The Victim’s Subheroine
“It’s like I no longer like Nakayama.”
Kurumizawa-san’s expression was very calm as she said this.
“I’m sorry I ever said that, okay? I don’t know if it bothers you that I’m apologizing for it… But please accept this as my ‘clean slate’.”
What am I supposed to say to that?
It’s not right to say thank you, and it’s even stranger to say sorry.
In the first place, I was puzzled by Kurumizawa-san’s confession, and if that’s the case, what she just said should be convenient for me.
But it’s a little tricky.
“I could finally tell you… Finally, I could convey it to you. Nakayama, I thought I liked you so much, but it seems I don’t like you anymore.”
“… I see.”
“Yeah, that’s right. I … don’t seem to like Nakayama anymore, you know?”
Kurumizawa-san repeats the same words over and over again, as if she is talking to herself.
Then I suddenly realized the nature of the uncomfortable feeling that had been stuck in me.
(Why … is it someone else’s problem when it’s about me?)
It’s like ‘it seems’ that she doesn’t like me anymore.
It seems that she doesn’t ‘like me’ anymore.
It was as if she was insisting that she had not done so of her own volition.
“I don’t mean that I didn’t find Nakayama attractive, you know? Rather, as we spent time together, I thought Nakayama was a very nice person,… but I don’t like you anymore, and it’s kind of strange.”
“Are you … okay?”
Suddenly, the words jumped out at me.
I know it’s a strange thing to reply to.
“Kurumizawa-san. You don’t have to worry about it… So just answer honestly.”
But I couldn’t help but worry.
“Really, are you all right?”
Something was obviously wrong.
She is smiling like she is blowing off steam, but there is something wrong with her.
This was like a blank stare.
“I’m so ashamed of myself for not being able to say–I’m fine.”
Kurumizawa-san shrugged her shoulders with a wry smile.
With a resigned expression, she let out a heavy breath.
“Huh,… I wonder why. I didn’t think that I would fall in love with someone else so easily, even though I thought I liked you so much.”
“I don’t think that’s strange. … There are a lot of people out there who are more awesome than I am, so isn’t it obvious?”
“That’s not true. Besides, I don’t fall in love with people easily–I always thought so myself.”
She now seemed disappointed in herself.
She looked bored, just as she does when a story she was looking forward to reading suddenly loses momentum.
“I was much more lighthearted than I thought I was. I thought I really liked Nakayama, but when I opened the lid, it turns out that I didn’t.”
I couldn’t accept those words.
“I know I can’t tell you that’s not true,… but I don’t know what you’re really thinking about, Kurumizawa-san… But at least when you were spending time with me, you seemed to be serious. That’s why I was having a hard time.”
She had approached me many times, and each time I was dismayed.
If it had been more lighthearted, I wouldn’t have been so troubled.
At least it didn’t seem fake to me.
But she shook her head.
“Nakayama is too kind. You overestimate me.”
Too kind is a word that doesn’t suit me.
It’s not that I’m too nice. I’m just weak-willed.
I think she is the one who is over-optimistic.
But I couldn’t insist on it.
I couldn’t say a word.
There is no argument that exists that can negate Kurumizawa-san’s words.
In the end, all I could do was listen to her words as I always do.
She continues to tell her story, leaving me in the dark.
“One day, a fateful encounter occurred. And I fell in love with that person more than I had ever loved anyone before – my romantic comedy is just that kind of story. I’m so light, so insecure, so pathetic, … I’m so disgusted with myself for being this way.”
Then she bowed her head again.
“So I’m sorry. I’m sorry for involving you in this frivolous love affair, for hurting you, for making you suffer.”
She bowed her head deeply.
Her pink hair was swaying in the wind.
I didn’t know what to say to her.
I was silent, and Kurumizawa-san continued to speak to me.
“But let me tell you this. I didn’t mean to fall in love with you lightly. At the time, I really thought I liked you.”
But those feelings, which were supposed to be sincere, were an elaborate ‘fake’, she said.
“Really, I thought I liked you …, but maybe I was wrong Did I really not like Nakayama, but I just assumed I did? Or maybe it was true that I did like you, and those feelings had somehow faded?”
The truth of the matter is that even she herself does not know.
It was as if – regardless of Kurumizawa-san’s intentions – the feeling of “liking” had been implanted and overwritten on its own.
（I knew it…)
Then I finally came to a conclusion.
(Was Kurumizawa-san just being made to fit in with the story?)
I don’t even like her, but I am made to like her.
In order to move the story along, the emotions of the characters are forcibly rewritten.
What if I was just caught up in that kind of “opportunism”?
(That would be …terrible, wouldn’t it?)
It was so cruel.
After all, this girl is just like me.
I can’t move the story with my own will.
Merely a stage set to color the beginning and end of the story.
In other words, Kururi Kurumizawa was a “servant to the story”.
In this romantic comedy, she was certain to lose.
After all, Kurumizawa-san was only involved in it.
In other words, she was not a ‘perpetrator’ but a ‘victim’.
That’s right… Looking back, the turning point was there, too.
(After the encounter with Ryuzaki, Kurumizawa-san started to become strange.)
The story went on without my knowledge and she was rewritten.
Kururi Kurumizawa has been used in Ryoma Ryuzaki’s story.
I wonder if that is why she was hurt so much.
If so, … it was truly cruel…
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