“……… Yes! Okay!”
Kaede leaves the scene immediately after the shooting was over.
Afterwards, she did not thank her co-stars, but only greeted the director and staff, packed her bags, and left the dressing room.
As an actress, she has appeared in many movies and TV dramas. She has a good appearance, of course, but above all, her acting ability is outstanding.
Thanks to that, she is now a popular actress.
At that time, Ryosuke was 21 years old and a junior in college.
In other words, Kaede has achieved success in this field at a young age of 22.
Moreover, she has built a strong position without using dirty means or selling her body, but only with her good looks that are popular on TV and her ability as a professional actress.
Kaede’s beauty has been further polished, and she radiates an aura so unfathomable that it captivates everyone around her.
(Ryosuke …… will he watch the movie this time?)
It is all due to her love for Ryosuke. She has no other intentions, and is not interested in money or honor. If she can get Ryosuke to watch her, she can quit immediately. ……For Kaede, being an actress is just such an occupation.
As long as you have acting ability, you can be anyone you want to be, even if you lack intelligence. Because Kaede thinks so, she looks down on her peers and does not greet them well.
Rather, the program staff who graduated from a good university and have acquired the editing skills and intelligence to start up a proposal are more highly regarded by Kaede.
“Kaede-san, …… let’s have dinner together after this…”
“I’m sorry, but I have something to do.”
The program staff is very well received by Kaede. Some people look at Kaede uncomfortably, but she doesn’t care. As long as she shows consideration for the staff and big-name talent, Kaede knows that even if she has a bad personality, she won’t be hung out to dry in the industry.
And Kaede had that much ability.
“Sayaka, you should stop now. …… Kaede is famous for being cold, you know?”
“Yes, yes, she’s looking down on us, right?”
Two women call out to a girl who has been ignored by a comforting friend since Kaede herself is gone.
The 19-year-old Sayaka Saito, who invited Kaede to dinner, does not have a good impression of them. This is because it was totally obvious that their intention was to humiliate Kaede together, with comforting being a pretext.
(Eh, I invited her by myself and yet……)
Still, Sayaka can only nod along with the story. She can’t do anything courageous like point out. She cannot say back that she is wrong.
That is why, unlike herself, she admires Kaede, who has strong convictions.
After that, Sayaka tried to talk to her whenever she saw her, and somehow made an effort to get to know her.
Fortunately, they are in the same office, and they also co-star in a movie together, so now they can see each other frequently both in the office and on the set.
However, there is a difference in the roles they are given, with Kaede in the lead role and herself in a supporting role. ……
“Kaede! How was my performance last night?”
“……… I don’t know.”
The next day, Sayaka again calls out to her.
“I bought a Guzzo bag yesterday, ehehehe~♬”
“Eh? You don’t know about …… Guzzo?”
“……No, I got a few of those.”
It was the first time they had a genuine conversation.
But it turned out to be an insane exchange.
In fact, Kaede owned several of the same items, but she didn’t know much about brand name products.
Of course, she knew the names, but even if she owned them, she didn’t know they were brand-name items.
It is hard to believe that she is one of the most famous actresses of the moment.
All of the outfits that Kaede wears are assigned by her manager, and even her personal clothes are left to others.
The age difference between her and Kaede is three years.
Kaede and Ryosuke are about the same age, so they should have no trouble finding something to talk about, but Kaede has no interests other than Ryosuke. To be more precise, that’s all she has left. Kaede’s life is empty.
Whenever she is at home, she only thinks about Ryosuke.
Even though those feelings will never reach him, …… they are so great that these days she suffers from the inability to sleep at night without resorting to medication.
In the past, she used to dream of dressing up in brand-name clothes. But now she cannot show any interest in it.
Now she lives only for the approval of Ryosuke, as she wants him to look at her. That is the situation Kaede is in now.
Kaede is living a meaningless life for herself, because the heart of the matter, Ryosuke, does not recognize her.
—Kaede and Ryosuke parted ways four years ago.
Since that day, Ryosuke’s stopped time has continued to move forward, but Kaede, on the other hand, has been unable to move forward even a single step.
Saito Sayaka, who runs up to Kaede as before without disdain in spite of all this.
If Kaede had told the office, she would have been subdued, but it was obvious what would happen to her if she did so.
