Chapter 7:

Reflection and Forgiveness

The Weight Of Ignorance

She loved me? What? Akira had fallen in love with me? Why? I was not a very likable person. So, why? Now that everything had sunk in. I couldn’t understand a lot. Why was Kokone attached to me? Why did Akira spend time with me? I was sure that I was an unlikeable person, so why? Love was a word I thought I would never hear. After I thought about all this for a while, I decided to take a nap and figure things out.

“Wake up Yuuto” This was the voice I was hoping to hear when I closed my eyes.

“Akira, Tell me”


“Why did you love me? Why did you enjoy talking to me?”

“Yuuto, you should know this by now- if you don’t know something, I won’t either. I’m just an image of Akira that you created in your head. It’s a little rude the way you thought of me for the last month you know?” She said in a sulking way.

“Yuuto, It doesn’t matter why I loved you. What’s important now is for you to find a reason to love yourself. Why do you hate yourself?”

“I’m weak, I’m a coward, Whenever I harden my resolve it ends in me giving up. I have no redeeming qualities. I want to move forward but I can’t push myself. I always wonder if things would’ve been different if I wasn’t born. I really hate myself”

“And despite all your shortcomings I fell in love with you, are you saying my judgment is bad?” she said while slightly pouting. Akira was very cute, why did I ever think she would hate me? Why did I think that she would want me to suffer?

“Then tell me, why do you love me? Or tell me Why should I love myself” Why was I so desperate to know why she loved me?

“You’re looking at yourself on a surface level Yuuto, look deeper into your relationships with others. I know you want to know your good qualities, so find them.” she said with a smile on her face.

As she said that I woke up. My face was stained with tears.

After a while, I decided to think about the dream that I had. Look Deeper in your relationships with others huh?

“I think I have a slight idea where to go”

I left my house and walked to the nearest train station and took the first train that took me to the location I wanted to go to. I got off the train at my stop and took a 10 minute walk and reached a luxurious apartment. I rang the bell and a beautiful girl with pure white hair opened the door. She looked at me and her face looked at me with hostility.

“Hi Hana” I said to her.

“What do you want” She said while looking at me angrily

“I need to ask you a few-”

“I have nothing to say to you” she said

“What happened?” Why was she acting so hostile to me? I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t talk to me properly.

“I sent you a bunch of texts that you saw and ignored. You didn’t say a single thing. I thought we were friends but I guess it was just me assuming things” Now it had all come to me. I had seen her texts but I decided to ignore it because I wanted to make Kokone feel secure and safe.

“I’m sorry”  Upon saying this, she was completely shocked and kept quiet for a minute before she spoke with a sad smile on her face

“ really were ignoring me? I was hoping you would say something like “oh my phone switched off” or “Oh, I got a little busy” but I guess you really were ignoring me. ”

“I don’t have anything I can say to justify what I did” I said while looking down on the floor.

“Why?” she looked at me with tears in her eyes

“What?” I stopped looking at the floor and looked at her.

“Why did you start ignoring me? Was it because of my past? Is it embarrassing to talk to me?” No, it wasn’t. I wanted to tell her my feelings but I knew that apologizing was better but I was tired of apologizing, I wanted to tell her how I felt. I wanted to tell her about my circumstance. I CAN TRUST HER.

“What? No, I didn’t ignore you because of your past or anything. Akira had a little sister, she is basically my little sister as well. When she realized that I was hanging out with you, she felt like I was replacing her and Akira. I really enjoyed us hanging out together. Your past could matter less than shit to me. But I can’t make Kokone feel bad. I can’t make feel like she’s being replaced. So, I’m sorry….I’ll have to keep ignoring you until Kokone warms up to the idea of me hanging out with others but I swear, I want to be your friend” I said, I spoke my heart out. I told her my feelings. I’d never really had to go through a situation like this but thanks to Akira, I can tell her my feelings without feeling anxious.

Hana, on the other hand, had completely burst into tears. Her face looked relieved and happy but she was still crying. I could see that she really had some kind of complex about her past but it really didn’t bother me, in fact, I’m the one with the worse past. She jumped on me and gave me a hug. She was crying constantly while trying to say something but I couldn’t understand her. Somehow having her embrace me felt warm.

After a few moments passed, she stops hugging me and wipes her eyes and looks at me

“So, what did you want to ask?”

