Chapter 4:

A Tender Feeling

The Premonition Winter Gave Me


"Manai-san."

Hanae thought she was looking at a sun. Resplendent, turning towards a dark end of the world unable to understand. Profiled by the lights of the bright day, she had never noticed how a voice could shake every corner of her heart. She narrowed her cinnamon gaze, the brightness blinding her even though it was a presence she saw every evening in her home. Kanon painted her world in different colors, being Kanon herself the brush. Young children paint their faces with mud, high school students paint their hair, high school students color their hearts in black, pink and blue. However, she dyed them in yellow with certain dark touches, as well as that secret that was no longer so unique to her. That hurt her, tormented her, which was why now she wanted to take over her voice, just like in the movie The Little Mermaid.

The girl with the hair resembling a warm chestnut in the winter let out a gesture of confusion, not knowing why Kanon was extending a certain object with her pale hands.

A distant voice but, at the same time, close. That piece of paper she held between her fingers resembled a mirage. Something real, more unreal. Hanae did not care about the looks that were directed towards them. Normally, Hanae was the one who began the conversations, giving every effort that was allowed to her so as not to be separated from Kanon. It was difficult for her to breathe, Kanon was becoming a necessity. She was a whimsical little girl in a world that forced her to become an adult. Leaving her crumpled future on the desk in her own room was just a way of rebelling against a future that was being written to her. Go to a good university, finish a magnificent career, all because life dictates so. She wanted to dream, she wanted to live.

Reading the story of Kanon reminded her of her hope of wanting to live in a unique world where she would want to do those little things that going to a university would not allow her.

Experience the real world in your own flesh, unlike being locked in a building, preparing for a life that is not dictated in a manual.

She wanted to be like Kae. The same Kae from Kanon's tale.

I envy Kae, because she feels her love every day.

"I asked for an extra one thinking that I had lost mine and in the end I found it. You need it, right?"

Struggling to comprehend the clear sky that watched her without emotion in her face, she retreated a little in her seat, ignoring the curious looks of Izuno and Kozue.

"Yes but..."

"Just take it."

"But I..."

"Here."  A warm smile transformed the darkness into light.

"Thanks, Tachikawa" spreading her fingers, feeling the absurd role that decides lives as a trading tool was comforting.

How did Kanon know I needed another sheet?

"Hanamin..." Kozue gestured to Hanae with her hand, moving her a little away from Kanon and Izuno who, lately, had struck up a strange friendship. Once together, at a safe distance from Kozue's eyes, she put her lips to her friend's ear, joining both hands together to finish whispering like a little girl revealing a secret. "How long have you been dating?"

"What do you mean by that?" Stepping away from the sword and the wall, Hanae scratches her cheek. "We're not dating. What makes you think that?"

"Well, you never spoke and now you do it. Besides, you're always spoiling her with origami during classes" Kozue responds as if it's something obvious.

"You have the wrong idea."

"Well, if you say so. Then it's impossible that you're dating. You two are completely different people, after all" with innocence, Kozue leans against the wall, smiling.

Why does that statement bothers me a little? She doesn't say it with ill intentions but, still, it hurts.

"Also you're always together with Kanocchi and..."Bookmark here


Seems that Kanon is Kanocchi now.Bookmark here

"N-N-Not always..." the brunette bit her lip, leaving slight marks.

"Shida, quiet you look prettier." Izuno broke into the secret conversation after noticing Hanae's expressions. The girl thought she was not doing any but, her friend of all life was able to detect them in an instant.

Izuno...

"What do you mean by that, Imaizumi?!" Puffing up her cheeks, Kozue gets upset like a little girl.

Finally, Hanae's beautiful laugh escaped from the pool of sadness in which she herself was sinking without understanding the reasons. The rays of the sun illuminated her two friends, who argued as they always did. Those two people who were part of her life. People who she could not bear to lose. Her heart sank, thinking that soon, this year when they graduate, the meaning of a single word would change forever.

The goodbye that will be given would not be a we will see each other again.

Lost in her friendships, Kanon smiled to herself in solitude at the desk once Izuno got up to go to the two girls. Since that small light came into her life, she felt illuminated. Desks that she never thought she'd share with others had been coupled to her world. She, who was always excluded from group works, had been accepted from one moment to another in a circle. Inside, a bubble made a loud pop. A barrier had been torn, and it did not hurt at all. She lowered the pencil she held between her fingers, the hidden history between her only role that would decide his future. Seeing Hanae's warmth, her heart jumped in happiness.

I thought I had lost everything but, there is something I can not forget. That smile that you carry, I try again and again and again to remember it in my worst moments, noticing that I can not do it. When I see it in person, it's different. To have given her a new sheet doesn't fix my mistake of not hearing Hanae's cries but, I hope to diminish those tears just a little.

