Chapter 11:

Closer To Uncertainty (Part 1)

Unconsciously Interested

PART THREEBookmark here

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Haaah– Finally, I’m done with my homework! My brain’s dead. Guhh…Bookmark here

Thank goodness it’s the weekend the next day, my brain cells can rest for a bit.Bookmark here

Weekend, huh? Bookmark here

Let’s see... Hmm… We don’t have a scheduled Saturday class. Bookmark here

Maybe I should visit the bookstore to get some reading material for my literature club and browse the shelves for intriguing titles this weekend. Bookmark here

“. . . .”Bookmark here

Yep, that’s the plan! I guess I’ll check out self-help books this time. Bookmark here

I’ll probably ask Minori tomorrow if she’d like to go with me.Bookmark here

Knock-! Knock-!Bookmark here

“Yuyo, Mom’s on the phone. She’s asking for you,” my brother called out.Bookmark here

“Got it...” I made my way down the living room.Bookmark here

Why couldn’t Mom just use social media if she wanted to make international calls? What a drag.Bookmark here

“Hello, Mom… Good evening.” I greeted after picking up the phone.
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“How are you doing, Yuyo? Are you doing well in school?” My mother holds me to a high standard in terms of academic performance. It’s hardly surprising that she wants to know about it right away.Bookmark here

“I’m doing fine, Mom. So, too, with my studies. You should ask oniichan that question.” I sniggered at my brother, who was watching on TV.Bookmark here

“Brat…” My brother sneered.Bookmark here

“I already did. I’m glad everything is going well… By the way, send me the details on how much you will need for that school trip your brother mentioned a few days ago.”Bookmark here

“Why can’t I just get a part-time job? It will be less of a burden on you if I do.”Bookmark here

“No.” Mom’s tone turned stern. “I’m giving up a lot by living far away from both of you so that I can provide you with a better education. Your focus should be on your studies. I don’t want such part-time jobs to take you away from studying. You can work part-time after enrolling in a university, just like your brother does.” Bookmark here

“. . . . I understand.” Bookmark here

For the past year, I’ve been asking my mother to allow me to work part-time so I could earn my own money, but she constantly says no. I wouldn’t consider myself to be sheltered in that sense. Bookmark here

However, I feel like I haven’t been exposed to certain aspects that a person of my age should be exposed to.Bookmark here

Though I don't always agree with my mother's decisions, I try not to upset her, so I just go along with it. That’s why I’m focused on my studies so that I don’t fall short of my mother’s expectations. Bookmark here

This is the best way I can repay her. Keep doing well at school and stay out of trouble. My studies will be my top priority if I want to graduate with good standing.Bookmark here

“By the way, have you decided what career path you want to pursue in college?” she abruptly asked.Bookmark here

“N-Not yet, Mom...” I almost whispered. Bookmark here

“Why?”Bookmark here

“I mean, my interests are so varied that I can’t decide which one to pursue.”Bookmark here

“It is time to think about it, Yuyo. Your third year is just around the corner. That is something you should think about by now.” Bookmark here

“Yes, Mom… I will.” Bookmark here

“I would like to know what it is sooner rather than later... Well, I have to go. Say hello to your aunts there for me.”Bookmark here

“Of course, Mom. Take care...”Bookmark here

I sighed as I hung up the phone.Bookmark here

“What, you got scolded?” My brother asked.Bookmark here

I nodded. “Say… Sanji-onii, how did you come to choose corporate management as your undergraduate academic degree?” Bookmark here

“Hmm... Simply because I hope to start up my own business someday.” Bookmark here

“Heeh.. I see.” That’s all it takes, huh?Bookmark here

“Don’t sweat it, Yuyo. Your second year has only just begun. There’s still plenty of time to think this through. You can go at your own pace, okay?” My brother smiled kindly at me.Bookmark here

“Thank you, oniichan...” I forced a smile at him before turning back to my room. Bookmark here

