* 49 *

I would never be able to know now, but I wonder. If I had been given a fourth perfect chance to kill Tokiwa, would I have done it? Could I have?
I tried to avoid facing the idea of "killing someone" head-on when possible. Rationally speaking, I could never approve of murder.
It was too high-risk, after all. If only I were more charming, I would be better off not murdering anyone.

The biggest problem for me was that even if my crime managed to go undetected, my own guilt would soon give myself away.
So I wanted a method that felt detached from reality; rather than stabbing him with a knife or strangling him, I'd patiently wait for a moment to softly push him from behind to his death.
...Of course, like I said before, three of those chances had shown themselves and I let them all pass.

The fourth time would be different, though.
After meeting Tsugumi at the library, I had my confidence back. I believed then that things could go well with Tsugumi.
Before, I'd felt that perhaps Tsugumi was too unattainable for my second-life self. So even if I had killed Tokiwa, she would never take solace in me.
Thus, I let those three chances go to waste.

But once I talked to her again after years apart, I was sure. I was even convinced I was a better partner for Tsugumi than my first self.
In my first life, I'd been an extrovert and her an introvert, but the second time, we would both be introverts and get along better than ever. I was sure that would be the case.

Yet even with those feelings, the question of whether I'd really kill Tokiwa when given a fourth chance to... I couldn't give an unconditional answer.
I didn't have the guts to even punch someone; killing a guy like that may have been impossible from the start.
On the other hand, sometimes I had made decisions confidently enough to surprise myself, so it was possible I might kill Tokiwa without skipping a beat.

At any rate, I can't know now. A fourth chance never came.

Chapter 50

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