At a park near the school.
I was weeping like a child on a corner bench.
How frustrating! Terribly frustrating!
Anger and sadness dominated by heart and I couldn’t control my emotions.
“Hey, trainee.” Senpai offered me a can of coffee he purchased from a vending machine.
“It’s Yuma.” I accepted it while wiping my tears with a handkerchief.
Where does this frustration stem from?
Is it because they made fun of and belittled Shion?
Was it sympathy?
Certainly there was that.
But considering the amount of tears I cried, I knew it wasn’t just that.
Senpai didn’t say anything. He sat beside me who was in tears and sipped his coffee silently.
I don’t know how much time passed by but my tears eventually dried up and my emotions somewhat calmed down.
“Hmm?” Senpai replied in his usual leisurely tone.
“Have you ever felt like a failure?”
Senpai sent me a sidelong glance before returning his gaze back.
“I got a D. They call me ‘Yuma the failure” at the training institute.”
While playing with the can of coffee, I continued.
“I was always laughed at, scorned at. Of course, I’ve tried my best. But my result still came out as a D. Do you think I’ll stay a failure like this forever?”
I’m not sure if I was really looking for an answer to that.
“When Shion was belittled, I felt like I saw myself in her. Perhaps I felt sympathetic as a fellow failure? But, no matter how frustrated I felt, there was nothing I could do. Was I just angry for Shion? I don’t even know myself.”
Senpai stared at the monkey bars in front of him as though he wasn’t listening to me.
“I couldn’t help but feel jealous of those around me. No matter how hard I persevered, I still got a D. Everyone around me seemed to be moving flawlessly forward. It felt like I was the only one being left behind and hated by everyone. That was probably the reason I chose the stellar career of an agent. I kept having that inferiority complex over being branded as a failure.”
I partly reflected on myself.
“That’s why I was elated when I found out that I would be training under a first-class agent. Maybe then people won’t look down on me anymore. Things might change. I had those expectations. Under your tutelage, I wanted to show those who belittled me before that I could be better. They won’t call me a failure anymore. With that hope, I started this apprenticeship.”
Senpai remained silent.
I also didn’t say anything more but his company somehow comforted me.
I continued talking to let out my frustrations.
Senpai seemed like he was in his own world. That somehow made me feel better and I continued drinking the coffee Senpai had given me.
“I feel better now. Sorry for lashing out like that.”
Senpai finished his remaining coffee and threw his empty can on a nearby bin. The empty can didn’t follow Senpai’s expected trajectory and hit the edge of the bin.
“You know, apprentice.”
“As trainees, our job isn’t just about ensuring that the client’s lingering regrets are resolved but we must also face them properly. In addition, we have to make sure that their hearts are at peace. Do you remember my first lesson?”
“Never ever get used to this job, right?”
“That’s right. We’re constantly changing. Not only should you not get used to facing the clients, but you should also remember to take a look at your ever-changing self.”
“So that was what you meant…”
I picked up the empty can that has fallen and threw it properly into the bin.
“Will I be able to change?”
“Of course. That’s why you should never give up.”
People, of course that includes me, all change. Even if you don’t want to, you are bound to change.
Until then, will I be able to get out of the shadow of “Yuma the failure”?
No, I must. For the sake of the humans we guide, I must always strive to be “excellent”.
–But there was one thing I wasn’t convinced about.
Senpai is completely different from any of the professors at the training institute.
As I released the tension in my shoulders, my body seemed to agree with me.
T/N: This will be my last post for the year. Updates will resume in January. Happy Holidays! 🙂