Kizaki Yuria loved everything about Yagami Kumi. She loved Kumi’s unending kindness that knew no bounds. She loved Kumi’s smile and the way that it lit her heart up. She loved when Kumi would wildly laugh at her jokes even when she knew they weren’t that funny. She loved the way Kumi would tease her about not quite knowing her multiplication tables (she was working on it) even though the older girl didn’t quite get them herself.
Yuria chewed slowly as she watched Kumi fiddle with her phone. The point of the matter was that she loved Kumi. But combined with the fact that she was one hundred percent sure that Kumi did not feel the same way about her and that Yuria was not someone who would so easily admit her feelings, it ended up being a secret that Yuria would always keep locked in her heart.
“Thinking hard over there?” Kumi chuckled, setting her phone down on the table.
“Always,” Yuria smiled widely, “Do you want to go somewhere after school?”
Kumi hummed and picked her phone back up, “I’ve already made plans with Kanon. Unless you want to come too?”
Yuria’s grip on the spoon tightened. Kanon. Kanon. She was so sick of hearing that girl’s name. It always used to be just her and Kumi. No one else. But ever since Kumi met Kanon, it’s been all about her. Yuria was not one to be this jealous but when it came to Kumi it was like she was a different person. Yuria hated it. She hated the way her feelings got the best of her. “No, it’s alright.” Yuria’s smile didn’t falter from her face, “I think Yuka wanted to see me anyways.”
“Ah,” Kumi looked disappointed for a split second and it made Yuria wish she did agree to going, “How’s Nakanishi?” Kumi asked politely.
“She’s great,” Yuria pushed her plate away from her. She knew she was being selfish. She had no right to be jealous of Kumi and Kanon when she herself had Yuka.
“I’m glad,” Kumi said sincerely, “The two of you are…nice together.”
Nice together? Yuria couldn’t help but laugh at that thought. If anything Yuka and her were anything but nice together. To those looking in from the outside perhaps they were and the two of them had no problem with upholding that image. When people would ask Yuria about Yuka she would gush for days about the older girl and Yuka would do the same. On the outside it was a relationship based on love. In reality it was nothing but a lie. A relationship based solely on loneliness. Loneliness was the only thing that tied Yuka and Yuria together. A way to trick the two of them into thinking they weren’t as alone as they thought they were.
Yuria looked away from Kumi’s eyes that seemed to bore into hers as if they were reading her every secret, “Thanks.”
Kumi simply nodded and turned back to her phone, humming an upbeat tune.
Nakanishi Yuka pushed open the door, the strong smell of alcohol and smoke hitting her face immediately. Yuka scowled as she navigated her way through the large bar. It was three in the morning and right now Yuka wanted nothing more than to be wrapped up in her warm covers. Instead she was standing in this dingy bar, cold and angry. Yuka clenched her jaw, finally approaching the bar, “Where is she?” She yelled to the bartender who was busying himself with making drinks for the couple of customers that sat around the bar.
The bartender looked up confused, “Are you the one who’s supposed to be picking up this girl?” He pointed over to the corner where said girl was currently passed out, her head pressed flat against the table.
“That’s her,” Yuka sighed, feeling the anger dissipate at the sight of the sleeping girl, “Thanks.”
The bartender nodded at her before returning to his work.
“Airin,” Yuka called out, gently nudging the girl’s shoulder. No response. Yuka sighed and nudged the girl harder, “Airin wake up. There’s no way I’m carrying you back home.”
Airi made a noise and shifted in the chair. Eyes still closed.
Yuka had to commend the girl on being able to fall asleep so deeply on such an uncomfortable looking chair. “Airin,” Yuka took her hands out of her jacket pocket and shook the younger girl’s shoulder.
Airi lazily peeled an eye open, “Yuka?” She slurred sleepily, “What are you doing here?”
“I’m here to pick you up,” Yuka crossed her arms over her chest.
“Pick me up? Why?” Airi lifted her head up from the table, wiping away at her mouth with the back of her hand, “I’m fine,” Airi insisted, stumbling out of her chair and almost falling flat on her face. Luckily, Yuka was standing close enough to the younger girl to stop her before she fell.
“Yeah, you’re obviously fine.”
“That doesn’t count. I tripped.” Airi steadied herself so she was standing up straight, “You didn’t need to come.”
“I’m here already,” Yuka shrugged, moving out of the way so Airi could step away from the chairs, “I was worried about you.”
Airi made a face, “Worried? Why?”
“You know why,” Yuka shot Airi a disapproving look, “This isn’t healthy.”
“You said it was normal before.”
“That was months ago, Airin.” Yuka shouted exasperated, “It’s been a year since the two of you broke up. I think it’s time to let it go.”
“It’s not that easy,” Airi sighed, eyes trained on the dirty floor that laid underneath them, “You don’t think I’ve tried to forget? I can’t forget. I can’t forget her.”
“Airin,” Yuka reached a hand out, gripping Airi’s hand with hers, “I’m sorry. I’m being insensitive again, aren’t I?” Airi was fragile right now and Yuka knew better than to lose her temper with the younger girl. But it was so frustrating to see this destroy her closest friend. To watch the girl she loved in ruins.
