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https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16816700427224608463/episodes/16817330652134892499

I took a break from school for a while.

I was urged to do so by my teacher, but I also decided that it would be difficult for me to stay in the classroom any longer. For the time being, I will refrain from coming to school for a month or so, and will try to visit again when the rumors have disappeared. I don’t know if this will have any effect, but I can only hope that things will cool down.

Besides, I really want to know the answer. I really want to know why I’m in this mess. I can see the malicious intent of someone, but I can’t see the motive or the character at all. I have never had such complicated feelings in my life. Even when I was rejected by my own mother, I never felt this way.

“……I’d better get going.”

I had the day off from school, but I had to pack my bags and go out because I would run into my mother on her way home from the night shift. However, if a middle school student like me go out at this time, I will definitely be subject to guidance, so I chose the place carefully. I went to various places, such as a library where I did not have to go through any procedures to enter and a park with few people, and just wasted my time.

“Come to think of it, I haven’t been alone like this in a long time.”

A year ago, I was with Sakura every day, and since I was in a different class from her, I had developed new friendships with my new classmates…….

I never thought they would look at me like that, and my heart ached as I recalled the plight of having no one to protect me. I wonder where I went wrong.

(Should I have lied about my family back then?)

Or was it that I had always followed my grandmother’s teachings, or that I had generously demonstrated the skills I had inherited from my father? But I don’t think all of these things are wrong. Yes, I’m sure I’m not wrong.

“….Yeah, I’ll go back and talk to the guys again.”

I went crazy in the wrong direction.

But there was no one to point this out to him.

Even if there was, I’m sure it would not resonate with him.

Because Tachibana Kanata does not trust anyone other than me, he has never opened his heart to anyone else, and does not have anyone like that around him.

Exactly one month later, I got up and put on my school uniform as if nothing had happened. I feel a little uncomfortable because I haven’t worn a uniform for so long, but I tell myself that it’s the same as usual.

This past month has been rather difficult for me. Because my mother had not come home, and there was no more money left in the house. I managed to make ends meet by drawing down my small savings. I never thought I would experience picking wild grass in these times. I checked to see if I could get some kind of guarantee from the government, but it seems that there is no such convenient system.

“Somehow, I’m always helping people.”

I live by the principle of helping others, but I have probably never been helped by anyone. I can’t count the number of times I’ve reached out to someone, but the number of times I’ve had someone reach out to me is zero.

I always thought that was fine. I told myself that was the way it was supposed to be. However, the stress I felt at that time made me aware of something that I had continued to turn my eyes away from until now. I’m wondering if I’m changing just a little bit.

“……Ah.”

As I was thinking about this, I arrived at school in a flash. I went to my classroom with a mysterious hope that maybe something had changed. I peek in and see the same scenery as a month ago. But as soon as I stepped into the room, the scene changed drastically.

“Whoa, he’s here.”

“I had forgotten about him.”

“He’s up to something again, isn’t he?”

“Yeah, he seems to be crazy.”

The unrelenting words and numerous painful stares stabbed me at once. A normal person, much less a middle school student, might have felt nauseous or wanted to cry at this moment. But I have long since abandoned such feelings. Or perhaps I was born without such feelings from the very beginning.

“Good morning, everyone !”

I greeted everyone as usual with a smile.

I think my life in middle school changed drastically from that moment on. In my desk, I found a mess of torn up prints. The locker where I always put my bag was already occupied by another student. And the strangest thing was that although there were desks, there were no chairs to be found anywhere. Not only in the classroom, but also in the hallway and off-limits balcony area.

Shinya kun, who was sitting next to me, glanced at me for a moment and then ignored me for the rest of the day, as if he was a bookworm. No, if you look closely, he is not reading much, just staring blankly at the sky.

“……I’m sorry, but this is my seat, could you please move out of the way?”

“Yeah?”

“Can you move?”

I said with a smile. Perhaps because my smile was so eerie and intimidating, the student sitting on my desk got off and went to another friend, staring at me. I was about to ask Shinya kun where my chair was when my homeroom teacher showed up for the first time in exactly one month. The homeroom teacher looked at me with some surprise on her face, and then went straight to her desk as if nothing had happened.

“Okay, then take a seat !”

“Sensei, I can’t find my chair !”

“I’ll take your attendance, so hurry up !”

“Hm, Sensei?”

But the teacher did not answer my question and tried to proceed. No, on the contrary, after meeting my eyes, she treats me as if I’m not in this space. It was blatant harassment.

“……”

I had no choice but to listen to what the teacher had to say as I sat on my back with my arms propped up on the desk. However, my name was not called when I took attendance. I think I was marked as absent.

(……I wonder what happened to the teacher, too?)

