“You’re miserable, Kirari… pretending to be a tragic heroine? You’re hurt, completely lost in your sadness, and you don’t even try to get up. Instead, you keep waiting for help… pathetic. You’re in high school now, remember? Stop dreaming for God’s sake.”
Kirari shook her head at his statement.
She was in no mood to hear those words right now.
(I want you to spoil me more, to be nice to me, to comfort me. I want you to tell me it’s okay, to soothe me…!)
“Still trying to depend on me after all? Don’t give away your stupid… life, your story, into someone else’s hands. You know, Kirari is Kirari, right? Why try to reason with someone else when it’s all about you?”
Her heart was in pain.
She wished he hadn’t said something so heinous.
(Ko-kun, it’s different now… isn’t it? I… I’m so hurt, that I shouldn’t do anything that will cause you even more pain.)
She felt out of place.
Kirari couldn’t help but say,
“Don’t be so harsh…”
Her voice was so shaky that even she was surprised.
The boy in front of her, however, showed no mercy, even though she was on the verge of tears.
“Don’t be naive. I’m not your hero. Listen to me carefully… For Kotaro Nakayama, Kirari Asakura is not a heroine. Don’t think that he can save her. Don’t try to hold on to him. Don’t depend on him.”
He rejected all of her thoughts and feelings.
As if to show her how weak she is.
As if to slap Kirari in the face with a reality she had been denying.
“But if you still want to exploit me, if you still want to… cling on to me, if you still need to rely on me, then crawl. Bow your head. Bow down to my existence. Is that what you want? You want to live for the sake of other people? That’s what that means, doesn’t it?”
She was looked down upon.
She was ridiculed.
She was mocked.
She was made fun of.
In other words, Kotaro Nakayama thought of Kirari Asakura like that.
“I’m going to grace you with my presence, my poor sub heroine. You want the affection of a mob character, don’t you? I can’t give you everything, but I can give you a portion of it. We share an old connection, and I’m willing to talk to you once in a while, alright? So, do me a favor. Beg for it. Show me the utmost sincerity you can muster. If you do that, I’ll give you a reason to live.”
He describes it as pitiful.
Pitiful, miserable, pathetic, he says clearly.
He would not have said this otherwise. It was as if he didn’t think Kirari was human.
“You are such a weak human being that you don’t even know who you are. You don’t have any pride, do you? Then bow down to me. And I will save you. You are, after all, a poor human being who cannot live alone. What is it that makes you want to give your all to Ryoma Ryuzaki…? Kirari, your feelings are not those of ‘love’. The only thing you were looking for was a ‘dependent partner’.”
At that moment, something exploded.
Emotions that had been tucked away in the back of her mind overflowed and rushed through her.
That wasn’t the case. This was not how she had hoped it would end.
–Don’t make fun of me!
Don’t insult Kirari Asakura.
Her heart was filled with an emotion known as “anger.”
“…I don’t want to.”
A trembling voice naturally leaked out.
That voice, however, was quiet and did not reach Kotaro Nakayama.
Even though she was still acting like a fool, Kirari exploded even more.
“I said I don’t want to!”
Her body, which had been drenched in sweat, was filled with vitality.
Her entire body was on fire. Her stomach was boiling. She could no longer contain herself.
“Bow down to you? Who do you think you are? Don’t be conceited…! Don’t belittle me. Don’t pity me! Don’t act like you feel sorry for me!”
She yelled. She rose to her feet. With all her might, she slapped the boy in front of her on the cheek.
A dry sound echoes. But Kirari’s emotions didn’t subside. Giving in to her impulse, she grabbed the boy by the collar on his chest and screamed once more into his naïve face.
“Don’t make fun of me!!”
Indeed, Kirari was miserable. She was a heartbroken loser. She might even be regarded as a pitiful clown.
But that didn’t stop him from making fun of her.
“Don’t deny me of my romantic comedy story…”
Yes, she has a story. She, too, has a story to tell.
She may have made many mistakes, and it may be an excruciating piece of nonsense to watch. However, that is no reason to deny it.
Because she was trying her best.
It is a story that she has written out of desperation because she wants to be happy.
She couldn’t help but be resentful at having been denied that.