The moment I witnessed it, my hands started shaking… This must be a joke… Right?
What appeared on the phone screen, however, was a cruel reminder of what our relationship was like.
—(Kamokura Senpai) Karen, are you back already?
—(Karen) Yes, I just got home.
—(Kamokura Senpai) I just got home too. But I’m already looking forward to seeing you again.
—(Karen) Me too! I also want to see you again, Senpai!
—(Kamokura Senpai) Karen, I’m so happy. Why don’t you become my official girlfriend?
—(Karen) Eh~, but Senpai, don’t you have a girlfriend? Sakurajima Touko, right?
—(Kamokura Senpai) That’s true, but Karen and I complete each other, don’t we?
—(Karen) I-I think so too!
—(Kamokura Senpai) See? And for that reason, we should stay together.
—(Karen) Yes, it would be nice to see each other more times a week.
—(Kamokura Senpai) That’s fine with me, but it would be better if we do “it” every day.
—(Karen) That would be nice.
—(Kamokura Senpai) Karen, do you think I’m better than Yu Isshiki?
I didn’t want to read any further. I scrolled down a few times, but I’ve had enough.
I proceeded to grab my phone and took several screenshots.
I’m pretty sure they went on a date. The days Karen said she was going to «meet a friend», «go to dinner with the family» or «finish a report».
But in those days, Karen Mitsumoto, who was supposed to be girlfriend, met Tetsuya Kamokura, a senior… They were together in a love hotel and many other places.
After searching for relationship advice for women on the internet, it turns out the person who is to blame in situations of cheating is the man.
—It is the man’s fault for not having faith in his girlfriend.
—The girlfriend cheats on the boyfriend because he probably doesn’t give her the attention she needs. He deserves it.
—You can’t look at someone’s phone without their permission. It’s disgusting!
I put Karen’s phone back in the coat I was wearing.
Karen recently changed her phone. It seems the fingerprint recognition isn’t responding well, so she’s been using a PIN entry on her phone instead.
Luckily, I know her PIN code. It’s his birthday, which I found out by chance. The moment my phone vibrated, the screen lit up, and a message notification appeared. The sender was Touko-senpai.
Touko-senpai is my superior at the part-time job. I’m sure she doesn’t know anything about this, either.
As soon as I opened it, what was displayed on the screen was the previous content….
I’m in a love hotel now, and Karen is taking a shower. I put on the clothes I had taken off and quietly left the hotel. On the way I texted Karen saying, «I have something to do, sorry.»
I didn’t go to the train station near the hotel, but walked aimlessly. If I had stayed at that hotel and seen Karen’s face, I don’t know what I would have done.
I would’ve probably questioned her vehemently, screamed in anguish, or lashed out at her. That’s why I left that place, to avoid any kind of conflict.
I was so shocked that I couldn’t think straight. My head is spinning. I feel dizzy, as if I was in a dream.
…Oh, yes, if only it was just a bad dream… But I know this is not a dream. It’s real.
My name is Yu Isshiki, a freshman in the Department of Information Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology.
And I was cheated on by Karen Mitsumoto, a freshman in the Department of English and American Literature, Faculty of Letters.
It’s an indescribable feeling. Like your heart is torn apart, yet empty inside. Before I knew it, I was walking along the banks of the Edogawa River.
The cold night wind blowing across the river slaps me in the face intermittently. But it’s good for my head, which is now on fire.
I sit on the bank and stare at the river for a long time.
…Kamokura, you asshole, why the hell did you lay your hands on Karen? You already have such a beautiful girlfriend, but still….
Tetsuya Kamokura’s girlfriend is Touko Sakurajima. She’s a sophomore in the Department of Computer Science, just like me. The three of us belong to the same university, the same department, and the same club.
And strangely enough, she is one of the most famous and beautiful girls in the university.
She has a gorgeous face, intelligent and stately, and her proportions are the envy of all women. She is known as «Miss campus queen».
In fact, Touko-san was nominated for another female beauty title in high school, and was told that if she had participated, she would have definitely won the contest. But I heard that she turned it down.
She is not a woman of outward beauty, but an elegant lady with strong self-confidence.
Naturally, she was always the center of attention of the boys in high school. It’s to the point where she became the president of the literature club and a member of the library committee, and she was known as «The Library Goddess», since she was always there.
Many kids would go to Touko’s classroom just to see her, and if they saw her on their way to school, it was quite an event.
