Chapter 70:

First Friend

New Leaf!

 When I got back from the park, it was around 3:00. I decided to do some work from the textbooks on the small desk.Bookmark here

Textbooks have been my main source of learning for a long time. I’d barely get help from others, so I had to rely on my own intuitions as I learned. I asked myself if I fully understood the material, and if I didn’t I deeply thought about it until I did. I also had to create intricate problems for myself to solve. Learning something without help can be a gruelling process, but I think you learn better if you figure something out as opposed to receiving guidance. Well, I can’t really form an opinion if I only have experience in one method over the other.Bookmark here

I am almost entirely through with this book. I received these textbooks when my school year would have started, so at the head of September of last year. Although the school year ended, I’m still going through these problems because a lot of distractions prevented me from finishing them. I think during my journey, my learning was the least of my concerns, so I only worked through the book occasionally.Bookmark here

I was currently working through some problems containing graphing… And… graphing? Why would I ever need to learn about this? Sure, I think it’s important to learn about, but why do I have to go so in-depth into it? In the real world, why would I ever need graphing?... I think the only time I’d need to know this amount of graphing knowledge is if, I don’t know, if I were in a life or death situation and I needed to find the slope of a graph… But other than that, knowing this much is useless!Bookmark here

Hm…Bookmark here

But after some thinking, I guess it makes sense. I mean, high school is meant to get kids ready for their life as adults. And seemingly useless things may be useful to others — the kids who are planning to enter jobs that require this knowledge. But isn’t it kind of useless for the kids who are not planning to choose that path? I guess… But I guess classes want to cover all of their bases, so they teach some topics that are irrelevant to some people.Bookmark here

As I was working through these questions, I felt a vibrating sensation in my leg and heard an upbeat tone play — it was my phone. I took it out and read what was on it… A video call from Alan? I tapped on the green button and answered the call.Bookmark here

“Hey, Camryn!”Bookmark here

There was Alan, sitting in the staff room and wearing the Alente uniform — all in glorious 240p quality… Oh, hotel Wi-Fi… Bookmark here

I outstretched my arm while holding the phone and waved.Bookmark here

“Oh, hi Alan! Do you need something?”Bookmark here

Alan shook his head.Bookmark here

“Nah, I’m just on break right now. I just called to say hi…”Bookmark here

I nodded… So he called just to say hi… I wouldn’t say it’s a distraction from my work, but rather it’s a break, even though I just started a few minutes ago, so I’ll allow it… Bookmark here

“Oh!”Bookmark here

I smiled…Bookmark here

I tapped on an icon with a picture of two arrows in a loop in a camera. When I did, my phone changed from using the front-facing camera to the rear one. I was projecting to Alan a view of my open notebook.Bookmark here

I spun in the swivel chair to show Alan the view of the city — I was beside a large window. It wasn’t anything special, but there was a good overview of the park and the church.Bookmark here

“Look!”Bookmark here

Alan moved his face slightly closer to the screen.Bookmark here

“Oh? Wait, there aren’t a lot of places like that in Tronito… Oh, are you in a different city?”Bookmark here

He could tell just from a look out of the window? Wow…Bookmark here

“Wow, correct!”Bookmark here

“Using your vacation time wisely, eh?”Bookmark here

He chuckled to himself.Bookmark here

“Say, Camryn, where are you?”Bookmark here

“Oh? Um, well… Actually, I don’t remember the name, but I’m in the capital…”Bookmark here

“The capital city!?”Bookmark here

He sounded surprised. He looked surprised. So it’s a safe bet to say that he is surprised… I pressed the camera change icon again.Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“Oh, Camryn, you’re so lucky… The capital is so awesome…”Bookmark here

Oh? But it’s a city that looks pretty similar to Tronito… They’re both downtown areas, so there isn’t much of a difference. Though, I guess this city is somewhat different.Bookmark here

“R-Really? Oh, I haven’t really been sightseeing.”Bookmark here

“Huh!? Oh, that has to change! I suggest you walk around and enjoy the sight…”Bookmark here

