I have to admit, I was getting ahead of myself. The fake-confession from Shinobu san, the situation of teaching emotions to an android, and how well I’ve been doing lately. I felt as if I was the hero.
That’s why I had forgotten. For the last 26 years. I had forgotten that I was a helpless loser who couldn’t get anything right.
After I tried to be cool and self-deprecating in front of Agent, I went to the tennis court where Saki was. There I saw her.
Saki and Daiki were kissing with a fence between them.
Saki, who looked at me with a sideways glance hurriedly pulled away and the Daiki, who noticed me, wrapped his arms around her back. Just like that night.
“What…are you doing?”
I had no choice but to ask her that. I couldn’t understand. Because it’s only been a week. We’ve only been dating for a week. And you’re kissing someone else? How is that possible? I don’t understand. I don’t know what Saki is thinking.
“Have you…..been deceiving me from the beginning……?”
What I could barely get from my frozen brain was the possibility that Saki’s words before the time leap were also a lie. In the beginning, she said she loved me. Even that was a lie, and she had deceived me from the beginning. I still endured it.
“No,……, I like Kouki kun, you know……? But ….. you see, Daiki kun is…..more cooler.”
But her response showed the balance between me and Daiki, and I lost.
“Besides,…… we’re dating and we didn’t even kiss,……Daiki made me feel good, so…..”
“It’s obvious. We’ve only been dating for a week……”
The first time we kissed in the original timeline was in the fall of my junior year of high school. We kissed for the first time in an empty classroom in preparation for a cultural festival. I was too nervous to remember what it felt like at the time.
It was the summer of my junior year in high school when we took the next step. My parents and Daiki went on a trip, so I invited Saki to my house and we did it. At first we tried to do it during the day, but it didn’t work out, so we got into that mood again at night and did it.
“Sorry, bro. I took all of your girlfriend’s firsts.”
All her firsts he said. In fact, he must have struggled with it.
The image of Saki in my memory is crumbling. Her blushing cheeks. her awkward smile. Happiness after the event. The image of her that I believed in is crumbling into pieces.
“Hey, hey, hey, don’t cry, big bro, you’re pathetic. You’ve only been dating for a week like you said, right? How much are you in love with her? My bad, I stole her.”
It wasn’t a week, it was 10 years. The tears that I couldn’t even shed that day are welling up as if I’m remembering it all.
That’s right. I hadn’t cried, even though I had been betrayed for 10 years. Because I didn’t know. If Daiki had deceived me, it was only natural that I didn’t know. Because there was no way I could win against him.
But now, I thought I could win with my 10-years’ advantage. In fact, I was winning until one week ago. I was so happy to beat Daiki. But I was wrong. I was losing…even after 10 years of experience.
It’s frustrating. I’m so frustrated, frustrated, frustrated……! I thought, for sure, I could win…….!
“It’s okay,…… Kouki kun. I like Kouki kun better,…… so I’ll have Kouki kun fill my heart and Daiki kun fill my body. How about that? Then everyone will be happy……”
” I ! I haven’t lost yet !”
Howl. From the sore loser. Howl of a loser.
“Not yet….., it’s not settled yet….! It’s only the second year of high school……there’s still a future……! If I win this one….!”
“Huh, so lame. You haven’t lost yet? This world, It’s not about winning or losing, right? Don’t keep talking like a little kid.”
Talking like a kid…..? That’s right. I hadn’t grown up at all, and even though I’m 26, I’m still stuck in the past. I’m full of complexity. I can’t stop looking up at the high walls that I just can’t get over. It would be so much easier if I could just give up and look the other way.
“Fine ……I get it. I see……that’s right…….”
I gave up. It’s impossible from the beginning. Dating Saki. Marrying Saki, it won’t come true even if I go back to 10 years ago.
“I’m sorry, Saki. I don’t want you to be happy. I wanted to make you happy with my own hands. Even though I can’t do anything, I wanted to die boasting that I was able to make you happy, Saki. I’m sorry for being selfish.”
But that can no longer come true.
“I really liked you. I wanted to love you many times more than the others and make you happy because I was inferior to them. Maybe I was all about myself after all and didn’t think about your feelings, Saki……sorry.”
If it doesn’t come true, I’m done.
“I’m going to make you regret for deceiving me.”
That’s all I can do.
“I’ll make you regret that you should’ve been with me ! After I work hard and succeed, I’ll tell you that it’s too late for you to say that you want to go out with me ! Remember that ! I’m the one who wins in the end ! You’re going to lose ! Suck it up !”
“……I regret that my brother is like this. Usually, saying that kind of thing is when you’re unconscious, right? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”
“I can’t live such a convenient life ! I have to make a conscious effort to be like other people !”
“……You’re such a loser. You sound like such a small person when you say such things….. Oh yeah, you’re actually a small person.”
That’s right. I’m a loser. I’m a small person. I’m a small person who can’t be satisfied unless I compare myself to someone else. That’s me. I can’t help it, but that’s who I am.
“Absolutely ! I ! I’ll win !”
I let out a line of defeat and walked away. To win someday. To win, even if it’s just once. I parted ways with Saki.
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