Vol. 1 Chapter 21: Moment.
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.
Her dignified tone robbed the summer of its heat, and a skin-cutting cold followed soon after. Every one of her words seeped through my heart, erasing the mess my head was in. Even the cries of the soon-to-be-dead cicadas fell on deaf ears. My lips were dry. Anger, regret, but most of all a hurricane of emotions swirled inside.
Did you lie about seeing someone else just to make me tell you what I really thought?
Did you abuse me for such a long time just so I would open myself up to you?
From my current point of view, my past self mistook kindness for obedience. I thought the only way to enact goodness was to swallow every other person’s ideas without tasting or spitting them out. Only recently have I realized I was wrong.
So from what she told me, Asakawa was tormented by my past lapdog behavior which was the crux of all her actions. Immediately after breaking up, her behavior did a 180, and it all made sense now.
—As if something like that’s possible.
“…If only you just told me,” these words came from the trenches in my heart; a cry from my past self. She noticed something I hadn’t at the time, so if only she’d just communicated our relationship would’ve been completely different from what it is now.
“I’m so sorry. We were childhood friends and then started going out. We were together all the time back then, so I just assumed I knew everything about you.”
As if she fully understood her own guilt—as if she understood what I was thinking—she apologized. There was a longing for an unattainable future, something that never disappeared, and then a sense of loss.
Her apology was enough to quell my boiling feelings. Back then, I was afraid of speaking my mind due to the fear of ruining my relationship with another, and I’d overestimated my own common sense. Both were my mistakes which I’ve already admitted and forgiven.
Everyone makes mistakes. Whether from misunderstandings, assumptions, or just blind faith. If we can all understand that and move on, we can move forward again.
However, Asakawa had one problem.
Looking back, what Kurosaki and Yui did were gentle in comparison. With my heart untattered, their wounds were reparable. Yet there was one thing I couldn’t overlook, no matter what.
Asakawa’s affair. That was the one thing I could not look past. Even if my resentment for her disappears, it doesn’t mean the past stops existing. Even if it was all a lie born from her love of me, I still couldn’t.
I looked down and breathed deeply. Then, I looked straight into her expectant eyes.
“…I misunderstood the meaning of kindness, too. Taking everything like some kind of sl*ve wasn’t really being good. Sometimes, true kindness is to think of the other person, bumping them back into the right path. That’s what you must’ve felt back then as well, but—”
“My actions can’t be forgiven without punishment.”
Before I could finish, she cut me off. Asakawa understands me after all. That’s why I’ll have to cut off my past self completely, and in order to do so, I need to end this relationship once and for all.
“That’s why we’re not childhood friends anymore.”
The wind stopped. Unlike last time, she took these parting words straight on. No anger, no hatred, only a satisfied smile.
“…Okay. I’m sorry.”
A single tear spilled from the corner of her eye, slowly trickling down her cheek to the floor. It left a thin stain on the ground as if everything had reached the end—but I wasn’t done.
“We’re no longer childhood friends. From now on, we’re just classmates who happen to go to school together.”
At that moment, the elastic that bound her hair together snapped and her hair stretched out against the starry night sky. Looking at her beautifully swaying strands, I realized there was calm after the storm. As if understanding my words, her expression swayed. The sadness that plagued her broke off as if unshackling her emotions.
We can no longer return to how we were. The memory of that rainy day, cold as countless knives pouring down on me would never fade. I couldn’t forget the day we parted, and what she did was unforgivable.
However, I still decided to forgive her. Not out of pity or sympathy, but as a way of seizing an opportunity to change me. If I can do it, she can too. I felt that denying her the possibility of changing was denying my own.
We’re no longer friends. No longer do we call each other by our given names, or spend time shoulder to shoulder as we had in the past. All of our experiences faded into oblivion, and now all that remained was this status as “classmates.”
Despite all, we were still going to the same school, having the same classes with the same people. If we had to talk, we would, and if we happened to be alone with each other after class, we’d at least have some small talk. After that, the possibilities are endless.
I wonder what my fresh-out-of-summer self would think of this decision. Would he call me naïve, or would he praise me for a job well done? I don’t know which, but I’d like to see myself as the hero of the cartoon show I watched that day…
I hope I look as dazzling as he was.
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7 comments »
GuenAugust 22, 2022 at 3:48 pm
What a drama….
LeonAugust 22, 2022 at 4:12 pm
Hopefully she understands now, that she didn’t make a mistake, she instead make a terrible decision and this is the price she’s going to receive and that price is no more bond between them, and she will never get his love again.
I’m happy that the MC forgave the other girls because they made a mistake which was wrong but it was much more forgivable than this girl right here, what she did was just unforgivable, Remember she ‘broke up with the MC’ went out with someone else, didn’t try working out her relationship with the MC and tried to change the MC by insulting him for year or so, If I’m correct.
Hopefully she doesn’t get involved in the story anymore because I can’t think of anything that she can add.
GattsAugust 23, 2022 at 7:21 am
Thank you for the chapter !
ToriAugust 24, 2022 at 1:43 am
Welp, very natural response, the other two as said are totally forgivable but not her. Even though it started as a lie, she decieved her loved on, verbally abused him for a stupid reason as “letting him express his true feelings to her”. Like who in there right mind would think like she did, she grew up with him, saw how devastated he was with his parents passing but you telling me she had the guts to pull this BS plan of hers…
Still, at least the MC isn’t gullible at forgiving all her nonsense but still has some sanity to be in a acquaintance relationship.
Patrick Joe YapAugust 31, 2022 at 5:23 am
it works for me
SuperutoApril 18, 2023 at 5:12 pm
MC is a m*******t
徵羅April 26, 2023 at 3:33 pm
bruh this mc is f*****g lame