Four years have passed since I graduated from college.
When I graduated from college, I joined a startup that could go out of business tomorrow as the 1st full-time employee. I originally worked there for a year and a half as an intern and had no peers, so I didn’t feel like a new graduate at all.
I would say that I joined a startup instead of a major company because I wanted to gain a lot of experience from a young age, even though I was relatively well-educated.
I joined this company as a full-time employee, and in my fourth year with the company, the business grew steadily from about a year after I joined, and the company was bought out by a publicly listed company in its seventh year of operation. I was given a few percent of the company’s shares of stock, which made me earn a lot of money compared to my peers.
By the way, I am still the chief manager of my original product at the M&A company. This means that I am a department manager in a typical company. [TLN: M&A is Mergers and acquisitions, click to read more]
I was 26 years old when I became the general manager of a publicly listed company, so I was surprised at how far I had come. I can only thank the company’s president for his appreciation and trust in me, even though there were more members who were older than me.
“I’m sorry, Yuu-kun, but the meeting went on for too long and I couldn’t get out.”
“Don’t worry about it. I’m sorry I called you when you were busy.”
“No, it’s fine. But what’s wrong all of a sudden? If you have something to talk about, why don’t we talk about it at home?”
Kanade and I were living together now.
Although Kanade said that I was busy, Kanade is also quite busy working every day. Kanade chose to work for a world-class Japanese cosmetics company. She is working hard in the public relations department, which can be said to be the star department of the company.
On weekdays, we are both so busy that we just go home, have a few drinks, and go to bed, but we always go out on weekends, so it is no exaggeration to say that we are still a lovey-dovey couple.
I am leading such a fulfilling life, but today I wanted to make it a more special day than usual, so I reserved a private room at a French restaurant on the top floor of the hotel, which I usually never go to, and which has a panoramic view of the night scenery.
“No, I wanted to talk to Kanade about something important today.”
“Important talk? What is it? What do you want to talk about?”
“Well, I’m thinking about starting a business, but that’s not what I want to talk about today.”
Kanade tilts her head and looks at me curiously as if she really doesn’t understand.
I look at Kanade, who is second-guessing my topic, and chuckle, thinking that she hasn’t changed since she was a little girl.
I then took out a small box from my bag and placed it in front of Kanade. As expected, when Kanade saw the box, she must have realized what I was trying to say, because she began to wince with tears in her eyes.
“Yuu-kun. Can I open this?”
“Oh, of course.”
When she lifted the box and opened the lid, the tears that had been building up finally overflowed and made stains on her clothes.
“Kanade. Thank you for being with me all this time. Whenever I was in pain or happy, it was Kanade who was by my side. If it’s okay with you, I want you to stay with me from now on. I want you to marry me. …… I love you, Kanade.”
“Oh, thank you… Yuu-kun, I’m so happy…”
She wipes her tears with a handkerchief and looks at me with a smile on her face as she slowly catches her breath.
“If I may, I would like to ask you too. Please let me stay next to Yuu-kun forever. I will love you forever and ever and ever.”
I was deeply relieved that I could finally marry Kanade. To be honest, when I joined the start-up company, I was always worried about my income even if I got married because the company was unstable.
But when I tried to choose such a company, Kanade said to me, “Yuu-kun, there is something you want to do at that company, right? If that’s the case, I’m not against it. Let’s give it a try there.”
Looking back on my past, I was always supported by Kanade. So I was relieved to finally be able to show off to Kanade. And when I saw Kanade shed tears of joy when I proposed to her, I was so happy that I was able to get a little teary-eyed.
Two years have passed since Kanade and I got married.
We are still getting along as well as ever, but something happened that changed our lives forever. Three months ago, a baby girl was born, and I became a father.
I named her “Tsumugi” with the hope that she would make people she meets happy by forging relationships with them.
One day, Kanade invited me to have dinner at an Italian restaurant in front of my hometown’s station for the first time in a while. I agreed to go because it had a private room, so it was safe to bring the kids, and we could stop by my parent’s house on the way home.
And now I am waiting for Kanade and the others in front of the station in my hometown.
It had been a long time since I had been in front of the station, as I had been driving home most of the time recently.
(I used to study at that family restaurant with Kanade, Satoru, and the others.)
Looking around, memories of my high school days naturally come back to me.
I had some tough times, but I was able to make friends with those guys, and that was a great asset for me.
Satoru, who was my best friend, got married to Tanuki-san last year and is living happily. It seems that Satoru is still being taken for a fool by Tanuki-san, but I think it is better for her to be strict because Satoru gets carried away easily.
As for Hazuki, I honestly don’t know.
Her mother told me that she got married after that, but I guess she thought it was tactless to talk to me about an ex-girlfriend. Her mother never talked about Hazuki, and I never talked about her.
When I was reminiscing about the old days, she said from behind me, “Oh, I’m sorry. I dropped Umi-chan’s bag.” I turned around to look at the voice and noticed that the bag had fallen in front of me.
I picked it up and went to the girl called “Umi-chan” and handed her the bag.
“Here you go.”
“Thank you for picking me up, onii-chan.”
The girl called Umi-chan thanked him with a smile.
“You’re polite to say thank you.”
I said this and bowed to the two women, who I assumed were Umi’s mother and sisters. Then I heard a voice calling me “Yuuri.”
I looked in the direction where my name was called and saw Kanade walking toward me, holding Tsumugi in her arms as if she cared for him. I stood next to Kanade and asked, “What’s wrong?” I explained that I picked up the girl’s bag for her.
“I see, Yuuri is always so kind.”
Kanade smiled and nuzzled my arm with her shoulder.
“She was a lovely girl, by the way.”
‘Oh, yes, she was. But I think I saw that girl somewhere. But I can’t remember her at all.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been at this station, and Yuuri must mistake her for someone else.”
“I’m sure you’re right.”
I pecked Tsumgi on the cheek that Kanade was holding.
She looked at Tsumugi, who groaned a little, perhaps a little uncomfortably, and said, “She’ll be as beautiful as that girl.”
“Yes, she will be as beautiful as that girl. Our child will be the most beautiful.”
Perhaps it was because I hadn’t been to my hometown station in a while and remembered my high school days, but I had something I really wanted to tell Kanade.
“Kanade. Thank you so much for saving my life back then. I love you.”