Source

https://kakuyomu.jp/works/16817330649941556887/episodes/16817330651536798821

Monday night.

I had been summoned by my father. It was unusual, because he wanted to talk to me.

We had dinner together. I knocked on his room, wondering what he wanted to talk about.

“It’s Nagi.”

“Come in.”

“Excuse me.”

After a brief conversation, I entered the room.

Father’s room is simple. No, there’s only one luxurious area. It’s his work desk.

He had installed it so that he could work in his room. Father was sitting in a chair in front of the desk.

“Sit down.”

“Yes.”

I sat down on a nearby chair. I wondered what he was going to say to me.

My heart was racing a little.

Then, my father coughed a little.

“……Nagi. I hear that you are enjoying your high school life these days. Is it true?”

“Yes. I’m having a good time.”

I answered so because there was no need to be dishonest. I suppose it means that it’s the same as before. Souta kun….no. I told him about my friend.

It was a sudden thing.

“I see. ….Do you have someone that you like?”

My father asked me that.

My heart made an unpleasant thumping sound.

“…..I don’t understand what you’re asking.”

No.

That’s wrong.

I should’ve answered with ‘I have’ right now.

Clenching my fists, I wait for what my father will say.

I wait.

“So that’s it. You’ve been approached by a marriage proposal, Nagi. …..I had told them it was too early in her first year of high school.”

A shock as if my heart would stop…….and at the same time.

I thought it had finally come. Strangely, my heart. It immediately calmed down.

“The other party. Who is it?”

I asked.

No, I shouldn’t have asked that.

But still the other person. ……If it’s someone who has nothing to do with my father’s business.

Such a glimpse of hope for me――

“Ah. It’s Minamikawa Yuuto san.”

It was crushed.

“……Minamikawa, you mean that?”

“Yeah. I was surprised too.”

Minamikawa. That’s the surname of the president of the company that is in rivalry with my father.

I should not ask any more questions. Quickly, I have to say no.

And tell him about Souta kun.

There’s someone I like.

“…..Why such a person?”

“Your performance the other day, Nagi. I heard that his son fell in love with you there. I checked him out and he is a very nice and sincere person. He even gave me his picture.”

Saying that, my father took out a picture.

However, I don’t care about the other person’s character or appearance.

Compared to Souta kun, whoever he is would be misty.

So, I have to tell him about Souta kun. I have to.

“But, father. ……With a company with which you have a rivalry. Isn’t it tough in many ways?”

Why doesn’t this mouth work the way I want it to?

“Hm? Oh. ……Actually, they’ve come up with a condition. If you accept, I’d like you to set up a meeting this weekend, on Sunday. I was able to tell them that that alone would be pretty good for the company if you were even able to get engaged. He said he’d be happy to help me with the business……or, to put it another way, he’d be happy to be a subsidiary of ours.”

That’s an unbeatable deal.

I don’t know that much about the company yet. Still, I understand.

It’s too good for us. ……To the point where I got a little scared.

“……It’s suspicious.”

“I thought so too, and did a lot of research. ……As a result, it seemed that they really had no ambition anymore. He works for the sake of his son. ….They said they didn’t care what happened to  the company or anything else. ‘I will never lose to you,’ he had said, and he wasn’t like that anymore.”

That’s how much he cared about his own son. No, it was also his ego as a parent.

He said he would do it for his son’s sake. I’m sure there are more than one or two people who will be disadvantaged by this.

“……Father. You think there’s no backstabbing.”

“Yeah. Right. Even if there was, it could be done in any way.”

Then……

No, no.

That’s not it.

I have to say no, I have to.

Really?

You’re going to turn it down?

This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

If I miss it. I may never be able to repay the favor.

Are you sure you want to miss out?

If this is how my father’s business will expand. He will be one….or even two or three heads above the other rival companies. Thenmyr father will be one step closer to his dream.

We have an opportunity right in front of us. …..I can’t let it get away.

“You’re only in your first year, Nagi, I think it’s still too early for you. However…..Nagi has always been bad at interacting with boys. I also think it’s a good opportunity. And the other guy is an adult with moderation, too, so you won’t be afraid of him.”