I was one of the kids who looked up to her in high school. In her second year of college, Touko started dating Tetsuya Kamokura, who was a year older than her.
… Does Touko-senpai know that Kamokura is having an affair with Karen…? Deep down my heart, I was suddenly filled with frustration and anger.
—I can’t allow this to continue.
That thought crossed my mind, and I quickly pulled out my phone.
I selected «Touko Sakurajima» from the phone book and pressed the call button. After about three rings, a voice answers.
In a whirlwind of anger, sadness and despair, I answered like a sleepwalker.
—Touko-Senpai, please have an affair with me.
—Did you… Did you ask that of the campus Queen?
Ishida Yota looked at me with both eyes full of surprise.
—Yes, because I felt that I didn’t care what would happen to me at that moment.
I replied with a harsh tone and a serious expression on my face.
I’ve known Ishida Yota since junior high school. That’s when we became friends, and since then, we’ve been together even in college.
When I told him that Karen had cheated on me with Kamokura-senpai, he came to my house because he was worried about me.
—And what did Touko-senpai say back to you?
On saying that, Ishida glup as if to clear his throat.
I replied with a hollow tone.
—What the hell are you talking about?
Touko-senpai replied half-stupefied.
—Don’t you understand what I’m trying to say? I’m asking you to have sex with me.
I didn’t care if people found out about it later anymore. After an awkward silence, Touko-Senpai spoke.
—What’s happened to you?
Even though it was coming out of my phone, her voice gave me the feeling that she really cared about me.
It was complicated to answer that question. I didn’t even know where to start. How do you tell a girl that her boyfriend was sleeping with your girlfriend?
…That’s why I want to do the same with her. I have every right to do it. And so should she, for having been betrayed by the person she loves…
These thoughts swirl around inside my head in fragments. But they were not expressed into words. They just wouldn’t come out.
I heard Touko-senpai’s voice from my phone again.
—Something’s going on, isn’t it? I want you to tell me. Because I don’t think you’re the kind of person who would say something crazy like that for no reason.
The very moment I heard those words, tears began to well up in both of my eyes. Yes, I’m not crazy. I’m more of a normal person.
It’s this whole situation that isn’t. Tetsuya Kamokura and Karen Mitsumoto. The guy who sleeps with his younger girlfriend and acts like he’s older, and the girl who cheats on her boyfriend with the older one and seems to enjoy it.
When Touko pointed this out to me, all my painful feelings bursted out in tears.
—M—My girlfriend Karen and… Kamokura-senpai… It’s… They’re… Having an affair… And I… I don’t know what to do…
That was all I could say with a sob. I can feel her gasp on the other end of the phone.
—…Are you sure about that?
—I… I wish it was a lie…
I was numb after that. All I could hear was the sound of my own sobs and snot through my phone.
—Isshiki-kun, calm down. We’ll talk about it tomorrow. Until then, don’t talk about this matter with anyone around you.
After saying that, Touko-senpai hung up the phone. But I couldn’t stay alone, so I went home and contacted Ishida.
I told Ishida the whole story.
—I understand that it was hard for you to swallow all those feelings. I’m glad you told me.
That’s what Ishida told me. Talking about it with others doesn’t make me feel any better, but it’s still more comfortable than being alone.
—What are you going to do about Karen?
I hadn’t yet come to that conclusion until Ishida pointed it out… That’s right, what should I do with Karen now? There is an unforgivable ache in my heart.
But at the same time, I’m not ready to break up with her right now.
—I still don’t have any idea what to do, but I’m not going to let this go.
—I figured. It’s not a situation that can be solved so easily. So, what are your plans with Touko-senpai?
—What do you mean?
—You’re going to meet her tomorrow, right? And then, you’re going to approach her and have sex?
I got lost in my thoughts.
—It was something I said offhandedly… Not to mention Touko-senpai’s feelings are also involved. Besides, I don’t think she’d want to do something like that so easily.
—Yeah, I guess so, she seems pretty stiff.
Ishida turned around with his hands behind his head.
—So, what do you plan to tell Touko-senpai?
—I haven’t decided yet. I’m just going to tell her everything I know.
—Will you also show her the photographic evidence of Karen-chan and Kamokura-senpai chatting?
Ishida expressed as he pondered for a while.
