Chapter 22:


Third and Final Time

A sharp, stinging sensation radiated across my cheek.

“You bastards!”

I’d never seen Hinata so angry before; I never knew she could hit so hard.

Aki and Hayato had similar injuries as we were lined up behind the gym minutes after Akane had passed out.

Hinata had hit us before running to her girlfriend’s side.

Rei, Inori and Kana had dragged us here and they were not happy.

I couldn’t blame them, but I honestly didn’t know.

Or maybe, on some level, I did and I just didn’t want to admit it.

I had a crush on Akane since the day we met.

I thought she was beautiful. She took my breath away.

I know, it’s a very surface level thing but, once I started to get to know her, once I saw she was more than just the rumours, my feelings for her blossomed.

I thought it’d be wonderful if she was my girlfriend.

Of course, I’d learn the hard way that she didn’t like guys and then later learn it was never me she liked.

Aki and Hayato put the idea into my head that my one-sided crush might not be so one-sided, and this happened.

We three might have destroyed our friendship group forever.

I felt embarrassed, ashamed and angry; I did this.

I even roped my classmates into this plan.

Aki and Hayato said it’d be so romantic, so sweet, and so unforgettable that no girl could possibly refuse me.

The girl I loved threw up at my confession.

I’d laugh if I didn’t feel like crawling into a hole and dying.

The whole school knew of the incident and, worse, everyone had figured out that Hinata and Akane were dating.

I’d been portrayed as someone trying to steal someone else’s girlfriend.

I didn’t know.

If I had, I’d never have done this.

“Why didn’t they tell us?”

“Are you really that dumb, Hayato?” Inori spat. “Remember how half the school started judging her for being bi? Remember how painful that was for her? I do. Rei does, Kana does, everyone but you idiots does!”


“Don’t. Don’t you even dare apologise to me.” Inori shook her head and marched away, muttering less than pleasant things about us.

“…You never once thought about telling me?” Rei sighed. “Just…go home, all of you, and…don’t talk to me for a while.”

We did.


I had to apologise to Akane.

So, I snuck back to school.

And I overhead Akane’s confession.

And everything made sense.

I did this to her.

Not in this life, but in a past life.

That night, I didn’t know what to do.

What could I possibly do to make this up to her?

Was there anything I could ever do to right these wrongs?

Did I…even have that right?

I curled up in a ball on my bed and tuned out the world.