Tick, tick , tick. The ticking of the clock skipped around the room. At the same time, the sound of bells reached my ears from the TV.
Nagi is right next to me.
Nagi was sitting on the bed, gently laying her hand on mine. Sometimes she would wrap her hands around my hand as if she was caressing it, stroking the back of my hand or tickling the palm of my hand.
Sometimes she would gently lift my hand and place it on her cheek.
I stroked her soft cheek as she asked me to. She let out a small, happy sound.
There was no conversation. But it was not awkward at all. In fact, I liked it. Such a leisurely time.
The alarm of the phone on the desk went off. The bell was about to ring for the last time.
The year had changed.
Nagi took her hands off me and stood up. She straightened her back and adjusted her posture.
I stood up so that I was facing Nagi.
“Happy New Year, Souta kun.”
“Yeah, Happy New Year, Nagi.
We bowed to each other. When we looked at each other, Nagi smiled softly.
“Last year, thanks to Souta kun, I had the happiest year in my life.”
“Me too. Thanks to Nagi, it was the most fun and happiest year I’ve ever had.”
Nagi gently brought her face close to mine. I hugged her back–
Nagi’s sweet and soothing smell filled my brain.
“Last year, I only met Souta kun in September. But even so, we were able to be so happy.”
“It’s only been three months, huh.”
“Fufu. I feel like we have been together for about three years now.”
In the past three months, we have been dating and even became engaged. You never know what will happen in life.
We still have a long way to go. I’m looking forward to the happiness that awaits us. Although there will be hardships, too.
“I’m going to make you happier this year, okay? Prepare yourself.”
“……Yeah. I’ll make Nagi happier too.”
Together with Nagi. We can get over it. I’m sure.
After my words, Nagi put her cheek against my cheek.
Sticky and soft, rubbing against each other’s cheek.
“I love you, Souta kun. I’ll never leave you no matter what.”
“Yeah, I won’t leave you either. I will make Nagi happy.”
“Me too. I, not anyone else, will make Souta kun happy. I promise.”
After all, I had a record of ruining a marriage proposal.
There’s no way I could say that I don’t have the confidence to make Nagi happy–I didn’t even think about it.
“I love you, Nagi.”
I’ll never let this smile cloud my mind.
Nagi put her lips on mine again. She hugged me tightly.
I noticed that her lips were on my earlobe.
“I love you.”
She whispered to me. I almost shivered all over.
Nagi pulled away. She smiled as if nothing had happened.
“Fufu. Shall we go greet Mother-in-law and Father-in-law for the New Year then?”
“Yes, I guess so.”
This…. is not going to end for a while longer. That’s what I felt.
[Happy new year, Nagi. Souta kun.]
[Happy new year, Nagi and Souta kun.]
“Happy New Year. Soichiro san, Chie san.”
“Happy New Year. Papa, Mama.”
After saying New Year’s greetings to my parents and a few phone calls to say hello to Eiji and the others.
I decided to have a video call with Soichiro san and the others. It seems to be a suggestion from Chie san.
We sit in a row of chairs in front of the study desk. It feels a little cramped, but I don’t plan on talking for very long, so I guess it’s okay.
I can see Soichiro san and Chie san from the smartphone propped up on the desk. From the angle of view, it looks like they’re using a PC.
I bowed my head to tell Soichiro san first.
“Soichiro san. I’m very grateful for everything you’ve done behind the scenes. Thank you so much.”
[Don’t worry about it. You’re like a son to us now. …..You can call me father-in-law, okay?]
I almost smiled wryly at those words and…..stopped.
“Right. If it’s okay with you two, I’d like to call you father-in-law and mother-in-law.”
We have to get along from now on.
If so, the sooner we get closer, the better.
Even for me. I wanted to get to know the two of them.
Then, Soichiro san closed his eyes. He held the tops of his eyes.
[I’m sorry. I’ve been having trouble with tears lately, probably due to my age.]
[Fufu. He was looking forward to the day when Souta kun would call him father-in-law. Of course, me too.”