Hearing those words, I closed my eyes.

……I’m.

I’m.

No. I have to say it. Even though I shouldn’t…….

I have to tell him about Souta kun. I have to.

But if I miss this. My father’s happiness will be far away–

My mind went blank. ……I’m.

Souta kun? Or my father’s happiness?

I–

I–

“I understand.”

I nodded.

“This weekend, right? On Sunday. I’ll be fine.”

When I said this, my father looked a little worried.

“…Are you sure? Even if I give you some time to think about it.”

“No. ……It’s something I decided to do a long time ago.”

When I was a little girl, I had asked my father about it.

[When I grow up, I want to help father. What should I do?]

I want to be useful to my father. But I didn’t know what to do. So I asked.

“Study a lot. ……And if you can, I want you to carry on my business, my dream. Oh, yes. Maybe. Maybe I’ll get a cool son-in-law. And when you do, be good to him.”

“Yes ! Surely. I promise !”

Because I was told so.

Because I promised.

That’s exactly…how it is.

If this will make my father happy.

This life. I will use it for the two of them who raised me.

With that in mind, I looked at my father and……saw a look that I had only seen a few times before. 

“I see. ……This time has finally come. I’ll tell the other side. But if you decide you can’t make it after meeting them face to face, just tell me.”

“……Thank you.”

It had been years since I had seen such a look on my father’s face.

If only I could have seen that look. Good.

…….I have to say, I’m glad.

◆◆◆

And then. The days went on like hell.

I couldn’t sleep at night. I’m tormented by self-loathing and think about Souta kun all the time.

I had to tell Souta kun as soon as possible. I knew that I had to tell him.

It’s all my own fault. ……No, it’s worse than that. I’m deceiving Souta kun.

I wondered if I would still be involved in this. I felt nauseous and vomited. I had a stomach ache and holed myself up in the bathroom.

I almost got caught because  Suzaka san is very perceptive. I camouflaged myself by getting some medicine for my stomach. I told Suzaka san that I would not tell him until the day before. I told her not to tell my father either.

My mother and father did not find out. ……I have always been good at hiding things.

“……”

I’m not even allowed to breathe a sigh. ……I don’t want to forgive myself.

This is who I am, and I hope I suffer. It’s too light a price to pay for playing with people.

The time for the phone call is approaching again. Today is the time to talk. I have to tell him…….

I shouldn’t have done that.

“Well then, see you tomorrow. Good night, Souta kun.”

“Yeahh, see you tomorrow. Good night, Nagi.”

I couldn’t say it again.

In the end, the day came when I went to the amusement park with Souta kun.

◆◆◆

I finally decided to give in to my feelings. I will tell Souta kun today. That’s for sure.

But if I tell him out of the blue…..I’ll ruin what Souta kun was looking forward to.

……And then. I’m sure that I’m going to tell him today, and I’m going to ruin it.

It sucks, I know. ……But. I couldn’t stop it.

I just couldn’t stop myself from getting closer than usual. I enjoyed it.

I didn’t expect him to find out that something had happened, but he didn’t pursue it.

And have fun. ……A lot of fun.

“I won’t be able to see Souta kun any more after today.”

I said.

I betrayed his trust. I betrayed everything.

–It was the moment when I betrayed someone for the first time.

I cursed and hated myself. And I wished that Souta kun would feel the same way. Souta kun would never think such a thing.

I was determined. No matter what Souta kun says…I don’t think so. If I took hard measures, I was going to resist.

……No. I was the one who resorted to drastic measures. unintentionally.

I got greedy.

I said goodbye to Souta kun and ran. I never looked back.

I will always love you. I loved you.

…..I know I can’t see you anymore, but, I know I shouldn’t be praying like this.

But I still want to pray for you.

–I pray that you will be happy in your life.

–I hope you find someone you love.

◆◆◆

After I got home, there was still some trouble. It was Suzaka san.

