“…….Something happened.”

I told her how I had found the ring in the river, how Sumika had apologized to me and exposed her misdeeds, and how Sumika was punished.

Then, Kohime showed me an expression that did not match any feelings of joy, anger, sadness, or happiness.

She is a kind woman, so I guess she was happy that Sumika got what was coming to her, but at the same time, she felt a bit bitter about it.

She may not have been able to wrap her head around it yet, but I’m glad that the ring had been found anyway.

As soon as Sumika came to me and we started looking for the ring together, we found it.

I had a good look at the place where Sumika had thrown the ring away, but I thought it might have been washed away by the current of the river, so I widened the search area.

However, Sumika said, [Diamonds are said to be heavy and sink in water, so maybe it hasn’t been washed away that much]. So we focused our search on the area where the ring had landed.

Then, the ring was found in a gap between two large stones at the bottom of the river, just a little off the point where the ring landed.

“I was surprised that such a thing had happened….. I cannot forgive Sumika san for throwing the ring away, but I’m grateful that she found it. Above all, it is amazing that she revealed all the wrongdoings she has done so far to her classmates. If I were in the same position, I doubt I could have acted the same way.”

It is only natural that Kohime cannot forgive Sumika.

There is no way she can forgive her, and she has done so much to her that she is too much of a human being not to want revenge.

Even so, instead of continuing to resent Sumika, who has reflected on her actions and is trying to move on, Kohime stands in Sumika’s shoes and even respects her, saying that she could never do what Sumika has done.

Indeed, Kohime is a girl with a Buddha-like mindset.

Well, I don’t think there is any way that Kohime would ever be in the same situation as Sumika in the first place…….

“What happened to Sumika san then? She should be back in school by now, right?”

“It’s a cruel thing. Most of the students don’t talk to Sumika and ignore her when she talks to them. It’s only natural that they are so disgusted with her behavior.”

“I see…….. I feel a little sorry for her, but she deserves it.”

“Even this is still not enough. Well, even though I feel sorry for her, Mai chan is still with Sumika, so it’s still better. Like Kohime, who was by my side when I was being treated as a bad person.”

“N-no, that’s a little…embarrassing…”

Kohime was embarrassed after hearing my words, but I never felt embarrassed by the embarrassing lines I said.

That is because I no longer had to hide my true feelings.

“… Kohime, thank you so much. For always being by my side and supporting me. You said that the first time I went to Kohime’s house. We have a relationship where we can heal each other’s sorrows. I wish I could be like that. I don’t know if I can support Kohime, but I’m definitely supported by you. I’m happy that we have that kind of relationship now.”

Normally, this would be an embarrassing line, but I was prepared for it, and the embarrassing line came out of my mouth without hesitation.

As if responding to my lines, Kohime looked me in the eye and began speaking.

“……I haven’t been able to repay Eita san yet. You saved my life, so I can’t repay you enough even if I spend my whole life. And yet, not only did you save my life, but you gave me so much more than that. That’s why I would like to continue to repay Eita san’s kindness. Eita san said he didn’t know, but he has more than enough support for me. We have developed a relationship where we can heal each other’s sorrows. thank you very much”

I never dreamed that what I said when I first went to Kohime’s house and told her that I hoped we could have a relationship that could heal each other’s sorrows would become a reality.

I guess the reason we were able to have such a relationship is because Kohime is a person who sincerely wants others to be happier than she is.

……And well, I should also praise myself for growing up a little.

“I’m glad Kohime thinks so too. Thanks for giving me this ring. It gave me courage and I didn’t have to stop going to school.”

“I thought you might be annoyed at being given the ring, so I’m relieved to hear you say so.”

Considering her position, I can understand why she might feel uneasy about giving me a wedding ring, wondering if it would be a nuisance.

And yet, when I was suffering from bullying, Kohime gave me an engagement ring without hesitation.

I wonder how much determination it took for her to do this.

I knew that Kohime was too kind to think about me without thinking about herself.

I can’t help but like her so much that I want to hug her right now.

But I can only do that after I tell her how I feel.

