[Hinagi Suzurikawa POV]
“Yukito, I didn’t love nor have sexual interactions with senpai.” (Hinagi)
I exposed myself completely. There’s nothing to hide. I am done lying to myself. I just wanted to tell him everything. I had to tell him, and I was driven by that urge alone.
“Don’t look away. Look at me straight in the eyes.” (Hinagi)
“Why are you doing this?” (Yuki)
“Because I don’t want to be misunderstood again.” (Hinagi)
“I’ve always liked you, Yukito.” (Hinagi)
I don’t know why I couldn’t say such a simple thing, and that got us into this mess.
I was impatient and irritated back then. I thought I was trying to approach him, but his response was always indifferent, and since I’ve never seen him smile once, I thought that maybe he didn’t like me. Is it boring to be with me? That thought made me uneasy.
I was such a coward. I didn’t tell him my feelings, but only thought about knowing how he felt. It was right around that time that a senpai confessed his feelings to me. I decided to take advantage of it. When I told him that my senpai had confessed his feelings to me, he replied as usual, as if it was nothing.
“Oh, I see.” (Yuki)
That’s how he responded.
Why? Is it okay for me to go out with a senpai? Don’t you think anything of it? Are you okay with me being stolen from you, Yukito? I was a mess of shock and sadness, and I clung to my last hope. If I were to go out with that senpai, he might be jealous of me. I foolishly took a wrong turn, thinking that there was still a chance.
If I had been as honest then as I am now, I’m sure none of this would have happened. I should have faced him honestly and told him how I felt. What I did was the worst thing I could have done. I didn’t tell him anything, I just used that senpai for my own sake. I had no feelings for him. I don’t even know what kind of person he is. It was just convenient for me to know how Yukito felt.
That mistake quickly turned into regret. When I told him that I was dating a senior, he told me that he had been thinking about confessing his feelings to me. I froze. Why… Why didn’t he tell me that just a little bit earlier? I wanted to throw everything away and answer his confession. But now I can’t answer it unless I settle my relationship with my senpai. I felt as if Yukito’s eyes had become even darker, as if they were deep and stagnant.
It had been two weeks since I started going out with my senior. Our relationship wasn’t even close to a love-filled one. Of course not. Those were not my feelings. I had no interest in him at all, and he was not important. Now that I knew how Yukito felt, it was just too much trouble. If I had learned a little more about that man, I probably would never have thought of going out with senpai. Maybe he got annoyed with my lack of acting in the relationship, and forced me to kiss him.
It was disgusting. It was unbelievable! Why am I with that person! Yukito is the only one for me! That horrendous feeling gave me goosebumps: the refusal of being defiled. I then found myself pushing him away with all my strength and ran out of the room. Once I got home, I sent a message to that senpai and told him our relationship was over.
It was after all of those things that rumors started to circulate. Rumors of me having sex with that senpai.
He was so angry that he told everyone that he had had sex with me. Those rumors spread quickly. For an innocent junior high school student in the cusp of puberty, it’s nothing more than a form of entertainment. I tried my best to deny it, but my denial was only shrugged off by the people around me. There was no way I could be so dumb as to go around talking to strangers and telling them I didn’t have sex with that senpai, since most of them didn’t care about whether the rumor was true or not..
Most people don’t care about the truth or falsity of a rumor. As they say, a rumor is only a rumor for 75 days, but after 75 days, it becomes a fact. I cursed that senpai. Why did he tell them such a terrible lie? But the worst part was that I was the same. I was a horrible girl who had accepted a confession from someone I didn’t even like and was trying to take advantage of it. I’m the worst and he’s the worst. I guess you could say we were a perfect match.
Such rumors reached my sister’s ears, and then my parents’. My sister was very fond of Yukito, so maybe that’s why I’ve never seen her look at me with such eyes before. They were filled with contempt, as if she looked at something dirty, as if I was something filthy. My parents called me out on it, and I desperately denied the fact that I had sex with him. However, my sister and my parents were furious with me and the things I’ve done. Then I asked them:
“… Does Yukito know about this?” (Suzurikawa)
He is the love of my life. I don’t want him to know about the rumor. I want him to believe that this is a lie. It’s such a convenient fantasy. However, the rumor had spread way too far. It’s impossible not to know it. He must have heard the rumor. And even if it was only in name, even if I was using it for my own convenience, senpai and I were supposed to be dating. It’s not surprising that we were doing that. That likeliness made the rumor stronger.
I had to hurry and clear up the misunderstanding! Despite my impatience, the fear that Yukito might look at me the same way my sister did made my legs quiver and I couldn’t move. I can’t stand it when he looks at me like that. As If he looks at me like I’m an unholy filth, so I’ll–
I’ll chase after his back, I decided then. But he threw himself into his club activities, not caring about anything. This fact torments me even more. Why! Don’t you care about me!? Have you forgotten about me already? My heartbroken cries were never heard, and by that time, my emotions were shattered…
The rumor became an undisputed fact, and our relationship instantly disappeared. He became distant and isolated once again.
It was all my fault… I was the one who tried to use that senpai. It’s all my fault…
Yukito listened to my regrets in silence. If I had opened myself up to him back then, I’m sure none of this would have happened. He was always listening to me. It was my fault for not being honest.
“Yukito… I’m sorry.” (Hinagi)
The story of Suzurikawa was astonishing, but it made sense if you listened to it. At that time, when that incident happened, I thought that it was the way it was, but there were plenty of occasions when I could notice that she acted strangely. Suzurikawa said that she didn’t want me to know. Even if she hadn’t approached me, I’m sure it would have been resolved at that point if I had approached her myself back then. But at that time, I was no longer looking at Suzurikawa properly.
