Chapter 30:

030 – Spoke

Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World

A confession.Bookmark here

It has a lot of situational definition. Thus, I can define what best suit my own current circumstance. Simply put, it can perhaps be said that it is the admission of one's romantic feelings to another.Bookmark here

I have read who knows how many shoujo manga already despite the unusual demographic that does not particularly suit the male… at least speaking subjectively. The story always turns out that the character takes his or her own time to gather the courage to tell their feelings. Indeed, telling that to someone requires a strong will and effort.Bookmark here

But in any way you look at it, that kind of literature can only be a hit or miss. Even I don't trust it when I'm faced here in the real world.Bookmark here

Supposedly, I should have already known of this clearly. I have Rin with me. One way or another, we both professed our affections, being caught up in the moment. I can't believe that a chapter in NoFutsuu that was intended for Anna's introduction came to that.Bookmark here

Sorry, I was sidetracked.Bookmark here

However, even I don't particularly understand it even after having it done. My emotions and humanity were unstable at that time more than a year ago. I can say that I am faring better than when I was 17. But it is too late for that realization of my ignorance.Bookmark here

And then, I came to this situation which I thought that this will never happen to me again. Nevertheless, here stood Yui Akina in front of me with her hand tightly grasping her skirt in the sunlit room.Bookmark here

It was totally quiet. So there will be no way for me to have misheard that. She clearly said that she liked me.Bookmark here

Whether it meant 'like' or 'love,' her outward expression says it all that it's not some kind of superficial confession.Bookmark here

I was taken aback, realizing that my past assertions and claims were proven wrong.Bookmark here

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A couple of seconds of silence have passed. It was more than enough to kill off the scarce sound. He thought that Yui has already been waiting for a response.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

I see… I am grateful. But you don't have to be so tense, Yui. You can have a seat."Bookmark here

Nervous, she pulled a chair out as Gin sets aside his unfinished painting on the canvas.Bookmark here

"I might be a fool to ask this but… you meant that you 'like' me, or you have a feeling of affection towards me, right?"Bookmark here

"Yes…" she answered with an almost unheard voice.Bookmark here

"I'm sorry for stalling a lot but I would greatly assume that this is not because of my hair."Bookmark here

It was preposterous to ask, he realized.Bookmark here

"No…! I wasn't attracted because of your appearance! Even if others can't see you well, I have observed you even before you went to leave for a month. I know… I know that you have your own way of kindness, unusual to the norm. You have your own selflessness where even if they can't see you, you still find ways to help them.Bookmark here

That's enough for me to tell you that your hair has nothing to do with this!"Bookmark here

She became a bit agitated, but Gin expected this before stating his assumption. He did not ask for that much substance, but she still said those points.Bookmark here

"Thanks for telling me, really. I never thought that as much as I am exceedingly plain, someone had taken a liking to me."Bookmark here

"…"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Ahh. Sorry that I can't think of anything to say. It's just that I got a bit surprised."Bookmark here

On the surface, that is what's said, at least.Bookmark here

I seriously can't think of how I should respond to her. Perhaps I am just a tad nervous on the outside, but never-ending thoughts rained over my head.Bookmark here

Just a few moments, I was getting carried away by how my friend Kaizo got together with Mitsumi-san. I am sincerely happy that they came to that point.Bookmark here

But that happiness changed to frustration and guilt. There was the thought of developing a fine relationship with another. I am grateful that Rin came to my life, and I am happy with how the things are even after so much pain.Bookmark here

And yet, I have become ignorant. I neglected the insight of what is to happen before that relationship. Having realized that I am in the position now, my mind stalled.Bookmark here

Not everyone in my environment in Blue Ink knows that I am dating with Rin, needless to say. And now that someone had told her feelings to me, I already know that my answer is that I can't fully accept her feelings.Bookmark here

I have immediately become aware that I will hurt Yui by turning her down. It made me frustrated and disappointed to myself that I was just thinking about a happy relationship when I will end up making a girl that mustered her courage to tell the lad he liked her feelings get hurt.Bookmark here

I don't know what I should say…Bookmark here

"Whoever is eavesdropping in front of the door… at least show yourself…!"Bookmark here

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Gin had long realized that someone has been listening to what has been talked about. Two minutes after Yui came, it was because of his sensitivity in hearing that made him found out that someone has been standing beyond the closed door.Bookmark here

"Excuse me~"Bookmark here

However, it was just Shiro that opened the door and immediately entered. As unexpected as it was, Gin still got a tad surprised with how much his emotions have overshadowed his deduction.Bookmark here

