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.
The next day.
It seemed my sudden changes created a chasm or rather a wall between my classmates and me. Well, no one was particularly close to me, to begin with. However, this was a chance in itself. Now that there’s no one who’d want to talk to me, I’ll just observe and look for people I want to be friends with.
I don’t wanna isolate myself from everyone. Of course, I want to have friends. I long for that picture-perfect youth where I’m surrounded by them. But how can I befriend someone? Is it something I should actively search for?
Looking back, I was always so preoccupied with trying to satisfy the other person that I never really had friends I truly related to. After the summer vacation of my sophomore year in high school, the relationships within my classroom were already established and basically complete. It just wasn’t possible for a stranger to suddenly join in.
Given that, it was extremely difficult to make friends at this point in time, but not all’s lost. First, I should take my time and foment a plan and strategy. Dreaming of my desired high school life, I open the classroom door.
“Good morning, Yuu.”
The eyes of that cheating and deceiving girl were slightly swollen, maybe from crying last night. Sitting down on my seat, she raised her hand slightly to show her presence. What’s up with that awkward greeting?
I cut her off yesterday. I’m sure that wasn’t a dream or an illusion. If it was, then wouldn’t all my improvement over summer vacation also be a figment of my own psyche? Actually, why are you in my seat in the first place? Could it be you use a different language than me altogether? I was careless. I should’ve used English, considered the lingua franca of the world, instead of being complacent and using Japanese.
Unfortunately, my English was hot garbage. I remember one time a foreigner asked me for directions. I was so bad back then that he could barely hear me, and I ended up having to take him to a police station for help… It’s unfortunate, but the only way I can communicate is via Japanese. I regret that English wasn’t on my schedule for improving over the vacation.
“That’s my seat. Scram.”
“Yuu, I see you’re finally open about your feelings, but yesterday’s joke was harsh. I was upset to hear you didn’t think of me as a friend, even if that was banter on your part. Besides, call me Yumi like you used—”
“It wasn’t a joke.”
Is the person reflecting in your eyes the same he’s ever been? Am I not different? I don’t understand what you’re saying at all. I talk about my feelings for once and you treat them as a joke?
“Hey, Yuu? Stop pretending to be mad at me. I’m sorry if I did something, but it’s about yo—”
“You’re sorry…? What good is apologizing now? My heart is already in shambles because of you people always denying my every feeling. Even if you uncrumple a piece of paper, trying to put it back together, the wrinkles will never fade. Never.”
Her gaze indicated she was trying to make amends, but all her words missed the point. Unlike the other two I cut off, Asakawa cheated and abandoned me. Even if she apologizes, my broken heart can’t be mended back together. Her expression freezes over as she hears my words. It seems they’ve finally come across.
“T–that’s… My efforts… For what I’ve…”
Just like yesterday, Asakawa darted out of the classroom, a trail of bitter tears following behind her. However, unlike last time, her mouth was closed tight and her expression was desperate. It looked as if she didn’t want to admit something, as if she was in vehement denial about the whole situation. In the end, she didn’t come back even after classes started. Apparently, she went home early.
The atmosphere around me was gloomy, but the only thing that remained in my heart was a sense of accomplishment. I’ve finally conveyed my thoughts and phrased them in a clear way. I spent the rest of the day feeling refreshed.
As soon as I got home, I decided to resume my muscle training.
It had already become part of my daily routine. I’m now able to do it more often and consistently than when I first started. It’s only been a month since then, so while there are no visible changes in me, I still feel my body lighter and healthier than before. My mind is also more tranquil than usual. What I learned from all of that is building a habit is the most important and difficult thing to accomplish.
Next, I decided to open my newly created social media account to gather info on the current and future trends in fashion. Specifically into fall/winter clothing. To be honest, I used to think I could just grab something and go, and in some ways, I still think the same, but now I see the coolness in a lot of outfits. What keeps me motivated to dress well is that I want to fit the clothes I like. I want to be a dripped man.
I once saw an image of a nice-looking person wearing cheap clothes, and a person with a less-endowed face wearing super expensive clothing side by side. They both also changed their outfits with each other. The result is that both suit the nice-looking person, and even cheap clothing could look good if worn properly, with the right vibe and all.
In other words, if you want to wear the outfits you like, you should develop the vibe to match them… It’s a difficult world we live in, huh.
After I finished dinner, I trimmed my eyebrows and took a bath. I could’ve done so the next morning, but for some reason, I felt like doing it right now. I was skeptical when I saw an article on the internet that said, “Eyebrows can make a big difference in people’s impression,” but in fact, they were right. Well-groomed brows gave off a dignified vibe.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the hairdresser that got it all right on the first try. She was a bit rude, though. After I finished sprucing my brows, I also trimmed my fingernails and finally got into the bath, and after washing myself, time for relaxation had finally arrived. I was secretly looking forward to watching all the anime I’ve recorded.
On the screen, I saw the protagonist and the heroine fighting. He was at fault, but the heroine did something horrible in response. In the end, however, both acknowledged each other’s faults, apologized and went back to how they were… I didn’t hate the way things unfolded, but I just had to hit the stop button.
I used to love romcoms, but they lost much of their appeal recently. My yearning for romance must’ve disappeared after all that’s happened.
Just like the protagonist on the screen, I was able to obey and convey my thoughts without reserve. For some reason, however, he still dazzled me.
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