"Tachikawa, what are you doing daydreaming? We're going to be late for the home economics class."

Kanon turned towards the door of the room, realizing that in her confusion, the three students were about to leave. Those silhouettes that in a hidden space of her mind could pass like mirages, were real people calling for her. Izuno extended his hand, in the distance, indicating that it was the right thing to take.

"Don't make me repeat myself. Stop daydreaming, silly." Hanae laughed.

"Yes, I'm coming!"

Manai-san, I do not regret having met Milky that day.



The groups were an unexpected division but, even so, it made Kanon happy. Using as a pretext once again that she had a sensitive scalp, she was able to convince the teacher to keep her hat in place, preventing her mistake from becoming publicly known. She was unable to avoid the incident with Sonoko and, yesterday afternoon, Hanae had expressed her discomfort to learn that a secret had been lost. She was unable to forget said reproach, feeling that she had betrayed her not once, but twice in showing Izuno that accident.

Kanon tightened her blouse tightly, a mixture of frustration and anguish due to the truth that she hid.

If my life were a book, I would leave this page with a bookmark. That's why I write. I escape. Manai-san, I'm sorry.

"How did you know about that?" The boy appeared carrying a tower of pots, placing them near the burners.

"What are you talking about, Imaizumi-kun?" pretending ignorance, the blond suspect gives her best to get lost in the conversation of her other two groupmates.

"You know very well what I'm talking about" throwing her a look full of doubts, he held Kanon by the neck with his arm. "The paper. That paper."

"I really do not know what you're talking about" with nervous laughs full of innocence, Kanon is carried away by the personality of Izuno.

"Come here, you little devil. Take this!" He continued to smash her hat, the blond still in laughter for his way of being.

In the distance, the joy between both classmates was observed by two feminine silhouettes. The remaining members were dividing the work, while Hanae and Kozue were lost in the intimate embrace between a nascent hope and mixed with friendship. The long-haired, pastel-pink girl gave a graceful laugh, making her look like a high-class young lady placing her hand under her lip.

"They are like two small children."

Glad for the event she was observing, she turns around to return to her friend, who was walking with a cutting board and a large kitchen knife. By standing next to her, she could feel shadowy emotions coming from Hanae as she held the implement, a negative energy rustling around her. With force, she lowered the knife, slicing a juicy onion in half as if it were just another object, instead of doing it the right way. Kozue jumped in shock, grabbing her by the shoulders.

"Hanamin! That's not how you cut an onion!" She said, scared, looking at how badly she was doing it. After having it in her hands, she detected where those murderous attempts were headed. His gaze fell on Kanon and Izuno. "For your information, Imaizumi isn't bi. Although I could not tell you the same about Kanocchi. Now that I think about it, it makes more sense if Imaizumi were bi. There are indications."

"What?!" making her return to reality, Hanae returns to normal, except that still with the knife in hand. Kozue removed it gently, resting it on the table. The blush on the brunette's face caused the pink haired girl to swallow her laughter to stay alive.

"You are looking at them with hate. Your negative energies are felt everywhere, and the poor onion suffered for it." She raised his eyes to find it, being something smaller.

Hanae raised her arms, unable to say anything.

"Jealous?"

"It was just your impression. We will continue to prepare this curry." Ignoring the topic of conversation, Hanae goes to her two other partners, earning a conspiratorial smile from Kozue.

It is not jealousy. It is envy. It is fear. I do not want her to tell Izuno the only secret we have left.

"I just realized that you have not said anything about it if they are not straight." Continues Kozue.

Now that I think about it, Kanon thought that I felt something for Sonoko. Maybe it's that ...

"It seems to me that ..." Hanae stayed with the words in her mouth.

"I think Imaizumi could be gay instead of bi though..." Kozue crossed her arms, proud of her deduction. "Sometimes I feel jealousy coming from him when Sonoko-senpai steals Fuyuta-kun. Also, Imaizumi always rejects the confessions of love of girls."

"I do not see it like that, in any case I would think that Tachikawa..."

But in a corner of my heart I do not want that to be true. Why is it so scary? What if Kanon is...I'd love for that to happen but... at the same time... what if... what if she's... straight... But If she is... would this pain go away?

"Why are we talking about boys this way?" Kozue stopped to think.

"Being sincere, I already forgot the origin of this conversation."

Meanwhile, in the other group, Izuno had released Kanon. After having their tasks divided, the boy hummed while cutting the indicated vegetables, while the blond with that black strand of hair under her hat gave directions to the two remaining members. Sighing, removing the sweat thanks to her winter uniform, returns to the side of her new friend.

"Imaizumi-kun, when you are done, can continue with the other veggies that are missing?"


