I Became The Male Lead's Female Friend - Chapter 28
It’s ridiculous, where did the person who said, ‘It seems difficult’ with an embarrassed face went.
In the end, I was the only one who kept the phrase, “Please understand if I only write one line in the diary.”
‘Am I the only one serious with that?’
As I lowered my head with a sullen expression, Rudrick, who had a stern face, relaxed his expression and stared at me carefully.
Apparently, I was embarrassed by my unusual appearance.
When I was sighing, Rudrick, who was restless next to me, tried hard to think of something and spoke with a cheerful voice to brighten the atmosphere.
“It’s okay…! Maybe it’s because you were busy this week. But, there were times when you wrote hard, just like then…”
Then I pick up my diary and quickly flip through the pages… How come the more I turn the pages, the more Rudrick’s pupils shook.
So the ‘longest’ passage I could find was this.
[Today, I found a delicious bakery in the downtown area. The buttery flavor was really delicious. I want to go there again. I should also introduce that bakery to Rudrick!]
There was silence between us for a while.
Rudrick and I glanced at each other and spoke gently.
* * *
For a while, Rudrick and I got along pretty well.
After all, don’t children grow up while fighting?
I was so attached to Rudrick that I used to write off anything as just nonsense.
I wonder if my mother would make a joke saying, ‘Will the two of you be in trouble if you separate?”
It’s only been less than a year since I met Rudrick, and before I knew it, we were really close to being “best friends.”
Even sometimes, he felt like family rather than a friend. There were many days when I wondered if I would feel this way if I had a younger brother.
‘I’ve succeeded in becoming like a family.’
But for some reason, why do I feel bad?
Obviously, the whole situation was perfect.
I became friends with Rudrick as I had originally planned—although I got closer than I thought—and he considered me purely as a friend.
Since we promised to be honest with each other before, we had nothing more to hide.
There were times when we had disagreements, but when that happened, we compromised little by little by making concessions or talking to each other.
Still I couldn’t believe my life turned out for the better.
But, what is this? This empty feeling somewhere?
‘What am I missing?’
And it wasn’t long before I found out the answer.
That was when the Duchess called Rudrick.
That day, even after finishing ‘Praise in the Mirror’, ‘Compliment Ping Pong’, and ‘Exchange Diary‘, we still had time to play Jenga.
Especially since it was the day my father returned early, it was getting late for the three of them to talk for a while.
At first, I just suggested playing Jenga to kill time.
In the middle, I made a bet that ‘the person who destroys it will grant a wish’, so I became quite ‘serious’.
Having already made my wish in my mind, I looked into the block and moved my hand carefully.
For some reason, as time passed, I fell at a disadvantage and more likely to lose.
What happened was that Rudrick was good at studying, swordsmanship, and even Jenga.
Despite the increased number of missing blocks and the intensity of the tower shaking, Rudrick did not show any signs of nervousness.
No, he even seemed more relaxed.
Unlike me, who was sweating and had a hard expression, the tower doesn’t seem to be collapsing even though he lightly pulls out the blocks.
‘I’m going to lose…!’
When I barely managed to pull out a block, I was nervously watching Rudrick grab the block.
The voice of the Duchess could be heard from a distance.
At first I thought I had heard it wrong and didn’t care, but somehow, the sound of footsteps getting louder and the voice could be heard again, I realized that the real Duchess was looking for us.
And when the Duchess called Rudrick once more, my eyes grew looking at Rudrick.
Rudrick’s shoulders trembled at the words that I muttered unknowingly. And at the same time, Rudrick’s hand slipped.
The tower collapsed in an instant. I burst into cheers at the thought of my victory, but soon came to my senses and glanced at Rudrick.
I asked Rudrick, who looked sad, without delay.
Rudrick’s hand, which was organizing the blocks, stopped.
In fact, I didn’t ask because I didn’t know, but just for confirmation. And seeing Rudrick flinching, I was convinced and asked again.
“Did you have a nickname?”
Only then did I realize the identity of this emptiness in feeling.
Why didn’t I think of it even after I became close with Rudric, and why did I keep feeling like something was missing?
‘It was because I didn’t know his nickname!’
The nickname that everyone uses to call a close friend.
But we’ve become so close that we still haven’t called each other by nicknames.
‘Oh my! It sounds like a big deal.’
It was my mistake that I thought Rudrick’s name was short, so I didn’t think he would have a nickname.
Still, if we get to this point, shouldn’t we know about it? Haven’t we been able to call each other by nicknames yet?
No matter how much I think about it, it would be fastest to ask him.
So, I asked Rudrick, unable to hide the grumpy look on my face.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Rudrick scratched his neck in embarrassment.
“My mother doesn’t usually call me that either. She just calls me when she thinks of it sometimes, so I forgot too…”
Come to think of it, it seems that the Duchess hardly ever called Rudrick ‘Rud’.
Well, I might have forgotten even though I heard it.
I thought there was nothing I wouldn’t understand about Rudrick. I relaxed and said,
“Then can I call you that?”
‘Pretending you didn’t know.’
I said with a grin.
Rudrick looked pretty flustered. He didn’t even think that I’d want to call him by his nickname, so he kept fiddling with the blocks.
His eyes wandered through the air.
“Rud, can’t I?”
“…you’ve already called me.”
“You’re gonna let me?”
Rudrick sighed heavily.
Rudrick, who had never turned down my request, nodded his head without saying anything this time.
As I smiled bashfully in gratitude, Rudrick, who I thought would laugh as usual, averted my eyes.
He shook his head with a strangely hesitant look.
Rudrick was silent for a long time, thinking about something. Then, clenching his fists, he raised his head and looked into my eyes.
“Do you have a nickname too?”
I answered without thinking. Rudrick’s face brightened for a moment.
“Then can I call you by your nickname?”
I was nervous as hell, but I let out a dejected laugh.
That’s not a big deal.
What’s wrong with that I’m willing to give him permission to-.
“I don’t care. It’s up to you. My nickname…”
Then I hastily changed words.
“No-no I don’t have, Anyway, I don’t have a nickname.”
In an instant, my stupid nickname came to mind like lightning.
It was I who had completely forgotten.
When I was very young, my parents made it for me as a joke, so they called me with it a few times.
Even now, my mother uses it very occasionally to play a prank on my father, but now my father has developed a tolerance for it, so that nickname doesn’t work well.
I completely forgot my nickname, ‘I should take it to the grave for the rest of my life’.
In the past, I hated my funny nicknames so much that I tried to make them myself.
The name ‘Dahlia’ didn’t come up with a better combination than I thought, so I just gave up and lived my life.
But what if Rudrick calls me a shameful nickname? What if he ends up calling me ‘Darling’ with those little pink lips?
I was almost shaken, but it was the best to avoid shame. Because I haven’t been able to master the brazenness like my mother yet.
Eventually I chose to remain silent. But the more I did, the darker Rudrick’s complexion became.
He seemed to think I was lying in an awkward tone.
It was true that I lied. However it was an inevitable choice to avoid the embarrassment of knowing the truth.