Chapter 86:

It’s a Disheartening Chance Part 3

New Leaf!

 So annoyingly friendly!Bookmark here

“You know, Bailey, I wouldn’t-”Bookmark here

“C-Connie!? What the hell!? Why are you here!?”Bookmark here

I was pressing the phone hard into my cheek. My voice was raised, but I doubt the sound will pass through the door and disturb Camryn.Bookmark here

“Huh? Oh, I’m married to Valerie…”Bookmark here

“Dammit, I know that!”Bookmark here

And why did he have to use that reason!?Bookmark here

“It hasn’t been long since I called you! If you weren’t busy, why didn’t you pick up!?”Bookmark here

“Oh… Well, I kinda had a hunch that you’d call Valerie if I didn’t pick up — I mean, it’s way past your bedtime… I just wanted to hear your sweet angry voice…”Bookmark here

Dammit, this teaser… Gah, so annoying — I want to throw my phone off the edge right now! Why do I even consider him my friend!?Bookmark here

I heard Valerie holding in a giggle. Oh well, I’ll let her get a pass…Bookmark here

Dammit…Bookmark here

“Eh, but I’ve had my fun for now…”Bookmark here

His voice sounded like he was gradually getting uninterested... Bookmark here

“Bailey, I’ll be serious now.”Bookmark here

I also relieved some of my emotions… I lessened the push on my phone and untensed my face… Bookmark here

“Anyways, I have to be a bit more serious…. You know, because it’s about Ren…”Bookmark here

I was taken aback. How did he know? I don’t think I said his name during the conversation.Bookmark here

“What!?”Bookmark here

“Connie? What are you talking about!?”Bookmark here

“Huh!? Yeah, it’s shocking, I know…”Bookmark here

He was sarcastic.Bookmark here

“I would have been so simple if you came out and said it… But Bailey, I’m right, right? You’re talking about Ren… And not only Ren, but you’re also talking about Camryn…”Bookmark here

He’s right… I think that’s his single most annoying skill — he has really good observational skills and can easily reveal a truth someone is hiding… But I guess I should be relieved that he mostly uses this skill to be an ass…Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah… You’re right. How’d you know?”Bookmark here

“Well, the big revealer was that it’s unlikely for you to like a co-worker unless it was Ren. And, Camryn’s been with Ren for the monthlong period you mentioned.”Bookmark here

But he also uses this skill to help a lot of people — that’s what he’s doing now.Bookmark here

“Sorry…”Bookmark here

“Oh, no need for that — I mean, I can understand why you’d keep this a secret.”Bookmark here

Connie sighed…Bookmark here

“Hm… So, Ren and Camryn got into a disagreement of some kind… They are now unsure if they feel affectionate towards each other, and Camryn is sad and mulling over it.”Bookmark here

“Yeah…”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

I could imagine Connie was leaning on the table and smiling smugly.Bookmark here

“You know, I think Valerie gave some solid advice — give them some time apart before they discuss… However…”Bookmark here

I stared at the medley of lights on the ground.Bookmark here

“Since Ren’s involved, I think it makes things way more complicated…”Bookmark here

Connie was talking slowly and started to sound eerily serious.Bookmark here

“Surely you already realized, right? Ren can’t form a relationship with anyone — not with me, not with you, not with Valerie here, heck, not even with his own mother… However, we’ve formed a relationship with him… I mean, we’re his friends who’ve stuck with him ever since high school.”Bookmark here

True… Connie and I attended the same university as him, and Valerie opened her business in this city…. Bookmark here

“So, I’d say it’s impossible. Bailey, if you hoped to mend the relationship between our two heroes, then-”Bookmark here

I peeled the phone away from my cheek and yelled into the microphone. Bookmark here

“S-Shut up, Connie!”Bookmark here

I was getting angrier. Angry because what he’s saying was nonsense. Sure, it’s hard for Ren to forge relationships, but I truly believe he forged one with Camryn.Bookmark here

“You don’t know a thing, Connie! You’re spewing a ton of nonsense! Ren does love Camryn… I know it!”Bookmark here

“Well-”Bookmark here

“S-Shut up! You don’t know what I saw!”Bookmark here

My mind flashed back to that moment. Ren’s fear… Ren’s regret… Ren’s sadness… At that moment, I didn’t recognize his face. He changed… but changed for the better.Bookmark here

“Connie, you-”Bookmark here

“Alright, alright… Ooh, you’re so angry, so please calm down…”Bookmark here

How could he sound so calm?..Bookmark here

“I can’t calm down! Dammit Connie, why are you losing faith!? What the hell’s wrong with you!?”Bookmark here

I guess I’m angry because of my hope… Even though there’s only a small chance that things will work out.Bookmark here

