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.
On the rooftop, Yuki and I sat together eating her special homemade lunchbox. Normally, we’d be relishing the deliciousness of her food while talking with each other, but after the incident with Abusaki, I kept comforting her with gentle words. She wasn’t happy with this whole ordeal, of course.
While moving her chopsticks, she expressed her gratitude once again.
“Haru-kun, thanks a lot for earlier…”
“Don’t worry about it. You always take care of me, so we’re even.”
It must’ve been scary to see that guy looming over you, grabbing your hand, and raising his voice aggressively. Even now, Yuki’s hands quivered as she ate. It must’ve been a long time since she got this scared of something.
Even though Yuki had rejected him many times, he still aggressively insisted to get her to do what he wanted. Moreover, the whole situation was brought about by his inflated self-esteem, which had grown too much as a result of being popular with the girls. This whole thing pissed me off.
At any rate, my being late was a blessing in disguise, since I managed to rescue her.
“Is it always like this when you get confessed to by other boys?”
“No… I’ve never been treated this way before. I’ve always declined politely and everyone so far would just say a few words, but they all understood.”
“Yeah, that’s the normal way, right? If you confess to someone you should really care about them, so if you get rejected you shouldn’t be persistent and bite them down over it.”
That’s right. If he cared about Yuki, he wouldn’t have gone so violent in the first place. He was only interested in how she looked, not in who she was.
She stopped eating, turned over to me, and exhaled softly.
“… I was bullied for my appearance back when I was all bandaged up, and I never thought even after ridding myself of them, that I would be subjected to such fear again because of the same reason. All of this is hard…”
“There are dangerous people who are egocentric like him, so you have to be careful.”
“That’s right, I need to be careful… But I did learn something from today’s incident.”
“What did you learn?”
“Well…” Yuki looked up at me and smiled in relief. Her gentle voice reached my ears as her eyes moistened like glittering jewels. “With or without bandages wrapped around my face, you’ll still help me. I was so scared, but I knew you’d come. I’m very happy you did.”
She grabbed the hem of my sleeve and pulled me closer, placing her head on my shoulder and giving me a pampering kiss on the cheek.
“You haven’t changed since back then, Haru-kun. You’ve always seen me for who I am, never for how I looked. Whenever I got in trouble, you were always there for me. I was really, really happy that you saved me once again.”
“I was only doing the obvious. I couldn’t just leave you in trouble. I never did, and never could.”
“That’s what I like about you. You really haven’t changed at all… You’re still as cool as you were in elementary.”
Entranced, she gives me a heated look. I turn my face away to hide my embarrassment, but I never stop stroking her silky hair.
For Yuki, being cool wasn’t about looking cool. It was about behavior and what went inside a person. Even in the presence of a man as handsome as Abusaki, she was never bedazzled by his appearance.
She genuinely knows what really matters for a person—Their inner self, their heart. And because I cherished hers, I can stand by her side as I do now.
Feeling happy about how things turned out, I eat her homemade lunch. She soon resumed her eating and continued moving her chopsticks. Our talk must’ve calmed her down, and her hands stopped shaking.
“Haru-kun, what would you like for dinner tonight?”
“Hm? That’s sudden… Well, I’d love some curry today.”
“Fufu~ I understand. I’ll give my all into cooking, so please look forward to it!”
“I am, I am.”
This was Yuki’s way of saying “thank you”, and she must’ve wanted to repay me with a feast as if compensating for some sort of gratitude debt.
All in all, Yuki was back to her usual self, and I was elated to see her smile.
Under the cloudless sky, clear as the bluest ocean, Yuki and I spent some quality time with just the two of us.
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