Chapter 219 – Umemiya Kako’s Hard Work
(Kako’s PoV (Blossom’s actual name, she is a friend of Komari (Reina’s step sister)))
“For this question… Umemiya Kako, can you answer it?” The math teacher suddenly called my name out.
This was bad… I did know the answer, but… But it was so scary. Everyone’s gazes fell upon me. I was trembling. It was hard to breath…
“Umemiya?” The teacher asked again.
I had no choice, but to get up from my seat. I put my hands on my chest and looked down… Was I creepy? Were people disgusted at me?
I could vaguely see from the corner of my eye that the teacher was hoping I’d be able to answer, since he knows that I am good at math, but… The impatient look on my colleagues’ eyes, their mocking smiles… And the worried expression on Komari’s and Seigi’s face… They were all so terrifying.
I tried making a reply, “I… I ca… Can… Cannot.” but I couldn’t stop trembling, never mind speaking in front of the whole class… Even though I did know the answer. It was something we had already seen a few times before, it wasn’t hard, but… I just couldn’t.
It was frustrating.
“I see… Then, can someone else answer it?” The teacher’s disappointment was visible, but… There was just no way. What if I made a mistake? Some people were already giggling at me right now, how bad would it be if I messed up on this easy problem? I just can’t do it… It’s too much…
Then, the bell rang. Before anyone could answer the question, the class was over, so the teacher dismissed us after giving some homework… Well, at least I won’t have to worry about my classmates’ gaze anymore.
“Kako! Let’s go home together!” Komari came closer to me and said that.
Both her and Seigi kept on talking to me even though I was so miserable… I was really thankful to them. I would still be that bullied girl that stays the whole time in the corner of the library otherwise.
And exactly because of that, “Ah, sorry, I… I have something… Something to do today.” I told them that.
“I see… Alright, next time then!” Komari exclaimed that cheerfully, but I could see that she was worried for me.
“See you next time.” Seigi too was visibly worried.
I was feeling guilty as they moved away, but… It was alright. This time, I was not trying to push them away because they were too dazzling to be next to me… This time, I will help them.
“Hey, do you know that girl?” A boy asked his friend.
“I don’t really know any middle schooler…” His friend answered.
I was hoping I wouldn’t be noticed, or that people at least wouldn’t pay attention to me right now, but… I guess there is no way I wouldn’t call attention while wearing a middle schooler’s uniform… After all, I’m standing in front of the gates of a high school…
Will things be alright? They won’t try bullying me here, will they? We’re out in the open, so… I should be okay, right?
“Hey, which middle school are you from?” One of the boys asked me.
“Do you have an older brother here?” The other one asked.
I couldn’t answer… Can’t you please just go away? Please don’t cause me trouble…
“… Am I scaring her?” One of the boys muttered.
“Kenji, you’re good at talking to girls, why do you think she’s troubled?” Another one of the boys said.
“I bet she’s scared of Masaki’s face!” The boy that is probably Kenji exclaimed.
“Eh!? Why is it my fault!?” The one that is probably Masaki exclaimed.
I started trembling and took a step back… No, I shouldn’t be backing off here… I hate my offline self. Why can’t I be like Blossom here…?
I just can’t do anything. If someone likes me tries to show discontentment against a bully, they’ll just make things worse and blame it on my bad luck… Why do things have to be like this? Why can’t I stand up for myself and shine brightly like I always do online…?
“See? She’s getting scared because you shouted.” The Kenji boy said.
“Ugh… B-but that’s just…” The Masaki boy muttered.
I tried to avoid making eye contact with them, and searched for my target… She wouldn’t have gone home already, would she?
I mean, it’s possible… Even though I ran here, the times their classes end shouldn’t be that different from when mine end, so… Maybe she’s already home. Should I give up? Should I just go home?
“Oh, Masaki, what are you doing here?” That woman’s voice…
“Oh, Ichijouji…” The Masaki person replied.
… Yeah, my target was here. Her appearance was slightly different from the game, but it was still definitely the same person. She didn’t customize her avatar much.
She has no need to hide herself, she just stands up with her own feet… I really hate this woman.
Somehow though… I mustered the strength to walk. I stood in front of Rena… Of the Genocider. Today, I’ll talk to her. I’ll tell her what I need to, without having Komari and Seigi nearby.
“Ah… Uhn… E… To…” Why is this so terrifying? Why am I trembling so much? Why can’t I look her in the eyes…?
I don’t get what I’m thinking. Why am I scared of this expressionless disgusting woman…?
The three men that had been talking to me seem to be acquainted with her, so they were just staring at the conversation from the sidelines… Are they there to protect her in case of an emergency? Will they hurt me if I say too much?
The woman said nothing… I need to tell her something, “Ah… Uhn…” Why can’t I speak…?
I hate this woman so much… I envy her so much.
She has the charisma I don’t have, the freedom I don’t, and she also has such amazing little brother and sister… And yet, even though she all that I want, that I can’t get no matter how much I wish for… She just throws them all away.
She can be so confident of herself. She can act without doubting her own decisions and… I’m just so envious of this disgusting woman.
She still didn’t speak anything… I tried once more, “Well… I…”
I hate how pitiful I am. Almost as much as I hate this woman who has no empathy at all, who refuses to grab the hands of her brother and sister that keep trying to reach out for her.
She has everything she could possibly want or need, and yet… And yet… It’s so frustrating… And I can’t even talk to her!
“Th-this! Take this!” I shoved the letter I prepared in advance on her, then ran away.
“I see…?” I could hear the woman muttering before I got too far.
In the end, I couldn’t tell it to her by mouth, so I just gave her the letter and ran away… Even though I pushed myself so hard, this was all that I could do… I’m so pathetic.
I’m glad I at least put the effort into this though. That I tried doing something to help my best friends… Even if I couldn’t withstand the public eye… Even if I couldn’t speak… I… Is this my limit? Is this all that I can do?
I’m really pathetic…
Once I got home, I buried my face on my pillow and screamed to myself, “Why am I so worthless!?”
I really hate being like this… If only I could be Blossom all the time… If only I could shine brightly every day… There’s no way I wouldn’t have been able to talk to that disgusting woman then.
… Even if I can’t be Blossom while offline, I can at least be her online… Let’s login. Let’s become Blossom.