While I was taking classes like this, the time passed quickly and it was after school.
Today, too, Shu was taken away by Iori, who showed up just after school, but Ayana and I decided to go home right away because Shu told us at that time that it was okay to go home first today.
“Do you want to stop somewhere today?”
“No, I think I’ll just go straight home. Is there anything you want Ayana?”
“No, anything is fine with me as long as I’m with you, Towa-kun.”
Ayana hugged my arm to her chest.
(I’ve been swept along, haven’t I?)
It’s already obvious that something is going on between me and Ayana.
And yet, while I would like to know it, I never take any definite action against Ayana.
This is probably because I feel comfortable with my current situation.
The moment I get close to Ayana is when there are no familiar faces around, including Shu, and I am happy to be spending time with her.
“What is it?”
A gaze that made me think, “Please say anything,” shot through me.
Something whispers to me that I should just drift away with her once more, not caring about the surroundings, not thinking about anything difficult, but simply enjoying what is given to me.
At that moment, I was about to start thinking something like “Well, I guess it’s okay…”
It was a sight that I happened to see.
We were walking on a sidewalk in the city, and there was a lot of car activity on the nearby streets.
In such a situation, a girl is waving her hand to the other side of the crosswalk.
(…..What’s going on?)
It is a scene that could be seen anywhere.
I couldn’t take my eyes off the girl who was waving at the group of people, probably her friends.
It was a kind of chest-thumping, it seemed, that became the worst reality.
Ayana and I shouted at about the same time.
The traffic light for pedestrians was still red, but the girl started walking toward the other side of the street.
I ran out and left Ayana behind the moment I knew what’s going to happen.
“Oh, wait, Towa-kun!”
I heard Ayana’s voice, but I did not stop.
The people around me started to notice something was wrong, but it was already too late, and a car drove toward the girl.
The sound of the horn sounded right after the car, the girl stopped moving as she was petrified.
At this point, I was desperate to save the girl.
I didn’t care what happened to me, I didn’t even have time to think about it, I managed to get to the girl in time and hugged her small body.
As soon as I hugged the girl, a strange scene appeared in my mind.
I extended my arms to the stunned Shu, and then……..
The only thing I could sense even with my eyes closed was the sound of the horn and emergency braking, and the commotion around me, but I didn’t have time to think about what was going on.
“A-Are you all right?!”
The driver got out of the car in a panic and called out to us.
I thought he was going to yell at us, but the driver seemed to be a very kind person and seemed to understand the situation.
The scene was noisy for a while, but since everyone was safe, it didn’t turn into a big trouble and the crowd became sparse.
“Be careful from now on, okay?”
“Y-yes…… Thank you, Onii-chan!”
I’m sure if her parents were nearby, they would scold her for this, I thought with a wry smile.
“I’m glad for now. Truly.”
I returned to Ayana, relieved that nothing had happened.
However, I finally realized the gravity of the situation when I got here.
“Towa-kun……you’re okay, right!? You didn’t get hurt…right?!”
Ayana hugged me with tears streaming down her face.
It was a dangerous situation, and I was very sorry for making Ayana worry. However, to be clear, Ayana’s condition was abnormal.
“You’re alive… you’re alive. You’re not injured… I never want to experience something like that again… Towa-kun… Towa-kun, Towa-kun, Towa-kun!”
She hugged me and buried her face in my chest, mumbling to herself the whole time.
I couldn’t stand there for long, so I put my hand on Ayana’s shoulder and asked her to leave for a while so we could start walking.
I had no plans to go anywhere, so I decided to head to my place right away to calm Ayana down. I was going to go to my house to calm Ayana down, because she was acting so strange.
I was not able to get a glimpse of Ayana’s expression because she was still in my arms and not speaking.
Eventually, things continued as they were, and when we arrived at my house and entered my room, Ayana finally seemed to have calmed down enough to speak and talk.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to cry like that.”
“No, it’s okay. It’s completely fine. I made Ayana worried, that’s why…”
Of course I don’t think it was wrong to save that girl.
But I know that I was the cause of what happened to Ayana, and the worst part is that I didn’t think anything of it at the time.
(…… I think it’s admirable that I helped her. But I didn’t think about myself …… in front of a girl who grieved so much…)
If the car hadn’t stopped, there was a possibility that I would have shown the worst moment to Ayana, and above all, it would have deeply saddened my mother, who always thinks about me…
“…… I’m really sorry.”
When I hugged Ayana, who was still shaking, she also put her arms around my back and hugged me, as if seeking reassurance.
(……Ah, it really calms me down when I’m like this.)
It feels like she’s the only one in this world, the only one, Ayana.
I was feeling such comfort, but at the same time, I was sure that I was getting a lot of information that was worrisome to me.
(The vision I saw at that time …… of Towa trying to save Shu. What was the meaning of the words that Ayana uttered?)
As I was quietly thinking about this, I heard a voice in my chest.
“…… I thought I might lose you, Towa-kun.”
I listened to her voice as if she was trying to push away her bitterness.
When she looked up, her eyes were red and swollen, and they were so bloodshot that I could see how much I had saddened her.
Ayana continues to speak.
“To me, Towa-kun is more important than anyone else. I’ve been living my life as I’ve been told all my life, and you took my hand and taught me many things. …… I love you so much, I love you so much, I love you so much!!”
She told me that she loved me, and my hands tightened as I held Ayana in my arms.
Even though it was Towa, not me, who expressed affection for her, my body moved of its own accord as if I had been told so.
It was as if my own soul and Towa’s soul overlapped, and I felt as if something was born inside me that made me think it had been Towa all along.
I continued to hug Ayana for a while, and she finally regained her normal composure and pulled away from me.
“I’m sorry, Towa-kun, but it’s all right now. “
“I see. I’m glad to hear that.”
Reflexively, I reached out and stroked Ayana’s head.
The feel of her silky black hair feels so good, and it makes me want to stay like this forever.
“…… kind of reminds me of the old days when you do this”
“The old days?”
“Yes. That …… was a totally different situation then than it is now, but it reminded me of my time with Towa-kun, who found me crying and called out to me.”
Ayana then began to talk.
As if reminiscing, Ayana told me about the time when Towa and Ayana first met, a time that was never mentioned in the game and that no one ever knew about.