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My mind feels completely blank, it was as if some white paint has been poured all over it. I was able to act cool on the outside, but my ability to think was nonexistent. A goblin was more intelligent than me.
The friend that I relied on was right in front of me. We were so close together. Touching. Primarily, our lips.
It is usually I who is last to wake up. But it was Asagi who was late today. And so I had gone to his room to fetch him. But he did not answer, and so I tried the door. It was unlocked and easily opened. And so I went it. I saw that there were discarded shirts and jackets on the ground and remembered, ‘Aye, a similar incident had occurred before, in reverse’ and chuckled. I moved towards the bed. Once I opened the closed curtains, the bright sunlight flooded into the room, illuminating the tragic scene before me.
I muttered, before moving in to wake him up.
“Asagi, it is morning. It is time that you get up.”
“Asagi, get up. Asagi!”
I try pulling hard on his arms, but he shows no signs of waking. I try calling out louder to him, but it was clear that his dreams were not peaceful.
“Asagi! Hey, Asagi!”
What dream was he having? Was he a clerk at a store?
“Who are you calling a customer! Wake u-, aghh, sto-, let go of me you fool!”
I said with exasperation, but he suddenly gripped my arms. While he may have been sleepy, his grip was strong. My free hand immediately pressed into the bed.
So he had finally awakened… I thought as I saw his eyes slowly open halfway. This was a different side to him that I had not seen before, I think with amusement. Then our eyes meet. However, his eyes did not have their usual, lively color.
“Asagi? I, mmm…!”
And that is when my mind went blank. When we moved away a few seconds later, I could still clearly feel his face, his arm around my neck, and the sensation of his lips. Asagi had kissed me.
“Le-let me explain!”
Those were the first words he said after kissing me. It sounded a lot like the first protestations of a man who has been caught cheating. But I am lenient. And I am careful.
“Ve…very well. I will listen to what you have to say…”
I say with a shaky voice. No matter what happens, I was always prepared to hear what someone has to say. I am lenient. I try to be lenient. And so, even when my mind feels like it is blank, I can still hear the words. And as I am careful, I understand them. What Asagi was telling me was a confession.
I thought hard once I had left the room. To be honest, I am no good at understanding my own feelings. I have learned to put a lid over my emotions ever since my parents were killed. But I knew that I could not live like that forever. Even if it was only on the surface, one needed to talk. And so, little by little, I removed the lid. It was always half open when I traveled alone. I would say what needed to be said and assume the necessary attitude.
And that was how it was for a long time. It all came crashing down when I met Asagi. I think that was the catalyst. I had been alone for so long, why had I wanted to form a party with this man? Even I do not understand why I felt like that at the time. I did give him a somewhat believable reason, but I still did not understand my true motive. I thought that it was something I would come to understand as we traveled together. And then it happened. The fight with Beowulf. We had somehow managed to wound him, but his attacks were relentless. His foot came down on Asagi, and it was clear that he could be killed at any moment. I did think of my parents then. That moment where he could have died. And yet he had tried to protect me. I knew then, that the lid had fallen off completely from my heart.
That was likely when I had allowed him in.
I told him about my past then. He had offered me a kind smile and some hot soup. I still have not forgotten its taste. That warm, gentle taste was how he felt. I think it was then that I started to really see him. His words, his attitude, there were times when they had such a strong effect on me.
But even so, I was no good at understanding my feelings. And so I could not come to a clear realization until he kissed me.
I touch the clothes that hang near my room’s window. The first clothes that Asagi had ever bought for me. He had seen through me. Known that I had wondered if I could ever wear such pretty clothes. And so he made a present of them.
I look at the rays of light that shine into the room. It’s bright and warm. Like him. And as I am careful, I consider it all in my mind once again. But there is really no need to think. I feel that the fact that I want nothing more than to run my arms through these sleeves right now was, more than anything, the answer to Asagi’s question.