Episode 16 – There’s No Way My Childhood Friend Would Be Shocked By My Story

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https://kakuyomu.jp/works/1177354054912451376/episodes/1177354054917364221

“Hey, Matsudaira kun, thank you for waiting ! !”

With a refreshing expression, Tamio san came to the seat where I was waiting. 

The meeting is about work.

When he sat down in front of me, he ordered a coffee from a different waitress who’s not my childhood friend.

As soon as the coffee arrives, he looks at my novel manuscript and points out the revisions.

Sometimes he can be strict, or conscientious….

I fixed the revisions while listening to him.

That revision was appropriate. I was scared at first, but I’m grateful that he teaches me how to get better and ways of expressing myself that I had not noticed before because I was writing alone until now.

In fact, the process of writing my novel is so lonely.

It is difficult for me to know what’s correct and where the inconsistencies are. This is because the story is completed to some extent in my mind once I write it.

That’s why I often can’t easily notice the inconsistencies and mistakes.

When I was a web author, I was afraid that I would be struck with inconsistencies whenever I received a comment from the readers.

Now that I think about it, the reader’s reactions gave me an opportunity to review my story, and it also deepened my work.

That’s why I work on my novel seriously. I can still write even if Tamio san scolds me.

Tamio san and I don’t even care where we are. We will make the novel better by arguing about it.

Every once in a while, my childhood friend would come over to pour me cold water, but I don’t bother about it.

Then time passed quickly, and before I knew it, it was already past noon.

“Matsudaira sensei, shall we take a break and have lunch?”

Tamio san drank the remaining coffee and asked me to take a break.

“…..Yes.”

I shut down my laptop and took a deep breath.

I pressed the bell to call the waitress, and Tamio san ordered a light meal.

After ordering, I told Tamio san what I wanted to say beforehand.

“Tamio san, there’s something I want to talk to you about.”

Tamio san stared at my face when i said that.

“Um, I’m thinking of moving out of my house, but will I be able to make a living just from the sales of my novels?”

What I wanted to talk to him about was something about leaving my house.

I thought that if I could somehow raise the cost of my novel sales and apply it to my living expenses, I would be able to move out of the house without burdening my family.

After hearing my story, Tamio san pondered for a while.

“Living alone huh….I’m not saying that i can’t do anything about it.”

I have some doubts about Tamio san’s ambiguous answer.

His expression is somewhat sour.

“There’s nothing you can’t do, but it’s better not to do it.”

After thinking for a while, Tamio san came up with a conclusion.

“Why? With the amount of novels that we sold, there should be something you can do, right?”

“Yeah, there’s certainly something that I can do. But do you know that sales won’t last forever?”

Tamio san stared at me with sharp eyes.

It’s the same expression that I often get when we’re editing together.

“A novel is not a magic mallet. When it sells, it certainly sells, but what if the novel stops selling?”

“Can’t we just write more? I mean, the story is still ongoing…..”

“Matsudaira sensei, that’s naive… The biggest problem for authors is when they can’t write anymore….”

I was overwhelmed by the force of his narration.

“Thank you for waiting, I brought you a sandwich set and a hamburger set ! !”

As if to break the serious atmosphere, my childhood friend brought the food with such a happy voice.

When he receives the food, he starts talking again.

“You know that novels don’t always sell, right?”

“Yes….”

“There are many novelists who have written their novels but failed to sell them, and become too worried to write anymore. I have seen too many of them retire. I am also a businessman, and I can’t support the novels of authors who cannot contribute to the company’s sales.”

Rattle ! ! 

There was a sound of falling tableware, Tamio san and I turned our heads toward the direction of the sound.

There , I saw my childhood friend panicking and saying [excuse me.] and the coffee cup that was hanging from my seat was lying on the floor.

“Well, going back to the topic, it goes without saying that Matsudaira sensei is a newcomer, and both the company and I have high hopes for you.”

“Thank you very much…..”

“However, I don’t think you, who are still an underage, have the ability to live on your own. Attend high school, and continue to write novels.”

“….”

I was speechless at Tamio san’s verbal arguments.

It surely is.

Up until now, I had a place to belong, my home, and my parents who took care of everything around me, so I was able to continue doing what I liked.

Living alone makes me doubt that i would be able to pay for rent, utilities and food, taking care of my personal belongings, and live my high school live while maintaining the qualities of my novels.

“But….”

I can’t argue back to him, and i tried to make an excuse, but i’m at loss for words.

“Do your parents know about this?”

“No, we haven’t talked about it yet.”

“If so, I would like you to discuss it with your parents first.’

Tamio san gave me advice with a gentle smile, but I listened while feeling depressed.

Or perhaps it would be more correct to say that I should just listen and ignore it?

If I talk to my parents about it, they will surely object, and they will think that I don’t like my current life.

I wanted to avoid that until i decided to live alone, so it was even more painful when I was denied.

“Sensei, may I ask why?”

Seeing the look on my face, Tamio san asked me why, so I explained my family circumstances and my feud with my step sister.

……I want to become an adult as soon as possible.

As i explained to Tamio san, i’m disappointed in my incompetence as a minor.

Little did I know that my childhood friend was watching the scene from a distance while looking depressed.

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