The reason I didn’t tell her that I found the ring until today  is because I was planning to give it to her today, Christmas Eve, at this place.

Christmas Eve is the day when Taketsugu san gave Chikage san the engagement ring.

And this rooftop of a building with a beautiful view was the memorable place where the ring was handed over.

This ring was handed down from Taketsugu san.

I wanted to give the ring here today to cherish the memory of both of them.

“I was really depressed after Sumika and I broke up. But it was Kohime who filled that hole. Not only did she fill the hole, but she instantly jumped out of the hole that Sumika was in and filled my entire heart. I have nothing but gratitude, and I don’t know what would have happened if I had not met you. You may think I’m overreacting, but it’s because of you that I’m alive today.”

“I think that’s an exaggeration.”

“Right. But I’m not really exaggerating. …..Kohime is already in my heart, and I’m confident that I won’t be able to live if Kohime goes away.”

“Fufu. What is that? Please try your best to live even if I’m gone.”

“I’ll do my best. Anyway, as I said before, my heart is already filled with Kohime. It’s more essential than oxygen in my life.”

“Couldn’t you have come up with a prettier analogy? If there is no oxygen, you will really die, right?”

The smile on her face as she said that was more beautiful than the night view outside the window, and it wasn’t just a copy of some TV drama or anime.

I thought to myself, who in the world would say such a cringy line,  but I was amazed that there were moments when I really felt that way.

“I need Kohime so much that I might really die if she’s not around–that’s a quirky way of putting it, but……”

“I don’t want Eita san to die even if I’m gone, so please promise me that. We both know very well that with both of our mother and father, we could lose someone important to us at any moment.”

Now that wasn’t an appropriate statement as we both lost our parents at a young age.

I should not have said so easily that if Kohime died, I would die, too.

I couldn’t convey it well, but what I wanted to say was that I love her that much.

It was difficult, but I had to put it into words and tell her clearly.

“…..I think you’re right. I’m sorry for saying it so easily. Even if you die before me, I promise I won’t die until I live out my life. Anyway, what I wanted to tell you is that I love you.”

“……! !”

What are you surprised about? Isn’t that what you mean when you gave the ring?”

“B-but, you might have just come to return the ring…….”

“That’s not true. Shall I say it again? I love Kohime.”

“Wha, it’s cowardly to say it over and over again !”

Her blushing face was so cute that I felt a little bit mean, but I plan to convey my feelings to Koime as many times as I can from now on, so I don’t want her to blush just like this.

“So, what’s your reply?”

“…I don’t care if it’s because Eita san saved my life or something like that. I love Eita san too.”

The moment she said that, I was hugging Kohime with all my desire.

I wonder if Taketsugu san also hugged Chikage san in this way while looking at this view. I wonder if he felt love in this way.

As I thought about this, I also understood deeply the grief that Taketsugu san must have felt when he lost Chikage san, and a single tear rolled down my cheek.

Although I have not yet become engaged to Kohime just because my confession was successful and she became my girlfriend, if I were to lose her now, I’m not confident that I would be able to recover.

Taketsugu an is amazing.

Even after Chikage san passed away, he got back on his feet and raised Kohime by herself.

……My mother is also amazing.

If I end up marrying Kohime, I’ll be sure to show my filial piety to both Taketsugu and my mother.

In fact, I will definitely marry her.

Anyway, I lost my girlfriend, Sumika, and I gained a great partner, Kohime.

After breaking up with Sumika and saving Kohime from being hit by a car, I vividly remember that my mother told me that I was crying a crybaby.

I would never have realized at the time.

I’m sure that my encounter with Kohnime was neither a coincidence nor an inevitability.

If I had not tried to save her at that time, I would never have met her, and if she had not devoted herself to supporting me after my accident, our relationship would never have continued.

I’m sure that we can change our lives rather easily by our own actions.

I guess it can be changed. For both good and bad.

If our meeting was not inevitable, Chikage san, who was worried about her friendless daughter, may have been trying to bring us together from heaven.

But I wonder.

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