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Side Story 2 – Mika’s Nightmare

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Author: SS Samurai Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: rm31439 English Source: Re:Library

Authors note:
Though this story was written as an April Fools, the contents are quite dark. If you’re not looking for something like that, or if you don’t want to read it, you probably shouldn’t do so.
It’s unrelated to the main story.

I feel sorry for Mika… but well, it’s an “it was all a dream”-ending, right? To be honest, the final scene was the only one I wanted to write.
I regret it. I won’t apologize for it, though.


“Then, Mika, shall we go to bed?”
“Yeah.”

Alim, or rather, Ayumu and I got into the same bed. I hugged the stuffed bear, I’d gotten from him, closely at my side. After we went under the covers, Ayumu and I gazed at each other’s faces.

At first, this had been quite embarrassing. However, since, one day, when I accidentally just told him to “from now on, please hug me closely”, I no longer blushed that much.
Nevertheless, it’s still somewhat embarrassing.

“Mika… I love you~.”
“Hey… that’s a bit sudden.”
“Eh-heh-heh, I wanted to give saying it a try. It’s fine, isn’t it? Because we’re… going out with each other.”
“W-Well, we are! Yeah. I love you too, Ayumu.”

Once every four days, we had an exchange like this. Each time I got surprised, I felt quite awkward, deep down. I was a good thing the room was currently dark. My face was surely glowing red.
For me, to be such a normie… Eh-heh-heh-heh.

“Then, Mika, good night.”
“Mh, good night.”

As he said that, he turned his back to me. Still, because, for some reason, he extended just his hand towards me, I grasped that delicate appendage. It seemed unthinkable, to have been from a man originally. It felt pleasant and a bit cool.

Alim squeezed my own hand back tenderly.

We had been under the covers for 20 minutes and had been holding hands for 15 of them. I closed my eyes completely…

_________
_______
____

“Sis… please wake up… I get how you’re feeling, but… it’s already noon, you know…”
“Mh… hm…?”

I woke up to a girl’s voice I knew well. The owner of that voice was Sakura, my little sister.

“Mh~, I’m awake, I’m awake. Good mor-…”

I fell quiet in the middle of my “Good morning”. No, I was struck speechless. Here, this room… this wasn’t the love nest Alim and I called home, it was my own room.

Moreover, he wasn’t next to me.

The stuffed bear was at my side, just like usual. But for some reason, the pillow was sopping wet.

It might be sweat… but it looks more like tears, doesn’t it?

“Sis?”
“Hey, Sakura… Where is Ayumu? He should have been next to me, right? Besides… why am I in my room? What about Anazumu?”

While Sakura shook her head strongly, she suddenly dropped to her knees and started to sob. I had no idea what was going on.

“Sis… Ayumu1 is… He’s no longer…”
“Eh… huh? Wha-?”

Wait, what is she saying?

“Sis! …Ayumu is no longer here, you know!? We, we just were at his funeral yesterday!”
“Wait, no… huh? Since I died too… we started over in Anazumu, we confessed to each other, we even made a promise to get married, we went on a date and kissed, we slept in the same bed, and yesterday evening we told each other ‘I love you’ before sleeping…”
“Sis…”

Sakura seemed to sympathize with me as she looked at me with compassion.

Eh, just what the what is this? A funeral…? Of whom? Of Ayumu?

“You’re not dead, Sis… You’re currently at home since you collapsed from shock in the middle of the funeral, and we carried you there… Besides, what’s this ‘Anazumu’…? It’s… awfully hard to pronounce, but… Sis, what is that?”
“No… that can’t be,” I couldn’t do anything but say that.

One, then two large teardrops unconsciously fell from my eyes.

“Sis, I think you had a dream…”
“No! Don’t call it something like that! It wasn’t some kind of dream, it wasn’t…”

Involuntarily, my voice had become so loud, even I was shocked. My face was already in disarray due to the tears, and my room, which I wanted to think of as an illusion, looked crumbled, as if I was seeing it through a warped mirror.