Airi stayed silent.
“Let me walk you home, okay?” Yuka pulled at the younger girl’s hand and Airi obediently followed.
“What’s wrong?” Yuria slung her arm around Yuka’s waist, nuzzling her face into the older girl’s chest.
“Nothing,” Yuka wrapped her arms around Yuria’s neck, a hand leisurely running through the younger girl’s hair.
“You’re thinking about Airi, aren’t you?” Yuria asked the obvious.
“And you’re thinking about Kumi,” Yuka shot back, not missing a beat.
Yuria simply chuckled, moving her head back to lay on the pillow. The younger girl lifted a hand and stroked Yuka’s cheek, feeling the soft skin under her fingers. Yuka closed her eyes, moving closer to the touch.
“Wrong. I’m thinking about you.” Yuria teased with a small smile.
Yuka broke out into light laughter, pressing her hand against Yuria’s, “That’s the first time I’ve heard that from you.”
“If only, right?” Yuria frowned. If only the world wasn’t as cruel as it was. In a perfect world she would have fallen in love with Yuka. In a perfect world she would be happy.
“We can pretend can’t we?” Yuka moved her hand back to lazily play with Yuria’s hair.
Pretend. Yuria was so sick of pretending. Pretending she loved Yuka. Pretending she was happy. For what sake but her own?
“Yuka,” Yuria said quietly, her voice quivering.
Yuria opened her mouth and stopped. Just as she had thought. She was too weak to let the words even leave her mouth. She didn’t love Yuka. No, but she needed Yuka. Yuka was all she had. Without her she had no one. She was alone with no one to comfort her but herself. Pretending was all that she had. “Nothing.”
Yuka looked at the younger girl concerned, “Are you sure?”
Yuria nodded, “Let’s pretend then,” Yuria breathed, pressing her lips against Yuka’s.
Yuria gripped the plastic tray in her hands. This was not what she had expected when she approached the table that Kumi and her usually sat at.
“Yuria!” Kumi smiled happily, her face bright.
Yuria recovered from her shock and reluctantly set her tray down onto the table before she followed.
“Sorry, I hope you don’t mind. I invited Kanon to sit with us.”
Kimoto Kanon waved silently, an equally large smile on her face, before bowing her head at the older girl.
“It’s fine,” Yuria forced out, voice strained.
“Are you sure?” Kumi asked, picking up on the usually upbeat girl’s odd behavior.
Yuria nodded, focusing her attention on the food in front of her.
“Should I leave?” Kanon whispered to Kumi, concerned.
Kumi shook her head, her eyes focused on the younger girl in front of her. Yuria had her moments but there was never a time where she was this downright rude. Kumi made a face, she had been excited to introduce Kanon to her best friend but seeing Yuria’s negative reaction made her regret the decision.
“I’m gonna go,” Yuria announced, standing up from her seat.
“Yuria, wait,” Kumi called standing up from her seat as well.
Yuria blatantly ignored the older girl and made her way towards the exit.
“I’m sorry, I’ll be back,” Kumi turned towards Kanon, who nodded, before running after Yuria.
It didn’t take long for Kumi to find Yuria as she stood right outside the closed doors that lead back into the cafeteria.
As soon as Yuria spotted Kumi she turned to walk away from the older girl.
“Hey,” Kumi reached a hand out, gripping Yuria’s arm to prevent her from getting away, “What’s wrong with you? You’ve been acting so weird lately.”
Yuria stayed quiet.
“Yuria,” Kumi walked around the younger girl so she was facing her, “What’s wrong?” Kumi reached out, cupping Yuria’s face between her hands and wiping away the tears that silently fell down Yuria’s face, “Is it Nakanishi? Did the two of you get into a fight?” Kumi asked gently.
Yuria closed her eyes. Please stop. She wanted Kumi to stop being nice to her. She wanted Kumi to stop caring about her. She wanted Kumi to stop giving her more reasons to fall in love with her.
“I’m sure you guys will make up,” Kumi continued with a small smile on her face, “She loves you, I’m sure she’ll-”
“Stop,” Yuria muttered, pushing Kumi’s hands away from her, “Stop!” She yelled much louder, catching the older girl by surprise, “Stop pretending like you know anything about how I feel.”
“You go around acting like you know exactly how I feel but you can’t even see the truth that’s right in front of you!” Yuria breathed in. She was sick of pretending, “I love you, Kumi.”
Kumi was taken aback by Yuria’s sudden confession and it showed on her face. Awkward silence enveloped the two girls.
Yuria stepped forward, grabbing Kumi’s hands with hers. She didn’t resist, “Kumi, please,” Yuria choked out, “Please tell me you love me too.”
“Y-Yuria,” Kumi looked up at Yuria, giving Yuria her answer.
“Please, Kumi. Don’t leave me alone.”
Kumi dropped Yuria’s hands and backed away, “I’m sorry, Yuria. I’m so sorry.”
Yuria silently watched as Kumi walked away. Away from her. Yuria buried her head in her hands, the quiet sobs wracking her body. She was alone with no one to wipe away her tears but herself.