In The Air
"Would you like to go fishing sometime?"
Yuki's words sounded in my mind for hours as clearly as if he had spoken them seconds ago. I remembered how he beheld me as he said it. His eyes were kind to me. At home, my timid tendencies hindered every aspect of my life, so much that everyone regretted me. I kept to myself, and no one was interested enough to change that. But Yuki… he looked at me with kindness untainted by pity. He was pure.
When the last bell rang, I waited for Yuki by the sea. With the coast ahead, I removed my shoes and let my toes sink into the sand. I walked up to the edge of the ocean where the sea foamed, sighing in relief as it washed over my feet. The heat of the sun was searing me. I wanted desperately to strip the rest of my clothing away and immerse myself in the waters, but I couldn't risk it. I had to be somewhat presentable for Yuki. So, even though I thought I might flux, I awaited him with my tie fastened. I even refashioned my hair in a higher ponytail, attempting to be trim in a way.
"Urara!" As Yuki rounded the corner, he waved to me. I responded to him with a mild "hello", so soft that he might've not heard me. If I were to wave back to him or project my voice, my nerves would show through my gestures. So, I held my head down and clasped my hands together, hoping to keep my composure. When Yuki finally made his way to me, he appeared to be confused.
"Aren't you getting hot, Urara?"
"Ah, I-I thought it would be better to keep my jacket on."
"Well, everyone at school wears jackets, so I assumed it was the proper way to present myself…"
Yuki smiled and took off my jacket, tying it around my waist. I blushed and fidgeted my hands, embarrassed at my naivety.
"Don't worry about it," he said, as if he'd read my mind. "It's the thought that counts. Besides, you look nice."
My heart bubbled up to my throat, rendering me unable to speak. In place of what I wished to say, I just smiled, hoping that Yuki understood how much his offhanded comments meant to me. Just a sentence was enough to send my blood streaming in the opposite direction. Just a few loose words strung together in the perfect order.
Maybe it was because I didn't get to enjoy the company of another very often. Maybe it was the fact that the one beside me was Yuki. I wasn't quite sure what made this day special, but I knew I would hold it in my heart for some time. I liked the sound of Yuki's voice. I liked how he taught me things, and his choice of words, and how his tone went up as he screamed, "Enoshima Don!" Even so, I liked the periods in between conversation, when he would prepare a knot or wipe the sweat from his forehead. Since I ultimately ended up watching him in awe, I didn't talk much. I liked his words, but without them, it emphasized the atmosphere. It was just him and me, and the ocean before us. The silence that hung in the air was my lure, and I could feel him closing in. Those moments reminded me of the purity I'd seen in his eyes, and it left the air renewed like morning's mist.