THIS IS A FAN TRANSLATION, THOUGH THE WEBSITE NAME…HAS MTL IN IT…
There is no need to skip steps
Two weeks had passed since Tanaka and Kaneda-san started going out.
And, if you were to ask what Suzuka and I did during those two weeks…
It wasn’t as if nothing had changed at all.
The two of us began living together and we got over the sense of nervousness we had.
Though we couldn’t go so far as to say that it was now natural for us to be all smiles without any difficulties when we were together, we were still having fun as we spent our days.
… But it was then that we saw the new couple of Tanaka and Kaneda-san, and it made me think.
Despite the fact that we were gradually getting along better and getting to like each other, still I couldn’t help but feel like we were a far cry from lovers.
Having seen the lovers that were Tanaka and Kaneda-san, Suzuka and I came back home, entered our room together, and, contrary to our wishes, began to feel a certain impatience at the lack of advance in our relationship.
We were now in the beginning of March, almost the season of graduations.
Timewise, it had easily been 2 months.
We may have had the entrance exams come over us, along with days in which we couldn’t meet, but even so, 2 months had already passed.
I may be somewhat uncertain about a marital relationship, but she is someone I want to be with.
It was the impatience born from knowing that if things kept as they were with that someone, we could one day end up on different paths.
I was tormented by that thought.
I continued to be absorbed in those thoughts until I suddenly noticed that I had approached Suzuka.
“Say, want to try kissing at least?”
“Well, I mean. You know, right?”
I knew that Suzuka liked me.
Being that the case, I believed it’d be fine and forcefully got closer to her. However, having been childhood friends for so long, I understood many things from Suzuka.
I could at least tell that, right now, at this place, Suzuka didn’t want to be kissed.
“My bad. Forget I said it, I got ahead of myself.”
“No, it’s fine. I also get why you’re feeling pressured.”
I’d been affected by our surroundings and lost sight of myself.
I got the sensation that that was the one thing I should never do.
… Well, even if I knew that, my emotions were a complicated mishmash.
Today was the first time since we started living together that I felt such a strong sense of awkwardness.
The next day welcomed us as I continued to feel the awkwardness.
It was a considerably important day.
That’s right, it was our graduation day.
It was the landmark day that marked the end of our high school life.
Despite continuing to be assailed by the strange sense of urgency and nervousness about my relationship with Suzuka, I looked forward to the graduation ceremony.
I looked back to the many things that happened during my high school life.
This last part from this year’s January was especially filled with mind-boggling days.
At the beginning of them I had no special feelings of any sort towards Suzuka.
And in spite of that, at some point I found myself liking her.
If someone asked me what thing in my high school life left the biggest impression on me, without a doubt, the first thing that I would say would be that I got married to Suzuka.
While there were many things to think about, the graduation ceremony advanced and was over in the blink of an eye.
We went back to our classroom and received our graduation certificates from our teacher.
Then, it was time to say our goodbyes.
At long last, all that was left was taking the commemorative photos and other small things before leaving school one last time.
My thoughts were running back to many things as I took the commemorative photos of the graduation with my friends. Those happy yet saddening moments went by in a heartbeat.
I stood before the school gates.
It was the last time I’d go back home as a high school student.
I couldn’t help wanting to go back home together with Suzuka this last time, so I called her out.
“Sorry, did I make you wait?”
“No, I just got here so there’s no problem. Well, shall we go?”
We walked side-by-side wearing our uniforms.
As I thought to myself that this was truly the last time, I felt strong emotions well up inside me.
The ever-changing life.
More changes will continue to take place from now on too.
“Sorry, do you mind if we take a small detour?”
I decided to make a small detour together with Suzuka.
The place we headed to was the park where Suzuka and I had first met when we were small.
“Coming to a park at an age like ours kind of becomes a seldom occurrence, no?”
“Well, yes. And, why’d we come here?”
“I thought that this place was the best if I was to be clear in telling you.”
“What are you going to tell me?”
Suzuka had a worried expression on her face.
I laughed when I saw Suzuka.
“There’s no need for that face! It’s not something as ominous as you’re thinking, ok?”
“Then, what is it?”
“Aah, well, give me a bit more time to collect myself.”
The words I wanted to tell Suzuka once again.
I feel weirdly embarrassed saying them, so I practice saying them over and over in my head so I don’t mess up.
“Sorry, please wait just a bit more.”
“Yeah, I’ll wait for you however long you need.”
I made Suzuka wait for a few minutes.
I strengthened my resolve and spoke.
“Suzuka. I like you.”
Suzuka looked blankly in amazement.
Not worrying about that, I went on to lay bare my whole heart to her.
“We became a married couple on a whim. But we are now in mutual love. I hadn’t said that ‘I like you’ clearly until now, right?”
“Now that you mention, you’re right. I even feel like you evaded giving a direct answer a lot too.”
“That’s how it was. Now comes the real thing I wanted to tell you.”
Suzuka held her breath as she waited for my words.
What I wanted to tell her now was, if you really wanted to say it, yes it was an obvious thing.
“Please go out with me.”
“Heh, eh? Ah, erm, what?”
“Aah, it makes me embarrassed explaining this out loud. Because the two of us became a married couple first, we had our minds fully preoccupied by that and were thinking as we skipped all the proper steps, wouldn’t you say?”
“You may be right. We did get married first and thought only about what came next.”
“Isn’t that too unnatural? Things have their proper course. Well, there may be times when you simply skip over all that. However, after thinking about it in many ways, I realized that it wasn’t good for you and me to skip over all that process.”
This relationship between us that, though slowly, continued to progress.
It was so slow that whenever you compared it to other people, it was slow.
After watching a couple like Tanaka and Kaneda-san, even if I didn’t want to, I understood that it was incredibly and undeniably slow.
Yesterday, while I was falling asleep, I thought it over well.
Despite that being the case, it was not like us to hurry it up.
People each have their own pace.
We had fallen prey to ignoring our own pace and feeling like we needed to go faster and faster because we had gotten married and become a couple.
“And you’re okay with that, Yuuki?”
“Slowly without hurrying. Just because we got married, there’s no need for us to go and skip every step, right? Want to try thinking about this by forgetting about our marriage first? This is what I wanted to tell you. Sorry I’m so bad with words.”
“No, you got your point across, so it’s okay.”
“By the way, your answer…?”
“Sounds good to me. Before becoming a married couple, let’s try being lovers first!”
As if all the dark clouds hanging over her head had cleared, she gave me a most radiant smile.
All right, this was our true beginning at last.