July 2022 Short

When I Thought about Dying, I Was Caught by my Quibbling Childhood Friend

Author: Elite NEET

What happens after a person’s death? I think that’s something that only the dead can know.

That is why human beings should live without regrets while they are alive.

There is such a story.

However, I think.

If we can definitely go after death, there is no need to live without regrets, because paradise will be waiting for us when we die. In fact, it would be better to die right now.

So, let’s live without regrets. Such a story must have been made by people who don’t believe in the afterlife.

Well, if you ask whether I, Jun Kaai, who is about to jump off the roof, believe that it is a paradise after death, I would say that I don’t.

I just don’t want to live anymore, that’s all.

If you ask me why I don’t want to live, I might claim vague anxiety about the uncertain future, but unfortunately that’s not the reason.

I was about to take my own life for a more absurd reason.

While I was thinking about this, a sudden visitor appeared on the roof of the school, where I had assumed that no one would come. It was a familiar face.

With her long, waist-length black hair fluttering in the wind, she glanced at me and, with an uninterested expression, closed the door.

She then sat down with her back to the door, seeming to not hesitate to get her skirt, which was made to the school’s regulation length, dirty.

“Heh~, you’re about to die.”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“Hmm…”

My childhood friend, Suzuki Azusa, replied in a very bored way.

“You’re not going to stop me, are you?”

“Do you want me to stop you? If so, I’ll stop you.”

“No, I’m at fault.”

From the current exchange, she looks like a cold-blooded, heartless person, but that’s not the case.

She just saw that I was determined and realized the pointlessness of persuading me at this point.

She’s always hated useless acts. She was the kind of person who was only thinking about how to proceed efficiently in everything she did.

“Hey, you! How are you so strong?”

If I were my normal self, I would never have asked her such a question. But before you die, in a sense, is the same as having nothing to lose.

After all, soon after this, I will be reduced to a silent lump of meat.

There is no need to put a stop to it.

“Strong? Hmm, you’re free to use the word ‘strong’ in whatever sense you like, but when you use it on me, I have to say it’s a misuse of the word.”

“Is that so? It looks that way to me.”

“Hmm, if it looks that way to you, then your eyes are not very discerning. No, the objects that look like eyes are marbles or something? I think that makes more sense.”

“I don’t like the way you put it. I guess I should quit.”

These are words from the heart.

It’s one of her vices, but for some reason she hates waste and is verbose in her conversations, going out of her way to use roundabout expressions.

I have always had my own thoughts about it, but I had never done anything before because it would be troublesome if I pointed it out and caused some damage to our friendship.

But now, I can speak my mind like this.

“That’s an awkward thing to say. I don’t know any other way of speaking, and I don’t know how to fix it. Mind you, what you just said is the same thing as saying that my dialect is unpleasant and I have to speak the standard language properly.”

“Yeah, I get it.”

“When you talk like that, it’s when you don’t understand 99% of what I say. No, I can assure you that it’s 100%. I know that you often retort with such a throwaway affirmation when you feel that the conversation is getting tedious and you want to cut it short.”

“Oh, is that so? So, what brings you here?”

If I continue this conversation, I can easily imagine this girl talking until tomorrow morning. So I switch the subject, even if a little forcefully.

“Hmm, that’s a tough one. Give me a minute, let me figure out how to respond.”

I thought it was an unusual attitude for her.

Normally, she would have answered by stretching out her own noble purpose.

She doesn’t care much for lies and deception.

This is because lying is unproductive, and it is faster to say honestly that she can’t say what she can’t say, which is typical of her dislike of waste.

That’s why it’s so rare to see her thinking about how to say something like this.

I have known her for a long time, but this is the first time I have seen her like this.

“Hmm, that’s right. No point keeping it secret from you right now, so I’ll just tell you the facts. Well then, to answer your question, the answer is pretty simple. I saw you heading to this rooftop.”

“You saw me?”

“Yes, I did. So I followed you. Well, you didn’t want your tantrum to be known, so temporarily I pretended I didn’t.”

“That’s unusual, I thought you were more honest in your life.”

“Honestly, that’s not the case. I read the air when I have to, and I also read between the lines. I know what not to talk about. I’m not going to mention how I look in your eyes, but if you really believe that, I suggest you go see an ophthalmologist.”

It’s absolutely a lie.

I don’t know anyone as candid with me as this girl. Because she is someone who reads the air against two people in the middle of a fight.

“What are you getting so upset about? Look, we’re both at fault, so we should just apologize. Or is your pride preventing you from apologizing? That would be fine. Not apologizing is an option. But if you’re going to choose that option, get out of my classroom right now. Anyway, if we’re going to spend the rest of your life in this place talking about the same thing, it will be a hindrance to us as outsiders.”

