Episode 71: Peach at Dusk
After parting ways with Ranko, Saki and I got off the train and headed home.
How did things go? Saki was all over Ranko like always…..but Ranko looked more troubled than usual. It’s not like I’m being ignored or anything, but….. I’m doing my best to get Saki’s attention because it’s roiling my heart, and I would hate it if things kept being this way all the time from now on.
Even moreso after the curtain incident in the clubroom. Her fussiness over Ranko has become excessive….feeling uncomfortable after thinking about this and that, I decided to ask Saki about it.
“Is there something you want from Ranko?”
“Want, just to be friends of course?”
She didn’t want to get along at first though. Wondering what was hidden behind those words, I gave a short reply. Seeing me like that, Saki smiled.
“Is something wrong Yuri-chan? The kindly prince’s smile has disappeared~”
“Oh, so I’m a prince then…..”
“That’s right~? You have to be a prince as long as you’re with me”
“I didn’t know that meant the whole time—”
Saki’s shoulders shook. She was giggling along with a bright smile on her face.
But with that word, prince, the incident in the clubroom I had tried so hard not to be conscious of revived vividly in my mind.
It’s true, I’m the one who went out of my way to act so pretentiously. I wanted to gain her attention. But with what happened afterwards…..what’s a good way to resolve this situation?
Just as my mind was wandering through possible solutions, Saki opened her mouth.
“Hey, do you think…..I smell peculiar during the evening?”
Saki suddenly got close to my face. Her warm, silk-like fingers ran across my nape. There was a faint smell of peaches there. What happened behind the curtain earlier played like a movie inside my head.
When I couldn’t think of anything else, her lips slowly approached my mouth but stopped about ten centimetres away.
I got embarrassed and hurriedly turned my head away. My gaze fell towards our shadows on the ground. The sight of them overlapping in the fading evening light was burned into my mind.
A fantastic scene of us stretched diagonally across, like a pair of lovers kissing. It wasn’t just my silhouette that was swaying and burning up.
I turned my eyes back. That closeness that made it so we would kiss if I took a single step forward had not changed. Our gazes collided and intertwined with each other.
I always thought the time when lovers exchanged a kiss for the first time would always be followed with a vague stare mixed with some feeling of distance and awkwardness.
Something bitter and sweet, but what was burned into my heart right now was a single warm picture, like a vivid orange painting. All of my mind was filled with nothing but her.
“Is this distance, my special right…..?”
I gave her a vague answer to the sudden question. Hearing that, her cheeks puffed up a little.
Would now…..be the right time?
But, I don’t think it’d be right to kiss again like this. But, more than that. I need to clarify how Saki feels about what happened inside the clubroom today. I’m restless because it feels like I’m straying off my yuri harem plan. If our feelings are confirmed mutual here, I cannot let any information be made public. Perhaps it’s because of the setting sun or maybe it is just out of my own embarrassment, but a feeling of exhilaration is causing my head to work double-time.
“Earlier today. Before we left the clubroom…..did you do something to me?”
I came right out and asked. Saki took a step back, putting a little distance between us, and pressed her beautiful white fingers to her lips as she pretended to think. I’m pretty sure she’s doing all of this on purpose.
The tension in the air grew. Contrary to my pursed lips, Saki smiled and finally answered.
“I don’t think I did anything out of the ordinary, did I?”
“I see— So it was nothing then—?”
Like hell I’m going to be convinced like that! Besides the fact there was nobody else near me other than her, what I felt on my lips was definitely not just a pair of fingers or somebody’s cheek….. And for some reason it tasted like peaches…..dang it, just thinking about it makes my head boil.
My temperature was rising high from the shame as I thought back on it, and seeing me like that was obviously making Saki happy.
“No~? What indeed~?”
She’s toying with me…..
“So, the answer…..do you really want to know?”
I gulped as Saki got close and whispered into my ear. It’s no good, even though I already know the answer, my trembling is giving me away.
She came in low, looking up at my face so she could get a good look at my complexion.
Over and over again her lips parted open ever so slightly before closing once more. I winced each time, causing her smile to broaden more and more. She was obviously making fun of me.
When I finally let slip a sigh, she laughed softly to herself.
“I might~ have given Yuri-chan a kiss~”
“Yes~? Were you surprised?”
“In more ways than one…..”
I finally got an answer. My whole relaxed like someone had cut strings, and I took a deep breath. So I really was being teased, and Saki was having a grand time watching my reactions.
“So what did you think?”
“Well, it is an all-girls school, so I figured it is normal for girls to kiss each other.”
That’s a strangely satisfied smile.
“But Yuri-chan. Wasn’t that your first kiss?”
“W-What about Saki….?”
Shoot, I should’ve denied that. My stuttering served as definitive proof that it was my first time. This is just like being called out as a virgin. Though, I obviously have no experience there either.
I didn’t get an immediate answer to my question. Once again there was a sharp change in Saki’s expression as she mulled things over, and
What. She put a finger over her lips and gave a bewitching smile.
“Even though things were building up to it, you didn’t take the final step, so I just did it myself….. You’re supposed to play the role of ‘prince’ until the very end~”
And then, she let out a cute “Teehee~” and stuck out her tongue. She’s acting like she’s embarrassed, but this girl is pretty tough…..
My ears were red hot as I watched every move this girl made while Saki simply smiled.
“Yuri-chan, you’re embarassed~”
“No, I’m not embarrassed about it. I’m just….a bit surprised!”
“But it’s normal…..between girls right?”
That’s right. Normal…..completely normal. So why am I so hyperaware of everything? That peach flavor, which should have disappeared from my lips by now, kept my mind running through questions. I couldn’t help but to stare at Saki while my heart felt like someone was plucking at its strings.
“So I didn’t do anything strange. Just, a little special…..”
she continued. Right, that was our first kiss after all.
Behind a curtain dyed in the sunset. A peach flavor while deprived of my sight. A moment secret to everyone else.
That scene, that kiss….was definitely special.
“I gave you your first time.”
“Y-You make it sound so profound”
“But isn’t it true? Even though we’re ‘friends’…..”
She stopped and took a breath. She then gave a serious look directly into my eyes, and….
“Be sure to remember that, okay?”