I should have said it sooner.
While thinking that, I bowed my head when I saw the two of them.
‘Well then, once again. Please take care of me, father-in-law, mother-in-law.”
[Yeah. Of course, Souta kun.”
[Fufu. Thank you for your words. Let’s get along from now on.]
……Chie san. No, my mother-in-law. I feel like she’s smiling more.
No, not just my mother-in-law. The air seems to have softened somewhat for my father-in-law as well. I felt like that.
[Well, it’s late at night, and I don’t want to talk too long.]
[If we continue as usual, Nagi will be getting sleepy.]
As my mother-in-law said, Nagi’s eyes were starting to glaze over a little. She said she would try her best to stay awake at the end of the year until the beginning of the new year, but it seems she has reached her limit.
[I’m looking forward to seeing you here.]
“Yes. I will visit you soon.”
[You don’t have to be in such awe.]
…..Little by little. I have to be able to respond to them in a normal way.
Because we are family now.
[Well, good night, both of you.
“Yes. Good night.”
Nagi seemed to be getting sleepy. She was not speaking well.
I greeted them and hung up the phone. Then, Nagi leaned on me like a doll with broken strings.
“Nagi. Shall we go to bed?”
Nagi shook her head loosely. Her figure is like a small child.
“Since it’s like this. I’ll stay up yet.”
“……Ss that so?”
The first thing to do is to make sure that you have a good time with your family and friends.
I smiled and held her body in my arms.
Even if she said that, her eyes were half closed.
I smiled wryly and hugged her body.
“Shrine visit. Should we do it today?”
“Let’s do it…..”
……This is. She might not even remember the reply by the time she woke up.
I put my hands behind her knees and on her back. The bed is just around the corner, so it should be fine.
“I’m going to lift you up. Just hold on to it.”
Nagi’s hand was gently placed on my clothes. The force of her hand is quite weak, but…..well. I think I’ll be fine.
I almost lost my balance when I lifted her from the chair, but I managed to finish carrying Nagi to the bed.
I turned off the light and lay down next to her. Nagi was half asleep, but she opened her hand to me.
Her voice was sleepy and sweet. But there is no mockery in the tone of her voice.
She’s like a spoiled child……but a little different.
At the same time as being spoiled, it seems to say that she wants to be spoiled. There was a faint light of compassion in her eyes.
In response, I put my arm around Nagi’s back. I put my other arm under her shoulder and around the back of her head, stroking her hair as if combing it.
There was no tugging on that silky hair, and Nagi’s cheeks loosened at the same time as I stroked it.
“It smells good.”
Nagi chuckled as she let out a satisfied sound. I hugged her thin but soft body.
I could hear the sound of Nagi’s heartbeat. I can feel its warmth and feel relieved.
When I hug Nagi, I feel at peace. …..It’s strange because this stimulates something that in some cases is positioned as the exact opposite.
I pulled my body slightly away from Nagi’s body.
There was a beautiful face right in front of me and Nagi had a small pout of her lips. It was really small.
I stroked her cheek and put my lips on hers.
I was surprised at the softness of it every time.
I want to do it forever.
It was so full of happiness.
However, I couldn’t let Nagi, who was looking sleepy, stay with me that long.
I was filled with more than enough happiness in my heart, even though it was only for one second.
“Good night, Nagi.”
“….Good night, Souta kun.”
And so we were able to greet the New Year.
We were happy and joyful. It was a happy beginning.
“There are so many people here.”
“It’s the first day. I expected it, but do you want to….change the day?”
“No, it’s fine. If it’s with Souta kun.”
That word suddenly struck me. I had a thought.
It’s too late to think about it.
“Ah, I forgot to ask you this for a long time. Nagi. Can I ask you something?”
“Yes, what is it?”
Nagi was about to walk, but stopped and turned around. At the same time, her hair, which was braided into a ponytail, swung around. Today’s hairstyle is a little different from usual.
To Nagi, who looked puzzled. I opened my mouth.
“Are you okay with man now?”
“Ah. About that.”
