[Misaki Himiyama PoV]
Everyday life that was supposed to be frozen in place.
The everyday that I thought would never change.
I had given up. My dreams were not coming true, my wishes were not coming true.
My time was supposed to have stopped, cold and chilly.
My emotions had dwindled, and I found myself laughing less and feeling less sad. I had lost sight of the future and had been living aimlessly for a long time.
And yet. Just one encounter.
No, a “Restart”.
The gushing heat slowly melted me, and the days that were supposed to be stagnant began to accelerate.
The rapid climate change that occurred during the Ice Age.
The Dansgaard-Osger cycle.
It was as if such a raging change was coming to me.
They say that it was the carbon dioxide trapped in the ocean that ended the ice age. And it was the ocean currents that caused it.
Has my reunion with him brought about a change in me?
If so, then this heat must be something that has been sleeping inside me. Something I had locked away.
I thought I had given it up, thrown it away.
But I was wrong. I still had it.
Like the CO2 trapped in the ocean, I still had that kind of heat inside me. It was smoldering. I waited in the back of my mind, waiting and waiting, for the day when the ice would melt.
The thick ice was melting.
The ice age was about to come to an end.
I wondered if I could dream and pursue my wish just one more time.
The time of melting ice.
I, who was supposed to have stopped.
–The rusty sound of the clock’s needle began to move.
[Misaki Himiyama PoV]
“Long time no see, ……. How are you, Misaki?” (Mikiya)
“Yes, I’m fine. Mikiya-san looks a little tired though.” (Himiyama)
My impressions were literally as I saw them.
The first thing that came out of my mouth was not the joy of seeing him again, but the worry about his health. Maybe that’s how old we’ve become. Everything is different from the days when we were living our lives to the fullest.
I welcomed them in through the doorway.
I thought I would never see him again. I couldn’t get used to having such a person in front of me.
My ex-fiancé, Mikiya Unibara, who I hadn’t seen in a long time, looked somewhat worn out, perhaps because he was busy with work. I thought his face was more energetic than what I remembered, but I’ll accept that he must have had a lot going on. I hadn’t planned to ask him every single question, but now that we’re back together, memories of the days I spent with him come flooding back.
He is the current president of the long-established Ryokan Umibara.
Although he is the son of the owner of the house, he is already married, and his partner is supposed to be the owner. I don’t know much about him since we broke up, but I guess his mother is the head landlady.
I wonder if I could have been called like that…….
It is a possibility that may have existed in the past, but it is a future that could not be regained. Either way, it’s already over. My relationship with him has already been severed.
“I thought we would never meet again.” (Himiyama)
“That’s harsh.” (Mikiya)
It’s been a long time coming. Some of the feelings are still smoldering with regret, while others have been sorted out and neatly separated. The feelings I had for him were now flat, for better or worse.
So I could have chosen to meet him like this.
“But I am surprised. What’s up with you all of a sudden?” (Himiyama)
“I just wanted to see you.” (Mikiya)
Hearing these impossible words, I stared into the eyes of the other person.
The answer was vague, neither true nor false.
“Didn’t you ever think about how I feel about you?” (Himiyama)
“I did! But I still wanted to see you. That’s why I’m here.” (Mikiya)
It was only a short while ago that I, Misaki Himiyama, received a call from my ex-fiancé, Mikiya Kaihara.
A few days ago, he called me.
It was no secret that I was shaken up to hear from someone I thought I would never see again.
I want to meet you and talk to you. That’s what he said.
A while ago, I would never have thought of meeting him.
Anger, sadness, and happy memories have become a sepia-toned past. Now, I wondered why he wanted to meet me after abandoning me. That’s all I was curious about.
I hesitated for a bit, but decided to meet him.
And just a few minutes ago, I received a sudden call from him, “I’m nearby, can we meet?” This was a sudden call.
Normally, I would have preferred to meet him outside, but I had plans, and I couldn’t go out, so I decided to meet him at my house.
“What the hell is going on with you? I have plans today. I don’t have much time to spare.” (Himiyama)
“I see. I’m sorry. I’ve been really busy, and I’ve been trying to get in touch with you, but I just couldn’t seem to find the time. I was just in the neighborhood, so I thought I’d slip out and see you for a little while.” (Mikiya)
With a bitter smile, he sipped his coffee. The coffee was brewed a little thicker to suit his taste. I remember that we used to make coffee like this back then. A nostalgic memory.
He didn’t have an answer, but I gave up trying to point it out and adjusted the conversation.
“Is your mother healthy?” (Himiyama)
“Oh, yes. Yes, she’s doing well. Even though she’s already the president, she’s still hard on her every day.” (Mikiya)
“She’s still the same. That’s good.” (Himiyama)
The conversation continued in a roundabout way. I know that’s not what I really want to talk about, but adults are such a pain in the a*s. I can’t live without such pretense. It’s not like I want to give a status report now. Still, it’s a matter of courtesy. They may have fallen apart, but they were still people who could have been my family at one time. It was difficult not to be bothered when I met them like this.