My brother makes me wish I was like him. He almost lives up to our parents’ ideals. While he might not possess the same academic skills as I do, he’s more adept at dealing with the unpredictable nature of this world than I am. Bookmark here

It would be great to have more practical knowledge than what I have learned so far. Bookmark here

Haaah... I need to figure out what I want to do with my life as soon as possible.Bookmark here

I wonder… If Dad is still alive, how would he react if he knew I had trouble deciding what I wanted to do?Bookmark here

“. . . .”Bookmark here

I miss you, Dad…Bookmark here

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“Minori, wanna go to the bookshop with me tomorrow?” I made my way over to her seat.Bookmark here

“Of course! Perfect timing… I’m also trying to find references for college mock exams.”Bookmark here

“Ehh?! Mock exams are still a long way off, we’re still in May... Uhh… Honestly, you’re incredible, Minori. Your career goal is already unquestionably visible in your mind while I... Haah...” I heaved a sigh. Bookmark here

It’s the same thing again, just when I thought I’d slept it off last night. Bookmark here

Nevertheless, Minori is really awesome. She hopes to become a grade school teacher someday.Bookmark here

This is causing me a great deal of pressure. Maybe I should ask Kuroda-sensei for some advice one of these days. As our homeroom teacher, she might be able to offer more insight.Bookmark here

“Considering you’re good at rationalizing things, why don’t you take it into account to help you decide which career path to take?” Minori suggested.Bookmark here

I cocked my head to my right while keeping my arms crossed in contemplation. “Hmm... That makes sense, too. Then, I may need to look for some reference books on this as well. Perhaps those will help.”Bookmark here

“Can I tag along?” Kyashii butted in since her desk was just behind Minori.Bookmark here

“No, you can’t,” I answered immediately without even looking at her.Bookmark here

“Huh?! Why?!” She exclaimed in shock.Bookmark here

“I’m joking, I’m joking… Of course, you can.” I puffed up my cheeks and turned my narrowed eyes at her.Bookmark here

“I can’t even tell if you’re kidding or not!” Kyashii’s pouting at me. “Minori, I can tag along, right?”Bookmark here

Minori let out a soft laugh. “You certainly can, Kyashii-chan. Your best friend is just deliberately picking on you.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, she can be a bully to me at times. Hmph! Thank you, Minori.” Kyashii then frowned at me.Bookmark here

I couldn’t contain my smile at her reaction. “We just dropped by the bookstore a couple of days ago. Do you still need to buy some?”Bookmark here

“Not that I really need anything. On the flip side, if I come tomorrow, I might be able to look for more cookery books because I’ll have more time to browse for them.”Bookmark here

I see... Cookbooks again, huh? Her enthusiasm for cooking is undeniable, no doubt about it.Bookmark here

“While you’re at it, why don’t you try to look for math guides as well?” Bookmark here

“Why?” she asked, wiggling an eyebrow at me.Bookmark here

“Because you’re struggling with it?”Bookmark here

“Hmph! It’s not like I aim to become a mathematician or anything requiring math. Plus, I have a decent math grade, so I don’t need it.”Bookmark here

“Huh? Exactly what kind of reasoning is that?”Bookmark here

“Well, you’re in my corner... Besides, I’m thinking about becoming a chef or cooking teacher, so I should put my money where it is most useful.”Bookmark here

“Ohh... It turns out you can actually be practical after all. And here I thought you keep squandering your money on something as frivolous as that underwear.”Bookmark here

“Haaah...?! That’s something important, you clueless dummy!” she snaps at me.Bookmark here

“What?! I know underwear is essential, but I’m talking about–” Bookmark here

Wait…Bookmark here

Why are we fighting over that again? Bookmark here

Jeez! I uttered a nonsense remark, and Kyashii won’t back down when it comes to that issue.Bookmark here

Minori is laughing at us. Whenever Kyashii and I squabble over little things, I feel like we’re making a fool of ourselves.Bookmark here