—I’m not telling you not to do it, but you should think about how you say it and when you say it. I’ve heard it is said that when a man is cheated on, he resents the woman, but the woman resents the woman her boyfriend cheated on her with.
I didn’t quite understand what Ishida meant. Or rather, I haven’t had time to think about it.
Anyway, I’m going to meet Touko-senpai and tell her everything. That’s all I could think of now.
The next day, at 3 p.m.
I was in a cafeteria at a station far from the university. I was there to meet Touko-senpai. I arrived fifteen minutes before the appointed time, took a seat and waited.
I had been thinking about what to say to Touko, but I couldn’t think of anything. Besides, whenever I thought about the romance between Karen and Kamokura-senpai, the image of them meeting wouldn’t stop floating inside my head.
…How did the two of them end up having an affair… What were they thinking when they did it… Why would Karen do something like that… What would they talk about after they did those things…?
When I keep thinking about it, I get so frustrated and hurt that I can barely keep my eyes open.
I’d rather expel the part of my memory about Karen from my brain. In the event that you are in such a state of agony, there is no way you can decide what to say to your senpai.
Touko-senpai arrived five minutes before our agreed meeting time. She is a meticulous person about time.
She was wearing a thin beige coat, a sweater, and a plaid currot skirt showing off her dazzling white thighs.
It was standard dress for this time of year, but many of the men in the place couldn’t take their eyes off her.
She is tall and super attractive. She has the style of a model, or even an idol. She is an intelligent and innocent beauty with long black hair. Her body is slender and slim, but on the contrary her breasts are ideally shaped and large.
They are nothing to write home about, but still, she has a gorgeous face that you can’t help but notice.
—I’ll get you a coffee right now.
She leaves her purse and coat on the chair and heads to the counter. She finally returns with a large cup of coffee.
She sits down across from me and tells me to stay in the same position.
—Let’s take it one step at a time. How did you find out about Karen’s affair, and why do you think it’s with Tetsuya?
—I happened to look at Karen’s phone, and saw that she had gotten a message from Kamokura-senpai…
I started to tell her what had happened last night. It’s hard to remember, but luckily, I was no longer crying. The pain in my heart didn’t change a bit, but at the same time my emotions seemed to have dried up.
The more she listened to me, the stiffer her expression became.
—Do you have any pictures to prove it? If you do, let me see them.
I searched for the pictures of the messages between Karen and Kamokura on my phone before I handed it to Touko-senpai.
Touko-senpai looked at the pictures carefully one by one. The complexion of her face was turning pale.
She remained in that position for five minutes.
—I don’t think you’re lying.
Touko-senpai said with a pale face. The hand with which she returns the smartphone to me also trembles a little.
—It’s hard to look at this and still believe that what I told you is a lie.
I said while taking my phone back.
Touko-senpai was very nervous. She tried to drink her coffee to calm herself down, but as soon as she brought the cup of coffee to her mouth, she froze. She froze, staring at the table.
—So, what do you want me to do?
After about fifty-eight seconds had passed, Touko squeezed the words out as if they were impossible. In the blink of an eye, the coffee cup is back on the table.
I couldn’t respond immediately.
…I would like to do the unthinkable with you so that I could look Kamokura in the face….
Those were my true wishes. But it wouldn’t be fair to Touko-senpai. She’s a victim too.
—I can’t let them get away with this. So…
—So you want to have an affair with me to get even, is that it?
I raised my head up and looked at her. The first thing I saw was her magnificent bust.
Kamokura-senpai, you’re rubbing that pair of perfect tits, but you’re also touching my girlfriend’s breasts…
I could feel the dark flames of anger flaring up inside me one more time. And I responded with a resounding “Yes”.
She sipped her cup of coffee in silence. She is a woman whose gestures are picturesque. As she set the coffee down on the table, she quietly said.
—I understand your feelings, but I can’t do that.
—Are you saying I’m not good enough for you?
Well, that’s natural, isn’t it? Even she has the right to choose her partner. Whichever way you look at it, Touko-senpai and I don’t make a good match.
But I was still very disappointed when she said that.
Am I really that inferior to Kamokura’s shit…? My girlfriend is cheating on me with him, and even though she knows it, Touko-senpai won’t let anyone but Kamokura touch her.
I feel so miserable being compared to that guy.
—That’s not the point. There are three main reasons why I don’t plan to do it.
Touko-senpai began to speak slowly, which is like telling herself that she had to do something.
