Chapter 3: Part 3
It was getting to the coldest part of the evening outside. I ran with my hands in my pockets, all the while wishing I had worn my down coat instead. Ahh, this really was a nice jacket, but it was seriously cold. Maybe I should’ve asked someone if I could borrow a scarf.
I waited for the traffic light to turn green, and then rushed across the road like I was running a marathon.
The live house (1)… the live house… where was it? I knew approximately where it was because of the navigation tool on my phone, but I had never been there before.
Oooo… the wind was sure picking up…
I walked across the intersection, and prepared to walk along the road for a bit, but then I stopped.
“Ohh, you’ve kept me waiting quite a while, Normerling.”
“It’s like I’m a character in the King Arthur legend or something! Stop trying to change ‘my darling’ into random things. Also… what are you doing here?”
I saw Saras standing solidly and waiting for me right at the intersection. The strong wind swept her long black hair from side to side. She had her arms crossed, but that might be because she was trying to shield her body from the cold.
She was wearing that punk-rock stage outfit of hers. She had a tight miniskirt on below, while on top she had on what almost looked like a two-piece swimsuit. Her belly button was completely showing.
Why was she outside in an outfit like that?
“Is ‘what are you doing here?’ how you plan to greet me? I was waiting for you. Hmph, you were so late that the chief has already gone home. I had wanted the chief to listen to my live music too.”
“Sorry. Did you wait long?”
“Yes. Ever since you told me to wait for you.”
… Ah. I guess I did say that. Right… she had called me earlier…
“Ahh, I’ll definitely go! Please wait for me.”
“Okay! … Understood. I will wait for you.”
Don’t tell me… ever since that phone call, she’s been waiting here in this freezing cold, dressed like that?
“Why here of all places?”
“This place provides me with a superb view. No matter what direction you come from, I will be able to see you from here.”
“Also, why are you wearing something like that out here?”
“You were the one who told me to wait. Do not worry, as I feel no pain from this. Love is something that can wait forever, my darling.”
To be honest, I was a bit annoyed. Each and every time she just spouted stuff about love, and it was starting to grate on me. So, I couldn’t help myself.
“Aren’t you doing this just out of self-satisfaction?”
“Hm? My darling?”
“You weren’t waiting here all this time because you love me… you were waiting here because you love the fact that you’re able to wait here so long for someone you like. That’s… just inconsiderate.”
For some strange reason, I was getting annoyed at a girl who was standing outside in the cold, worrying and waiting for me.
I was the worst. It’s been so long since I’ve gotten angry in reverse at someone like this.
“That’s not what I intended to do! That’s not what… but I apologize. It is just as you said.”
Saras had a lonely look in her eyes.
I wasn’t expecting her to agree with me at all, so I had no idea what to say. I thought Saras would start arguing with me, but…
“… I’m sorry too. I was wrong for being late… seriously, I’m sorry.”
“No, your point is quite valid. Certainly, your point is perfectly valid. I may have been only getting drunk on myself. And that is not love.”
I took off my favorite jacket and draped it around Saras’s shoulders.
“Anyways, let’s go. I have no idea where the live house is anyways.”
“I really do apologize. From here on, I will try hard to fix my personali-“
Saras was getting depressed, but I interrupted her.
“Nah, you don’t have to change.”
“Will you… forgive me for my arrogance?”
“Of course. Nobody is telling you to change. I’m just asking that you don’t blame other things for things you did for yourself. You know, like blaming love or laws.”
“I may do the same thing again in the future.”
“Well… I was sure you had run out of patience with me and would leave… you certainly did catch me by surprise a bit.”
“Well… we’re friends. So no problem. Something like this is easy to forgive.”
Saras put her arms through my jacket sleeves and pulled the front of it tight around her body.
“… I give you my thanks. Hey, my darling…”
“Do you believe there is love between us?”
I saw a bit of insecurity leak into Saras’s normally firm eyes. She was probably anticipating my response and a bit scared of it. Saras was frightened… she was a woman who always acted so high and mighty and would look down on everything… and she was frightened.
“Yeah, I think so.”
I gave her a gentle smile.
“It’s not like you can on love a girlfriend or a boyfriend. They say that the love between family is the strongest kind of love, after all.”
“Ah, I believe that is true. I see… this love I am feeling is surely that kind of love. My eyes have been opened.”
“Well, it’s good that you understand then. I hope we’ll stay friends for a long time.”
“Agreed, my darling.”
“Ah, you’re still calling me that…”
“Yes. In my mind, we are already dating, after all.”
“Geez, you just do what you want, don’t you?”
“Will you forgive me?”
“… Yeah, just do whatever. It’s not like complaining about it will get you to change your mind. Just… know that I only think of us as friends. Is that okay?”
“Yes, of course… my darling.”
Saras gave me a satisfied smile.
(1) A live house is what they call the place where small bands can play live music. I’m not aware of a similar word in English so I’ll leave it like this.