Harem Scarem: 040

A week had passed since I'd successfully convinced Rachel to exit my orbit and changed up my lunch routine, and my life had quickly been trending back towards normality. While I still ran across the harem members with a fair bit of regularity, and likely would until the end of the semester, it was very obvious that their focus had universally shifted away from me to other pursuits. I hadn't really realized how much attention they had been paying me until I was being treated like any other acquaintance or semi-friend. The weird coincidences with Debbie had completely ceased, as well, and both Mom and Dad agreed that I'd likely bucked the genre.

I was incredibly happy, but also a bit lonely. Seamus was back to noticing I existed, but none of my other friends had the same lunch, so I was feeling isolated. Not that I regretted escaping the harem! But even so…

In any case, I was drifting in that state that's midway between waking and sleeping late one Friday night about a week later when I dreamt I heard a soft voice.

Yahello, E.O. Tenkey here!

Pffft, what a stupid name. Whoever chose that pseudonym was clearly creativity-deficient.

I know it's the standard in afterwards to thank a long list of personal acquaintances, but honestly almost no one who actually knows me in person has read Not A Manga, so the person I most want to thank is you! Thank you for spending the time to read this story! I started writing Not A Manga because it was something I wanted to read, but I only finished it thanks to readers like yourself.

Wait, afterward? Hell yeah, vindication! Suck on that, Genre!

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Xavier and his friends and family, and if you liked the story (or even if you didn't) please consider leaving a review, a simple star rating, or recommending it to mostly-strangers online. I'd really love to be able to support myself with my writing, and word of mouth is the strongest tool available to me for working towards that goal.

I hope you drown in single stars, you hack.

In any case, to my personal surprise the story ended up heading in some unexpected directions, particularly towards the end. Both slice-of-life stories and rom-coms are admittedly outside my typical comfort zone genre-wise, so perhaps it's understandable that the characters moved in directions I didn't expect.

Or perhaps it's because we're real people, not characters.

Regardless, while the story may have ended a little short by typical standards for fiction, fear not! What genre is in store next for our beleaguered protagonist? Join me for volume 2, and you'll find out!

Until the next volume!
—E.O. Tenkey

I shot upright, my heart pounding as I tore straight from a doze into all-out panic.

Volume 2?! VOLUME 2?! YOU MOTHER-FU—