Having remained silent since I spoke about my past, El finally called my name with a mystified look on his face as we walked into my room.
Judging by the look in his eyes, I guess he’s having a hard time accepting the fact that I can remember things from my previous life.
[Rose]: “…..You’re confused right? Do you find it unpleasant El?”
(It can’t be helped if he does…..right? It’d be hard enough comprehending a past life from a parallel universe in the first place.)
Knowing El feels that way makes me feel a little, no, really sad, but I keep telling myself it can’t be helped while sitting down on my sofa.
[El]: “No, nothing of the sort. There’s nothing unpleasant about it at all. But……”
El walked across the room, shaking his head slightly with downturned eyes as he plopped down on the sofa right next to me.
[El]: “I thought long and hard about how I could bridge the one year gap between us, so when I returned home back then, I desperately trained both my body and mind. I thought if we could go to school together, eat together, and sleep together, that gap would be filled. I always thought Rose talked and acted like an adult, so I wanted to bridge that gap by the time we met again. But it didn’t happen.”
An impulse to give El a hug rose up in me when I saw how sad he looked, but I forced it back down since El was sincerely pouring out his heart.
[El]: “It made sense to me when I heard you remembered your past life. I thought, so that’s why she was always been so mature. That’s why there was always this gap between us. ……I understand all of that, but I hate it.”
El clenched his fists, his voice barely more than a grumble.
[El]: “Rose, I must look like a miserable child with a lot of growing up to do to you.”
El stood back up, kneeling down on one knee in front of me before placing his hands on top of my own.
[El]: “I know I’m not as broad-minded as my elders like Prince William or Rickert-san. However, I’ll work myself even harder and study more than I ever have before. I’ll become someone who won’t lose out to them. All so that you can see me as a man.”
[El]: “You’ve always seen me as a little brother haven’t you? I thought that would be fine for now……but I’m more selfish than I thought.’
[Rose]: “El, as a man.”
[El]: “Yes, I know it’ll be difficult…….but I’ll work hard to become a man you can rely on.
Because you are the only one in my heart.
I don’t need a reply though. I’ll be happy so long as you keep that fact tucked away in the back of your head.”
Saying that much, El brought my hands up to his lips and kissed them.
It wasn’t anything like my usual cute El; it was a much more mature gesture. He then looked up at me with a heated, passionate gaze, and I could feel my cheeks turning as red as a boiled octopus.
[Rose]: “Wha- E-El?”
[El]: “Have my feelings gotten through at least a little bit?”
Retaking his seat next to me on the sofa once again, El’s face was radiant, the complete opposite of what it had been just a moment before. He was that refreshed over being able to convey his feelings to me.
(His words are a huge load off for him…….but my brain is about to overheat over here!)
[Rose]: “…y-yes. Loud and clear……but, if you say it all of the sudden like this, um……”
[El]: “Right, I understand. It’s fine if it’s gradual…..somebody else probably would have explained this better. Sorry, Rose. I didn’t want to trouble you…..but when I heard you had the memories of your past life, it felt like you were going somewhere far away from me…..so I felt like I had to say it.”
El’s tail and ears drooped down like they always do during times like this…….but unlike all those other times, I couldn’t see his face.