* 47 *

We continued to talk in that way for a while.
The conversation itself was rather trifling. No real significance to it at all.
My first self would have forgotten it even happened in two seconds.

But for me, it made my fingertips shake with joy from beginning to end.
I prayed that it could last just a little longer.

"Oh yeah, Tsugumi... You smoke? I’m surprised," I said, lighting a Pall Mall.
She smiled with a little bit of worry. "I’m keeping it secret, even from my boyfriend. Right now, only you know."

Those words stuck out in my mind.
"Only you know." It had a nice ring to it.

I want to say we talked for about thirty minutes total. We were so engrossed in conversation, we didn't want to move from that spot.
By the time Tsugumi checked her watch and said "I've got to be going," both of us were shivering.
"Sorry for all the weird tangents. I guess I got carried away since I don't have anyone to talk to about that stuff. But... I don't know about you, but I had a great time. Thanks. See you."

After Tsugumi left, I looked to the moon and reflected on our conversation for a little while.
I wasn’t sure if it was the cold or excitement that made me unable to stop shaking.
How economical of me to get such joy from that little conversation.

Not to mention, I still had not noticed the fatal mistake I was making.

My sister was already at the car, and when I arrived, she said “Five minutes late!” and whacked me in the head five times.
Wouldn’t want to see an hour late, I suppose.

A while after we left the library, she said "Big brother, are you friends with that girl?"
"...Nah," I denied. "She was just kind enough to talk to me."
"Hmph. Well then, I must be kind too for talking to you," my self-entitled sister stated.
"It’s different. You and I are merely on good terms."
"Huh? Really?", she asked, perplexed.

Chapter 48

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