Chapter 7:

Ichiro Kojima yet has to realize.


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I watched Okumori storm off the café with confusion filling my head. I couldn't even comprehend what had just happened. First, I completely misunderstood that situation with Miyake, and flat out confessed and got rejected! Now, there was an argument spewing out between Okumori and Iwasaki? I had no idea things would end out this way at all.Bookmark here

Miyake looked over to me and gave me a firm nod, then chasing Okumori outside. I sighed, looking over to Iwasaki. She had a distraught look on her face, simply zoning out while staring at the table.Bookmark here

The drink Okumori had ordered had been splattered all across the floor, with the waitresses grabbing towels and starting to clean it up. Feeling bad about them fixing our mess, I went over and decided to help them. Thankfully, they allowed me. Bookmark here

After a few minutes, the mess Okumori had made had been cleaned up. I ended up conversing with the waitresses for a few more minutes, before gazing over to Iwasaki, who hadn't moved a single inch.Bookmark here

I approached her, shoving my hands inside my pockets. I gave her a rueful smile, then sitting beside her. Bookmark here

"Still mad at him?" I asked, placing my hands on the table.Bookmark here

Iwasaki looked up at me silently, then looking back down. She slowly nodded. Bookmark here

"So, what do you plan to do?"Bookmark here

I faced her now, waiting for a response. She kept quiet for a few more seconds, then finally spoke.Bookmark here

"I don't know." She replied anxiously.Bookmark here

I paused upon hearing her, then sighed, keeping quiet and looking away. While I watched the waitresses giving their customers orders, Iwasaki tugged my jacket. Knowing what she was doing, I waited.Bookmark here

"I don't know if I should apologize."Bookmark here

I took a moment to realize her statement, then cleared my throat.Bookmark here

"Do you think you're in the wrong?" I asked.Bookmark here

"No." She replied with uncertainty.Bookmark here

"Do you think you're in the right?"Bookmark here

She quieted down, not responding. I, on the other hand, already knew what she had been thinking.Bookmark here

"Don't you think you should apologize even though you're in the right?"Bookmark here

She stopped talking once she heard what I had said.Bookmark here

"Honestly, when you told him to get over it, it was a dumb thing of you to say. What did you expect him to reply with? That he recovered just like that?" I snapped my fingers as I spoke.Bookmark here

"No..." She mumbled.Bookmark here

"Knowing whether you're in the right or wrong doesn't matter when apologizing. It all depends on whether you have the courage or not." I stated.Bookmark here

I heard Iwasaki's breath start to get shaky.Bookmark here

"Iwasaki-san." I gazed over to her once more.Bookmark here

She looked up at me with her teary eyes.Bookmark here

"Do you think your friend would like it if you and Okumori-kun never got a chance to apologize?"Bookmark here

She froze, not exactly knowing how to respond.Bookmark here

"You're just lacking courage. Don't you think it's better than not apologizing to him at all? As I said, it doesn't matter whether you're in the right or wrong but depends on if you have the bravery to."Bookmark here

"But, I've done so many wrong things to him! How can I ever atone for them?" She looked up at me, tears still falling down to her chin.Bookmark here

"So you're in the wrong, is what you're saying?" I bit my lip, looking away from her.Bookmark here

"What? That's not what I said at all!"Bookmark here

"But you regret it, don't you?"Bookmark here

She paused.Bookmark here

"Relax. I'm not going to scold you or get angry. But, what I will say is... It just makes it all the more reason to say you're sorry to him."Bookmark here

"I can't..."Bookmark here

"Because you think it's embarrassing?" I questioned.Bookmark here

"Because he won't acknowledge it! He won't even think about it! He'll just think I'm lying to him!"Bookmark here

Iwasaki's rise of tone surprised me. Bookmark here

"He won't change... He'll keep hating me. It won't change a single thing." She muttered.Bookmark here

I took a deep breath, leaning back on my chair.Bookmark here

"It doesn't matter whether he accepts it or not. As long as you're sincere with it, the weight on your shoulders will disappear."Bookmark here

Once again, Iwasaki kept silent. She sniffled, then rested her head on my arm. I felt her tears soak into my jacket.Bookmark here

"I just miss everyone." She shakily spoke.Bookmark here

"I know."Bookmark here

"I also hate how logical you are."Bookmark here

"I know."Bookmark here

We were silent for a couple more seconds before she spoke again.Bookmark here

"You know... He's right."Bookmark here

"Okumori-kun?"Bookmark here

She nodded. "He's right about me not getting over it. That I try to act happy or delighted."Bookmark here

I didn't respond, only nodding. Iwasaki's attitude indeed had changed once we entered high school. Back in Junior high, she didn't talk much and had a short fuse, but now she was more polite, outgoing, and talkative. Bookmark here

"Is that how you cope with what happened?" I finally questioned.Bookmark here

She didn't talk upon hearing my question.Bookmark here

"Figures." I sighed.Bookmark here

I nodded, looking at my slightly sweaty palms. I'm pretty sure it was because Iwasaki was leaning on me, to which I had to control myself from doing anything crazy. Seriously, if she touched my face or something, I was sure to lose it.Bookmark here

Iwasaki was still silent, leaning on my shoulder. Seeing how we were done with our conversation, I took a deep breath and attempted to change the subject.Bookmark here

"I uh, got rejected."Bookmark here

"Huh? By whom?" Iwasaki questioned.Bookmark here

That seemed to raise her spirits a little.Bookmark here

"Miyake-san." I expressionlessly replied.Bookmark here

I heard her snicker beside me.Bookmark here

"Miyake-san, seriously? Did you really think you could get her?" She laughed.Bookmark here

"Ouch." I sadly muttered. "She punched me, you know... My stomach still hurts. She really didn't hold back." Bookmark here

"You must've said something idiotic to her, then."Bookmark here

I took a moment to pause, then continued speaking. "I guess."Bookmark here

I didn't even bother to explain to Iwasaki the whole situation, or else she'd laugh at me for a week straight, maybe even more. I wasn't ready for it. After a few more seconds of silence, I talked again.Bookmark here

Finally, the question I had been itching to ask came out.
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"So... Do you plan to apologize?" I faced her. Bookmark here

"I don't know." Bookmark here

I exhaled, clasping my hands together. Bookmark here

"I see."Bookmark here

It made me wonder. Who's at fault? Okumori or Iwasaki?Bookmark here

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