At the end of the parade, the cheerful music that rang out a while ago disappeared. Instead, a calming music was playing in the park.
It marked the end of this amusement park’s events, the time to enjoy a dreamlike atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Rin and I walked side by side. We also already let go of each other’s hands for some time.
I opened and closed my hands repeatedly, restless. Then I touched my rugged palm like when I touched a dog’s paws, lamenting on the sensation of my lonely hand.
Girl’s hand sure was soft…
That was my honest impression.
However, when I thought back about that——
‘Holding hands with a girl’ with that atmosphere… remembering it made my face hot. I’m sure it’s bright red now.
I took a deep breath to calm my mind.
Yes, since I held hands with her, the thumping of my chest hadn’t recovered.
“What’s wrong? Are you injured somewhere…”
Rin looked at me worriedly, perhaps noticing that I was acting weirdly. I immediately shook my head and told her I’m fine.
Rin tilted her head. Her expression was a little lonely.
“...There were so many people here before. But now it’s almost empty.”
“Well, it’s closing time soon. But I think quite a few visitors are staying in lodging since it’s summer vacation.”
“Staying in lodging… So that’s possible.”
“Hey, it’s too expensive for high school students, okay? And we can do it in the future. For now, we should enjoy ourselves to the fullest.”
“Is that so? I think staying in lodging is going to be fun.”
“Haa. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
Enjoy this moment as much as we could. That was a lot easier. We didn’t have to overdo it.
“Even so, today was fun. It might be the most enjoyable day in my life.”
“Aren’t you exaggerating it?”
“That’s not true. I’ve never come to this kind of place. It’s very fun—“
Rin’s legs stopped when she saw the couple in front of us. They were hugging, kissing each other passionately.
Even if none of us brought this matter up, it would definitely turn awkward. I sighed and turned back to change our party.
Rin was staring at me. She was probably thinking of the same thing.
Her face was bright red, embarrassed after directly watching the couple flirting.
With subtle awkwardness and embarrassment, both of us stared silently at each other. Rin grabbed my hand, leaning on me.
Should I say something?
I don’t know.
About myself, and about Rin…
At least I knew that she didn’t hate me. I wasn’t that stupid…
However, I shouldn’t act unless I was sure. I shouldn’t think of her affection as deep love…
However, I was at loss and became dull. I lost my sensibility with Rin’s sense of distance.
Damn… I couldn’t organize my emotions. My head was filled with doubts.
Stupid! I should think normally…
This was not fiction. No dramatic development and happy ending would happen like those dramas.
That’s why, there’s no way that someone from an SSS-group would fall in love with someone at the bottom of the social ranking.
Looking back, I couldn’t find anything that would make her like me romantically. Rather, there’s nothing at all.
This strange relationship was too sudden. I had never talked to her before that day.
Yes… So stop dreaming, me!
Don’t forget… the most scary thing was ‘misunderstanding’.
The fact that I could stay near her was enough. I had no choice but to be satisfied with that…
And if I couldn’t stay satisfied with that…
I hope our current relationship will continue as long as possible.
I should have that mindset. That’s why I shouldn’t wish for anything more than this.
I sighed and looked up at the starless, pitch-black sky. Then I closed my eyes a little and fixed my expression.
“Rin, let’s come here again.”
Rin frowned for a moment, but she immediately replied with a smile, her voice clear as usual.
That smile burned into my memory and pierced my heart.
We had a casual conversation when we went home by train, then I sent Rin to her apartment. From time to time, she glanced at me to study my face, so I tried to smile at her.
But every time I did that, I felt ‘painful.’
I probably became a bit absentminded after thinking and worrying about these things.
I didn’t even realize that Rin, who I thought had entered the building, stood in front of me until she called my name out.
“...W-what happened, Rin?”
Surprised at her appearance, I flinched.
Yet she was staring at me with clear eyes. Her line of sight was sharp… and a little scary.
“I knew it. You are strange…”
“Towa-kun, your smile is strange.”
“Aren’t you too heartless?”
I smiled bitterly. However, I also felt a prick on my heart at the same time.
“I’m not. Towa-kun, you always make that smile during your part-time job. Especially when you are making a distance from other people…”
No words came out of my mouth. Because she caught me off so accurately.
“I can see that you’re faking your expression. And I know that Towa-kun is a blunt and unfriendly person who won’t smile without any reason.”
I couldn’t find my words well. Not even a quibble came on my mind.
“So I have decided.”
“Yes, to prepare myself.” Then Rin took a deep breath. “This probably means I was too lenient.”
“To be honest, it’s embarrassing… I’ve found out that half-hearted things aren’t enough to destroy the stronghold. So I shall prepare myself.”
I didn’t understand what she was talking about. But it definitely had something to do with me. That ‘something’ was big enough to make her ‘prepare’.
But I didn’t have any idea. I didn’t know when, what, and the thing she had decided on.
Ignoring my confusion, Rin continued, “This is my declaration of war. However, I’m sure Towa-kun doesn’t understand my words right now…”
“That’s fine. I’ll make you understand that no matter how much you try to twist it, you can only reach one answer.” Rin pointed her index finger at me and declared dignifiedly. Then she put that finger on my lips and said, “So you should be prepared too, okay?”
A warm breeze blew between Rin and me, as if changing the atmosphere. It was a signal that announced the real beginning.
Somehow, I had such a feeling.
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