“Yukito, I did not have s*x with Senpai.”
Expose your mind and body. I have nothing to hide. I’m done being unfaithful.
I have taken such a detour. I have come such a long way.
Now I just want to close the distance and tell him everything about myself.
I don’t even want to feel embarrassed.
” Please don’t look away. I am here. In front of you. So look.”
“Why are you doing this?”
“Because I don’t want to be misunderstood anymore.”
“I’ve always loved Yukito”
Why couldn’t I say something so simple?
It was just this one thing, and it had become so complicated.
Back then, I was impatient and irritated. I thought I was trying to be approachable.
But Yukito’s reaction was always blank, maybe he didn’t like me at all. I had never seen him smile even once.
Is it boring to be with me? I felt uneasy when I thought like that.
I was a cowardly person, and all I could think about was knowing how the other person felt, without telling them how I felt.
It was right around that time that my senpai confessed his feelings to me. I decided to take advantage of the situation. When I told him that Senpai had confessed his feelings to me, he replied, [Is that so], as if it was nothing, like he always does.
I wanted to scream out. Are you sure you want to go out with a senpai? Don’t you think anything of it? Would you be okay with me being stolen from you? Shocked and saddened, I clung to the last hope I had. If I went out with senpai, he might be jealous of me.
If so, there was still a chance, I thought, and foolishly took the wrong path.
If I had been as honest then as I am now, this would not have happened. I should have faced the situation honestly and put my feelings into Yukito’s face.
What I did was the worst thing I could have done. I did not tell senpai anything, I just tried to take advantage of him. I had no feelings for my senpai. I didn’t even know what kind of person he was. It was just convenient for me to know how Yukito felt about me.
That mistake soon turned into regret. When I told him that I went out with senpai, he told me that he was going to confess his feelings to me. I froze.
Why, why didn’t you tell me just a little bit sooner?
I wanted to throw it all away and respond. The words I had always wanted to hear. My wish.
But now I can’t respond to them unless I settle my relationship with my senpai.
I felt like Yukito’s eyes were getting darker and darker, as if he was stagnant.
It had been two weeks since I started dating Senpai. There was nothing like being a lover.
Of course not. I had no such feelings. I had no interest in senpai.
He was an unimportant person. Now that I knew how Yukito felt about me, it was just too much trouble. If only I had paid a little more attention to the man and investigated him, I would have never thought of going out with him. It was all my own fault.
Perhaps he was annoyed with me, but he was very aggressive in kissing me.
It was disgusting. It was impossible! How could I be with such a person? I only have Yukito! Horrified with goosebumps and refusal to be defiled, I pushed Senpai away with all my might and ran out of the place when I realized.
When I got home, I sent a text message to Senpai saying let’s break up.
From then on. Rumors began to circulate that I had had s*x with him.
He was so angry that he told everyone that he had a physical relationship with me.
Rumors like that spread quickly. For an adolescent junior high school student, it is just good entertainment. I tried my best to deny it, but my denial was only accepted by those around me.
There was no way I could do such a foolish act as going around talking to strangers and telling them that I was not having s*x with him and most people don’t care about the truth or falsehood of rumors.
After that, the rumors became more extreme, and the relationship with an older student, who never existed, had deepened considerably.
The lowly stares of the boys that I was exposed to crawled all over my body as if they were licking my skin.
A relationship is a contract. It is concluded under the mutual consent of both parties. It was the same with the breakup.
I received a confession from senpai, but I didn’t do anything that would be considered a lover, I didn’t even acknowledge him as my lover, and I unilaterally broke up with him. I just pushed him around. I got what I deserved.
I guess Senpai had his pride. He did not immediately say that he had broken up with me.
They say that a rumor lasts 75 days, but after 75 days, it is no longer a rumor but a fact. I cursed my senpai. Why had he lied so terribly?
But the worst part was the same for me. I was a lousy b*tch who had accepted a confession from someone I didn’t even like and was trying to use it for my own convenience.
A horrible senpai and a disgusting me. It could be said that we were a perfect match.
