just that he doesn’t want me to live like that, filled with hatred.”
…It’s about her, not me. I remember the look on his face on that fateful day. I’m sure he hates me. No, he despises me.
“And… If you’re gonna apologize, listen to me.”
To my depressed state, Shuri turned her face away and said those words.
“… Tatsumi told me something yesterday.”
With that said, Shuri began talking about what happened last night and how he was ultimately feeling.
“Takkun… Such a thing…” I was surprised. I had no idea his thoughts on the whole situation were like that.
“I cannot forgive you, but I want to respect Tatsumi’s feelings,” Shuri continued.
“That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apologize, don’t get me wrong.”
“Yeah,” I know that without being told, so my reply was clear.
“Well… You can wait until you sort out your feelings. Remember what he said yesterday?”
“‘I don’t see the point in such an empty apology’, right?” The same phrase I thought about before Shuri arrived.
“Exactly. Don’t apologize for the sake of it. Do it in a way he’ll understand it’s coming from the heart, even if it takes a long time.”
“Still have doubts?”
“Honestly… I still don’t know the right words to say However, my desire to make amends is genuine.”
“Well, that’s fine then… Me too…” She muttered that last part.
“It’s nothing… I’ll stay out of your way next time, so apologize properly.”
“Okay… Um, thank you,” I bowed my head.
After hearing my response, she turned around and walked back into the school building. As soon as she said what she had to, not once did she call back to me. I was the only one left on the rooftop.
My face, tinted red by the dying sunlight, wore an expression of uncertainty. If you looked closer, however, you could see tinges of anxiety and resolution, all mixed into one.
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