Prove Your Eternal Love. There Shall Be No Heroine Correction. - Side Story
E-book bonus: Newly Written Short Story
『One Day In Winter, Tokiwa Nagisa』
It was a cold winter day. When I opened the front door, the outside temperature was lower than I expected, and my body shivered.
“Ah. Good morning, Suguru-san!
The girl I knew, who was always waiting for me, was wearing gloves that looked unusually mature. I immediately recognized them as Minagi’s hand-me-downs.
“Good morning, Nagisa. I’m sorry for making you wait in the cold. Are you okay?”
“I’m totally fine. These gloves may look thin, but they’re really warm.”
“I’m glad to hear that. Those, are the ones I gave to Minagi.”
“…Eh. Is that what it is? Umm, I’m sorry.”
“No, I’m sorry too. …Ah, well, maybe it suits you better.”
Nagisa smiled awkwardly. I’m sorry, that was unnecessary information. This was what happens when it came to Minagi. It reminded me of the taste of mint, gave me heart palpitations, and made it hard for me to stay calm.
“By the way, Suguru-san, do you have any plans for today?”
I’m just going home after the end of the school day, nothing special but… What’s up all of a sudden?”
“fumufumu, I see. Then, um, if you can, would you come with me—”
Nagisa, who was busily rubbing her gloves together, turned away from me unnaturally for some reason.
“With you…? Ah, you have somewhere to go? I’ll go out with you if you want.”
Nagisa overreacted to my response and jumped up. I don’t know what’s wrong with her today.
“Go, go out…No, ah, this is, this is different. Those words sputtered out unconsciously, or maybe I was talking in my sleep, or maybe I was, um…well, unfortunately, I’m a student preparing for exams, and my studies are my love, so I don’t have time to have an affair with Suguru-san!”
Nagisa flapped her arms up and down, her eyes rolling in circles, and for some reason, she closed in on me with an unusual breathing rhythm. Her cheeks are bright red, probably from the cold.
“…I-Is your relationship with this study going well?”
It was only last week that Nagisa suddenly announced that she was raising the level of the school she wanted to attend. I was surprised to find out that it was the same high school that I attend. As a current student, I was happy but also worried. I wondered if Nagisa, who was hated studying, would be able to pass the entrance exam in such a short time.
“But, listen to me. I’m trying to do everything I can to help him, but he won’t come to me at all, he doesn’t understand what I’m saying, he’s inflexible, and it’s really hard!
While I was listening to her complaints, we arrived at the station. This was where I always say goodbye to Nagisa. Tomorrow was winter vacation, so it would be next year before I see her again. We used to see each other every weekday, so it felt strange to not see each other for more than a week.
Speaking of which. I suddenly remembered. Today was the 24th of December, Christmas Eve.
“I’ll see you later, Nagisa. …Merry Christmas.”
I wished her a Merry Christmas since it was a special occasion. As I turned my back to Nagisa, I thought that would have been better back in the past, but then my coat sleeves was tugged weakly.
“…What’s wrong, Nagisa?”
“Well, umm, it’s. …Nothing, nothing at all.”
For nothing, her finger didn’t let go. A moment of silence. White breath leaked from her small lips every now and then. I waited silently for her to say something, which she hesitated to do.
“…I like you. Please go out with me.”
I was so surprised that I turned my body back around. Nagisa’s face was much redder than before. Suddenly, a memory came back to my mind. One day, a long time ago, when Nagisa teased me that she might like me. My cold skin reminded me of the touch of her fingers.
“Umm, Nagisa, that was—”
“When I am safely separated from Study-kun. I want Suguru-san to be my boyfriend…”
Nagisa looked as if she was about to start crying. Her body was trembling before I knew it, and her eyes were moist with a mixture of emotions. Expectation, trepidation, or confusion.
But I have no love for her in me. Tokiwa Nagisa was like a younger sister that I should watch over, and I have never wanted to touch her or be with her. There was only one person for me. That was why I’m going to reject her from now on.
“I’m sorry, Nagisa. I can’t respond to your confession. I’m so glad that you think that way. But I…still can’t forget Minagi.”
When I replied, Nagisa’s face twisted in sadness. But she quickly recovered and smiled, “Fufum.” And for a moment, I thought I saw a look of relief on her face.
“It’s okay. I know that. You’re right, Suguru-san. So can I at least ask you for a Christmas present…please?”
“Ah, it depends on the content…but let’s hear it anyway.”
“I hope you don’t mind my earlier confession. So, please continue to have an unchanging relationship with me. We’ll probably have a long relationship.”
What should I say to her? Is it really okay for me to listen to her wish? What should our relationship be like from now on? It was too difficult a question.
“You know, I’m going to become Suguru-san’s kouhai!”
“…Yeah, that’s right.”
I was looking forward to seeing Nagisa become my kouhai. That much was certain.
[TLN: And that’s the end. Maybe I should have posted this on Christmas.]