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.
The chime rings, signaling the end of another school day. All students around me rejoiced at the release of another tedious barrage of classes. My smile, however, was due to me being able to see the person I care about once again. My heart raced in anticipation.
I can’t wait to see my senpai’s face. I wanna talk to him as soon as possible!
“Akane, wanna go to karaoke with me today?”
“Sorry! I have somewhere to be right now…”
“That senpai again? You like him, don’t you~?”
Being teased by my friends was embarrassing, but I couldn’t worry about all that. After all, it was the first time I could see him after a whole month of vacation. As soon as homeroom ended, I rushed out of the classroom to pick him up. I was supposed to be walking, but couldn’t control myself and ran all the way. Skipping two steps at a time, I climbed the stairs and pushed onward to the classroom, all so I could reach him as quickly as possible.
“Yuta-senpai, I’m here to get you!”
However, his seat was unusually empty. Every time I visited his classroom, he waited with a smile on his face. Most students still hadn’t left, yet he was nowhere to be seen.
“Um, excuse me, is Yuta-senpai absent today?”
“N–no, he isn’t… I think he went home already…”
I go see him every day, so I’m a familiar face around here. Knowing why I showed up, his classmates immediately tell me where he went… But why did he leave me seeing as he usually waits? Maybe he just wasn’t feeling well, so tough luck. In this case, I’ll take care of him! Thanking the person that told me where he went, I left the classroom.
As I was walking out of the school figure, I spotted the back of that senpai I longed to see. His hair and posture were a bit different, but I could tell it was him regardless. This is the power of love! Looking a bit closer, he walked with poise and seemed to be in good health. I was worried since he didn’t reply to a single message I sent during the summer break, so today he’s gonna give me plenty of attention until I’m satisfied.
Soon I reached my limit after a few moments of watching his back, and I couldn’t resist it. I ran up to and hugged him from behind.
“…Kurosaki, huh. It hurts.”
He turned his head halfway toward me, checking out his cute junior. He seemed a bit more brusque than usual, somehow, but that was cool in its own way. It made my heart clench.
“I’m sorry! Wait, before that, what happened with you?! Is this your ‘summer vacation debut’ or something? Did you get a girlfriend or something?”
It was probably because I haven’t seen him in a while, but he looked even better than he did before. His neat face was outstanding as well as his new haircut, and he held himself with confidence. I’d already liked his kind looks before, but his new self also had enough charm to ensnare my eyes.
I was so happy to see him after a long time, I didn’t even wait for his response and kept talking cheerfully. “Even with your summer debut, you won’t get a GF senpai! Hehe, do you want one that badly? It can’t be helped then, if you want one, I could be your—”
“Sorry, but shut up. Your voice is ringing in my head.”
Her words had come out as bullets shot from a machine gun, only stopping with my interjection. All that remained after my interruption was her puzzled face and deafening silence.
“So what if it’s my ‘summer vacation debut’? So what if I want a girlfriend? Why do you think I couldn’t get one, huh? Don’t laugh at another’s efforts so easily.”
“Wait a sec senpai… I–I…”
Sweat trickles down her forehead as she comes to grips with the situation, her hands frozen in mid-air with nowhere to go.
“What is it? You always made fun of me, but now that I’m punching back you can’t take it? If you’re so weak, you’d better work on your own mental strength before you consider abusing others.”
The junior’s eyes swayed and her cheeks twitched in anxiety. Her slightly upturned look have a harsh impression, but her face was well-defined by itself, so it didn’t matter much. She was beautiful regardless.
She was also about the height of an average boy and had larger-than-average breasts. She had an outstanding style, differing from Asakawa. Despite not having many guy friends, she was the object of admiration of basically the entirety of the first years, seeing as she treats everyone the same.
I recall I was listening to a band I liked on a train ride from school, and Akane Kurosaki approached me since that band was also one of her favorites. After that, she got attached to me and we often went to the arcade, watched movies, everything together. However, after I told her I was cheated on and abandoned by my ex, she started to make fun of me.
…Y’know, I was starting to believe her. I was certain at the time she’d never leave me hanging, that she’d never deny my feelings. Reality had other plans, however. I was betrayed once again, though in a different sense of the word. Still, I continued to laugh. I thought back then that if I tried harder, if I was nicer, maybe she’d eventually understand me. So I accepted her constant jokes, but that ends today.
I have given up on that sweet lie called hope. Kindness with no feelings was meaningless. Judging from Kurosaki’s reaction now, I guess she was never made fun of due to her attractiveness.
She was no longer necessary in my life.
“I’m not your dear senior anymore. You don’t care whether or not it’s me so long as you can abuse them comfortably, right? Sorry, but you’ll have to find someone else to do that to.”
“I–I didn’t mean to make fun of you… Hic, I’m sorry… senpai…”
“I have to forgive you since you’re crying? Then is it all my fault because I’m not the one crying? That’s ridiculous. I can’t go along with it anymore.”
I wobbled, moving away from Kurosaki. She slowly walked toward me, even after escaping from her hug. Despite seeing her sobbing, my heart didn’t waver a single moment.
“S–Senpai… Don’t go…”
Turning my back on her and her frail words, I headed home. I’ve reset all the major relationships in my life, and I finally cut off all the toxic girls. At last, I’m starting anew. Only I can truly love and protect myself. I’ll regain the self-esteem and self-respect I lost because of others.
What a nice feeling… To not be influenced by the words of other people.
When I came to, it was already dark outside. Looking through my window, I saw stars stretching to infinity beyond, twinkling beautifully above my head. I usually couldn’t see them, but now it felt as if the brightest star of all watched me with warm eyes.
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