I had a drinking party with some friends from college.
In the evening, I had to give one of my friends, Ichika Niekawa, a ride home.
We’re in a cab.
“…… suu …… suu…… mmm.”
Right beside me, …… Nieekawa was asleep.
She gave me her home address and within a few minutes she was sailing away.
And ten minutes later, she was sound asleep.
Niekawa was resting her head on my shoulder.
In retrospect, she was even more beautiful than she had been in seven years.
Her skin is pure white, her face is neat, her eyelashes are long.
Her breasts seemed to have grown a size larger than when I was in college.
The touch of her shoulder felt softer than it had back then.
A sweet fruity scent softly tickled my nostrils from her hair, mixed with her alcohol-infused breath.
To be honest, it’s not that I don’t find her sexually attractive.
But there was no way I was going to touch a woman who was drunk and asleep.
” Customer, we’ve arrived!”
Soon after, the cab stopped in front of Niekawa’s house.
She seemed to be living in an apartment in Tokyo.
After paying, I shook Niekawa’s shoulder.
“Hey, we’re here.”
But no matter how much I shook her shoulder, she didn’t wake up.
“Boyfriend-san, please wake up your girlfriend quickly.”
The driver said irritably. I’m not her boyfriend, but well.
But there is no sign of Niekawa waking up, and if she doesn’t get off soon, she will be in trouble.
“…… I apologize in advance. Here we go”
Got out of the cab once, and piggybacked her.
“She is surprisingly light.”
I feel a soft but taut elasticity on my back.
Every time she breathed, a soft, gurgling sensation hit me.
…… I want to drop her off early, this one.
“Hey, what floor is it?”
“No, I mean, not upstairs. What floor, what room?”
“Mmm. ……, seben zewo seben”
Apparently room 707.
Whether it’s because she’s drunk or just sleepy, Niekawa is not speaking coherently.
I walked into the apartment with Niekawa on my back.
I took the elevator to the seventh floor of the apartment building.
The entrance was quite spacious, and the inside looked quite high.
I got off the elevator and arrived at room 707.
“Niekawa Where’s the key?”
“Uhh… ……… key……?”
“The key, key.”
“What are you, a monkey?
Niekawa rummaged through her handbag and pulled out a key case.
I unlocked the door and was able to get in.
“Niekawa, you’re in my way.”
I took her and headed for the back of the room.
For a woman living alone, there were many rooms, and they were spacious.
I found a place that looked like a bedroom and went inside.
The interior was very simple.
A desk, a mirror, and a bookshelf.
There was a large, expensive looking bed by the window.
I walked her over to the bed and laid her down on her back.
“….Nnn …….nnn ……”
Even though she was lying on her back, Niekawa’s breasts retained their shape.
No, that’s not right. I can’t believe I’m staring at a sleeping woman’s breasts.
“So, I’m leaving, Niekawa.”
She told me to drop by her house, but I couldn’t do anything if the other person was falling asleep.
I was about to walk away, when …….
Kyuuu, Niekawa grabbed my hand.
“……, no. …….You can’t go yet”
Niekawa was asleep.
Tears were spilling from the corners of her eyes.
“……Please, Okaya-kun, ……don’t go away from me. Stay by my …… side.”
…… She is sound asleep. I think she’s dreaming.
In the dream, is she holding me back?
Where am I going?
If I asked her when she woke up, she probably wouldn’t know.
I couldn’t shake her hand …… as she held mine, telling me not to go.
At least until she wakes up, I’ll stay here.
I took out my phone and contacted Akari and Nanako
I texted them that I’d be home late, and got an OK stamp back.
Niekawa was not going to wake up.
But it’s not like I’m going to sleep with her.
That’s when it happened.
I suddenly noticed a bookshelf on the bedside table.
Among the self-development books, business books, and other hard books, there was …… [this].
“Why, is [this thing] here…….”
I let go of her hand, carefully, so as not to wake up Niekawa.
I slowly got up and approached the bookshelf.
What I picked up was a book, a novel.
The author’s name was …… [Okatani].
It was a book I wrote and published when I was in college.
“Why is …… my book on here……?”
There were three novels by [Okatani] on the shelf.
All of them are numbered .
But ……no second volume.
All three series are only [volume 1], and never seen again.
I pick up the debut novel.
I flipped through …… and saw the date seven years ago on the back cover.
Of course it was a first edition.
Though they never reprinted it, so it’s only a first edition.
Okaya-kun, I bought your debut novel.
I remember when I was in college, Niekawa bought a book for me.
I flipped through …….
On the back cover, there was a signature written with a magic pen, “Okatani.”
Give me your autograph, Okaya-kun. See, I’m sure you’ll become a great writer in the future, and I’d like to get your autograph while you’re still here.
