Chapter 42:


Be Yourself, Ayane-chan!

Walking home from school, I found myself next to Ayane again. For once, the cold didn’t bother me. I must have moved on. Maybe helping Satou was all I needed to do left, but that didn’t sit right with me, as I shivered again. Noticing the sweat dripping down my face as a result of this, Ayane leaned into me to give me comfort.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

I looked away from her.


“Is that what's making you worried?”


The wind continued blowing as Ayane didn’t spout another word. Feeling the need to keep a conversation going, I took a deep breath and looked at her again.

“Aren’t you worried? Not about the play, but what’ll happen after it.”

“Not at all. I have options.”

I chuckled at my forgetfulness.

“Oh yeah right. You want to be an actor.”

Before responding, Ayane stopped walking, putting me at a stop as well. Having originally held my arm, she instead held my hand with both of hers. Raising my hand closer to my chest, it forced me to look closer at Ayane herself.

She tried to smile briefly, but as she realized what she was about to say, she turned her head away from me, still unable to hide the red on her face. She still wanted to speak, but it was only possible like this.

“I’d like you to act with me… Yuuki.”

After a second of processing, I finally felt the heat on my face. Even more extreme was my accelerated heart rate. It must have been both of those factors that caused my arm to move back in a panic. Granted, as Ayane held my hand, this caused her face to rub against my shoulder. Instead of panicking like I did, she grabbed my tie and forced me to look at her.

“Are you not happy that I dropped your honorific?”

She looked away from me again, but I wouldn’t take this response. I needed to show her my true feelings. Now holding my right hand on her back, I got her body closer to mine as I held my left hand on her cheek. Seconds later, I let our lips collide.

While Ayane was the one who started our first kiss, I wanted to return that love by kissing her back. After everything I went through, I finally felt confident enough to share that love back.

While I started by shutting my eyes in refusal to see any negative response from Ayane, my heart finally began to calm as the moment continued to last. Once again, I forgot about the cold.

Content that Ayane trusted me with her fragile body, I smiled at her when the kiss finished, with her doing this as well. Any tension flew away as this was our true first kiss, a moment that solidified our love for good.

“I’m overjoyed to be with you, Ayane.”

“I am too,” she said with a smile.

Putting my hands off her, we continued to walk as normal. Holding each other's hands, we didn’t need to use words to communicate. However, I loved her voice too much not to speak to her.

“I read that light novel a while ago.”

“What did you think?” she said, turning her head toward me.

“I really liked it. I could see why you enjoyed it so much.”

“Home come?”

As Ayane pointed her finger to her chin, I lightly smiled.

“So much of it reminded me of you. The main characters kind of felt like an idealized version of our relationship. When I read it, I couldn’t tell if I was flattered that you saw me in that light, or if I was insecure that I wasn’t as extraordinary as that man.”

I couldn’t finish saying that while keeping eye contact. My hand retreated to my neck while I looked down, only for Ayane to force her eye contact with me when she grabbed my face.

“You’re more extraordinary than him.”


As my face burnt up, she closed her eyes when she felt the change, doing this so she could yell her next statement.

“You’re better than any husbando in the world!”

While Ayane shut her eyes harder out of fear of seeing my reaction, she actually managed to cheer me up. Starting with just a smile, I devolved into laughing at her stupid, over-the-top statement. By the time I was done, Ayane had already opened her eyes and taken her hands off me, moving them over her mouth, only being able to mumble her next phrase in obvious embarrassment.

“Are you making fun of me?”

“How could I? You’re cuter than any waifu the world could ask for.”

“I knew you’d say that, idiot.”

“Okay, tsundere-chan.”

“Now you are making fun of me!”

While normally, she’d cross her arms and move her head away from me, she instead looked at me for a bit before laughing. When she finally regained her composure, we arrived at her house. As I opened the door, it was Ayane to start the next exchange.

“It’s so much fun to talk with you, Yuuki.”

“Likewise. You’re the first person I’ve ever felt truly comfortable with. And even then, you were the one who finally made me friends with Satou-kun and Satoshi-kun.”

While Ayane had come to the kitchen to make dinner, she briefly stopped to respond.

“I didn’t do that.”

“Using that logic then, I had nothing to do with you auditioning.”

“B- but you did.”

Ayane, despite already being out of my sight, still felt the need to move her head another way. I guess it was a habit at this point. Regardless, I had to make my point.

“And you helped me ease the tension in my friendships. I can finally trust people because you’re able to trust me. I think you take that aspect of yourself for granted.”

“Is it even an aspect of me?”

When she did this, the quick meal she made was ready and put on the table. Before I could take a bite, I had to answer her question.

“I don’t know. Maybe I’m projecting something, but I can’t deny how much freer it feels to finally feel close to my friends.”

“I’m guessing you’re referring to what happened to Satou-kun today?”

“I am.”

“What happened?”

“Well, just like what happened with Satoshi-kun, I had to open up with him so he could confess his feelings. Now I feel like I can actually be myself.”

Ayane smiled.

“I’m sure they feel like that too. That’s how you made me feel.”

“I’m glad.”

We each took our last bite when saying that, with Ayane getting off her seat.

“Can you put these in the dishwasher, Yuuki? I’m going to head to the bath.”

When she passed me, I grabbed her arm.

“Wait. I need to know one thing.”


As Ayane jumped, her face turned red.

“What would happen if you couldn’t become an actor?”

After taking a deep breath, she could finally tell me.

“I’d still be happy.”

“How come?” I asked as I stood up.

While calm before, Ayane looked at the ground, with it being the only means she had to tell me something so important.

“Because I can have your children… become a mother.”

I smiled.

“Ayane, I’m finally willing to let that happen. I know we aren’t ready for a child this early, but I’m… I’m finally ready to have sex with you!”

After yelling that, grabbing her shoulders as I did so, Ayane responded with a smile, along with a spoken response.

“So am I.”

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