"Hi there, Yui. Rare seeing you here.Bookmark here

Gin, can you get me a spare blue gouache? I didn't think I'd use too much."Bookmark here

"What are you even painting to make you use that much…"Bookmark here

"Experimenting. I'm trying to change the hues of midtones of the background."Bookmark here

"Good luck with the endeavor."Bookmark here

It was a simple toss and catch. Having had what she needed, she made her way out.Bookmark here

"I'm going back, then."Bookmark here

"I guess I'll bug Ringo to finish her painting quickly."Bookmark here

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Not even after a few, the two of them are alone in the room again, with the silence having come back.Bookmark here

"Nagi really should tell Shiro to just tie her hair like that."Bookmark here

"Umm…"Bookmark here

"Sorry, that just happened."Bookmark here

"It's okay…"Bookmark here

"Uhh… Yui. Is this… the first time you've felt like this to others?"Bookmark here

"Y-Yeah… You could say that… this is… the first time I fell in love…"Bookmark here

Oh, you just dug your own grave, me. Kuro let himself in to the situation.Bookmark here

At least I'm not the only one in this. Though I don't think you'd be helpful.Bookmark here

Right back at you.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Honestly, I still don't know what to say… Sorry about saying nothing, Yui."Bookmark here

"N-No… it's okay. I was a bit… caught up in the moment too…"Bookmark here

"Is that so…Bookmark here

Then… if I were to ask… you told me your feelings, and I know that just won't end there."Bookmark here

"At least, that's what we've known from shoujo manga and anime," is what Kuro wanted to say, but he knew that it was not the time to say that as he is aware of what's going on to "himself."Bookmark here

"Yui, between us… what do you wish to happen?"Bookmark here

Her movements stiffened but her restlessness was as much as earlier. Her eyes have finally met the three dimensional space of the room; everything aside from me. It was of course because of the tension that her trembling lips refused to speak. However, she finally found the courage.Bookmark here

"I-I… Gin… I want to be with you… I wish for us to be together…"Bookmark here

Indeed, the utterance of 'please go out with me' or anything near that were extremely difficult to say in reality, contrary to what ought to be more difficult in fiction. But to be reiterated, this is the truest of the world, and not some kind of fiction.Bookmark here

I am not a human, but I have gained the humanity of a person. I outright expected that it would be what Yui will say, but I am not the past human that I was once who did not care about this.Bookmark here

Pain is inescapable. It was the pain that I had to reject her feelings, and the pain that she will be in pain too. Whether this is a battle or not, no one wins. Not a stalemate, but utter loss.Bookmark here

"…! G-Gin…? Why are you… crying…?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

So I am, huh."Bookmark here

She did not expect the reaction as she heard the tone of Gin's voice, and saw the face that he wears.Bookmark here

Gin up until this point has been wearing a straight or rather, normal face. The tone of his voice has not changed. Thus, the tears that suddenly flowed down went out of place.Bookmark here

"My behavior is very quasi. I have a very seemingly characteristic of a person. This is just one example.Bookmark here

To tell you the truth, I've spent my ten years emotionless. No, I guess it was just like a meteor shower—it only comes very seldom. I wasn't a nice child. Having no emotions in itself is emptiness.Bookmark here

But you know what? I now have them. However, I am like this. What's behind these tears is what others can't see with an eye. What this is, is the embodiment of what's currently in my mind. We could say that my emotions are still suppressed, but at least, I can still convey what I feel.Bookmark here

But having my emotions back was not an easy feat. I was a child that knew nothing about how humans live. Therefore, even I didn't know what love is. I was a very difficult child, but one time in a hundred, I had felt emotions.Bookmark here

My grandfather and his ability to make others happy with his food filled my empty existence with reason, even if it was just for a moment. However, he passed away. It was the first time in years that I cried as I looked on his body with his eyes closed.Bookmark here

And then, I became a fourth year. I was not empty, but I still lack many emotions. But it all ended when I thought everything in me has already ended. No, it was to a new beginning. I found the reason and the purpose of my existence. And with the help of someone, I finally managed to regain the majority of human emotion.Bookmark here

It was thanks to that person that I have become who I am right now."Bookmark here

I stood from my chair, standing between the shadow and the light. With the tears wiped, I looked at Yui who has been anxious for most of the time.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Yui… I sincerely apologize. I am very sorry that I cannot fulfill your wish.Bookmark here

