Today, we live in an IT society. Even though we live in a digital age where ministries and agencies are encouraging people to get rid of their stamps, I’ve been struggling with the analog world since this morning. Should I just ignore it? It’s a hassle anyway.
As I was struggling alone with the prospect of new trouble, an easygoing-looking man approached me and asked,
“Do you have any problems? “
“What are you doing, Yukito?”
“I found a letter in my box….”
“Oh, a love letter!”
Yes, attention! All eyes of the class are on me.
Drop dead, you refreshingly good-looking guuuuuuuuuuy!
“Kokonoe-chan, did you get a love letter?”
“Of course not. I’m not boasting, but I’ve never been popular with the ladies.”
“Isn’t this guy crazy?”
“I think so too” “I think aswell?” “I agree.” “I was convinced from the beginning.” “Hihi-…… that’s the good part. ……” “Don’t worry, I’m on your side!” “Me too, me too”, “I vote funny”, “I knew it he was weird”, “You could have said that”, “#Funny”, “Die scum”, “Psychotic b*****d Nya”.
“Who the f*ck are you people!?”
Shut uuuuuup! Don’t tweet hashtags on social networking sites! And weren’t there any inhabitants of the fantasy world? What, did they look at me like that? I was supposed to live my life as a quiet, reserved, brooding loner, so why ………
“So what’s it really about?”
“I don’t know. This is why I’m in trouble. Does this look like a love letter to you?”
What was carelessly shoved into the shoe box was not a stylish love letter. It was an inorganic loose-leaf letter divided into four equal parts. The only words written on the plain page were, “Please come to the study room after school.” There were no such things as dreams or hopes.
“But isn’t this a girl’s handwriting?”
“It looks like something like that. Although it doesn’t look like a love letter. ……”
Sakurai, Mineda and the others had also dismissed the idea of a love letter. What is it then? What is it? Scary!
“Yuki, you don’t have to go to that weird thing!”
“I don’t want to go either, but what shall I do? Kouki, why don’t you go instead?”
“Why me? Well, I’m not busy, and if you insist, I can go check it out.”
“You’re a really nice guy. What’s your opinion of me?”
“……, that you’re not the only one with a lot on your mind.”
What is this thought-provoking, fresh and handsome guy? The idea of reconnaissance is very appealing, but in any case, there’s nothing I can do if I leave it to him. After school, I will jump to the event!
“Eh, who are you really?”
The individual who had called me out was standing right in front of me. One thing I can say is that she was not in a sweet and sour mood to confess her feelings. We are the only ones here. It’s hard to think of it as an invitation to join club activities.
“I’m Ren Hasumura from C class. Thank you for coming.”
“Do I need to introduce myself?”
“I know you very well. Do you remember me? We were in the same junior high school.”
“We’ve never met before, have we?”
“You got that wrong. We never spoke directly to each other, though.”
Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember at all. More and more, I don’t know what she wanted from me.
“I came here today to ask you to do me a favor.”
Suddenly, her slit eyes narrowed and the gaze was almost hostile.
“I’m going to be straight to the point. Please release Shiori.”
I ruminated over the words. Shiori —-Is she talking about Kamishiro? The word “release” is a word that makes me uncomfortable.
Was she sealed up, or was she a prisoner of war or something? No international treaties were violated.
“Could you please explain it a little more carefully? What do you mean, ‘release?'”
“Shiori is my best friend. It’s all your fault. After getting involved with you, Shiori became depressed. Even now, she’s ……. It’s too painful to watch!”
A sad voice. Best friend. I see what you mean. If you ask that much, naturally it makes sense.
This girl is simply worried about Kamishiro. Her words do not seem to be laced with lies. The determined look in her eyes was filled with a strong will. Hasumura-san is telling me not to get involved with Kamishiro.
“What should I do?”
“I’m not forcing her to do anything, even if you say ‘release her’. Hasumura-san knows that much. I’ve told Kamishiro many times. But she won’t leave me. So what should I do?”
Hasumura-san was bewildered by the suggestion that should have come from her. She looked back and forth as if in doubt.
“Why … are you okay with that?”
“In the beginning, I always had this feeling. I don’t want to be pitied by Kamishiro forever.”
“It wasn’t true! That was just us making fun of Shiori. She really–“
“I don’t care about the past. It’s about the present, isn’t it?”
“B-But …… can you give up on Shiori so easily?”
The question was baffling. Give up? Me? Who? If I don’t give up, what will be there? Nothing. I have always come this far with nothing. Always looking for something, only to find that there is no way to get it. I was shaking off with a slight headache.
