Master Of Rejections But Beginner At Love
It was Saturday. The day of the fireworks display.
"Hello, Nagisa-san. Is Yui done?"
Kazuma and Yui decided that they would go together and meet up with Emma at the train station in Asakusa. From there, the three would go together to the Sumida River and watch the fireworks.
Having too much free time, Kazuma already went over to the Nagisa family, hoping that Yui was already done with changing.
"Oh, good afternoon, Kazuma-kun! Nice timing, Yui just finished changing!" Yui's mother replied.
"Yui! Kazuma-kun is already here!" she called for Yui.
"I'm coming down!"
Yui's footsteps were heard as she went the stairs down.
Before she arrived, Yui's mother leaned closer on Kazuma's face.
"Go for it tonight!" she whispered in his ear and winked at him.
"S-sure..." he responded hesitatingly without knowing what she meant.
Hearing his response, she giggled and went to the living room.
Yui waved her hand at him as she walked dignified to him.
His jaw dropped a little after he saw her in her yukata.
Her robe was black and starting from the bottom it was patterned with scarlet roses. The sash, which fastened the robe, matched the color of the roses.
The yukata alone was already beautiful but it shone even more with Yui wearing it. For today, she wore a red lipstick and even tied her short black hair in a ponytail, showing off her bare and supple nape.
"Huh? Why is your face so red?"
Kazuma did not notice that he blushed due to her stunning look.
"I-I just thought that you looked good in your yukata..." he admitted embarrassed as he scratched his cheek.
"O-oh, is that so? Thanks..." she responded fidgety with a slight blush.
While it was awkwardly silent between them, Kazuma spotted the silhouette of an adult at the door of the living room. It was Yui's mother who was sneakily filming Kazuma and Yui with a broad grin.
The embarrassment vanished from Kazuma's face.
"What's wrong? Did you see a ghost?" Yui tilted her head.
Wanting to escape from her mother's sight, Kazuma grabbed Yui's arm and dragged her with him.
Thus, the two walked to the train station with excitement.
It took them a while until they arrived Asakusa.
Not even a minute passed since the two arrived and the people around them began to be noisy.
"Who is she?"
"Should I talk to her?"
Kazuma and Yui followed the gazes of the people and saw a blonde girl waving her hand at them.
"That's Emma!" Kazuma said with a surprised face.
"Wow, she sure looks beautiful!" Yui commented astonished.
Emma wore a yukata which had a golden sash and a white robe with golden blossoms on it. In addition, she wore golden dangles on her ears and tied her hair in a bun for today's occasion.
Even the atmosphere around her was more elegant than usual.
"Emma, you look absolutely gorgeous!" Yui complimented her as soon as she noticed them.
"Yeah, I agree with Yui!" Kazuma added.
"Oh, thank you! You also look good!" Emma beamed a smile at them.
While exchanging greetings, Kazuma noticed hostiles glares directed at him.
"That lucky bastard..."
"Two beauties at the same time? C'mon, that's unfair!"
"I wish I was him..."
Those glares came mainly from boys who were jealous of Kazuma's current situation.
Only after looking back to Yui and Emma, who were talking to each other, he understood the reason for their jealousy and hatred.
"Why the heavy sigh?" Yui asked.
"Oh, ehm, I am still exhausted from the train ride, haha..." he reasoned as he laughed wryly.
"Whatever. Let's go, shall we?" he said with a nervous smile.
"O-oh, okay." she replied.
"Yes!" Emma answered energetically.
With the sun almost set, the trio began to walk to the Sumida River. Their walking pace gradually became slower as they got nearer to the river due the crowd there.
Each one of the three had to wrestle their way through the crowd until they found enough space for themselves at the front.
"Geez... I lost count of how many elbows I received back then..." Kazuma remarked while he held his knees with his hands in exhaustion.
"Hehe, it sure was uncomfortable..." Emma laughed wryly.
Kazuma took a deep breath to calm down.
"Wait. Where's Yui?" Kazuma shook his head horizontally.
"Oh, Yui-san told me that she had to go the toilet." Emma answered as if she remembered it only now.
"I see. Then, let's hope that we can regroup before the fireworks are launched."
Thus, the two waited for Yui.
