Chapter 1:

Our Summer Farewell「Taiyo」

Two Points

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.Bookmark here

I wonder.Bookmark here

“Hey, do you think the moon gets lonely sometimes?” I looked to my right and asked her.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

The distance between our faces was so close that I could give her a kiss on the cheek.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

She pursed her crimson lips.Bookmark here

“I wonder,” she replied.Bookmark here

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?”Bookmark here

I gave the question a bit of thought before I answered.Bookmark here

“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.”Bookmark here

“If that’s the case then, do you think the sun gets lonely too?” she asked.Bookmark here

I couldn’t understand what she meant.Bookmark here

Feeling lost, I tilted my head.Bookmark here

“Unlike the moon who has the stars, the sun is always alone in the sky during the day.”Bookmark here

She replied to my confusion with a warm smile; I could not help but be tranced.Bookmark here

My thoughts could not let go of her words.Bookmark here

What she meant by them. What the correct answer was. I didn't know.Bookmark here

Pondering endlessly, I was at a loss, at a dead end.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I gazed in admiration. That's when I finally understood.Bookmark here

“The sun isn’t alone,” I stated.Bookmark here

“Hmm?”Bookmark here

“After all, even during the day there are stars, the sun just shines so brightly that you can’t see them.”Bookmark here

It wasn’t that the sun was not lonely. It just shined so bright that nobody could ever notice—the sun’s hidden sadness.Bookmark here

Putting a finger to her chin, she sank deep in thought. Awkward silence greeted us for a minute.Bookmark here

“Don’t you think that makes it more lonely?” she finally said.Bookmark here

I widened my eyes, unable to comprehend.Bookmark here

“The sun is so bright that everything else became insignificant in the face of its light.”Bookmark here

“Do you think the sun chose to be alone?” she asked me.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

And so—Bookmark here

“Maybe.”Bookmark here

“Do you think the sun ever regretted its decision?”Bookmark here

“Who knows.”Bookmark here

She probably felt annoyed that I was dodging the question. I felt like she was making a pouting face directed at me.Bookmark here

Then, I felt a weight on my shoulder. Looking to my right, I saw it.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

She wasn’t usually this affectionate with me. She was acting a lot more sweet and vulnerable today for some reason.Bookmark here

“The sun is quite amazing if you ask me,” she muttered. Her words caught me off guard.Bookmark here

“H-how so?”Bookmark here

“Despite all the isolation, the sun never gave up in the end. I think that’s really admirable.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

The sun chose to outshine everything, and as such, shunned everyone else away. Foolish and prideful, that’s what the sun was.Bookmark here

“I think the sun is just stupid,” I told her. She giggled at my answer, which caused me to felt slightly embarrassed.Bookmark here

“I mean, you’re not wrong.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I was naturally worried about her. Was she not feeling well?Bookmark here

“Thanks...”Bookmark here

“Is there anything wrong?” I asked her out of concern.Bookmark here

“It’s nothing. It’s just that...”Bookmark here

“I think the moon is stupider.”Bookmark here

“Huh?”Bookmark here

I was confused about what she said. Before I could ask her to clarify, she had already continued to speak.Bookmark here

“The moon did something stupid and ended up losing everything.”Bookmark here

“The stars that used to be by its side left it, and now it’s all alone.”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

I brought her closer to me and tightly embraced her slender body.Bookmark here

“Don’t you think that’s quite sad?” I asked her.Bookmark here

“It is.”Bookmark here

“Do you think the moon regretted everything?”Bookmark here

“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.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry...”Bookmark here

I apologized to her. For everything, there was nothing I could do. I wished to be by her side, but that was impossible.Bookmark here

After all—Bookmark here

“When are you leaving tomorrow?” she asked.Bookmark here

“Noon.”Bookmark here

“I see...”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

“Hey, promise me something, but first...” she said.Bookmark here

“What is it?”Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Our faces were now so close that we could feel each other’s hot breaths.Bookmark here

I could see her cute face flush beet red. I’m sure mine was as well.Bookmark here

“Can I be selfish just this once?” she whispered.Bookmark here

I simply smiled and nodded.Bookmark here

She closed her eyes. I closed mine.Bookmark here

And then—Bookmark here

The distance became zero.Bookmark here

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.Bookmark here

Ah.Bookmark here

I wish this moment would last forever.Bookmark here

This warmth, the feeling of being with someone else—I want to treasure it for all eternity.Bookmark here

If this was a dream, then I never want to wake up from it.Bookmark here

However, this was not the case. Bookmark here

Alas, this moment has to come to an end eventually.Bookmark here

That temporary bliss was just that. Temporary.Bookmark here

A brief moment of happiness.Bookmark here

It was now just—a memory.Bookmark here

“Promise me that we’ll meet again ten years from now.”Bookmark here

A single tear trailed down her face, then another one came, and another. She could not hold them back anymore.Bookmark here

There was no way I could turn her down.Bookmark here

“Yeah.”Bookmark here

“And we’ll get married,” she grinned.Bookmark here

“Wait, wha, huh?!”Bookmark here

Was this one of her jokes? Was she teasing me again? She seems serious about it, though.Bookmark here

I sighed.Bookmark here

“Yeah, in ten years, let’s get married.”Bookmark here

She widened her eyes, simply staring at me with a surprised expression.Bookmark here

Seconds went by before she spoke once more.Bookmark here

“R-really?" she asked.Bookmark here

“Of course.” Bookmark here

She began to laugh while crying. I held her close to me and never let go.Bookmark here

“Thank you,” she said.Bookmark here

She wiped away her tears, then looked at me.Bookmark here

We gazed at one another for a while.Bookmark here

Then. Once more.Bookmark here

Our lips intertwined as our breathing became one.Bookmark here

As they slowly parted, I saw traces of sparkling colors in the corner of my eyes.Bookmark here

We immediately shifted our sights to the empty night sky.Bookmark here

No, it wasn’t empty anymore. A spectrum of bright and different colors filled that once lonely night.Bookmark here

“That’s beautiful,” I muttered.Bookmark here

“I thought they were gonna cancel the fireworks,” she said.Bookmark here

A smile emerged from her lips.Bookmark here

“You see? You’re not going to be alone.” I told her. She turned her head and faced me.Bookmark here

“I love you, Taiyo-kun.”Bookmark here

“I love you too, Mitsuki.”Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.