Volume 2, Chapter 10: Punishment
Translator: chelly; Editor / Proofreader: OD Dragon
“This is… a punishment for toying with me.”
I listened to my then-girlfriend, who had tears in the corners of her eyes as she clutched a pancake knife in one hand as if she were speaking to someone else.
I’ve never toyed with her. I loved her with all my heart. What shocked me the most was that such a statement came out of her mouth, she who was the smartest and most understanding of the seven lovers I had at the time. I loved all seven of them equally, and I thought that would make them happy.
And everything went well.
The expression on her face when I told her that I had six other lovers was so strange that I don’t know how to describe it. Her face went from confusion to frustration, then from sadness to anger. Various emotions began to bubble up onto the surface of her face, becoming visible.
“So… what do you plan to do after this?”
I didn’t understand the intent of the question.
“Plan to do…? I plan to continue loving all of you after this…”
“What are you talking about? Are you stupid?!”
When her anger was clearly exposed, I realized that I had made a mistake. I told her that since I had faith in her, but for her, that was an absolutely unforgivable line I had crossed.
“It’s insane to be in love with seven people at once! Don’t you plan to get married?!”
“I don’t have to get married. As long we love each other, there won’t be any problem.”
“Even though I thought about marrying you!”
She stared at me, tears streaming down her face, and picked up the pancake knife on the table. That was also a mistake. You shouldn’t eat pancakes while discussing important matters. I have learned my lesson.
I was so shocked when she swung the knife at me afterward. If I hadn’t avoided being stabbed, I would have charged her with assault and that would have been a disaster. I didn’t want to do that, and I didn’t want to get hurt in the first place, so I ended up running away from the scene.
I spent a few nights in an Internet café and when I went back home, she was no longer there. Over the next few days, I contacted my other lovers, but none of them were responding either. For some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to go see them. If one failed, the others would too. It was a relationship built on such a balance. I thought about starting over, so I moved places.
I moved to a new home in Tokyo, thinking that if I wanted to hide from someone, it would be in a crowded place. I had a lover at my old part-time job who knew everything about me, so I had no choice but to give an excuse to my boss and decisively handed in my resignation. But now, I have a new part-time job in Tokyo.
I still have a lot of money saved up from my previous part-time job, so I should be able to make it for a few more years on a reduced income. So it is better to go slowly in terms of job search. But the most pressing problem is this loneliness.
Before I moved, I could meet a woman almost every day. There was a sense of fulfillment in that life, like watching a lovely flower bloom. But what about now? After working part-time, I would go home alone, turn on the TV to hear someone’s voice, even though there was no particular program I wanted to watch, and go to bed alone when I got bored.
There is no appeal in this way of life. Nor do I have any confidence in myself. As I was watching TV and eating a strong-flavored side dish from the supermarket, I suddenly thought of something. It would be nice to be able to pick up a runaway girl at a time like this.
I remember the time when I still had my seven lovers, I happened to pick up a runaway high school girl who was sitting in front of a convenience store in my neighborhood. She had good looks and a large chest. When I brought her home, she immediately surrendered her body to me. Her body was soft, and her insides were tight.
However, unlike my other lovers, that girl did not want me at all. I was a little upset with the way she pretended to feel good, and the way she stared into my eyes but seemed to be thinking about something else entirely. I let her stay at my place for a few days, but when a girlfriend of mine insisted on coming over, I threw her out.
I was certainly living the life back then. Not having a woman by my side anymore is lonely and boring, but it can’t be helped. I guess it doesn’t matter if I don’t want myself right now at all. If I carefully let time pass, it’ll become a good thing. All of that aside, I just want to hold a woman who is soft and smells good. I thought about wanting to be free from the pain of not having any object of my affection nearby.
I made up my mind and put down my chopsticks.
“I’ll find myself a runaway girl.”
“Huh? A runaway girl?”
Asami-chan said with a blatantly furrowed brow.
“Yeah, a runaway girl. Have you seen one around here?”
“Nope, besides what are you going to do if you find one?”
“Well, I want to take her home with me.”
“Y’know, that’s a crime… You creep me out.”
Asami-chan shook her head with a look of disgust on her face. She is a high school girl who works part-time at the same convenience store. Her tanned skin and blond hair gave her the appearance of a gyaru, but contrary to that impression, she is morally upright. I’ve tried to ask her out for dinner several times, but she has always turned me down.
“Don’t you think I’m doing her a favor by offering her a place to stay?”
“I know what you’re thinkin’.”
“That can happen with men and women who live under the same roof, even if they don’t plan to.”
“That’s seriously creepy.”
Asami-chan seemed to think I was joking, and completely dismissed my words, but from the way she reacted, it seemed she really had no idea. I can easily see her thoughts through her eyes. It’s convenient because if you just ask her a question, you can find out most of what she knows.
“I see… there are no runaway girls here, huh?”
When I showed my disappointment, Asami-chan snorted.
“Why’re you so thirsty for girls?”
“I’ve had seven lovers, you know. And I lost them all at once. I can’t help but miss them.”
“Seven?! So like, one for each day? That’s freaking hilarious.”
It’s the truth, though.
Asami-chan, who didn’t seem to believe me at all, took the fried chicken out of the fryer with a laugh.
“The new girl’s the same age as me, but if you try to pick her up, I’ll kick your ass.”
When I heard Asami-chan say that, I tilted my head.
“Huh, you haven’t heard?”
As she put the fried chicken on the hot food display, Asami gave me a look.
“Y’know, there’s a girl who joined recently. Sayu-chaso… her name’s Sayu-chaso.”
“Oh, yeah… There are more names on the list now. So she’s the same age as you?
“Yep, and just so you know, she’s super cute.”
“Is that right? Sounds like fun.”
When I said that, Asami-chan furrowed her brow, even though she had said it herself.
“If you ever lay your hands on her, I’ll tear you apart.”
“Are you two close?”
“Quite close. We’re soulmates.”
Asami-chan easily becomes friends with anyone. I remembered that she immediately got along with the lady who worked part-time here before, something that I’m not capable of.
As I gave that vague response, I thought of this girl named “Sayu” who I had never met before. She is close to Asami-chan, so she must be a gyaru as well. Or she could be a weak-minded type of girl. I thought that would be better. If I push her enough, I might have her eating out of my hand.
After hearing the story from Asami-chan, while I had some delusions, I continued to work. As I changed out of my convenience store uniform at the end of my shift, I looked at the shift chart on the wall and saw that I was scheduled to work with a girl named “Sayu Ogiwara” the next day.
I couldn’t help but look forward to seeing her face now.
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