Distance. Love. Online: Chapter 22

Yuji: “What’s with the question?”

Harumi: “I thought this through since I met you… I really regretted breaking up with you… I missed the days we interacted together…”

Yuji: “I don’t. I have forgotten about it, ever since you decided to break.”

Harumi: “I…”

Yuji: “And besides, if we chose to date again, it’s going to be another long distance relationship anyways… Since you don’t believe in any of that type of romance, what is the point of continuing?”

Harumi stayed silent.

Yuji: “I guess you forgot how dedicated I was, how I was willing to spend my time just to get you. Looks like I have said my piece, I will leave now…”

I stood up and walked away.

 

I walked back to Takeya’s place, entered the door.

Takeya: “Ah, welcome back, how did the conversation go?”

Yuji: “Nowhere. She wants to date me again…”

Takeya: “I guess you said no.”

Yuji: “Of course… I’m kind of done with the world of romance anyway…”

Takeya: “You are also going to reject Asami too?”

Yuji: “That, I’m… not sure… I just don’t want to get hurt again…”

Takeya: “It’s okay to give it a try… Since you helped me with Usagi, I’m willing to help you with Asami.”

Yuji: “No thanks… I’m really tired…”

Takeya: “Go to sleep… Let’s go out for a drink tomorrow. I know a place!”

Yuji: “Okay… sure…” and I walked to the bedroom.

 

The next day. I woke up slightly later, I washed up and walked down the stairs, Takeya had prepared breakfast.

Takeya: “Oh, you are finally awake.”

Yuji: “Sorry… I couldn’t sleep last night, and when I’m able to… I overslept…”

Takeya: “It’s fine… What do you want to do today?”

Yuji: “I don’t know…”

Takeya: “Games until we go out for dinner and drink?”

Yuji: “Sure.”

We played ALO together.

Takeya: “So, which quests we grinding today?”

Yuji: “Just simple quests will do.”

Takeya: “But… I want to hunt some higher level ones…”

Yuji: “Okay then, but you need more members… The other 2 girls are offline…”

Takeya: “I’m going to buy some potions, you find a player!”

Yuji: “Huh?”

Takeya: “I will leave it to you!”

Yuji: “W…wait!” and he disappeared.

I walked around the nearby town to look around for members who are willing to join a party. I browsed the player list, looking for similar leveled players.

While browsing I found a familiar name: “Haruno”.

“Is that… who I think she is…”

I looked up and I spotted her. I turned around and walked away.

Then I met up with Takeya.

Takeya: “So, did you find someone yet?”

Yuji: “No… Because I saw someone I don’t want to see…”

Takeya: “Wait, she’s in this game too??”

Yuji: “Looks like it…”

Takeya: “Want to go to Aincrad instead?”

Yuji: “Sure. Where are the frontlines at?”

Takeya: “I heard so far its at the 25th floor…”

Yuji: “That is just some slow progress…”

Takeya: “It’s not a death game already, so players are taking their time to enjoy the map.”

Yuji: “I guess so…”

Takeya: “And also, the frontlines are mostly SAO survivors because they have the experience, want to go check them out and see if they are interested?”

Yuji: “Sure. Let’s go.”

We teleported to Aincrad, and went to the frontlines. We eventually found a few players that are interested and we grinded for a couple of hours before it’s time for lunch.

We logged out of the game.

Takeya: “What do you want for lunch?”

Yuji: “Craving for some nice hot ramen right now…”

Takeya: “Let’s go then… Same old place?”

Yuji: “Sure.”

We walked out with our winter wear.

Takeya: “It’s getting real cold out… Are you getting used to it?”

Yuji: “Yeah… I actually love the cold…”

Takeya: “I guess you embraced the darkness too much.”

Yuji: “Maybe…”

 

We reached the ramen bar.

Usagi: “Ah finally, you guys came!”

Asami: “We couldn’t wait so we ordered food first.”

Yuji: “Eh?”

Takeya: “I invited them out…”

Yuji: “Oh…”

Takeya: “Why? Not interested?”

Yuji: “Hmm… No? I don’t mind them.”

Takeya: “Okay then.”

We ate ramen together and chatted for a bit, until someone entered the ramen bar.

It’s Harumi.

“Hi…”

Yuji: “Were you stalking us all the way here?”

Harumi: “No… I happened to stay around here and I come to this ramen place often… I assume I should leave…”

Yuji: “It’s okay… You can join us with the same table too.”

Harumi: “I will sit on a separate table instead, I don’t want to affect your appetite…”

Asami: “Just join us, the more the merrier.”

Harumi then sat down beside Usagi, she ordered her food.

Asami: “How are you?”

Harumi: “Nothing much… Just looking for games to buy and play…”

Yuji: “Do you stay with your parents?”

Harumi: “No… I stay in an apartment on my own. My parents moved countries again…’

Yuji: “I see…”

Harumi: “I was thinking… if you want to come visit…”

Yuji: “Erm… Why the sudden invite…”

Harumi: “I want to talk to you for a bit…”

Asami then whispered to my ear: “Don’t go… Don’t go to her place…”

Yuji: “Okay then, I’m going.”

I whispered to Asami: “Don’t worry, I will be fine… I will make it to her very clear to her if she is still persistent about it…”

We then finished up with our food and we split ways. I followed Harumi to her place.

“Make yourself at home… I will make some tea.”

Her apartment is tidy, like as if she was expecting me.

Yuji: “Your place… looks… cozy.”

Harumi: “But the place is too big… sometimes I do feel lonely and scared…”

Yuji: “I would love to stay here… alone… I can get used to this.”

Harumi: “Why don’t you study at the SAO survivor school, and stay here with me? You don’t have to worry about expenses and everything, I will cover them for you.”

Yuji: “So this is why you asked me to come here? To talk about this?”

Harumi: “Yes…”

Yuji: “I do intend to attend the school, but, I rather carry my own weight and do everything myself. And besides, I cannot be around you for more than 30mins before I start to get an anxiety attack.”

Harumi: “I… You really won’t forgive me for that day…”

Yuji: “I never held a grudge, but it’s just that my heart is now with someone else…”

 

 

 

 

 

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