Reunion, and After That
◆ Hiiragi Haruka ◆
“Thanks for the hard work.”
“Thanks for the hard work.”
I gave the clerk the keys to the staff room, and went out through the unlocked backdoor.
I hate myself for being unable to deal with work easily. However, I was able to use work as an excuse to skip the troublesome end-of-the-year party. That might be a good thing.
I tightly closed the front of my coat, and wrapped the scarf that I’ve had for ten years around my neck.
“What should I do?”
I don’t feel like going to the party, or rather I truly just don’t want to go and so I walked to work instead of driving.
30 minutes walking. Limited to days like this, it’ll take a lot of time for a taxi to come pick me up it seems.
“Let’s walk I guess.”
As I was talking to myself in the midst of the cold weather, an unfamiliar car pulled into the parking lot.
The headlights turned off and the driver got out of the car.
I thought it might have been a teacher, but I was wrong.
It was a face that I remember. His young face had grown to the point where it could be called the face of a young man.
After searching for words to say, he opened his mouth to speak.
“I missed the end of the year party.”
It was a voice that was familiar and soothing to the ears.
“…Yes… Me too.”
If I didn’t form a frown with my mouth, I felt like my tears would spill out. My legs were shaking. In exchange for me holding back my muffled voice, my vision was blocked by tears.
“How about it? Want to go for a drink?”
“At a place and time like this, you’re hitting on me…?”
“Is that wrong? …You’re just a wonderful person, so.”
“Are you fine with me?”
“My age. How old do you think I am? I turned 34 at the start of December, you know?”
“Me too, I turned 27 at the start of December. Do we maybe have the same birthday?”
“If you’re inviting someone anyway, wouldn’t it be better for it to be someone younger?”
“It isn’t something you can accept just because they’re young.”
“I’m terrible at getting work done, so I used it as an excuse since I didn’t want to go to the end of the year party… I’m that kind of terrible person.”
“Is that really something that terrible?”
As we exchanged words, the distance between us shrunk by a step.
I told him what the words that have always been stuck within my heart.
“I have someone I like.”
Both our feet stopped.
“Ever since ten years ago. He was someone I was forbidden to fall in love with, but I couldn’t hold back my feelings.”
“That’s a coincidence. Me too… Things happened and it feels like 20 years, but I’ve liked that person for 10 years now. It’s a person named Haruka.”
Tears ran down my cheek. We were walking towards each other, but at the end we ran.
We stopped each other by hugging.
“All lies. What do you mean, a coincidence?”
Looking up towards his voice that played innocent, I found a nostalgic smile.
With my arms that were wrapped around his back, I tightened them into a hug.
“Sorry I’m late. I just never knew when it would be, before you would acknowledge me as an adult.”
“No… It’s not late at all… Not late at all… I’ve always believed and waited for you, Seiji-kun.”
Ten years ago, the message card and flower that I received for Christmas. All that was written on it was [I’ll definitely come to see you]. At that time, I didn’t understand, but now I do.
“I can drink together with you now.”
“I have a driver’s license now, and my own car.”
“I met a lot of other women, but you were the best Sensei.”
“…Gosh… When we’re alone… It’s not Sensei but Haruka, right…?”
Seiji-kun laughed at my words which had become muffled due to my crying.
“Well, I guess you aren’t my teacher anymore.”
“Then, don’t say it. When it comes to important lines, you always purposely call me ‘Sensei’.”
“I was found out.”
I instantly realized that it was his way of hiding his embarrassment.
He continued on in life, and experienced many things. Not as a student, not as a boy, but as a man, he came to see me.
“Please marry me.”
When we were dating, he had said those words countless times to me, but today made me the happiest by far.
I once again hugged Seiji-kun and patted him on the back of his head.
“Yes. If you’re fine with me, I accept.”
◆ Sanada Seiji ◆
After Hiiragi-chan got onto the car, we began moving.
“This is a first, for Seiji-kun to be in the driver’s seat.”
There was that one time when we went on the hot springs trip, but she was asleep.
Just as we were going to go to a fancy bar, Natsumi-chan contacted me. When I received her scolding earlier, I asked her where Hiiragi-chan would be. Through that, she probably realized what would happen.
“That’s great. T-that place, right? We’ll go as well—”
It seems that she’s together with Sana and Kanata. Rei-chan as well.
Hiiragi-chan’s face turned blue and she began to shake as she realized everyone was together.
“Sana-chan might do me in again.”
“Do you in? What do you mean?”
“Ah… It’s nothing.”
What? What happened?
“Seiji-kun, you can’t drink if you’re driving right?”
“I’ll head home on the last train, so it’s fine.”
“We haven’t met in a while… and yet you’re going home?”
I stopped the car at a red light.
After I noticed that she was staring at me, she brought her face closer to mine and kissed me twice.
“Just tonight, let’s be alone together…?”
It was hard to join in to a group that was already done warming up at another party, especially if you’re sober.
I’ll apologize to them later, I aimed for another store and stepped on the pedal.
The path was all green.
There were no obstacles on the way. All I had to do was move forward.
I don’t know anything about what will happen past the age of 27. There’s no one that knows what will happen tomorrow.
Normally, that’s the case. It’s fine that way.
I’m a little anxious as I don’t know what will happen, but if Hiiragi-chan is by my side, it’ll definitely be okay.
I feel like today, I restarted my life that had been paused.
“You won’t burnout on me just because I’m clumsy right?”
“I know about that, so don’t worry.”
I smiled at Hiiragi-chan who looked at me with a complicated expression.
Aiming for the timing of us having to wait for a signal, she wrapped her pinky around mine.
“Seiji-kun, I’ll be in your care forever.”
As for the results from when I time leaped and confessed to the teacher that I liked at the time, I was able to reach a happy ending with the person I held dear.
< End >