Chapter 2 – A Supportive Presence Was Nearby
For Chinatsu, Madoka, who lived next door, was the object of his admiration.
That’s why he was angry at what she told him.
But expressing his anger here wouldn’t change anything.
It was frustrating, but Madoka told him that she had already broken up with the man.
“I think I was really lonely.
I left my hometown after I went to university and when I come home, I would be all alone, so that’s why…”
Chinatsu could understand, if only a little, how it felt to be alone and lonely when she went home.
This year, in his second year of high school, he accepted a proposal from his father.
It was a suggestion to get used to living on his own for the future.
Although he was anxious about living alone, Chinatsu still accepted because he was interested in it, but… It certainly didn’t mean that he didn’t feel lonely, but he could visit his parents whenever he wanted, so the loneliness was still bearable.
“…Of course, if I got into a relationship with a bad guy because of that, I wouldn’t be able to take care of it.”
Ahaha, Madoka laughed, as if ashamed of herself .
The other guy was certainly a scumbag as far as Chinatsu could tell.
He was a scumbag who used words to denigrate Madoka without hesitation, and then had a relationship with another woman without even trying to make a clean break with her… To be honest, Chinatsu wondered how he could abandon such a beautiful and kind woman.
Madoka called him and Chinatsu looked at her.
He could still see the despair in her eyes, and he could see that she still didn’t feel safe.
Even if she had stopped like this for the moment, he couldn’t get rid of the fear that she might actually hang herself after he left.
“Ah… This again…”
He didn’t want her to die, that’s why he was crying .
When Chinatsu wondered if he could cry this easily, Madoka’s hands gently wrapped around his hands.
The warmth was so reassuring that it blew away his sadness.
He even wanted her to hold his hand all the time.
“Chinatsu-kun, you’re really kind.
To think that you would cry like that… There’s no way I can say that I’m still going to kill myself.”
Removing one hand, Madoka wiped away the tears that flowed from Chinatsu’s eyes.
There’s no way I can say that I’m still going to kill myself, this is what Chinatsu was naturally happy to hear.
But it was also true that he still couldn’t be sure.
“…Saiki-san, I… I really like talking with you.”
He liked her in the sense of love, but he decided to put that aside for now.
Chinatsu slowly looked at Madoka and spoke.
“Saiki-san and I are just neighbours, but if I see you in the morning, I feel like I can do my best that day, and if I see you when I come home from school, I feel like, ‘Oh, I’m glad I worked hard today.'”
If anyone listened closely, Chinatsu’s fondness of her would be completely obvious.
However, there was an atmosphere in Chinatsu now that no one could make fun of him, asking if he liked her.
Madoka, whose cheeks were flushed red, did not interject and listened to Chinatsu, staring straight at him.
“I’ll miss someone like that when they’re gone… If they have to move away for some reason, I wouldn’t blame them… But it’s too sad that they’re going to die.”
“I know it’s selfish of me, but let me say this… Please don’t kill yourself, Saiki-san.
I… I don’t want Saiki-san to die… I want you to stay here forever…!”
Because if she were to die, he would never be able to see her again.
As mentioned many times before, there would always be a reason why someone chooses to die.
Even if you know that suicide is wrong, it is a sign that a person has been driven to that point.
Still, Chinatsu was selfish–he just wanted her to live.
“…I can’t believe it.
I can’t believe I made someone younger than me cry!”
Standing up, Madoka stood in front of Chinatsu and gently hugged him to her chest.
Chinatsu was naturally surprised and bewildered by the embrace, but Madoka never let go.
The large b*****s, one of the things adolescent boys longed for, were frighteningly soft and fragrant.
“…I really don’t know why I went out with that guy.
I feel like an idiot.”
Madoka muttered in a voice that sounded like she was truly disgusted with herself.
Hearing her voice, Chinatsu nodded his head in agreement.
However, there was more that Chinatsu didn’t know about Madoka.
That may be why her boyfriend may have had something to do with it, but still, when you push someone you care about to this point, your impression of such a person would be the worst of all.
“…Ah, I’m sorry.”
“Ah… No, it’s fine.”
Madoka let go in a huff, but Chinatsu felt a little sad.
“…Chinatsu-kun, do you want me to live”
Naturally, he nodded vigorously at the question.
Madoka rolled her eyes at the sheer forcefulness of it, but nodded her head in understanding as if she thought something of the desperate-looking Chinatsu.
“…Oh my, who knew there was this nice kid nearby.”
“Mhmm, it’s nothing.”
When she looked up, Madoka had looked the same as usual.
Chinatsu was relieved to see that she was no longer in a gloomy mood.
Then, jokingly, Madoka said something like this.
“What if I told you that I would definitely die”
It was a very nasty question.
Madoka herself knew that.
When Chinatsu was asked this question, he thought for a moment and then shyly said something like this–unaware that it was, in a sense, a curse.
“I might have been cheeky to say that …… please live for me …….
If you’ve lost the meaning of life, then please live for me ……, that’s a confessional…”
“Um… Please live for me… Even if you’ve lost your meaning of life, do it for me… Ahaha, this sounds like a confession—”
At these words, Madoka’s eyes changed colour.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(…What’s with this kid… He’s so sweet.)
Madoka muttered in her mind.
Chinatsu, who was in front of her, said such a thing shyly, but the words just now pierced right into Madoka’s heart.
Regardless of the kind words spoken to heal her wounded heart, the sight of him desperately wishing her to live seemed very dazzling to Madoka.
(…This child wants me to live… I never knew someone would ever want me this much.)
Now Madoka could understand that her ex was rubbish in the first place, but still… In a way, the timing was too good and too bad at the same time.
Chinatsu’s words and kindness to Madoka, who was so weak that she even thought about dying from a broken heart, resulted in Madoka becoming aware of Chinatsu, in both good and bad ways.
“…Chinatsu you want me to live, is that what you say”
“Yes… I want you to live.”
Hearing him say he wanted her to live, Madoka was really happy.
Of course she had friends who were concerned about her, but… Never before had Madoka had anyone who wanted her so desperately, so openly, and so emotionally.
(…Oh, I see.
The encounter with that man and the fact that I was hurt so much…were things intended to connect Chinatsu-kun and me.)
A thought leapt through Madoka’s mind.
The moment she became aware of this, she couldn’t help but love the existence in front of her at once.
Furthermore, the words that Chinatsu jokingly said, “I want you to live for me”, were reverberating in her brain over and over again.
“Chinatsu-kun, I…will keep on living.
I can’t say I’m going to die now
Madoka asked, as a kind of confirmation,
“Can I stay by your side, Chinatsu-kun”
“Yeah… Of course!”
Madoka shivered in secret, thinking how wonderful it was.
Madoka was sure Chinatsu didn’t understand the true meaning behind the words she just said.
But even so, it didn’t matter to Madoka, because she had already said her piece.
Chinatsu smiled reassuringly, and his lower abdomen tingled.
Unable to endure it, Madoka hugged Chinatsu again.
Of course, being like this made her feel very secure, and it made her want to stay like this for the rest of her life… Looking at the happy Chinatsu, Madoka thought that she would never let go of this warmth forever.
“Hey, Chinatsu-kun, can you call my name”
When she whispered in his ear, Chinatsu muttered softly while his face turned red.
Madoka hugged Chinatsu even tighter.