Reset My Favor and Live a Normal Youth Volume 1 Chapter 14

 
Episode 14: “My Beloved Childhood Friend”
 

 
“You suddenly started running, and it surprised me!”
 
“S-Sorry.”
 
Despite running for so long, my breath didn’t catch up, yet my heart was pounding. I suspected illness, but I knew that wasn’t it.
 
“Well, it’s okay. We stayed quite late, so let’s head back. It’s good we could find Tanaka san’s present.”
 
“Yeah, it was a splendid purchase.”
 
The city was already dark. We headed to the station. No need for arrangements; she’s a childhood friend from the neighborhood. We go home together when we go out.
 

 
On the way there alone, on the train back, Hanazono sat next to me. Perhaps tired, she dozed off. Before I knew it, her head was on my shoulder. I tried not to move.
 
“Fuga…”
 
“Hmm, not a very cute snore.”
 

 
We used to play together a lot in kindergarten. I don’t remember those memories now. Perhaps I erased them—resetting, erasing even memories. A past where the Reset didn’t work well.
 
Still, Hanazono understood my Reset without a hitch. Maybe something similar happened in our past?
 
Unfortunately, searching through the drawer of memories doesn’t reveal much. Let’s forget about this.
 
But when I reunited with Hanazono, I felt a nostalgic scent.
 
I still strongly sense that scent…
 
[Next stop is Ichigaya—]
 
…Ah, we’re already arriving at the station. No signs of Hanazono waking up. Or rather, she might be tired, so I don’t want to wake her. In that case—
 
I gently lifted Hanazono without waking her up. Her body was surprisingly light. I held both my belongings and Hanazono with both hands as we got off the train.
 


 
At the nearest station, relief washed over me. Unfamiliar places are tiring. It’s a quiet residential area, a student district, and a business district.
 
“Hey, look at that. She seems so happy, huh?”
 
“Is she drunk? Anyway, it’s pretty lively around here.”
 
“Darn it, those lovey-dovey students. Acting all lovey-dovey.”
 
“They walk pretty fast, huh?”
 
I tried not to pay attention to the surrounding gazes. That’s my secret to living. Still, Hanazono must be really tired. She’s sleeping soundly while snoring.
 

 
“…Ugh…”
 
Hanazono’s eyes opened slightly. I stopped.
 
“Awake, huh. Can you stand?”
 
“Uh… Wait a sec.”
 
Hanazono closed her eyes again. Seems like she doesn’t quite understand the situation.
 
—Let me explain.
 
“Hanazono fell asleep on the train and I didn’t want to wake you up on the train, so I carried you off the station.”
 
“Ah, I understand… Wait, no! Why are you carrying me like a princess! You could have just woken me up!”
 

 
“S-Sorry…”
 
I indeed messed up. It didn’t work out well in the end. Should I have just woken her up?
 
Various scenarios rapidly unfolded in my mind. But carrying her was still the optimal solution for me.
 
I gently let Hanazono stand on the ground. She must be angry. Contrary to my expectations, Hanazono spoke calmly.
 
“…It’s fine.”
 
“But, Hanazono seems angry.”
 
“I’m not angry. …Ugh, I can’t stay the same as before. …It’s just… I was embarrassed.”
 
“R-Really? The previous Hanazono would have been furious.”
 
“That’s because the previous Hanazono was embarrassed too, dummy!”
 
Indeed, I didn’t sense anger from Hanazono. Her face turned a bit red, and she mumbled. That expression on Hanazono’s face was from times she felt happy.
 
“Enough. Let’s go home quickly.”
 
Hanazono started walking, turning away.
 

 
At that moment, I suddenly felt nostalgic. Words emerged from my invisible memories—
 

 
“W-Wait, Hana-chan—”
 
“Huh?”
 

 
Hanazono turned around in surprise. I felt like those words weren’t mine. It was a tone as if I were a child.
 
“Do you remember?”
 
“N-No, those words just came out. …Sorry. I don’t know why I called you ‘Hana-chan.'”
 
“I see. Let’s go, Tsuyoshi.”
 
Hanazono’s gaze seemed to be looking at someone other than me.