—The first thing is that «we still don’t know if Tetsuya really had an affair with Karen”.
—That’s more than certain. I have pictures of the messages they’d sent to each other.
—Yes, that’s true. But there’s also the possibility that it’s just a fake from someone else. There was a guy saying that Kamokura is sleeping with other women so that I would break up with him…
—I would never do that!
—I don’t think you’re the type of person who would do something like that. But it’s possible that you’ve been tricked yourself. What if it was a joke? What if this picture was nothing but a joke of Karen’s?
I’m speechless. I don’t think it’s possible, but I’m not able to talk back.
—The second reason is that if you and I were having an affair here, I would have no grounds to blame him.
—Grounds to blame him?
—That’s right. I don’t know what you’re going to do with Karen after this, but I’m going to break up with Tetsuya if the affair is true. I don’t want him to tell me “You had an affair too” at that point. I must have clean hands to have more than enough reason to break up with him.
I see, that’s her logic. She’s a rational person. But,
—Don’t you feel frustrated, Touko-senpai? To be cheated on all the time and then just let it go. Don’t you want to take revenge on your partner?
—That’s the third reason.
—What do you mean?
—I can’t forgive him with just a single ordinary revenge. I have to make Tetsuya regret this to death…… Even if he breaks up with me, he’ll go out with Karen, it’s too obvious. But I’ll make him feel so much regret and despair that he can never feel at ease anymore and just want to be dead.
I felt a demonic blue flare come out of Toko-senpai’s eyes. Even I, the victim himself, felt an aura of rage that sent shivers down my spine. But she noticed my presence and quickly dissipated her black aura, then took a deep breath and said in a very calm voice,
—But until you have proof of an affair between the two of them, trust your partner for the time being and wait to see what will happen. Making a fuss over a joke isn’t a good idea either.
…Believing in my partner….
Easier said than done, but in this situation it’s difficult and painful. I want to believe in her too. I keep hoping that the message I saw yesterday is a lie and that is just a misunderstanding.
But when I recall what I have seen, it becomes hard for me to hold back. After a short pause, I asked Touko a question.
—But what if it all turns out to be true?
Touko-senpai crossed her arms, put her fist to her chin and stood a little thoughtfully.
—I guess I’ll have an affair too, after hitting Tetsuya in the face with the evidence of his affair.
I looked up and looked at her.
—»I guess I’ll have an affair too…” So, does that mean there’s a chance she’ll do it with me?
I could imagine that scene.
Kamokura-senpai cries and tries to stop Touko-senpai from leaving him. But she throws him away without a second thought. And I stand right there, by her side.
…Wouldn’t this be the best revenge?
But seeing me, Touko-senpai immediately waved her hands in panic.
—No, I don’t mean that kind of revenge, don’t get me wrong. I meant that if I had done something like what Isshiki-kun said earlier, it wouldn’t be now.
She said having a red face. What a parable.
So, there are times when even Touko-senpai gets excited like that and runs out of the track.
We’ll see how it goes now. Whether Tetsuya and Karen have an affair or not, we have to get some proof first.
—What exactly do I have to do, just wait and watch and leave them alone?
I asked, still in a state of semi-doubt. I don’t think my heart could take it anymore.
—Don’t make a fuss or ask questions. The first thing you have to do is to get definite proof of deception.
—What do you mean by ‘definite proof of deception’, Touko-senpai?
Aren’t those nasty messages between the two of them more than enough proof?
—Well, generally speaking, evidence of infidelity would include the two of them going to a hotel together or spending the night alone at either of their homes…
I thought for a moment and then opened my mouth.
—If that’s the case, then the place where it all happens would be at Kamokura-senpai’s apartment, right? We each still live at home with our parents, except for Kamokura, who rents an apartment in Tokyo, am I right?
—I don’t think that’s possible.
Touko-senpai immediately denied.
—Tetsuya rents a room together with his older brother. So I don’t think it’s easy for him to bring a girl home. And more so if it’s in a place where he can be very exposed.
I see. If Kamokura’s girlfriend, Touko-senpai says so, it must be true.
—Well, that means they’ve been meeting somewhere else.
Yes. That will make it difficult for us to catch them being unfaithful.
—I can’t help but wonder how long they’ve been doing that.
When I said that with a sigh, Touko-senpai raised her eyes in surprise.
—Have you by any chance checked their social media?