“Sis…”
“Shut… ub! …Ged oud! I don’d, I absolutely don’t believe it, I was togeder with Alim… with Ayumu! Dis is a dream! Dis is… Dis has to be!”
“…Mh, got it. I’ll leave for now, alright? If there’s anything, please call me,” Sakura said and left the room.
“Uh… Ayumu~… ah~… it’s a lie… dis, all this is a lie, right~?”

I pressed my face into the stuffed bear Ayumu had given me on my birthday last year. By doing that, I wiped off the tears, which, in turn, cleared up my messy field of vision.
As I am now, I probably fit right into this messed-up world.

Suddenly, I saw a smartphone with a pink covering. Moreover, attached to it was also a keychain I got from Ayumu. I took the smartphone and tried to look at it from all directions. Naturally, it wasn’t a Tozumaho, it was an authentic, real smartphone.

I unlocked the screen and saw it was 6 minutes after noon. Next, the date… If my memory was correct, it was 4 days after Ayumu’s death and the day after the funeral concluded.

“Ah… ah… no~…” I muttered, unable to speak.

Almost automatically, I opened the telephone app, if you could call it that. I couldn’t say, why I opened it. Ayumu and I had a personal chat there.

«As a punishment, I’ll take something from your lunch box!»2 

That was the last message I’d written.

“Ah… ah… ah~…”

Even though I was already sitting, I further lost all strength and my upper body languidly dropped onto the bed.

It’s useless, I can’t think of anything. This feels like some kind of déjà vu. This feeling of despair is like the one I tasted several months ago. This is a dream, it’s definitely just a dream.

_________
______
___

A smell of fried bacon and eggs. I opened my eyes to that smell.
As I surveyed my surroundings, I found myself on top of a bed.

“Of course… it was a dream!” I muttered without thinking.

However, I noticed something when I looked at my surrounding more carefully. For some reason, this was a single person bed. Additionally, from the landscape I could see through the window, it looked the same as the room in Uruto’s inn, “Hikari”.

Merely this was enough to give me a feeling wrongness.

However, what was even more strange, was that Alim’s and my beds weren’t next to each other and were instead separated by something that looked like a pane of glass. Moreover, the stuffed bear, that should always be at my side when I slept, wasn’t there.

Just what in the world does this mean?

For now, I went to the kitchen, where the smell of bacon was coming from. I noticed on the way, but I didn’t look like I did in Anazumu, but as I had in Japan.
What is going on?

When I finally arrived at the kitchen, Alim… no, Ayumu was there, making bacon and eggs. For one person. Additionally, he’d rolled up his sleeves and I couldn’t see the wound on his arm from when he had shielded me.

I understand this less and less. For now, let’s try calling out to him.

“Good… good morning, Ayumu.”
“…Tch!” he only clicked his tongue, not giving me any reply. He didn’t turn his face towards me for even a moment.
“H-hey, why are you ignoring me?” I asked, a bit harshly, since I was somewhat angry.

This time, Ayumu turned towards me, but he just glared at me silently.

“What’s going on? Ayumu… you’re weird. Do you have a headache? Look, just tell me…” I asked, while I closed in on Ayumu.

However, he pushed me away with his arm. To simply avoid an obstacle… his push contained too much force. For the first time in my life, Ayumu had treated me with violence.

Why? Did I do something wrong? Me?
“That hurts… Ayumu… What are you doing?”
“Shut up already. What’s wrong with you?”

When I thought, he would finally talk to me, those were his words. He then put the bacon and eggs onto a plate.

“What are you saying…? Ayumu, as I thought, something is weird. The Ayumu I know wouldn’t do something like this.”
“Hah… That’s right, you have flowers for brains, don’t you?”

He sat down on a chair and started eating. Naturally, there was no potion for me.

“…Ayumu? Do you maybe no longer like me?”
“No, how could I, when I never liked you to begin with?”

Those words were too much, what came from his mouth at me was way too cruel.

“Eh… T-Then why are we in this room together?”
“Because Mr. Uruto foisted you upon me? Honestly, I wasn’t happy about it, but I had to keep up appearances.”