“…… great writer, huh”
I wonder how I felt when I signed Niekawa’s book back then.
It was seven years ago. I don’t remember anymore.
…… But seven years later, I’m still alive, not as a writer, but as an editor.
That’s the fact, and that’s all that matters.
“I’m really, really sorry! Okaya-kun!”
A few hours later, Niekawa woke up.
The moment she woke up, she checked her messy clothes with a bang, then sighed with a disappointed expression for some reason.
We’re walking to the living room.
“I’m sorry for bothering you.”
“Don’t worry about it. We’re friends, right?”
I sipped the coffee that Niekawa had made for me.
The living room was very spacious and clean.
There were no undressed clothes in the hallway and not a speck of dust on the floor.
Niekawa was changing into her casual clothes.
She is wearing a loose-fitting hoodie and shorts.
Her hair, which had been gathered up, is now down and straight.
When her hair is down, she looks much younger again.
“Okaya-kun, did I say something …… strange?”
…… When she was lying in bed, don’t go, she said.
Does she mean that……?
No, but if people pointed out to you that you were talking in your sleep, you would feel embarrassed.
“No, nothing. You looked like you were sleeping comfortably.”
She stared at me with suspicion.
“Yeah. If I’m lying, you can throw me off.”
“No, I’m not going to throw you off. ……”
“Really? When we were in college, you used to throw a guy who kept hitting on you.”
“T-that! It was because he was pushy with me. ……”
We reminisced for a while.
“But what surprised me the most was that you and Ouji are not dating.”
“Of course not!”
“Why not? He’s got a good personality, good looks, he’s rich, he’s a good guy, though?”
“…… Because I was in love with someone else at the time.”
“Is that so? Who?”
“…… You’re an idiot, really.”
Fuu, sighs Niekawa in exasperation.
If it’s not Ouji, I have no idea who it is.
“…… Don’t you think it might be you for a moment?”
“～～～～～～～～! N-no it’s…..nothing! That was nothing!”
Niekawa’s face turned red and she shook her head.
She denies it with a big wave of her hand.
Well, I guess not.
A beautiful college girl like Niekawa would never have fallen in love with a dark-skinned college student like me.
“I had a lot of fun at …… when I was in college. I went to a lot of places with Hakuba and Okaya.”
“Yes, we did. Ouji wanted to be a writer, so we did a lot of interviews and took him on a lot of trips.”
“We went to Atami, Izu, Sapporo, Kyushu, Okinawa, and …… more”
“Yeah, we took the overnight bus and everything. …… I mean, after all this time, you didn’t mind hanging out with us, did you?”
“No, of course not. I’ve never had the chance to go on a trip with Okaya-kun unless we were doing an interview. You spent all your time writing, working part-time, and keeping up with Nagano-san …….”
Nagano-san is Misae’s maiden name.
When I was in college, I didn’t belong to any clubs.
So the only people I had to play with were Ouji and Niekawa.
The rest of the time I devoted was to …… Misae and my novels.
“…… Hey, Okaya-kun. Do you have any regrets?”
”Regret?” asked Niekawa suddenly.
“…… Giving up on your dream.”
Dream. In other words, to become a writer. To live as a writer.
Niekawa knows that I was aiming to become a novelist.
She also knows that my wish came true and I was able to publish a book.
We were friends who went to the same university.
“Wait a minute.”
Niekawa got up and went to the bedroom.
In her hand, she came back and held my debut novel.
…… I looked away.
My debut novel is the last thing I want to see.
“I didn’t know you still had that book.”
“I still have it. It’s a treasure.”
Niekawa hugged my debut novel tightly.
“It’s the first book signed by Okatani-sensei.”
Niekawa pats the cover lovingly.
She was taking good care of the book.
I am sorry for that …….
“It’s …… worthless if you keep it for the rest of your life.”
“It’s an unsuccessful work by an author who disappeared after the first year anyway. ……
Seeing the caring look on her face, I …… reflected on my own.
I don’t know what I’m blaming others for, but I am.
“I’m sorry, ……. I think I’m drunk. I’m going to go home before I say anything more weird.”
I stood up and tried to leave the room.
Kyuu, Niekawa hugged me from behind.
She held me tightly, refusing to let me go.
“Okaya-kun, don’t go home.”
“No……. I’m going back”
“Why? The last train has already left.”
It was a few hours before Niekawa woke up, and it was long past midnight.
After that, we talked and talked, and I completely missed the last train.
“I’ll walk home.”
Niekawa’s hand became even stronger.
I look back at her and she says, looking up at me with moist eyes.
“I don’t want you to leave. You’re going to stay …… tonight, right?”