“It’s pretty small inside.”
“I think we’ll have a little more room if we sit facing each other……what should we do?”
“No, I’ll leave it as it is. I would be happier if Souta kun is closer to me.”
We got on the Ferris wheel. I don’t think it’s just my imagination that there’s a slight tension in the air.
“Come to think of it, it’s already winter break. How are you planning to go to your house, Souta kun?”
“I’m going to take the Shinkansen because it would take too long by train.”
While answering so to Nagi. I closed once. Nagi continued to speak as if she was turning away from something.
“Shinkansen, huh. It’s my first time to ride it. By the way, Souta kun–“
-I called her name once, interrupting Nagi’s words. Nagi’s shoulders jumped.
“Thank you. But there is one thing I want to ask you first.”
Nagi is thinking about me and trying to entertain me. ……She was trying not to remind me of the trauma.
That makes me very happy.
But I felt that if I didn’t, Nagi would be spinning out of control again. ……It seemed that Nagi, who was trying to entertain me, was pushing herself a little too hard.
“Something….you want to ask?”
“Yeah. Maybe it’s something I can only ask here……and I thought if I don’t ask this, neither Nagi nor I will be able to move on.”
Nagi nodded her head with a small nod.
I took a deep breath once and faced Nagi.
“I want you to tell me if you have any concerns or worries.”
–I was not really going to ask her.
I thought that time would solve the problem.
But Nagi was different.
She wanted to start over. She was thinking seriously about our future.
Nagi widened her eyes.
Her mouth fell open and she squeezed out a few words as if she was muttering.
“How did you know?”
“Because I’ve been watching Nagi the whole time. ……Well, it was also because Eiji warned me about it.”
“By Makizaka san?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
That day. That’s what he told me on this day last week.
Even though it was resolved early, it’s difficult to switch immediately considering Nagi’s feelings.
[It will work out in the end, and time will solve it. But if she makes a mistake, she might become dependent on Souta. You don’t want that, do you?]
That’s why he told me I should watch Nagi closely.
Nagi looked at me while nodding her head and pretended to think a little.
After a few seconds.
“It occurred to me when I think about it.”
“I wonder if I can really make Souta kun happy.”
She said so, however, Nagi shook her head.
“No. As I said at that time, I will definitely make Souta kun happy. Definitely. No matter what.
But. Nagi looked down. She laughed as if she was mocking herself.
“I have a criminal record. I’ve hurt–someone important to me deeply. So sometimes I don’t believe in myself.”
Nagi gently placed her hand on her chest.
…..The expression on her face was very sad.
“What if I hurt Souta kun again? Just thinking about that made my chest hurt. I felt self-loathing. If that time really comes.”
Nagi closed her eyes. She opened her mouth.
I took her hand. It had become very cold.
I wrapped my hands around it. I looked at Nagi.
“Thank you for telling me. You don’t have to tell me the rest.”
I brought one hand to Nagi’s back and hugged her body.
“It must’ve been painful. Nagi.”
“N-no. Compared to me…..Souta kun is much more hurt.
“Even so. It must’ve been very hard for Nagi.”
In particular, it would have been painful to think of such a thing when she was all alone.
“It’s okay, Nagi. Such a future won’t come. I’m not saying that to comfort you, I’m saying it with a proper basis.”
Nagi looked up. Finally, her eyes looked at me.
It’s not the me who’s suffering in her imagination.
I’m happy now.
“Firstly, because Nagi is so worried about me. If you’re that worried about me, there’s no way such a future will come.”
“B-but. If I might hurt Souta kun without realizing it–“
“That won’t happen either.”
I denied Nagi’s words and smiled.
“Nagi is thoughtful. In fact, what happened before was just Nagi overthinking things and that’s what happened. It was just spinning at the time. That won’t happen.”
I let go of my hand, which had been on her back, up and patted Nagi’s head.
“The second reason is that Nagi’s parents are there.”
“…..You mean Papa and Mama?”
“Yeah. Soichiro san and Chie san. Because there are two of them.”
She nodded once and I ran my fingers through her smooth hair. Surprisingly, it doesn’t get caught, and it’s silky smooth and comfortable to the touch.
“This is just my opinion…..but if it’s just the two of us, I think I’ll regret it quite a bit. Just like Nagi.”
“So I won’t repeat the same mistake. I shouldn’t have to overlook the changes in Nagi. ……I don’t think it’s likely to happen first. Even if Nagi goes spinning, Soichiro san and Chie san…..and Suzaka san will stop you.”
Even Nagi is different from the previous Nagi. She has started to show her emotions on her face and is trying to get closer to Soichiro san and others. Not only the two of them, but also Suzaka san.
Well, I don’t believe that words can completely erase Nagi’s insecurities.
That’s what ‘anxiety’ is all about. What I can do is to talk like this or enjoy something with her so much that she forgets her anxiety.
“But you know, Nagi There is one thing I can say for sure.”
Nagi shows a puzzled expression on her face. Even with such an expression, it was very picturesque.
“…What is it?”
I moved my hand from Nagi’s head to her cheek. When I stroked her cheek, Nagi looked a little ticklish…..but also a little happy.
When I look at it, my cheeks naturally relax. Just like that, I tell Nagi while looking into her eyes.
“One month later. One year later. Three years later. Even five years from now, I will be by your side, Nagi. From now on, forever.”