"Is your cousin feeling better now, Kazuma-san?" Emma asked while she stressed the word 'cousin'.
"My cousin? I don- I mean, yes!" Kazuma quickly saved himself in the middle of his sentence.
"Oh, that's wonderful!"
"Yeah, haha..." he laughed nervously.
But Kazuma's expression turned soon into a relieved one.
"And it's all thanks to your advice, Emma." he faced her with a toothy smile.
"Glad to hear that it was useful!"
The two smiled at each other.
"Well, ehm, y-you can tell your cousin that I will also lend him an ear in the future if he encounters problems. After all, that's what friends do!" she said with a slight blush on her face.
He was surprised by her statement but quickly regained his composure.
"Sure. I will tell him that." he replied while he looked up to the dark sky.
There was not much time left anymore until the fireworks launched. However, Yui was still nowhere to be seen.
"She sure takes her time..." Kazuma commented as he slowly got more worried.
"Did something happen to Yui-san?"
Kazuma checked his phone. He received no messages.
"Tch." he clicked his tongue.
"Stay here, Emma. I will go fetch her."
Not hearing the rest of her sentence, Kazuma already disappeared in the crowd.
While he wrestled his way again out of the crowd, he searched for Yui and shouted her name. But no sign of her.
He ran to the toilets and searched in the vicinity but was still not successful.
15 minutes passed with him running aimlessly until he took a short break.
He sat down at a nearby benched and dialed her number.
"Nagisa-san?! Why do you have Yui's phone?!" he was surprised.
[Oh, that silly girl forgot it here. Gosh, can you believe it?] Yui's mother mocked her.
"I-I see... Well, I have to excuse myself then. Bye!" he ended the call swiftly.
He had heave another heavy sigh.
"Where is that idiot..." he complained.
"How did you call me?"
"Wha- Why do you always have to startle me like that?!" he jerked.
"What are you talking about?" she answered with in a mad and clueless tone.
"Whatever. Where were you? Don't tell me you had to take a dum-"
She smacked his head before he could finish.
"I did not do it! I just helped a lost child find his mother in the crowd." she explained.
"Since when were you this kind?" he remarked while rubbing his head.
"Huh?" she threw an intimidating glance at him.
"Nothing!" he waved his hands nervously.
The first rocket was launched and bloomed in many colors in the dark sky.
"Oh, crap! They are already beginning!" Kazuma stated.
"Let's go to Emma!" Yui said as she was about to turn around.
A passerby accidentally bumped into Yui.
Kazuma tried to catch her as she fell towards him.
"Oh, sorry." he apologized instantly before he continued to walk.
As the next firework bloomed in the dark sky, something different bloomed under it.
Nobody else witnessed it due to having their focus on the sky. Nobody heard it due to the fireworks. Yes, nobody saw the kiss.
Despite it being an accident, Kazuma and Yui shared a kiss on the lips.
With flushed faces, fast beating hearts and widened eyes, they separated from each other.
Covering their mouths, they stared at each other in disbelief. They just experienced their first kiss.
The blush on their faces did not vanish and their hearts could not stop beating faster.
In his head, Kazuma constantly chanted a mantra to calm down but it was futile. Just like Yui, his feelings and thoughts were in a mess right now.
"I-I-I-I-I wi-will go a-ahead!" she stuttered madly before she ran away.
Now, Kazuma sat alone on the bench while he tried to sort his feelings and thoughts.
"It's just a kiss... Just a kiss..." he muttered while he looked down.
Again, it was in vain.
He could not forget the sensation when their lips met. It felt good.
However, he tried to forget this feeling. After all, he wanted to share his first kiss only with someone he loved.
"Does this count? It was an accident and after all, we're friends... She would most likely think the same way."
"Yui's just a friend... Just a friend... Friend..." he mumbled again.
"Friend?" he confused himself.
As hard as he tried to, at that moment, he wavered at the thought of only seeing her as just friend. Deep down, she was something more than a friend to him. Was she maybe an unconscious love interest? He did not have an answer for that.
As each one confronted their inner feelings, the last rocket for the evening was launched.
The last and big one bloomed in the color red whereas the remnants of the other small ones still tainted the sky in a faint yellow and blue.