Side Profiles and Irises – Vol. 2 Ch. 7

Chapter 7: Love Rivals and Irises (7)




—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.

Shin wondered what was the best way to deal with someone who had confessed to him but wouldn’t give up despite rejecting them. This was the first time that Shin had ever experienced such a dilemma, plus he lacked the determination needed to confess to someone or to remain steadfast in the face of rejection—it was well beyond the bounds of his imagination. Furthermore, Tatsuki was the first person on the list of people whom Shin could turn to for advice… No way, no way, there was definitely no way that he could ever tell him.

A couple of possibilities for dealing with the situation had occurred to him: 1) it was all a dream, 2) he could leave it alone, 3) he could make Kotarou hate him, 4) he could attempt to change Kotarou’s mind. And so Shin spent the weekend mostly at home mulling over the options. Option #1… But it wasn’t the time to be running away from reality. Option #2 was in his view the easiest one for himself, but he had lied big time in saying that he was secretly in love with Tatsuki, and he would have to constantly worry about whether or not Kotarou would stumble into the truth whenever he interacted with Tatsuki. Option #3 would only make the people around them suspicious if things became awkward between them at work. So by the process of elimination, Option #4… It was the one that Shin had the least confidence in. However, Shin had to meet and talk to Kotarou face-to-face at least once in order to warn him not to say anything strange to Tatsuki.

Honestly speaking, this whole thing was a hassle. It was the weekend, and why should he have to spend his free time stressing out about the guy? Shin felt so wronged, like a car had come out to hit him as he crossed a street on a green light. He had invested so much time and effort to teach Kotarou everything that he knew, and this was how he paid him back? Shin wasn’t happy at all to hear that Kotarou liked him. But if Shin was asked if he hated him, then no, it wasn’t like that. Shin didn’t need Kotarou’s romantic feelings, but it wasn’t like he wanted him entirely out of his life.

Shin sighed again for god knows how many times this weekend. He had sent Tatsuki a message that said, I’m exhausted so I’m gonna relax at home this weekend, because he felt like he would immediately crack and spill everything to Tatsuki unless he first cooled his head down a little. He saw Tatsuki’s reply, Get some rest~, and it felt like something stabbed him in the heart. It wasn’t a lie that he was exhausted from his mountain of work, but in order to keep up one lie, he had to keep making more lies to protect it—and he certainly experienced the truth of this principle at work.

Shin apologized to Tatsuki’s icon, “I’m sorry,” and he got angry at Kotarou all over again. If only he hadn’t said or done anything weird. But Shin was also angry at himself for carelessly blurting out Tatsuki’s name even though he had been semi-unconscious at the time.

But despite everything, Shin couldn’t bring himself to hate Kotarou—and with that, once again he returned to the point where he had first started. It felt like his brain spun around and around like a washing machine, and he became all dizzy.




On Monday, Kotarou started his broadcast director training as planned. They had completely different workflows in preparing for the broadcast, and Shin was relieved that he didn’t have to meet him face to face. He had managed to act like an adult and exchanged greetings with him, and they went their separate directions for work. During the broadcast, they were split between the studio and the control room. There were monitors in the control room that allowed them to see the studio, but Shin was in the studio and there was no way to see the control room. He could hear their voices over the headset, but it was Kotarou’s first day of training, and of course he wouldn’t directly participate yet. Today was probably all observation for him.

Shin crouched down on the floor writing on his sketchbook the next set of directions following the clip. That was when he noticed out of the corner of his eye a camera cable that wasn’t coiled properly.

Take care of that.

Shin turned around to make eye contact with his target—and he searched the area for Kotarou. He immediately realized that Kotarou wasn’t here, and a camera assistant went to coil the cable for him. Shin went back to his sketchbook, but his right hand shook a little as he gripped the water-based marker. He was shocked that Kotarou was the first person to come to his mind even though there were other ADs around.

He ain’t here. I knew that.

But if Kotarou were here, he would have seen it right away and would have had it handled before Shin even noticed it. Because Shin was the one who taught him how to do the job, and Kotarou would, of course, ensure that Shin could do his with the least amount of interference possible. Kotarou had understood the working principles that guided their work, and from Kotarou’s position, if he made it easier for people to do their work, it made it easier on himself. There was no further meaning to his actions, Shin tried to tell himself.