“Well, why did you talk to me? Why did you want to be friends with me? I have no redeeming qualities?”

“Well it’s quite simple- I spoke to you at first since I felt pity for someone who was being alienated and the more I spoke to you, I enjoyed your company and wanted to be friends. About your redeeming qualities, well it’s hard to put in words but I always feel warm and happy when I’m with you. It makes me want to spend more time with you” She said

“Pity huh.” I said while keeping my hand to my chin. Of course, it hurt a little to know she only spoke to me because she pitied me but I’m pretty sure Akira had also initially spoken to me because she pitied me.

“Hana, could I ask you something weird?” I said while looking in her direction


“If you were to fall in love with me, why would that be?” I said to her. I knew this question was a bit inappropriate but there was something telling me that I had to know why Akira loved me.

“W-W-W-What are you asking?” she said with her face all flustered. This is the wrong time to be shy I’m really in a hurry. Wait, why was I in a hurry? It’s not like I had anything to do.

I sat down and told Hana the entire story about why I was asking her weird questions.

“Hmn, Yuuto, maybe the reason you’re so obsessed with this is that you want someone to tell you what is good about you? Maybe you desperately want to learn to love yourself?”

The words she said felt wrong but I knew they weren’t. I wanted to know why someone would like me. I wanted to know why someone as great as Akira would fall in love with a loser like me. Was I a loser? If Akira fell in love with me, then I probably wasn’t a complete loser.

“I’ll answer your question Yuuto. The reason I would fall in love with you is that every guy out there would always try to put up a strong front and show girls how cool and awesome they are. But you never hesitated in showing me the real you, even if you were pathetic back then, you showed me your weakness and I think that’s cooler than anything else.” she said with a smile directed straight at me.

“Yuuto, I may be going way out of line here, but maybe if you can somehow contact your mom, you should talk to her. She might be the cause for your self-hatred, you could never forgive her for betraying you but now that you feel you’ve done the same, it’s hard for you to forgive yourself.”

I didn’t know what to say to that. I did have hate for my mom because of betraying me and when I betrayed Akira, I knew that I’d become just like her. Maybe my mother had some kind of excuse just like me? Why had I dismissed her without talking to her? That’s right, it was because I hated her guts to come in stand in front of me after everything she did and call me her son on top of that. I hadn’t realized it until now but maybe Hana was right, I needed to talk to my mother.

“Thanks, Hana. I won’t give up on our friendship. Please wait until Kokone has warmed up to the idea. She is my absolute priority right now” I said as I started to leave.

“I’ll wait” she said with a smile on her face while nodding.


“Hello, Aunt”

“Yuuto??” a voice that was all too familiar. My warm and kind aunt. But her voice was quivering

“Yeah, sorry for not being able to visit or contact you for a while”

“Yeah, you should be. I was worried especially since I didn’t get your email for the last month. I can’t explain how worried I was. Please don’t do that again Yuuto.” oh, I had forgotten to send her my email for the last month. I didn’t really think she sat and read through them.

“Yeah, I had a lot on my plate last month. Sorry, I won’t do it again”

“It’s fine. Please visit us sometime”

“Yeah, I Will. By the way aunt, could you tell me where my mother lives? She told me to contact you if I ever wanted to visit her”

“Ehh? You’re going to visit your mother?’

“Yeah, there’s something I need to talk to her about”

“Okay, I’ll email the address to you”

“Thank you”

“Please visit sometime”

“I will”



I really should go visit them sometime. I thought to myself. The reason I hadn’t visited them was that I knew that I was the reason they weren’t able to have a family for themselves. They now have 1 child, he was born when I was in my second year of high school. I felt happy for them but it also showed me that I was the one butting into the family like a cuckoo egg in the nest of crows but listening to my aunt’s voice today made me realize that I was being an idiot, she still loved me. Her voice was filled with worry. She sounded like she really wanted me to come and visit.

Just as I was having those thoughts, my phone began to beep- the email had arrived. I didn’t want to waste time, so I took a cab straight to the place. When I reached, I saw a pretty massive apartment complex. I started to walk into the complex and was immediately stopped by security.

“Stop, where are you going?”

