My Love Feels All Wrong
Preface: With the advent of the final volume of the light novel series “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru”, or Oregairu, there is discourse in the community regarding the ending. I’ll be transparent and say that this proposed ending is what I believe the most appropriate ending to be considering the various themes discussed in the series. That said, I am still not completely up to date on the recently fan translated volumes so hopefully my information won’t be rendered irrelevant…
Setting the stage:
“In the end, Yukino’s mother accepts Yukino’s proposal in an anticlimactic twist. But everyone knew that was not where the conflict truly lay. No, the real issue was always about what came after. After arguing about who should take the credit for a little while, Yukino decides to accept the win.
So she tells Hachiman her request
“Let’s put an end to this.”
This relationship is wrong. It’s not what Hachiman wanted for her. She’s fine now by herself, she insists. He saved her.
Hachiman has lost every reason to interact with her.
“I understand,” he says finally. “I’ll listen to what you have to say. If it’s within my power, I’ll do it.”
“Please grant Yuigahama-san’s wish.”
“Is that your wish?”
“Yes, it’s my wish,” says Yukino with a gentle smile.
After that, there’s nothing more to say. They end their final exchange, and Yukino closes the door softly behind him.
Hachiman does not look back.”
Volume 14: You can (not) accept me
Yuigahama Yui has always been a girl to put herself before others, she demonstrates the exceptional ability to read others and therefore gets along with peers. I have never been able to understand her persistently getting swept along with the flow and interacting with people who might not value her in the same ways a true friend will, chasing after disingenuous relationships and for what reason? And because of that she was always alone.
Yukinoshita Yuki had always been a girl who seemed unbearably distant to those around here. The air around her chilled and left people with an impression of a queen far removed from her peers. Always excelling in academics, athletics and being a rich girl with influential parents, she was never one of us. And because of that she was always alone.
My miscalculations had led me down this path. Yukinoshita was a girl who did lie, Yuigahama was a girl who did cry. I was the one pushing my own ideals onto them to satiate my personal identity. But hiding from the truth of my own self has pushed me into a corner, and here I am.
I turned my back on the girl whom had once been someone who seemed unattainably distant for other girls, and I must confess that her abilities eclipsed even my own. Without a shred of a doubt, I know Yukinoshita was a person who I would never know if it wasn’t for the Service Club. But alas, We both were more different in ways I always expected but I didn’t want to accept. We were both chasing something genuine and were misguided in doing so, because actively seeking that made it disingenuous from the start. Our romantic comedy was wrong from the beginning.
So I turned my back on her, distancing myself from the closed door knowing deep down that relationships like this cannot be mended. Our reason to interact is…
I look back, regrettably so. Through the window our eyes meet briefly and an overwhelming sense of melancholia washes over the scene. How stupid of me to wax poetically about this, feeling like this would only lead me to make an uncharacteristiclny poor decisions.
Snow began to dust the surroundings as I made my way to the train terminal, hands deep in my pockets and nose tucked into my coat. I had been wandering for some time unsure of where to return to. These were terrible conditions for a man to be alone with his thoughts, I must say. I stole a glance at my cell phone and noticed two email notifications, one curiously from Shizuka-sensei and the other from Yuigahama. The snow falling on my face began to melt as I weighed my options. I knew which to respond to.
The warm atmosphere was constructed of a lively room of people seeming to know each other and the smells of great food coming from the kitchen. Being a ramen shop, there was only one person who would request to meet my here this late at night, and she was busy taking care of a large bottle of sake. Looking down at my empty bowl, I cleared my throat to begin.
“Hey Hikigaya, you want some sake? Plenty to go around!”
I simply glared back and hoped my, err, adviser, would finally get down to business.
“Right, so you’re probably wondering why I called you out this late at night for some ramen and I… well.. Have my reasons. I have some connections let’s say”
“News must travel stupidly fast these days”
“Look Hikigaya” she said, flushed cheeks settling and a more serious expression replacing the one from moments ago. “I know that you feel trapped, I’ve been there.”
I raised an eyebrow and motioned for her to continue, disregarding the unexpected shift in mood.
“You see, I’ve been in contact with Haruno-chan for some time now, and I’m somewhat aware of the state of your relationships. And to be honest, I used to be where you were years ago.” she explained with a look of longing.
Hopefully my teacher wasn’t about to drop unnecessarily loaded emotional landmines on me, who was I to hear about her heartaches from a decade ago?!
“There was a boy I was fond of in my third year, he was my junior and I was a bit of a delinquent back then haha! To keep things short, I managed to join the same club as him and I slowly got his attention. But you see, love is war and nobody fights fairly. Another girl in his year was also fond of him, and while I was using a round-about method to get his attention she was already walking home with him.”
A stray thought of sensei wearing a long skirt flash across my mind, stop fantasizing!
She paused to moment a drink. “Let’s just say, there was an incident. The boy was caught between two lovesick girls and he had to choose something or someone.”