“There is no hope of us matching from the start. We are not equals.”
“The reason Shiori chose this high school was because she was chasing you. How can you think that Shiori is lying when she likes you so much? You know that much!”
“Wrong. You got it wrong, Hasumura-san.”
I guess she doesn’t know what has been going on between me and Kamishiro. She is Kamishiro’s best friend. Then it’s a good time for her to know the truth. When I told her what had happened, she was visibly dismayed.
“N-no, that can’t be……”
“You want me to stay away from Kamishiro? All right, I’ll give it one more try.”
“Wait! That shouldn’t be all there is to Shiori! Why, it’s not supposed to be like this–“
I turned my back on the stunned Hasumura-san and left the study room.
I should have clearly told Kamishiro earlier. I should have told her that she should leave me for the sake of both of us.
Maybe the reason why I couldn’t commit to it somewhere was because I felt that time back then wasn’t so bad. But it was only the past that I could never get back.
Well, hello there. I’m third year f*ck boy!
My name is Yukito Kokonoe, and I have taken over the nickname of “third-year f*ck boy”.
Isn’t it too terrible!? What is “F*ck boy”? Playboy? There are students like this in the first grade! Too bad I wasn’t a Yokohama fan. Sniff…….
I, Yukito Kokonoe, had become the most famous person in the school as the man who got the third-year student council president and vice president down on their knees to become my f*ck buddy. Rumors and gossip have too many tails.
The nickname I got was “Third year F*ck boy”
For the record, I never set anyone up. I don’t even know how to use a rubber. So s*x is out of the question.
I have it in my bag bag with great care. Just in case something should happen, you know? I-It’s true!
There was no sign of the “shady little boy” plan at all. Just walking down the hallway, I’m being whispered to. In this case, it is terrible that the meaning is somehow understood even if I remain a three-year bedridden person.
To be exposed to the public and given such a nickname would have done me a great deal of damage if I were not as strong mentally as Karmelthaite, who is beyond steel. In that sense, I could say that I was still lucky to be me, but my future was bleak. I was getting further and further away from my ideal school life.
It’s not good for me to be in this situation. I want to spend my time quietly and plain, like an outcast adventurer living a slow life in the middle of nowhere, but things are going against my wishes.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Something must be done. …… But what should I do about it…..
I can only hold my head. The student council president’s strange behavior had already become a rumor and was circulating in the school. She got down on her knees and apologized, but the problem was what happened after that.
I have a feeling that if I leave things as they are, there will surely be some complications.
After he returned home, no matter how many times I questioned him, he would not talk to me. He had a hard look on his face and his gaze was not steady. He was holding something back stubbornly. What kind of emotion was he trying to suppress? I can’t even imagine.
There is too much to think about. A childhood friend as classmate, and the student council president. There are too many people who want to hurt him.
“I wonder if I should just bring him to my class.”
“Yuri, what’s wrong?”
“I don’t know why his classmates keep coming up to me and asking me what’s going on. ……?”
“But then again, Yukito is Yuri’s younger brother, right? What did he do to make the student body president get down on her knees? An extraordinary hope has emerged.”
“Is that true? I can’t believe it.”
“I heard that someone took a picture of it. No doubt about it.”
“Haa, ……. Guys, it’s not funny. It’s something more serious.”
I have to protect my brother’s school life. I am going to run for student council this year. With that, I will improve the school to make it as comfortable as possible for that boy. That’s all I can do, but I still couldn’t stop myself from doing it.
I wonder if someday he will call me Onee-chan again. ……
Such a trivial wish is the only thing that motivates me. I’m not much different from the Hinagi Suzurikawa and Shiori Kamishiro.
I was aware that I was probably the one who hurt them the most. My brother never talked about what had happened. I was also afraid that someone would find out about it, so I kept it bottled up for a long time.
It was an irrevocable sin.
Looking back on it now, it is no wonder that I missed my brother so much. I guess he turned from my mother to me to be pampered. But even if I had realized that now, it was too late.
I am carrying an unforgivable sin on my shoulders. It was I who destroyed my brother to the point where it was too late.
I am the one who destroyed my brother with my own hands ……. I look down at my hands, which I can still feel. I sometimes dreamed of his face at that moment. What was he thinking at that moment? [Aah, you are one of them too] I’m sure his eyes were like that.
Since that day, my brother, who had been so fond of me, were gone. The love and affection as well.
The bond between sister and brother had also been lost. He probably thinks of me as a stranger. We have no bond.
I don’t think he knew that I was worried about him like this at all.