I'm sorry… but my heart has already been sealed to someone." Even after everything that has been said, I instinctively bowed my head in front of her.Bookmark here

She hasn't said a word. What my gaze directed to is Yui with her head lowered down and hands on her lap. But even without seeing her face… I do not want to imagine what kind of face she might be making.Bookmark here

"M-May I know… who that 'someone…' might be…?" her voice trembled as she tried her best to suppress her emotions.Bookmark here

"Is it really okay if I tell you…?"Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Mhm… I want to know at least…"Bookmark here

It was this point where I am once again petrified, not knowing what I should do next. There was nothing holding me back from saying it and yet, my voice refuses to let out.Bookmark here

But suddenly… I felt the confidence to say it.Bookmark here

"She… I call her Rin. But her name is Ringo Akanami, whom you know without a doubt. Of course, that's because she is a classmate."Bookmark here

She finally stood, still with her head titled down.Bookmark here

"Then… Then I have one last request, Gin…"Bookmark here

"I am all ears. I shall see to it whatever it is."Bookmark here

"Gin… at least just this one time… I want to be embraced…"Bookmark here

Hearing her wish, I for some reason shifted my eyes to my left and immediately directed it back to her.Bookmark here

"Please raise you head, Yui."Bookmark here

Slowly turning her head up, she saw the silver haired with his arms spread out. Having seen that, she quickly made her way to me and closed her arms to my body.Bookmark here

Even though unseen, large drops of tears rolled down to her cheek as she tightly clung with the sorrowful moan in her cry.Bookmark here

It was loud enough to be heard from the windows or from the outside. She thought that her first experience of loving someone would make her heart ache so much.Bookmark here

All that the person who turned her feelings down can do is to place his hand over the girl's head with the only words coming from his throat…Bookmark here

"I'm sorry…"Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

In a matter of minutes, Yui let go and sat back down, wiping her tears with her hands.Bookmark here

"You can use this," Gin handed out a handkerchief from his pocket and attempted to give it to her.Bookmark here

"…" silently, she accepted the cloth and used it to wipe the residual tears from her swollen eyes.Bookmark here

This time, he can't seem to look at her, which was a typical reaction, but unusual in his case. He had failed to avoid the awkwardness.Bookmark here

In what seems to be a very long time of silence, a foreign sound reverberated on the empty room.Bookmark here

"I'm back~ I ended up finishing earlier than the others so I'll let this dry out. Have you finished yours, Gin?" Rin came straight inside with a canvas and stand with her.Bookmark here

"I didn't…" the thought finally clicked in that he completely forgot about his work.Bookmark here

But somehow, he sighed with a smile.Bookmark here

"Ehh… That's unusual for you to not finish a piece."Bookmark here

"Things happened."Bookmark here

"Although, it's rare that others are visiting our clubroom. Did you come here to borrow materials, Yui?"Bookmark here

"Ah… n-no…"Bookmark here

"Geez… you should have at least served tea, Gin."Bookmark here

"Sorry… I just realized that."Bookmark here

Having poured the staple raspberry tea of the club to their individual cups, she suddenly closed the door tightly and locked it. She grabbed a chair and sat beside Gin where she stayed put for a few seconds but…Bookmark here

"I'm very sorry…!" she bowed down on her seat, leaving Yui startled and a little hurt.Bookmark here

"She really said it…"Bookmark here

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Surprisingly, Shiro kept her mouth shut after coming back to the rooftop. It was purely coincidental that Rin finished her piece earlier than the others, making what she just said upon entering the room a truth, instead of a blatant lie.Bookmark here

She was about to open the door of the Art Room but she heard the voice of Gin and a female student, and so she slightly opened the door revealing the sight of Yui talking to Gin.Bookmark here

She took a wise approach of reading the situation in detail so that she will avoid the instant feeling of jealousy. She is not the easiest girl to be fooled by an overly exaggerated thought that Gin was being stolen away from her. A very justified girl indeed.Bookmark here

And then he saw Gin stood up and lowered his head as what she thought as an apology. Having heard Yui's request, she slightly opened the door more as she realized that she has been found out by Gin. Taking the situation at a levelheaded manner, she gave a modest smile and nodded.Bookmark here

But if anything, her first thought was…Bookmark here

"I'm surprised that Yui fell in love with an overly plain guy."Bookmark here

She admitted to herself that she was quite rude.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