After the broadcast and a review meeting in the studio, Shin went up to talk to Kotarou.

“Megumi.”

“Good evening. Great work today.”

Shin was annoyed that Kotarou acted as if nothing had happened, but if he had behaved strangely, it would only bring trouble to Shin. So how did Shin really want him to behave? No wait, he wanted Kotarou to give up on him. That was the most important thing here.

“Do ya still have work after this?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Okay then, I wanna talk to ya, so can we meet up? Ya remember how to get to my place?”

“Yes.”

“Come over at half past midnight. I’ll pay for ya taxi, so ask ’em for a receipt.”

“All right.”

Shin turned to leave after securing the meeting confirmation, and he almost let out a sigh of relief.

That’s right, why do I gotta be all nervous here?

Shin finished cleaning up the studio, and when he stepped out into the hallway, he received a LINE message.

“I’m waiting by the stairs.”

Everyone was heading to the staff room, and Shin made a U-turn to head in the opposite direction, taking a roundabout way to the emergency staircase. He went down a flight of stairs, and there was Tatsuki waving at him on the landing. Tatsuki had already changed into his own clothes, holding his bag in his hand, his full posture saying I’m ready to go home~

“Ya leavin’ now?”

“Yeah. Remember the dinner I had with the movie distribution company? Well, the president seemed to really like me, and he told me, ‘I’ll take you out to a members-only girls bar!’ So I’m going to Ginza to drink with him, but honestly, it’s such a hassle.”

“It’s justa quick subway ride.”

“Yeah, but still~ Oh, Nacchan, today…”

“Hmm?”

Tatsuki abruptly stared at Shin, his eyes not smiling, and Shin’s heart skipped a beat in response, but Tatsuki relaxed his gaze and said, “No, nevermind.”

“What is it?”

“I just thought that you still look pretty exhausted.”

“I ain’t that tired…”

“Really?”

Tatsuki pulled Shin by the hand to press him up against a wall and leaned down to almost trap Shin there and kissed him. It lasted for only a few seconds, but his heart roared with a sharpness different from excitement, and it hurt.

“…Dun do this at work.”

Shin was frightened that someone might see them, but he couldn’t do much of anything but complain about it afterwards. It was unfair of him, even though he knew that Tatsuki was the one who had much more to lose here than Shin.

“I just needed to recharge a bit.”

But Tatsuki acted as if nothing had happened, giving a “Bye, I’m heading off now,” as he pulled open the metal door and left. In order to put some time between them leaving, Shin leaned against the handrail and stared in a daze down the side the stairwell. His eyes followed the square-shaped spiral that got smaller and smaller, and he became dizzy again. Get a hold of yaself, he scolded himself, shaking his head to clear it.

Kotarou arrived at half past midnight, perfectly on time. Shin wouldn’t offer him tea to be hospitable, but he also felt awkward for getting straight down to business. Anyway, he hadn’t even rehearsed how he was going to start the conversation, and when Shin let Kotarou into the apartment, he ended up asking him a harmless question about work.

“How did the broadcast director trainin’ go?”

“Hmm… Well, I didn’t really do much today except stand behind Asano-san and watch him give instructions.”

“Oh, okay.”

“You don’t get much of a sense of it just listening to them over the headset in the studio, but you can really feel the murderous tension in the control room when you’re actually there. They kept yelling if the video was done yet or what the status of the captions was… I was on pins and needles the entire time. It really felt like a TV control room.”

“Well yeah, the purpose of the studio is to keep the presenters from sensin’ the tension in the control room.”

Everyone shared a sense of urgency and pressure on the job, but by no means could they alarm and distress the presenters. No matter what happened, they would support and have their backs—Shin believed that building this sense of trust between the floor staff and the presenters was the very heart of the studio’s role.

“Was everything all right in the studio today?”

Shin replied with a “Huh?” in disbelief at Kotarou’s question. “Whatta ya mean was everythin’ all right? Ya sayin’ that nothin’ gets done without ya around? When’d ya become the backbone for the show, huh?”

“What? N-No, that’s not what I meant. I wasn’t trying to be cocky. It was just that you had lost a member on the team after all.”

