Painted with Lies
My face, with makeup on, looked like I wasn’t myself.
But I was surprised because I thought I was going to do the makeup when I play the role of the um… beast. Do I have to do the post-magic beast part first?
… No, probably not.
I think Kirari just wanted to show off her skills.
Maybe she just wanted to show off her skills and be recognized.
“Ko-kun, you may not have a bad face after all.”
Normally, I would deny it, but seeing her like this, I couldn’t help but touch my head to the side. That’s how amazing Kirari’s skill was.
My lips are blood-colored, my cheeks are pure white, and my eyes are clear. Even my usually flat hair was set with a hairdressing product.
I had a feeling that I was a good-looking, neutral man.
“Well, Koi-kun has a thin face to begin with, so I thought he was the type of person who looks good in makeup~. Isn’t he nice? Makeup is a magic item that can transform a person~?”
Perhaps because of my praise, Kirari instantly became more talkative.
She seemed to be very happy.
“For example, if you are a woman and you want to be beautiful, you should make an effort to be beautiful every day. When I get praised for it, I might be really happy…Thanks, Ko-kun♪”
Why is she thanking me?
Why did she go out of her way to thank me when all I did was compliment her?
It seemed as if she wanted more praise.
How can she be so happy about something as trivial as my recognition?
It’s a very sad thing.
“…Do I look like me now, Kirari?”
Suddenly, I ask a question.
How do I really look to Kirari with makeup on?
The answer, of course, would be one thing.
“Huh? Umm, yes,… Ko-kun is Ko-kun, right?”
Kirari was puzzled by the sudden question, but she answered without comment.
It was still hard for me to watch her trying so hard not to offend me.
“I’m me, and no amount of makeup is going to change that. I am who I am, and no amount of makeup will change that. This is not something great. It’s just the norm, and it’s no good if this part changes.”
There is one thing that must not change.
That is “the way I am. After all, I am always living as me. I am a boring person like a mob character, but I am not trying to be a protagonist like Ryuzaki. I don’t even think of myself as a “protagonist” because that would be a lie.
But Kirari believes that this temporary appearance is the “real” one.
It is as if the appearance after applying makeup is the real thing.
Along with the cosmetics, she is painting a lie on herself.
“Yeah, I’m me, right? Then how about Kirari? Let me ask you just once. Who are you?”
Can she really say clearly that she is “herself” now?
“… I am me? Huh? That’s not true, it’s me, I’m …!”
Kirari was confused by the question.
Kirari as a junior high school student and Kirari as a high school student. She was not sure which one was her true self.
“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to change who you are. But if you change yourself so much that you forget who you are, there is no reason for you to be ‘Kirari Asakura’ anymore…That’s how you changed yourself for Ryuzaki, and that’s what Kirari is now… You look like a poor girl who doesn’t even know who she is.”
That’s right, she’s good at makeup.
It is no wonder that she is so good at making her false self believe that she is her real self.
But perhaps because of this, Kirari has lost sight of herself.
This is the cause of Kirari’s “weakness”.
It was the end of a poor girl who learned makeup, changed herself, and then lost herself.
“I’ll be honest. I liked the Kirari in junior high school.”
I can’t say for sure if I was in love with her or not.
But if I had to choose whether I liked her or not, I would definitely classify myself as liking her.
That is how much I liked Kirari Asakura.
But that was in the past.
“But I don’t like Kirari now.”
With these words, I left my seat.
I can’t talk to her anymore. I couldn’t look at the wounded Kirari.
It wasn’t that I wanted to hurt her.
I didn’t want to see her face like this.
No matter how much she betrayed me or cut me off, she was my friend to begin with.
“Thanks for the makeup. And I’ll see you tomorrow… I know it’s awkward after saying this. Let’s do what we have to do, with each other.”
I told her that in a clerical manner and was about to leave the empty classroom.
But Kirari … was still trying to hang on to me.
“Wait, wait! Um, are you mad at me? I’m sorry, okay? What did I do wrong? I’m not very smart, so I don’t understand what you’re saying…, but if I’m wrong, I’ll fix it. So, Ko-kun…, don’t give up on me.”
The voice is so faint that it almost makes me want to cry.
It hurts my heart to see such a Kirari.
Let’s not… do this kind of thing anymore.
“Oh, look! You haven’t put on your makeup for the part of the Beast yet, have you? I’m going to do it now, so sit down. I’m going to do my best… Ko-kun praised me too, didn’t he? I’m good at makeup.”
I shook my head at Kirari, who still tried to get my attention.
“I’m sorry. I know you’re good at it, so I’ll ask you to do that tomorrow… Something, I’m just tired.”
Saying this one-sidedly, I left the empty classroom at a quick pace.
When I think of Kirari, my heart aches.
But if I indulge her here…, this time I will betray Shiho’s feelings.
…I am sure that without Shiho, I would have accepted Kirari. I might have tried to take on her weakness just because we are former friends.
But I am glad I did.
Thanks to Shiho, I was able to reject Kirari clearly.
Otherwise, both Kirari and I would have gone down an unfortunate path.
Because it wasn’t because she liked me and was trying to impress me.
I would have had no choice but to try to ‘depend’ on each other because I had nothing to hang on to.
Eventually it would have turned into ‘co-dependence’ and we would have been tearing each other to shreds.
Really, thank goodness.
Thanks to Shiho, we were able to avoid that future.