“Then, first of all, could you please tell us about what happened that day from Tohru kun’s perspective? I know the general circumstances of the incident from my interviews with other people, but I don’t know the details. So I would like to hear about the case directly from your own mouth.”
“I understand. Then I will tell you what happened at the Kisaragi home that day.”
Saito san, a reporter from a newspaper, began his interview.
First, I told Saito what had happened at the Kisaragi house that day.
I told him everything from how I came to date Kisaragi, to how we had relations at the Kisaragi home, and how I was later accused of rape and beaten by her father.
My parents listened to me and Saito’s interview silently, as if they were scared of something.
“I see….such a thing happened…”
Saito, who had finished listening to the entire story, made a serious expression as he alternately looked at me and the notes he had been penning.
“Something terrible happened…it must have been painful…”
“No…I’ve already sorted out a lot of things in my mind.”
I told Saito, who was concerned about me.
Saito looked at his notes and pondered.
“It seems that there is no difference from what I gathered in the interview before I came here……your girlfriend…..pardon me, your former girlfriend, Kisaragi Himehana, asked you out on her own, and then suddenly…claimed that it was rape…… and then suddenly changed her attitude without any context……is that correct?”
“Tohru kun, do you have any idea about Kisaragi san’s sudden change in attitude? For example, a fight or some kind of trouble before the incident…..”
“No, not at all. Until that day, we were doing really well.”
I was really happy with our relationship until the day Kisaragi betrayed me.
Looking back, we never had a single quarrel.
I could not understand what Kisaragi was thinking when she suddenly betrayed me and said I was raping her.
I didn’t understand why Kisaragi suddenly changed her attitude.
I have no recollection of doing anything to earn Kisaragi’s resentment before we started dating.
Hearing my words, reporter Saito takes notes.
[ [……] ]
I glanced to the side and saw my parents watching the exchange between me and Saito san with bated breath.
“By the way……in an interview with the police, Kisaragi Himehana san said that the reason she set you up was because she was envious of you.”
Saito san told me something very important.
“The police have interrogated Kisaragi HImehana san and she has testified that she has been sexually abused and beaten by her father on a daily basis. This is also admitted by the suspect, Kisaragi Takuma.”
“Yes, I am aware of that.”
“Kisaragi Himehana san was in despair over such a life with her father and was envious of the students around her. Normal students living normal lives. So she wanted to make someone else more unhappy than she was,……and she wanted to feel secure by looking below herself, she testified.”
I was shocked when I heard Kisaragi’s reason for deceiving me.
Because she’s unhappy, she wants to make others even more unhappy.
…Isn’t that just crappy thinking?
Did I have to suffer such torture because of Kisaragi’s desire to see someone unhappier than herself?
“Then…did you mean I was chosen…?”
“Yes. It’s probably Kisaragi san’s whim. As long as it was a person happier than herself, perhaps anyone would have been good enough.”
I was feeling helpless.
Was that why I was robbed of my happy daily life?
Kisaragi, who was sexually abused by her father, is unfortunate.
But that doesn’t matter to me.
I will never forgive Kisaragi for humiliating me for her own reasons.
I’ll forever hate that woman who carved an indelible scar on my heart, even if I never see her again.
I bit down on my frustration and desperately held back my tears.
Saito san looked at me with sympathetic eyes as I was distraught, and he stopped the interview for a while until I calmed down.
“Have you calmed down?”
“…..Yes. I’m sorry for being so distraught.”
“No…..I’m sure you’ve been through a lot of hard times, so I think it’s only natural.”
After a while, Saito san saw that I was back to normal again and resumed the interview.
“I’m sorry to dig too deep, but what was the reaction of the people around you when…..you were framed by Kisaragi Himehana san and……forced into the most painful situation by spreading rumors?”
“Just as I said……someone close to you…your family, close friends, people with whom you had close relationships, etc., treat Tohru san?”
[ […..!?] ]
My parents were visibly agitated next to me.
I glanced over at them and they looked at me with clutching eyes.
I turned away from them and looked straight at Saito san.
‘Well…..my family…they weren’t on my side.”
“Quiet please. I’m listening to Tohru kun now.”
My parents were about to say something, but Saito san stopped them.
I told Saito san the truth about how my family, classmates, and club members had treated me.
“My family, unfortunately, did not believe my allegations. They treated me like a criminal and there was no place for me in this house…….even breakfast and dinner were no longer served for me…….”
Saito san stops taking notes and looks at my parents.
He seemed to be surprised at my parents, wondering if it was for real.
My parents looked down as if they were scolded.
“The students at school, my classmates, and even members of my club blamed me. It was bullying, to put it bluntly. I had bad words written on my desk, and there were thumbtacks in my jacket…”
Saito san unintentionally mentioned the bullying I was subjected to.
I told him about all the slander and bashing I had received from them, and about the graffiti and vandalism on my locker and shoe box.
Saito san took notes of what I said with a serious expression on his face.
“Almost everyone was an enemy……Kisaragi was treated as the most beautiful girl in the school, and almost everyone believed what she said. My opinion was hardly respected.”
“…..At times like this, it’s easy for the world to accept the opinions of weak a woman. I guess there was that kind of bias as well.”
“Yes……of course there was that. I think the men’s side is always seen as the bad side.”
“…So you really think that everyone was against you, including your family, your best friends, and the members of your club?
“No,…..there were a few people who were on my side.”
“They…..were my childhood friends from elementary, junior high and high school, but they were the only ones who believed in me. They were the only ones who didn’t get swept along with the flow and contradicted everyone else, saying I wasn’t the kind of guy who would do something like that.”
“I see…that took a lot of courage.”
“Yes…..I’m really grateful to both of them.”
“I see……so those two people were on your side, and that’s why you were able to get by.”
Saito san was a good listener, and he was able to get the story out of me, and he was running his pen on his notepad.
I realized that I had told Saito san almost everything in less than an hour.
“I see……I understand most of what he said. I think I was able to hear most of what I wanted to hear. I would like to responsibly publish this fact in an article to the public. Is that alright with you?”
“Yes, by all means.”
[ […] ]
Saito san glanced at me and then at my parents.
I nodded my head confidently because I had nothing against the publicity.
But my parents looked down at me and gave me a look as if they wanted me to stop.
“Thank you for helping me with this interview……finally, Tohru kun. I’m rooting for you. If you need anything, you can call me at this number. I will help you if I can.”
When Saito san finished the interview, he handed me a business card with his phone number on it as he left.
He then patted me on the shoulder as if to encourage me.
“Thank you very much.”
Saito san nodded and smiled broadly as I thanked him.
After Saito san left, I sighed at the door.
I felt a little refreshed to be able to tell someone everything.
“Oops…it’s already this long…”
I glanced at the clock and saw that it was almost time for my appointment with Risa.
“I should go.”
I left my parents standing awkwardly side by side, still standing there in silence, and quickly made my way to the meeting place to have a meal with Risa.
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