Nagi hugged my arm lightly and laughed a little.
She stands tall and puts her mouth close to my ear.
“I was so surprised that I didn’t want to give you to anyone else that I had to take the train alone to pick you up. It’s all right now.”
Hearing those words.
I was reminded of two memories in my mind.
When she came to pick me up last time. I remember when she told people around her that I was my fiancée at school.
And the other was–
That rainy day. When I forgot my umbrella, Nagi came to pick me up.
I was about to ask, but. I kept my mouth shut, thinking that it was uncivilized to ask that.
But Nagi seemed to have noticed. She lifted the edge of her mouth, laughed and put one of her index fingers in front of her lips.
“It’s a secret.”
And with a wink.
Why are you so cute?
I cover my face with my hands to hide the heat.
Nagi was looking at me like she was enjoying it.
I closed my eyes and said a prayer.
–Last year was the biggest life-changing year I’ve ever had.
–Please, may this year be free of trouble and misfortune. May I live in peace with Nagi and with my friends and family.
With this wish, I released my prayer.
I looked to the side and saw that Nagi was still closing her eyes.
Her eyelashes are long, and it’s more noticeable when her eyes are closed.
Of course, I like her usual expression in which her emotions are revealed.
But the way she was praying with her eyes closed like this—
–Beautiful. Very beautiful.
At that moment, Nagi’s eyelids opened. Blue eyes peeked out.
Those eyes, as blue as the sea, found me, and a pale, gentle light was shining in them.
“There are a lot of people waiting. Shall we leave for now?”
“I guess so.”
I held hands with Nagi so as not to get separated from her, and left the place.
“I thanked god. I told him thank you for letting me ride the same train with Souta kun.”
Nagi’s murmur was small, but it was clearly audible even in this crowded crowd.
“Souta kun had the courage to help me. That is where I thank Souta kun, not God.”
I should also thank God for letting me meet Nagi.
“Of course I prayed.”
I looked back at Nagi’s words and wondered what they were.
Nagi put her other hand on her chest and made a small movement with her mouth.
“I prayed for my family and friends, of course, but especially for Souta kun’s health.”
“……Well, there’s nothing better than not getting hurt or sick, right?”
“That is one thing, but the most important thing is.”
Nagi’s eyes shot through me. The soft, pale light warms my heart with a thump.
“It’s not God who makes Souta kun happy, it’s me.”
She said these words in a somewhat proud manner.
My cheeks relaxed at the very Nagi-like words.
“If Souta kun is healthy. I will support you and make you happy, I promise.”
“……Ah. You’re right.”
From the bottom of my heart, I strongly think.
“I’m glad Nagi is my lover and…..my fiancée.”
“Fufu. I’m also glad Souta kun is my fiancee.”
Once again. I have to thank Eiji and others for pushing me.
Nagi shuddered slightly.
“It’s cold because the number of people is suddenly decreasing.”
It’s a road that people pass, so I’ll stop by the corner and call Nagi. Then I took out the muffler from my bag.
“……! You kept it !”
“Even though it’s something I got from Nagi, I have to use it properly. I carry it every day.”
I have a pair of gloves, too. But.
“That’s because wearing gloves makes it hard to feel Nagi’s body temperature…sorry. I’m aware that I said something really disgusting.”
“Fufu. It’s not bad at all, and I’m happy.”
Nagi’s hands wrap around mine. Those blue eyes were soft and stared at me.
“I also feel a little lonely when I cannot feel Souta kun’s body warmth.”
I almost let out a strange voice at those words. I coughed one more time to cover it up.
“I’m glad to hear that. Then I’m going to roll it up. Please come a little closer to me.”
Nagi nodded with a smile and approached next to me. We both wrapped the scarf together. I’ll wear gloves when I’m outside alone.
“Yeah, me too.”
I looked next to me and saw Nagi’s face right there. I’m not going to kiss her here, as I thought.
Even if I don’t kiss her, Nagi is right next to me. That was enough to fill my heart.
The winter vacation was about to end.
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