TL: Sponsored chapter and normal chapter. I want to thank Voraguard for donating. Enjoy
I realized something.
Why do I need a smartphone when I’m a loner? I thought to myself.
“I got four spam messages, two from Miho, and the rest from my family. I don’t need this.” (Yuki)
I turned off the phone and threw it on the bed. I’m not saying this, because I’m addicted to a gacha game. I’ll repeat, it’s not because I’m addicted to a gacha game. Please don’t make false accusations without evidence. My statements are always supported with evidence. I don’t spread fake news. I only say things with sources.
It all started a week ago. I woke up to the realization that I don’t need a smartphone.
Why do we have to be constrained by these tiny electronic devices? What is freedom and when did smartphones start the control us? Don’t look at your phone while you’re walking, it’s dangerous. We, modern people, are slaves to electronics.
Feeling annoyed, I came to a critical realization. There is no one who has business with me. That’s how I started my research last week. “Does Yukito Kokonoe need a smartphone?” It’s a very serious experiment and a week later, I got the result of the experiment. As expected, the result was “unnecessary”.
“If it was an emergency, I’ll go to Yuri-san.” (Yuki)
Yes, my sister is also in the same high school. If there is an emergency that is too important and needs to be reported quickly, I will go to Yuri-san and tell her about it. Final conclusion, I don’t need a smartphone.
“I’ll ask my mom to cancel my phone bill, next time.” (Yuki)
There is no need to pay for a useless phone bill. It would be more meaningful to spend that money on something else. There’s no value in me having a smartphone. It’s a waste of treasure, a pearl for a pig, a small seal for a cat, and a smartphone for Yukito Kokonoe.
In fact, in the past weeks, all I’ve received on my phone is spam and Miho’s unimportant chatting msessage. The other thing I got was a few brief emails from my family, just house related things. I’ll see Miho at school. If there’s something wrong, we can talk about it then.
I hadn’t even opened the class group chat that Elizabeth had invited me to. I’m just an outsider, since I’m not going to be a topic of conversation.
So the experiment was over, and I gave up my phone. I was free from slavery. How refreshing! I’ve never been so free in my life! It’s said that people today can’t let go of their phones, because it’s a complete addiction. I’ve succeeded in cutting off the addiction myself!
Abraham Yukito Kokonoe. This is the Declaration of Freedom!
“Yukito, I’ve sent you a text yesterday, but you ignored it. Is something wrong?” (Miho)
“Unlike you, I am not stuck in the slavery contract.” (Yuki)
It’s probably boring stuff anyway. I don’t think he has anything important to say to me. I don’t know why this guy in my class is always talking to me, Miho Kouki. His fresh, handsome smile was dazzling again today.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Also, why are you wearing sunglasses?” (Miho)
“What? It’s your fault that I have to wear sunglasses, you should know that, idiot. I got rid of my phone and woke up feeling free.” (Yuki)
“Why is it my fault? So, you are not using it anymore. That’s why you couldn’t contact me, right?” (Miho)
“Do you think there’s anyone who wants to talk to me?” (Yuki)
“I’m talking to you right now. Besides, don’t you usually socialize with your classmates?” (Miho)
“Come on, don’t be silly. There’s no way any of my classmates would want to talk to me.” (Yuki)
“I beg to differ.” (Miho)
There is something suspicious about the handsome smile. Why? Of course, I didn’t bring my phone to school with me. My phone is lying on the floor in a corner of my room, unplugged and muted. Instead, I’m wearing my watch, which I don’t usually wear, and brought my hourglass with me. Now I can keep track of time perfectly.
Instead of checking my phone every time I have a break, I can just read. I don’t have to worry about recovering stamina anymore [Gacha term]. I don’t have to be afraid of how much I have to pay. I’m free!
But I still didn’t realize that freedom comes at a price.
(Hinagi Suzurikawa POV)
“We didn’t get to talk today, did we ……?” (Suzurikawa)
Carelessly placing my bag in my room, I threw myself onto my bed. With my hand, I operated my phone and opened the image. This was my usual routine. It was filled with many memories of fun times.
However, it was cut short after the second year of junior high school. From that point onwards, the amount of pictures I took became fewer and fewer. The fun days faded away, and the days continued to be gray. Even my reflection looked lonely.
“Can’t we go back?…. I hate it.” (Suzurikawa)
In those days, I was always smiling. At first glance, I may not look like I was smiling, but I know that I was happy inside. Next to me is the person I love, the person I used to love.
Whenever I tried to get close to him to take a picture, he always responded with a troubled or embarrassed look on his face. These are all precious memories, really precious memories.
Here I am in a Yukata. Every summer, I used to go to summer festivals with him. At first, our families would go together, but for some reason we had started going alone. We even used to hold hands. All of them bring back faint, fragile, beautiful and tender memories. But they’re all broken. I broke them.
I wonder if we could still go out together like this? Maybe we could have a deeper relationship, go out together to a summer festival, hold hands, kiss, and then come back and be together—
Tears well up in my eyes, at my foolishness, at the precious things I’ve lost.
Why? It was a sin to ask such a question. It’s all my fault. Because I had thrown it away. I was ugly, jealous, and cowardly, and I couldn’t stand that happiness, so I destroyed it.
Will I ever be able to talk to him again?
I hate it. …… I want to talk to you. …… Touch you like I used to do.……
I can’t reach his feelings. I’m not sure what to say. I want him to know the truth, but I can’t tell him and I’ve gotten this far without him. If only I could have told him how I felt earlier. Such regrets pile up day after day.
When I stand in front of him, I feel like my legs could collapse at any moment. When I look into his eyes, I feel too scared to say anything. In his eyes I might not matter anymore.