This is obviously an anomaly. It’s one thing if there is such an exchange among classmates and other students, but it’s impossible for the homeroom teacher to join in. Besides, that teacher is basically a serious person who hates this kind of behavior the most. I was surprised that the aftermath of this mysterious phenomenon had reached her.

“……”

The first period English class started as it was. The teacher who came in charge of the subject ignored my presence as if he had nothing to do with it. The students, on the other hand, are clearly aware of me and are always talking about me behind my back. From somewhere, I even heard heartless words like [I wish you would die].

(As I said, uncomfortable.)

And so I left the classroom by the end of first period. I was supposed to move to the gymnasium for the next period, but I didn’t know what they would do to me if I left my belongings there, so I took my textbooks and other things I had brought with me today with me. I wanted to be alone for now, so I headed for the roof of the school. This is where I once spent a lot of time with Sakura. I had not been here for a while, so I felt nostalgic about this place.

“What in the world is going on……”

I suddenly noticed that my cheeks were wet. I wiped my cheek in a hurry at the tickling sensation, and the dampness stroked my fingers.

“Hm, tears?”

I hadn’t noticed. I didn’t realize how much I had been hurting in such a short period of time. How empty it felt to have no one to help me, to have my gratitude returned in kind. Having no family and no one I could call a close friend, I had been drowning my loneliness in the belief that everyone was my friend. But that finally collapsed today.

“Sigh……”

I leaned my elbows on the fence and stared blankly at the sky. I don’t remember shedding a tear in my life. When my father left, when my mother rejected me, when my grandmother died, and in all the other sentimental situations, my heart never moved to tears.

I had thought that perhaps emotions did not exist, but I was somewhat relieved. I was relieved to know that I had feelings, too. But that’s about the only good thing that has happened so far. It was not like anything had changed, and I couldn’t get emotional and go on a rampage.

A year ago, I spent a lot of time with Sakura, so I was mistaken. It’s not only Sakura, but also the people I’ve helped. I may have called out to them, but have they ever called out to me?

After all, I was all alone…….

“It’s kind of getting dark, Tachibana kun.”

“…..Eh?”

It was right when my tears had dried. A familiar voice hangs over my back on a rooftop that no one should ever come near. How long has it been since I heard his voice? Come to think of it, I feel like I haven’t heard his voice in a long time.

“…..Shinya kun?”

I turn around and look at Shinya kun. However, Shinya kun’s atmosphere is different now. After all, I’ve heard girls say that he’s usually calm and like a small animal.

But why does he have such a dazzling smile on his face now?

And to me, that smile looked endlessly eerie.

“Is something wrong, Tachibana kun?”

“No, something happened…….”

“P-pfftt….ahahaha, of course !”

Shinya kun suddenly asked an outlandish question. When I was puzzled because I didn’t know how to answer when I was asked if something had happened, Shinya kun suddenly said he couldn’t stand it anymore and burst into laughter. For some reason,

“Erm, did something funny happen to you?”

“Yeah, something very funny for me.”

“Hmm?”

“Haha, you don’t get it, do you? If that’s the case, then you are very crazy, Tachibana kun.”

Shinya kun curses me with a straight ball. It was my first time seeing Shinya kun like this, so I didn’t know how to approach him. Also, it’s a secret that I thought from the bottom of my heart that what I just said would apply to Shinya kun now.

“What do you mean I’m crazy?”

“That’s exactly what the word means. I didn’t think it would go so well. Tachibana kun, you seem to be perfect, but unexpectedly you have a lot of gaps. Especially when it comes to your surroundings.”

“……Don’t tell me.”

If you’ve said this far, I’m sure I’ll notice it too. Why is Shinya kun here? Why did nonsense rumors about me spread so far? The answer is the Shinya kun who is smiling wickedly in front of you.

“……Did you do it?”

“Yeah, I did.”

“……Why?”

Before I knew it, my voice was the thinnest it had ever been. I was so upset, and I didn’t expect Shinya kun to do something like this, so it was a big shock.

And after hearing my question, Shinya kun began to speak, his shoulders shaking.

“Why…..of course…..”

“…….”

“Of course it’s because Tachibana kun was so disgusting.”

“……….Huh?”

I’m disgusting.

Shinya kun calmly said that as if it were a matter of course. Those words are similar to the words my mother once threw at me, and I feel like an anchor in my heart has been forcibly lifted.

 

In the first place, is that the only reason why you are making such a roundabout thing?

No, now I have something else to ask.

“What do you mean?”

“Hm? It’s just as the word says. You’re just too disgusting. You can do anything and help anyone. It’s like a gift from heaven. Just the thought of a man smiling at me without asking for anything is horrifying.”

