Chapter 14:

The Summer Festival

The Letters That Heaven Sent

There was a summer festival coming soon. Dad said he would be coming too. Mom can't come since the hospital isn't giving her permission and she isn't very well either. Crowded places make me very anxious, but everyone was going, even the senpai. Boss and Sato-san were always ready for it since they put up stalls of takoyaki and yakisoba. Kuro and Kobayashi-san were going, as were the twins in our class. Everyone wanted me to come as well, but my anxiety always gets the better of me. Declined everyone's offer, even senpai's.

Her siblings were there too and requested a lot of me, but I was so scared and didn't want to go.

"Inoue-oni, please come with us. We can eat a lot and enjoy it as well."

"I am sorry, both of you. I have some work that really needs to be done now. I promise I will come once it finishes. This brought a glow to their faces.

Okay, it's a promise then. We will be waiting."

"Promise, I will come."

"Arata-kun, are you really not coming now?"

"I am sorry, senpai; there are some things that need to be done."

"Well, since you promised them, they won't forget about it easily. So make sure you will be there."

"We will change and then go, so be there. I am saying it twice."

"I will."

They went away, and Dad also left soon. There were things that didn't make sense to me. There are six main emotions a being has. Sadness, happiness, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust Theoretically speaking, I might have felt them all, but they all need to hit me with an impact to possibly make me feel them. Disgust was evident when Senpai told me her story. Surprise was known when she first stood before eyes. There are still four.

Those remaining will soon be found. I have hope. In the case of Senpai, she is more expressive than me. Supposedly speaking, she has five of them, except Surprise. It might be wrong, and she might have them all, or my eyes are seeing the false. There isn't much time left for the fireworks to start. What should I do? This social anxiety of mine is very bad now. Plus, the promise is there.

If this helps me better myself, then that's it. It's to make them happy. No matter if it ends up being wrong, there is a chance, and that's for me.

There were less than fifteen minutes left for the fireworks, and to reach them, it was best to run. I had so much sweat on me from running, but there was some part of me that wanted to see her very badly. There were the other two as well, and their promises

I reached them just on time, and they're waiting for me. Sitting on the bench in front of the café stall. Both of them were then just slurping yakisoba and looking melancholy. Went there while fitting myself. Like a star in a lonely black sky, that's how she looked. I wish that we were alone, but that would be weird of me. Her kimono outshone everything present there.

"I am sorry that I am so late. The work took more time than I realised."

"Inoue-oni, you are here. We thought you had broken our promise."

"Good that you have come on time, Arata-kun. They were one move away from not forgiving you."

"We weren't going to do that! Or were we? Anyway, we just wanted him to come and enjoy himself with us."

"Look! We even got him takoyaki, yakisoba, this keychain onee-chan won at the gift stall, this cotton candy, and nearly everything."

"Thank you so much, you two. This fireworks show is going to start soon, and I know a place where we can get the best view. Come on."

We went to a nearby lake, and from there we could clearly see the festival. They loved the spot.

"It's so cool here, inoue-oni. The trees surrounding us are really big too."

"There is going to be a surprise after the fireworks too. So be ready."

The fireworks started, and all of them enjoyed it. The kids really loved it the most. We ate together while watching it. Then I felt a touch on my hand. It was probably the grass.

Soon, the fireworks ended.

"Are both of you ready for the surprise?"

"So soon. Yes, we are ready."

Okay, anytime now."

The fireflies emerged. The whole area was filled with them. Glowing everything they touch, and this time I am sure something soft touched me. not grass or something. It was her hand. She wanted to hold hands, and it was my first time ever that a woman held out her hand. They were really soft and felt like they could be broken with a touch.

"Just let this moment go on for a little while longer, Arata-kun. We don't get to see this every day."

When I glanced at her, that's when I knew she was the thing most precious to me after my parents. She is what I want to protect.

"You are looking very beautiful, senpai."

"Eh, thank you! You are looking cool too, you know. red beings together.

"After dad's death and how things started to fall, they have never gone to any festival, and today it's possible because you helped the café, which in return profited us all.

"That was merely a simple offer of nothing but help. Not really a big thing."

It might not be for you, Arata-kun, but the ones who got better from it won't take it for granted."

"So don't think so low of yourself."

We are all imperfect. Living and learning are what give us shape. The world is beautiful and perfect, but we aren't. Don't you think it is pretty to not be perfect? Not being perfect means we always have the opportunity to learn something. Not being perfect is what makes us different from the perfected. Just imagine how boring their lives would be. We are not able to learn anything new or get the joy of it, while we can learn the same thing a thousand times, forget about it, and then learn again."

"Being with you made me realise, Arata-kun. I am fine not being a person with emotions. We can just take our time and sort things out. Rome wasn't built in a day, you know."

"We don't need emotions in this instance to understand anything. Emotions just give the words their life. Most people understand emotions through words. We understand words without emotion.

"Was I then living for nothing?"

"I don't know. How could I answer that? We are the same, but we weren't living for nothing. The smile of our parents when they see us—these little ones and their happiness because of us—the ones we surround ourselves with and their happiness Let's take our time, Arata-kun. To answer what we are alive for."

"Maybe you are right. I never thought of taking it slow."

Then, out of the blue, she said

"Isn't the moon looking beautiful, Arata-kun?"