A dark and empty night, illuminated only by the full moon, like a single candle in a dimly lit room. A sky devoid of any stars, devoid of any life—there was nothing but the moon. Alone.
“Hey, do you think the moon gets lonely sometimes?” I looked to my right and asked her.
She sat right next to me; my eyes met with her beautiful figure. Her long, tied black hair was like the night; her gleaming yellow eyes reminded me of the moon. She wore a mismatching red Yukata. Nonetheless—she was as if the night sky itself but personified.
The distance between our faces was so close that I could give her a kiss on the cheek.
A feeling of awe and aspiration seemed present in those pearly eyes. The summer breeze caressed her hair; only the sounds of leaves rustling and the orchestra of the cicadas accompanied us.
She pursed her crimson lips.
“I wonder,” she replied.
She turned to face me. Our faces nearly touching, I moved back slightly in a fluster. She chuckled, then asked me, “How about you? Do you think the moon gets lonely?”
I gave the question a bit of thought before I answered.
“Well, usually the moon has the stars to keep it company. But tonight, it’s all alone. I think it’s quite a lonely thought.”
“If that’s the case then, do you think the sun gets lonely too?” she asked.
I couldn’t understand what she meant.
Feeling lost, I tilted my head.
“Unlike the moon who has the stars, the sun is always alone in the sky during the day.”
She replied to my confusion with a warm smile; I could not help but be tranced.
My thoughts could not let go of her words.
What she meant by them. What the correct answer was. I didn't know.
Pondering endlessly, I was at a loss, at a dead end.
The breeze began to pick up; then, she untied her hair. The strands flowed like the calming sea, and soon—her hair danced to the tune of the winds.
I gazed in admiration. That's when I finally understood.
“The sun isn’t alone,” I stated.
“After all, even during the day there are stars, the sun just shines so brightly that you can’t see them.”
It wasn’t that the sun was not lonely. It just shined so bright that nobody could ever notice—the sun’s hidden sadness.
Putting a finger to her chin, she sank deep in thought. Awkward silence greeted us for a minute.
“Don’t you think that makes it more lonely?” she finally said.
I widened my eyes, unable to comprehend.
“The sun is so bright that everything else became insignificant in the face of its light.”
“Do you think the sun chose to be alone?” she asked me.
I averted my gaze away from her. I looked down below at the tiny orbs of light that were scattered in the darkness. It was our beloved hometown.
My confidence faltered. Unable to properly form a reply. Although I already knew the answer, I did not have the guts to take that last step.
“Do you think the sun ever regretted its decision?”
She probably felt annoyed that I was dodging the question. I felt like she was making a pouting face directed at me.
Then, I felt a weight on my shoulder. Looking to my right, I saw it.
There she was, resting her head on my shoulder. My body began to tremble. If I could see my face right now, I was probably blushing really hard.
She wasn’t usually this affectionate with me. She was acting a lot more sweet and vulnerable today for some reason.
“The sun is quite amazing if you ask me,” she muttered. Her words caught me off guard.
“Despite all the isolation, the sun never gave up in the end. I think that’s really admirable.”
I don’t share the same views with her. The sun was just an arrogant prick who only knew itself, and because of that—ended up all alone. He got what he deserved.
The sun chose to outshine everything, and as such, shunned everyone else away. Foolish and prideful, that’s what the sun was.
“I think the sun is just stupid,” I told her. She giggled at my answer, which caused me to felt slightly embarrassed.
“I mean, you’re not wrong.”
Her body began shaking ever so slightly. I wrapped my hands around her to comfort her. That didn’t stop her shaking, but she felt a lot calmer now.
I was naturally worried about her. Was she not feeling well?
“Is there anything wrong?” I asked her out of concern.
“It’s nothing. It’s just that...”
“I think the moon is stupider.”
I was confused about what she said. Before I could ask her to clarify, she had already continued to speak.
“The moon did something stupid and ended up losing everything.”
“The stars that used to be by its side left it, and now it’s all alone.”
It pained me to hear her say those words. After all, she wasn’t talking about the moon. I could feel the suffering imbued in those feelings.
I brought her closer to me and tightly embraced her slender body.
“Don’t you think that’s quite sad?” I asked her.
“Do you think the moon regretted everything?”
“I’m sure it did.” Her voice sounded frail as she let out those words. I pulled her closer to me and patted her head. She tried to hold back tears as she sniffled repeatedly.
I apologized to her. For everything, there was nothing I could do. I wished to be by her side, but that was impossible.
“When are you leaving tomorrow?” she asked.
A chilling gust blew past us, prompting me to shiver instinctively. The heat from our bodies pressed up together provided us comfort from the cold. It would be lonely if we didn’t have each other at this moment.
“Hey, promise me something, but first...” she said.
“What is it?”
She placed her arms on my shoulders and wrapped them around my head. She then closed the distance between our faces. I backed away from instinct. However, I understood what she was trying to do and stopped.
Our faces were now so close that we could feel each other’s hot breaths.
I could see her cute face flush beet red. I’m sure mine was as well.
“Can I be selfish just this once?” she whispered.
I simply smiled and nodded.
She closed her eyes. I closed mine.
The distance became zero.
I felt that gentle warmth from her lips. A surge of different emotions overwhelmed my heart. I’m sure she did too. There was nothing else I could ever wish for at this moment.
I wish this moment would last forever.
This warmth, the feeling of being with someone else—I want to treasure it for all eternity.
If this was a dream, then I never want to wake up from it.
However, this was not the case.
Alas, this moment has to come to an end eventually.
That temporary bliss was just that. Temporary.
A brief moment of happiness.
It was now just—a memory.
“Promise me that we’ll meet again ten years from now.”
A single tear trailed down her face, then another one came, and another. She could not hold them back anymore.
There was no way I could turn her down.
“And we’ll get married,” she grinned.
“Wait, wha, huh?!”
Was this one of her jokes? Was she teasing me again? She seems serious about it, though.
“Yeah, in ten years, let’s get married.”
She widened her eyes, simply staring at me with a surprised expression.
Seconds went by before she spoke once more.
“R-really?" she asked.
She began to laugh while crying. I held her close to me and never let go.
“Thank you,” she said.
She wiped away her tears, then looked at me.
We gazed at one another for a while.
Then. Once more.
Our lips intertwined as our breathing became one.
As they slowly parted, I saw traces of sparkling colors in the corner of my eyes.
We immediately shifted our sights to the empty night sky.
No, it wasn’t empty anymore. A spectrum of bright and different colors filled that once lonely night.
“That’s beautiful,” I muttered.
“I thought they were gonna cancel the fireworks,” she said.
A smile emerged from her lips.
“You see? You’re not going to be alone.” I told her. She turned her head and faced me.
“I love you, Taiyo-kun.”
“I love you too, Mitsuki.”