TL: since the previous chapter was short, I decided to upload this one too.
In the end, I never answered any questions from Fukumura.
I simply said, “Go home,” and that was that.
Fukumura left the room with a somewhat disappointed and dispirited look on her face, yet she still had not given up.
I don’t know. Should I have told her the truth?
To what was this disappointment directed? I still don’t know.
If I had told her, would it have changed anything?
Would it help me? Will she support me?
Oh, Stop it. She will take Sonoda’s side.
Worst-case scenarios will destroy all other hopes.
Then, I can’t take the risk of stepping out.
It’s doubtful that anyone would even believe me in the first place. That Mizuki girl will definitely side with Sonoda.
What was I muttering about?
My own simmering heart? This current situation that can’t be helped?
In the first place, should I even bother with this current circumstance in the first place?
[—You seem to be in more pain than she is.]
(Oh, I see.)
Fukumura’s words suddenly came to mind.
This is it, this is what pisses me off. More than anything else, it pissed me off.
And how could she know such a thing? It’s not that I compromised to be alone.
I chose this path.
And yet she sticks her neck out. Without hesitation. Rudely.
There is no merit in worrying about me. In other words, she has something close to good intentions.
In other words, it’s something similar to the old—
“Incompatible, that’s be it…”
I mutter to myself and bury my face in my pillow.
That disappointment was not directed at anyone, no doubt.
It was directed at no one, but myself.
I will never admit to that feeling, that feeling that led to my downfall. I cannot admit it.
That would be to deny the path I have chosen——.
The day after Fukumura’s visit, I managed to drag my heavy body to school.
I was reluctant to do so, but this was also for the sake of graduation.
School is not a place that I have always been bothered by.
There are many bad memories, of course, but they are all in the past. I am not applying them to my current classmates.
I am choosing not to get involved with them.
So as long as I don’t run into Fukumura or Sonoda, school life itself is not a problem. At least, that’s what I’ve been doing so far.
Well, the problem is that the past is no longer applicable.
”—-Kitami… Ah! Don’t run away!”
I had anticipated Fukumura’s attack in advance and avoided an encounter by running to the men’s restroom.
So far, three times since this morning. She had come to me.
There was nothing to say. So, I’m going to avoid her thoroughly.
I heard Sonoda doesn’t come to school either. Source? It’s got to be the guys in the back seat. There’s no way I could take such a risky action to check by myself.
I was going to waste time in the bathroom until just before class started.
“Haa… I finally caught you.”
During lunch break, I finally got caught.
As soon as class ended, I fled to an empty classroom, which was not popular, but apparently I was caught.
My whereabouts were discovered, and I was a rat in the sack. So I gave up and got caught in a rope.
“What’s the matter with you, since this morning?”
“Nothing? I just wanted to talk to you.”
Liar. You just want to know the truth.
“The truth. I do want to know the truth. But you won’t talk to me. But I don’t want to give up.”
That is why, she continues.
”I’ll wait until you tell me.”
”Wha. Why are you being so selfish?”
Stop bothering me. I tell her so, but….
”I’ll never stop and I’ll never give up.”
Saying this, she opened the lunch box in her hand. Apparently, she was going to eat it here.
”Oi, why …”
”Where I eat is my business.. Oh, but you’re also here right?”
Fukumura instantly contradicted herself with a messed up theory. I don’t have human rights….
Such lunchtime scenes continued for a week.
Today is Monday. Fukumura came to me as usual after the holiday.
What in the world could have brought her to this point?
She never gives up, which makes me wonder that.
”Hey, are you smart? Can you study?”
”Speaking of which—“
What a conversation most of the time. She talks to me, and I ignore her.
That’s how most of the time passed last week.
But today was somewhat strange.
She still came to me, but she never once spoke to me.
On the contrary, she seemed a little uncomfortable.
Well, for my part, I’m grateful for that. I was getting tired of ignoring her.
Ignoring is sometimes more tiring than being ignored.
So I thought I was lucky. But it was a sign that something more troublesome was coming.
When I returned to the classroom after lunch break.
In my desk, I found a piece of paper with the following information written on it.
[Are you going to bully Maika Fukumura next?]
The bitter past is still in the back of my mind.
“Haa… He doesn’t open up to me very well.”
Friday, after school, I dive into bed as soon as I get home. I was a little frustrated with the lack of results, and I grumbled to myself, wondering why I hadn’t seen any results.
What I have learned, or perhaps it is more accurate to say that I have thought, is that for someone who rejects people with his mouth, he doesn’t seem to be bad at socializing.
It’s not that he’s not good at socializing, but rather that he’s forcing people away from him. That is the impression I got.
