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.

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.

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.

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!


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.

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.

“Hey, Camryn!”

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

I outstretched my arm while holding the phone and waved.

“Oh, hi Alan! Do you need something?”

Alan shook his head.

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

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…


I smiled…

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.

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.


Alan moved his face slightly closer to the screen.

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

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

“Wow, correct!”

“Using your vacation time wisely, eh?”

He chuckled to himself.

“Say, Camryn, where are you?”

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

“The capital city!?”

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.


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

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.

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

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


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…

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


“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?”


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

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

Oh, so he agrees.

“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.”

I tilted my head.

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


Alan triumphantly smiled and pointed at me through the camera.

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

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

“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.”

Oh, I think I get what he’s saying…

“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!

“I see…”

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

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?

“Hm… Oh! Alan, I get it…”

I smiled through the camera.

“You’re pretty insightful, Alan!”

I saw a flattered smile spread across his face.

“T-Thanks, Camryn… Oh, and-”

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

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.

Alan looked to his side.

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

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

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

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

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

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…

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?

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.

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…


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.