Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
I’ve mistakenly translated this chapter as Chapter 9!
Go read the chapter before this one for the actual Chapter 9!
Sorry for the inconvenience!
I’ve been thinking for quite a while that maybe, just maybe I’m not good with guys. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not for a special reason or anything like that. It’s just that I’ve always attended all-girls schools and never had the chance to interact with boys—Those were my thoughts back then.
As a high schooler, I decided to start working part-time. I mean, buying goods from my favorite anime and games costs quite a bit of money. At first, I started working at a convenience store, but there was no end of people holding my hand when I gave them change and even some who left their contact info.
The fact I had a hard time saying no just added fuel to the fire. Their behavior gradually escalated until I was finally being stalked. Fortunately, the police took immediate action so the situation never got out of hand, but by that time I had a dislike for the opposite sex.
Due to what happened, I was too scared to work at that convenience store any longer. That’s when I turned my attention to maid cafes. I thought that if I became one I could work even if I wasn’t good at it. Certain words and actions that crossed a line were prohibited by staff, and one secret dream of mine was to wear a maid uniform. I immediately went for an interview and passed with flying colors. I’m currently one of the maids.
Not long after I started working, a certain customer showed up. His name was Yuta, though I didn’t pay much attention at first since he wore plain clothes. To my surprise, he was the same age as me, and he rarely interacted with other boys. It was also the first time he had ever come to a maid café like this one, so I got a bit curious and asked him why.
His words were, “As long as I’m paying, I don’t have to worry about being betrayed.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by that specifically, but we got along quickly with our shared interests in anime and games. After that day, he started coming every week, and talking to him became one of my pleasures.
I still remember one time I made a mistake and felt disheartened. He encouraged me with nice words, and it’s due to his support that I can still work here to this day. I don’t think he realizes it himself, but sometimes he turns off and looks heartbroken. Whenever he made that face, I felt distraught for not being able to do anything for him, and I really wished I could.
Then one time, a customer insisted I cuss him out. I didn’t know what was fun about being cursed by others, but since it was his request I decided to give it a try, and the person was very pleased. I don’t know how word got around, but a flood of the same requests rushed in. One of my seniors at work told me it was easy to become popular as long as you create a character that suited you. I wondered if that’s what she meant.
After that, the requests kept rolling in. Before I even knew it, I had so many followers I was considered one of the most popular maids of the café. I don’t know why, but apparently, guys liked being abused by me.
Then I’m sure Yuta’s the same.
If I did something that made him happy, his wistful face would finally light up. Back then, I felt the character I created and myself start to overlap but ultimately decided not to care since everyone was happy with it.
But day after day, the sorrow on Yuta’s eyes only grew. I wanted to save him as he saved me with his constant support. Even though I tried to take his pain away with my words, he’d only return a frail smile. Sometimes I’d get so angry with myself for being such an unworthy person, that I’d turn cold. I could have said “I want to spend more time with you,” but those words would only get stuck in my throat.
Why did you look at me like that?
Why won’t you look at me?
I guess I’m not trying hard enough…
I looked it up on my phone and it said I should be nicer to guys, and insulting them was the opposite of what I should do. I agreed, but every single guy that came to the store asked for the exact opposite. “Should I take real people’s opinions, or the phone’s?” I asked myself.
One day I decided to change the flavor of my language.
I’ve studied some radical anime and constantly heard words such as “slave” and “incompetent”, which are apparently very popular nowadays. I truly don’t feel comfortable using such terms with someone I liked, but I’m sure he’ll be pleased with it today. I’ve practiced well after all.
However, he didn’t return even his usual frail smile at my full-throated abuse. Instead, he looked like he was freed from a shackle of some sort. Why doesn’t he smile? Anxiety filled my chest at his momentary silence, so I kept going with “Hey, are you listening? You deaf or something?”
“Stop being loud, a*shole.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. Why was I being abused back, the opposite of what usually happened? More importantly, I never thought being on the receiving end of such harsh words was so hard to bear. Despite that, every single other guy that did seemed elated, so what I did must not have been wrong!
“I’m not fun to talk to? That’s because you don’t try to make the conversation interesting! I’m pretty sure you’re around my age, and I’m guessing your IQ is around room temperature. Actually, if you’re that bored talking to me, don’t worry. I won’t be coming back here. Thanks for everything, bye-bye.”
He didn’t stop. I never once thought our conversations to be boring, and in fact, I looked forward to talking with him.
Why is Yuta angry?
Why do you say you won’t come here anymore?
I couldn’t grasp my head around the situation at all, and I couldn’t stop my lips from quivering. Maybe he didn’t like being called a slave, and regret washed over me as I thought over the things he really wanted me to say. I tried desperately to stop him and apologize, but my voice never reached him. He left the store to never return.
That night, as I lay in bed, I thought back to what happened.
What’s wrong with me?
What did I do wrong?
No matter how much I mulled over it, I could never find the answer. After some time I gave up and decided to just sleep. Maybe this was all a horrible dream, and tomorrow he’ll show up as usual. He said he was on vacation, so I could see him anytime now.
But what awaited me, such a naive girl, was a nightmarish day.
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