Chapter 10:

Toshiro Okumori is annoyed. (2)


Note: Sorry for the late chapter! I've been clobbered with a lot of homework recently, so I'm currently trying to balance everything out! Bookmark here

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I held my cigarette firmly, looking over. I saw Miyake running towards me, pointing at me aggressively. I watched her in disinterest, yet also puzzled as to why she was approaching me.Bookmark here

"Put that away!" She declared.Bookmark here

I paused, staring at her in confusion. Bookmark here

"The cigarette!" Bookmark here

I moved my eyes towards the cigarette I was holding, then back at her. I slowly pulled it up to my mouth.Bookmark here

"No! Stop!" She instantly blurted.Bookmark here

I then moved it away.Bookmark here

"Good!"Bookmark here

I raised it up to my lips again.Bookmark here

"Don't do it!"Bookmark here

I'd finally wrap my lips around the cigarette. Though, I instantly regret it upon seeing Miyake's actions. She lunged towards me and planted her palms on my cheeks, squeezing them hard to the point where the cigarette fell out of my mouth and dropped to the ground. Bookmark here

"Smoking's not good for you! You mustn't do it, Okumori-kun!" Bookmark here

The lack of knowledge she has about personal distance astounds me.Bookmark here

I swiftly shoved the pack of cigarettes inside my pocket before she could spot it. I now absently stared at her, annoyed.Bookmark here

Miyake shook my head around. "Your lungs will get destroyed! You'll die!"Bookmark here

Frankly, I didn't care. I didn't want to say it though, since she might scold me even more. I looked away from her and waved my hand acrimoniously, signaling her to go away.Bookmark here

Of course, she didn't acknowledge it at all. Instead, she let out a low-pitched "Hm."Bookmark here

"Hey, your cheeks are red." Bookmark here

I looked at her contemptuously. Who's fault do you think that is? Due to how hard you squeezed the life out of my cheeks, it's only obvious that they'd be marked with your palms.Bookmark here

Miyake let out a sigh, then approaching me and propping herself down on the bench. She reclined her head back, staring at the light blue sky.Bookmark here

"I came here to talk to you about what we should do at the mall! But you decided to run off and ignore me! Rude!" She exclaimed.Bookmark here

I rested my elbow on the armrest of the bench and placed my palm under my chin irritatedly as I listened to her small little rant.Bookmark here

"I'm going groceries." She mocked in a deep voice, then switched back to a high-pitched tone. "But here you are, smoking!"Bookmark here

What are you, my mom? I looked over at her bitterly in response.Bookmark here

"You lied to me." She glowered, then raising her hands in the air. "But I forgive you! Just don't do it again!"Bookmark here

I watched her with a poker-face now, surprised by her childlike attitude. I shook my expression off, then presenting a bored face towards her.Bookmark here

"Anyways!" She loudly announced before connecting her fingers with her chin curiously. "Does smoking relieve stress? I heard that it does. That doesn't mean it's good, though! You definitely shouldn't smoke!"Bookmark here

She leaned forwards and scrutinized my face.Bookmark here

"Was that what you were doing? Relieving stress? There's many other ways to do it!"Bookmark here

I moved my head backward to avoid her uncomfortable close distance. I already knew the answer to her query, but stayed silent. I intertwined my hands together and simply gazed at my slippers now.Bookmark here

Miyake perceived my silence and pulled away. She then laid down on the bench with her legs supported by the armrests and crossed her arms.Bookmark here

"It's hard to talk to you if you're going to be quiet." She sarcastically spoke.
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There was a hint of solemnity in that sentence. Bookmark here

I looked towards the opposite direction of her now, not wanting to give her a retort or any counter to her remark.Bookmark here

"Okumori-kun, if anything's bothering you, you can tell me! It's another way to relieve stress. You can't just keep it all in, it'll backfire."
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She made an explosion sound with her mouth. It made me wonder to how childish she was.Bookmark here

However, that's exactly what I planned to do. My problems were my problems only. I don't want people pitying me for them, I don't want support, and I don't want to be an attention-seeker. I didn't want to tell people my dilemmas, anyways, nor was I looking for someone to vent to at all. Bookmark here

"If you bottle your emotions up for too long, it'll end up overflowing. The more you hide things, the more you get all cranky." She gaily spoke, then pointing up to the clouds.Bookmark here

She slowly moved her wrist towards me and started to poke me lightly.Bookmark here

"That's why-" She dug her finger into my cheek. "I want you to vent to me."Bookmark here

I got aggravated and pushed her arm away from my face, then looking down at her.
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"That's not going to happen." I irately uttered.Bookmark here

She crossed her arms with a sulking face.Bookmark here

"Fine. What if I tell you my problems instead?"Bookmark here

"I'll just ignore you."Bookmark here

She punched my thigh almost instantly.Bookmark here

"Words can hurt, Okumori-kun!"Bookmark here

I opened my mouth but closed it before I could say anything. I tiredly nodded to her instead.Bookmark here