“We worked just fine without ya before ya came, so yeah, we added an additional person for a while, but now we’re backta normal.”

“Oh, okay…”

Oh, crap.

Shin immediately felt bad for phrasing his words like Kotarou was an unwanted burden. Shin was the one who had called Kotarou over, but here he was saying mean things to him. That was why he tried adjusting his remark.

“Well, everythin’ was fine. Durin’ the broadcast, I did end up lookin’ for ya for a bit. But it was just the one time, okay?”

In response, Kotarou, who was sitting on the floor with his legs crossed, covered his head with both hands in anguish. His behavior was always so abrupt that it startled Shin every time when it happened.

“Ahhh~!!”

“W-What’s with ya?”

“That’s my line! Seriously, what is with you acting all cold at first and then so soft and sweet!? Seriously, you just go from cold to soft!”1

“Whatta ya mean goin’ from cold to soft? Dun look at my behavior like that!”

“To begin with, you’re a little strange, Nawada-san. I mean, aren’t you being pretty careless here?”

“Whatta ya mean?”

“I just confessed to you on Saturday, and you call me over to your apartment the following Monday? You’re too defenseless.”

“It ain’t like I can talk to ya ’bout this at work or at a restaurant.”

“…Could it be that you don’t take me seriously?”

Kotarou put both hands on the floor and leaned in towards Shin who was sitting directly in front of him. Crap, Shin realized that he should have put a table or something between them.

“You know that you could be attacked here in a situation like this. This is your fault, Nawada-san.”

“Dun be stupid!” Shin smacked Kotarou over the head.

“Just ’cause ya alone in a room with someone who rejected ya, ya think that ya can attack ’em!? What the hell’s with that logic!? It just makes ya friggin’ trash. Just ’cause someone’s weak an’ can’t defend themselves from someone stronger than ’em, that makes it their fault? That kind o’ talk is for cowards, an’ I hate it. If ya try to do anythin’ weird, I’m gonna yell, punch, kick, an’ bite with all I’ve got. An’ if I hafta, I’ll brin’ out a knife if that’s what I gotta do.”

“Nawada-san, I love you.”

“Listen to me when I’m talkin’!!”

“I’m listening,” Kotarou argued with a serious-looking expression. “Whenever you’re angry, you always put your whole being into what you believe to be right, and there’s always a consistent reason for it… Somehow, I just can’t hold myself back when I see you like this.”

Kotarou clenched his fingers tightly against the wooden grain of the floor, and Shin understood from this single gesture that he wasn’t lying.

“…I ain’t sayin’ anythin’ special tho.”

“But I believe that only you can say these things, Nawada-san.”

“Ya just biased… Anyway, seriously, why me? We’ve only known each other for like a month.”

“How long did it take for you to fall in love with Minagawa?”

“Huh?”

Uh, I guess it was ’bout a month…? Shin replayed in his head the times that they had shared since they first met. And of course, the scenes were strewn with elements that made his heart race even to this day.

“Hey! What are you turning all red for!?”

“‘Cause ya said somethin’ weird! …Anyway, I’ve always liked men to begin with. But ya different from me.”

“Just because someone had never liked them before, does that mean that they can never like them ever? That’s just ridiculous. You’re free to not like me if those are your personal feelings, but I’m free to have my own feelings, and they’re telling me that I like you. I’m not a child, and I can tell the difference between being in love and deeply respecting someone. Why should I have to deny even the existence of my feelings for you? You have no right to demand that from me, Nawada-san. It’s rude and offensive. I would rather have you tell me, ‘You’re disgusting, stay away from me.’”

“‘Ya disgustin’, stay away from me.’”

“Ahhhhhh!!” Kotarou screamed out loud again when Shin recited the words back to him. “Are you seriously saying that!? Are you a demon? Are you!?”

“Ya the one who told me to say it.”

“I said no such thing!”

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry, so quiet down, ‘kay? It’s the middle o’ the night.”

Shin had no choice but to dodge Kotarou’s direct and honest feelings this way. He thought that Kotarou was much more consistent than himself, who was a liar and a coward.

“Ummm, what did I call ya here for again? Oh right, um…”

Shin placed a hand to his forehead as he subtly averted his eyes and touched on the subject that he wanted to talk about. It shouldn’t be that unreasonable of a request.

