What I’m Looking for is ‘Results’
“I understand now. What Ko-kun said, that I was no longer ‘me’ and that I had become nothing. … I thought I was a tragic heroine in love and was intoxicated with myself like that…. I’m fully aware of all of that.”
A few months have passed since the second semester’s cultural festival.
Since then, Kirari seems to have been dragging her feet about the fight with me.
“I didn’t understand it at the time. So I couldn’t understand what Ko-kun was blasting at me, and I felt like I was being made fun of… I’m really ashamed of myself for being like that.”
I haven’t forgotten what she said either.
‘Do you think that attempting to compromise with someone as insignificant as me in this ‘Romantic Comedy’ won’t be ridiculed? It’s those kinds of attitudes that are weak. Struggle more… If you continue like this, you’ll remain a pitiful and miserable sub-heroine, you know? Are you okay with ending things here?’
‘If you’re fine with ending things there, then I said I would show you favor. Unfortunately, I considered you a friend back in middle school. Out of that goodwill, I’ll give you a reason to live. Isn’t that nice? A suitable ending for a sub-heroine, right? So rejoice. Smile as charmingly as always. Grin away and flatter me so as not to ruin my mood.’
I remember that time when I was acting as Ryuzaki’s “enemy character”. I don’t know if it was because of the setting or because I was speaking in an uncharacteristically awful way…, but thanks to that, I was able to inspire Kirari, who had lost sight of herself after her heart was broken.
‘――Just you wait.’
‘Kotaro Nakayama… Look at me, just look!’
‘I’ll show you… that I’m not just a sub-heroine!!’
‘Don’t deny my romantic comedy… my story.\’
The image of Kirari slapping me on the cheek, grabbing me by the collar, glaring at me, and screaming at me was still vividly etched in my mind.
Of course, I remember the physical pain, but more than that, I couldn’t forget the joy of seeing Kirari rise again.
I’m not in the slightest bit interested in having an apology made for that time.
Rather, what I wanted was for her to show me that she was back on her feet.
But if I chose the option of “doing nothing”, Kirari would be more troubled than I was.
“Ko-kun, thank you for that time. I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to say that, but I’m sure you get it. Also, I’m sorry … and I’m sorry to keep repeating this, but … will you slap me as hard as you can? I won’t feel better if you don’t slap me back.”
I want pain, Kirari said.
If she doesn’t make amends, she won’t be able to move on.
However, I am not strong enough to raise my hand to another person out of kindness, nor am I weak enough to do so out of emotion.
I’m sorry too, but I couldn’t accept Kirari’s request, … no matter how much she asked for it.
So instead, I made this request.
“I don’t think Kirari needs any more pain. Still, if you insist on doing something for me, please give me … results.”
I had said the same thing at the festival.
I said it again, repeating it once more.
On top of that, this time, … I’ll use a more straightforward expression.
“Please—I want you to be happy.”
I want that result.
I don’t want revenge.
I don’t want anything in return.
No need to feel sorry for me.
Don’t look at my face anymore.
Just get your own “happiness” even if you have to cut me out of your life.
Otherwise, I’ll always be worried about you.
I’m always worried that you’ll become unhappy.
It’s not just Kirari. I can’t think only about Shiho unless you three, including Azusa and Yuzuki, are happy.
I am sure the reason Shiho still refuses to date me is because I still care about the three of them.
She thinks I must devote all my time and energy to Shiho. That’s how monopolistic she is.
So, for goodness sake, … show me the results.
“Can I trust you with Ryuzaki? Kirari, do something about it.”
Maybe the pain there is stronger than being slapped.
But I thought Kirari could handle it now.
Ryuzaki hates me, so I can’t help him develop.
But Kirari and others who love Ryuzaki will surely be able to change … that genuine protagonist.
Whether she is a sub or not, she is still a ‘heroine’.
And a heroine has the power to change the protagonist.
That’s why I asked.
Kirari responded to my thoughts with powerful words.
“Huh? You don’t have to tell me that, of course I’ll do that.”
Apparently, even my words were no longer necessary for Kirari.
“I’m saying that I want you to slap me on top of that,… well, I’m not going to force you to do it, Ko-kun. That’s right, taking the pain and making it easier for me, is that not allowed to happen now?”
“Nyahaha. I’m the one apologizing, so you don’t have to worry about it. …… I’ll live with this guilt for the rest of my life. I understand. For now, in order to make Ko-kun’s feelings feel better, leave Ryu-kun to me.”
“… I’m counting on you.”
“Okay ☆ Thanks for today … I’m going to have to hang up soon. I guess I won’t have to call you anymore, huh? Okay, bye-bye.”
Kirari ended up hanging up the phone cheerfully.
I looked at the phone, which had stopped uttering anything, and silently slapped myself on the cheek.
A dry sound echoed in the room.
Kirari, I’m sorry. Now please, forgive me.
It may be a fallacy to slap myself instead of her.
But when I thought of Kirari, I couldn’t help but do it.
Kirari… I’ve left everything about Ryuzaki to you…
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