Such rumors reached my sister’s ears and then my parents. My sister was fond of Yukito. I don’t know if it was because of that, but I had never seen her look at me like that before. She looked at me with contempt, as if she was looking at me like I was a piece of filth, as if I was dirty.
My parents called me out. I denied it. I denied that I had ever had any physical relations with him.
My sister and parents were furious at my behavior, my thoughts, and how it happened.
–Then I asked the question.
“Does Yukito know?”
He is my beloved. I don’t want him to know. I want him to believe that this is a lie.
Such a convenient delusion. But the rumor had spread too far. It was impossible for him not to know. The rumor must have reached the ears of Yukito.
And even if it was nominal, even if I was using it for my own convenience, senpai and I were supposed to be in a relationship. It is no surprise that we were engaged in such an act. This fact made the rumor stronger.
I had to clear up the misunderstanding in a hurry! Despite my impatience, I was afraid that Yukito might look at me the same way he looked as my sister, and I cowered and couldn’t move.
I can’t bear it if he looks at me with such eyes.
If he looked at me as if I were a filthy, disgusting thing, I would–.
I chased after him. But he was so absorbed in his club activities as if he didn’t care about anything. That fact torments me even more.
Does he not care about me anymore? –Please help me!
The heartbreaking cry never made it out of my voice, and by that time, my emotions were falling apart.
Yuuri, who holds Yukito in the highest regard, was furious and ordered me to never come near him again.
I realized too late that I had betrayed many people.
And before long, the rumors became an open fact, our relationship spontaneously disappeared, and he became a bit distant and detached again.
“It was my fault ……. I was the one who tried to use him for convenience. I was selfish and vicious. You must be laughing. A really helpless piece of crap. It’s all my fault. ……”
But I can see it now. I am sure that even without what happened with my senpai, my arrogance back then would have surely hurt him someday. Just as I have always done, because I was unable to be honest.
He was silently listening to my regrets. If I had talked to him right then and there, things would not have gotten so complicated. He had always listened to me. It was my fault for not facing him.
I pursued him all the way to high school. I had a vague but certain premonition.
This must be my last chance. If I missed it, our relationship would be completely over.
I resolved to change, but the ghosts of the past grabbed my feet again and dragged me down.
I didn’t know what to do, but there he was, Yukito. With his usual expression, he extended his hand to us as if it was nothing.
On the day of the summer festival, I was the one who shook off his hand.
That’s enough, Hinagi. Let’s put an end to regrets.
“—Let me prove it to you. I’ll give you everything I have.”
I embraced Suzurikawa, who fell straight asleep on the bed.
I was facing her, as if she was covering me up.
I was trapped in her eyes, and I could not move a single fingertip, as if I were in bondage.
“—I’ve been waiting for a day like this for a long time. I was actually dreaming of something more romantic, but I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t think I had the time for it.”
Aah, you have learned to laugh so beautifully.
It was neither the innocent smile of my childhood nor the sullen expression of those days.
” …… you don’t have to be in a hurry. Be calm. …… You don’t have to prove anything to me. ……”
“You’ve always been on my side, so I want you to be mine. I’m not going to let anyone else touch you. I’m not lying. I don’t want to lie anymore. So make sure — feel all of me.”
It must be something important to Suzurikawa.
I can’t do that just to prove that nothing happened.
“—No, you got it wrong. Touch me. I’m so happy in this moment.”
Laying my hands on top of each other, bringing it to her chest. Her body was hot and her heartbeat was rising.
“I see. I finally remembered ……. How could I have forgotten–when I was little, we were always connected to each other like this ……”.
Tears began to well up in her eyes.
I remember, too. When we were much younger, we were connected by heart, we didn’t need words. Like a broken thread that needs to be reconnected, we are now faintly connected.
The story of Suzurikawa was surprising, but it was also understandable.
At the time, I thought that was the way it was supposed to be, but there were plenty of opportunities to notice that her attitude was strange. Suzurikawa said she didn’t want me to know about it. If I couldn’t get close to her, maybe it was something that could have been resolved at that point if I had walked up to her.
But at that time, I was no longer looking at Suzurikawa.
But now that I have heard her story, all I can think about is.
“Because I was a coward, I couldn’t be honest with you. ……”
“Why are you telling me this now?”
