Chapter 2:

Awkward Encounters of the Friend Kind

My Childhood Best Friend is a VTuber! (OsananaV)

Oh god. Okay.

How do I approach this? It’s Koiyomi, I know how to act in front of Koiyomi. At least, I did know how to interact with her. Looking at the way she is now is a far cry from the preppy child I once knew, always intent on wearing her school uniform with pride.

Will she even want to get along with a dork like me anymore?

Snap out of it Akira, look at her shirt! She’s into anime too, she is just hiding in plain sight – it’s quite genius really.

As I slowly panic about how to interact with a human I’ve known for years, the strange being in question beckons closer and closer towards me.

What is the protocol here? A cool handshake? Maybe a warm hug?

She kind of seems like a hugger to me – wait. What even gives me that impression? Is it because I want to hug her? No, I don’t need to hug anyone. I know this.

I have a body pillow for a reason.

Step. Step. Step.

My heart feels as if it is about to burst out of my chest at any given moment; the thumps of her black-heeled boots match the march of my beating blood organ.

Thesaurus? Check!

I must decide now. A handshake, handshakes can never go wrong. You’re a normal person who is going to give a normal handshake.

Palm check? No sweaty palms.

I go to reach out my hand, but she doesn’t stop to take it, instead honing in further and further onto my position.

Code red! Code red! We have a system breach!

She couldn’t possibly be going in for the hug…

What a bold move!

I retract my hand and slowly open my arms up in an embrace as she…

As she…

Walks straight past me.


Does she not recognize me? Why do I have to be the random weirdo hugging the air in this situation?

My arms clasp together into a hug nonetheless, crushing some invisible entity between my ligaments as if it represents my last shred of self-respect.

I hear a familiar voice sound from behind me.

“Uhhhh, is that you Akira? Why are you hugging yourself?”

“Sometimes self-love is the best love, ya know?”

I answer without even thinking of who I’m talking to as I currently exist in my own little void.

“That kind of sounds dirty, although I would expect no less from a hikineet like you, Aki!”

Dignity crushed. Heart splattered.

I am Akira’s broken soul.

Aki. Aki. Aki. Aki. Aki. Aki. Aki.


I turn around to face my childhood best friend.

“Well well, ‘Koi’, aren’t you sounding familiar already?”

She pokes her nose up in the air, looking down at me – there’s something eerily familiar about this look I can’t quite place my finger on.

“But I mean, you called me Aki-“

“Familiar is okay, every good demon needs a familiar, right?”

“I don’t think you’re using that word the way you had originally intended!”

“Now you’re questioning my intentions, are you? That’s even more bold than before!”

“Even more bold than referring to yourself as a demon? Or claiming someone else to be your familiar?”

Koiyomi lowers her head and smiles; a far cry from the almost disgusted expression I had gotten before. It’s warm and comforting and well… oddly familiar. This dichotomy between light and dark has been exuding from my computer screen on a daily basis for all of my recent memory.

“I’ve missed you, Aki!”

“I’ve missed you too, Koi. Your quips have gotten a lot better!”

“Yours haven’t, I’m afraid to say! You seem to be lacking the skills you did before – maybe you’re becoming a little soft?”

“Soft? I’d say you’ve just been practising.”

“Well, that is definitely true, more than you could know actually.”

I feel sorry for those poor people in her life that have to be subjected to this kind of torment on a daily basis. I know how hard it can be considering I was that person at one stage in my life, always coming up with snarky quips – usually against Koiyomi, mind you.

There was something about Koi that always made me want to tease her, not in a mean way at all! I’m not a bully! I just thought it would make us closer somehow, but I never really felt that again for someone else after we parted ways. So, I stopped playing the game.

Koiyomi was never very good at it, honestly, the only quip she ever really came up with was calling me ‘Aki!’

A sort of feminine and overly familiar jab, a friendly stabbing if you will.

Taking two steps forward, Koiyomi leans into me.

Wait, is this the hug I’ve thought I was getting twice now?

I look down at her feet as she stands on her tippy toes, launching herself up to my ear. I can feel her soft breath touch my cheeks.

What the heck is going on?!?

“Honestly, I hate being here and I’d rather not have to suffer both of our parent’s attempts at whatever this awkward gathering is. Do you want to just go?”

Koi takes a step back and bends over in a cute pose to face me – I feel it’s the sort of pose you might see on the cover of a yuri manga or something. This is only highlighted by the fact that while she’s in that position I can kinda see do-

I look up at the ceiling.

“Go? Go where though? I don’t go anywhere.”

Shit. Those words actually came out of my mouth.

Koiyomi spins around fast, facing the table where our parents are merrily chatting away.

“Hey, Mom! Aki and I are just going to go for a walk and chat, don’t wait up for us!”

She then grabs my arm and rushes for the door.

“Hey, wait!”

My mother calls out from the table.

“Don’t worry, Mrs. Nonomi! I’ll bring him back in one piece!”

I try my best to keep up with Koiyomi as we dart for the entrance and out onto the street, the sun beaming through the restaurant door as we open it.

And that’s when I realise, my childhood best friend is…

Still a total weirdo.