My take on the much loved and written ¨the return of the ring¨ scene. My favourite moment in the first story, however, is when Wataru said ¨Are you not happy, when you get back something you have given up on?¨ to Kazuki after the basketball match. I felt that it has a pretty deep meaning, and well captures the spirit of the story. Kazuki never imagined that his love could be returned, and Wataru did not think that Kazuki could like him even a tiny bit. That makes their discovery about each other´s feeling even sweeter. I would also like to imagine a bit about Wataru´s life before he met Kazuki (he had a girlfriend, mind you).
The usual duty for a fanfic writer: Everything about ¨Only the ring finger knows¨ belongs to Satoru Kannagi and the illustrations Hotaru Odagiri. What I´m doing can be called stealing, but I do it for my entertainment, not for any profit.
Hope you find reading this worth your time. Feedbacks are welcome.
EDIT: Kurachic, thanks for the feedback. I suck at dialogues indeed. It may sound like an excuse but English is not my mother tongue so I have some difficulty reproducing the way people talk normally.
I picture Wataru as someone who is always nice to girls, perhaps not elegantly and gentlemanly like Kazuki, but simply nice in a friendly/brotherly way (influence from his sister Karin?). So he can be quite rough if a girl makes him mad (he is a boy, and short-tempered after all), but he will run after her to apologize. Thus it is likely that he is well liked, if not popular.
¨Are you not happy, when you get back something you have already given up on?¨
Only The Ring Finger Knows
Original concept by Satoru Kannagi
Everything started with a weekend date with Nano, his ex-girlfriend, when she dragged him to an accessories store to get a pair of rings. Rings had been the latest fad in their school for a while and how a person wore a ring had a meaning. Therefore it was high interest for every gossiping mouth to watch ring-wearing behaviour of the schoolmates. That annoyed Wataru to no end but it was probably one of the reasons why Nano was so enthusiastic about matching rings. Wataru sighed at his girlfriend´s eagerness. He was not the type to blindly follow dumb fads. In addition, selfish as it may sound, he hated having the same thing as someone else and never bothered to hide that. It was not that he liked to seek attention by being different, but he seriously wanted to maintain a certain degree of independence from the rest of the world. Because of all those reasons, right from the beginning, he had made it loud and clear to Nano that he would not wear matching rings with her despite all the latter´s protests. That trivial matter had been the cause of many of their little fights, which increasingly irritated Wataru. To soothe Nano somewhat, he agreed to accompany her to the accessories store and even offered to pay for whatever she got (but still did not explicitly give his acquiescence to wear it). He silently watched Nano, her face brightened, looking for a pair of rings which suited them, and inwardly braced himself for the argument that was inevitable if she found something to her taste. He already regretted following, as he knew that he would not do what she wanted in the end. Wataru felt bad misleading her like that. He honestly did not want to be mean to her, especially over something so silly. But he was just as honest to himself, and he simply could not do something he disliked.
¨Wataru, what do you think of this pair? Lovely, isn´t it?¨. Nano´s voice waked him from his reverie.
¨Yeah, whatever you like.¨ He distractedly replied.
¨Can´t you be a little more enthusiastic?¨ The girl sullenly retorted.
¨It´s not just about matching rings. You are apathetic about everything in our relationship. Sometimes I wonder whether you really are my boyfriend or not.¨
Wataru wanted to retaliate but he couldn´t find anything to say because he felt that Nano´s accusation was not without justification.
¨If you hate matching rings, then you shouldn´t follow me here. I´ve had enough. I´m leaving!¨ The girl stormed out of the store.
¨Wait, Nano!¨ Wataru called after her, but it was already too late. Recently, both her and his own tempers had been noticeably shorter.
¨That´s a clumsy way to treat a girl, young man.¨ The storekeeper, a rather senior man, grinned to Wataru across the counter.
¨That´s how things always go.¨ Wataru sighed defeatedly. He too had had enough with all these petty fights. Furthermore, Nano´s comment I wonder you really are my boyfriend or not began to get to him.
