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 woke up and rubbed my sleepy eyes as my conscience gradually cleared up. As soon as I came to, I tried to escape from reality. Surely, yesterday was a dream—a collective fever dream, right?
Unfortunately, at breakfast, my father confirmed today’s reunion and the harsh reality of what was about to happen fell on me like an anvil. Yesterday happened, it wasn’t a nightmare.
Today’s Saturday, which means we’ll only have morning lessons. The meeting is scheduled to take place at 1 PM after school. Having settled this with my father, I headed to the place where me and my girlfriend, Yuuhi Momiji, usually met up to walk together. She used to be just a childhood friend, but now we’re something more.
Yesterday, while I waited for my dad to come home, I received a text message from her. Since I was still trying to sort things out in my head, I replied I’d just talk to her about it the next morning as we walked together. It was the best time to talk about it.
We live in the same residential area, so the walk there wasn’t long. I saw her as soon as I got there; she waited for me.
“What the hell did you do? Hisame told me everything! I didn’t think you were the kind of person who’d do that!”
That was the first thing she said to me this morning. Her eyes were filled with anger and contempt. Since she and Hisame are good friends, she seems to have heard the story before I could even say anything.
I had assumed she would believe in me too, seeing how my family took my side yesterday.
“You’re wrong! I didn’t do anything!” I vehemently denied it.
“Wrong?! She isn’t the type of girl who’d lie! Even Miu-chan said she saw it happen!”
Oh, I see…
Momiji is the same kind of person as my teacher. She weighed me on a scale and chose her friend over her boyfriend. My vision flickered, and my ears couldn’t pick up on what she was saying anymore.
I don’t want to be here.
I don’t want to be with Momiji.
—As soon as I realized that, I ran, ran, and ran away.
I don’t want to go to school… I want to stay at home or go somewhere far, far away.
The fact my own girlfriend didn’t believe in me weighed so much that it made me want to vanish into thin air. She was a friend I’d known since childhood, and she was my lover. The damage I received from her distrust cut more than the teacher’s. It was incomparable.
But despite those thoughts, I still have a meeting to attend today. I also need to plead my case to my friends; while I’m afraid to face them, I’m also afraid of running away, even though I just did… This pathetic man called Yuu ended up walking to school nonetheless.
Just from yesterday’s homeroom, I’m sure they all have a rough idea of what’s going on. In that case, would they believe me? Just the image of Momiji’s angry eyes was enough to knock any hope down. Still, I gathered what was left of my courage and opened the door.
I’m the kind of guy who’s surrounded by a lot of friends. I usually hang out with a close group of people I’m more intimate with, but I still can talk with everyone in class without any hesitation. I’ve never really thought about the specifics of what’s considered a friend and what’s not, but I think of most in this class as being such.
However, dead silence greeted me. As soon as I stood in front of the door, the silence soon turned into a bustle.
The atmosphere was of the same thorn as the teacher and my girlfriend’s eyes. Being faced with such painful pressure, I couldn’t dare to look any of them in the eye. Unable to look up, I trudged to my seat and put my stuff by my desk.
Still, I know I can’t let it happen like this. I tried to talk to one of the friends I usually hung out with, albeit fearfully.
“Wow, who the hell do you think you are, coming to school after all that?”
“I mean, didn’t he commit a crime?”
“Toudou-san is so cute…”
Starting with the first cleave of abuse, what followed were numerous other slashes at my person, raining from all over the classroom.
“Y, you’re wrong…”
“Wrong? Please, I’ll puke.”
The voice that broke my denial was of that same friend I was about to call out to. We were supposed to be close… Looking up, I saw the faces of all my classmates, and their eyes were filled with disgust, hostility, disappointment, and even indifference. Not a single one decided to listen, and no gaze was warm.
Then, I realized…
In their minds, her side of the story had already become a face. No matter what I said, how many proofs I brought up, no one believed in me. I had no one by my side except my father and my sister.
I thought I got along well with everybody, and that we even came to trust each other. However, our seemingly strong relationships were easily shattered by a single lie.
All I wanted to do was to escape, but I couldn’t.
The various reactions I’d get from people if I did run were enough to shake me to my core. Just imagining that scene brought me down to the floor, and it made me as fearful as their stares and words did.
Thus, I sat down and pretended not to hear anything. Yes, pretended. Their eyes were still knives at my back, and their whispers still lingered in my ears. I couldn’t take it and spent every waking second trying not to think.
It was hell.
As soon as my mind almost numbed itself, I was pulled right back to the flames. I couldn’t focus on class no matter how much I tried, and every second felt like ten hours. The breaks, however, where everyone was allowed to talk, were the most terrifying.
However, time still passes no matter how slow it feels. Classes were finally reaching their end with homeroom. As everyone was about to leave or go to one of their clubs, I was called by the teacher and was told to come to the conference room next to the teacher’s by 1 PM with my family.
The teacher, me, my dad, Toudou, and her mother all sat there. Five people were about to have a discussion on this situation.
I couldn’t help but wonder how the meeting would proceed, but the parents did all the talking, with us students only confirming the facts. However, it soon turned into a never-ending loop. Dad would deny the accusations, and the other party wouldn’t budge. I knew then that no agreement could be made by either side until the end of the day.
“It’s regrettable, but how about a settlement?”
The other party began, but dad refused such an offer and indicated a willingness to take this matter to court if necessary. However, the teacher told him that if we made a big deal of this, not only would it affect my current situation but also my future life, and I was at a disadvantage since they had a “witness”, and I was the “perpetrator.”
For a long time after that, silence reigned. Then, my father finally nodded, and they left the room so they could make out the details, and right by my side was the woman who falsely accused me.
“What the hell do you want?” I asked her, even though I knew I would get no answer.
It was our first time alone since her accusation yesterday, and as expected, she didn’t say anything back. After a few seconds, I left the room, knowing that if I was alone with her, she could try to make something else up to hurt me further.
My father walked out of the school building, and as soon as he saw me he apologized. His face was scrunched, frustrated, but I didn’t put one ounce of blame in him. Not one.
He denied my involvement many, many times, and seriously thought about my future. With all that, a decision was made.
“Thank you for everything, dad. Let’s go home.”
The sight of my father, so honestly trying to help, was enough to dispel some of that growing murkiness inside my heart.
On this day, my human heart, exposed to the sickening malice of those two liars and the distrust of my girlfriend, was broken, then transformed by the love and faith put in me by my family.
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