She has just joined the company and is not well known, so she is causing trouble for Kaede Yamamoto. ……The office, which wants to promote Kaede, will think she is an obstacle, and Sayaka’s impression of her will be bad.
(It doesn’t matter, she can just disappear on her own.)
Kaede looks at Sayaka who is smiling at her.
The way she happily talked to Kaede inevitably overlapped with the old Ryosuke. Nagisa was rather attached to Ryosuke, so Ryosuke was the only one who treated her this way.
So even though it is possible to be nasty to her when she rubs up against her, it is not possible to push her away. The smile of Ryosuke, which is forever burned in her mind, gets in her way.
—-Today, she returns home after another day of filming.
No one other than her mother Rinka, stepsister Nagisa, and Ruiko, who frequently visit the house to check on her.
Other than these three, everyone else is just a business acquaintance, such as her manager.
[I can’t believe you did that to Ryosuke!! You are no longer my daughter!]
─ ─ Her father Kazuhiko has given up on her after the incident at the hospital. He has told her not to come home anymore.
Because he had trusted her, her father’s words hit her deep in the heart.
“I wonder if ……Ryosuke felt the same way.”
By being abandoned by her father, Kaede was finally able to taste a part of Ryosuke’s suffering …….
Kaede is aware that this is only part of the story. The suffering she has inflicted on Ryosuke is nothing like this. She has relentlessly hunted him down, and even chased him when he tried to escape, and even tried to destroy him…
“…!! —Haa haa….!”
She can’t breathe when she thinks about it. She got up from her bed and drank some water. The quiet room was filled with the loud thumping of my heartbeat, which was pulsing violently.
The office bought her a large apartment, but she doesn’t use it except for the living room, bedroom, bathroom, and toilet.
There is a brand new TV set up in the center of the living room, but it is literally a ‘new’ TV for her, and only her family members who come to visit her and Ruiko will ever turn it on.
She doesn’t feel like doing anything anymore.
Just work, sleep, get cleaned up, and head to work. It’s like that day after day.
Even though she appeared to be shining brightly to those around her, it was all just fake glory, and the person in question was stagnant to no end.
The next day, Sayaka was involved with her as usual. Taking advantage of the fact that she doesn’t tell the office, she goes to any lengths to talk to her.
She thought it was depressing.
But the old Ryosuke still lingers in her mind.
Even though they are of different genders, the mere fact that she resembles Ryosuke is the ultimate weakness for Kaede.
However, such behavior of Sayaka was seen by those around her as a nasty woman who was flirting with “Kaede Yamamoto”.
The attitude of the people around her was gradually changing, but Sayaka didn’t notice it because she was too insensitive to understand Kaede’s feelings.
Finally, an incident occurs.
“I-I don’t know ……!”
Kaede came to the crime scene while Sayaka was screaming.
Kaede has the impression that Sayaka is a noisy person. However, it’s not so much that she’s screaming, but that she’s clearly acting strangely.
Kaede, sitting at a distance, unconsciously listens to her words.
“No, but I was always alone.”
“Then how can my wallet come out of Saito’s bag?”
The two who are accusing Sayaka are the same two people who had previously bad-mouthed Kaede to Sayaka.
Of course, the theft of her purse was a false accusation, and the two had set up a trap to trick Sayaka.
Kaede had been very close to Sayaka after the incident, and the duo had taken this measure out of resentment toward her.
“Saito-san …… is in trouble~”
Among them was even the president of the company.
The two of them were blaming Sayaka for the incident.
“P-President,……, let’s talk—“
“Non non, I’m sorry, but I don’t want any troublemakers.”
“I-it can’t be…… her wallet, someone must have put it in there……!”
“Do you have …… proof? Who can prove it?”
This president has no intention of making a case.
He has a serious mindset and acts on which story is more beneficial to believe.
Sayaka Saito, in her first year of acting in front of the camera for the first time, or the two who have been with the company for years, although neither of them has had any notable success.
It goes without saying which side would be more beneficial. And Sayaka had no connections, so it was impossible for her to reverse the situation.
“I-I didn’t steal it!”
Sayaka denies it while crying.
There are only five of them including Kaede now, but the others will arrive in a few minutes.
If that happens, it will be the end.
But that’s the way the world is made. Those who can’t read the air should be eliminated, and Sayaka is no exception.
