Chapter 21:

Volume 2.5 Extra – Delinquent

Sleeping Princess

Conway Sophia's PerspectiveBookmark here

Here it is, Wednesday afternoon and I'm still being harassed by people I dislike...When will this school week come to an end?Bookmark here

["Yes, I heard you the first time dad. Stay away from Linda."]Bookmark here

I spoke in English just in case a student I knew was passing by. Here I sat on the cool grass in-between the gymnasium and auditorium. A place where others rarely go because classes are just on the other side of the wall. So, making too much noise is out of the question. But for a loner like me, this is one of the perfect spots to just sit back and relax. Too bad my solitude was interrupted by...him.Bookmark here

["Linda shouldn't have come to Japan. If she tries to approach you make sure you tell me. Do you hear me, Sophia?"]Bookmark here

Dad's voice grumbled bitterly before adding...Bookmark here

["This isn't just about the two of you...she'll ruin everything I worked for with her tasteless impulses."]Bookmark here

My shoulders slumped.Bookmark here

["...But daddy."]Bookmark here

["Sophia, I know what's best for you. Don't you say otherwise."]Bookmark here

["Yes dad."]Bookmark here

Without a moment to waste he cut the line between us without even a goodbye. I put my phone in my pocket and stood up. With my arms behind my back, I whispered my true feelings.Bookmark here

"...Screw you, dad."Bookmark here

I said it too late for him to hear. Now I sat alone as I always do when I skip. But this loneliness was different than usual. I wasn’t skipping because I wanted to play a game, or read the end of a manga...No...Bookmark here

I clicked my short tongue against my teeth.Bookmark here

"I...have to avoid that idiot, Linda..."Bookmark here

Sometimes she'd pop up knowing when I'll leave class. Or where I'll eat at lunch. She’s only been here a few days and she's certainly a stalker if I've ever known one. Feeling exhausted, I rested my legs and plopped down on my butt. I searched the dewy grass as my fingers plucked them one by one. This restless feeling of wanting to do something but all the same not, swirled in me like gears.Bookmark here

So, I kicked forwards and huffed again.Bookmark here

"Shit...This is my fault."Bookmark here

The shame got the best of me as I buried my head in my hands. My heart pinged thinking back to...that time. The days of innocence where I just met...her.Bookmark here

"Conway?!"Bookmark here

"Eh?!"Bookmark here

My delusion burst only seconds after it formed. There she was, the tall obnoxious blueberry as she pounced out of the gymnasium doorway. Dressed in our school's gym attire, she put her arms behind her back and approached me like eyeing a specimen. Now gazing down at me she smiled that everlasting grin. Ah, that's right. It's the second year students who are using the gymnasium now. This is only but a chance that she stepped out and caught me.Bookmark here

"You skipping again, Conway-san?"Bookmark here

She accused. Bookmark here

"Tsk, what's it to you, Watanabe-san?!"Bookmark here

I balled my fist, ready to punch her lights out. She held her hands out as if reading what I planned to do to her.Bookmark here

"Hold on! I didn't mean anything by it!" Bookmark here

Watanabe-san slanted down and met my gaze.Bookmark here

"...You haven't been skipping lately, Watanabe-san. Are you a good kid like Nakagawa-san now?"Bookmark here

She chuckled warily to my surprise. Now fixated on me she rolled her sleeves up and sat next to me.Bookmark here

"...You can say that, Conway-san."Bookmark here

"Oh?"Bookmark here

She looked out to the distance as if searching for something in the clear blue skies. Then her forest-like eyes met with mine as she turned back.Bookmark here

"...I want to change."Bookmark here

"Change?"Bookmark here

"Yep...I want to learn how to express my feelings more openly."Bookmark here

"Don’t you already do that quite enough, idiot?"Bookmark here

Again she chuckled softly. This was an interesting side to Watanabe Mae-san. Her smile was softer like at a moment's notice it would crack, breaking altogether.Bookmark here

"What changed?"Bookmark here

"Hm?"Bookmark here

Watanabe-san looked at me like I was the one acting strangely. She was quite convincing as I started doubting my own questioning.Bookmark here

"...I had to face up to something I did and it made me realize something important, Conway-san."Bookmark here

"Hm?"Bookmark here

"Let’s just say I was running from my mistakes. But...I want to change now."Bookmark here

"Running from your mistakes?"Bookmark here

Watanabe-san shrugged.Bookmark here

"Yeah..."Bookmark here

Now we sat in silence. The atmosphere was unusually heavy. Something might have happened...the only conclusion I could come to was...Bookmark here

"Nakagawa-san..."Bookmark here

"Oh?"Bookmark here

"You had a personal chat with Nakagawa-san, huh?"Bookmark here

"...Yeah."Bookmark here

"Well, that does make sense. You are childhood friends after all and at times like these you rely on them."Bookmark here

Did I sound a bit bitter there? Of course, I know why. It's been a while since I trusted anyone so readily. The last person I confided in was Okabe-san and that was a huge mistake.Bookmark here

"...Conway-san."Bookmark here

"What?"Bookmark here

I took a sip of my water at my side, trying to wash away the bitterness.Bookmark here

"...Can I tell you about my problems?"Bookmark here

"Hm?"Bookmark here

I was taken aback by her bluntness. Bookmark here

"I want to be closer to you too, Conway-san."Bookmark here

"Eh?! Where is this coming from?"Bookmark here

"'re a friend of mine. So, why not?"Bookmark here

My cheeks puffed themselves. Bookmark here

"Is that why you invited me to the cultural event?"Bookmark here

"Yeah..."Bookmark here

Air shot from my nose. This side of Watanabe-san was suspicious but horribly open. Bookmark here

"...You probably should get back to your class before you get in trouble, Watanabe-san."Bookmark here

"Oh?! I completely forgot!"Bookmark here

She jumped like a kangaroo and stood on one leg before turning around abruptly.Bookmark here

"...Watanabe-san."Bookmark here

"Hm?"Bookmark here

She stopped before going through the doorway.Bookmark here

"I'll call you later tonight...That way you can tell me all about what happened."Bookmark here

Her smile was the brightest I've probably seen from her. Now that I thought about felt natural and not like a doll that would stay on her face.Bookmark here

"I would love that, Conway-san!"Bookmark here

With that, she vanished into the gymnasium. There I sat alone now, watching the door as if she'd come back out and bring me in with her. I angled my head back to my phone. There I looked through only to find a very old picture. It was of me...and a certain stepsister...Bookmark here

"...Damn it."Bookmark here

Watanabe is willing to express her pains with me. But I still won't be able to tell her about my own sins that are still clawing at me. It's not a simple situation that I can just solve though...It's complicated between Linda and me. So, I'm not ready to be a "good girl" like Watanabe-san and Nakagawa-san.Bookmark here

Not until I fix all the pain I made Linda endure...Bookmark here

...Because of me.Bookmark here

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