Chapter 15:

I Thought I Was Only Acting

Being a Girl Online Made Me Become a Girl in Real Life

I don't understand what this feeling is… My body is heavy like it's glued to the bench I'm sitting on. It’s like I'm frozen in place... frozen in time. If I open my eyes, I’m sure the world will continue and time will resume. If I keep it closed then things can stay paused for now, so it’s best if I leave it this way.Bookmark here

Our lips finally part and the world around me unfreezes leaving me face to face with the reality of what just happened… Leaving me face to face with the thoughts that wanted to race through my mind. Bookmark here

Why does he like me this much? He surely can find someone better than me! Bookmark here

It feels like eating dessert before dinner. Like I’m doing something wrong. I had a taste of sweetness in my life, but this sweetness is something I shouldn't be tasting at this time. This sweetness is something that will spoil anything I taste after it. I shouldn't have enjoyed it but I did anyway. I savored the moment as much as I could.Bookmark here

This is wrong. Bookmark here

What I’m doing is wrong.Bookmark here

What I’m feeling is wrong.Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

I don't deserve this.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry…” I mumble.Bookmark here

“What why?”Bookmark here

I can’t face him. I get up from the bench and look away from him.Bookmark here

“I’m just really sorry, okay!”Bookmark here

“Shinobu, everything is fine! You didn’t do anything.”Bookmark here

As the tears that were welled up in my eyes start to roll down my cheek I finally accept why I feel so guilty. I think I understood why this whole time but never really acknowledged what my true feelings were. It was easier to pretend like what I felt didn’t really exist. Bookmark here

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for me Touma… I don’t deserve you...”Bookmark here

“Don’t say that Shinobu, you deserve the entire world”Bookmark here

“I’ve treated you like shit in the past…”Bookmark here

“What I never noticed!” He pauses for a moment. “I know you have your problems so you might have been a bit cold to me in the beginning but now you have opened up so much to me.”Bookmark here

He is dead wrong.Bookmark here

But I can’t tell him that, I can’t just tell him I was leading him on and using him for selfish reasons. I can’t tell him the only reason I met him in person was to destroy his relationship with Saya. Bookmark here

“Are you okay?” He says as he grabs my hand to gently turns me around to see my face. Bookmark here

“Shinobu…” He notices the tears on my face and squeezes my hand. “I will never leave you,” Bookmark here

I can’t tell him… I’m not even a real girl. He has genuine feelings for me, it would destroy him. Someone has feelings for me… Do I really want to go ahead and destroy it all?Bookmark here

I bury my face into Touma’s shirt as I feel the tears starting to come out stronger. The guilt inside of me makes my throat unable to form any words. The only thing that comes out of me is the tears that are soaking into Touma’s shirt.Bookmark here

“I don’t know why you feel like this but I’ll always be here for you, online and in real life. I like you for who you are, Shinobu.” He says as he holds me tighter and he pats me on my head.Bookmark here

“I never felt like this before… Nobody has ever shown affection to me like this...”Bookmark here

***Bookmark here

I’ve been in bed all day yesterday searching for answers on how I can fix this situation I’m in. I hate how I fell for someone over a simple kiss. I feel like Saya when she told me about her first kiss and was acting like a little girl about it … Guess I didn’t understand then but now I totally get it. Now that I think about it, she and I had our first kisses with the same guy… I smother my face into my pillow as that cursed thought came across my mind.

My first kiss was supposed to be with Saya after I won her from Touma but is that what I still want now? My mind has been in a mess recently, I can’t think of the right answer to what I want.Bookmark here

There is no way to solve this. I wish I can somehow change the past so I can be reborn into a female and grow up and date with Touma normally. In the beginning, I was only acting, playing a character when I was with him. Then I don’t know when exactly things changed and it felt like I was being something real, being myself...Bookmark here

I’ve been in bed all day today searching for answers on how I can fix this situation I’m in. Bookmark here

How to become a girl? How to change genders? How to tell someone you are not a real woman?Bookmark here

God what am I thinking about right now... Nothing on the internet can help me with what I’m dealing with right now. Interrupting me from my depressive state laying in bed is a text message from a number I don’t have saved in my phone.Bookmark here

Maika: Hey Shinobu! It’s me, Maika.Bookmark here

Me: Oh hey, what’s up?Bookmark here

Maika: Are you free today? I want to chat with you.Bookmark here

I’m not sure if I want to say that I’m free so I lie a bit to try and find out more information.Bookmark here

Me: I’m a bit busy, what is it that you wanted to talk with me about?Bookmark here

Maika: There is something I need to tell you, it’s important.Bookmark here

Important? I wonder if it’s about Touma. I have nothing to do today and I don’t really feel like doing anything so I guess I might as well go and meet her to find out what she wants to talk about.Bookmark here