There is no possibility of reversing this situation.
The world revolves around this kind of absurdity.
Kaede listened to the conversation for a while.
The four people talking, including the president, are unaware of Kaede’s arrival.
(It’s definitely a false accusation.)
And as far as Kaede knows, Sayaka doesn’t have the guts or the character to do such a bad thing.
So Kaede knew that she was innocent.
(But that doesn’t mean I have the right to help her.)
Kaede ignores them and looks over the script.
Unlike the other girls, who have the benefit of being in the same office as Kaede and can appear in the movie, Kaede has a lot of lines to memorize.
(This makes it quieter.)
But it’s good that Sayaka is gone. The eyesore loitering around will disappear. …… If it hadn’t happened today, she would have come running to her first thing.
That president would definitely have her quit as a disgruntled member of the board, and with a resignation like this, she would never come back to this road again in a weak moment.
─ ─ Kaede kept quiet and continued reading the script.
“I really didn’t do it!!”
[I really didn’t do it!!]
Kaede looked up and saw Sayaka.
She was shouting that she did not do it, but her face had lost its freshness, and she had already given up and was lying on her face. It’s a sad look on her face as she realizes that no matter what she says, no one will believe her anymore.
That face was familiar.
How could she forget?
She didn’t believe that he was falsely accused and threw out words of excuse when he came back from running away from home ……, the very expression on Ryosuke’s face that he showed at that time.
However, unlike Ryosuke, Sayaka is an obstacle. So there is no need to fret if she is falsely accused and fired.
Her body moved on its own.
Kaede slowly approaches the side of the four.
She then approached the president first.
“Hmm, ………! Kaede! I’m sorry! I’ll finish it right away! Saito-san, if you finish the filming of this movie, your contract will be terminated!”
Whether she had given up with Kaede’s arrival, or whether she didn’t want to expose her to Kaede, …… Sayaka turned her head down and tried to leave the scene.
“……… eh? K-Kaede?”
Sayaka looks up with a surprised face.
Kaede looks straight at the president.
“She …… Saito-san had dinner with me yesterday. She didn’t have time to steal her wallet.”
“…… Eeh!? No, is that so?! Saito-san already! No, Sayaka-chan, hurry up and tell me about it!”
“Eh….., ah, yes.”
The priorities in the president’s mind change at once.
The reason he says ‘hurry up and tell me about it’ is about the fact that she and Kaede are close enough to have dinner together.
The company he runs is 99% made possible thanks to Kaede. It is no exaggeration to say that Kaede is everything. It is a tiny office that could easily disappear if Kaede quits.
The president was always afraid that Kaede might quit one day.
But then Sayaka appears. The president thought that if she cared about her, he could keep Kaede connected.
Although it is a small company with a few dozen employees, Sayaka has become the second most important person in the company after Kaede.
The way he calls her by her first name has changed from “Saito-san” to “Sayaka-chan,” which is a friendly way of referring to her.
“Hey! Even if you go out to eat, there are plenty of opportunities to steal that—”
Unable to bear the president’s change, the woman who lied about her purse being stolen raises her voice in protest.
“Do you have proof?”
There’s no such thing… because it’s a false accusation. Since they were in a higher position, they were able to corner Sayaka, but now that Kaede has appeared, there is nothing they can do.
It was now the complete opposite of what it had been earlier.
The two gave up, packed up their belongings, and headed home.
“You have to finish the shoot and go. There will be a penalty, okay?”
The two responded with a sigh.
Originally, she took it out on Sayaka because she couldn’t touch Kaede,…… and never thought it would end up like this.
The main character is a young woman who has been in the business for a long time, and she is a very good actress.
The star of the show was Kaede Yamamoto.
Even the black crows are white if Kaede says they are white.
The sky is green when Kaede says it is green.
Kaede has the power to overturn common sense.
When she becomes an enemy, the relationship is as good as completely over.
And they will never know each other.
The fact that Kaede was not done was not because she liked Sayaka, but because they stepped on a minefield that Kaede could not ignore and the two self-destructed, by falsely accusing others of a crime.
The two names disappeared completely from the company after the filming of the movie was completed, just as the president had said.
They had pleaded desperately, but it seems that they were never forgiven until the very end.
Kaede regrets this. Because since that day, the distance between Sayaka and Kaede has become much closer.
