Chapter 27:

Past: The Boy Who Lost Everything

Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love

"How was school today, Kazuma?"Bookmark here

"I guess it was fine."Bookmark here

"Oh, I met your teacher at the grocery store this afternoon. She told me how she surprised she was by your behavior!"Bookmark here

"My behavior?"Bookmark here

"Yes, she praised how attentive and diligent you were during class!"Bookmark here

"Haha, that's my son! Keep up the grades and in the end, you'll get a job where you can balance your life and work! Just don't become like us who barely have time for their own child, okay?"Bookmark here

Kazuma nodded his head shyly.Bookmark here

Currently, the Ichinose family ate dinner while they conversed happily with each other.Bookmark here

"Thanks for the meal!"Bookmark here

Kazuma finished first and was about to to go his room.Bookmark here

"Oh, done already?"Bookmark here

"Why the hurry?"Bookmark here

His parents were surprised.Bookmark here

"I still have lots to do for school, hehe..." he answered while he scratched his head awkwardly.Bookmark here

After he entered his room and closed the door behind him, he immediately took out his phone.Bookmark here

"Still no message..."Bookmark here

Kazuma bit his bottom lip and unconsciously formed a fist.Bookmark here

A week already passed since he announced that he would step down as the leader of their gang 'The Owls'. It was also the last day when they saw each other.Bookmark here

During the whole week, Kazuma wrote regularly messages to their group chat but apart from Shiho, nobody responded.Bookmark here

Kazuma's parents forbade him to meet Shinya and the others because it would cause possible trouble and danger in the end, however, he did not care.Bookmark here

He still wanted to hang out with his close friends even if he had to do it secretly.Bookmark here

It was a wish. A wish that was not fulfilled yet. Hirata and Shinya ignored his messages. The only person, who was still in contact with Kazuma, was Shiho. But she could not meet him due to her being apparently busy.Bookmark here

Thud.Bookmark here

As he leaned with his back on the door, he slowly slid down to the ground.Bookmark here

Kazuma sighed.Bookmark here

Was he starting to lose his friends? Was that the price he had to pay? Was it really worth it?Bookmark here

In the end, his parents were more often at home but that did not mean that they were less busy. Kazuma knew that they were doing much paper work every time he went to his room. Deep down, Kazuma felt guilty. In his eyes, it seemed like his parents were put under more stress due to his wish to see them more often.Bookmark here

"Maybe they should go to their workplace again..." he murmured while he clasped his arms around his legs.Bookmark here

He was thinking. What if they would really return to their original workplace? This would definitively lessen their burden. But what would happen to Kazuma?Bookmark here

With his friends gone and his parents working, he would return to his dull and lonely life like a few years ago. He lost everything.Bookmark here

"No... I shouldn't think like that! Stay optimistic! I can still see mom and dad from time to time." he cheered himself up.Bookmark here

"Yeah... optimistic..."Bookmark here

He tried to smile but his lips were trembling too much.Bookmark here

Tears started to flow from his eyes.Bookmark here

The next day.Bookmark here

Kazuma was on the way home from school.Bookmark here

Even though he did not feel like going to school, he had to so that his parents were happy. Just like his father said yesterday, Kazuma wanted to get good grades to get a good job in the future. He wanted a job where he could still have enough time for himself.Bookmark here

"I'm home!"Bookmark here

"Oh, welcome back, Yui!"Bookmark here

Almost arriving at his own house, he heard his neighbor arriving home first.Bookmark here

In the past, he was jealous of her but at the moment he did not care anymore.Bookmark here

"I'm home." he announced as he opened the front door.Bookmark here

But no response. It was silent.Bookmark here

Usually, he would feel down by the silence but today he just grinned. It was a special day.Bookmark here

"Maybe a surprise, hehe..." he muttered happily.Bookmark here

He entered the living room. There was nobody.Bookmark here

"?"Bookmark here

Kazuma noticed a note on the table.Bookmark here

[Sorry, but we have to go to work today.]Bookmark here

"I see..."Bookmark here

His smile vanished quickly as he read the note.Bookmark here

Depressed by the news, he went to his room and threw himself on his bed.Bookmark here

"Haha, spending my birthday in my bed isn't that bad..." he remarked sarcastically.Bookmark here

Ring.Bookmark here

Someone was calling him.Bookmark here

He searched lazily for his phone.Bookmark here

"Hello?"Bookmark here

[Happy birthday, Kazuma!]Bookmark here

Kazuma's eyes widened when he recognized the voice.Bookmark here

"Shinya?!"Bookmark here

[Yeah, it's me. Sorry for not replying to your messages. I was busy with preparing your present.]Bookmark here

"Present? But you didn't need to-"Bookmark here

[Just stay at home and wait until evening.]Bookmark here

Beep. Beep.Bookmark here

Shinya hung up.Bookmark here

"What the hell?"Bookmark here

"Oh, fine, then I'll wait."Bookmark here

A smile was formed on Kazuma's face.Bookmark here

He was glad and happy that he was wrong. In the end, Shinya did not neglect him like he initially thought.Bookmark here

