(Interlude 5) Merry Christmas, Part 1
Go out on a date with someone you like on Christmas Day.
That’s very nice.
Even though it’s not much of a date, just a lazy walk in the park,… I still feel really happy at this moment.
But I think it would have been better if the weather … had been a little worse anyway.
“It would have been a much nicer Christmas if it had snowed.”
I muttered to myself, and he, who was walking next to me, also looked up at the sky.
Looking up at the cloudless sky, he squinted dazzlingly.
“Really? I prefer sunny days.”
“Oh dear… Kotaro-kun, are you being silly? It’s supposed to snow on our date, and we’re supposed to hold hands while saying, “It’s cold, isn’t it?” Or even in the rain. I’d be so happy if we could share an umbrella. It’s impossible to go on a date with someone who doesn’t know how to … understand this much.”
“Don’t be so difficult …”
At my words, he loosens his cheeks.
I loved the way he shrugged as if to say, “It can’t be helped …”, and yet he had a happy expression on his face.
I like his expression so much that I always end up saying annoying things to him.
It may sound out of line, but Kotaro-kun always listens to me kindly, and I think that’s what makes him so wonderful.
“I wish it didn’t have to snow or rain, but at least it could have been cloudy. Then I would have shivered and hugged Kotaro-kun, saying I was cold. I wonder if the sun can’t read the atmosphere.”
“… You think it is colder on a cloudy day than on a sunny day, Shiho?”
“Huh? It’s not a matter of course. The sun is hidden, you know? Kotaro-kun, are you really so silly…?”
“No, well, … there is a phenomenon called ‘radiative cooling’, so I can’t say that it’s all that simple.”
I wonder what that is.
It sounds cool, like a technique an ice character might use in a manga or something, but I wonder if that’s what we’re talking about.
Kotaro-kun is so smart sometimes.
Usually he lets me take the lead.
…. Well, it’s nice that he knows so much about things, but…
“Anyway. I mean, I’d like to hug you, hold your hand, that kind of thing.”
I don’t know what I’m talking about.
After all, what I want to do is not to talk about the weather, but skinship.
“Look, don’t my hands look cold? Don’t you think it’s suspicious that I’m not wearing gloves in the middle of winter? Kotaro-kun, I wonder if you are that uninterested in me.”
When I said this and mimicked crying, he instantly became flustered and began to wince.
“Ah, I’m sorry. I see, that’s what you meant …, isn’t it a bit much to ask me to feel comfortable not wearing gloves?”
I think that’s true.
I find myself feeling like such a nuisance as a girl who sulks over such a small thing.
But I want to see Kotaro-kun’s troubled face, and I want to be bothered by him a lot, so I end up saying things like this.
“Just come on, … let’s hold hands, okay?”
I grabbed his hand, while he was still hesitating.
I squeezed it as it was, and Kotaro-kun’s eyes widened, as though he was a little startled.
“… You’re really cold.”
I was joking, but it was no lie that I was weak and sickly.
My hands were also cold, so Kotaro-kun squeezed them to warm them.
That alone makes me so happy.
“Heheheh~. Is this exactly what they mean by ‘let them cut your flesh and cut your bones’?”
“Not quite, but …, well, it’s about right.”
As usual, Kotaro-kun is very sweet to me.
I think the meaning of the proverb was probably completely wrong, but he answered my question correctly.
I can’t help but find this kind of thing endearing.
I really love the way he treats me, and me alone.
“But if you’re cold, you should probably go home? Satsuki-san and Itsuki-san are probably waiting for you.”
“No. I want to flirt with Kotaro-kun a little more.”
I didn’t care about my body.
I didn’t want to lose his love.
Of course, I miss home, though.
It’s Christmas, my mom is cooking a delicious meal, and my dad is taking off work and having a party, so I’m looking forward to it, you know?
But it’s Christmas, and I wanted to be alone with the person I love a little more.
“… Then, just a little more.”
Kotaro-kun was always willing to go along with my selfishness.
We had a lot of fun just walking around the park together, holding hands.
–I could never have done such a thing until just a little while ago.
Not to mention holding hands, Kotaro-kun was suffering from the fact that he couldn’t even talk to me properly.
He was so distressed about Kururi Kurumizawa that he … got a handful.
Thanks to that, my relationship with him is back to the same as before.
That makes me really happy and … but I wonder if this was really the right thing to do? I wonder why I think about that sometimes?
Maybe, without my help, Kotaro-kun could have resolved his feelings toward Kurumizawa-san on his own.
And if that had happened, … my relationship with him might have been deeper… I still don’t know the right answer, I have been thinking that.
I was going to live my whole life loving Kotaro-kun as I do.
But to do that, I love him too much… and end up being overprotective.
Because of this I exposed my deepest roots to Kurumizawa-san and Ryuzaki-kun.
(I think it may be a long way … before I can move on to the next step in our relationship.)
What is it that I’m saying?
In the end, I am more of a coward than Kotaro-kun.
I’m not ready, I’m not confident that he will love the real me, and that’s why I only show him one side of “Shiho Shimotsuki”.
I know I can’t stay like this forever.
But … I love him too much to break this relationship now.
Even now, we just walk around the park in silence.
It’s not a romantic scene, but it’s enough to make my heart beat wildly.
I’m so carried away that if I’m not careful, I could start dancing in a heartbeat.
That’s why … I can’t get out of this relationship.
I am too happy to dare to change the status quo…
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