Sayaka thanked Kaede many times in tears for saving her.
Sayaka also did not expect Kaede, who is usually cool, to help her, and that incident was a kick in the pants that further deepened the respect she had held for her.
She has always respected Kaede as a cool senpai, but now she truly trusts Kaede as a human being.
It is only natural, since she saved her in a pinch of absolute desperation. Regardless of Kaede’s intentions, to Sayaka, who was saved, she is the most merciful and kind woman anyone has ever known.
And Sayaka also began to get more work.
The reason is that the president of the company has been promoting her and Kaede together more and more. Thanks to this, people around her make fun of her as “Kaede Yamamoto’s pawn,” but for Sayaka, it is the highest praise she can receive.
Kaede cannot say that she doesn’t want to be a part of the project because it is her own seed, and her pride prevents her from honestly telling the truth about how it was all a lie to save Kaede’s life.
She is also not afraid to hug her when they are alone, which is fine when people are looking around.
(I’m not qualified to be friends with anyone. ……)
Recently she has begun to think that this kind of Sayaka is not that bad ……, which is also a fact that is disgusting to Kaede.
“Kaede-san, as I thought you look good~”
[Kaede Nee-san looks so cool]
She still comes tugging at her arm.
But she is unable to shake off Sayaka strongly. Her gestures and the way she spoils her are just like Ryosuke’s. Especially after that theft incident, she inevitably overlapped with Ryosuke, and she could no longer be cold to her.
Today, I was coming home after another day of filming.
I lay on my back on the bed and thought about the past. I thought that saving Sayaka from being falsely accused would be a step forward, but it was not.
In fact, it may have had the opposite effect.
If I had been able to trust Ryosuke at that time, I would have been able to receive the affectionate gaze that she was giving me.
[Kaede Nee-san……Thank you for believing in me.]
I should have been thanked like this.
(But the reality is different.)
I chose not to believe in Ryosuke, and instead chose to hurt my beloved brother and hunt him down…
─ ─ Unable to bear the nausea that came over me, I splashed my vomit all over the bed.
Cleaning up the mess is a hassle, but my mind is not on it.
Ryosuke didn’t need to suffer like that.
I had driven my beloved brother into a corner.
I chased after him even after he ran away, and then I chased after him even more.
My heart tightens when I think about it. Just the thought of someone hunting Ryosuke down is unforgivable to the point of insanity, but I am the one who is responsible for it, so there is no way to save myself.
(I am sincerely sorry. I can see now that I am crazy and understand the pain of being abandoned by my family)
But …… but ……
There are mistakes in the world that can be forgiven and mistakes that can never be forgiven. ……
What I did was definitely the latter. ……
I can never be forgiven. ……
─ ─ Such an obvious and yet so simple thing that I have only just realized.
But …… it was already too late for everything.
A few months later.
Mom told me that Ryosuke was getting married. My heart was in agony, but I managed to calm it down.
The other person is Mai Nakazato …… and she is the only one.
She is the only one I owe a debt of gratitude to.
“………… Kaede will you—-“
“I’m not going.”
How can I see him after all this time?
Even if he doesn’t recognize me, I’m not even allowed to approach him.
“………Is that so”
“That kindness is cruel towards Ryosuke.”
“… But… Kaede, these days… No, I’m sorry… But you’re my important daughter, that’s why–“
“…… thank you.”
When I thanked her, she looked down with pain.
But thank you so much.
Thank you so much for never abandoning me.
I was able to change in some small way because you and your family never gave up on me after what happened.
Not only my mom.
I’ve tried to put the blame on Ruiko because I wanted to be loved by Ryosuke.
I couldn’t bear to be there and confided to her about it,……, but Ruiko was still by my side, saying that she didn’t care.
─ I still think that Sayaka’s false accusation was a big trigger for me. When I see Sayaka smiling happily, I can now realize that I deprived Ryosuke of that smile. ……
And I’m going to quit performing soon.
My schedule is filled until next year, but I’m thinking of gradually reducing it and eventually stepping down.
I don’t think I will quit irresponsibly anymore, as I did before.
“─ ─ But will Sayaka be okay without me ……?”
Would anyone abuse her?
That was my only regret.
I made up my mind not to see Ryosuke.
But, as fate would have it—
I met Ryosuke in an unexpected way.