Me: Sure, if it's something important I can spare some time.Bookmark here

Maika: Perfect! Touma told me we live near each other so let’s meet at the McDonLad’s in our town.Bookmark here

Ugh, guess she already knows about what happened with us the other night. I get dressed in the clothes I wore on my first date with Touma. I need to ask Yuri for some more ideas on what to wear. Bookmark here

I finish with everything else and make my way to where we plan to meet. She tells me to wait inside at a table so that's what I do. It’s been about fifteen minutes and she still isn’t here yet! I get a message on my phone but it’s not from her.Bookmark here

Touma: Whatever you do, don't hang out with Maika! She is always starting drama!Bookmark here

Well, it's too late to tell me that I'm already here waiting for her!!! What should I do? I can’t just run away now?Bookmark here

I look up and Maika is right there at the entrance walking inside with someone else… oh no… that is who I think it is. Bookmark here

“Maika, did you really drag me out all the way over here just to eat McDonLad’s!” Saya says with a groan.Bookmark here

“Of course not, I wanted you to meet my new friend.”Bookmark here

Maybe I can still escape while they are distracted. I need to leave NOW.Bookmark here

“Hey there she is!” Maika shouts over to me.Bookmark here

I’ve been spotted! Bookmark here

“Where were you going? I told you to wait here, didn't I?” Maika questions me.Bookmark here

“I just needed to use the restroom hehe...” I let out a nervous laugh while keeping my head down trying not to look in Saya’s direction.Bookmark here

My eyes peek up and look at Saya for a moment. She is wide-eyed, staring at me. Crap this isn’t good, she is already on to me. I take a step back and try to take my leave.Bookmark here

“Is that you? Shi-”Bookmark here

“SAYA! Hi, yes it's me..” I talk over Saya quickly before she says my real name.Bookmark here

“You both know each other or something?” Maika looks more confused than Saya.Bookmark here

“Y-yea I know this person, we have been friends since we were kids.” I try to play it off as nothing strange is going on right now.Bookmark here

“We have known each other for a long time now. I would have never expected you both to ever become friends with each other.” Saya explains to Maika.Bookmark here

Yea the guy me would have obviously never would have been friends with her let alone be in her presence.Bookmark here

I need more time to recollect my thoughts and think of a way out of this safely. Bookmark here

“I need to use the washroom, please excuse me.” I tell both of them and start to back away.Bookmark here

“I’ll tag along too hehe.” Saya says with a smirk.Bookmark here

Saya puts her arm around my shoulder and we walk towards the bathroom together. We go into a washroom that's meant for one person. When we get inside she lets go of me and locks the door behind us.Bookmark here

I stand in the corner of the washroom clutching my bag awaiting my fate as I have no escape from here. Is she going to beat me up? Make fun of me? Be like Yuri and undress me? I tremble at all the different possibilities I’m going through in alternate realities. Saya takes a moment to look at me from head to toe with a perplexed look on her face. Bookmark here

“This is a bit weird even coming for a weirdo like you...” She says as she scratches her cheek. Bookmark here

“Look, I can explain…” I grimace as I prepare for the worst. Bookmark here

I haven’t prepared for this moment in the slightest. I’m definitely screwed for whatever Saya is planning to do or say to me.Bookmark here

“I don’t want to know, okay. I’ve been having a rough week so I’m glad I at least get to see you outside for once… even if it's like this.”

“Oh…” I relax a bit as I was expecting the worst from her.Bookmark here

“By the way you look kinda cute Shiki! This fit definitely suits you haha I could never wear something cute and frilly like that. I’m jelly.”

“Just call me Shinobu when I’m like this...” I say as I try to mask my embarrassment from her compliment. Bookmark here

“Shi-no-bu HAHA” She breaks out in laughter.Bookmark here

“You can at least act more surprised, you know!” I roll my eyes at her immature sense of humor.Bookmark here

“I mean yeah it was a little shocking but I kinda knew it was you the moment I laid eyes on you.”Bookmark here

Just like I thought. I guess I manifested my thoughts into reality somehow. Next I just hope I don’t cross paths with my mom like this.Bookmark here

“And don’t worry, I knew you might have been gay or something… after all you are not really the most mainly person out there so ya know. You don't talk to girls and never tried anything funny with me so haha.”

“I mean you're not wrong but not right either…” I let out a nervous laugh trying not to say anything I’m not supposed to. “And I’m not gay or anything either!”