A person who knows what not to talk about would not have said to their teacher…

“Hmm, why are you wearing a wig? I know that these days people use such things as decorations to dress themselves, to fulfill their desire to be someone else, but I don’t think yours is like that. No, it doesn’t seem to be for the common reason of wanting to hide the fact that you are bald. If so, you wouldn’t have to wear such an obvious wig. Oh, and maybe you’re trying to get a laugh out of your students with that? Well, that’s a great spirit. Though I must say, it’s pointless if all you get out of it is a laugh from your students.”

I wouldn’t have said that.

No, the teacher was certainly famous among the students for being absolutely wiggy. Still, a normal mind wouldn’t say such a thing in the first place.

“Yeah, I get it, I get it.”

“Hmm, apparently you don’t believe me. Oh, I’m so sad. Is that the extent of our relationship, that you don’t trust me?”

“It’s the opposite, the opposite, I don’t trust you because I’ve seen you.”

“Hmm, that would mean that your sensibilities are far from normal.”

I don’t want to be told by the one who’s the most out of the ordinary.

“So why are you trying to jump?”

“…… That’s surprising. I didn’t expect you to ask.”

“I wasn’t going to ask, because I knew there was no point in stopping you, just… if you want me to ask you so badly, I can give you a pleasant memory to take to the afterlife, knowing that it is useless.”

You’re going to give me a pleasant memory to take to the afterlife.

Usually, it’s the other way around.

“Yes, yes, maybe I want you to ask me.”

“So, let’s hear it. What tragedy befell a man like you?”

“You seem to be enjoying this, aren’t you?”

“Hmm, I’d be happy to listen to you in a more serious mood, but you’re not looking for cheap sympathy, are you? After all, sympathy is an emotion that is only born from the feeling that you are absolutely superior to the other person. And what exists there is connected to the inferiority complex of looking down on the other person and indulging in a sense of superiority.”

“Oh, yes yes, I get it, I get it.”

It’s one of those vices. She often makes leaps of logic.

Perhaps she has her own theories, born from her unique philosophy of eliminating waste to the extreme, are often incomprehensible to ordinary people like myself.

“So, what happened? Did you get dumped by your girlfriend?”

When I was told that, I was stunned.

“Oh, that face says I hit a bullseye?”

“No, you’re wrong.”

From an outsider’s perspective, it actually is as Azusa said. But the reality is much worse than that.

“Hmm, I see. Apparently it’s not a lie. But, from that reaction, it’s not that far off. Then all I can think of… hmm…… I see, it’s a punishment game or something.”

“Wow, you know that much?”

“Yes, I know. Rather, the problem is that you’re too easy to understand. It’s as easy a guess as finding the solution to a linear function.”

“That’s amazing, you.”

Yes, the facts were exactly as she said earlier.

The girl I thought was my girlfriend didn’t like me or anything. Rather, she liked the handsome Captain of the Soccer Team who is nothing like me. But earlier, she just told me that she confessed to me in a punishment game and was dating me as an extension of that.

I was also humiliated by having to show her messages from when we were dating to the rest of the class.

…… Ah, and thinking back on it now, it still sucks.

“That’s why I told you, don’t go with that girl. She’s dozens of times worse than you can imagine. And who said they would date her without taking my advice?”

When she said that, I was at my wits’ end.

It is true that when she confessed her love to me, I consulted Azusa.

At the time she said that I shouldn’t go out with her, but I was so excited about being confessed to by someone I had a crush on, and I didn’t listen to the advice because I thought that she was jealous that I was going to be a real success like the rest of the unpopular people in the world.

“Oh dear, do you have regrets at this point? This is exactly what it means to have no regrets… it’s a really boring end.”

“I’m sorry, I should have listened to you…”

“Oh, and what exactly are you sorry about?”

“No, I’m sorry I didn’t take your advice.”

“Hmm, I accept your apology, but I have no idea how to handle such an insincere apology. All you have is regret that you could have heeded my advice and not ended up so miserable, so your apology to me is empty.”

“…… What was that?”

“No, that’s right. If you were truly sorry, you would not have thought about dying in the first place. It’s only natural that you would come to me once to apologize. But I guess you didn’t have any such thoughts. That just proves that you have no desire to apologize to me.”

That being said, yes, that’s true.

If she is right and you really feel that way, I should start by apologizing to her.

“But well, I’m not complaining about that. I didn’t come here for your gratitude. In the first place, my ego was involved, and I should have opposed it more seriously. Please understand that I don’t really want you to apologize.”

“Really.”

“Oh, that’s right. Well, are you done with your regrets?”

“…… yeah, I guess so, yeah. Yeah, thanks. It was nice talking to you.”

“That’s good to know.”

But she quickly gets up.

She looked down at the ground over the rooftop fence, which she could climb over with a little effort.

“Hmm, will I die at this height? Well then, let’s jump off, I don’t like to waste my time.”