“Can ya not bring up any o’ this complicated stuff to Minagawa? This stuff ’bout me an’ the stuff ’bout ya?”

“Excuse me?”

“Ya know… Stuff ’bout likin’ people… If ya say anythin’ dumb to ’im, an’ things turn awkward between us, I’m gonna blame it on ya.”

Shin added a small threat to his words, and Kotarou nodded, saying “I understand.” Shin felt relieved to hear his reply.

“Thanks. Oh, here’s ya taxi fare. Is 5,000 yen2 for a round trip enough? Where d’ya live again?”

This time Kotarou shook his head.

“No, it’s fine. Don’t worry about the taxi fare, but could you come have a late dinner with me? I’m starving.”

“Huh? Again?”

“In exchange for keeping my mouth shut.”

“Are ya threatenin’ me?”

“It’s just this one time. I promise.”

“…It better be.”

Shin felt bad for calling Kotarou out after work, saying what he needed to say, and then kicking him out. That was why he got up to pull on a hoodie. They headed into a neighborhood izakaya together, and Kotarou started ordering things left and right.

“Oi, I can’t eat a lot right now.”

“Please don’t worry about it, I’ll take full responsibility for everything.”

Kotarou was the same as Tatsuki, able to work up an appetite no matter what time of day it was, and Shin smiled a little.

“What happened to Minagawa today? He disappeared right after the broadcast,” Kotarou asked once their beers arrived.

“What? So ya feel like investigatin’ ’im?”

“No, that’s not what it is!”

“He said that some president o’ a movie distribution company invited him out to a members-only girls bar in Ginza or somethin’.”

“Oh, they probably went to Touhou,” Kotarou answered as he meticulously folded the disposable chopsticks wrapper to make a chopstick rest for himself. This side of him was completely different from Tatsuki.

“Apparently there are bars who hire girls who are up-and-coming actresses or girls who are trying to become one. It’s supposed to be safer than working for a hostess club and then later getting written about in a tabloid after becoming famous.”

“Hnnn, ya know a lot ’bout this.”

“I know someone who was temporarily assigned to work on some of their TV commercials, so that’s how I heard some of this info… The rumor is that the girls at Touhou are really incredible.”

“Hnnn.”

Shin hadn’t intended for his tone to sound particularly annoyed, but Kotarou suddenly sat up straight and apologized.

“I’m very sorry.”

“Huh?”

“I just realized that I had said something insensitive… Oh, but I heard that no one’s allowed to touch the girls outside of the bar!”

“What the? Is that supposed to be a follow-up?” Shin bursted into laughter. “I dun worry about every lil’ thing. There’ll be no end to it if I start agonizin’ over everythin’ he does for work.”

“I would turn it down,” Kotarou declared shamelessly. “If I were dating you, I would turn down all the parties and dinners with other people.”

“Are ya a dummy?”

“I’m being serious.”

“Says the guy who dumped his girlfriend to chase after Minagawa…”

“Hey, I said it wasn’t like that.”

“Enough.”

Shin pressed the beer mug covered in condensation up against Kotarou’s cheek to shut him up. Inside his heart, Shin was arguing, Minagawa would do the same. If Shin had said that he didn’t like it, that he didn’t want him to go, then Tatsuki would surely listen to him. But Shin had fallen in love with the Tatsuki whom everyone liked, the Tatsuki who would go out to all these different places—and that Tatsuki had found Shin, had taken his hand, and pulled him along with him.

Shin ended the conversation about Tatsuki, slowly eating and drinking at about a third of Kotarou’s pace when he noticed something.

“Hey, ya have some dark circles under ya eyes.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Uh, they ain’t gonna go away if ya rub them. Were ya busy over the weekend? Sorry for callin’ ya out then.”

“No, I think that it was because of a dream that I had last night, and I couldn’t really sleep.”

“Ain’t that proof that ya tired?”

“I don’t think that it was the case here,” Kotarou replied. A small sizzle platter of buttered corn had arrived, and he started piling it on his rice. “I had a dream about you and Minagawa doing dirty things together.”

“Wha— Whaaat!?”