—I don’t think they would be able to expose their infidelity to the public so calmly!
—You have a weak heart.
Without looking down on me, she continued speaking.
—The SNS content that Isshiki showed me earlier. If you take a close look, maybe it’s 3 to 4 times? If so, I wonder whether it happened after the summer vacation ended.
—What makes you think that?
—He said «once a week.» From that detail, I looked for the dates when they were supposed to have met, and it was either a Monday or a Thursday night. I certainly didn’t see Tetsuya on those days.
—I didn’t either. I didn’t see Karen on the day they were supposed to have met.
—Mondays and Thursdays are the days when I have my lab and practical classes. Because of that, I often finish my classes late. Isn’t it true that you also have plans on Mondays and Thursdays that you can’t miss?
—Exactly. I also have mandatory classes on Mondays and Thursdays until fifth period.
On the other hand, Karen’s major is literature, so she doesn’t have as many classes as before, and Kamokura is a junior, so he can adjust his classes to some extent.
—But it wasn’t until after summer break that I started having late Mondays and Thursdays. That’s why I figured it must have only been about three times that they had progressed to an affair.
—But it’s also possible that the two of them had an affair during summer vacation. We have the confrontation in sight.
In response to my question, Touko-senpai nodded her head.
—I think the chances were slim. They didn’t see each other on Saturday or Sunday, I assure you, in case you want to ask. Besides, I only have mandatory classes on Monday and Thursday until fifth period. Because of that, if he got to go out on his day off, he would run the risk of me asking him, «What did you do today?» I think he’s preventing that situation from happening.
Come to think of it, it is true that Karen’s behavior may have been strange since early September. At the same time, I was surprised at Touko-senpai’s deductive ability to narrow down the number of times and days they saw each other in such a short time.
—So it means, from now on, on Mondays and Thursdays, we will be watching both of them very carefully, right?
—Yes, I know. But if you’re going to talk to Karen, you have to be very careful. Don’t say or do anything to probe her. The risk of the other party finding out is greater than the risk of me finding out about Tetsuya.
—It’s said that husbands don’t notice their wives’ infidelity, but wives can detect their husbands’ infidelity at a glance. That’s how sensitive women are to changes in their daily lives. The slightest gesture, word or action is enough to make them uncomfortable.
Listening to Touko-senpai’s calm reasoning, I feel quite convinced.
It’s a point of view I hadn’t been able to come to a conclusion on. Although there is no doubt that this is true.
—And never ask her: «What have you done today?» or she’ll get suspicious. Just watch for her gestures and demeanor. If she mentions a place she’s never been to with you, or a store she doesn’t like to go to with you, tell me.
—Also, from now on we should create a separate social network account for our communication. We also have to create a common access folder in the cloud with an encrypted entry, where we will put our photos and other evidence.
—Okay, I will put Karen’s messages in the cloud folder as soon as I can.
As I talked to Touko-senpai, I started to feel more positive. I feel like I can give them both a strong backlash if I stick by her.
But at the end, with a sad look on her face, she said.
—I know I said a lot for a short while, but the truth is, it’s not that I don’t feel afraid. To be honest, I’m thinking, «What if it’s a lie?» «What if this is all a joke?» I’d like to believe in Tetsuya. But the evidence you’ve shown me doesn’t seem to be a lie. And so, I want to see with my own eyes if they’re having an affair.
This is the first time I’ve seen Touko-senpai showing weakness.
I guess it’s only natural. It’s hard not to feel bad when you find out your partner is cheating on you. The smile he used to show you, the kind words he used to say to you, the consideration he had for you, and not to mention all the memories.
If we can’t believe in the one who loves us, then who else can we believe in?
Even so, Touko-senpai calmly explained her future actions without crying or getting upset. Even I, a man, feel so weak and distressed.
…Why would Kamokura cheat on his partner when he has a very charming person by his side…?
I felt a strong anger towards Tetsuya Kamokura again. At the same time, I started to feel that I wanted to support Touko-senpai.
—Thank you for today, Touko-senpai. Thanks to you, I feel like I’m awake too. And I hope I can work with you as a friend in the future.
I extended my right hand and Touko-senpai slowly lifted her face. Is it my imagination, or is there a slight blush at the edge of her cheeks?
—Friends, huh… I like that word. Yes, let’s do our best together.
Touko-senpai also reached out her right hand and squeezed mine.