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.
Yuu and I have a deep, deep bond. When I say bond, I don’t mean your usual friendship. I mean love.
We’ve been together ever since I can remember. Our parents were close, so whenever mine went overseas for work, they’d usually leave me at Yuu’s house. I don’t blame them for always leaving me behind, and I admire that they can use their skills in other countries. Actually, they’re the very reason I wanted to become a model; it isn’t that kind of story.
In any case, Yuu and I spent our entire lives together and we were almost like siblings. However, our relationship changed drastically when we were about to graduate from junior high—His parents had died in an accident.
I hate thinking about that period in time, but as if I’d lost my own parents, their parting left a gaping hole in my heart. More than me, Yuu’s heartbreak ran deep. Even though he put on a strong front, he couldn’t hide the sadness in his eyes.
As days went by, he rapidly matured. By the time we reached high school, I could no longer see that chasm in his eyes. Seeing him go about his life as if nothing bad happened, despite him going through the lowest lows, scared me. I was afraid he might’ve been somewhere too out of reach for me, and it was then I understood this growing love inside my own heart.
From there, things were lightning fast. Maybe it was because of how I felt, or maybe due to my own impatience, but I made aggressive advances. Without a proper confession from either of us, we started dating just when the cherry blossoms started to bloom. To be honest, I really wanted to confess my feelings properly, but due to an adolescent embarrassment, we let the flow take us.
At the same time, I passed the judging for a modeling gig I had applied for, and I was able to become the model I’ve always wanted to be. A sense of almightiness overtook me after everything I did went well. Together with this accomplishment, I shared mutual feelings with the guy I loved.
The best time of my life might’ve been then. However, the happiness I so longed for didn’t last as it should’ve.
My work as a model wasn’t just going well, it was doing amazing. I appeared in magazines and online shows, and I made bigger strides than all other girls at my level. Being looked at with admiration by other girls was an indescribable feeling.
Furthermore, whenever I proudly told Yuu about my success, he smiled as if he was the one achieving all of it. However, for some odd reason, I felt something odd. It was as if his heart wasn’t there, reminding me of what happened that fateful day. Whenever I’d think about it, unease would begin to consume me from the inside out: he was always kind and never got angry with me no matter what I did. I began wondering if he really liked me, after all, the fact we never said the words burdened a heavy weight on me.
He always refused to show his true feelings to anyone. We’ve been together all this time, so why are you hiding things from me? I’m your girlfriend!
Back then, I felt murky anxiety well up in the depths of my bowels, anger along with it. In hindsight, it was just me.
Manipulated by my own fears and anxieties, I came up with “the best way.” I wanted to confirm whether his feelings for me were genuine or not by breaking up. Doing so, he would surely reveal his true feelings and I could reaffirm that we were, indeed, lovers. Back then, I believed it to be a good strategy.
After school on a cold winter day, as the rain stung my skin, I called him. He showed up without knowing anything, wordlessly protecting me under his umbrella, which I’d forgotten. Even this clear display of kindness was uncertain for me. Was it love or just friendship? To be completely sure of everything, I opened my mouth as he stared curiously.
“Sorry, I’ve decided to date an actor I was on a photoshoot with. He’s funny and I feel comfy with him, unlike with you. So this is goodbye.”
Of course, this was a lie. I mean, the fact an actor tried to woo me was true, but I wasn’t—and am not—interested in any boy other than Yuu. However, since I’d actually been courted by that guy, I was able to fabricate a lie with a tinge of truth. That tinge couldn’t be made up, and in that regard, I had to thank that bothersome actor.
The annoyance I went through was worth it, and Yuu believed in the story, visibly shocked. His eyes, usually hidden behind his long bangs, peeked through them with agitation.
That’s right, I wanted to see that expression. I didn’t want to only know his kindness, I wanted to see his other emotions. Back then, I was sure he would tell me not to break up with him, or that he’d chalk it up to a joke, saying “Don’t be silly.” Either way, what showed on his face were, undeniably, his true feelings. After that, I could rest assured what we felt was mutual, and we could blissfully and wholly be together for years to come.
However, soon the pain and disbelief dissipated from his face, leaving only a calmness at its surface as if he’d realized something.
“I understand. Thank you for everything…”
“Huh…? You’re okay with that, Yuu? Don’t you ever think of getting angry?”
I couldn’t help but ask him. Neither angry or deterred, he was just willing to accept our breaking up.
I never got the answer to that question, no matter how much thought I put into it. Maybe he shoved his anger aside out of concern for me, and he suppressed his feelings so I wouldn’t be worried. Then so, does he have any other emotion other than kindness? I had o confirm at least that.
“I wasn’t charming enough, that’s all. There’s nothing to be mad about. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone about this… Well, I wish you all the best.”
He believed the lie and didn’t accuse me. We should’ve been together from now ‘till always, but I didn’t know a single millimeter of his heart. I didn’t mean for us to break up, but our relationship reached the point of no return.
How does he see the expression on my face? With my questions still unanswered, he gave me one last forlorn smile, handed me his umbrella, and trudged alone under the piercing rain.
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