The storekeeper seemed to be amused by Wataru´s world-wearied attitude. ¨Perhaps a gift would cheer her up.¨
Wataru thought for a moment. He really liked Nano and did not mean to be with her just for the sake of having a girlfriend. Therefore, even when he fought with her, he really wanted them to get along. After all, it was the peace and warmth when being with her that made he thought he was in love with her in the beginning. He breathed out. ¨OK, I´ll get her a ring. Do you have any recommendation?¨. With the help of the storekeeper and his own experience about girl´s taste that he got through his sister Karin and Nano, he chose a silver ring with a sky blue stone.
¨It is a nice ring. But won´t matching rings be better? That´s what she wanted from the beginning, isn´t it?¨ Apparently the storekeeper had been watching the young couple´s fight, and Wataru blushed.
¨This will do. Or so I hope.¨, he awkwardly muttered. To avoid the storekeeper´s look, he cast his eyes on the single rings on display. One of them caught his attention. Amid a bunch of intricate designs, a plain silver ring with only a thin gold line in the centre as its decor stood out, taking pride in its simplicity. It was a generic ring but Wataru liked it. So at a whim, he bought it together with the ring for Nano.
¨You´re weird. You buy a single ring for a girl who wants matching rings. Then you choose the least fashionable one possible for yourself.¨ The storekeeper casually commented, perhaps without meaning anything bad but that did not fail to annoy Wataru a little. Why are people so quick in catching and questioning anything that strays from the ¨normal¨ way, however trivial and irrelevant to their own life it is? A shadow of that thought probably flashed through his large eyes because the storekeeper smiled and added ¨Anyway, each to his own. Good luck with your love.¨
Wataru politely smiled and bowed in reply before he left. The store quickly left his memory. It was just another ordinary thing in his ordinary life. Furthermore, his head was full of the business with Nano. He did manage to make up with her with the gift and an apology, clumsy as it was. However, they broke up shortly afterwards. To Wataru´s surprise, he himself was the one who suggested they went different ways. He felt more and more uncomfortable with his calmness about their relationship, which borderlined apathy, and came to the conclusion that, he did not know whether he loved her or not. To him, she was a good friend like Kawamura, or at most like Karin but that is all. He cared about her but he could not be ¨passionate¨ or ¨romantic¨ as she wanted. Nano calmly heard his confession and accepted as if she already expected that. Her sadness made him regret somewhat. Nevertheless, he was convinced of his decision. To him, continuing their relationship with a lukewarm attitude as his meant the continuity of stress for both of them. As if to add to the finality of the break-up, the silver ring he bought for himself on that date with Nano was lost. Wataru did search for it but he gave up quickly. It was not expensive, and it had no special meaning, except the awkward story with Nano. Furthermore, he philosophized (as he always did when something happened), perhaps it was not meant for him the same way he was not made for a romantic relationship (after the break-up, he couldn´t help but doubt himself a little). ¨Good luck finding a new owner more worthy than I am¨, he inwardly talked to the ring, wherever it might be...
Surprise greeted him one morning in the form of a silver circlet on his table when he settled himself in his place in the classroom. The white metal reflected the morning sunlight as if smiling to him. Wataru picked up the ring and examined it thoroughly, nearly pinching himself to make sure that he was not in some kind of dream. The design was plain silver with a gold center line, and there was a scratch Wataru well familiar with. In other word, that was the ring he lost. But how on earth could it be lying on his table? The only explanation was someone found it and was nice enough to return it to the rightful owner. But how? The ring was too generic to be identified with anyone, and as it was newly bought, few people even knew he had it, so the chance was as fine as a hairstring that it would be returned to the right owner. If Kawamura, his best friend, was the one who found the silver ring, the goofy guy would not miss the chance to tease Wataru so that the hot-blooded petite boy went mad instead of simply putting it on the table. Wataru knew it was absurd, but he could not help feeling as if the ring liked him enough to come back to him out of its own will. He smiled softly to himself, and to the silver ring held carefully by his fingers. It was something probably not worth rejoicing about to others, but Wataru was sincerely delighted by the little reunion. After all, who is not happy to get back something he has given up on, however small it is?
Unknown to Wataru, despite the slim chance, a certain person did find the ring and succeed in tracking down whom it belonged to. And that person saw every of his reactions from a hidden corner. And the boy certainly did not expect that, he did not only get something back, but also was about to gain something new for his life. The boy did also not for once think that the ring he was viewing as a faithful companion would have quite a different meaning to him soon, and that for all his wish for freedom and independence, it would bind him, not totally unwillingly, to another human being for good.