Like a Childhood Friend
Suddenly, looking back to the past, … it seemed that whenever I was troubled, there was always a girl who would help me out.
During the overnight learning program, Azusa had my back.
She was the one who encouraged me when I was worried about confessing my feelings to Shimotsuki.
When I was in the theater, Mary supported me.
In the end, my feelings at that time did not come true, but it is true that she helped me.
And this time, too, it seems that I can be helped.
“Ryu-kun, wait a minute!”
As usual, my relationship with Yuzuki was still strained, and when I couldn’t do anything about it, one of the girls was trying to reach out to me, as if it was… normal.
After school. On my way home, I was walking down the street in a daze.
“… Kirari, huh?”
There was a girl with brown hair.
She used to have blonde hair and looked more flashy than she does now, but the atmosphere has changed so much before this that I still feel uncomfortable.
With her red-framed glasses, lighter makeup, longer skirt, and tight-fitting school uniform, she looked very unlike a gyaru.
However, her appearance was awfully fitting.
Unlike the Kirari of the past, the Kirari of today looks … somewhat radiant.
“Yeah, it’s Kirari Asakura. Did you forget about me? That would be so lonely!”
She smiled brightly and lightly poked me with her elbow.
I was grateful for her friendly attitude.
It was as if she was saying, “Cheer up”.
Kirari was always like this. Thanks to her cheerful behavior … next to me, I can treat her like a male friend, which makes me feel at ease.
“Well, it’s been quite a while since we’ve had a good conversation like this, hasn’t it? Ryu-kun wasn’t in good spirits. You didn’t respond well when I tried to talk to you.”
“Oh… that’s right.”
It is true that Kirari seems to be talking to me a lot.
However, I didn’t have the time to give her any attention recently, so I don’t think I’ve been able to respond very well.
“Hmm, no need to worry? Well, I’m a girl who can wait, so it’s okay.”
I apologized, and Kirari forgave me without showing any sign of being offended.
“You heard what I said, didn’t you? Lately Ryu-kun, although not in good spirits, seems to have improved a lot. …So, it’s okay.”
But Kirari seems to have convinced herself of something.
She seems to have sensed the change in me and is happy about it.
“Finally, you are back to your cool Ryu-kun… no, maybe not? You’ve become much nicer than before. I’m glad I tried so hard to talk to you over and over again…, I’m so happy!”
–Oh, I see.
I’m sure this girl has been trying to appeal to me for the past few months.
The results of her efforts have borne fruit, and she seems to be under the mistaken impression that I have changed drastically.
It’s true that not too long ago, I was a slacker and perceived myself as a “mob character”. I had become despondent and retreated into my shell.
During that time, I even remember Kirari talking to me a few times… Unfortunately, I do not remember anything she said to me at all…
I am sorry, but Kirari’s words never reached me.
For me before, Kirari was just a “girl friend” and …that’s why I had abandoned confronting her.
(I’m still a total and utter jerk, as usual.)
Once again, I am aware.
I felt like I was reminded of how much of a worst man I was in the past.
I’m sorry, Kirari… you had nothing to do with it.
I only realized what was wrong with me thanks to my childhood friend. … Kirari’s words meant nothing to me.
So I’m sorry.
Maybe Kirari is trying to offer a helping hand to me when I’m in trouble.
Whenever I was in trouble, a girl always helped me out, so I think Kirari is playing the same role this time…
But I couldn’t take that help.
Using her feelings here is exactly what I would have done in the past.
I don’t want to do something that doesn’t make sense anymore.
No more twisted romantic comedies like harems.
I’ve decided to live my life straight.
I decided to make amends to Yuzuki, who never gave up on me until the very end, by giving my all.
In other words, I cannot take Kirari’s hand.
In order to show my single-mindedness, I must shake off her hand.
“Hey, Ryu-kun? Can I come over to your house now? It’s been a while since I’ve been there, and I want to get all kinds of fancy …”
So, I couldn’t accept that suggestion.
“I’m sorry, can’t.”
I feel like it’s a mistake to even try to act friendly here.
If you have decided to be single-minded, it is only natural to exclude other members of the opposite gender.
Like my childhood friend Shiho, I too want to write a happy romantic comedy.
So, I’m sorry for Kirari, but … I decided to shake her off…
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