Ch 10 Recoil Reduction (Yukiya’s POV)
Two days have passed since my once-in-a-lifetime confession.
The outcome was not so good.
After being rejected, my new policy of “keeping a little distance from Kanae” has also been unsuccessful, as Kanae has somehow closed the distance between us.
“I’ve even promised to have lunch with her today…”
I feel like I’ve messed up and I’m disappointed with my inadequacy.
I can’t get rid of the image of my confession being a rejection, and it might affect my revenge (reconfession), which I plan to do sooner or later.
“Well, maybe Kanae and Souta will get together before the revenge…”
The self-mocking laughter leaked out and made me want to die.
A desperate image of Kanae and Souta getting together and me congratulating them with a drawn out fake smile swirled in my brain.
Maybe it was because I had thought so auspiciously yesterday that I hoped Kanae’s love would be fulfilled. By now, such imaginings have come to my mind at a moment’s notice.
Thanks to this, I hadn’t slept well last night, and at the morning practice, the female manager had warned me about it.
“Hey, you! I come earlier than the players to get ready in the morning! You have to take responsibility and do it right too!”
I remembered the devilish expression of the female manager who looked like a sumo wrestler.
Why is she so scary… The visuals and action made me want her to drink the dirt of Kanae, my cute and kind childhood friend.
In addition, that female manager, why does she put the coaches aside each and every time and give direct proclamations to the players… There are many parts that I think are unreasonable, but in the end, it was my fault for lacking concentration.
I dragged my body and soul, which had grown heavy since this morning, to the classroom.
I had just climbed the stairs of the school building and reached the floor where the classrooms were when I was suddenly called out. My shoulders jumped up reflexively. There was only one girl in the school who called me “Yuki-kun”.
“Oh, good morning, hello…!”
The one who greeted me as if she were squeezing me out was Kanae, the girl who dumped me.
Kanae was looking up at me with a somewhat stiff expression on her face, and her hands were clasped in front of her chest, holding a towel for some reason.
I’m surprised by Kanae’s unexpected appearance, but I return the greeting.
I mean, it’s too early for Kanae to go to school today, just like yesterday, and I wonder if she came alone again. And what kind of situation is she in front of the stairs with a towel?
“Oh, Ah… Well, then–“
There are a lot of questions, but for now, I decide to make an escape move, a strategic retreat.
The moment I walked past Kanae, trying my best not to look at her, I was surprised to hear a sad voice from Kanae saying “Ah…”
I walked into the classroom with my heart pounding and sat down in my seat to breathe a sigh of relief and relax my shoulders.
I felt like I had just played a huge game in the morning. I was more nervous than when I faced the ace of the opposing team in a soccer game, one on one.
“Was that a little too obvious…?”
As I was twisting in my seat, thinking back on my words and actions that I had quickly run off without even saying hello…
She called out to me again in a reserved manner.
“Uh, Kanae… what’s wrong?”
I could feel my mouth and the corners of my eyes twitching, as if I were smiling affectionately.
Kanae, on the other hand, faltered in her speech with a somewhat thoughtful expression.
“Well… aren’t you going to go wash your face or something today…?”
The corner of my eyebrows involuntarily lowered at her words.
What is it? Is it a far-fetched complaint about my cleanliness or the shape of my face – no, no, no, Kanae should not have such evil intentions….
As I thought about this, I realized that I had become quite negative about Kanae’s words and actions, which was a complete change from yesterday.
“So, I’m going to go wash my face. Then–“
But no matter what her intentions were, it was the right thing for me to say, so I’d take it.
I quickly got out of my seat and left the classroom before Kanae could say anything else. Without looking back, I hurriedly made my way to the washroom.
I thought it was a bit forced, but there was no way I could get away from Kanae without doing this. In any case, until now, I’ve been so focused on getting closer to Kanae that I’ve never thought about doing the opposite.
“I really need to wash my face.”
The new policy after the rejection that didn’t go as expected, Kanae’s inexplicable attitude and distance, the lack of sleep every day and negative delusion… problems are piling up, and I just want to cool down a little.
I rinsed my face a few times in the washroom and was about to take out a handkerchief to wipe my wet face when I realized something.
I had a similar situation yesterday, you know.
I turned around with a wet face when I heard that voice three times.
There, I see Kanae holding out a towel.
“You can use this… if you like…?”
Kanae’s hand is trembling slightly as she offers the towel to me, and it’s so healthy and pitiful…
I was intensely confused.
Oh, what should I do, should I prod her? No, if I go that far, is it just a bad feeling rather than distancing myself? Or rather, what is Kanae’s intention?
“Oh, that… towel…”
As I remained silent, Kanae’s words finally began to waver unreliably.
I became impatient and slipped up as if cornered.
“I have a handkerchief, and it would be bad if Souta misunderstood me.”
That last bit was completely out of my own sneer.
Kanae’s eyes widened in dismay.
I couldn’t look at her, so I turned my head slightly and answered.
“Ah~… look! The day before yesterday, after school, Kanae said that Souta was… right? So, if you’re too nice to me just because I’m your childhood friend, I’m afraid Souta will misunderstand you in a weird way. I don’t want Kanae to get into trouble with Souta because of that, by any chance.”
Excuses poured out of my mouth in a plausible manner.
“I’m rooting for you…”
I didn’t mean to say this much. This is like saying I’m going to step down, but then I found myself saying it and I couldn’t stop myself.
Yeah, I’m seriously done with …….
I’ve been thinking about how I don’t want to bother Kanae, how I want her love to be fulfilled, how I want to be a big person… But in the end, I just got so sneaky with my negative imagination that I dismissed the kindness of the girl I like and realized how small I am.
In front of me, the downcast Kanae is shaking and pulling. I don’t know if she’s angry or sad, but either way, I really want to disappear… now.
In a way, I’m even more desperate than I was when I was dumped, and I’m overwhelmed with despair.
“Then. I’ll wipe it off for you…!”
Suddenly, Kanae jumped up from her prone face and said in a trembling voice, then she pushed the towel she was holding against my face and started scrubbing.
She scrubbed my face with unexpectedly strong force, and I couldn’t reply in time. But I accepted it without reluctance.
Then, when the skin on my face had started to get hot enough from Kanae’s somewhat desperate ministrations, the towel was finally removed.
Kanae, who was facing me, had a sad expression on her face, even a drop of tears in the corner of her eye.
“Your… cheeks are red… That hurt, I’m sorry…”
A muffled whisper and Kanae’s small hand on my cheek.
My nerves have reached their peak with such a shocking service, and I lose my human speech and only pant miserably.
Kanae turns her back on me and walks away. As she leaves, she leaves behind some meaningful words.
“I’ll take responsibility…!”
The words of Kanae had the absolute power to bind even my thoughts.
Oh, God, I can’t stop my dizzying imagination.
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