And then she was gone, her words a quiet but beautiful echo in the letters he'd receive. He wasn't strong enough to walk away from his platoon to be with her, but he had grown enough to ignore Keroro's oblivious questioning and Kululu's knowing chuckles when he looked through the mail pile for the pink envelopes and separated his from Aki's and Fuyuki's. He'd return to his tent without the smallest glance in their direction, opening the envelope as delicately as he could in his anxiety to get to the cursive on ornate paper that she'd called "cute" in the first one he'd gotten. He'd never defined what was "cute" by Pekopon standards was for himself though, and he never focussed on the stationary enough to even consider if he agreed with her choice in the matter, absorbed into every word like the dots and curves were a visual art rather than a rushed-by-exams scrawl.

Seven years after arriving on Pekopon, Giroro loved Natsumi as much as he ever had.