The words “I love you”
After she dropped me off at home, she left without saying a word.
She stopped smoking, which was unusual for her, and was deep in thought… I wonder what on earth she was thinking about.
It was just eerie how nothing was said from the topic of Kurumizawa.
Something unpredictable is about to happen again… and the thought of it makes me feel depressed.
But I can’t stay depressed forever.
What I was still concerned about was Shiho’s physical condition.
So I called her as soon as I got home.
She still hasn’t responded to my message, so there is a possibility that she is still sleeping.
For a while, only the sound of the call rang out.
That girl who usually doesn’t let go of her phone even for a moment seems to be so unwell that she doesn’t even notice the phone call.
Maybe I should just leave her alone for now. …At that moment when I was about to give up, the phone unexpectedly connected.
“Moshi moshi… Who is it?? I’m Shi-chan, I’m 3 years old.”
And she was half asleep.
Oh no, I must have woken her up… but I was so happy to hear her voice that I couldn’t hang up the phone right away.
“Hello, umm… it’s Nakayama.”
“Nakayama? Who? Shi-chan doesn’t know you.”
Well, the combination of a cold and waking up from sleep seems to have caused Shiho to regress into childhood.
“This is Kotaro Nakayama … sorry, were you sleeping or waking up? Do you want me to hang up the phone?”
“Hmm? Kotaro? … Kotaro-kun? Oh, Kotaro-kun.”
Finally, she seems to be waking up. She seems to remember me, but her words are still inarticulate.
She seems to be in poor health, so perhaps her consciousness is still a bit fuzzy. But it was good to hear her voice.
“I’m sorry, I was worried if you were okay…”
“You’re worried about me~? I’m so glad to hear your voice. Shi-chan is so happy.”
“How old are you…, Shi-chan?”
“Three years old.”
Huh? Are you just joking around?
I don’t know, but perhaps she is not feeling well and the tone is not right.
I felt that a very long phone call was not a good idea.
Well, I felt better now that I could hear Shiho’s voice.
It was as if I was lying to myself when I was talking to Kurumizawa-san, and now my mind is at ease.
But can’t I just be like this and rely on Shiho forever?
I don’t want to become someone who can’t do anything without her.
I feel like I’ve been relying on Shiho a lot lately, and suddenly I feel ashamed of myself.
(Shiho seems to be sick, too, so I should be a little more self-conscious.)
I think about that, but even so, I still miss hearing her voice.
That’s how important Shiho had become to me.
Once again, I think.
I really love Shiho, I thought, suddenly feeling overwhelmed.
That’s probably why I unintentionally…
“Shiho, I love you.”
It was a confession without any context.
It was an unprovoked confession, an unconscious overflow of words, but strangely enough, I was not upset.
It was only a statement of my true feelings, so it was natural for me not to be upset.
It is not that I wanted an answer to this confession.
I just wondered what Shiho would say.
Then she was instantly flustered.
Over the phone, she suddenly breathes heavily… her emotions are easy to understand.
“I was going to make Kotaro-kun nervous by playing child… But on the contrary,… I am nervous!”
… I see. Apparently, she was just joking around earlier.
“If I get any more nervous, I’m going to die. Kehoho, kehoho…… see, my head is getting dizzy again from nervousness! Kotaro-kun’s mean.”
Despite the adorable things she says, Shiho’s dry cough makes my chest ache.
If I let her push me too hard, she’ll probably get sicker,… so I thought I’d leave it at that for today.
“I’m sorry, okay? I suddenly said something strange and … well, I’m going to hang up now. Shiho, take a good rest.”
“…Yeah, I will. I really wanted to talk to you more, but … sorry, okay? But it was nice to talk to you. Thanks. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of lovely conversations when I get well again, okay? Bye bye…”
Saying this, Shiho quickly hung up the phone. I heard her coughing again just before she hung up, so she probably hung up so I wouldn’t hear her cough.
She’s trying not to worry me… That’s how Shiho feels about me, too…
So, even if I don’t get the word ‘love’ back, I don’t doubt her thoughts.
Yes, I know that, but … I still find myself wanting the word ‘love’ somewhere in the back of my mind, and I sigh.
(Why did I become so weak? …)
I was almost disgusted with myself for being so dependent on Shiho…
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