"I'm sorry for accidentally listening earlier…"Bookmark here

"And so she has the gist of what was going on."Bookmark here

The two didn't realize how awkward it was for Yui, and should also be for the couple to be sitting side by side in front of the girl who just confessed.Bookmark here

"But I guess we have a lot… of explaining to do… Or 'I have,' should I say."Bookmark here

He said that, but he does not know where to start.Bookmark here

"T-Then… Aside from Ringo… is there another reason why y-you… you…"Bookmark here

Why she was turned down, is what she can't make herself say.Bookmark here

Yui finally understood the reason given after seeing Rin. And Gin realized the meaning behind her words. But the guilt inside him was unavoidable as he admits to himself that his reason may not suffice.Bookmark here

"There is…Bookmark here

The truth is, my other reasons are somewhat selfish in my side. For that, please let me apologize again.Bookmark here

But aside from Rin being here, there's also the reason that she is rather different. Her way of thinking is what made me see her the way I do up to now. Before I even met her, she also understood the reality that not anyone can be trusted, or she is aware if one is taking advantage of her helping hand. Her mentality is mutual to mine, because, to be frank, Rin is not a fool.Bookmark here

That aside, the other reason is because of me. I'm not a complete person because of my inadequate humanity. Up until now, I have incorrectly grown to be and still an outcast."Bookmark here

He paused, clearing his throat and sipped on his cup.Bookmark here

"I am not quite sure if I am in the position to say this but…" Rin continued the flow of Gin's dialogue. "But Gin is a very unstable person. And that is why he was on leave for more than a month."Bookmark here

Suddenly, he gave a thumbs up and stood up to close the windows and made his way to the other side of the room to adjust the soundproofing.Bookmark here

As expected by the two, Yui got extremely confused.Bookmark here

"Yui… we are entrusting you that everything that we have to say will not go out of this room."Bookmark here

As an answer, she nodded.Bookmark here

"What I meant about instability is that Gin is mentally unstable. He was not a normal child with a normal childhood. Rather, he did not have a childhood. His parents told me things about him, like being always in the house without any experience of outdoors. All because of his unpleasant experiences as a child… that took away his memories."Bookmark here

Thus, Yui finally started to realize what really was behind the 'nonchalant' tears of Gin.Bookmark here

"Being unstable as he was as a child, he regained his memories back… but all of them was nothing but pain. And so, he lost his memories again, and got them back. It had become a cycle, until it happened for many dozens already. And recently, the torment finally broke him as if he was reduced to a mindless creature."Bookmark here

They have expected the feared expression, but Rin felt guilty for being too harsh on her words. Yui's already damaged will has started to decline more.Bookmark here

"But you're probably wondering because you're in front of me: 'How is Gin still fine even after that?'"Bookmark here

"…!"Bookmark here

"Oh, I got it spot on, I see."Bookmark here

Thanks to Rin's forfeit, Gin was given the opportunity to ever so slightly lighten up the mood.Bookmark here

"Well, it's simply because I was not alone. I did not give up because I know that I have a place to call home. I've realized the significance of family… and Rin to my life. And I even upheld that the past's enemy is today's ally. This may sound weird but…Bookmark here

Once the sable arms tried to pull you, it's hard to fight it and escape. What I mean is… I've been swallowed by despair so many times, and I signify that despair as the 'blackness inside my heart and mind.' It's too much to handle, that it was almost invulnerable.Bookmark here

But you know what? I'm friends with my own blackness. I don't know if this will work for others, but what I did was despair from despairing. I gave up on giving up. I defeated my despair, and so, we're now walking on the same ground. That's because what I was trying to fight for so long was myself all along. Well, call me crazy but I can actually talk to myself."Bookmark here

"But yeah, it really sounds stupid hearing that. I actually believed him though."Bookmark here

Yui's head tilted because of the doubt and the thought that 'there's no way that's true.'Bookmark here

Gin's head suddenly swung down while he almost fell from his chair. To Yui's surprise, Rin just watched her without doing anything with the seemingly bad situation.Bookmark here

"W-What happened to Gin?! Shouldn't you help her, Ringo?"Bookmark here

"Don't mind him. He's just unconscious."Bookmark here

"U-Unconscious…?"Bookmark here

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Any idea how you'll make Yui believe you?Bookmark here

No idea.Bookmark here

I see. Then get out.Bookmark here

Brb.Bookmark here

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"Alive and awake," he woke up.Bookmark here

"What happened…?" Yui asked with concern.Bookmark here

"Let's just leave that as is."Bookmark here

"Hey Gin… you look fine, but something happened earlier to make you gloomy, isn't it?"Bookmark here