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On the way home, our conversation dwindled. Our pace naturally slowed.
 
I thought I failed at the last moment, but it’s a relief. It was a bit regrettable to part like this. Going out with Hanazono was a lot of fun.
 
I wished for more days like this.
 

 
–If only I were more normal.
 

Suddenly, guilt squeezed my chest.
 
If I were ordinary, Hanazono would be happier.
 
Why… couldn’t I understand… people’s hearts?
 
The voice in my heart suddenly shouted.
 
Conflicts arose that were unthinkable from my usual self.
 
Hanazono seemed to sense my abnormality and peered at my face.
 
“Hey, you okay? Your face…doesn’t look good.”
 
The words that there’s no problem didn’t come out.
 
I felt pathetic and regretful about my own existence.
 

 
“It would have been better…if I couldn’t reset.”
 

 
I feel like my face is going to start sweating again. It’s okay, I can endure it. Enduring is my specialty. I’ve always, always endured. Enduring is a matter of habit. I can endure anything. So it’ll be fine this time too. If I take deep breaths, calm will return to my heart. I don’t want to ruin my precious date with Hanazono at the very end. I just have to force the sweat from my eyes to stop.
 
…Yet I can’t get it to stop. Why?
 
A soft sensation touched my back–
 
Hanazono gently patted my back.
 

 
“It’s okay, it’s okay. –Tsuyoshi won’t change even if you reset. Your important memories will surely remain. …And you’ve grown properly! …See, I’ll be by your side–things will go well with Tanaka san too!”
 

 
My chest hurt.
 
It was different from that time’s pain.
 
It wasn’t the pain of being hurt. It was pain I had created.
 
Thinking that I had hurt Hanazono because of me pained my heart. If I had been normal, that never would have happened. That thought makes my heart ache. An extraordinary pain.
 

 
Hanazono earnestly rubbed my back. The spot where her hand touched felt warm. The pain seemed to be soothed.
 
I forced out my voice, ignoring the pain.
 
“Hanazono–“
 
“What? You don’t feel good? Are you okay? “
 
I took out the package from my bag. Until now, birthdays had been unimportant to me. Because it wasn’t a special day to me. I realized on my own that Hanazono’s birthday was a special thing.
 
So I secretly bought this–
 

 
“Your birthday already passed but please accept this.”
 

 
The movement of Hanazono’s facial expressions stopped. Her body shook a little. Her eyes looked damp, it wasn’t my imagination.
 

 
See reality. Reflect on your actions. Infer the other person’s feelings. Step into Hanazono’s heart–
 

 
“Hanazono is my precious friend. –Thank you…for always being there, since long ago. That’s how I feel.”
 
Hanazono took the present with shaking hands and unwrapped it.
 
When the strap came out, she covered her mouth with her hand.
 

 
“Tsuyoshi…I, hic…I remembered the birthday. I didn’t say anything because I thought you forgot again… So that’s why, hic, you…Tsuyoshi…”
 

 
“No, I didn’t want to make you cry. I wanted to make you happy–“
 
Seeing the blubbering me, Hanazono laughed.
 

 
“…Idiot…wrong. I’m crying because I’m happy, so happy. Tsuyoshi, thank you. I’ll treasure this forever.”
 

 
I couldn’t take my eyes off Hanazono–
 
I could tell my heart was racing and my body temperature was rising.
 
Because Hanazono’s smile was so incredibly beautiful–
 
My self-deprecating heart was sealed away, and for some reason I wanted to hug Hanazono.
 
My body moved on its own.
 
“Huh?”
 
But hugging her would be too embarrassing so–I took Hanazono’s hand and started walking–somehow, it felt like long ago. I don’t remember but it must be hidden in my memories.
 
“Hurry up and stop crying, Hanazono.”
 
“Idiot, you’re the one crying.”
 
“I’m not crying. This is sweat.”
 
“What are you saying. Honestly…”
 
While looking at the strap and held hand happily, Hanazono smiled at me. Despite the different distance between us than before, I definitely felt like we had progressed somehow.
 
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scene transition
 
 


 
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