A miffed "Hmph!" came out of Miyake, followed with a sigh.
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"You don't have to say anything, anyways. If I just tell you my problems, it'll comfort me either way."Bookmark here

Perplexity filled my head once I heard what Miyake said.Bookmark here

How does that even work? If I had told someone my issues, and they simply didn't say anything or support me at all, would that even be worth it? That'd be utterly useless, right? I'd feel ashamed if the person I had expressed my emotions to didn't say a single word. Bookmark here

Yet here was Miyake, about to rant about whatever problems she had without a second thought. Bookmark here

She took a moment, then finally speaking.Bookmark here

"Well, I'm scared of being hated."Bookmark here

I froze. I was completely caught off-guard by her glum words as I gazed at her with curiosity.Bookmark here

Miyake saw my gaze and gave me a broad smile.Bookmark here

"Sorry, you weren't expecting that, were you?"Bookmark here

I shook my head.Bookmark here

She raised her hand over to her mouth and giggled. Her smile then gradually faded away, turning into a dreary expression.Bookmark here

"My mom always told me to "Be someone." Therefore, I've always wanted to become someone important in someone's life. I think that if someone thought of me as a great and lovely person, that'd melt my heart."Bookmark here

She then sighed before continuing.Bookmark here

"But, because of my personality and how I try to solve problems, I end up hurting others without even realizing it. Because of how I act, they start to despise me. And it hurts. It's to the point where I'm debating whether I should change my personality. I don't want to be hated anymore. I just want to be someone of use."Bookmark here

I stared at her face, carefully listening to what she said. I then moved my eyes away from her as I spoke once more. Bookmark here

"Changing your personality just to satisfy someone is repulsive. If that's what it takes to become admired, then you should've never associated with them in the first place."
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"... Thanks."Bookmark here

I timidly nodded.Bookmark here

Something irked me, though. Bookmark here

"It's to the point where I'm starting to debate whether I should change how I should act."Bookmark here

Does that mean this happened frequently? What did she even do to cause it? Bookmark here

Miyake interrupted me before I could even answer my own question.Bookmark here

"Have you ever hurt someone?"Bookmark here

I paused and nodded. "It's inevitable. In some way or another, you'll always hurt someone in this miserable life."Bookmark here

"That's cold, Okumori-kun. Real cold." She quipped.Bookmark here

I grumbled in response to her joke.Bookmark here

"But, I guess I can understand what you're saying."Bookmark here

She moved her arms up to the back of her head in a relaxing way and continued to stare at the clouds above us with a jubilant smile.Bookmark here

"This is the first time I've ever had a real conversation with you. It kinda feels surreal." She stated.Bookmark here

I ignored her. However, deep down, I oddly felt flattered at her words. It was brief, though, since she asked another unexpected question right after.Bookmark here

"But, Okumori-kun. Is there a reason why you're so cold to me?"
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She tried to speak fervently, but I could sense the mood she had.Bookmark here

This time, I didn't reply. I couldn't reply. I simply acted like I didn't hear her.Bookmark here

Then, she whispered something indistinct. I couldn't comprehend what she had said at all due to how silent she spoke. Bookmark here

Miyake went silent after what she said. Only after twenty seconds of tranquil silence, she spoke again.Bookmark here

"Do you think God's cold too?"Bookmark here

I slowly turned my head to her and acknowledged her question.Bookmark here

"Why...?" I asked, intrigued. Bookmark here

"Just a question." She replied assuredly.Bookmark here

I took a deep breath, then responding to her odd inquiry.Bookmark here

"If God's real, then he's really cold."Bookmark here

Miyake met my eyes and nodded in an unsure way. Bookmark here

"You hate God, don't you?" 
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"I'm apathetic about it."Bookmark here

Miyake looked up at me for a split second after hearing my response. She then looked back up to the sky.Bookmark here

"Do you think he can do miracles?"Bookmark here

"Miracles won't do anything." I briskly answered.Bookmark here

She paused for a split second after hearing my swift reply.Bookmark here

"... I think he can do miracles. But I also believe that he can take many things away from you. Though, somehow, he always makes up for it. That's what I believe."Bookmark here

"You're too naive," I muttered.Bookmark here

"Maybe I am." She said with a titter.
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Miyake closed her eyelids and inhaled the air, then breathing out. She looked up at me once more with solemn eyes.Bookmark here

"Has he taken things from you?"Bookmark here

Just hearing that question made me infuriated. I hid my angered self under a blank expression on my face and nodded.Bookmark here

She quieted down after seeing my face, then forcing a smile.Bookmark here

"He's taken things from me too. I just pray he makes up for it somehow." Bookmark here

"Good luck doing that." I grumbled.Bookmark here

I stood up and looked at my surroundings. Miyake and I had been here for too long, and I was starting to get uninterested in the conversation.Bookmark here

"What's wrong?" Miyake queried.Bookmark here

"I'm heading back home." I blankly replied.Bookmark here

"I'll come too, then!" She said elatedly.Bookmark here

She stood up and stood beside me with a vast grin present on her face.Bookmark here