“O-Oh…”Bookmark here

But is there much of a difference? They’re both urban areas. There are some different looking buildings, but the high-rises mostly cover them up…Bookmark here

“Hey Alan, that won’t do a lot, right?”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“I mean, people mainly sightsee to enjoy the designs and architecture, right? Well, this city and Tronito are both downtown areas that look pretty similar. So wouldn’t sightseeing here be just as good as sightseeing in Tronito?”Bookmark here

“Hm…”Bookmark here

I saw the tips of his fingers lay under his lower lip… He’s probably thinking and stroking his chin… Bookmark here

“You know Camryn, you raise a really good point!”Bookmark here

Oh, so he agrees.Bookmark here

“Well, despite looking similar, I think there’s a big difference between sightseeing at these two locations. See Camryn, I love visiting that city more than living in Tronito. And if the two cities were the same, I’d feel the same way for both of them — but I don’t.”Bookmark here

I tilted my head.Bookmark here

“I think even if two cities are identical, your opinion on one would alter from the other because of exposure…”Bookmark here

“O-Oh?”Bookmark here

Alan triumphantly smiled and pointed at me through the camera. Bookmark here

“You see Camryn, I think I’ve only visited that city a few times in my life.”Bookmark here

But what does that have to do with what we’re talking about now?Bookmark here

“And, I live here in the energetic and lively city of Tronito. Because of that, I already know about most of the attractions, sights, and little secrets it hides. So, my interest in it faded — the novelty wore off.”Bookmark here

Oh, I think I get what he’s saying…Bookmark here

“But the capital… I’d say I enjoy that place more than Tronito. Probably because I’ve only been there a few times. There are still plenty of things that can excite me there!Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

“And other than that, I think being in an entirely different location is exciting!”Bookmark here

Hm… It’s weird because I don’t think I ever felt this way. Even though I’ve been constantly travelling between cities… I think… I think I didn’t have time to truly appreciate the sights — I had other things that needed attention. So I became apathetic about the sights… And therefore, all cities began to look alike. But I think Tronito was different. Was it just because the vibe and sights were really unique? Bookmark here

“Hm… Oh! Alan, I get it…”Bookmark here

I smiled through the camera.Bookmark here

“You’re pretty insightful, Alan!”Bookmark here

I saw a flattered smile spread across his face.Bookmark here

“T-Thanks, Camryn… Oh, and-”Bookmark here

“Hey Alan, I’m going on break… Geez, your friend’s still annoying as ever…”Bookmark here

I saw that Alan was about to add something, but he was interrupted by someone. I think that was Elyssa barging into the staff room.Bookmark here

Alan looked to his side.Bookmark here

“Really? Well, he needs money, so just bear with him for a while… Besides, I think he’s just teasing you…”Bookmark here

“Teasing? What’s so great about teasing me. Well, I’m extremely sexy, so may- Woah! Speaking of sexy, is that Camryn?”Bookmark here

The video on my phone suddenly changed to show a picture of Elyssa’s face.Bookmark here

“Hey, Camryn, what’s up? I miss you already…”Bookmark here

“H-Hey… Lily, please give my phone back…”Bookmark here

Glad to see that Alente Bistro’s employees are as lively as ever… But was there any doubt? I mean, Valerie and Elyssa are there, so most days have to be interesting…Bookmark here

Hm… I’ve actually never revealed my past to any of my coworkers. And especially Alan. He’s my friend, and I really feel like he should at least know… Wait, but why does he need to know?Bookmark here

What will happen if I tell him? Hm… Will he give me help? I guess… Well, it’s not like I’m already being crushed by the mental burden — I just fight back and endure… But there’s also… Alan might hate me… My life is disgusting — living alone and doing criminal actions… Will Alan still be accepting of me? Losing my first friend… The thought terrifies me.Bookmark here

What will happen if I don’t tell him? Hm… All of the what-ifs that may occur if I revealed the truth to him do not happen. Then not telling him is the better option, right? There are no risks in the first place and I don’t think I miss out on anything if I don’t tell…Bookmark here

Hm…Bookmark here

But even so, why do I have a strong feeling that Alan should know? I really want to tell him, but I don’t think I can.Bookmark here

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