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.
“It’s raining like crazy today…” Yuki muttered as she looked out the window. I lifted my eyes from my phone and turned my head to follow her gaze.
On the other side of the window, the roaring sound of fierce wind and spear-like raindrops covered the world outside. According to the weather forecast, it’s been incredibly bad since this morning, as if it was the result of a developing low-pressure system.
The wind roared, shaking the windows violently from time to time, and the darkness of the night spread out across the sky.
Even though it was the middle of the summer vacation, we didn’t feel like going out in the morning. That’s why Yuki and I spent a relaxing time together in the peaceful living room. It was already past dusk, and the sky outside was dark.
After sighing at the storm that still hadn’t subsided, I looked down at my phone once more.
“I hear the power’s out in some places.”
“I knew it, the storm was causing trouble around town…”
Television reported on the situation in various areas, detailing the effects of the sudden storm. In areas said to be particularly hard hit, the electricity supply seems to have completely stopped, and there was no way to restore it.
“We can only hope power doesn’t run out here, either.”
“Yeah… I hope the storm passes soon. Oh yeah, Haru-kun. I’ll boil the bath now in case power really goes out.”
“Thanks! You’re so thoughtful, Yuki.”
With a happy smile on her face, Yuki walked toward the changing room with patter and the sound of her slippers. After seeing her off, I shifted my gaze to the screen of my phone; I launched a social networking app and poured over my timeline, but they were all talking about the same thing.
Rain and wind are really bad today.
The lights went out the moment lightning struck nearby, what are we going to do?
I just went to a convenience store and the power was out and it was pitch black.
The trains are not running. What should I do!?
—So on, and so forth. While everyone is united in their concerns, the most common complaint is about power outages. Even though the weather alone is already bad enough to interfere with normal life, the power outages seem to be adding to the problem. This was very bad.
I close the screen and launch the Messages app. I opened a talk room with Akina, with whom I talk frequently.
“Akina, do you have power over there?”
As soon as I sent the message, it was read.
“Haru, it’s pitch-black over here. We have no power.”
“Seriously? You ok?”
“It’s so dark I can’t do anything, so I’m in my room wrapped in a blanket.”
“Good to hear… Seems like it won’t be back so soon.”
“Is power out for you too, Haru?”
“Fortunately, lights are still on right now, but I’m worried about when they’ll go out.”
“I see. Hope it’s nothing, but be prepared for any eventuality.”
“I will. Thanks for worrying about me!”
“Oh, glad I got a message from you. I’m going to turn off my phone now because I don’t wanna run out of battery.”
“Okay, see ya then.”
“Talk to you later.”
After finishing my exchange with Akina, I gazed out the window again. She told me that the power was already out over there, but fortunately, the area around this apartment building was lit. Though, as I looked at the growing strength of the storm, I began to worry that it was only a matter of time.
“Haru-kun, I’ve boiled your bath.”
“Oh, thanks, Yuki.”
“And, how about a hot drink?”
“You’re gonna brew something? That’d be great.”
“Okay, hold on for a second.”
Yuki smiled gently and walked straight to the kitchen. After taking out two mugs, she began to boil water with the kettle. Meanwhile, she prepared a container of instant coffee from the shelf.
It’s a chilly day today, partly because of the storm. It’s as if summer forgot to wake up today. Though it’s not as bad so we didn’t turn on the heater, so the coffee is for preventing a cold, I assume.
The kettle steams, and Yuki finishes brewing the coffee with great skill. The aroma wafting through the air was strong and bitter, just the way I like it. Her brewing with me in mind tastes so good that even an instant cup turns into coffee you’d get at a proper shop.
Then, holding a mug in each hand, Yuki comes toward the living room. I have a black coffee and Yuki has a café au lait with more milk and sugar.
We sit down on the sofa and take a sip each, which warms us both up from the inside out. Perhaps it was the fact that Yuki was sitting next to me, but the chill that I had been feeling earlier was easing off.
The two of us spent some relaxing time together, and after a bit, we heard an electronic sound to let us know that the bath was ready.
However, our vision was abruptly filled with a blinding light, followed by a thunderous roar that rumbled even the ground. I reflexively pulled Yuki into a protective hug, holding her in my arms.
“Did it fall near…?”
The electricity in the room went out immediately after the impact of the thunder strike. It was completely pitch-black inside the room, and the TV that was playing just a second ago went silent, leaving only the howls of the raging storm outside to rattle our windows.
There was no warning. Power went out, and everything electrical stopped. Time seemed to freeze.
“Yeah, I know…”
I turned on the flashlight on my phone and approached the window. The storm outside raged on, and I could barely see anything. The only thing I made out was that all lights in the area were turned off.
The whole town was plunged into darkness.
“Yuki, looks like power ran out everywhere.”
I’m worried that the lightning might have damaged appliances, but there’s no way to know for sure at this point. I checked the power outage information on my cell phone, but it seems that the electricity supply has stopped in all areas, and the areas that lost power earlier than us do not seem to have restored power yet. It means that the situation will remain the same for a while.
I sat down on the sofa with Yuki, relying on the light from my phone. It was fortunate that the bathtub had just heated up, or we would have to somehow warm it up, run to bed, wrap ourselves in blankets, and wait for the power to be restored.
“I guess one of us will take a bath first today and go to bed early, then—Hm?”
Just as I was about to finish what I was saying, I felt a tug on the hem of my shirt.
When I called out her name, she responded immediately, but her voice couldn’t stop shaking, and it was so thin it could almost disappear.
“U–Um… Haru-kun… I’m embarrassed to tell you this, b–but… I’m not good with thunder…”
Yuki then screams as another bang lighted the skies outside and rattled our windows. My eyes were accustomed to the darkness, and I caught a glimpse of her. She was so frightened, I could barely recognize her, and her shoulders quivered as she shrunk back even more.
To be honest, I didn’t expect her to have such a weakness, and I was puzzled over what to do. I couldn’t leaver her alone in the bath like this, and I couldn’t go first either since I’d leave her alone. No matter the choice, she would be even more helpless.
I decided to go to bed early today, so I reached out my hand to take her to her room.
“Oh, um… Haru-kun…”
“C–Can’t we take a bath… Together?”
I froze at the unexpected suggestion.
“It’s pitch black, and we can’t see… So it’s fine…”
“W–What do you mean, fine…?”
“If we go in there naked, it’ll still be okay… So could you bathe with me?”
She squeezed my hand, and I could feel hers quiver. I’m sure she was absolutely terrified of the thunder, and it’s true she’ll probably feel safer if she’s together with someone else. Besides, today’s cold weather can be solved by bathing and warming ourselves up.
As she said, we can’t see anything in this darkness, so it doesn’t matter if we’re clothed or not. That way, lewd images won’t be etched into my brain, and since she suggested it, I saw no reason to refuse.
And with each second that passed, rain and thunder intensified even more. With every rumble, with every roar, I felt her hand tremble even more.
I squeezed her hand back.
“Today’s special, okay…”
“O–Okay. P–Please take care of me, Haru-kun…”
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