“Because it would be too late.”
Why now? Why right now?
“Back then, I would have been able to accept your feelings. But now I’m ……”
The scene I remember is always tinged with scarlet.
I was convinced that day. I was convinced that I would not be rewarded.
I wanted something, I knew I couldn’t have it, and then I gave up–and lost it.
I can’t accept her feelings even though she wants me so much.
Misery does not suit such a beautiful woman.
A throbbing headache hits me. It is worse than ever.
No, don’t break. Don’t try to break. The struggle repeats itself. If I break like I always do, I won’t think about it. All this pain will disappear.
Come on, let’s break. As usual, when the Demon King asks me to give him half of the world, I reply without hesitation that it’s me, the heavy Yukito …… If I break down like that, I won’t care anymore. I am, I am, I am …….
Who is this Yukito? When did I become like that?
I want to break. Let’s break fast. I feel the hollow trying to expand.
I’ve always been broken. But if the feelings I’ve been mistaken about for so long aren’t mistaken, then what a terrible …… thing I’ve done.
It’s an illusion. It’s a lie. Don’t think about it. Abandon it. Let it break.
Maybe it is a defensive instinct. I don’t understand the feelings that others direct at me. Don’t try. I have repeatedly misunderstood. But was that really the case?
The feelings, hearts, and emotions of Suzurikawa flowed in as an enormous wave.
It was warm. It was so warm that I didn’t want to let go of it, even though it was about to spill over.
“”Yukito, are you all right!? You’re blue!”
She is worried about me, not hiding her own body, but exposing it unsparingly.
What is she doing this for?
Is it so easy for her to expose her body naked?
Why is she telling me this now?
Because she wants to make me suffer? If so, why is she so painfully worried about me?
I am about to break down, but something is putting the brakes on me, telling me not to break down.
Something is holding me back from letting go of this struggle.
I don’t want to break, I don’t want to be wrong anymore. 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. The conflicting impulses swirl around me. Why do I have to suffer so much because of something like the phase of woman trouble, a ridiculous curse?
I don’t understand. Why don’t I try? I don’t understand. Just don’t try to understand? Everything is so empty and it tries to erase me. I wish I could just disappear and be at ease, but I feel like I’m being controlled by this fascinating desire. It was so sweet, so tempting.
Yes, if only I could make myself disappear—
Softly, my lips were sealed. It was the second time I had felt that sensation.
A slightly different taste. The sweet, melting sensation melted my thoughts away.
“It’s okay! I will never hurt you again!”
Suzurikawa was crying. Why is she crying? What is she sad about?
Is there some physical pain somewhere? Or is Suzurikawa’s oversized—-.
Haha, I see. I see…she’s naked, so she must have a cold tummy or something, right?
I shake off the haze that tries to cover my thoughts.
That’s not it…… stop it, that’s not how it’s supposed to be.
Why are you trying to mistake me? Knowingly make a mistake. She’s …… in front of me now.
When did this happen? When have I been led to think this way? By whom? Why?
I’m Yukito Kokonoe , and Yukito Kokonoe is me …….
“Su-Suzurikawa ……, no, Hinagi……?”
“You called me by my name. Hehe. My first and second kiss. Glad I gave it to them right.”
Can I turn it off? Really this smile. Her crying. I can erase it from my mind, and
I’m going to act as usual, as Yukito Kokonoe, and then–.
The headache intensifies. I want to erase, I want to erase.
I am embraced. Human skin is in direct contact.
I don’t know what caused it, if anything, it was everything.
The malice that tries to break me. The situation that tried to make me break. I kept losing it. And it was okay. It was fine. I didn’t care about anything.
But there must have been things I shouldn’t have lost. There must have been something I had to realize. Even if it was too late to know what it was, there was something that must not be lost.
“…… Hinagi, did you have such a personality?”
“I am a childishly naive person. I’m done being unfaithful. I didn’t want to lose as it is. I don’t want to end up hurting you.”
My childhood friend is a losing heroine. That’s what they say.
“Because I love you so much!”
I didn’t want to believe that her smile and words were lies.
