Several years had passed since then.
I had taken a job at a company affiliated with Narimiya in the next prefecture. It was the maximum concession I could get from my father, as I had refused to marry and had moved out of my parents’ house.
“Narimiya-san, what should I do about this place…”
“Oh, this huh, if you do it this way…you see…”
“Thank you very much! I knew I could count on you! You should learn from her, Harada-senpai!”
Having a cute junior colleague, she was devoting herself to her work in her own way.
“Why, I taught you well! Right, Narimiya.”
“Fufu. Yes, you taught her properly. If you listen to Koizumi-san properly, you will definitely understand. Okay?”
“What’s with that attitude! Just because Narimiya is so nice to you…”
Harada-kun, a fellow colleague of mine, glances at me. His attitude toward me has not changed since he was a small child.
Only Toki-kun was straight forward.
“Ah, dressing up in front of Narimiya-senpai again. Well, please do your best.”
“Such a thing…right, Narimiya?”
“..Eh? What is it?”
“Kusu kusu. Narumiya-senpai has a fiancee. Give up.”
“Hey, Narimiya… how about tonight? Dinner.”
“No…I’m sorry. I feel bad for my fiancé.”
“Right~Haa…let’s go to work.”
I don’t have a fiance. It became hard for me to say no over and over again, so that’s what I did.
After Toki-kun became happy.
That’s what I had decided. I told my father everything and got him to understand why I was leaving home and why I couldn’t get married yet.
I made my parents look very sad.
But I wanted to make it happen even if I had to, it was my ego.
However, living alone was unexpectedly lonely, and I would fool myself by looking at pictures of Toki-kun from elementary school.
I wonder what happened with the girlfriend of that time. We only met in person and talked about one thing.
Scars, I hope it hasn’t widened…
When Toki-kun had made good friends and junior staff, and had become a member of society in his own way, Toki-kun learned that his father had become seriously ill.
Moreover, Toki-kun was going to join my father’s company to take care of him.
I felt indescribable.
I want to go visit Seiji. But I couldn’t see Toki-kun.
When I went back to my parents’ house to hide in agony, I heard their voices laughing next to each other.
The closest and the farthest distance between me and him.
I felt like crying.
A few months have passed since then. I had returned to my parents’ house again. I used to go home once every two months, but now it’s about once every two weeks.
“Haruka-chan, over here.”
One day after dinner, my mother handed me a piece of paper. Was she talking about a marriage proposal again? There was no mention of the sender.
“It is from Toki-san.”
“…I don’t want it”
I can’t accept it. I want to see it, but I can’t. It has a definite future in it. It contains a sharp scythe that will cut off my unresolved feelings.
“Really? Then let’s throw it away.”
“Eh? Oh, don’t!”
Watching her go to throw it in the trash, I hurriedly snatch the letter away from her. Sometimes my mother’s jokes go too far. What kind of a thing to do to a precious letter out of the blue.
“Ah, mou! You crumpled it up!”
“Fufu… Read it properly.”
“Ara, I have done my job well.”
My father was taken aback by my mother saying that with her chest puffed out. After all this time, I still think they make a good couple.
I didn’t see anything.
I didn’t dare look at the letter at my parents’ house, so I brought it back to my house where I lived alone.
For some reason or another, I had stretched to break the seal.
I’ve been thinking about it since the day I graduated from high school. …… Yes, I was scared.
No, I won’t bat an eye. Right. I’m not going to close my eyes. I have to properly accept Toki-kun’s thoughts.
But…what will he say to me now?
Is it abuse…maybe he has found someone good…maybe…an invitation…to the wedding…or something?
I suppress my trembling hands and read the letter.
Ah, it brings back memories…Toki-kun’s handwriting. It’s real.
But there was something written there that I never expected.