“You both look adorable when you’re fighting like this...” Minori’s smiling sweetly at us.Bookmark here

“You’re far too kind to call us adorable. You can be completely honest and just tell us that we look stupid. Even I know that much.” I retorted.Bookmark here

She simply laughed again.Bookmark here

“That aside, I think it’s also great that you’ve already chosen your career path, Kyashii.” I turn to commend Kyashii.Bookmark here

Kyashii smiled at me.Bookmark here

Both my friends and my brother are incredible in this regard. They know exactly what they want to accomplish in the future. Bookmark here

Ugh... Bookmark here

I can’t believe I have ignored this thought for so long while my friends have been seriously considering it. Bookmark here

Haahh... It would be nice if I could decide on that sooner. Those who already know what they want to do with their future at such young age are amazing. Bookmark here

Just wishful thinking, but I wish I were one of them.Bookmark here

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The three of us met at the subway station at 10 in the morning the following day. As it’s the weekend, there are already a lot of people around.Bookmark here

Hmm... This could be a bit draining again.Bookmark here

But let’s just enjoy this weekend with my friends.Bookmark here

I walked next to Kyashii and Minori as we head to the bookstore. As we were getting close to the store, we noticed an oddly placed mannequin outside one of the shops.Bookmark here

“What’s up with that mannequin over there? It doesn’t seem like there’s a clothing store nearby.” I asked. Minori and Kyashii looked equally confused.Bookmark here

“Beats me,” Kyashii replied. Bookmark here

“Ignoring that, let’s make a beeline for the bookstore.” Minori picked up her pace, sprinting ahead of us.Bookmark here

“Hey, what’s the rush?” Bookmark here

We tried to catch up with Minori but as soon as we got closer to the mannequin, it started moving and turned towards us!Bookmark here

“Hyyaaahh!!” I think I screamed at the top of my lungs as I frantically hugged Kyashii with my feet jiggling and pressed my face against her shoulder! Bookmark here

Wuugghh!Bookmark here

My heart feels like it's about to leap out of my chest because of that moving mannequin! Bookmark here

“That surprised me!” I overheard Minori giggling.Bookmark here

I gradually shifted my eyes to the mannequin, only to find that it was actually a man playing a joke on us.Bookmark here

I instinctively scoured the area for a cameraman…. Lo and behold, there was one!Bookmark here

Urggh! Bookmark here

We seem to run into content creators who film people for fun and upload them to the internet for revenue. Bookmark here

Arghh! This isn’t funny at all! Bookmark here

I mean… I know they’re not doing anything illicit here other than just earning a living, but still– Urgh! I just can’t handle it! Bookmark here

“I’m almost on the verge of having a heart attack...” I pouted at the mannequin person who was laughing at us as he clasped his hands and bent his head as if to apologize.Bookmark here

“Yuyo, if you don’t let go of Kyashii, she might end up having a heart attack as well,” Minori said.Bookmark here

Huh?Bookmark here

“Aahh!! I’m sorry, Kyashii!” I immediately stepped away from Kyashii, who looked like she was about to go into cardiac arrest from holding her breath. “Are you alright?! I’m so sorry….” Bookmark here

Did I squeeze her too tightly? But why was she even trying to hold her breath in the first place?Bookmark here

“U-uhh... It’s fine, Yuyo! I’m just as surprised as you are.” She drew a deep breath. “Hooh! Minori, don’t you think it’s a little hot in here?” Kyashii dashed towards Minori.Bookmark here

“Ehh…? Ooh~ Yeah... I guess it is, Kyashii-chan.” A cheeky smile lit up Minori’s face.Bookmark here

Is it? But it doesn’t seem to be particularly hot right now.Bookmark here

I turned my attention back to the mannequin guy because he was gesturing a thumbs up at me this time.Bookmark here

What was that for?Bookmark here

I simply waved at him with a sigh. “That was quite a jump scare, Mannequin-san. Have a good day.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.