Shin was glad that he didn’t have anything in his mouth. That was the only good thing that he could say about this situation. What the hell was Kotarou tellin’ him?

“I woke up grinding my teeth so hard that I probably could have broken them. But I was surprised. You really can get erections in full depression. It was like despair and arousal all jumbled up together… Ow.”

Shin used a rolled-up wet towel in place of a paper fan to smack Kotarou over the head.

“Ya say one more word ’bout it, an’ I’m leavin’!!”

“But you were the one who showed up in my dream…”

“I’m gonna punch ya. Ya tryin’ to pick a fight with me?”

But Kotarou continued on, not cowed in the least. “I didn’t change my mind at the sight of a man’s body at all.”

Well, yeah, it was only a dream—but Shin had a feeling that if he said something like that without thinking, Kotarou would announce something like, Well let’s try it for real then. Anyway, what the heck did Kotarou dream about? Yeah, it was only a dream, but in reality, Shin actually did do “dirty things” together with Tatsuki. Kotarou didn’t send out a vengeful spirit or something, did he? But that was too crazy of a thought.

“Ya really the worst…”

Shin had to cool his cheeks down repeatedly with his beer mug.

“I’m sorry.”

“But ya really not.”

“Well, you are cute when you blush, so I feel like I made a profit.”

“Okay, enough, shut up.”

“In all seriousness, can you never consider me as an option?”

Shin wondered if the way that Kotarou could suddenly slip in a serious look, that this disconnect or this change in his tempo—if this was the true Kotarou. Or was it just the necessary tactics of a man in love? Tatsuki would probably know, but Shin couldn’t differentiate the two, so he just replied, “Never.”

“Even though you said that I wasn’t inferior to him?”

“I was just speakin’ generally. To me, ya inferior to ’im.”

“How much would you say, for example?”

“How much…?”

Shin let his gaze wander and decided to use what his eye landed on as a point of comparison.

“…Um, well, if ya corn, then Minagawa is giant corn? I guess?”

In response, Kotarou placed his face on the table as he tried to stifle his laughter.

“There’s not a huge difference…”

“Why not!? Giant corn is so much bigger!”

“You should say something like the difference between corn and gold here.”

“Okay, that then.”

“Okay, that then? …Oh my god, you’re killing me here, Nawada-san.”

Kotarou wiped his eyes repeatedly—maybe he had laughed hard enough to tear up. But once he calmed down, he scarfed down the rest of the food in front of him and pressed his hands together.

“Thank you for the meal. And thank you for accompanying me this late.”

Look, he’s doin’ it again.

Just when Shin would think that Kotarou was hounding him, he would back off just as easily. It wasn’t that Shin felt frustratingly unsatisfied, but it knocked him off of his bearings, and he answered with a bewildered “Oh, okay” as Kotarou smiled at him again. It was a much quieter smile this time, one that seemed to rise up from the tips of his toes, immersing Shin in water before he realized it.

“You know, I do fear that you may hate me if I get too persistent with my advances.”

“…Hnnnn.”

Shin could only make a sound of acknowledgement that made Kotarou think that he was disinterested in him. If he became too persistent, it would be irritating, and it made Shin mad. But even still, Shin couldn’t hate Kotarou—but did that make Shin unfaithful or deceitful? But that was for Tatsuki to decide. In that case, Shin was in the wrong from the moment when he decided not to say anything to Tatsuki.

Crap, I’m gettin’ dizzy again.

The inside of his head was spinning like a roulette wheel. No, wait, maybe it was more like a prize wheel integrated into a dart board. The one with different prizes and outcomes written on it. You lose. 100,000 yen.3 Trip to Hawaii. Scrub brush. He had no idea where his dart would land with the wheel rotating.

“—Nawada-san.”

“Huh?”

At the sound of Kotarou’s voice, the wheel suddenly froze into a standstill. It was completely white with nothing written on it.

“I want to say this clearly so that you don’t misunderstand me. Just because you’re a man lover, Nawada-san, that doesn’t mean that I—”

“Who the hell’s a man lover!?” Shin yelled out loud, even though this izakaya was located in his own neighborhood.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I meant that ‘you like men.’ It seems like my Japanese sense is still a little off…”

“Ya said it on purpose, I bet.”