With my other hand, I squeezed Nagi’s hand.
“At that time, all we have to do is laugh it off. [That kind of future didn’t come] We’ll both laugh about how our fears were unfounded. –I’ll make you laugh.”
And then. A drop of water trickled from Nagi’s eye and landed on my hand.
Nagi’s face was crumpled and distorted. Her eyes overflowed with tears.
“Uh, uh. …..”
“Nagi !? What’s wrong !?”
My head went blank for a moment. Calmly reflect on my statement.
But I can’t calm down. The next thing I knew, my face was hot as fire.
……What a cringe line I’m saying.
It’s true, but…no, it’s precisely because it was true that my face gets hotter and hotter.
But then I looked at Nagi again, thinking that it wasn’t right to cry over it.
Nagi shook her head, as if she realized what I was trying to say.
“No, no, no. Well that’s not wrong, um.”
“I-I understand. I understand, so let’s calm down and talk? Okay?”
I hugged Nagi, who was trying to force herself to speak. I tapped her back.
It’s what my mother and father used to do to me when I was crying because of a bad situation in the past. It seemed to have worked….and within a few minutes Nagi stopped crying.
I tried to let go of Nagi…but Nagi’s hand never left my back.
“I’m a little embarrassed. I’m going to say it as it is. Let me tell you…..the reason why I cried just now.”
“…..Yeah. I understand.”
I nodded and hugged Nagi again too.
“U-um, you see. I’m not saying that I don’t like what Souta kun said or anything like that. I’d rather say the opposite.”
Nagi continued, a little bristly.
“….I’m very. Very happy. So that’s why. I love Souta kun.”
I listened to Nagi’s words that followed.
“I loved you so much that I couldn’t be more. And yet–“
Nagi’s hand grabbed my clothes tightly. I looked up at her face.
Right in front of me, there is Nagi’s neat face. Her face was as red as an apple.
“I’ve come to like Souta kun even more.”
Her face came closer to me. The sweet fragrance became stronger, and at the same time, something soft touched my lips.
“I love you, but I love you even more.”
After saying that, Nagi buried her face in my neck.
“I thought I couldn’t love you more than this… And then my feelings of love and happiness exploded… and that’s what happened.”
Nagi’s words and breath tickled me. In order to disguise my trembling, I hugged Nagi even tighter.
“A few minutes ago. Souta kun, you said, [I don’t think that words can completely erase Nagi’s anxiety].”
“……? Ah, I said that.”
Nagi looked up. She looked up at me, her eyes fixed on mine, as if she was looking right at me.
At the same time as she said that, her eyes lit up with a slight warm glow.
“Everything has disappeared. When I got on the Ferris wheel, I suddenly remembered. All the anxieties in my heart had disappeared.”
Nagi smiled softly. Her expression is so beautiful, lovely, and warm that it is hard to imagine her being called the [Ice Princess] back then–
It was beautiful, lovely, and warm. It was such a smile.
A voice as clear and pleasant to hear as the sound of a bell called my name.
Her white fish-like fingers reached out, grabbed my hand, and held it.
“I love you.”
Those words were unwavering.
From the warmth of her hand, from the way she looked straight at me, and from the sound of her voice, I knew they were not lies.
My heart began to beat strongly.
“I love you more than anyone else. I will always love you. Only you.”
I can hear the sound of Nagi’s heartbeat over the sound of my own heartbeat.
Nagi’s face came closer and her sweet smell became stronger.
Our lips meet. Her soft lips are placed on mine, and at the same time, my hand is squeezed.
–The kiss is long. Normally, it would only take a few seconds at most.
Five seconds. Ten seconds. Twenty seconds, and so on.
Somehow, I tried not to be aware of it. But as the time continued, I couldn’t help but notice it. The soft feeling of Nagi’s breasts.
I could feel Nagi’s feminine softness and warmth. That made my heart beat even louder. But the sound of Nagi’s heart was also becoming as intense as mine……
After a little while, my breathing became more and more difficult. The same is probably true for Nagi. Her blue eyes had a wispy film over them.
I patted her shoulder and she left.
She looked very reluctant to leave.
Silver threads pulled from the edge of each of our mouths. The blood rushed to her face, and Nagi’s face was red as well.
Nagi put her hand on her cheek and took another deep breath.
Then she stared at me again.
“…..What is it?”
“You may be wondering what to do now. But once again, I have something to say.
At that time, it was decided with momentum.”
I nodded and waited for Nagi’s next words.
Nagi gently put her hand on my hand.
“–Souta kun. Please be my fiance.”
I was a little surprised at her words. But at the same time, I was also convinced.
The fact that Nagi and I are engaged to be married was decided by Nagi’s mother……Chie san. I guess she had her own feelings about it.
I’ll leave aside the times when she picked me up at high school and when she delivered something she forgot….as we were both a little out of control.
I grabbed Nagi’s hand back. Nagi opened her mouth again.
“Because I’m anxious, I guess. It’s not a negative reason. I want to make Souta kun happy. It’s because I want us to be happy together.”
I understand. Because I didn’t see any anxiety in Nagi’s expression anymore.
That’s why –I.
“Yeah. Of course. Let’s get engaged and…..be happy. The two of us.”
I said so. Nagi’s face lit up and she leaned closer.
“When we graduate from high school–no. I’ll stop saying it now.”
The Ferris wheel was finally about to reach the top.
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