Bookmark here

"Of course" still cutting, he changed the conversation. "By the way, Tachikawa. You are the only girl who calls me by my last name, ignoring Kozue of course, and above it all adds kun at the end."

"Really?" she asks in astonishment, as she dries a saucepan with a drier.

"Yep."

"I've never called anyone by their first name."

"Haven't you had any friends?" A skeptical look broke through Izuno, momentarily ceasing his task.

"No..." ashamed, Kanon throws a shy smile as she scratches her head from behind.

"Definitely, your reactions are not normal" Izuno sighed when seeing that the girl was ashamed by something that, to the majority of people, depressed. "Why don't you try it?"

"What thing?" Blinked the blonde.

"Calling me by my name."

"Ah..." Kanon bit her lip. She lowered her face, the hat covering a massive blush. Izuno's heart beat a thousand times per hour due to the tenderness that the blond provoked him. "Izu...no..."

"DON'T BLUSH THAT WAY! THAT'S ENOUGH...!"

"...kun."

"Izuno was enough!" Leaning against a wall, he was extremely ashamed after having turned red thanks to the attitude of Kanon.  "You did not have to say it like that!"

"I apologize! It's just ... I've never done something like that. It was my first time."

"Tachikawa, sometimes I don't know if you use the least appropriate words at the least appropriate time to be innately awkward or  you do it on purpose" the blush did not fade from his cheeks, giving his best to look angry.

"Ehehe" she continued laughing with nervousness.

Izuno just averted his gaze, wondering how someone who looked suspicious and antisocial to everyone turned out to be an ordinary, somewhat clumsy girl and a friend.



The ringing of the class bell was a blessing for the students. Happily, they all left the hell of the kitchens, going straight to their classes and so go home, being the last class of the day. Dying with the dusk, only four students remained in the gloom. Their long shadows turned into one, wrapping themselves in a warm heat, causing smiles among them. The steaming curry they shared had been exchanged, ready to taste the harvest of a hard work. Before they could begin, Izuno's face lit up remembering an important detail.

"I have soccer practice today!" He hurries to the door, saying goodbye in the distance from the three. Likewise, he put his hand on the frame of the sliding door. Distressed, he inflates his face a little before muttering the following. "Good job, Kanon."

Amazed to hear her first name, the aforementioned forms a faint blush on her cheeks. Kozue was the first to notice it after the soon disappearance of Izuno, pulling Hanae a little so that only she heard it.

"See?" Kozue said in a whisper.

"That does not explain anything ..." something annoyed by the proximity of the two, Hanae began to believe in the theory of her friend.

"Although I really thought, in a certain corner, that Imaizumi could be gay. That would explain his strange friendship with Fuyuta-kun. Now everything makes sense" nodding to herself, Kozue continues to hit Hanae in her ribs playfully. "Don't let him steal her from you!"

"K-Kozue..."

"It's time to eat the our friend's curry!" with happiness, the pastel pink haired student takes a bite of what was prepared by the group of her two friends. A sound of happiness escaped her lips, clasping her hands on both cheeks. "This is delicious! Hanamin, come and try this."

In Kanon's eyes, Hanae's silhouette became beautiful. The light complemented her aura, making it much more unattainable. Seeing how she savored the dish, holding the metal spoon, everything was beautiful. Once she finished, the words that came out of her lips, Kanon wanted to snatch them.

She wrote words but, she was unable to steal them.

"You're right, it's exquisite" her cinnamon eyes shone when she said it.

Kanon could not help but be dazed by such flattery, noting that she had nowhere to back when lying against the wall.

It is warm. It has a flavor reminiscent of a warm home. This curry makes me want to cry.
"Tachikawa" dissipating those thoughts from her head, Hanae goes to the blond with whom she shared a great secret. In a low voice, she adds, "Do you think you can go home before me? Milky is being rude and I need you to keep an eye on him. I must help Sonoko again in the council."

"Yes, I have my copy of the keys" returning to normal, Kanon nods.

"Thanks!"

Retreating, now only Kozue and Kanon are left, the girl lies down beside her. Kanon watched her in silence, this somewhat uncomfortable feeling of having never been alone with her upsetting her. Suddenly, the girl with pink hair, raised her thumb in sign of good luck.

"You have my support!" she says seriously.

"Support?"

"I'm not against that kind of relationship. Good luck conquering my friend ! Removing Sonoko-senpai will not be an easy task."

"What are you talking about ... Shida-san?"

"Hahaha, it is not necessary to hide it!" punching her on the shoulder, it was Kozue's turn to go laughing happily with no worries in her life.

Stunned, Kanon is left alone, observing the dish that Hanae had eaten. Smiling to herself, she placed her fingers, feeling the traces of warmth that she had left in the metal spoon.

"I'm glad you liked it."

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