“It’s a misunderstanding. Umm, what I wanted to say is… I don’t think that you’re someone who’s convenient or easy or simple to seduce. I don’t think of you like that.”

“…My answer ain’t changin’ just ’cause ya an honest an’ sincere guy.”

“Yes, I know,” Kotarou answered, looking directly at Shin as he nodded. 

Shin wondered, How can ya sit there without cowerin’? Dun it hurt to hear these words said to ya face? Ain’t it hard? If Minagawa ever says these words to me, I dun think I could ever get up again.

Shin grabbed the check and got out of his chair. He paid the bill and left the place, but when Kotarou chased after him and called out “Nawada-san,” Shin kept his back to him as he answered, “What?”

“Umm, it is very difficult for me to say this, but… Could you please watch me until I get into a taxi?”

“Huh?”

Shin scowled with everything he had as he turned to look at Kotarou.

“Um, well, 2 am is the golden hour for, you know…”

What the hell do ya mean? 

But well, Shin knew exactly what Kotarou meant. Shin sighed wearily, but he was glad that the mood between them had eased, and that was the truth.

Thank ya, ghosts.

“Oh, there’s a vacant taxi comin’. I dunno if the driver’s alive though.”

“Seriously, please stop saying things like that!!”

Since Kotarou had asked, Shin watched as the taxi disappeared into the distance. He didn’t really know when to stop, and he stood there waving his hand for a while, and seen from the outside, maybe Shin was the one who had been scared. The tail lights rapidly grew smaller and melted into the night.

A LINE message from Tatsuki came that said, It’s finally over~! Shin hesitated a little, but he decided to call him.

“Hey, ya must be tired. Are ya home already?”

“Nahh, I’m in a taxi heading back.”

“How was the bar?”

“I got to drink a ton of expensive alcohol~”

Tatsuki sounded like he was in a good mood, having enjoyed himself.

“…Were the girls pretty there?”

“Huh? Hmmm, well, yeah, they were beautiful, but if you go by their hair, clothes, and makeup, everyone’s pretty much beautiful? Anyway, when it comes to professional women, I see them as doing their jobs to keep the party lively, so I don’t really pay attention to them.”

The answer was clear-cut and very much something that Tatsuki would say.

“What’s wrong, Nacchan?”

“Huh? Whatta ya mean?”

“Well, before today, you’ve never asked about the girls at the work parties and dinners I had.”

“It’s nothin’. I just felt like it… It’s just…”

“It’s just…?”

“It’s just… jealousy…”

Wahh, I actually said it.

Shin was sure that Tatsuki must have known about his feelings from the beginning, but then he heard Tatsuki say, “Huh? Seriously?”

“Didna ya know already, an’ that’s why ya always tell me everythin’ ’bout ya plans?”

“I’m just surprised that you could come out and say it, Nacchan.”

“Yeah, sorry… I know it’s a lot to take on. It’s suffocatin’.”

“Hey, hey, Mr. Driver! Listen to this~ The cutie I love is all flirty with me over the phone right now!”

Shin panicked, going “Wait, wait, what the heck are ya reportin’ to the driver for?” On top of that, he heard the driver respond just as happily, “What? Really? Oh, are you going to see her then?”

“Oh, I wonder if I should~”

“No, ya dun hafta come!”

Shin tried his best to muffle his voice so that the driver wouldn’t find out that it was a guy on the other end of the line.

“Whaaat~? You’re always playing with a man’s heart like that~”

“I’ll see ya in ’bout a half a day, okay?”

“But the Nacchan at the office isn’t the Nacchan I can have all to myself.”

That’s rich, comin’ from ya, Shin thought. I feel it a hundred times more acutely than ya will ever feel it.

“Nacchan, what are you doing now?”

“Wa—”

Just as he tried to say, Watching TV, a truck honked its horn loudly as it drove by.

“Hmm? What did you say? Are you outside?”

“Yeah.”

Crappp. Shin’s heart was pounding in a very bad sense of the word. Didna I just naturally try to lie right now? This is terrible, I can’t get used to hidin’ things from ’im.

“…I just finished eatin’ out with Megumi, an’ now I’m headin’ home.”

“Oh, okay.”