–That day, I tried to kill my brother.
[I really hate you! Disappear!]
Our hands were seperated.
He looked straight at me without averting his gaze. Immediately, the confusion that had been floating in me turned into resignation, acceptance of reality, and then, at that moment—-
“Is Yukito Kokonoe here?”
How many times have I seen this pattern already! This development has already become familiar.
Now, my name recognition is growing. I have been fed up with the continuous recruiting by the athletic club, and now, as the man who has conquered the impregnable student body president, I have been asked for advice on love. I had never been popular with the girls, so I was not interested in counseling on love. I was simply constipated.
There was no way I could understand how other people felt. I can’t even understand my own feelings, so it’s impossible for me to understand others.
As usual, a senpai visited me in the classroom and Who is this guy ……?
The number of people I know is increasing without my knowing it, and that is me, Yukito Kokonoe.
“That’s me, and why are YOU in this class?”
“I see, it’s you. I’m Toshiro Himura. a third-year student. I’m the captain of the basketball team.”
“I had a bad feeling. Come to think of it, Kokonoe was at the school cafeteria earlier.”
“Don’t become suddenly a different person. You just said you were Kokonoe”
“But, you look like trouble.”
As one would expect from a member of the basketball team, Himura-senpai is quite tall. However, this school’s basketball team is not a strong one, so it doesn’t really matter. The school’s basketball team is not a powerhouse, though, so there is no reason to be concerned about that.
“I heard about it from Hyakuma-senpai. He wondered why you weren’t on the basketball team.”
“You knew him?”
“Hyakuma-senpai is an alumnus of this school, you know? You didn’t know about this?”
“I don’t like to pry into other people’s business, so no”
“That’s how I found out about you. That’s why I came to ask you out.”
“If I had been so open-minded as to accept an invitation, I would have joined the club from the very beginning.”
I see, so Hyakuma-senpai was an alumnus. If I think about it, coincidences of that magnitude can happen in any number of ways. Perhaps he was concerned about me in his own way. Or perhaps he was simply wondering. To be honest, it’s a bit of a nuisance, but I guess I should be thankful for that.
“There are people in the basketball club who were in the same junior high school as me, right? When these people don’t say anything, you know what I’m talking about.”
“I thought so and asked them, but none of them were in the same junior high school as you.”
“Is that so?”
“Because our basketball team is not very active.”
“Then even more so, why do you have to invite me?”
It is too late for anything. The fact that I devoted myself to club activities was nothing more than an escape from reality. I didn’t have a firm determination to do so. That’s why my feelings were so easily broken. I was left halfway, unable to fulfill even a single goal. So I have no intention to resume playing basketball. It’s not that I particularly like basketball.
“Kokonoe, this is the last year for us. It is true that we are not strong. We don’t have the strength to win a championship. Even so, we have been playing for three years. We want to give it our all at the tournament. Please lend me your strength!”
“Isn’t that strange? It’s not possible for a freshman to easily participate in the tournament in the first place.”
“I should tell you, there are only nine of us in our school basketball team, including me.”
“Eh!? Is the popularity of basketball in the nineties over!”
“At the moment, it’s 2021. A few years ago, there was a brief period of popularity, but it was thanks to JUMP in both cases.”
“Weak, aren’t you?”
“That’s why. I want to surprise them with a little success, no?”
“Who are you talking about? I don’t have anyone like that.”
“Kokonoe, there is a girl in my class whom I like. I’m going to confess my love to her after the tournament is over. I want to show her how good I look and how I like her!”
“This is all about you! Why do the upperclassmen at this school start spouting off things to the underclassmen that they haven’t even heard? Is it an endemic disease?”
Himura-senpai was a hot-blooded man who was easy to understand. He was also an idiot. He was passionate and straight-forward. He is a nuisance to me. Do whatever you want.
Look, my classmates are looking at me again. Stop smirking! What the hell is wrong with you guys! And if you think about the personality of Himura-senpai, I kind of feel like I can read what’s going to happen after this.
“Well then, Kokonoe, play basketball with me after school!”
Himura-senpai was a resident of the manga world. What’s with the “then”? The front and back don’t connect! I don’t understand the point of the game at all. For some reason, my classmates were excited. Some of them were operating their phones intently. What the hell are they doing?
“I understand. Let’s do it, Yukito!”
“Ha? Hey, wait a minute! Why are you suddenly jumping in?”
“Let’s do it, Yuki!”
You’re looking good today, Mihou. The fresh smile on his face is about 300% more attractive than before. And who’s that other person who just agreed to do it?