“Somehow, I feel weird when you say it so tersely.”

I feel that my desire to die, which was so strong, was gradually diminishing as I talk to her.

The idea of committing suicide seemed to be ridiculous to me.

“Hmm, is that so? In the first place, I think it’s worse to be obsessed with life. It’s a waste of time to be alive in the first place.”

“That’s not true.”

“Hmm, well, I would be happy to explain it to you in detail here, but I bet you won’t understand it anyway. So I’ll try to explain it as simply as possible. People are creatures who will die one day. So if the result is only death, nothingness, then life is nothing but a waste of time.”

“And yet, there are things that remain after death.”

“I see, so how much do you think is left after death? For example, you right now… well, let’s say you become like Adam. Certainly, you may be remembered as long as the human race continues to exist. But as you know, even stars have a lifespan. If the sun exploded, humanity would perish. No, I think it’s more likely that we would have died out long before that due to war or some other reason.”

“Maybe we might survive on another planet, on a spaceship or something.”

The most I could do in response to the examples she had just given was to quibble at best.

“Hmm, maybe. Then, how important do you think what remains after death is? Of course, there is no such thing as a ghost after death, but at least I think that there is nothingness after death. In the meantime, in the world where you left some kind of impact during your lifetime, there is no joy, no sadness, no sorrow anymore, right?”

It’s always like this when I talk to her.

If I were smarter, I might be able to talk her down, but unfortunately with my brain, that’s tough.

I always end up being cajoled by her arguments.

That’s why I asked this question as a kind of a bitter joke.

I never imagined that this question would change our future.

“Then what are you living for?”

“Well … that’s a perfectly reasonable question. But, yes, wait a minute, it’s easy to say. It’s easy, but it’s so hard.”

Today is a day when I get to see her unusual side.

At least in my memory, I have never seen her with a red face and a downcast look on her face like she is now. Her expressionless figure comes to her mind, and the word “cool” is perfect for her.

“Hmm. I guess there’s no point in taking a detour here. Let me be blunt. It’s for love.”

That’s why it’s probably not my fault that I couldn’t hold back my laughter when I saw her speak so earnestly.

“What are you laughing at?!”

“No, you said love… haha! What a joke!”

Yes, it seems like a joke.

I’ve known her for a long time, so I understand. This girl has absolutely no interest in romance. It’s doubtful whether she’s even interested in other people in the first place.

If I were to confess my feelings to her, she would say…

“Hey now, you can’t joke around with me, and right to my face. Why should I waste my time like that? I don’t care about love in the first place.”

I can already picture her talking like that.

“Hmm, I’m not joking, though. I have no idea what makes you laugh so much.”

“No, you can’t do that with your character… oh, is it love of humanity or something like that?”

“Hey now, you can’t joke around with me, and right to my face. Why would I waste my time with such useless feelings? I don’t think there is anyone who genuinely has such a big scale of love for humanity in the first place.”

Behold, her retort was roughly the same as I imagined.

That’s why, on the contrary, I don’t understand the meaning of the phrase “living for love” that she was talking about.

I could understand if she was making a joke to lighten the mood, but unfortunately she doesn’t like to make such jokes.

“If you laugh so hard, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable with you.”

Seeing that she was blatantly grumpy, I took a big, deep breath to get my breathing in order.

Don’t make her grumpy.

It was one thing I learned in my time with her.

After I managed to calm down, I decided to ask her directly once again.

“So what does it mean to live in love?”

“It means exactly what it means… do you want me to tell you what that means? I see, I didn’t think you had that kind of hobby.”

“No, why do I have to be treated like such a pervert, in this exchange?”

“Because it’s like that. You’re trying to get me to say that I like you.”

…… Huh?

“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you. What did you say?”

If I wasn’t mistaken, she just said she likes me, right?

“Absolutely not… I’ll never say it again, so listen to me, okay?”

“Yeah.”

Alright, okay, I’ll not miss it again this time.

That’s about it.

“I want to eat Sukiyaki at your house tonight.”

I must have just misheard her saying such a thing.

Yep, that’s right.

It must be so.

There’s no way this girl likes me.

“I, Suzuki Asuza, love Jun Kaai.”

This time, there was no way I could have misheard her.

Without a doubt, the girl in front of me said she loved me.

Yes, I didn’t mishear her.

This time it clearly reached my ears.

But for some reason, my brain couldn’t comprehend the words.

“Uh, a punishment game?”

That was the very first remark.

Because I had flashbacks of what had happened earlier.

“Huh? What’s that? You think I’m on the same level as that little bitch? I have to express my regret at that.”

I unknowingly touched her reverse scale.

She is so grumpy that the earlier moment is laughable.

“Uh, oh, I’m sorry, I don’t think that. My bad, I was upset.”