When Suzaka san heard what I had to say, she turned pale. Then she immediately wanted to go and tell my father.

[It’s not too late.]

She said.

Somehow, I managed to stop her. If she told him now…..I would be in real trouble.

My father’s work will be affected. The loss would be immeasurable. I explained over and over again, to the point of exhaustion.

I had no face to show to Souta kun. 

After saying that, she finally agreed. 

I hid my crying marks with makeup. Even after dinner, I was sick to my stomach. I ate it somehow.

My mother was wondering. ……It should be fine, I guess.

I will not be pursued. I ate my dinner and went back to my room as if to escape.

◆◆◆

I couldn’t sleep. But, strangely enough, my eyes were clear.

My eyes are fine now. They’re a little red, but that’s nothing a little makeup can’t take care of.

I looked in the mirror and was surprised to see that I looked exactly the same as I had a few months ago.

–Several months ago. Because you had the exact same expression as me at that time.

[Ice Princess]. I don’t know who said it first. ……I don’t know if I say it myself, but my face suited those nicknames well.

There’s no emotion in that expression.. ……No, I do have feelings, but I don’t show them. 

Oh, I see ……There’s no need to show them anymore. Because I can’t see Souta kun anymore.

I shook my head and slapped my cheeks, telling me to get a hold of myself.

Today, my mother will personally do my makeup and dress me.

When it was time, my mother came into the room–and stared at my face.

“…… Nagi. Have you changed a little?”

At those words. I was surprised.

“Why? What made you think so?”

“….Since yesterday. I saw a slight change in your expression. Did something bad happen?”

At my mother’s words, I closed my mouth.

I became a little impatient. My heartbeat quickens.

“Or……You really don’t like today’s marriage proposal. If it’s hard for you to tell your father, then I will–“

“No, I don’t hate it.”

I shook my head and said that. Mother was about to say something, but she didn’t say anything more.

I closed. I asked my mother to put on my makeup and even dress me.

Makeup and dressing. I learned from my mother. That’s why her skills are definitely better than mine.

“…….Here. You’ve become very beautiful. Even your mother couldn’t help but admire it.”

“Thank you very much–“

I was surprised when I looked at myself. I was surprised. Oh, my make-up was still there. sooner than you think.

–I wanted to show it to Souta kun. 

When I closed my eyes. I remember the feeling of that time. ……The soft feel of his lips.

I don’t like it. I don’t want anyone other than him to see me like this.

“Nagi?”

“No, nothing.”

No, I can’t cry here……

I know I shouldn’t.

But still. I feel like overflowing.

I want to see him. I want to see him. This look.

…..I want to be caressed by his warm hands. I want to be hugged and feel his warmth.

I know I can’t do it anymore.

“N-Nagi….? What’s wrong?”

Even if you close your eyes and try to endure it. It overflows.

I can’t. I have to switch quickly. I’m going to ruin the makeup I’ve been given–

“Um, ……Nagi. Excuse me for a moment.”

Softly. The sweet fragrance enveloped me.

“Mother?”

“…..I’m sorry. I don’t know why you’re crying, Nagi. If it makes you feel better to talk about it. Please talk to me.”

That warmth. Kindness… how long has it been?

But I shouldn’t be spoiled. I don’t deserve to be spoiled.

To be spoiled by someone, I-

Ding dong 

The bell rang. It’s still early in the morning……so it’s someone I’m about to meet. It couldn’t be Minamikawa san.

Intercoms are all over this house. …..One of them was in front of my room.

I heard footsteps. ……Maybe it was Suzaka san. With a clang. I heard the sound of someone picking up the intercom leading to the front door.

“Yes, it’s Suzaka, a servant from the Shinonome family. How may I help you? ……Eh?”

From outside. I heard a small Suzaka san’s voice.

“Eh?”

That voice was very puzzled. I was still holding my fingers to the tears that were spilling out. My ears naturally tilted outward.

“–Minori sama?”

At those words. I froze.

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Ashe
Ashe
1 month ago

i had lots of emotions over this chap but i held em down i also was listening to cant stop this feeling while reading thid