Chapter 8: Siblings.

Having gotten a rough estimate on things, Risa and I took a break at a nearby coffee shop.

“So, for better plans, I’ll need to have them signed in my parents’ name.
I’ll go home and to that whole process online, and it’ll be a couple of days at the earliest before I have my data plan working.”

“Do you want me to be your first contact then?” Risa asked.

“Of course I do.”

“Hehe, I’m so happy! I can’t believe I get to have this kind of talk with you after so long…”

Her cuteness is the insulin to my diabetes.

“Oh yeah!” I recalled.
“The girl who falsely confessed, apologized to me today.”

“Oh really? What did you do then?”

“Well, to be honest, I thought a bit.
After her lie, I goofed around with the boys and started dating you, both things that left bigger marks than her prank.
I just didn’t care anymore, so I received the apology and we left it at there.” Voicing out that I was dating her was still enough to flush my cheeks with embarrassment.

“You’re too kind, Kyo.
But, y’know, that’s one of the things I really like about you…” She muttered that last part.

“Hmm? I couldn’t hear you at the end there.”

“It’s fine, it’s fine,” she said, but her face was kissed pink.
Oh well, it’s fine either way.

“And,” I continued.
“The girl also said there were only four people involved in that tasteless prank.”

“But weren’t you laughed at by other girls?”

“Well, they do say one person’s tragedy is another’s comedy, so maybe they laughed without much thought.
If anything, it made the boys all the angrier in my stead.
Due to that, the class’ atmosphere plummeted, and some conflict between the boys and the girls started,” I paused.
“I just feel bad since it’s all my fault.”

“It isn’t your fault, Kyo.
It’s all because of that girl who led you on.
Truth be told, I think my brother will do something about it.
His girlfriend might help too.”

“Oh! I see, erm, I didn’t pay much attention to my surroundings after all, even though he’s been taking so much care of me…”

“That’s not true!” She cut me off.
“You’ve helped me more times than I can count ever since we were little! I know how gentle and caring you are.”


“Thank you, Risa.
You lift me up when I’m at my lowest,” I said, wrapping both her hands in mine without second thought, all so I could thank her for her kindness.

“Y, you too,” she blushed, but never looked away from me.
My eyes were locked in hers, and hers in mine.
Hand in hand, we appreciated each other for a while longer.

Our time was running out, and I took her home.
We had our arms intertwined, and although I felt my face warm up with awkwardness, I was more happy than otherwise.
Her smile trumped every jitter I got.

Unfortunately, however, our blissful time had reached its end as we arrived at her house.

“See you soon,” I told her.

“Mhm!” She said, suddenly closing in on me and pecking my cheeks.

Before I could even register what happened, she tip-tapped her way into her house, closing the door right behind her.
My hand went to my cheek as I was still in a daze.

“Good grief… What are you two doing in front of my house, huh? Well, I’m relieved you two are getting along so well,” I turned around to see Kenichi approaching with a smug grin on his face.

He was right, it was quite embarrassing to do this right in front of her house.
I remember she was extraordinarily worried about whether her neighbors would see her.

“Y, yeah, true,” I paused.
“Today, Hirano-san and the other girls apologized for that false confession.”

“Hmm? So, what happened after?”

“I didn’t mind it anymore, so I accepted their apology and called it a day.”

“You’re still a softie, huh? I mean, if you’re okay with it, I have no say in the matter.”

“Oh, and she also told me only four people were involved in that incident.”

“Maybe so.
I remember Aya messaged me about it when we were hanging out at the karaoke.
She said, a bit desperately, ‘I didn’t laugh,’ and ‘Not all girls in the class participated.
Don’t misunderstand.’ I was too excited being with the guys, so I left it for later.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.
I was talking with Risa earlier and it just fell on me.
Sorry about being such a bother to you and the others…” I apologized, feeling and thinking I didn’t deserve what they did to me.

I didn’t deserve their help.
As I felt and thought so, I apologized.

“No, don’t be, dude,” he assured me.
“She and I have settled it already, and we didn’t break up or anything.
We talked a lot about what happened.”

“I see… I thought I was just making the classroom’s vibe worse.”

“No, that’s all because even the girls who weren’t involved in the whole incident were also laughing,” he looked into my eyes.
“Are you okay with that?”

“I am.
I honestly don’t care about it anymore.
Another person’s tragedy is… You know the drill.
It can’t be helped that it was interesting to others,” I paused.
“And I’m not trying to get back at them, or anything like that.
I’ve heard that the best revenge is to make yourself happy.
That’s why I’m just trying to be positive and not worry about it.”

There is no reason to mull over it forever.

“And what about Ayatsuji, your other childhood friend? She looked like she was laughing, too.”

I felt a prickle in my chest.
For the last few days, she’s barely even popped into my mind, but as soon as he reminded me of her, I felt something murky inside.

“Honestly, I thought about it a lot,” I started.
“But no matter how I put it, we weren’t dating or anything like that.
It’s not like she had any interest in me as well, so I felt betrayed on my own.
She chalked me up to just being an old friend of hers…

“This is not about forgiveness,” I continued.
“It’s about putting my mind into the right place and having a conversation.”

“You’re too good-natured, man.
In any case, if you’re worried about the bad vibes in class, I’ll let the boys know.
You probably still don’t have a smartphone yet, and you don’t even know who to contact.”

“Sorry for letting you carry me, bro,” I quipped back.

“Hah, I got into this high school just because of you, so it’s both our faults here.
Ay, when you get your phone, join the guys’ group.
It would be nice to have a boys-only hang out once in a while, wouldn’t it?”

Though I promised Rikka I’d add her first.”

“You guys are really hitting it off, huh?”

“Well, yeah.
I guess so.”

We were connected by games since before we started dating, so I wonder if I’m not doing it wrong or anything… You know what? It’s okay.
What matters is that we’re both being honest with our feelings.

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