“Do you live here alone?” (Mikiya)
“It’s a one-person apartment. Isn’t that obvious?” (Himiyama)
“That’s true, but ……?” (Mikiya)
His eyes stopped on the mug in the corner of the table.
It was something I had prepared for the original visitor who was scheduled to come later. Since his arrival was sudden and irregular, there was no time to clean up.
“This is……? (Mikiya)
He reached out and grabbed it.
I immediately raised my voice at his action.
“—-Don’t touch it!” (Himiyama)
I was bewildered by the volume of my own voice.
He reacted with a jolt and put the mug back on the table.
“Wow, my bad!…… Are you supposed to meet your boyfriend after this? The last time I saw you, you told me you were single. Otherwise I wouldn’t have come to see you like this.” (Mikiya)
“No, I don’t. Look, there’s a cardboard box there. I got a computer today. I’m not mechanically inclined, so I’m just asking my friend to help me set it up.” (Himiyama)
“Oh, I didn’t know that. I’m relieved.” (Mikiya)
Perhaps surprised by my swashbuckling behavior, he looked at me as if to ask me a question and said a few words in a slurred voice.
My friend. It was a good way to put it, but I couldn’t believe that he thought that about me. We are too different in age to begin with. So what kind of relationship do we have? But no matter how much I thought about it, there was no answer. He, Yukito Kokonoe, has forgotten about me, and our current relationship is nothing but a lie.
Then, I suddenly felt uncomfortable with the words he said.
“Relief? Why would Mikiya-san be relieved? It’s none of your business. Besides, does your wife know that you’re seeing me like this? This is not a good feeling.” (Himiyama)
Mikiya Umibara is a married man.
After abandoning me, he must have married a woman he met through a marriage proposal prepared by his mother, the landlady Satoko.
That’s why I can say that I made up my mind to meet him like this.
Everything is over in the past. Nothing is going to change now.
However, that’s just my point of view. His wife would not be happy about the fact that her husband is meeting his ex-fiancee. As a woman myself, I didn’t want to cause any unnecessary misunderstandings, nor did I want to get involved in such a messy situation. I didn’t know what he was talking about, but I wanted him to leave as soon as he was done.
However, what he said next was beyond my imagination.
“Sachiko and I divorced three years ago. The child went with Sachiko. I’m an idiot. That’s why I’m doing this…..” (Mikiya)
He, Mikiya Umibara, looks straight at me.
He squeezed out the words as if he regretted it.
“Misaki, can we start over again?” (Mikiya)
I pride myself on being a wholesome high school student, but even though it’s summer vacation, would a wholesome high school student really go to a quiet madam’s house in the middle of the day? No, no! In the first place, Himiyama-san is unmarried, so she is not a madam but a mademoiselle.
If I make a mistake in this kind of thing, I’ll end up on the wrong side of the woman. If that happens, the high attack power will only cause me to take a lot of damage. And my opponent will be confused afterwards (they won’t be).
After all, Himiyama-san is my X-rated natural enemy.
She is literally a class apart from me, who is limited to an R rating at best, and ever since we met I have been on a losing streak. It’s a completely losing battle. The encounter rate is too high to begin with. I was thinking of writing the number of consecutive defeats on my thighs, but I’m a healthy high school student, so I’ll stop.
I had to go to such a dangerous place, but today I was taking it easy. Because the computer I ordered the other day has arrived today. Even though Himiyama-san asked me to order it, I was the one who chose BTO and ordered it. Since I was asked to do the setup work, I guess it’s my responsibility to finish it.
Whenever I go out to play, she always treats me to cake or cookies, so I felt bad and brought some mizu-yokan today. Mizu-yokan is delicious. (゜д゜) It’s so good!
One of my few hobbies is touring sweets, and my love for sweets has grown so much that I’ve been devoting myself to making sweets lately, partly because it’s summer vacation. This is because she works from home and my mother is in charge of the cooking, so I have nothing to do, but I’m worried that my sister will smell something and come to me.
Anyway, the sun was as bright as ever outside. I started to sweat just by going outside for a while. Fortunately, we are neighbors, and the apartment building where Himiyama-san lives is just a stone’s throw away.
No matter how hot it is, I, Yukito Kokonoe, always take the stairs instead of using the elevator for training.
I was drenched in sweat, so I wiped it off with an anti-perspirant sheet and caught my breath. Oops, I shouldn’t have done my training on the way home. Who would be stupid enough to get sweaty before visiting someone’s house? Himiyama-san is a difficult opponent with zero physical distance. I won’t give in to temptation. Oh!
When I arrived in front of Himiyama-san’s door, I took a breath and pressed the doorbell.