I kissed Touma as a girl so it’s not gay. Nothing gay about a guy kissing a girl right? In fact that’s the most heterosexual thing I can think of! Bookmark here

“Aww you’re even more adorable when you are mad looking like this! I just wanna gobble you up even more.” She jumps on me and squeezes my body with a big hug.Bookmark here

“Shiki, no Shinobu… you don't have any boobs to ya?” She invites herself to try and check for herself. Bookmark here

“And what about down there?! Let's find out!” Bookmark here

NO LET’S NOT FIND OUT. Bookmark here

I guess I’m in the Yuri timeline as I'm being harassed! I know Saya likes to get physical but she never gets into the sexual harasser mode like Yuri does. Guess this is what happens when you are a girl?Bookmark here

This is bad! When the girl I like the most gets this touchy I start to feel certain ways… This thin dress and thin underwear won't stop the force that's rising down there, I can feel it spilling out!Bookmark here

“Please stop!!! You're messing up my hair and makeup!!” I use my quick thinking to think of an excuse and use all my strength and push her off of me.Bookmark here

“Ah gross Shiki, you actually sound like a real girl when you say it like that!”Bookmark here

“Please don’t joke around like that!” I scolded her a bit as that could have ended up in disaster.Bookmark here

“Haha my bad guess I went too far...” Unlike Yuri, she actually gives some sort of an apology after harassing me. Bookmark here

“Look one last thing. Please don't tell anyone about what I'm doing. I’m just a girl like any other to everyone.”Bookmark here

“Sure, it's not my place to let anyone know that anyways.”Bookmark here

Both of us never actually use the washroom but head back to the table as we were messing around in there for a suspiciously long time. Maika is there looking very angry and tapping her finger on the table...Bookmark here

“You girls were in there an awfully long time…”Bookmark here

“Yea Shinobu here has stomach issues and had to take big number two.”Bookmark here

“Very funny Saya...” I say sarcastically.Bookmark here

“Well I’m glad you are both on friendly terms but sorry to kill the fun and jokes. I’m here to end the bullshit that is going on between you two and Touma.” The stiffness in her voice cuts through the air killing everything that happened before.Bookmark here

The reality of the situation finally hits me, this is why Touma said not to go and meet her. I messed around in the washroom with Saya and forgot I needed to think of a way out of this.Bookmark here

“There is something I need to know. Why were you pretending like you didn’t know Saya when we last spoke?”Bookmark here

“You see there could be another Saya-” Bookmark here

“You are hiding something! What are you trying to do to Saya? Spill it right now!”Bookmark here

“Nothing I swear I don’t know what you mean.” I start sweating as I’m in real hot water now. No amount of acting or lying will get me out of this.Bookmark here

“If there is one thing I hate, it's people who can't be honest. Apologize now.” Maika says as she crosses her arms and closes her eyes.Bookmark here

“Sorry…” I feel compelled to say it from the bluntness of the way she asked.Bookmark here

“As long as you are honest and can own up to your actions I don’t care. But I thought you two could talk it out now.”Bookmark here

“Can I ask what exactly is going on here Maika?” Saya asks. Bookmark here

Just like I thought, Saya has no idea what I have been doing this past week.Bookmark here

“Saya, this girl here... is Touma’s friend. I was telling you Touma isn’t as into you anymore yesterday remember. At the end of the day, only one of you can have Touma and it's not going to be you.”Bookmark here

“Saya I’m sorry, it’s a long story but-” Bookmark here

“You are disgusting...” Saya hisses at me before I can finish trying to explain.Bookmark here

Saya abruptly gets up and heads for the exit.Bookmark here

“Wait, where is she going? Saya come back!” I try to call out to her but she ignores me and throws open the door as it slams against the wall it’s attached to.Bookmark here

I get out of my seat leaving Maika alone and rush outside. I look both ways and I see her running away down the street on my left. I chase her down an empty residential road and eventually she stops running and stands still.Bookmark here

I finally catch up to her but she doesn’t turn around to look at me. Bookmark here

“It was… You… This whole time... ” She says with her voice trembling. Bookmark here

“You little shit, we were supposed to be friends!” She turns around and pushes me causing me to almost lose my balance and fall over.Bookmark here

“Is this why you are dressed like this?! Did you do all this just to make me suffer?!”Bookmark here

“It's part of the reason but-”Bookmark here

She reaches her hand back and her palm connects with the center of my cheek sending me stumbling to the side. Before I fall to the ground she grabs me by my collar and pulls me close to her, almost lifting me off the ground.Bookmark here

“Give me one reason I shouldn't hit you again!” She says through her teeth. Bookmark here

I look up at her and she has a look I have never seen in all the years I have been friends with her. The heat radiating from the side of my cheek tells me all that I need to know, there is nothing I can say to her that might calm her down at this moment. After all I’ve done to try and end her relationship, I deserve all the pain and hatred from the consequences of my actions. As she waits for my reply the grip she has on my collar gets tighter and her eyes start to glisten.Bookmark here

“DON’T JUST STAY SILENT SHIKI!” She reaches back this time but with a closed fist. Bookmark here

“SHINOBU!” A voice yells out from a distance.Bookmark here

Touma bolts in seemingly out of nowhere and grabs me to shield me away from Saya.Bookmark here

Why… Why is he trying to save me from what I deserve?Bookmark here

Why is he here to begin with!?Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.