Chapter 27: Am I changing?

Common Honorifics:
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
Can also mean Mr.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.

“Hey, have you finished reading ‘Love Brain’ yet?”

After my lunch break, I ended up passing by Momiji in the hallways.
She suddenly started talking to me.
The novel she mentioned was one she had been reading at my house during Golden Week, and its full name was “Love Brain Battle Destroys Humanity.”

“I guess I just need to read the latest issue.
If you’re trying to come over to my house to read it, just know I haven’t bought it yet.”

She always finished three books as soon as I finished my second.
During Golden Week alone, she digested all I had bought over time.

“Ah, that’s fine,” I thought this whole shebang was an excuse to come over to my house or to save money, but I was wrong, apparently.
“I already have the latest volume.
Want me to lend it to you?”

Oh, did she buy it herself? How the turntables.

“For real? I’d love that,” I answered.

I am currently broke. My monthly allowance is 5k yen (almost 40 freedom baldies), so assuming each book is 700, I can only get 7 of them.
My father gives me money to spend on club activities, but since I ended up not having much to do there, I found myself using it on novels.
It’s still not enough though.

That’s why I went with it.

“Ah, but it would be tasteless to just lend it to you, wouldn’t it? Come read it at my place since you’ve done the same for me,” she paused.
“And besides, I’ve been reading a lot of novels in my spare time since I went to your house, so I’d like to give you some of my recommendations as well.”

She’s apparently become a light novel junkie, huh? I mean, all she has to do is lend it to me, not all of this.

“Can’t I just borrow it?”

“We can read and talk about it together!”

“It doesn’t have to be me, right?”

“Do you think there’s someone around here with the same taste in romance novels I have? Even if there were, no way Jose would they make it public.”

It’s as she says.
Light novels aren’t part of mainstream hobbies.
While most people in the class have read manga today, I doubt they have done the same to these lovely books.
Moreover, with high school girls, you wouldn’t want to make a big deal out of it.
The association between light novels and creepy nerds is still strong in this day and age.

I also understand the desire to share opinions on the subject.
Whenever I come across an interesting title, I have this urge to share it with everyone.
To my dismay, though, I don’t know anyone around me with the same hobbies, and although the Internet is an option, I still don’t feel comfortable with it.
It seems she’s my only choice despite all the issues.

“… When are you free? Saturday? Sunday?”

Today’s fine.”

“No, I can’t.
I mean, sure, we live close, but I still have homework to do.
And we wouldn’t be able to just read in peace as I intrude on your family, right?”

“Aw, you really care about this sorta thing, huh? I’ll be home this Saturday, and since I’ll have club activities in the morning, we could start at around 1 PM.”


This is conflicting.

I don’t really want to be with her since it reminds me of the bittersweet times we had when we were dating, but I still didn’t say no… Me being broke? Sharing my hobbies with another soul? Ever since the false accusations shot against me were cleared, those sorts of things weren’t even a passing thought for me.

Am I subconsciously trying to forget that whole incident little by little? Or am I just being swayed by appearances?

Momiji was the only one I had a strong aversion to since that day.
Well, Toudou, the girl who accused me of abuse in the first place, was a special case all on her own.
For the rest of them, I realized my aversion was proportional to the amount of time I spent with each of my ex-friends before I was shunned.

Still, can human emotions be swayed so easily? Can you just shift like into dislike and vice-versa in the blink of an eye? Just like that? I figure the normal thing would be for there to be an emotional process to these things.

I… I just don’t know who I am now.

Despite everything, I still can’t trust anyone apart from my family.
This isn’t isolated to Momiji alone.
However, even if the incident completely slips my mind in the future, I still don’t believe this emotional scar will end up healing.
In the end, then and now, I don’t have a good grasp on myself.

… Oh, yeah.
There’s someone who’s been talking to me as if they understand.
They might be able to help me set me straight.

“Hey, stop that.
Grinning in silence is creepy.”

“Oh, sorry.
See you on Saturday.”

I was so immersed in my own thoughts, I was grinning, apparently.
How creepy.
Never mind that just wait and see, rude girl.
I’ll definitely get to the bottom of what you said at that time.

I turned on my heel and headed to class with a grin in tow.

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