There was no doubt that he was hiding something.
And a week ago, I asked him a question that he brushed off. I was beginning to think that it was the right thing to do.
I haven’t even been able to contact Emi. She has not even come to school for a week since then.
I tried sending her messages, but they were not even read.
No doubt that the tears at that time had something to do with Kitami.
But why would Emi cry?
If Kitami was really bullying Emi, she should expose his sins.
There must be people around her whom she could talk to about it without going that far.
But that is not the case. Emi has her own reasons for not blaming Kitami.
”And I am sure that Kitami is not bullying Emi…”
Frankly, I felt it was safe to assume it was confirmed.
For a week, I spent time with him, albeit one-sidedly.
While he was being unfriendly, he didn’t say anything directly to me that I didn’t like.
He ignored me, but he didn’t kick me out in a strange way.
He was brusque, but that was it. I didn’t feel uncomfortable with him.
It’s subjective, but to me, Kitami didn’t seem like a bully.
I could not understand what was going on between the two of them.
At the beginning of the week, something somewhat troublesome happened.
”Maika. Uhm Kitami? Are you dating this boy?”
One of my classmates came to visit me.
Apparently, quite a few people misunderstood me when they saw me following Kitami around.
（I should have been more careful.)
It was no wonder I was misunderstood. Because I had lunch with him every day and talked to him every time I saw him.
I explained to them that it was a misunderstanding, but I wonder how much they believed me.
I was fine with it because I didn’t mind being told off and I didn’t particularly dislike it, but I don’t know if he would have.
So that day, I felt a little guilty and couldn’t talk to him properly.
But to tell him what was going on was… well, embarrassing.
Well, so far, it was only a little.
But what happened after that went beyond the level of “a little.”
“Maika…I found a piece of paper like this in the next class…”
The paper, which a good friend of mine brought me from a neighboring class, was beyond my comprehension.
[Are you going to bully Maika Fukumura next?]
I rushed to the next class, the one with Kitami.
But I was too late.
He was already gone, probably having left school early.
But I didn’t stop and naturally went to his house.
When I got home, I was sitting on my bed sorting out the situation.
[Are you going to bully Maika Fukumura next?]
What this message shows is limited to people who know about my past (true or false).
The first is that Fukumura is acting on her own. This would be the least likely. Time-wise, there would have been no time to put the paper in the box.
The second is Sonoda. This is the most likely scenario.
According to Fukumura’s story, she did not come to the school, but there is a possibility that she had a partner.
The third is a complete third party. Perhaps someone learned about my story from somewhere. The possibility is not zero.
（…..I don’t know what to do.)
Anyway, there is one thing I can say.
I can’t ask for an answers
I can’t go around asking people directly.
（I don’t care.)
I had left school early in the heat of the moment, but the shock was minor.
To put it bluntly, I was prepared for this level of harassment. The day Sonoda transferred to my new school.
Besides, there was no point in getting upset over a letter from an unknown sender.
If I ever find out who sent the letter, I can sue them. Take him along with me.
I was already halfway through the process. If Sonoda had wanted to do it, I would always be the bad guy.
So all I could do was pray. I prayed that she would not do something stupid like that.
”Hey!? Kitami! You’re alive!?”
What a thought, then a visitor. From the sound of his voice, probably Fukumura.
No, of course I can’t be dead. What’s wrong?
I reply without opening the door.
“….. thank God. Why… why did you leave early?”
Well, I don’t care. Let me at least leave early.
“….I just have one thing to say.”
With the door closed, she put a single piece of paper in the mail slot. No way…
“—I don’t give a damn.”
It was the exact same one that was in my desk.
In other words, this letter was scattered…
“That is why I want you to come to school tomorrow.”
The tone of my voice was surprisingly cold, even to myself.
But I couldn’t stop. It won’t stop.
I realized then that I didn’t want her to know that I had started being harassed.
Not because she was special. It wasn’t because I was bonded to her, and it wasn’t because of those feelings.
Because if she knew about it, she would be…
”I-I’m on your side.”
I knew. I knew she would say that.
I knew better than anyone.
Because it was the same as someone else’s someday.
And I knew that that someone would soon be in the depths of regret and despair.
That’s why I can’t accept that.
”It’s annoying, so please don’t do that.”
”Tsu! W-Why would you say that!”
”It’s because you approached me in the first place that this happened. You should have realized by now that you are interfering with people’s lives.”
I’m aware. That those words are wrong.
But more than that, she is also in the wrong.
Like her, I don’t trust her.
”Go home. Bye.”
With that, I walked away from the door.
There was no voice. Did she give up–
I felt a bit of nostalgia for the dark emotions swirling in my chest.