But now that I’ve listened to her side of the story, I think.
“Why… did you… do this…?” (Yuki)
“Because I was a coward and couldn’t be honest with you……” (Hinagi)
“Why are you telling me this now?” (Yuki)
“Because if I didn’t, it would be too late.” (Hinagi)
I don’t understand! Why only now!?
“I’m sure I could’ve accepted your feelings back then. But now, I’m…” (Yuki)
My head throbbed. A pain worse than ever. No, don’t break. Don’t try to break. I repeat the struggle. If I break like I always do, I won’t think anything of it. All of this pain will disappear. Come on, let me break. Like always, the little demon on my shoulder asks me to give him half of myself, and I reply without hesitation. I’m myself. I’m Yukito Kokonoe… If I break, I won’t care about the pain anymore. I am me, I am myself, I am…
Was that the real Yukito Kokonoe? When did I become like that? I want to break. Let me break! I can feel the chasm in my heart trying to expand. I’ve always been broken. But if the feelings that have been hurting me are in fact misunderstandings, then all those horrible things I’ve… been through, are all illusions. They’re all lies.
Don’t think about it. Let it all go. Just break. Maybe it’s a defense mechanism. I don’t understand what others think about me, and I didn’t want to. I have been repeatedly wrong about the feelings of others. But was that really the case? Was Kamishiro trying to deceive me with this confession? Is my sister really a b***h? Did my mom really reject me all this time…?
“Yukito, are you okay? Your face is blue, and you feel cold!” (Hinagi)
She’s worried about me, not hiding her body, exposing it all. What is she doing this for, and why is she doing it? Is it so easy for her to expose her naked body? Why is she trying to tell me this now? Is it because she wants to make me suffer more? If so, why does she look so worried about me? It hurts!
I’m about to break, but something stops me from doing that. Something tells me not to, and holds me back from letting another part of me break. I don’t want to break, I don’t want to be wrong again. If I go any further, it will be too late. No, it’s probably already too late. Still, I don’t want to hurt anyone, and I don’t want to be hurt anymore! Conflicting impulses swirl around me. Why do I have to suffer so much because of a ridiculous curse like the complexity of a woman’s heart?
I don’t understand. Don’t you want to? I don’t know. I just don’t get it… Everything is so hollow, and this hollowness wants to engulf me. I wish I could just disappear and be at peace, but I feel like I’m being controlled by such a seductive desire. It was so sweet and alluring. Yes, if I could just get rid of it all…
Softly, my lips were sealed. It was the second time I felt it.
“It’s all right! I’ll never hurt you again!” (Hinagi)
It tasted a little different from when Yuri kissed me. It all happened just so recently…
Tears rolled down Suzurikawa’s cheeks. Why is she crying? Why is she sad? Is she feeling some kind of physical pain? Or is there just something in her eye?
Haha, I see. Well, you’re naked, so you must be cold, right?
That’s not right. It’s not like that.… No, it’s not like that. Why are you trying to misunderstand it? Don’t make a deliberate mistake. She’s… because of me now. When did this happen? Since when have you started to think like that? Who is at fault? Why? I am Yukito Kokonoe, and Yukito Kokonoe is me…….
“Suzurikawa… No, Hinagi…?” (Yuki)
“You called me by my first name, didn’t you? Hehe. My first kiss. I’m glad I finally got it right.” (Hinagi)
Can I erase this image? But I really want to see her smile. She’s crying. I’ll erase it from my mind, and then I’ll act as the usual Yukito Kokonoe, and then–
My headache becomes more intense. I want to erase it all, I want to get rid of it.
She embraces me, and our skin touches directly.
I don’t know if there was a reason, but it was enough. If there was a malicious intent to break me. If there was a situation that tried to break me, I’d lose, and I was okay with that. I didn’t care about anything anymore. But there must have been things I shouldn’t have lost. There must have been things that I needed to understand correctly. Even if I don’t know what it is what anymore, even if it’s too late, I’m sure there’s something I can save.
“…Hinagi, were you always like this?” (Yuki)
“I’m your childhood friend. I am done lying to you. I don’t want to lose you, and I don’t want to end up hurting you even more.” (Hinagi)
The childhood friend is a defeated heroine. That’s what they call it.
“Because I love you so, so much–!” (Hinagi)
I did not want to think that her smile and words were a lie.
TL: This is the end of volume 2. Next week (I think) will be the start of his redemption arc. I want to thank everybody for reading this novel. I have read all your comments and I love all the positive feedback, so I think this journey was well worth it.
Volume 1 title: It’s too late for him.
Volume 2 title: The Age of Great Regret
Volume 3 title: Somebody with extreme bad luck with women
Koji- Hello editor here, so this was quite something but I mean she did kind of deserve what happened for trying to see if Yuki would get jealous AND taking advantage of the Senpai who had feelings for her but it seems that Yuki is quite something to deal with he keeps trying to throw his emotions away or erase them I think it would be pretty cool if he develops a multiple personality disorder type thing but I can only imagine but as usual if there are any errors or mistakes please comment them and I hope you enjoyed chapter 20 of the series 🙂
Yan – Hello, second editor here. I honestly feel like Suzurikawa has done crap in the past, but it’s not like she had sex with her senior. When he forced a kiss (and only a kiss), she ran and finished her relationship basically immediately. She was only way too hasty with what she wanted to do, and used ALL the wrong methods to get to Yuki. Well, I think she’s beginning to do it right. Oh well, that’s my opinion. Thank you so much for reading!