The Cage of Guilt
I don’t remember much after Kurumizawa-san kissed me.
It was morning before I realized it, and after getting ready early in the morning, I left her house without eating breakfast.
I was going to walk home. It would take a long time, but I wanted to get away from the Kurumizawa mansion anyway.
But, perhaps Kurumizawa-san had anticipated even that, because as I was walking around the grounds, a car was chasing me from behind.
According to the servant who was driving, he had been instructed by Kurumizawa-san to keep an eye on me. He had also been told to give me a ride home, so he urged me to get in the car.
I was a little lost, but it would have taken much longer if I had walked, so I decided to ask him to give me a ride home and finally arrived home.
I was completely manipulated and moved by Kurumizawa-san’s hand.
To top it all off, she kissed me and I was suffering from guilt.
Anyway, I didn’t dare to show my face to Shiho.
Friday. Perhaps Shiho will take the rest of the day off until today and come back to school at the end of the week. Or, my phone will be back tomorrow, so maybe she will contact me then.
I need to calm down somehow.
I want to tell Shiho about the events of the past week and apologize.
I am sure she will be angry. She will sulk, and I am sure she will be jealous. But I don’t think that would be painful. Rather, I want her to scold me and punish me properly.
Otherwise, I cannot forgive myself.
–No, even if I am punished that much, will I still be able to forgive myself?
The question I asked myself could not be answered because my hazy thoughts were in the way.
The fog would not clear no matter how long it took.
The fog has been hanging over my thoughts for a long time now.
But it’s okay.
I’ve been in this state for a long time, so I’ve come to know the proper countermeasures.
At times like this, I just need to remember Shiho.
Memories of that girl make my thoughts clear.
I take a breath and look up.
The memories of Shiho helped me again.
What was floating in my mind was the lunch break on a certain day.
It was not a very special scene, as we just had lunch together.
But even in an ordinary day, the time I spent with her would be a treasure.
I steeled myself. Finally, I was able to look forward.
I arrived home just in time, so I got out of the car. It was only 6:00 in the morning, and it seemed that Azusa had not woken up yet.
When I entered the house, of course no one was there.
However, I found a letter on the living room table that said, “Let me know if you’re going to be late”, which made my cheeks relax a little.
I guess as a family, she was worried that I was coming home late.
I wrote ‘Sorry, I’m going to school first.’ Then I quietly went to my room.
I took off the jersey I had been wearing since yesterday and changed into a spare uniform. Come to think of it, I had left my uniform at Kurumizawa-san’s house. I’ll have to get it later.
Thinking about this, I finished getting ready for school. It was only 6:30 at that point, but I left the house feeling somewhat restless.
I got on a bus that came just in time to take me to school. It was a little after 7:00 when I arrived at the classroom, and of course no one was there.
I was all alone in the classroom. I sat down in my seat and relaxed.
Even though I thought I was going to be in a daze for a while and try to get my thoughts together…
As usual, the god of romantic comedies was cruel.
“… Huh? Kotaro-kun?”
The voice that I suddenly heard was the voice that I had been waiting for more than anything else… and at the same time, the voice that I did not want to hear the most at the moment.
I gasped and turned my gaze to the classroom door.
The one who was there was a beautiful silvery-white girl who looked like a fairy.
“Nya, nya, nya, nya, what? I finally felt better, so I got nervous and came to school early, and to my surprise … Kotaro-kun was there! I wonder if it’s fate…”
She seemed to be in a very good mood when she found me.
She was humming a tune and approaching me.
“Hey, hey, Kotaro-kun, were you surprised too? I was supposed to go to school on Monday, but I wanted to see you as soon as possible, so I did my best to recover! So you can praise me, right? Look, look, my head is itching to be patted, why don’t you notice?”
Her always abundant talk became even more frequent, a sign of delight, I suppose.
Of course, I have no reason to deny her begging.
So, I was willing to stroke her head.
But I couldn’t do that.
Suddenly, I choked.
My breathing became labored and my chest hurt.
Her heart ached.
In front of the pure and untainted Shiho, I was feeling… worst of all, I was feeling my own filthiness.
All I could think of in my mind was the time when Kurumizawa-san kissed me.
That truth was eating away at me.
Shiho tilted her head curiously.
I looked away from her.
I could no longer even look directly at her.
The guilt was inhibiting me.
Furthermore, my head was full of fog and my thoughts were hazy.
Until now, remembering Shiho would have cleared my mind.
It seems that my heart is so wounded that I can no longer handle the sight of her.
I couldn’t return the words.
I was unable to say anything.
The cage of guilt was trapping me.
Maybe the transgression I had committed was too heavy for me to break out of that prison.
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