Shin was relieved that Tatsuki didn’t sound too worried, but his heart wouldn’t stop pounding. What would happen if this kind of thing kept happening? Would the little white lies keep piling up until one day his bill came due and he had to pay up? But even if that were the case, if he were to confess everything to both Tatsuki and Kotarou, he still couldn’t imagine how things would turn out, and that frightened him.

God, I really hate this. My nerves ain’t gonna last.

“…Oh, yeah, Nacchan. Hey, are you listening?”

“Oh, sorry. I kinda spaced out for a second. What is it?”

“You know the group of friends that you met the other day? Well, they want to meet up for drinks again, but this time they want Kota to come along too. Are you free this Saturday night?”

“Yeah, I’m free.”

Shin gave an immediate answer as a side effect of the guilt that he felt just now, but he really didn’t feel like going. That group of people would probably make him even more anxious.

“…But wouldna I be in the way if I went?”

“Huh? No way. They’re the ones who told me to invite you. Anyway, they probably just want to mess with Kota.”

Just a week earlier, Shin probably would have thought that it would be fun too.

“Oh, I’m almost home. I’ll message you later~ Good night.”

“Okay, good night.”

What do I do?

Shin felt like that question was all he thought about these past couple of days. Tatsuki probably wouldn’t care if he declined to go, but Tatsuki would be there with Kotarou, and even if there were other people at the gathering, Shin was scared that Kotarou might leak something to him if Shin wasn’t there. Shin had just given Kotarou a warning, and it wasn’t like Shin didn’t trust him, but sometimes Kotarou could do something outrageously stupid, and if he decided to do something there, Tatsuki was sharp enough to pick up on the clues that would lead him to the truth. If he was going to be scared whether he attended or not, then he should buck up and prepare himself to face it. As he headed home agonizing over what to do, he promptly received a LINE message from Tatsuki.

“It’s cold out tonight, hurry on home, okay?”

“Okay,” Shin replied without thinking. He was happy. The person he loved loved him back and treated him so well. So why couldn’t Shin just focus all of his thoughts on Tatsuki and ignore all of the other outside interference? He didn’t like Kotarou that way one bit, and he didn’t know why he had to struggle so hard like this.




—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.

Translation Notes

  1. Yes, Kotarou is calling Shin a tsundere, lol.
  2. 5,000 yen – Approx. $50 USD.
  3. 100,000 yen – Approx. $1,000 USD.
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6 thoughts on “Side Profiles and Irises – Vol. 2 Ch. 7”

  1. Ahhh, so many terrible decisions here. 🤦‍♀️ But despite the withholding of the truth and the lies told to protect Tatsuki from being outted, Shin does make it clear in no uncertain terms that he’s not interested in Kotarou. And though Kotarou does try to toe the line, he doesn’t cross it any further when Shin tells him to back off.

    Oh, Shin, you really picked the wrong timing to point out to Kotarou that maybe he never really liked the girls all that much who were in love with Tatsuki. 😅 Kotarou has to be stubborn and a masochist. 😅

  2. Haha he’s so persistent, Shin is just too kind for his own good.. lies whatever kind they are would always be heavy.. gambatte xD

    Thanks for the chapter!!!~ 🙇🙇🙇🙇🙇

    1. The part where Shin wonders if Kotarou feels hurt about all of the rejection. 😥😥😥

      Thank you for commenting as always~❤❤❤

      1. Yeah.. he’s too pure (must protect bb) but if Tatsuki manage to know all of these.. hell would break lose T.T

  3. I don’t really like how Shin is lying to Tatsuki. I know he’s not cheating and he did reject Kouta, but it still feels like I’m reading about someone who’s about to cheat haha. Thanks for translation as always!

    1. Lying to Tatsuki is absolutely a betrayal, which is probably why it feels similar. I think what I appreciate about this author is that she allows her characters to be human and make mistakes. She forces them to face the consequences of those mistakes, which allows them to grow and become better. We know Shin to be insecure, a little petty, and a bit of coward—and though part of his lies is to protect Tatsuki, he becomes more aware that he’s lying to also protect himself because he doesn’t want to be the bad guy here. This is something he has to overcome and learn from. Shin is still young and inexperienced. It’s messy, and it’s hard, but I think it’s better to go through this process than not.

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