“Hmm, it can’t be helped. I’ll forgive you. It is the role of a good wife to silently overlook her husband’s misconduct.”

…… Another unfamiliar word appeared.

“Um, what wife or husband?”

“Hmm, normally I’d be too embarrassed to say it, but after I’ve spoken out my thoughts, I’m thinking of calling you something I usually can’t.”

What’s going on here?

I can’t understand anything at all.

I feel like I’ve been left alone in a foreign country where I don’t know the culture or the language.

“Well, I didn’t know you allowed me to date.”

That was the question that came out of my mouth somehow.

I wasn’t thinking straight, it couldn’t be helped.

There were more questions I should have asked, but this was the best I could do.

“Well, by all rights, I wasn’t going to allow it, but… there is a saying that infidelity is also a measure of a man’s worth. In the first place, at least during your youth as a high school student, I think it would be better to leave you the pleasure of dating other women, a very generous gesture on my part. I knew he would come back to me anyway. But emotionally, I didn’t like it, so I opposed it.”

That’s how she puts a strange smirk on her face.

She looked like a cat that wanted to be praised for catching prey. I’m even more confused. What’s wrong, you’re not that kind of character.

“Then, why didn’t you stop me from dying?”

“Oh, that’s just because I was also going to die. It’s what you call a follow-up suicide. It’s useless to live in a world without you. I didn’t think that being rejected by a toy I let you have just for fun would damage you that much.”

I understand that she doesn’t lie or make jokes.

That’s why I couldn’t help but feel a chill run down my spine.

Maybe with one easy action of mine, one person… no, two people could have been dead.

“Um, when did we start dating?”

Thanks to the sensation of having cold water poured on my head, I was finally able to calm down.

Then I succeeded in asking what I needed to ask first.

“Hey now, it’s still too early to lose your focus. Sure, there’s a term like ‘juvenile dementia’, but it’s still too soon. You see, it was when we were five years old. You said, ‘Let’s get married’ and I replied, ‘yes’. After that, you said, ‘I’ll always be with you, Azu-chan!’ I was so happy to hear that!”

I couldn’t say anything more to her as she spoke with an ecstatic expression.

No, we were five years old!

I can’t remember that long ago!

Besides, you’ve never shown such an attitude before!

Oh, but I see, when I asked if she had any classmates she wanted to date in the past…

“Hey now, don’t ask such a stupid question.”

Was her reply. But maybe she meant that it was a stupid question because she was dating me?

Not that I shouldn’t ask stupid questions about her love life?

…… No, I don’t know!

“…… you don’t remember anything like that, do you?”

She said in a voice that sounded like it was about to fade away.

I couldn’t say anything in response to her. If I told her a lie, she would immediately find out, and I couldn’t tell her the truth.

But sadly, sometimes silence reveals the truth more eloquently than words.

“Haha, y, you’re kidding. You’re just messing with me, right?”

Her voice was trembling.

She didn’t want to admit this fact.

She must have hoped that this was just a bad joke.

But all I can say is…

“I’m sorry.”

Hearing those words, she tried to climb up the rooftop fence.

“Hey, what are you trying to do?!”

“Don’t stop me! How can I live on with such shame?!”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t remember it. But, I’m sorry! Don’t die!”

“No! Why don’t you remember?! You’re the worst, the worst! I’m going to die!”

“Stop!”

The epic battle with her lasted approximately thirty minutes.

“I’m going to die!”

She says, and I try to stop her at all costs.

…… Why is this happening?

I came here to jump off.

Why am I on the side stopping it?

In the end, I, as a man, managed to restrain her by sheer force.

“Don’t say you’re going to die anymore.”

“Then, confess one more time.”

She says with a tear-stained expression.

I wonder if I’ve ever seen her with such a face.

Maybe it’s the first time.

“Well, that’s rather embarrassing…”

When I said that, she tried to climb the fence again.

“Oh, I get it! I’ll say it, just stop that!”

“Say it then.”

Damn, this request burns.

I’m a man, too, so I’ll make up my mind at a time like this!

“Oh… that’s the thing, I like you, too.”

“You’re not being sincere…”

“No, what do you want me to do!”

“Then swear to me, you’ll never cheat again, that you’ll only look at me.”

“Oh, I get it, I get it. I swear.”

“Fufu, this time I’ve received your pledge properly. If you try to run, I won’t forgive you, right?”

“Yeah, I get it, I won’t run anymore.”

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3 thoughts on “July 2022 Short

  1. I’d still jump.

    Technically, I’m not running. I’m falling, bozo. Loser, nerd, dumb of the dumbest, failure of the failures, i outsmarted your wit at the low cost of my life. I win.

    Just kidding because as it turns out, we’re not actually high enough! So instead of a quick death, I just broke 234 bones. I still won I think.

    Like

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