A rotten childhood friend
–I’ve been hit by it all.
“I think she’s going to get sick if she keeps this up.”
Mary left the place after saying that.
She came out of nowhere and stirred up the place, and then, after all that, she left behind the worst possible souvenir and quickly departed.
Just when Azusa was finally settling down, … Mary’s behavior is going to make her unstable once again.
I guess I should be there for her as soon as possible. Otherwise, Azusa may suffer as she once did.
But I felt too sorry for the girl in front of me to do that.
She “was” a beautiful girl with beautiful long black hair that suited her well.
But now, her condition is too bad to be described as a beautiful girl.
The reason why I met her like this is probably Mary-san’s scheme.
If I could have, I would not have wanted to meet her.
She is a stranger to me now.
We were childhood friends, but we have nothing to do with each other.
And yet, … I can’t leave her alone, is it because I’ve known her for so long after all?
“I am Yuzuki Hojo, and I will be turning 17 years old this year.”
Yuzuki suddenly begins her self-introduction.
I had a feeling earlier that… we were not having a good conversation.
“Kotaro-san, have you eaten dinner?”
“Huh? Ah, yeah…”
“Is that so? I was bitten by a mosquito, and it itches.”
(TLN: Oblivion NPC)
The … topic is also jumped and the reaction to my response is not very strong.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed that her eyes were vacant, her hair was shaggy, and her skin was pale. Her body was fidgeting and she was biting her fingernails, perhaps unconsciously.
I suddenly remembered that Yuzuki had a habit of sucking her fingers when she was a child.
This was when she and I were very young…, and we’ve grown up since then and I’ve forgotten that she even had that habit, so why did it come back?
This is not the Yuzuki I know.
The Yuzuki Hojo I knew was a cleaner, calmer, … more relaxed girl.
And yet, she has changed drastically.
“Oh? Come to think of it, I feel like someone was here earlier.”
“… Didn’t you notice?”
“Huh? After all, who was there?”
She didn’t even see Mary, apparently.
That’s how cornered she is, and her vision is narrowing. … Now Yuzuki can only see what she wants to see.
And that subject is me.
Mary-san didn’t seem to see it, but … Yuzuki Hojo has a clear view of Kotaro Nakayama.
(Why can you see me …?)
On the day of the entrance ceremony, Yuzuki, who fell in love with Ryoma Ryuzaki, cut off our relation as if she couldn’t see me from that day.
Since then, we have often passed each other, but we still did not talk much.
But since a little while ago, … Yuzuki has been able to see me.
I guess it started about the time Ryuzaki thought he was a mob character.
We had a little conversation then, too.
And even now, I am face to face with Yuzuki.
No doubt, something must have happened.
Does perceiving me mean that she is nostalgic for the … past?
If so, it means that the present is not going well.
And what it means is that there is a rift between Ryoma Ryuzaki and her.
So far, I have a vague understanding of what is going on.
But from there on, I had no idea what was going on.
“Kotaro-san, your complexion is somehow better.”
“Is it so?”
“Yes. You used to be a little more, I don’t know, transparent or … how should I say it? I remember very well that you were expressionless, yes?”
What is the right way to reply?
I don’t know. I can’t read what kind of words Yuzuki is looking for right now.
I was confident in playing myself as others wanted me to be.
Because I had no personality like a mob character, I could be any color I wanted, and that is why I was sensitive to other people’s feelings.
Yuzuki and I were always together when we were very young. We were like brother and sister.
So I should know her well, but … the current Yuzuki is just too harsh.
I felt that no matter what words I said to her, it would be meaningless.
No matter what he said, Yuzuki would feel that all it could do was hurt her.
“Well then, it’s late in the evening, so … goodbye, Kotaro-san.”
Suddenly, Yutsuki walked past me.
But, perhaps her legs had become entangled, and unexpectedly Yuzuki lost her balance.
I reached out to her in a panic, but my reaction was too fast for her.
“Ahaha…, I did it again.”
Yuzuki fell to the ground, adding another stain to her lightly soiled jersey.
She may have been hit in the face, and her scraped cheek was smeared with blood,… and it made my heart ache to see her like that.
After all, no.
We’ve known each other since childhood, but we’re strangers, and even our relationship is thin.
But the rotten childhood friend is too painful.
“Yuzuki … can I come in the house?”
I knew I couldn’t leave her alone…
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