"Before Yui came, I got distracted and slacked off because of a certain guy suddenly inviting me in a chat."Bookmark here

"Wait, isn't social media prohibited inside the school?"Bookmark here

"Well, the prohibiting system is shut off after school every day. I guess it was forgotten to be placed on the handbook."Bookmark here

"How did you know that, anyway?"Bookmark here

"Let's just say that I play a lot of mind games with the principal. Alright. I'm getting distracted again.Bookmark here

What the chat said was that our old friends started a relationship just a few moments ago. Having that fresh on my mind, I felt guilty. However many times I have to say, I'm sorry for feeling that way earlier, Yui. I shouldn't have."Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

But I can't help but feel a little… disappointed because of that…"Bookmark here

The couple fell to surprise because of how their anticipation of how Yui will approach it was actually inaccurate.Bookmark here

With her reply, Rin made an amazed smile.Bookmark here

"Thank you for the honesty, Yui. I think I now understand why you got to like this guy.Bookmark here

He's honest, aside from his kindness that was hardly seen. Gin doesn't say 'I'm okay' when he's not. And I guess that's also what sets Gin apart from others.Bookmark here

Being 'inhumane' for so long, he placed it to his advantage. Thus, making a new type of personality that is not usually seen from people."Bookmark here

"I didn't realize it by myself, though. But yes, I do admire honest people."Bookmark here

Even though she sulked a little, it was unavoidable that those words pierced through her heart and brought forth happiness and relief.Bookmark here

However, she, just like Rin, felt another air of awkwardness around Gin. Rin was about to ask, but she realized that it was better not to since Yui is still there. But what she didn't know is that Yui also hesitated to ask, thus, making them somewhat restricted.Bookmark here

With that, Gin was left unattended. In truth, he does not look abashed or nervous. He looks very fine instead. But the two girls did not realize that they have same wavelengths when it comes to perceiving the almost unreadable man.Bookmark here

"Let's see… How should I say this…"Bookmark here

Actually, it was just an introverted reaction. Pretty normal.Bookmark here

Gin is anticlimactically just having difficulties to say something, highlighting his social inability. And the thought that he just turned down Yui's feelings added to the load.Bookmark here

"It feels like I've said so many apologies… But I'm thankful to you for your effort to speak, and for not giving up on saying your feelings.Bookmark here

So at the very least, I want us to become friends if you're fine with that."Bookmark here

Like a maiden, but not expressively, he said it.Bookmark here

"…Bookmark here

Even if my wish can't come true, I don't want us to be strangers after this. Even if there is a line, I still want to get along with you.Bookmark here

You praised honesty… so I wouldn't lie that I am hurt that this is as much as I can be… But it's fine by me."Bookmark here

"Ahaha… That hit me a bit.Bookmark here

But thank you for that," he reached out his hand with the gesture of asking for a handshake.Bookmark here

She accepted, and the conflict has been solved maturely.Bookmark here

~ ~ ~Bookmark here

Yui has left and all, but the other members still hadn't come back and they were not subjected from eavesdropping.Bookmark here

"Gin… I feel that I should point this out now…"Bookmark here

"What is it, Rin?"Bookmark here

"I'm quite sure that you're still not aware…" she stood and took out a mirror from her bag. She raised it to about an adequate distance over Gin's head.Bookmark here

He had difficulties to see what seems to be in his head, but his silver hair made it stood out.Bookmark here

"Oh… I just noticed."Bookmark here

"That's because you're dumb."Bookmark here

"Sorry…Bookmark here

But hey, I guess it's time to say goodbye to this hairstyle."Bookmark here

"Aww… I'll miss this."Bookmark here

"Yeah… Onee-san said that it won't look good with two-tone or when it's not this color."Bookmark here

"I'm a bit disappointed that it didn't last long."Bookmark here

"Hey, don't blame my hair for starting to grow to black again."

Chapter Message:Bookmark here

That concludes 030!Bookmark here

If that makes up 30 chapters already, does that translate to 15 weeks? Am I... speed?Bookmark here

Hi speed, I'm Dad!Bookmark here

Anyway, that's another ten chapters so another release break. As usual, there will be a new cover soon.Bookmark here

Thank you for reading!Bookmark here

NextBookmark here

031: My name is Ginji Satoshi.Bookmark here

Also, thank you Honeyfeed for featuring NoFutsuu on Twitter. Much love. q(≧▽≦q)Bookmark here

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