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It really would have been nice if Brook was able to more consistently hold onto the that wonderful feeling known as 'self-confidence' for longer periods of time. At times confidence sounded like some sort of mythological concept to her, or something made up in order to mess with her expectations specifically. Still, both real life and the media she consumed pointed towards the idea that it was in fact possible to maintain self-confidence consistently.

Still sounded kind of fake, though.

She wanted to say that this was something she thought about just for the sake of her own development as a person, but that wasn't exactly true. Well, it sort of was? But it sort of wasn't. She was glad that no one was interrogating her about it because she was pretty sure that paradoxical answer wouldn't fly in any court. Or in any kind of casual conversation, for that matter.

Brook briefly allowed herself to stop staring so hard at the book in front of her that had given her an existential crisis earlier that same day. She was seated at a table in a college library, studying with her girlfriend Vanessa. For one definition of 'studying with', anyway. Did it count if it was completely different subjects and the most she had spoken was because of a panic attack that Vanessa had needed to quickly reassure herself about? ... Sure. Why not.

It wasn't like she minded the silence anyway. Time spent with her was always nice, even if it was just to enjoy the other's presence. She just sort of wished that she had the sort of self-confidence that Vanessa always seemed to have. Maybe that was a selfish thought? Vanessa had her own worries too, after all. For as much as Brook saw herself as kind of a disaster and saw Vanessa as having it much more put-together, she at least realized that everyone had their moments of vulnerability and weakness.

... She just happened to have more moments than average. Wait. Oops. She was doing the self-deprecation thing again. That wasn't good.

Brook finally decided to go back to focusing on her studies as best as she could. Still, she really did crave that sort of self-confidence that she dreamed about. There was probably a reason why she enjoyed anime that depicted characters becoming more confident with time. It wasn't always projection or even wish fulfillment, but it was something adjacent to that. Like she enjoyed watching characters become more confident, and she hoped that others in her life would root for her in the same way.

It then came to her attention that she was not a fictional character, and her current thought process was probably extremely silly. ... So be it. Better to have silly thoughts than hopeless thoughts, right?

In her mind's eye she pictured her sister making some sort of comment about how messy her thoughts were. Luckily the real Harper didn't have access to her thoughts... Probably. Actually, Brook's thoughts were usually very obvious despite her poor attempts at hiding them, so she might as well have had mind reading powers.

She glanced at Vanessa again, then reminded herself that she was supposed to be studying, and sadly she was fairly certain that talking about Vanessa wouldn't get her very far in any of her college classes. A cheesy thought entered her mind that she'd do extremely well if that was the case, and she decided that it was so embarrassing that it could never leave her mind, ever.

Hm. She had been spending a lot of time getting worked up over very little in her mind, hadn't she?

But it did show how important this relationship was to her. And how much Vanessa had changed her, whether she realized it or not. She was... Very pessimistic about her chances of ever attaining the confidence that Vanessa seemed to exude. But if she could make even the smallest step to get closer to that level, that meant something to her. Even if it took a while to get there.

Their future was something that she had more panic attacks about than she'd like to. This studying session had just been the latest example. But it was also a future worth getting through all that panic for. To be loved in the way she was made her feel like everything.

Right. Back to studying. Regardless of any future stumbling, she'd keep trying to move forward.