V2 Chapter 10 | Anxious Heart

I was lying on my back on the bed and Anri was sleeping next to me.

I didn’t want to kick out Anri, who came to my room with a pillow and such a pained look on her face.

I silently get up and make space next to her and invite Anri in.

Anri also silently got into my bed and lay down with a pillow on top of her.

She fell asleep with her back to me, and I wondered if it was my imagination that her back looked smaller than usual.

I put the futon over Anri and went to bed with my back to her.

Normally I would be too nervous to go to bed, but for some reason, I was not in that frame of mind today.

A little time passed and I heard Anri breathing in her sleep

It seemed that she had fallen asleep. We didn’t have any conversation, but I guess she felt relieved.

I could finally sleep now. I opened my eyes and looked at the nightlight shining on the ceiling.

I look from the dimly glowing nightlight to Anri, who is sleeping next to me.

Our eyes meet. What, she wasn’t sleeping?

“Can’t sleep?”

“Yeah…I couldn’t help thinking about Ayane…”

Well, a lot has happened today, and I guess my brain hasn’t caught up.

I feel that once I sleep overnight and reset, I won’t have to worry about it any more than today.

The fact of the matter is, that the relationship between me and Sugimoto is the same as it has always been.

If Anri doesn’t worry about it, nothing will really change.

“I think you should go to bed early and think about it again tomorrow morning. I think you just haven’t sorted out a lot of things in your mind today.”

“You may be right. But Tsukasa’s childhood friend is no doubt Ayane. Even if nothing changes as it is, I’m still worried… Tsukasa-kun won’t leave me, right? You’ll stay with me, right?”

Anri’s eyes appear to be shining a bit brighter, perhaps because she is a little teary-eyed.

“Everything will be fine. Don’t think so much. We are together now, right? It’s going to be the same from now on.”

I pull my hand out of the futon and pat Anri’s head.

Anri’s hair is so silky and smooth that it slips through my fingers.

I brush up Anri’s hair a few times and push her bangs down as I do so that Anri’s forehead is firmly showing.

I move a little closer to Anri and gently kiss her forehead.

I hugged her and pressed her face to my chest.

“Don’t worry. I’m here. Anri’s home is here. I’m always here. There’s nothing to worry about.”

“Un…”

Anri’s arms are wrapped around me.

Human skin is warm. I don’t want to lose this same warmth, Anri, I don’t want to lose it.

I want to love someone, cherish them, and see their smile.

Spending the same time together, walking together, and growing old in the same way.

That’s all right, isn’t it?

“Look, it’s late. Let’s go to bed now.”

“Yeah. Thank you… I will always, always love you, Tsukasa-kun…”

It’s a little embarrassing to hear you say it with such a straight face.

I’m wearing a cool mask right now.

If you say that to me, my mask will come off, you know?

“Thank you. I like you too, Anri. Good night.”

In bed, the two of us look at each other and are embarrassed at each other.

We are probably in the middle of our youth right now.

When we grow up, how will we feel about this time?

That is a story for the distant future.

When we become adults, we will make a page of our memories so that they will be good ones.


———


“Tendo. Are you dating Nadeshiko? You know how I feel, and you’ve been sneaking around behind my back!”

“Takayama…I wasn’t hiding anything!”

“I thought I was your best friend! You’re the worst… Don’t ever talk to me again! See you later…”

“No, I’m not! That’s not what I meant! Takayama! Listen to me!”

“Tendo-san? What’s the matter? Is it a fight?”

“Sugimoto-san! Actually, Takayama and–“

“Forget about that, let’s go on a date soon. We’ve been apart for years. From now on, we’ll be together forever, right?”

“What! Why did you say that? To me…”

“Tsukasa. You’re two-timing her? I trusted you but I’m totally… disappointed in you. Please, let’s just forget we ever talked about this.”

“Father! Listen to me! I’m not!”

“Oh, Tsukasa is very quick with his hands. You’re so different from your father. But you mustn’t make a girl sad. Now, get out of here, I don’t have a home for you.”

“No! No, I didn’t do that! Mother, there’s a reason why–“

“Hmph. See, I told you so. I just couldn’t do it. I knew this would happen. You are such a womanizer.”

“Himekawa-san! That’s not true! Explain! I’m Anri-san and–“

“Then, since this is a fraud case, I’m going to ask you to turn yourself in, as per this warrant. Oh, you can’t run away, okay? I’m the kind of person who will hunt you down to the end of the line.”

“Imai-san! I didn’t commit fraud! Let me explain…”

“Tendo, you’ve done a great job. School is not everything. You can go out and work, right? Here, I’ve got your expulsion papers. Tomorrow you don’t have to come to school anymore.”

“Sensei! I’m still in school…”

“Tsukasa? What’s going on here”

“Anri! Everyone’s talking about me…”

“Don’t worry, don’t worry. I will always be with you. Even if no one else in the world needs Tsukasa-kun, I need you.”

“Anri… am I someone who is not needed by everyone?”

‘Say? I don’t know that. But I need Tsukasa-kun. Hey, hug me like you always do… Stay by my side all the time… Promise, right?”

“No, don’t do that. Don’t look at me like with those eyes… I’m in pain, I’m in such pain, please don’t do it with such force…”

“I want you to stay with me forever. I’ll always be with you… I’m also hugging Tsukasa-kun so tightly and strongly!”

“Ah, Anri. Stop, stop, please… I can’t breathe.”

“Tsukasa-kun, Tsukasa-kun, Tsukasa-kun, Tsukasa-kun, Tsukasa-kun!”


———


I wake up. It’s the worst dream I’ve ever had…

My heart rate is going through the roof. It’s like running at full speed.

Why am I having this dream? My brain created this dream.

I must be affected by it somehow.

But it’s so intense. If I woke up in real life, I’d probably be so depressed.

My heart rate gradually calms down. I never dreamed that I would have such a dream.

When I came to, I found Anri sleeping on my back with one arm around my neck.

One of her arms is tangled around my neck, and she is calling out “Tsukasa-kun” in a whisper, whether she is talking in her sleep or not.

Ah, so this is the cause…

I’m getting calmer and calmer. Just as Anri’s mind is anxious, I must be somewhat anxious too.

Anri is insecure about Sugimoto-san. Do I have any insecurity toward Takayama?

I didn’t think about it. Should I talk to Takayama?

Come to think of it, I haven’t heard from Sugimoto-san tonight. Could it have been my imagination?

Or maybe it was someone completely different who looked like Sugimoto-san.

I have to think about that too.

If I make the wrong decision, I’m sure the relationship between the four of us will collapse, and our school life will go haywire.

I can’t make a wrong choice. I have to think carefully and make a choice…

For now, let’s go to bed. I’ll think about it in the morning.

Anri is sleeping, and I should go back to sleep too…

I suddenly noticed something.

The feeling of being against my back. Anri is sleeping while holding me.

Do I know this feeling? No, I don’t think so.

But this feeling is the same feeling I felt before…

No, I’ll think about it tomorrow. Let’s go to bed today.

There is still time for the sun to rise.

Anri, how should I talk to Takayama?

Can I talk to Anri about it too? 

Do I have to give my own answer?


TOC

Leave a Reply