Hopefully my look of disinterest was getting across so she could get the the point already, but sensei didn’t continue the story.
“Why are you telling me this now?”
“Because you need to choose a side, Hikigaya. Whether it be right or wrong, I need you to decide it yourself and be able to live without regret”
After a short period of time watching my teacher quickly fall into a drunken spiral I decided to pay for the bill and leave before my reputation sunk even further. By now the snow had ceased and only a soft gust of wind remained. What Hiratsuka-sensei told me seemed inconsequential but I couldn’t help but feel like she was trying to help in her own way.
In love, there is always heartbreak. I’ve seen it in anime and drama, someone always ends up on the losing side when their feelings are unrequited. Nothing ever happens in which all parties will be happy, that is why I always feel bad spending time on social links because someone always gets the short end of the stick. Then the late game characters you know you can never get close to appear and you’re already done with the game, why? In a sense, romance is not for the faint of heart because you will suffer unreasonably so for feelings you cannot control. Normies chase after each other aimlessly to get close and then test the waters, it’s pointless. There is no genuine feelings there so they don’t understand the pain of unrequited love. Love triangles are similar in that no matter what, on person loses and the person choosing feels guilty to some extent.
My feel stop as I come to a crossroads, to my left is a street I know where it leads and to the right is one in which I don’t want to take because it will leave me away from home.
The morning sun greets me as I stumble out of bed unreasonably early for a weekend. Sitting on the edge of my bed, I know what I need to do today because I have deliberated over it all night ergo my lack of sleep. Grabbing my phone I despondently typed out a message to settle this once and for all.
The Chiba station I am quite fond of was not a place where I dreaded to head. Having gotten up early Komachi was still presumably sleeping so I managed to evade pressing questions, thankfully. After a night of tossing and turning I had still not managed to decide what to do but if I didn’t settle this now I would settle back into ways which I could never return to. Those carefree days of the Service Club meetings after school were long since over, and I could never return. This is what normies call nostalgia, huh.
Two girls awaited me at our meeting location. Seeing them standing apart immediately filled me with an inexplicable sadness, but I proceeded into the already tense atmosphere. I looked at them both, then wordlessly beckoned them to follow to the nearby Chiba park.
The leafless trees stood in stark contrast to the dull surroundings, and few people came and went on the trail. Entering the park I descended down a few steps before turning around to speak.
“Don’t, Hikigaya” Yukinoshita interjected, with a difficult expression on her face.
A strong wind blew the hair of the girls but they hardly paid notice to their ruffled hair.
“Hikki… What’s going on here? Why both of us.” Yuigahama stammered.
“Hikigaya, you don't have to settle things like this…”
“Don’t worry about me”
“Don’t worry about me”
The words spilled out of their mouths as they forcefully turned their attention to me. I clenched my fist, swallowed my pride, and began.
“That is why... That is why I don’t want to, but I need to clear the air if any of this ever wants to be settled.”
I thought about dozens of ways to begin, but of course I had already gone off script.
“You see, I never wanted for any of this to happen as did you. In a perfect world there wouldn’t need to be all this unnecessary melodrama, infighting or putting yourselves down. I’ve been taught that making myself the villain is only going to hurt those around me. I was always under the impression that nothing I did mattered because I didn’t mean anything to anyone, but I was mistaken.”
They stared at me with silent wordless expressions, urging me to continue.
“But I was wrong, people do care about me more than I think and hurting myself only hurt them more. I was dragging them down with me and that was the most selfish thing I could have done, that is why I hate myself, or did. Being a person with a misguided sense of heroism was petty and I should never have tried to carry the weight of that responsibility all by myself… That is why I don’t want to see you do the same.”
Heated streaks cut down my cold face but I hardly noticed, and I dared not to look directly at the girls. I didn’t want to see their reaction until it was all said and done.
“I don’t want to see either of you get hurt” I reiterated, “that is why….”
A weak whimper was not enough to faze me anymore.
“I can’t return your feelings”
I immediately turned down the stairs and ran as hard as my legs could handle. Stumbling a bit I made a sharp turn and took off towards the south exit but felt a weak tug at my sleeve. My vision was severely blurred and my mental state was in tattered, so I dared not turn around so I only listened.
“Hi- Hachiman… You never learn”
I tugged my sleeve free and stumbled down the path, though I knew nobody would stop me this time. The winding path started wrong, and ended wrong, the exit was there but I don’t recall leaving. I knew I was wrong, and that is why I handled it like so. Nothing I did could have made anyone happy, I was in checkmate for a long time. So it hurts me more than anyone to settle things like this again, and I ended up hurting everyone again. Perhaps my current self was not equipped to find an answer, there is no going back.
In another time, with a clear mind I would reflect upon these events with a more critical eye. Thinking about my time spent in high school was overflowing with the same youthful shenanigans I actively hated, I was a hypocrite. But alas, my actions led me here. As the days passed I grew older and have since come to realize my faults, and because of that I know;
My youth romantic comedy was wrong, as I expected.