“I’m going to the 4th floor at the apartment on the left” I said while pointing

“Who’re you going to visit”

“My moth- Mrs. Kurumi Satou”

“I’m sorry, I can’t let you go until she buzzes you in”

“Okay, could you ask her then? Tell her-”

“Yuuto?” I heard a trembling voice from behind me. I knew who it was but I was a little afraid to turn around but still, I couldn’t chicken out just yet.

I turned around and I saw the same lady that had visited me a few months back. She saw me and tears had filled her eyes. She fell to her knees and started crying. Now that I looked closely, my mother looked very fragile. I went up to her with a serious face-

“mother, we need to talk”

I followed her to her apartment and entered the house. The house was a 2 bedroom house. I assume one bedroom for her and the other for guests. I looked around the house before sitting on the couch.

“It was hard wasn't it?” my mother had started speaking.

“What was?” I was little confused. I was having a hard time before coming here but not for reasons she would know about.

“Akira’s passing away” She said in a soft voice. How did she know about it? I never spoke to her after that day.

“I didn’t see you at the funeral. I saw her little sister was a little angry with you I decided not to but in.” She…went….to….the ….funeral? What? What was she doing there?

“How did you know about Akira’s death? Why were you at the funeral?” I asked her.

“Akira and I got a little closer after my meet-up with you. We used to text often. One day when she wasn’t answering her texts, I went to check up on her and I found out that she had passed away. It really was a shock to me. She seemed really happy and well over the phone,”

“I…see” I was speechless. The mother that I thought was heartless had actually gone out of her way to see if Akira was well when she didn’t respond to texts.

“What did the two of you talk about?” I asked

“I don’t know if you knew but Akira used to like you, so we used to talk about you. I told her about you from when you were 5 years old and she told me about the current you” She said with a somewhat sad smile.

“Mother, could you tell me about what had happened? Why did you leave me and go? Why did return? Please tell me” I didn’t why but it felt like I could finally acknowledge her as my mother, the way she acted with Akira had changed my opinion of her. Maybe she did betray but she’d grown now.

My mother had explained everything that had happened. She told me that she was in the wrong. She felt bad for what she had done. She had ambitions and goals that she wanted to fulfill. It was sad but I could relate to what she was saying. I felt bad about what had happened to Akira and if I could go back in time to change things, I would but it’s not possible. All I can do is regret my actions and learn from them.

“Mother, I betrayed Akira. I’d known she was getting bullied but I was too scared to act but she still loved me. Do you know why?”

“Why she loved you? Well, there isn’t really a specific answer to that question. Sometimes people just fall in love with someone they enjoy spending all their time with. We did talk a lot but she just seemed to fall in love with the type of guy you were. You were open to her and never shut her out. You were good at handling her little sister. There isn’t just one reason as to why people love each other.”

There wasn’t just one reason as to why people fall in love huh?

“I betrayed her though, I knew she was getting bullied but I didn’t act. Why would she love me?”

“You know, Akira once told me “everyone makes mistakes but it’s those that can stand up and say they are wrong and apologize that can be forgiven.” Yuuto, I’m sure you regret your actions. Isn’t it time for you to forgive yourself?”

Forgive myself? Could I really be forgiven? Had I repented enough for what I had done? Could I really move on with life? Could I really stop living with guilt? While having those thoughts, I suddenly saw something that had caught my eye- A framed photo of me and my mother from 12 years ago. We both looked happy. Now that I thought about it, my mother had probably been living with this guilt for 12 years now. She probably wanted to be forgiven that day. She wanted to get back the bond that she had broken. Was I really being fair to dismiss her efforts to apologize? I had a lot on my mind back then so I couldn’t think rationally when I saw her. Maybe it was time to forgive her. Maybe it was time that I forgave myself. I had learned from these mistakes. I wouldn’t forget Akira but maybe it was time to move on.

“Mother, I’m sorry for dismissing you when you visited me a few months back. If you would allow it then I would like to try to build our relationship from square one” I said while trembling a little. I knew full well why I was trembling- I didn’t want to be rejected by my mother again.

Upon hearing those words my mother had started crying, she ran up to me and hugged me and cried. The mood had made me emotional as well. The two of us cried together while trying to say “I’m sorry” to each other. With that, the 12 years of hatred I had harbored for my mother had ended.

After some time my mother made me some food and served it to me and we had a hearty chat with each other. It really made me feel comforted. After eating, I decided to leave.

There was still something I had to do. I needed to Visit Akira’s grave.