n as he took a look at me, his face mellowed into concern.
“Are you okay? You look pale.”

“Y, yeah, I’m fine…”

“…Let’s find somewhere we can have a seat,” his hand wrapped around mine as he pulled me along.
It was nice to feel his strong grip.

Not long after, we reached a coffee shop with few customers, sat down, and ordered two cold drinks.

“Risa, are you feeling sick?” He asked me as soon as we were settled down.

Unable to reply properly, I shook my head in denial.
In turn, he looked at me while contemplating something for a few moments.

“Did you hear something from Kenichi? Or did you maybe hear our talk by the door yesterday?”

I returned with a shudder.
Ugh, I’m so obvious…

“I see… Maybe I ended up causing a weird misunderstanding and worried you sick,” he stopped for a moment and sighed.
“I went to Maika’s house yesterday and talked to her, but…”

He carefully and slowly explained what they talked about in her house.
I felt as if a tight grasp on my heart had been released after he made it clear he held no feelings for he, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but put myself in her shoes and grimace at how bad she must’ve felt.

However, what I took from this talk was something else.
Although he tried not to show it, I felt—I knew he had been hurt a lot… I just want to heal him.

“And,” he continued.
“I know you told me before we could start as friends, but I don’t want that.
I’ll say it again, but will you go out with me as a proper girlfriend?”

His words were so sudden my mind turned off for a moment.
As soon as it hit me, I couldn’t hold back these happy tears of mine.
All I had to do was say yes, but I could barely form words.

“O, of courshe… I, I’d love zat…” I didn’t trust these babbles to be enough to convey my feelings, so I nodded incessantly as well.

“Thank you, Risa.
I’d love that too,” indescribable warmth spread from his hands’ gentle squeeze to my whole being.
Then, we talked about countless things, including those I’ve been too shy to ask in the past.

I felt we had become much closer than before.

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