Ayumu stuffed his mouth with bacon and eggs indifferently.

“Ayumu… do you hate me? Why would you hate me?”
“Hm? Oh, about that. You’re always crying and annoy me with everything you do, you see. Just because you’re my childhood friend? You’re acting so much like one, I can’t even get a girlfriend. You barge in when I’m in the middle of playing a game and get in the way. That’s what you’ve been doing since you got here. You’re nothing but a burden on me. I hate you, Mika. I wonder, don’t you hate me, too?”

Did he think like that about me? Did that confession and everything never happen? …Still, I couldn’t bear being hated by Ayumu. I had to tell him that I love him, at least.

“B-But I… I love you, Ayumu, you know? Whatever’s wrong with me, I’ll do my best to fix it… Besides, Ayumu… a-aren’t you a bit on edge currently, you know? Right? If you could be a bit more-” I was about to say.

He stood up from the chair, sent me flying and grabbed my hair. Then, he slowly dragged me along like that.

“Ow! It hurts! Please stop!” I yelled, but Ayumu didn’t look like he’d stop.

At last, we reached the rooms entrance. Then, he opened the front door and tossed me out into the corridor.

“Seriously, you’re being annoying. Get out! Go wherever you want!”
“Oh… no, stop, please wait!” I cried, while clinging to him. “Ayumu, I apologize! I apologize, so… please let me stay with you, I beg you… It’s enough if you just let me stay with you… T-that’s it, I’ll do anything for you, as long as I’m able to, right? That’s why, that’s why…”

He sent me flying a second time, this time with all his power.

“You’ll do anything? In that case, don’t show me your face again, will you? I’m not mad at you, or anything, you see? I simply don’t like you… Bye-bye!”

Then, he shut the door with great force, and I could hear the key being turned. I had hit my face and was bleeding. As my consciousness was fading, all I could think about was why this was happening to me…

______
___
_

“Mi… up!”
“Mika… -right? …p!”
“Mika, it’s alright, please wake up!”

I woke up to someone shaking my body. Next to me was Alim, who looked at my face with concern.
At my side was the stuffed animal he had given me.

Big tears fell from my eyes.

“Mika~! Good, you woke up! You were constantly crying out in your sleep. What was the reason?”

I looked at him with eyes that were probably quite red. My tears ran down even more.

“Alim… You’re… Ayumu, right? The real one?”
“Hm? Yep, that’s right?” Alim replied with an expression of confusion.
“I… I! Uwah~~!!” I cried.

It was probably the same as when I started over with him in this world.

“What’s wrong, what is going on?”
“Ayumu~ ah… Ayumu… do you hate me? I’m just a bother to you, right?”

He hugged me gently and started to stroke my back. I buried my face in his chest.

“Nah… I never thought that I hated you, you know. And you’re no bother, either. Please calm down again and tell me what happened.”
“Yeah… alright.”

I told him about the horribly realistic dream I just experienced. He carefully listened to my tale, asking questions every now and then.

“-and so it was just a dream…”
“I see, that’s why you were moaning in your sleep,” he said, while he tenderly caressed my face with his fingers.
“Yeah… I’m really sorry. I woke you up. I… either you hated me… or you were gone…”
“I don’t, I promise. It’s… because I love you, Mika,” he said, embracing me even more strongly.

I hugged him back.

“Ayumu… I… I love you, too.”

I feel warmth, both in my heart and my body.

It was the Ayumu I knew; my living, breathing, genuine childhood friend and beloved.


TL notes:
We’re starting volume 7 with an… April Fools chapter?

As the author writes at the start, this chapter is quite dark. Especially the middle part reminds me of depictions of domestic violence from the victim’s perspective.



 

Footnotes:

  1. Sakura calls him Ayumu-nii (“Big Bro Ayumu”).
  2. I slightly changed the version from chapter 41, since there was a translation error (well, this one isn’t 100% correct either; what she says is she’ll take a “side-dish from his bento”).
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