"Why are you so happy... ?" I said, a little distraught by her blissful smile.Bookmark here

"I managed to have a genuine conversation with you! Of course, I'm happy!" She retorted.Bookmark here

I sighed and started to walk. Miyake pranced behind me, singing a happy tune, which painfully annoyed me. Thankfully, we arrived at our houses in only a few minutes.Bookmark here

"Bye-bye, Okumori-kun!"Bookmark here

Miyake waved at me from her doorstep. I didn't react at all and simply stared at her. She acknowledged my silence and gave me one more wide smile before entering her house.Bookmark here

As soon as she was out of my sight, I took out the pack of cigarettes I had hid earlier and threw it on the concrete road without hesitation. I then approached my own house and entered inside, closing the door behind me.Bookmark here

"Toshiro?"Bookmark here

I looked up and saw my mom. She stood with her pajamas and messy bed hair, supporting herself by holding onto the wall. She rubbed her eyes and yawned, then placed her eyes on me.Bookmark here

"Good morning. Did you go outside?" She said wearily.Bookmark here

I nodded firmly.Bookmark here

"Nothing bad happened, right?" She said, stretching her arms as she spoke.Bookmark here

I paused, then shook my head.Bookmark here

"Good!" She smiled.Bookmark here

My mom then approached the window that I had opened earlier, examining it.Bookmark here

"Toshiro, did you open the window...? I made sure to close it last night."Bookmark here

I then vividly remembered what happened when I had opened that window. I gulped and nodded again. I wasn't willing to explain it to my mom in the slightest, or else she'd probably freak out and scold me for not waking her up. It was just too predictable.Bookmark here

She puzzlingly shut the window and looked at me. Bookmark here

"Nothing happened while I was gone, right...?"Bookmark here

I rapidly shook my head.Bookmark here

"Huh... Oh well! I'll make breakfast right now." She shrugged.Bookmark here

I nodded and swiftly entered my room before she could ask anymore questions. I closed the door behind me and stared at my messy bed.Bookmark here

And so, a full day of absolute boredom resumes. Bookmark here

With nothing to do at all, I ended up playing games, washing dishes, and doing the laundry for the rest of the day. Though, night had arrived rather quick, which bemused me. With nothing to do, I assumed that my day would be long, but here I was.Bookmark here

I was now on my bed, my eyes closed as I hugged a pillow.Bookmark here

But, I couldn't sleep.Bookmark here

I had instantly remembered what Miyake and I were doing earlier. I remembered her whole rant vividly.Bookmark here

Out of that whole conversation, a mere two words had caught my attention.Bookmark here

"Be someone."Bookmark here

I heavily wondered what "Be someone" truly meant.Bookmark here

Become someone popular? Someone important? Someone happy? Someone sad? It was a sentence that was too vague in my head. I could interpret it in many different ways. How do you even be someone? Bookmark here

Miyake had supposedly found her answer to that unclear message. She interpreted it as wanting to be someone of use to others. Bookmark here

Though, apparently, that plan of hers failed miserably. Judging by her choice of words, I assumed frequently. Bookmark here

Being someone likeable was extremely easy. But, being hated was even more easier. One mistake could ruin a relationship in a snap of a finger.Bookmark here

Yet, because of how much of a social animal people are, they always find ways to repeat that mess of a cycle. Bookmark here

No relationship lasts forever. It will always end in despair. Has Miyake ever thought of that?Bookmark here

It's why I'll always refuse on creating new relationships.Bookmark here

I hate socializing, I hate being depended on, I hate hurting others, and I especially hate being betrayed. Bookmark here

Because everyone hates  you.Bookmark here

Saying something like "I like everything about you, even your flaws."  Is a mere revolting lie. It's just a cringeworthy sentence that has no true meaning behind it. People will always despise something about you.Bookmark here

There's no such thing as the "Perfect person."Bookmark here

In the end, you're just lying to yourself. You're just forcing yourself to like them, disregarding any flaws they have, and that leads you right to emotional pain.
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Humans will never find the right person. Not a single person in the world has the same personality, flaws, likes and dislikes as you. Nobody will ever like everything about you.
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In fact, I hate the word perfection. People become so deeply encased in this idea of being a pristine, faultless, and flawless human being to the point where they never reveal what hides behind that bravado they so desperately cower behind. Bookmark here

Human's are imperfect, and always will be.Bookmark here

People say that humans always need interactions, even if it's one singular person. Yet, I've always felt at peace without it. I yearn for solitude. Having other peoples presence around me was something I heavily loathed.Bookmark here

I'm better off being a loner and not risk valuable things for superficial relationships other than risking my own happiness just for the sake of self-centered others.Bookmark here

I don't need someone who'll I'll eventually trust, just to leave me and my heart aching and in anguish.Bookmark here

That's why, I'll always hate relationships, no matter the circumstance.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.