Looking back, it was an awfully strange week.
I had encountered Kururi Kurumizawa, but then Shiho disappeared instead … and from there the peaceful routine was disrupted.
I never dreamed that a romantic comedy that had been so peaceful would be so turbulent.
There was no way I could have predicted that I myself would change so much.
I loved Shiho so much.
I was going to devote myself only to her.
But I betrayed her.
I am ashamed of myself. I’m ashamed of my weak will and I disgust… myself.
Now I hate me.
That’s why I hesitate to touch Shiho.
This is who I am – and I have come to deny myself, as I used to do.
“I’m… I’m sorry.”
By the time I had finished my story, I could no longer look at Shiho’s face. I was afraid to look at her face, let alone make eye contact, so I turned my head down.
I was scared.
I didn’t dare to know what she was feeling.
Was she hurt?
Was she sad?
Was she disappointed?
Was she dismayed?
Either way, I didn’t want to admit to myself that I had made her feel that way.
I could not accept this reality.
So, I wanted to remain unaware and hesitated.
Even that is the same as ‘running away’ and I still feel ashamed of myself.
Ah… as expected, it’s no good.
I’m in a loop of self-denial, and no matter what I do, think, or say, I will never forgive me.
“I’m really, really sorry … for betraying you, Shiho.”
I confided everything to her.
I told them honestly about studying together, sleeping together, the kiss…, and everything else.
I couldn’t hide it.
Even if this hurt her…, it would hurt me more to hide it from her.
Shiho wanted to know everything about me.
Then, explaining everything was the only way I could redeem myself.
“If I had been able to reject her more firmly…, if I had abandoned my weird obsessions and rebelled against my mother,… if I had been able to care for Shiho more and more,… if I had been able to care for myself more…!”
Absolutely, this would not have happened.
I can’t stop feeling. I know that saying “what if” is meaningless, but I couldn’t help but say it.
I don’t know what I want myself to do.
Do I want forgiveness?
Or do I want punishment?
Or do I want encouragement?
Or do I want her to tell me that she hates … me?
Because if Shiho said that to me, I would give up.
Because if she rejects me, I’ll just throw it all away and not try to do anything.
So, do I want … her to deny me, just like I deny myself?
–These thoughts go through my brain.
Then I felt somewhat relaxed.
Yes, if she hates me, everything is over.
Even the god of romantic comedies would be disgusted with me if the main heroine hates me.
Nothing would change anyway.
I’ll just be another mob character like before.
If that’s the case, well, … whatever.
A feeling of desperation makes me abandon my thoughts.
For a moment, I looked up, desperate to get away from it all.
Shiho confirmed … what kind of feelings she had for me.
But – unlike me – she was always straightforward.
“I forgive you.”
The emotion Shiho was expressing was not what I expected.
She was smiling gently.
“Kotaro-kun, you can’t forgive yourself… so I’ll forgive you instead.”
–I forgive you.
The moment she told me that, my knees suddenly collapsed.
I couldn’t find my voice.
Instead, what came out was … tears.
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