Tools, not children
I’m probably about halfway through my third period class.
I ended up skipping it, but I wasn’t in class right now.
The place was in the corner of the schoolyard, just in a blind spot.
There I was, facing Mary.
“It’s simple. Why can’t you just say, ‘Don’t use me in the future’?”
Mary-san forcefully pushes a smartphone at me.
When I take it, the phone book screen is already open there, showing my mother’s name.
Touch it and the call starts.
The thought of talking to that mother – just thinking about it sends chills down my spine.
I hate that mother who is my blood relative, even though I am her son, even though she gave birth to me, but she has a strangerly and mechanical voice.
I cry in my memory of my childhood, when I was dismayed, disappointed, and abandoned for not being able to do anything.
After my mother’s disappointment, I too lost the ability to expect anything from myself.
I began to question my own worthiness, and eventually I thought of myself as a “mob character” and lost all motivation for everything.
Thanks to Shiho, I became a better person. That’s why I don’t want to hear her voice anymore.
I don’t want to go back to my past self anymore.
My cowardly self is shaking my head desperately.
Don’t call her, it’s screaming at me.
“Don’t you just want to stick your chest out in front of Shiho?”
But Mary-san could do anything after all.
I guess it was easy for her to push my timid back.
“Nihihi♪ know you want me to say so. Good thing I’m on your side this time … or I wouldn’t be doing the annoying thing of encouraging a pathetic mob character.”
…Yeah, I knew that.
I am still a pawn dancing in Mary’s hands.
I mean, I don’t have the right to … make the decision in the first place.
“You don’t even have to make a decision. Kotaro has no freedom of action. He can only do his part for the sake of the story.”
..It has always been that way.
Then it will be the same now.
I’m here to break the karma with my mother.
That’s the plot of the story.
Then there is no need to hesitate.
The phone connected.
I pressed the call button, heard a single ring, and immediately the call was connected.
“Kotaro, you did a good job.”
Of course, we didn’t start chatting.
It was the first conversation I had had with her in several years, but her first words were inorganic.
“Thanks to you, we were able to receive a large amount of support from the Mary Corporation. We also received help from the Kurumizawa Conglomerate, and thanks to you, we have a good prospect for the future. This time, it was thanks to Kotaro.”
I haven’t said anything yet.
However, my mother continued to talk on her own, perhaps not wanting to spend even a moment talking on the phone.
“For the first time, I was glad to have you. I thought you were an outcast, not good in studies or sports, mediocre in looks, and without a shred of talent, but … I never thought you had talent here.”
What is this person talking about?
I’ve been told I’m not talented, that I’m lucky to have been born, that I’m out of shape, and other horrible things, but that was a long time ago when I was hurt by those things. Now I don’t feel anything when people say such things.
However, for the first time, my mother appreciated my “value” and I was concerned about that.
What was it about me that made my mother so happy?
“I never would have guessed you had a talent for getting ladies to contribute. I can’t believe that the Kurumizawa Conglomerate and the daughter of the Mary Company are willing to help you. … This is really, really useful. It will be a great advantage for our company. Thank you, Kotaro.”
“… What’s that?”
–With those words of gratitude, a switch was flipped.
Up until now, I had been afraid of my cowardice, but now the line was unforgivable.
“To ladies, to make them contribute?”
I’m not getting involved with Kurumizawa-san and Mary-san for such a purpose.
I don’t build relationships with such corrupt motives.
I am not like you.
And yet… Don’t get me wrong.
“Cherish these relationships. And with you as a catalyst, our company will take an even bigger leap forward. Finally, you’ve made yourself useful to me. Kotaro, why don’t you become a host? I’m sure you’ll be more successful that way.”
I was taken aback by the vulgar suggestion.
I didn’t want to believe that my mother was this kind of person.
This was impossible.
No, it wasn’t.
I was simply turning my back on reality.
Somewhere inside of me, I knew it from the beginning.
“I’m not a … child to you, am I?”
I muttered. That’s all I could say.
Then, as if choking back emotion, all I could do was grunt.
“I am a ‘tool’ to you, aren’t I?”
Not for the first time.
I had recognized that on several occasions.
I guess I was just a tool to my mother,… I thought so, but once again, that fact made me angry.
“Don’t mess with me.”
Am I useful to my mother?
I guess it is very important to that person.
But when I think about it, … it’s none of my business.
“You are the one who gave birth to me without my permission.”
I know that saying this would be a waste of time and energy, but I had to say it.
“I wasn’t born because I wanted to be born.”
So, don’t ask me for anything of value.
Don’t force your selfish ideas on me…
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