Shi-chan and I sat next to each other, watching the fireworks go off one after another.

 The warmth coming from our hands, which were linked all the while, was very warm even though it was summer.

 And as I felt the sweet citrus scent of Shi-chan on the night breeze, I wished that this time could last forever.

“It’s beautiful.
……”

 I turned around at her voice and saw her face with a gentle smile, illuminated by the fireworks.

“……Yes, it’s really beautiful.
……”

 My words came out unconsciously, and Shi-chan turned her head to look at me as if she was a little surprised.

Then our eyes met each other.

 The sound of the fireworks, combined with my heartbeat, makes my heart jump.

“Ah, Uhm, Eto…..”

“…… Yeah.”

 There was a strange pause.

 I felt like I had to say something, but I couldn’t get the words out.

 In silence, I couldn’t take my eyes off Shi-chan’s reddened face.

 I was gradually drawn to her beautiful eyes.

 It was the same for Shi-chan.

 Gradually, the two of us approached each other.

 –And then we shared our first kiss.

 Shi-chan’s soft lips overlapped with mine.

 I could feel that she was trembling a little, perhaps because she was nervous.

 Noticing this, I hurriedly grabbed Shi-chan’s shoulders and pulled her away.
I apologized.

 When I apologized for kissing her out of the blue, Shi-chan looked embarrassed, but smiled gently.

“It’s nothing to apologize for.
It’s just that I was nervous because it was my first time, and I was so …… happy.”

“I-I see.
……”

 And the two of us looked at each other again, both of our faces turning red.

“…… Hey, can we do it again?”

“Y-Yes, …….”

 We pressed our lips together once more as Shi-chan said this.

 The tension may have dissipated by now, but this time the lips did not tremble.

“It’s …… embarrassing.”

“…..Right?”

 We both laughed.

 Our first kiss tasted like the takoyaki (octopus dumplings) we had just eaten at a restaurant.

 It’ s just like us, and it made me laugh.

 On our way home, I held hands with Shi-chan as we headed for the station.

” It was beautiful, wasn’t it, Takkun?”

“Yes, let’s see it again next year.”

“Yes!”

 She smiled and said she was looking forward to it, which naturally made me smile too.

 I thought it would be nice if we could go to the place and visit together next time.

 And why does the way back seem so fast?

 We arrived at the station in the blink of an eye.

“…….Bye”

“Un…..”

 We exchanged a few words, and Shi-chan left while waving her hand.

“Oh, wait a minute, Shi-chan!”

 I didn’t want to leave her yet.

 There was something I really wanted to tell her, so I kept her around.

“…… Can I talk to you a little more?”

“…… Yeah, I was actually in the mood for that.”

 Shi-chan smiled shyly.

 Thus we sat down on the bench at the station where we had talked before.

“So, what is what you want to talk about…..?”

 I quickly started talking to her.

 I told her what I really wanted to say to her.

“Well, thank you for everything.”

“Eh?”

 Shi-chan was surprised by my sudden words.

“When we were watching fireworks together, I thought Shi-chan was going to say goodbye to me at the end.
But I just ran away from her words and left.
As a result, I haven’t seen Shi-chan since that summer.
But you became an idol in order for me to find you, and now you’ve come back to me like this.
You even quit her job as an idol.
So, how can I put it, thank you for everything, including that.”

 I told her exactly what I had been thinking.

 I thought I was going to entertain Shi-chan this summer, but when I think back, all I’ve ever done is get things from her.

 So I wanted to say thank you for everything.

 Shi-chan’s eyes widened in surprise at my sudden thank you.

 She smiled once, and then she told me.

“No, Takkun.
I wasn’t trying to say good-bye at that time.”

“What?

 I was surprised by Shi-chan’s words this time.

“I was going to say, “I’ll definitely come back next year.””

 She smiled at me and I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

I see, that’s right.

 You were just like me, Shi-chan.

 If I’d had more courage back then, we might have been able to be together sooner.

 When I thought about it, I felt happy and sorry at the same time.

“And besides, becoming and quitting an idol was all my own decision.
I only did it because I wanted to.
So it’s nothing for you to worry about.”

 Then Shi-chan smiled and continued to speak.

“So, thank you for always being there for me.
Because of your presence, I was able to spend every day of this summer vacation happily, and you have given me a lot of happiness.”

 Shi-chan’s words were very reassuring.

 I was very happy to know that my wish to definitely entertain Shi-chan this summer had come true.

“Bye”

“Un”

“”Please keep taking care of me””

 We synchronized our words beautifully.

 It was so funny that we laughed at each other as we burst into laughter.

 The fireworks display was over and summer was almost over, but we would never be apart.

 That’s why our love is still in its beginning stages.

 I’m sure Shi-chan feels the same way.

 We looked at each other, and our faces naturally came closer to each other—-

 –and then they gently kissed each other’s lips.

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