"But until evening, huh..." he muttered.Bookmark here

It was still early. Not knowing what he should do to kill time, he decided to take a short nap.Bookmark here

Ding dong.Bookmark here

"Hm? Who's that?"Bookmark here

Before he could take a nap, someone rang the doorbell.Bookmark here

Kazuma went quickly to the front door and opened it.Bookmark here

"Hello, you're Ichinose-kun, right? My name is Nagisa Yui." she smiled widely as she introduced herself.Bookmark here

"Uhm, yeah, nice to meet you." Kazuma replied plainly.Bookmark here

"My mom told me to bring you this!" she said while she gave Kazuma a package which seemed like it came from a bakery.Bookmark here

"Oh, thank you..." he was slightly taken aback due to him not expecting this.Bookmark here

"You're welcome! Oh, and of course, happy birthday from me and my family!" she said before she waved her hand and went back to her house.Bookmark here

Kazuma grinned after he received a present from his neighbors.Bookmark here

"Cake, huh? Well, I'll eat it later with mom and dad."Bookmark here

He put the cake, which he received from Yui, on the table.Bookmark here

"Now it's time for a nap..." he stated while he yawned.Bookmark here

Thus, he took a four hour nap.Bookmark here

"... What time is it?" he asked tiredly.Bookmark here

"..."Bookmark here

Kazuma looked out of his windows. It was dark.Bookmark here

"Oh, crap, I slept that long?!"Bookmark here

"Are mom and dad home ye-"Bookmark here

Ding dong.Bookmark here

"Geez, who is it this time?"Bookmark here

And again, he rushed to the door and opened it. But this time, it was an unusual guest.Bookmark here

"Hello, are you Ichinose Kazuma? I'm one of your parents coworkers."Bookmark here

A police officer stood in front of Kazuma. He looked at him painfully and mournfully.Bookmark here

"Please listen and try to be calm, alright?"Bookmark here

Kazuma nodded his head nervously.Bookmark here

"Your parents..." the officer bit his lips and his fists were shaking.Bookmark here

"Your parents died in a car accident..."Bookmark here

The police officer began to tell everything whereas Kazuma only stared down with a hollow expression.Bookmark here

After his parents were done with work, they drove with their car home. However, as soon as they left the police station, a truck crashed into them at full speed. The police called an ambulance and tried to help them out of the car but it was already too late. When the ambulance arrived, their deaths were confirmed.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry for your loss..."Bookmark here

"Thanks for telling me... I need some time alone now." Kazuma bowed his head before he closed the door.Bookmark here

Despite his lips and and body trembling, Kazuma had to muster up all his energy to appear fine in front of the officer.Bookmark here

Thud.Bookmark here

He fell on his knees. Bookmark here

"Uwaaa!" he began to cry.Bookmark here

Kazuma was in pain and grief. He was broken and shaken. He cried and cried.Bookmark here

He could not accept the reality yet. Memories with his parents flooded his mind.Bookmark here

He remembered the day when they went to the amusement park together seven years ago. He recalled the day when they were at the beach five years ago or the day when they celebrated his birthday with them and his grandparents three years ago. He recollected the days when they ate happily together at home just like yesterday.Bookmark here

His memories ended at that point. Kazuma wanted to show them so much more. His high school graduation, his university life, his future job, his future wife and family and so on. However, his parents would not be there to witness that all.Bookmark here

"Aaahhhh!" he cried even louder.Bookmark here

Nothing but time could stop his tears anymore.Bookmark here

His wish to spend more time with his mother and father was finally fulfilled since last week but only lasted shortly.Bookmark here

Kazuma's past was truly filled with sorrow and pain.Bookmark here

But it was not the end yet.Bookmark here

Ring.Bookmark here

It was already past midnight.
Bookmark here

Hours passed with crying until Kazuma was able to calm down a little for a moment.Bookmark here

"?"Bookmark here

Looking at his phone apathetically and hollow, he decided to ignore the call.Bookmark here

Ring.Bookmark here

His phone rang again.Bookmark here

"Tch." he clicked his tongue in annoyance.Bookmark here

He grabbed his phone and took the call.Bookmark here

"Who-"Bookmark here

[And? Did you like my present, Kazuma?]Bookmark here

Kazuma's eyes got sharper.Bookmark here

"What do you mean, Shinya?"Bookmark here

[Oh, did my present not reach you yet? And I thought a police officer already stopped at your place to bring it...] Shinya acted surprised.Bookmark here

Kazuma's grip on his phone got stronger.Bookmark here

[No answer, huh? Geez, you are no fun!]Bookmark here

"Get to the point." despite already knowing what he meant, Kazuma asked to seek confirmation.Bookmark here

[Your parents-]Bookmark here

Smash. Crack.Bookmark here

He threw his phone to the floor and trampled on it violently.Bookmark here

Bam.Bookmark here

Venting out more of his anger, he punched the hard wall.Bookmark here

Biting his lips until they bled and with fierce eyes, Kazuma was determined.Bookmark here

"Shinya... I will kill you!"Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.