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!
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.
"Put that away!" She declared.
I paused, staring at her in confusion.
I moved my eyes towards the cigarette I was holding, then back at her. I slowly pulled it up to my mouth.
"No! Stop!" She instantly blurted.
I then moved it away.
I raised it up to my lips again.
"Don't do it!"
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.
"Smoking's not good for you! You mustn't do it, Okumori-kun!"
The lack of knowledge she has about personal distance astounds me.
I swiftly shoved the pack of cigarettes inside my pocket before she could spot it. I now absently stared at her, annoyed.
Miyake shook my head around. "Your lungs will get destroyed! You'll die!"
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.
Of course, she didn't acknowledge it at all. Instead, she let out a low-pitched "Hm."
"Hey, your cheeks are red."
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.
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.
"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.
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.
"I'm going groceries." She mocked in a deep voice, then switched back to a high-pitched tone. "But here you are, smoking!"
What are you, my mom? I looked over at her bitterly in response.
"You lied to me." She glowered, then raising her hands in the air. "But I forgive you! Just don't do it again!"
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.
"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!"
She leaned forwards and scrutinized my face.
"Was that what you were doing? Relieving stress? There's many other ways to do it!"
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.
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.
"It's hard to talk to you if you're going to be quiet." She sarcastically spoke.
There was a hint of solemnity in that sentence.
I looked towards the opposite direction of her now, not wanting to give her a retort or any counter to her remark.
"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."
She made an explosion sound with her mouth. It made me wonder to how childish she was.
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.
"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.
She slowly moved her wrist towards me and started to poke me lightly.
"That's why-" She dug her finger into my cheek. "I want you to vent to me."
I got aggravated and pushed her arm away from my face, then looking down at her.
"That's not going to happen." I irately uttered.
She crossed her arms with a sulking face.
"Fine. What if I tell you my problems instead?"
"I'll just ignore you."
She punched my thigh almost instantly.
"Words can hurt, Okumori-kun!"
I opened my mouth but closed it before I could say anything. I tiredly nodded to her instead.
A miffed "Hmph!" came out of Miyake, followed with a sigh.
"You don't have to say anything, anyways. If I just tell you my problems, it'll comfort me either way."
Perplexity filled my head once I heard what Miyake said.
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.
Yet here was Miyake, about to rant about whatever problems she had without a second thought.
She took a moment, then finally speaking.
"Well, I'm scared of being hated."
I froze. I was completely caught off-guard by her glum words as I gazed at her with curiosity.
Miyake saw my gaze and gave me a broad smile.
"Sorry, you weren't expecting that, were you?"
I shook my head.
She raised her hand over to her mouth and giggled. Her smile then gradually faded away, turning into a dreary expression.
"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."
She then sighed before continuing.
"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."
I stared at her face, carefully listening to what she said. I then moved my eyes away from her as I spoke once more.
"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."
I timidly nodded.
Something irked me, though.
"It's to the point where I'm starting to debate whether I should change how I should act."
Does that mean this happened frequently? What did she even do to cause it?
Miyake interrupted me before I could even answer my own question.
"Have you ever hurt someone?"
I paused and nodded. "It's inevitable. In some way or another, you'll always hurt someone in this miserable life."
"That's cold, Okumori-kun. Real cold." She quipped.
I grumbled in response to her joke.
"But, I guess I can understand what you're saying."
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.
"This is the first time I've ever had a real conversation with you. It kinda feels surreal." She stated.
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.
"But, Okumori-kun. Is there a reason why you're so cold to me?"
She tried to speak fervently, but I could sense the mood she had.
This time, I didn't reply. I couldn't reply. I simply acted like I didn't hear her.
Then, she whispered something indistinct. I couldn't comprehend what she had said at all due to how silent she spoke.
Miyake went silent after what she said. Only after twenty seconds of tranquil silence, she spoke again.
"Do you think God's cold too?"
I slowly turned my head to her and acknowledged her question.
"Why...?" I asked, intrigued.
"Just a question." She replied assuredly.
I took a deep breath, then responding to her odd inquiry.
"If God's real, then he's really cold."
Miyake met my eyes and nodded in an unsure way.
"You hate God, don't you?"
"I'm apathetic about it."
Miyake looked up at me for a split second after hearing my response. She then looked back up to the sky.
"Do you think he can do miracles?"
"Miracles won't do anything." I briskly answered.
She paused for a split second after hearing my swift reply.
"... 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."
"You're too naive," I muttered.
"Maybe I am." She said with a titter.
Miyake closed her eyelids and inhaled the air, then breathing out. She looked up at me once more with solemn eyes.
"Has he taken things from you?"
Just hearing that question made me infuriated. I hid my angered self under a blank expression on my face and nodded.
She quieted down after seeing my face, then forcing a smile.
"He's taken things from me too. I just pray he makes up for it somehow."
"Good luck doing that." I grumbled.
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.
"What's wrong?" Miyake queried.
"I'm heading back home." I blankly replied.
"I'll come too, then!" She said elatedly.
She stood up and stood beside me with a vast grin present on her face.
"Why are you so happy... ?" I said, a little distraught by her blissful smile.
"I managed to have a genuine conversation with you! Of course, I'm happy!" She retorted.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Good morning. Did you go outside?" She said wearily.
I nodded firmly.
"Nothing bad happened, right?" She said, stretching her arms as she spoke.
I paused, then shook my head.
"Good!" She smiled.
My mom then approached the window that I had opened earlier, examining it.
"Toshiro, did you open the window...? I made sure to close it last night."
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.
She puzzlingly shut the window and looked at me.
"Nothing happened while I was gone, right...?"
I rapidly shook my head.
"Huh... Oh well! I'll make breakfast right now." She shrugged.
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.
And so, a full day of absolute boredom resumes.
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.
I was now on my bed, my eyes closed as I hugged a pillow.
But, I couldn't sleep.
I had instantly remembered what Miyake and I were doing earlier. I remembered her whole rant vividly.
Out of that whole conversation, a mere two words had caught my attention.
I heavily wondered what "Be someone" truly meant.
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?
Miyake had supposedly found her answer to that unclear message. She interpreted it as wanting to be someone of use to others.
Though, apparently, that plan of hers failed miserably. Judging by her choice of words, I assumed frequently.
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.
Yet, because of how much of a social animal people are, they always find ways to repeat that mess of a cycle.
No relationship lasts forever. It will always end in despair. Has Miyake ever thought of that?
It's why I'll always refuse on creating new relationships.
I hate socializing, I hate being depended on, I hate hurting others, and I especially hate being betrayed.
Because everyone hates you.
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.
There's no such thing as the "Perfect person."
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.
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.
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.
Human's are imperfect, and always will be.
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.
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.
I don't need someone who'll I'll eventually trust, just to leave me and my heart aching and in anguish.
That's why, I'll always hate relationships, no matter the circumstance.