“Then why don’t you just say so?”

“Huh? I’ve been pissed off for a long time now. I don’t even think of you as a friend, and yet you come into my threshold as if you were one. That’s just like being a pest.”

“……”

“You see, pests are disgusting, aren’t they? You want to exterminate them without a second thought. They carry a lot of germs, right?”

As he talked, the conversation got heated up and Shinya kun’s tone gradually became rougher and rougher. This must be his true nature. Then he said as if he was remembering something, this time with a goofy grin on his face.

“Well, I guess what particularly pissed me off was the Shinkai thing…”

“……Sakura?”

“She probably doesn’t know this, but she and I are actually in the same elementary school. I’ve been in different classes for a long time, so we’ve never spoken directly to each other.”

I didn’t expect him to talk about Sakura, so my eyes widened involuntarily. I mean, I had never even heard that Shinya kun and Sakura were from the same elementary school.

Sakura had been bullied spectacularly from elementary school to early middle school. Then, Shinya kun, who is from the same elementary school, naturally told me about that …..

“That elementary school has a strong connection between parents. Many of the kids were relatively close to each other. Naturally, I knew a boy in the same class as Shinkai. Do you know what that means?”

“……No way.”

Come to think of it, I had asked Sakura about that. The reason for the bullying was what it all came down to. Sakura didn’t know the clear reason, and she found that it had become a regular occurrence.

“She stepped on a handkerchief I dropped a long time ago. She apologized to me, but it was a precious gift from my father. So I asked a boy in the same class as him to harass her.”

“……Shinya kun.”

“Well, I didn’t think it would last that long either. Before they knew it, they’d forgotten that I had ordered them to enjoy themselves. It’s hard, you know? I had to ask my father to bribe the homeroom teacher and the principal. Oh, the funniest thing was……”

“……enough.”

“Huh?”

“That’s enough.”

I stared at Shinya kun with only the power of my eyes, telling him to shut up. Then Shinya kun frowned slightly and flinched, probably overwhelmed by that spirit. I’ve never glared at a friend like this before. No, it was just what I thought, but he was not my friend from the beginning.

“You were chattering away, but didn’t you think I’d tell anyone about it?”

“Don’t think there’s anyone left in this school who’ll take you seriously?”

“…… !”

“Why do you think our homeroom teacher is keeping quiet about this whole mess in the first place?”

“……No way.”

“Yeah, you’d be surprised. Even a woman who seems to have a really stubborn personality can easily give up if you make her hold money and promise a position, you know?”

It seems that there is no one left on my side in this school.

(No, there’s still Sakura !)

Having known her for a year, she knows me well, for better or worse. That’s why it’s not surprising that she started investigating when rumors like this started circulating. Maybe Sakura also noticed something unusual……

“Oh yeah, I don’t think you should think of relying on anyone.”

Maybe because I was staring at him, he calmed down, or perhaps his tone became a little more relaxed, and he said this to me as if he was reading my thoughts.

“Don’t you notice? The class was swayed by rumors. And the people involved, including the bribed homeroom teacher. It’s just like the situation at the elementary school Shinkai and I went to.”

“……You !”

“Right, we can easily reenact that time. That girl seems to have calmed down, but she’s still carrying a lot of trauma, isn’t she? I’m going to poke at her and bring back the memory of that time.”

The situation is now completely outmatched. No, I once thought that Shinya kun might have something on his mind, so I looked it up once. And at that time, there was nothing to catch my attention, so I overlooked it. At that point, I must have lost.

“Phew, I’m so relieved. I’m glad I got to see that look on your face, Tachibana kun.”

“…….You’ve got quite a hobby.”

“Shut up…..ah right, I forgot to say.”

Then, as if he remembered, Shinya kun said something outrageous as if it were his last souvenir.

“I put a present on Tachibana kun’s desk before I came here.”

“A present?”

“Underwear.”

“……Huh?”

“Girls’ underwear. This school is pretty rotten too. There are a lot of people, not only students but also teachers, who are involved in perverted activities. So, I got some affordable underwear from a source around here and put it on your desk.”

“What !?”

If it gets out, it will definitely cause problems. I had a negative image of myself, and no matter how much I tried to prove my innocence, the situation was so bad that it would be my fault no matter how hard I tried. No, there was no way I could win when the teacher had been bribed.

What about an outside party?

“I might talk to the school board about it. I have a friend who steals girls’ underwear, and it’s like the whole school is being divided.”

“I don’t care, but it’s probably useless. The receptionist is already corrupt.”

“….I see.”

I admit it. This whole debacle has been a complete defeat for me. It’s beyond the scope of what I can do with all my abilities, no matter how hard I try. In other words, it’s a complete dead end.