I heard someone’s voice. I didn’t pay attention to the voice, but was mesmerized by the sight in front of me. The spectacular view that could be seen for a long distance. The sky and the earth that seemed to absorb me forever. Just one more step, just one more step, and I could be a part of it. Subconsciously, my body is pulled in.
I was going to disappear anyway. There is no place for me. It doesn’t matter if it is now. I am worthless and unnecessary. So why not give in to this impulse? It doesn’t bother anyone. No one will be sad because of it. How endlessly it attracts me.
That’s why I–.
The rain that had begun to fall cooled my head. I was idly gazing at the puddles of water that had formed on the black asphalt. By the time I returned home from Suzurikawa’s house, the sun had completely set, and only the streetlights illuminated the darkness.
I continued to walk alone, wandering along the night road.
Suzurikawa’s body temperature was warm. However, we were not embracing each other in a frenzied embrace.
We were just together. I am unable to accept her feelings.
I could not return the same amount of feelings. That is why I did nothing.
But we held each other’s hands and talked. As if to make up for all the time we had spent together.
We were childhood friends, and our paths crossed for a change.
Hinagi made a mistake and lost me. Our relationship ended there.
But in that moment, we certainly connected.
That is the distance between me and Hinagi now. I keep asking myself the same question.
Is all that right? When did I become like this?
The doubts I felt at Suzurikawa’s house are still swirling around inside me.
With one out and a runner on first base, I, Yukito Kokonoe, would without hesitation set up an end-run, and so on. When did I become like that? I question my own thinking.
I feel a sense of discomfort, as if they are skewed, distorted, or twisted in some way.
Why didn’t I notice it? Why didn’t I question it? That was also strange.
A strange maldistribution of thoughts. My mentality is as strong as super-aramid fiber, but I can’t remember when that started, or even if I could, when it became so.
–I’m …… no, who is the Yukito Kokonoe?
I let out a big breath in front of my sister’s room.
If I don’t get an answer to that question, I can’t move forward. I would continue to break down and stagnate.
I was okay with that. I didn’t think anything about it, and it didn’t bother me.
But I thought that if I didn’t change, someone would probably be sad. I don’t care how much I’m hurt now, but I don’t want to hurt anyone.
And perhaps I have hurt someone in the past like that.
I knock. It’s around midnight, but I’m sure she’s still awake.
I mock myself. That’s enough, isn’t it? She hates me anyway, so there’s no reason for her to hate me any more than she does now. I’ ve become the worst scum of the school. Yeah, never mind. I have to find out who I am. The real me. I have to find the real me, the Yukito Kokonoe, whom I have lost sight of.
To do so, a different approach will be needed.
The opposite of what I’ve been doing, the answer may lie in what I’ve been avoiding.
That’s why I’m going forward. No matter how much it hurts. I am used to getting hurt.
But I don’t want to make anyone cry.
“What are you doing here at this hour?”
My sister in pajamas comes out. She doesn’t seem to be sleepy at all. I wondered if she had done her homework. Unlike me, she is extremely talented.
I wonder why there is such a big disparity between siblings.
However, my sister must be like my mother. She is proud of her threatening chest circumference. Hee hee.
“Can I talk to you for a moment, Nee-san?”
“You want to talk to me? That’s unusual. Come in.”
She lets me into her room. When was the last time I entered her room?
It must have been more than ten years ago. Since that day, our relationship has been like that. We didn’t interfere with each other, we didn’t look at each other, and I avoided her.
But did she? I think back. And why did she do it? I thought she didn’t like me. I forcefully interrupt my thoughts to try to come up with an answer that is probably wrong. Suddenly, my sister’s movements stopped.
“—- Eh? Wait a minute. What did you just say?”
“Nee-san? Oh, I just wanted to talk to you for a minute.”
“Yukito ……? Yukito! Yukito—-!”
She hugs me. What is up with you today? It’s been a day of hugs all day long. Is it a free hug day or something? If my reason wasn’t the unsinkable battleship Yamato, I’d be in a lot of trouble, wouldn’t I? No, I’m sinking. The jokey thoughts are still accelerating. Still, let’s move forward. I can’t just end up here!