I’m not his childhood friend nor even his friend. I’m only his classmate. He might think that I’m an irrelevant person who has nothing to do with him. He might think that. It is so cruel and terrifying.
A clear rejection. A stubborn denial. But I could tell from what he was trying to say, because he cared about me. I want to believe that he still thinks I’m important after betraying him like that.
That was the only thing kept me and my heart going. I didn’t know that it would only make me suffer more.
But I was already at my limit. I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t want to be alone anymore. I was glad to be in the same class as him, hoping that it would give me the chance to improve our relationship.
But it was too difficult. The distance between him and me was too far, which was not how it was supposed go. We are supposed to be close and now his heart was completely broken.
If I don’t stop it now, this whole year will be wasted. I may never get another chance like this. And then I may never see him again. I felt a bit nervous.
Am I really a coward? Can I really go on like this? No, I can’t.
“Please, I beg you. Please give me one more chance.” (Suzurikawa)
I sent the message to him with trembling hands, as I was wishing for something or asking for forgiveness. It was the first time since the “incident” that we have been in the same class. As if to make up for the days we didn’t spend together, as we had drifted apart, I sent him a message on my phone, just like I did back then.
I’ll tell him everything. I’ll tell him what happened and why I did it. I’ll tell him how I feel, and I’ll apologize to him with everything I have, without hiding anything, without hesitation. And then I’ll give him everything I have. So please, reach out to him!
“Yukito I have something important to tell you.”[Message] (Suzurikawa)
(Shiori Kamishiro POV)
In the end, I decided not to become the manager of the male basketball team. No suprise. There was no reason for me to join without him being there. I was invited to join the women’s baskball team, partly because I was experienced.
Without even thinking, I declined. I was no longer qualified to play basketball. I hated it. Thinking about what he would think of me, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
He has been invited to join the volleyball team, because of his height. I’m a little confused. He said he was going to join the homecoming club. I thought about joining the homecoming club too, but I’m sure I’ll just end up feeling depressed like now, even though I’m allowed to go home early.
I also want to be physically active. But if I can be with him like we used to be, I might as well be a homecoming club member. Such a convenient fantasy.
I hugged my knees and lay down on my bed.
I wonder if Yuki really stopped playing basketball. ……
How arrogant am I, how selfish am I? I am disgusted with myself. I was the one who took it away from him. I can’t help but think self-centered thoughts like this, even now.
I was the one who backstabbed the man I loved. I was the one who ruined his efforts. So how can I ask him to play basketball?
I’m not sure why he was so obsessed with basketball. Was it because of Yuki’s childhood friend Suzurikawa-san? She said it clearly was her fault. Then she asked me what I did.
She must have done the same thing. Suzurikawa-san also hurt him. And I can see now that he was trying to shake it off, devoting himself to basketball with such uncanny vigor. I remember what he said that day.
He asked me to wait until he was finished. I’m sure what he needed to do was to clear his mind. So that he could face me.
I lied and rejected him, the effort he had put into it was ruined, and he left basketball with nothing resolved. Nothing was cleared up and nothing was said after that.
Where did it go? Has the feeling disappeared? Or is it still fuming inside him? I don’t know how bad I’ve been, how much I’ve hurt him, and it’s all my fault for being so stupid.
I can no longer watch him from afar. I know that the person I fell in love with was amazing. That’s not it. It’s not just that. I love the Yuki I know now.
“I want to hear your voice. ……” (Kamishiro)
I couldn’t take it anymore, so I picked up my phone.
I wondered if it would get rejected, or if he would just hang up on me.
I’m sure he’ll wonder what I want from him after all this time.
“Because I love you, Yuki…” (Kamishiro)
“So, I’ve verified that I don’t need the phone, and I’d like you to cancel it.” (Yuki)
I immediately brought this matter to my mother’s attention. Quick action is my motto. Of course, I couldn’t lie to her, so I provided all the evidence. I handed her my phone and explained to her in great detail how I didn’t need it and how it was a useless gadget.
For the record, there is nothing on my phone that I don’t want others to see. There are no embarrassing exchanges, photos or naughty pictures. I don’t have anything hidden or stored in the cloud. At most, I have a few maps when I go out. It’s a complete waste of space.
“Having broken free from the slavery of electronics and gained freedom, we are now on a new path as the foundation of a new era…” (Yuki)
For some reason, my mother hugged me. We were in my mother’s bedroom. There are only two people here, my mom and me.
“I’m sorry …… I’m sorry ……!” (Mother)
I was expecting her to agree with me, but for some reason, tears were falling from her eyes.
Why? Why is she apologizing? Why is she crying?
“No. You can’t do that. You can’t cut off your connection to people like that. ……” (Mother)
“But it was clear from the experiment that I didn’t need…” (Yuki)
“No! That’s not true!” (Mother)
“Is that so, ……?” (Yuki)
What the hell did I do wrong? I’ve made my mother cry again. I didn’t mean to do it.
“I’m …… sorry …… for making you feel that way!” (Mother)
The strength of her hug grew stronger. The sobbing voice shook my ears violently.
I’ve failed again. I was just suggesting that it wasn’t necessary. I don’t know what’s wrong with that. I keep making mistakes over and over again.
That’s what my mother says. I’m the one who’s wrong, of course. There is nothing wrong with you. I don’t mean to make you cry like this, but I always end up doing something wrong and hurting someone.
“I’m sorry.……” (Yuki)
As she hugged me, I listened to her voice and tried to think. What’s wrong? What did I do wrong? I don’t want to make the same mistake again, I don’t want to hurt anyone this time. I kept thinking. But no matter how much I thought about it, no matter how much I twisted my brain, I still couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.
–as always, I don’t understand anything.