“Camryn needs this… Camryn needs Ren! She needs an adult the truly loves her… She needs an adult that cares for her… She needs an adult that knows she’s another human being… She needs an adult that’s actually smart enough to see that Camryn’s an awesome girl!”Bookmark here

Shoot… I guess I overstepped a little there. I lost my temper… My grip on the phone tightened and I was breathing heavily…Bookmark here

“Oh?”Bookmark here

“B-Bailey!? Wait, is there something we don’t know about Camryn!?”Bookmark here

I could tell that Valerie brought herself closer to the phone. She sounded afraid and nervous… She was being tormented when I said those things.Bookmark here

I sighed.Bookmark here

Dammit, I made a mistake there…Bookmark here

“Gah, sorry guys… The thing is… Camryn is an orphan.”Bookmark here

It feels bad telling them when it should be Camryn doing it. But I know their curiosity won’t let up… Besides, Connie needs to know about this if I wanted to change his mind.Bookmark here

“She was abandoned at a young age and was badly abused as she was passed around foster homes… And then six months ago, when she couldn’t take it anymore, she ran away… She was homeless for that period until she met Ren and started living with him… And then, everything I told you about happened…”Bookmark here

“So that’s it, huh?”Bookmark here

“What!?”Bookmark here

Valerie sounded like she was in more disbelief than Connie.Bookmark here

“You’re kidding, right? This is just a sick joke, right? Bailey, you’re lying, right!?”Bookmark here

She slammed her hands on the table.Bookmark here

“S-Sorry…”Bookmark here

“No… No, it can’t be… That cute girl going through a horrible life… No, that’s not it!”Bookmark here

I sighed in sadness.Bookmark here

“Hey, Valerie, why don’t you head upstairs?”Bookmark here

I could hear Connie’s voice soften as it redirected from me.Bookmark here

“Go to sleep and don’t think about this, okay.”Bookmark here

“O-Okay…”Bookmark here

“Yeah… Good night, dear.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, good night…”Bookmark here

After a sound of a kiss, I heard the footsteps of Valerie walk away. So it’s just us two now... Bookmark here

“Hey Connie, can you and Valerie not mention this to Camryn? I shouldn’t have revealed a secret that was so personal to her…”Bookmark here

“Of course…”Bookmark here

“You know, Connie, compared to Valerie, you’re taking this pretty well.”Bookmark here

“Yeah… But Bailey, I sort of already knew…”Bookmark here

I see… But how could Camryn have revealed something so deep like that? It couldn’t have been easy.Bookmark here

“But I never knew it was something like that… You see, at around the start of the month, Ren told me that he met a young homeless girl and started looking after her…”Bookmark here

Like he just read my mind… Bookmark here

I softly sighed.Bookmark here

“So, do you understand my frustration now? You’re right about Ren, but I have a strong desire for you to be wrong. I can’t stand to know that Camryn can’t experience a true familial relationship.”Bookmark here

Connie sighed.Bookmark here

“Hm… Yeah, Bailey, you’re right…”Bookmark here

Yeah…Bookmark here

“I guess I was too caught on the fact that Ren hasn’t formed a relationship in the past years to have any hope… Sorry, Bailey.”Bookmark here

“N-No, it’s fine…”Bookmark here

Like how he understands me, I understand him. It’s very uncertain that Ren will feel anything about Camryn other than responsibility…Bookmark here

After a moment of presumably thinking, Connie spoke.Bookmark here

“Um… You planned for them to confront each other after about a week, right? Well, scratch that — have them meet tomorrow…”Bookmark here

“What? But shouldn’t we give Camryn time to heal?”Bookmark here

“Sure. But we shouldn’t give them more time to hurt.”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“Well, since the situation is this serious, it’ll just take a greater toll on Camryn if a long time passes — she’ll probably just erase Ren from her mind completely.”Bookmark here

“I see…”Bookmark here

Wait!Bookmark here

“And we still don’t know if Ren can truly make Camryn happy. I know strongly opposed of you, but I still have strong doubts…”Bookmark here

“Oh, don’t worry about that…”Bookmark here

Huh?Bookmark here

“He just needs a little push is all…”Bookmark here

“Connie, what are you talking about?”Bookmark here

“Since you were so passionate, and you mentioned that you saw something, I think there’s a greater chance…”Bookmark here

Oh, he means Ren’s behaviour at Aragain Falls… I think he already figured out what I saw…Bookmark here

“Well, Bailey, good night…”Bookmark here

“What? Connie, what are-”Bookmark here

“Oh, I just have some work to do…”Bookmark here

And with that, he hung up on me…Bookmark here

Dammit… But whatever he’s going to do, I hope things work out…Bookmark here

Connie can be too frivolous, but he’s a really reliable guy… Bookmark here

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