“Hey, Tachibana kun, will you do business with me?”

Unaware that it was taking me a long time to accept the fact that I had lost to someone other than my father, Shinya kun took the conversation to a whole new level.

“It’s just a rumor now, but will you admit it? It’s all true.”

“……What in the world.”

“Hm, isn’t that fine? I told you earlier that I can always do the same thing I did in elementary school. I wonder if someone like Shinkai is having a hard time?”

“You !?”

Sakura is relieved that peace has finally returned. It would mean unleashing her into a hellish environment once again. I have to avoid that at all costs……

(Hm, come to think of it, why did I save Sakura?)

No, before that, come to think of it, what was I desperately reaching out to her for? Was it because my grandmother taught me that? Or was it because I was born with more talents than others?

Did I ever live for myself, even once since I was born?

–Thud !

A dull thump hit my head. And then, as if to push me even further, Shinya kun piled on more demands. No, it was more a blatant incitement than a demand.

“Hey, hey, hey, help me out, hero? If you don’t help me, you’ll become a bad guy. I know you don’t want to do such a bad thing. Come on, help me…….”

“Ah…….”

“Then I’ll tell Shinkai that Tachibana kun is here. For that guy’s sake, I recommend cutting ties with her now.”

Then Shinya kun left with the same smile as when he came to the rooftop. What remained was me, still unable to sort out the current situation. Here I am, unsure of the meaning of my existence. What in the world did I do this for?

“I……I…..”

Because I wanted to be on the side of justice? Because I didn’t want to see people get hurt? Because I wanted peace in the world? Because I wanted to carry someone else’s burden? Because I heard someone scream? Because I didn’t like conflict because it was ugly? Because I liked to put up hypocrisy? Because I liked to see others smile? Because I wanted to be liked? Because I wanted to make friends? Because I was hungry for family? Because I wanted to kill time? Because it was fun? Because I hated someone? Because I thought I could show off my talent? Because I thought this is where I belonged? Because I thought this was my way of life? Because that’s how I was taught to live?

Why……why…..why why why???

“Ha-haa, ahahah, ahahhahahaha ! ! !”

I held my face with my left hand and laughed hysterically. No matter how much I thought about it, the answer kept going in circles. There is no one to tell me what to do, and there is nothing in my past that will bring me answers forever.

In other words……there was no meaning.

I realized the truth that I had been turning away from for so long. No one loves me. No one needs me. If I died, there would be no one to mourn me. All that would be left would be others who would scoff at my meaningless life.

Click……

As soon as I realized my own cruelty, the door to the rooftop opened again. I caught the figure out of the corner of my eye, and the sound of footsteps rushing toward me as if in a panic. It was definitely Sakura. Thinking back, I have forced her to do a lot of impossible things. I’m sure that somewhere in her heart, she is lamenting the fact that she has been involved in my life. Because I’m such a terrible person.

(……Sorry, Sakura.)

I forcefully cut off my relationship with Shinkai Sakura. I am sorry that I took such a violent step, but I feel strangely relieved to know that I no longer have to deal with her, or anyone else for that matter. I don’t want to be involved with anyone anymore.

But what should I live for from now on? Live for myself….no, I’m tired of it. I don’t want to think about anything, I just want to lose myself in the darkness. I went home with unsteady steps, thinking so.


Tachibana Kanata chose the sad ending of loneliness on his own will.

–One month later, his aunt, who had lost contact with the Tachibana family and was worried about him, came to visit the family and found the boy on the verge of a near-fatiguing death.

The boy was immediately rushed to the emergency room where he was hospitalized and survived. If it had been a few seconds later, it would have been too late. The boy’s mother could not be reached, and her phone was completely disconnected, as if she had blocked all incoming calls.

The boy was then taken in by his aunt, who lived alone, in place of his mother, who could no longer be reached.

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Kyon
Kyon
10 months ago

Wait wait wait huh? Wait a moment.
All this time, the mom we know a bit about was actually his aunt?
I may have missed it but out of all the disturbing revelations, this is the biggest one.

Poison Dragon
Poison Dragon
10 months ago

Main character seems kinda dumb in this moment with all his skills.
He is a pro hacker, so fucking hack into the CCTV or something to gain evidence, get the shit he needs to threaten Shinya’s father. Corrupt businesses. Etc. I’m pretty sure shinya isn’t clean either.
This may be dark but I’m sure as hell he can beat the shit out of Shinya too.
I dunno with all the skills the mc has, kinda stupid that he loses like this.

DotCom
DotCom
9 months ago
Reply to  Poison Dragon

And even without any of this he could just have done truth to whatever people were saying and make shinya just desappear forever, if you know what I mean.