What about my intention? Something is going on around me without my consent. ignoring me. …… Is this a violation of human rights? Is it bullying?
“How about a 3×3 match? There’s also Ito from the basketball team at this class.
“What? I see, Hayato, you were in this class too!”
Reluctantly, Ito (?) of the basketball club from the basketball team came over. I don’t know him that well. In fact, I still couldn’t even remember his name. I see, so this person is Ito Hayato!
“Please do it without me. ……”
I mumbled to myself.
The group chat on my phone is getting more and more exciting. For some reason, this is a mysterious group where my brother’s information is reported every step of the way. I use it because it’s convenient, but it’s also a headache. My brother himself seems to be completely unaware of it. It was completely unauthorized.
“That boy is again…… !”
Since that one incident, my brother had been the talk of the town. He was so conspicuous that even the second year class knew his name. In a sense, he may be the most famous person in the school. Otherwise, he would not have attracted so much attention. More and more classmates were joining this group. Apparently, this time he was going to have an after-school game with the captain of the basketball team.
Why can’t that boy just stay quiet?
He had quit basketball in junior high school. He doesn’t seem to be particularly attached to it now. He said he was a homecoming club member, but I can’t help but wonder why this is happening to him. Will he be all right? Is he involved in some kind of trouble? There is no end to my worries.
Fufu. It’s funny, isn’t it? What am I supposed to worry about now? I’m not qualified for that kind of thing anymore, right? I can’t help but to let my self-mockery spill out.
That’s right. Since that time, I have long since lost such qualifications.
“I really hate you! Disappear!”
I pushed my brother from the top of the playground equipment in the park. I didn’t realize the significance of that, but I was following my emotions and acting on them. I felt a fresh sensation. The hands that were connected on the chain were separated and my brother’s body was thrown into the air without a struggle.
A look in his eyes was appealing, “Why?” They were appealing to me. “Why are you doing this to me?” I was shaken. The impulse that was driving me.
“Because I hate you!”
I couldn’t stand it any longer and shouted so. A few moments later, I heard a dull thud. Blood was flowing from his forehead. The blood of human beings is red and beautiful. …… I had such an empty feeling of reality. However, I came back to myself when I saw my brother, who had collapsed and was not moving even a twitch.
What did I just do? I couldn’t believe my own actions. I didn’t want to admit what had happened as a result. A feeling of emptiness takes over.
I was sure that now, with my own hands, my brother–.
The fear that came over me. My hands were shaking. Bending my knees, I laughed and slowly climbed down from the playground equipment.
“Yukito ……? Hey, hey, you are okay, right?”
There was no reply. It’s the biggest surprise I’ve ever seen. It was too shocking a sight for me, a child. Blood gushed out and turned the ground black.
“……No……That’s not right……How could ……this happen?”
Wanting to deny reality, I fled the scene.
–And my brother never came back.
I loved my brother. My mother was busy with work, so I had to take care of him more often than not. My brother was very serious and unmanageable. He was very attached to me. Maybe that made my mother feel at ease. But I am still a child. I am only one year older than my younger brother. I am only an immature child after all.
I spent more and more time with my brother, and we played together more and more. It was not hard for me, but it was also a time when I was beginning to build my own relationships with others. The awakening of the ego. My world was rapidly expanding.
In the midst of all this, being constantly with my younger brother became a burden.
Even my mother only cared about my brother. Perhaps that cast a shadow over my mind somehow. Looking back, I guess I was also starved for affection after all, even though that was never the case. I was lonely, too.
One day I was playing with my best friend Maki. There was also my younger brother there.
Maki was an only child. I guess that’s why she longed to have an older sister and a younger brother. She was very protective of my younger brother. I felt a sense of alienation in my heart. I felt possessive that he was my brother, and ugly jealousy that my brother had taken my best friend. Maki is my best friend! Such complicated feelings are mixed together. One day, when I was going home with my brother without being able to digest them, that’s when it happened.
I hit the bare skin of my emotions. It was too much, too terrible treatment that hurt both my mind and body. It was not enough to be cruel. Can I deny that I did not intend to kill him? It was not an act that could be forgiven just because I was a child. My brother never came home. My anxiety grew. Even though it was my fault, regardless of what I had done, I could not get his eyes out of my mind.
It was six days later when my younger brother came home. No, he did not come home. The police called us. I had told my mother everything. There was no way I could hide it. I rushed to the park, but my brother was no longer there. Maybe he was on his way home. I thought so and waited, but he did not come back.
The next day, I filed a missing persons report with the police. The days went on like hell until I received a call asking for confirmation. But the real hell started after that.
