Chapter 34:

Losing Yourself When You Lose Others

My Childhood Best Friend is a VTuber! (OsananaV)

In school, Koiyomi Aizawa had perfect grades, perfect attendance, and a less than perfect best friend – me.

Those were the factors on which she based most of her identity. She was a good girl in school, and she was a good friend to me.

I can only imagine that when we parted ways after grade school, maybe a part of that identity was shattered.

Why do I think this?

Well, that’s because a part of my identity was shattered too – at some point, I’d lost my ability (or even my want) to quip with others – to make smart remarks. After that, I resided to taking up as little space as possible and focusing on keeping myself happy and entertained through the various modes of content which ended up defining me as a person.

It’s been a while since I gave a long monologue like this.

But it’s just that as I’m talking to Sakura about the circumstances of Koi’s adoption, or at least her knowing about the adoption, all I am left to do is think.

“As I mentioned before, our parents never told her about it because they didn’t want her to think of herself as anything but a part of our family.”

This makes sense in a way, it’s hard to explain these sorts of topics to kids – heck it’s even hard to explain to adults. I’m not a parent, so I don’t know when the best time to do it is, but their logic here is understandable.

Little bits of colour start to appear in my eyes as I lay on my bed, staring at the singular light shining above me. It takes a while for me to even notice that the constant gaze into such a bright source may be impeding my vision to this extent.

“What they didn’t realise was that telling her so late in life ended up making her question where she fit into things; who she was to a degree.”

When did Sakura start talking so grown-up?

I’m not used to anything but her usual jokes, but with this, she’s taking it more seriously than I’ve ever known her to be. Even her voice is of a lower pitch.

It is a serious topic, after all.

Which is why it’s best for me to just sit and listen for now.

“Fortunately, this didn’t last very long; I guess you could say that she met someone along the way who helped her find herself, or at the very least, feel comfortable in life.”

Someone else? The thought of this other person sends my heart aflutter.

“Like a boyfriend?”

Sakura giggles, reminding me that I’m not talking to some great oracle and just the playful younger sister of Koi.

“Of course that would be your first thought, but no. I guess you could liken this more to a character in a video game or anime.”

This is a concept that makes vastly more sense to me; over the years I’ve had many characters help me find who I am. That is all I did after Koi and I split ways.

Even now, I feel like I look to Mayu as a source of comfort more than anything else. She’s helped me through a lot of tough times.

It’s probably similar for Koi then, honestly, it could even have been Mayu that saved her as well, considering how much she seems to copy her style.


“When Koi met this person, is that when she started to act differently?”

A light hmph noise can be heard emanating from Sakura’s side.

“You could probably say it like that, although that’s not quite exactly how it happened.”

“Then how would you say it?”

Sakura suddenly going cryptic on me means that I must be hitting some sort of barrier that she can’t talk about. It’s probably something to do with the things we’ve said we wouldn’t talk about here, that Koi would tell me herself.

“I’d say she saw some part of that person as being able to make up for what she lacked; as she spent more time with them, the lines between that person and herself blurred a little.”

Something she lacked?

When we were younger, it kind of looked like Koi had everything. At least, everything people thought about in school – the girl with good grades and a good manner.

The only thing she ever had trouble with was friends…

When I left, I guess that would’ve been a fairly large problem.

A problem that could potentially be solved by mimicking someone she saw as popular, someone she saw as likeable.

Still, even then…

“It doesn’t make sense to me.”

“Ah, well, that was a long shot anyway. We probably shouldn’t head much further into that territory; I guess I just wanted to share my experience with it all.”

Despite having been given the answers I asked for, a part of me feels dirty, like I shouldn’t know this information

I wasn’t around at the time. Do I deserve to know?

Would things have turned out differently if I had stayed around?

“Thanks for all this, honestly.”

It feels weird to say thanks to Sakura, but I feel like I’ve been given a lot to think about – maybe even more than I needed to know.

“Omg did you just say something nice to me? Here I was thinking you were going to be the tsundere character in this anime.”

Tsundere? Me?

“No one has thought of me as the tsundere here!”

“Of course you wouldn’t think that, it’s all a matter of perspective, young Aki.”


“As you know, I’m older than you!”

“Yes, again, a matter of perspective!”

That doesn’t make any sense! That is just a cold, hard, fact!

There was no reasoning with this girl; her serious aura has depleted and we have returned to being trollish morons.

We say goodbye and end the call; finally allowing myself to relax after such a hectic day.

First I had work, then I had my surprise date and if that wasn’t enough – it all ended with a call from the mastermind herself.

Chika had gotten me to call Sakura to learn more about Koi. It wasn’t entirely bad advice, but I feel like although I learned a whole lot, really all I did was end up with more questions.

Maybe she’d be able to make more of this than I can.

But that’s a problem for another day.

The light shines on me, but I don’t have the energy to get up and turn it off. For now, I’ll just sleep under the glow.

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