Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had eyes only for that boy. He was the only one who treated me with kindness despite everyone else seeing me as a nuisance.
Hinata Amemiya is his name.
When I was in kindergarten, I moved out and went to a new school. It happened when my parents remarried. It’s said that rumors travel faster than light, and it didn’t take a week until word spread around that my parents were divorced.
Back then, I was at the age where I just repeated what was said around me. Divorce, divorce, divorce… I didn’t understand that word’s meaning at the time, so I ended up being teased a lot in my new place of living.
Her parents are divorced~! If you marry her, you’ll get divorced too~!
—I was told that. I remember these words being screamed into my ears… Well, I would never marry someone so obnoxious like that, either.
At home, my newlywed parents saw only each other and I seldom received any attention. Looking back, I guess I was simply a nuisance; a stone in the path of their time together. They did the bare minimum for me, so now I even get some living wages. Currently, I have no complaints, but it was a whole different story when I was a little girl.
Even as a young kid, I knew there was no one in the world on my side. That’s how I became what I am today.
However, there was a ray of hope for that young little girl.
…It was Hinata, though he surely doesn’t remember it.
“Heya! C’mon, let’s eat my lunch together!”
A little before he said that, my lunch had been spilled by those boys who always teased me. Apparently, they had no intention of going that far, hence why they ran away in panic without so much as a word to me. Then, I crouched and picked up the spilled food. I wasn’t eating it though.
Either because I looked so troubled, or because he was just so unbelievably kind, he called out to me even when I was stunned stiff. To this day, I can still picture that scene as if it just happened.
His expression, the brightest smile he could muster so he could hide his concern…
The little snacks he brought with his rice…
I remember everything.
At that time, I had only a blank expression on my face, but inside I was a salvo of fireworks, happy and bursting from the fact there was someone who was kind to me. I struggled to hold back my tears, thinking to myself that if I cried, I’d be wasting all of his goodwill…
If I cry, I’ll only make things awkward for him.
So, when I finished eating my lunch in utter silence, Hinata suddenly spoke up.
“Y’know, um, it’s okay to cry when you’re sad. Isn’t that normal? They told me that, umm, and they also said that crying would make things easier, so you don’t need to hold back!”
No matter how much I had been teased, how much I hated it, or even how lonely I felt, I’ve always put up with it. And yet, his words seeped into my heart like a spell.
So I cried.
I cried every single tear in my body.
Hinata was surprised at first, but he gently clutched my hand through it all. We stayed together until the adults arrived since they heard a child crying.
The warmth of his fingers against mine soothed my overwhelmed heart, and tears wouldn’t stop rolling down my cheeks. As they dropped to the floor, the murky feelings inside me seemed to fall with them. Soon, I felt miles better.
Since then, Hinata’s very existence became everything to me.
His compassion extended to that lonely little girl, who thought she was all alone in this world. That kindness was enough for me at the time, and I lost sight of everything else.
I no longer dreaded going to kindergarten; in fact, it was the only place I could meet up with him, so my fear turned into enthusiasm. As just a little kid, I didn’t have the courage to go up and talk to him, but I tried my best to stay close, never taking my eyes off of him.
Because he’s what’s most important to me, my one and only.
But then I realized that although he was everything to me, it wasn’t reciprocal…
Hinata was always with a certain girl: Suzuka Ichinose, his childhood friend. They had been together since birth, lived next door to each other, and had a family connection I didn’t have. Whenever he was with her, an ear-to-ear smile crossed his face.
It didn’t take me long to realize she meant everything to him, just as he means everything to me.
From the very beginning, I was confronted with the fact I would never get what I longed for, and I understood it. But understanding isn’t the same as accepting it.
Why? Why her? Why not me? —To my younger self, it wasn’t something I could easily accept.
I really wanted to take that girl’s place, stand by his side, but…
He wanted her.
That’s why I decided to wait for a spot next to him to become available. If I were to forcefully pull them apart, I’d end up hurting Hinata, something I’d never want.
He’s my light, an existence I cannot touch at this very moment. But the time will surely come. That’s the key: I shouldn’t miss the timing.
From then on, I kept myself at a distance and just observed. The only time we talked was in kindergarten, and never again since then, so I don’t think he remembers me. That wouldn’t surprise me since we were so young at the time. Heck, we’ve had so little interaction, he might as well not even remember we went to the same school as children.
However, I won’t forget.
With a distance neither too far nor too close, I kept my eyes on him. I researched the schools he wanted to apply to—elementary, middle, and high school—and enrolled in the same ones as him.
As I spent my time gazing, by the time we reached high school, I already knew most of him.
Where he lives, his room’s window, his favorite food, where he often went shopping, his habits in excruciating detail, and all of his preferences. I was ready, primed to make my move at any time.
And so, the time eventually came for that little girl who waited, waited and waited.
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