My younger brother, who had been found, was severely exhausted. He was found in a neighboring city. His forehead was badly injured and his bones were cracked. I did this to my brother! I was tormented by tremendous regret. My younger brother looked at me with dark eyes and uttered a muffled voice.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t disappear.”
–Eh? Strange, this is strange! I’m the one who should be apologizing, you’re the one who didn’t do anything wrong! A flood of emotion washes over me and I can’t say anything.
It’s not just the injury. Then is it my fault that Yukito didn’t come back? Was it because I told him to disappear? Is that why he tried to disappear?
Naturally, I was angry. But my angry mother was crying as she hugged me. That was more painful than simply being angry.
But at that time, I still did not understand the meaning of my younger brother’s words.
My brother wanted to disappear from my life. He took that to mean exactly what it literally meant. I had taken it lightly, thinking that he would simply disappear. I feel bad that I pushed him away. No amount of grief and regret would ever forgive me.
But that was still the extent of my perception. That was my limit as a child.
When was the timing? It does not matter. But when I grew up and understood human “death,” everything changed.
My brother was going to die. Disappearing, not from me, but from this world. That is why my brother did not come back. I don’t think he understood “death” himself.
But he may have sensed it instinctively. In fact, he could have died if he had been found a day later. Or if he had fallen off the playground equipment and hit the wrong spot. He might have died instantly.
When I realized this, my mind went blank with fear. I was about to kill my beloved brother. I tried to take his life out of my temporary emotion.
When he returned home, he was a changed man. Our hands were no longer hold together. He no longer missed me. My younger brother, who used to follow behind me with a smile on his face, calling me “onee-chan,” was gone. Since then, he has never called me “Onee-chan”
It was obvious. I tried to kill my brother. There was no telling when he might be killed again. There was no way I could carelessly approach him. There was no way he could be friends with someone who had tried to kill him. But there was no fear in my younger brother’s eyes. That also puzzled me. It would be easier to understand if he were frightened. But his reaction was so strange, as if he had lost something, as if he was broken.
I apologized again and again. I repeated my apologies. Every time I dreamed of that day, every time I saw my younger brother broken, I couldn’t help but apologize.
But it was too late. No matter how much I apologized, my brother would not understand. Apologies are made to ask for forgiveness. Only when you tell the other person that it was your fault, and only when the other person is angry with you, can the rift be resolved. Otherwise, it is impossible to move forward.
But my younger brother was not angry about anything. He had forgiven me from the beginning. No matter how much I apologized to him, it was meaningless. No matter how much I told him that I was sorry and that it was my fault, if he forgave me, it would not make sense.
It is as if he has lost the feeling of “anger” …….
I can’t help it if I apologize when he forgives me and he is not angry. My brother kept forgiving every time I apologized. So it always ends there. Nothing changes. Nothing can change. What is broken cannot be restored. No matter how much I wanted to go back to the old relationship, my brother, who forgave me, would never go back.
I wanted to be condemned. I wanted to be accused of why I did what I did.
I wanted to be honest with him, to cry, to apologize, to tell him that I really loved him, and to be a sister and brother again. It was a wish that would never come true.
After that, my brother got worse and worse. It seemed as if every time something happened to him, he lost something. It was as if he was losing his emotions one by one. ……
Then I realized. –So what would happen if he lost all his emotions?
I remember the conversation I had with him when I called him. He said he wanted me to wait until I got through high school. For what? That’s obvious. That boy is surely going to disappear from my life. I may never plan to see him again. Besides, if he has lost the feeling of “fear,” he might easily choose death without hesitation.
Even now, my words of that day are driven into my brother’s heart as a wedge. I cannot pull it out. I cannot help my younger brother because I cannot touch his heart.
That is why I hoped for someone else. I thought it would be her. But it was a failure. On the contrary, she ended up hurting him more deeply. I should not have relied on her!
Still, I will save him somehow. It will be me, no one else. This time.
“A basketball game doesn’t …… sound like the kind of thing he’d do.”
What kind of change of heart did he have? I should not miss anything. Every sign, every little change, every little thing about my brother, I will not miss. I will never let him out of my sight. Once I let go of his hand, we will never bond again.
If I take my eyes off him this time, I’m sure I won’t be able to see him anymore.
Should I bring a towel and a sports drink? I think I have that much, but I can’t help but do something anyway. When he was in junior high school, my brother, who was devoted to basketball, was honestly cool. Maybe I will be able to see him like that again.
With my heart pounding, I waited for after-school hours.