Stretching it out, Not Stretching it out
Kururi Kurumizawa gave the following assessment of Shiho and I’s romantic comedy:
“It’s almost stretching it.”
I couldn’t argue with that statement.
Deep down inside, I thought that might be true.
But Shiho is different.
Unlike me, she has a strong will. She has absolute confidence.
She would never doubt herself like I do.
And she trusts me more than I trust her.
“You know, Kotaro-kun, you love me, don’t you? Maybe you don’t realize it? I’m so lucky to be loved like this… It’s so wonderful that you look so pained just because another girl touched you. Really, I can’t help but love you.”
Shiho is good at detecting things I’m not aware of.
Like now, she can read my mind from my simple actions.
I wonder if she is smart even though her grades are bad. Sometimes, she makes a pointed remark that makes my heart skip a beat.
“But, Kotaro-kun, you are not kind to yourself because you always want… to be perfect, and even now you are not satisfied with yourself, right? So, like this, you can’t forgive yourself.”
“… I guess so.”
Shiho explained my mental situation, which I had not been able to verbalize, to me instead.
When she said it, I recognized a side of myself that I did not know was there, that I might indeed be like that.
Maybe I’m quite a perfectionist.
No, technically speaking, I am too much in pursuit of my ideal self.
That’s why I get frustrated with myself when I fall short of the ideal.
I deny that I am such a fool.
Shiho saw that part of myself as dangerous.
“If you don’t learn to love yourself a little more, it won’t work out even if you become my lover. Because you make it so hard on you, it will surely fall apart at some point. Kotaro-kun will get angry at his unworthy self and won’t be able to stand being around me.”
Let’s say I was dating Shiho in this state.
My great girlfriend and me standing side by side … Oh, so that’s what it’s all about.
I mean, one day I’m going to think like this.
<“Kotaro Nakayama is not the right person for Shiho Shimotsuki.”>
Once we start dating, those feelings will be more apparent.
Shiho thought that far… and may have sensed that it would happen, rather than just saying it…
So I didn’t rush.
Slowly, she was going to wait until I matured and learned to love myself.
(She wasn’t stretching it out…, after all.)
Understanding this, I was ashamed of myself for doubting it.
Shiho Shimotsuki sees much further into the future than I do.
I live in the present with the goal of being happy at that moment.
It seems like she is living momentarily, but she is not.
Shiho was very serious about love.
“But I’m sorry, okay? I was supposed to be there to watch over you until then… I got sick. They took advantage of my absence and hurt you.”
Then Shiho showed a rare display of anger.
“I will never, ever, ever allow anyone to tarnish my treasures…”
She bit her lower lip in frustration.
In her eyes, a fire of fighting spirit, which did not suit Shiho, was burning.
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