[This is the past]
“Shi-chan, over here!”
Holding Shi-chan’s hand, I ran through the wooded area of the shrine.
Shi-chan, with the physical strength of a elementary school girl, tried her best to keep up with me.
We came to an open area at the edge of the shrine.
I had found this place by chance when I was adventuring with Takayuki, and since no one ever came near it, it was our own special seat and secret base.
Shi-chan, who I had brought with me, was also surprised by this space, surrounded by trees and isolated from the surroundings.
“Right? We can watch the fireworks in peace here!”
With that, I pulled Shi-chan’s hand and made her sit next to me.
I wanted Shi-chan to enjoy this city as much as possible, since she had come from far away.
I wanted her to enjoy the city as much as possible. If she liked the time she spent here, I had a faint hope that she would come back soon.
“Takkun, thank you for bringing me to such a wonderful place!”
Shi-chan, who sat next to me, thanked me with a big smile on her face.
The smile on her face was angelic, and even though she was a little girl, it made my heart throb with excitement.
“H-Here! Let’s just lick it and wait for the firework!”
As if to hide my embarrassment, I took out two candy balls from my pocket and handed one to Shi-chan.
As we both licked the identical candy, we waited anxiously for the fireworks to go off.
Finally, the fireworks started to go off.
Shi-chan muttered “awesome ……” when she saw the big colorful fireworks going off one after another with a loud sound.
I was so happy to hear this that I could only look at Shi-chan’s face, smiling happily next to me.
When Shi-chan noticed my gaze, she turned around as if to say, “What’s wrong?”
The gesture was really cute, and I felt my face getting hot all at once.
“Nah, it’s nothing!”
As if to hide my embarrassment, I looked straight ahead and saw only the fireworks.
Perhaps she found it funny, but next to me, Shi-chan was laughing hysterically.
“…… You know what, Takkun?”
“Ah mou! Let’s watch the fireworks now!”
I was afraid that Shi-chan would say something strange, so I interrupted her.
Then I grabbed Shi-chan’s hand and told her to do as she wished, and the two of us held hands as we stared at the fireworks again.
I could feel the heat rising in my face and ears.
Shi-chan was about to say something to me, but she happily replied with a small “Yes ……” and we continued to watch the fireworks together.
From then until the fireworks were over, the two of us remained hand in hand—-.
On the way home, it was late at night and I walked Shi-chan to the park.
I really wanted to take her home, but she said she was almost home and it would be fine here, so I went along with her.
As we walked, we had a good time talking about our impressions of the fireworks and other things, but I was still tense with a feeling I was keeping deep in my heart.
The end of the fireworks display would soon mean the end of this summer.
And once this summer was over, Shi-chan, who was now standing next to me, would go home again.
I realized that I had grown to love Shi-chan.
So, while I was with Shi-chan, I tried to keep her away from me as if to escape the reality that I couldn’t accept.
However, that was no longer enough.
One more week, and this summer vacation would surely be over.
“……Thanks Takkun. Today was fun.”
“O-oh yeah! I had fun too!”
“Y-you know? Takkun ……”
Shichi-chan started to talk as if she was having a hard time.
I’ve been thinking about it since we were watching the fireworks, but I was worried about the fact that she seemed to have a lot on her mind today.
But as a young girl, I was afraid to hear what she had to say.
I was so afraid that I would once again run away from reality.
“Well, let’s go see the fireworks again next year! It’s late tonight, see you tomorrow! Bye!”
I interrupted Shi-chan’s words again and ran off towards home.
I know that this is not good.
But I didn’t want to say goodbye to Shi-chan after the fun we had today.
That’s why I thought that tomorrow would be the day that I would properly talk to Shi-chan.
I promised Shi-chan that I would be waiting for her again next year.
But the next day, Shi-chan didn’t show up at the park.
In hindsight, I realized that Shi-chan was trying to tell me that she had to go home.
However, I tried to avoid talking about it as if I were running away from reality, and as a result, I couldn’t make the promise I wanted to make or even say goodbye at the end.
After that, every time I went to the park, I was reminded of it, and before I knew it, I had stopped going there.
That was my memory of the fireworks display back then.
As a young child, I had suffered from the seeds I had sown, and I was sure I had hurt Shi-chan as well.
And yet, Shi-chan found me again.
And now, she’s sitting next to me again, just like she did back then.
This time, she’s my girlfriend—–.
So I turned to Shi-chan, who was smiling next to me, and made a vow in my heart once again.
I promised myself that I would never run away from Shi-chan again, no matter what.
And this time, I will make Shi-chan happy forever.
“Hey, Takkun! It’s about to start!”
The sun had already set.
When Shi-chan told me this, I looked at my watch and saw that it was just after 7:30 pm.
I held Shi-chan’s excited hand next to me, just like in the past.
Shi-chan was surprised by the suddenness of the event, but she soon smiled happily at me.
At that moment, with a loud explosion, a huge firework went off in front of us.