TL: So, for the upcoming chapters (till chapter 45), I will release it every 2 days instead of 3. It is to speed the plot a bit. Enjoy this chapter!
Volume 5: “Love” or “Sin”?
Oh, it’s summer! It’s hot. I’m Yukito Kokonoe.
No, I’m not a praying mantis, I’m a human.
There was once a great man who said that summer vacation is too short because there are too many things to do in front of you, but I don’t think so. It is a privilege for students to have more than a month off. At least, once you become a member of society, it’s difficult to take such a long break unless you are declared in a state of emergency.
I mean, it’s really funny that I’m laughing at Clambon [TL: Clambon is a Japanese music group]. While I was thinking about this, I listened to Sayuri-sensei talking about the various precautions for the summer vacation from right to left. I was now in serious study mode. I’m concentrating on the task at hand.
“Especially you there, Yukito Kokonoe. Don’t cause any problems during the summer vacation! I don’t want to be called to school during the vacations either. I’m really begging you.” (Sensei)
“But Sensei, I really, really want to see you. I’m trembling.” (Yuki)
“It’s been about ten years ago since someone said that to me. Don’t be so casual about hitting on older people.” (Sensei)
“Just because I’m involved doesn’t mean I want to be involved.” (Yuki)
“Well, I know that too, but……. Anyway, let me have some peace. I’m tired, too. Do you know why?The other teachers have been strangely nice to me lately. They suddenly care about me.” (Sensei)
“Isn’t that good?” (Yuki)
“It’s 100% your fault, okay? Do you understand that? Hmm? Well, okay then everyone, be careful not to have any accidents. After the summer vacation, don’t let the quiet girls suddenly change. You’re free to pull out and let it out, but make sure you use protection. Then we’re done.” (Sensei)
Sayuri-sensei walks out of the classroom with a final warning that is both disgusting and unpleasant. My lack of trust is priceless. By that time, the end was almost in sight. Mineta, the gal next to me at the seat change, came over to talk to me.
“Kokonoe, what have you been doing since a while ago? You’re in such a hurry.” (Mineta)
“Not really, I just finished my homework for the summer vacation.” (Yuki)
I showed Mineta the printout that I had filled in all the answer boxes. I was wondering how much homework I would have to do now that I was in high school, but it wasn’t much. I was expecting a lot of homework, but it wasn’t much, just the usual stuff like handouts, problem sets, and essays.
“Summer vacation hasn’t started yet?! It starts tomorrow!” (Mineta)
“In case you were wondering, I’ve already finished my essay. I always have ten book reports in stock.” (Yuki)
“It’s true.…… All done.……” (Mineta)
There are not so many variations of homework during the summer vacation. There are always book reports, but if you write them in advance, then you don’t have to do them during the vacation. In the first place, you don’t need to read the book to write a book report, just write something like “I sympathized with the author’s thoughts” or something similar.
There are some people who want to mount the argument that young people these days don’t read books anymore, but with the rise of web novels and such, young people these days are much more exposed to the internet than old men and women. Tell them, young people these days.
“What, are you busy during the summer vacation?” (Kouki)
A fresh, handsome man approached me with a wry smile. The fresh, handsome guy is surprisingly childlike, looking excited about the summer vacation ahead.
“What? I’m a gloomy loner. There’s no way I’m busy!” (Yuki)
“Why are you being so uptight!” (Kouki)
“I’ve been in the hospital most of my summer vacation. Well, I’ll just have to spend it in solitary.” (Yuki)
“I’m scared of your past. Also, why do you keep forgetting about me every now and then? It’s summer vacation. Let’s hang out together, okay?” (Kouki)
His white teeth gleamed. I’ve been thinking for a while that this fresh handsome guy likes me too much. And although he’s popular, I haven’t heard any rumors about him. I didn’t think it was by any chance …….
Haha, I see. So he’s gay, huh?
I’m straight. I can’t answer the thoughts of a fresh, handsome man. Pity Kouki Miho. I’ll be a little more gentle with him.
“I’m sorry, Kouki. I didn’t know you were on that side of the fence. Let’s go to Ikebukuro together next time. The redevelopment of the east exit is going on and it’s changing a lot.” (Yuki)
“Oh, yeah. What’s the matter? I feel like you’re suddenly feeling sorry for me, but you must be mistaken again.” (Kouki)
“It’s okay. Don’t worry, I’m on your side. I’m not going to deny it. Stay strong, Kouki.” (Yuki)
“I don’t know what’s going on, but okay.” (Kouki)
The refreshingly handsome man was open-minded. In the middle of this exchange, Mineta made a request.
“Uhm Kokonoe-sensei! Can I see your homework? (Mineta)
“I can’t do it for free.” (Yuki)
“You would never take money from a classmate, would you……?” (Mineta)
She looks up at me and gives me a proper shake. She’s a gal. She’s used to this kind of thing. Kukuku. But sweet, sweet Mineta. I’m learning how to deal with gals.
