(Prologue) Monologue of a Harem Protagonist Who Was Too Late
Why didn’t I realize it?
I had never even thought about what kind of feelings Yuzuki had for me … until now.
Yuzuki was crying big tears of frustration.
It has already been a month since I confessed my feelings to her…, but I still remember that scene as if it happened yesterday.
I remembered everything vividly, not only her facial expressions, but also her dialogue, her breathing.
It was right after I confessed to her asking her to go out with me.
She bowed her head deeply and rejected my feelings.
Of course, I was confused at first.
I was overconfident that Yuzuki would accept my feelings.
I immediately tried to ask her why … but when I looked up and saw tears in her eyes, I was at a loss for words.
It was the first time.
It was the first time I had ever seen Yuzuki … no, it was the first time I had ever seen a girl cry in front of me.
So I didn’t know what to say to her.
“I’m sorry, I can’t do it. For me… it was impossible after all.”
Yuzuki, with her eyes downcast and nodding, said in a listless voice.
“I loved you as you were, Ryoma. I loved you, always smiling, insensitive, but kind. Even if you lost your confidence, even if you became despicable, I could still love you … because you were still Ryoma-san.”
Yuzuki loved me the way I used to be, the way I used to be, the way I used to deny myself.
But now I am no longer what I used to be.
“The Ryoma-san of today is different. The Ryoma-san I loved is no longer here…, and if you were the one I loved, you wouldn’t have confessed to me.”
I’ve changed, and Yuzuki was denying it.
It seems that she can’t accept it.
“I didn’t want to see you changed. I finally came to love you as you are, which I couldn’t change no matter what I did… Why have you changed now?”
Perhaps that was a thought that was split at the end, ‘resignation’.
Even Yuzuki must have realized that I used to be distorted.
But no matter what she did, I didn’t change.
So Yuzuki decided to love me as I was, and she can’t forgive me because I changed so easily even though I was …
“I have been devoted to you for a long, long time. I have given all of my heart and soul. No matter how unreasonably I was treated, no matter how much my feelings were trampled upon, I endured. And yet,… to be changed by a single comment from a girl you fell in love with just because she was your ‘childhood friend’ is such a terrible thing.”
The words spun from Yuzuki’s lips pierced my heart.
How did Yuzuki know about my interaction with that girl?
(Come to think of it, right after the exchange with Shimotsuki, Yuzuki stopped coming to my house.)
Suddenly, I recall the strange feeling I had at that time.
I was so preoccupied with Shimotsuki that I quickly forgot about Yuzuki, but when I think about it …, she had been showing a change since that time.
That was, in essence, what it was all about.
“I didn’t want to see that scene. I didn’t want to know Ryoma-san when he was talking with Shiho Shimotsuki… No matter how much I talked to you, you didn’t laugh like that. No matter how much I did for you, you were not at all pleased.”
I was being watched.
Yuzuki happened to see the conversation between me and Shimotsuki.
“At the end of the day, Ryoma-san twisted himself with a single comment from a mere childhood friend. No matter how much I tried, you didn’t change, but you easily accepted Shiho Shimotsuki’s comment. … I really wanted Ryoma to change, too, but I had to put up with it, endure it, and force myself to accept it. That’s why … it’s not easy to accept it.”
I tried to say no, but I couldn’t.
Because Yuzuki was right.
I was twisted by the words of my childhood friend, Shiho Shimotsuki.
“It’s okay to be second. It doesn’t matter if I can’t be the best. If I could be next to Ryoma-san, that’s all I need to be happy, but I can’t do it anymore. The you I love is no longer here.”
… Maybe I was being naive.
Perhaps I was resting on the kindness and affection of Yuzuki.
Therefore, thinking that she would accept me, I ended up belittling …the girl named Yuzuki Hojo.
And finally, she had run out of patience.
“…I didn’t want to be chosen by process of elimination. I know that you liked your childhood friend Shiho Shimotsuki. That love didn’t come true, so you had no choice but to choose an appropriate girl, didn’t you? You thought that I would accept you unconditionally, Ryoma-san, didn’t you?”
She was right on the money.
Yuzuki was right, word for word.
That’s why I couldn’t argue with her.
“Please don’t underestimate me. I’m a girl, too…, and I wish you would have taken me more seriously.”
After telling me this, Yuzuki bowed her head again.
Then, without looking back at me, she walked quickly away.
After that, all that was left was me standing there, and the paper bag on the ground.
Inside the paper bag that Yuzuki had brought was a handmade Christmas cake.
When did it fall?
I collapsed in the doorway, looking at the cake, which was messed up from the impact of the fall.
“It was already … too late.”
That’s when I realized.
I realized that my romantic comedy had been irretrievable.
Thanks to Shiho, I was able to awaken and see many things that I couldn’t see before …, which made me more acutely aware of the distortion of the current situation.
“I have twisted Yuzuki.”
It was my unworthiness that twisted the love of a pure girl.
Because I was insensitive, Yuzuki tried to love me even by distorting herself.
This is the result of that.
This is the sin of a harem protagonist.
And I must now atone for that sin.
From now on, I have to make the girl I distorted happy, even if it means giving everything I have.
I know that.
But I don’t know how to do that.
One month has already passed since I confessed my feelings to Yuzuki.
Yet I still couldn’t move on.
Is there nothing more I can do to … make my romantic comedy?
What can I really do to make Yuzuki happy?
I had no idea what to do…
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