A silence passed between the two of us.

The gyaru’s sudden confession left me bewildered.

It’s natural that I can’t speak up at such a sudden confession from a person who hated me until just a few days ago.

Perhaps she can no longer stand the silence, but her face, which had been bright red just a moment ago, turns even redder.

“N-no ! ! Don’t get me wrong ! ! The one I like is Rikku, not you ! !

……Like i said, I am Rikku ! !

I was so stunned by the gyaru who corrected her words quickly that I put a tsukkomi in my mind.

Rikku is me in the game, and in the gyaru’s mind, I’m supposed to be someone else.

And yet she confessed her feelings to me.

That was probably not what she intended to do.

“……, but I’ve been thinking lately that maybe you really are Rikku.”

The shy gyaru lowered her voice and started talking.

At school, I didn’t stand out and spent my days alone, so where did she see Rikku in me? And what did she see in Rikku?

I don’t know.

 “That day when we were encountered with the delinquents, I saw you standing alone against delinquents, Rikku. I saw the dependable, gentle back I always see…….”

She blushed and looked at me with a serious expression on her face as she referred to the time she got tangled up with the delinquents.

I was wrong to follow Genpaku without understanding his intentions, and I acted only out of a sense of duty to at least protect the girls.

“I didn’t mean to be nice to you, and it was because I led you irresponsibly, so I think it was only natural for me to protect you.”

“I don’t think I deserved that. The weak people will run away regardless of that. And yet you protected me before yourself.”

When I denied my own actions, she shook her head.

It’s true that even if you have a sense of justice, you can’t protect anyone without power, and even if you have power, if you don’t have a strong heart, you’ll leave them behind and run away.

I don’t believe I have that strength, but I am not weak enough to leave them in danger and run away.

“You were exactly what Rikku looked like when we first met.  You were the very image of my favorite husband, the one who helped me through my weakness, the one who….changed me.”

She looked at me with serious eyes, and I gradually lost confidence in myself and turned my face down.

“I don’t have the power to change you, Risa.”

“No, if I hadn’t met you that day, I wouldn’t have played that game anymore. I spent a lot of time alone back then, and I wasn’t very confident.”

A dark shadow appeared on her face as she recalled the past.

“But you are still with me like this. I’ve been saved by your kindness, and it made me think that I need to change. It’s all thanks to you…”

“That’s not what……..”

I stopped saying the words that I’m about to say.

“So I want you to …… not turn away from people’s kindness and favors. So I don’t want you to end up like me….”

What popped into my mind was that person’s sorrowful words.

Recently, I decided to stop denying myself by remembering the girl who looked like me for not being able to accept the words of those who cared for her.

“…..I see. You have changed, Izumo san.”

“That’s right, for the sake of the person I wanted to meet… However, that person was like me in the past, so it was a bit of a shock, wasn’t it?”

I asked a question to the gyaru who smiled bitterly.

“Izumo san, I wonder if you think that people can change easily……”

“Hmm……I think it’s not that easy?”

She chooses her words a bit in response to my question, but she said that it’s impossible.


“Because you can’t change if you don’t know who you are and what you want to change, and that’s not easy. You need a reason to change.”

..…That’s true. I’ve spent my whole life thinking that this is who I am.

Now that everything has changed, it’s true that I am looking for an opportunity to change.

But is there any reason to change?

Her words about how difficult it is to change make me wonder.

“What am I to you, Izumo san?

Risa, who only existed in the game, is in front of me. It’s true that this is strange to me.

But there must be a reason why she came before me like this, knowing that she broken up with me.

If I knew something about what she described between Rikku and me, I might be able to change a little.

“Hmm, I don’t know. Rikku and you are two different people.”

I’m a little worried, but I was shocked when she said that she doesn’t know.

“But that’s why I’m here, to find out. I think it’s better to know someone and hate them than to not know and hate them…….”

……So you’re intent on hating me ! !

When I looked at the gyaru while being astonished by her words, she grabbed the hem of her dress and looked down.

“Besides……maybe I might really like you?”

Her face was bright red when she said so, and I can’t help but say [Huh?].

At the sound of my voice, the gyaru raised her gaze with a bright red face and looked at me.

Her cheerful expression is different from her usual gaze, and she looks somewhat cute.

“……No, that being said, we haven’t even talked properly yet, have we?”

I was captivated for a moment by her cheerful face, but I quickly regained my composure.

“I’ve been talking to you for nearly a year now. Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten.”

Seeing the look on the gyaru’s face as she says that, I remember once again that she’s Risa.

“Well, even if I say that, you’re the kind of person I hate right now, so it’s impossible for me to fall in love with you ! !”

She laughs mischievously, and makes my heart jump.

Like that person said, there is someone watching me. . Maybe I shouldn’t turn away from that fact.

But behind the gyaru’s smile, I could see a shadow of one person. The sad look on her face…..was stuck in my mind like a thorn that I couldn’t get rid of.

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