“Then why don’t you show me your panties?” (Yuki)
“Hold on a second Yukito, what are you talking about?!” (Hinagi)
“N-No, you can’t do that!” (Shiori)
Looking flustered, Hinagi and Shiori came to the rescue. The whole class was buzzing. Some students were quickly typing something on their phones. It’s a common sight, but what the heck are they doing?
“Kuh! There is no changing back1. Today’s is my favorite and it’s safe to be seen…… It’s for summer vacation, right? I’ll endure this much! I understand. If you really want to see it, everyone, Kokonoe-chan!” (Mineta)
“Don’t take it too seriously, Mineta-san!” (Hinagi)
“Yuki, what’s wrong with you?!” (Shiori)
“What the hell is wrong with you two? If I don’t want to be taken advantage of by gals, I have first to pull their pants—-” (Yuki)
“I don’t know what you are talking about but I’m pretty sure it’s punch first!” (Shiori)
What? Did I do something wrong? My sister said, “You have bad luck with women, so if a gal gets involved with you, you should be the first to punch her. Oh… I guess I misheard her. Right, punch. It’s not pants…….
Yeah, I never wanted to see it, okay? I swear!
When I came home, I found my mother waiting for me in the living room with a serious look on her face. A heavy atmosphere prevailed in the house. She had a very grim expression on her face. Something might have happened to her. I searched my memory to see if I had done something wrong, but all I could think of was what had happened. There were too many to name. I can’t identify them. I want to go…..
“I have something very important to tell you. Will you listen to me?” (Mother)
“Sure, what’s up?” (Yuki)
She pulls out something. It’s a brochure.
“Now that the GOTO campaign has started, why don’t the three of us go on a trip together?” (Mother)
“What’s wrong with this atmosphere?!” (Yuki)
“It’s the first time we’ve been ……. traveling together as a family.” (Mother)
“Is that so?” (Yuki)
“How about a spa trip? Three days, two nights.” (Mother)
“I think that’s fine” (Yuki)
“Really? Are you sure you want to go? Not going back on your word, are you?” (Mother)
“You don’t have to be so sure….” (Yuki)
“Because I’m so happy—-.” (Mother)
Mom’s eyes were watery. It was true that the three of us had never gone on a trip together before. It was because I had refused all of them. I thought my mother and my sister didn’t like me, so I thought it would be hard for them to enjoy the trip if I was with them. I didn’t want to make them feel uncomfortable. I always stayed at home while my mom and sister traveled together, and I didn’t have any problem with that.
But just because it was that way in the past doesn’t mean it’s that way now. In the end, I don’t know what my mother or what my sister’s intentions are. Two conflicting emotions, I don’t know which one is right. Still, I was starting to think a little bit that if I had both, maybe I didn’t have to be stuck with just one. I wanted to believe that my existence was tolerated enough to accept the invitation to go.
I had never been to a hot spring with my family before. But when the time comes, I’ll be looking forward to it. I might never have the chance to go on a family vacation again.
“I’m looking forward to it, Mom. –Oh, wawa!” (Yuki)
I was hugged again. Do the people who live in this house have a habit of hugging?
I never thought my son would go on a trip with me! I’m glad I asked him. I was sure he would say no again. I don’t know what kind of change of heart this is. But now, I am just filled with joy. I’m happy, I’m so happy! My heart leapt like a little girl’s in anticipation.
I’ve never even been able to take a proper family vacation before. He’s always been so reserved. Why? I asked him, but he never answered me. The reason is probably very sensitive, and it is my sin to make him feel that way. Because I didn’t love him properly, he had to bear the burden.
His bad luck with women and the fact that he is always getting hurt are all my fault. It’s been sixteen years since he was born. It’s been too long. I can’t say that we’ve mended our relationship yet. It is so twisted and complicated that I don’t know how long it will take to unravel.
There was a faint hope that things might finally become normal. But I know that even that will be a tough road. In order to get back to a normal relationship, I would have to make up for the past 16 years. It’s too much time to spend as a family, to be a mother, to have everything back. I can’t afford to take another sixteen years. By that time, he would no longer be under my care. That’s why I can’t just do what I normally do when he was a child. The only way is to give him a tremendously excessive and intense love.
One day at a time, I pour out all the love and affection I have for the past 16 years. Family love, parental love, or even a different kind of love, like the kind you pour out for the opposite sex. It doesn’t matter what form it takes. It didn’t matter what kind of “love” it was. I don’t care about differences or distinctions. I just love with all that I am, because I have decided so.
No matter how painful it would be, no matter how crazy it would be.
I don’t want to have any regrets.
- Not able to escape an urgent problem without making some sacrifice.