“Um… are you alright?”
“Yes, I’m fine, it will be alright.
I’m good at screaming.”
“That’s a weird ability you got.”
We entered the park after we bought our tickets and after entering the park we decided to ride the roller coaster first.
Shinozuka-san who was sitting besides me was visibly sweating profusely and teeths were chattering.
That’s how nervous and frightened she was despite the courage she showed me before entering the ride.
As the safety bars were already lowered to the safety point and we were buckled up to our seats there was no way of escaping from here anymore.
Shortly after, our ride started off while the staff announced on the speakers “Have a wonderful ride.”
The speed was slow at the start and it was increasing at a constant rate.
The ride was climbing up high at an inclined angle while many were screaming out in fear.
The rattling sound made the situation more dramatic and suddenly, Shinozuka-san who was sitting next to place her hands on mine and with teary eyes said,
“I wonder if we’re going to die…”
“We’ll be fine.
We made sure to check all the safety equipment properly, nothing bad is going to happen to us so rest assured.”
“But, but, we are getting higher and higher!”
The altitude was gradually increasing and we were nearly at the topmost point of the roller coaster ride..
Still shaking, Shinozuka-san gripped the safety bar tightly and she curled up with her head resting between her arms.
No matter how hard I tried, my reassuring words didn’t seem to reach her as she was still shaking.
To be honest, as I have been on these types of rides for a long time I don’t fear them at all.
While I was contemplating on my thoughts if it was actually right to start our day with a thrilling ride, I suddenly remembered the dating tips I received from Hanamura-sensei.
I should have said this as soon as we met, but I forgot to say it because of the awkward atmosphere between us right at the start because both of us were novices in going on dates.
Well as we still have some time before we reach the highest point, so I guess I should tell her right now.
“By the way…”
“… What’s wrong Segawa-kun?”
“Shinozuka-san… Well, how should I say this… You look really pretty in your clothes.”
“Seriously you’re saying that now? I’m so happy and scared, I don’t even know what kind of face I’m making right now.”
“You’re right, Shinozuka-san is making a really funny face right now.”
“Eh? Well, that’s because of you! Just who suddenly praises someone out of the blue and more so in the situation.”
Shinozuka-san embarrassedly covered her face with both hands and turned her face away from me.
Seeing her adorable expressions which were changing every passing moment I involuntarily let out a chuckle.
I’m just kidding.
You’re looking cute as usual… And don’t worry, you’re not making a funny face.”
Shinozuka-san certainly has a beautiful face that could rival the idols in the film industry.
I have also heard that she was approached by scouts multiple times when she was walking alone on the streets.
No matter what kind of expression she makes, she looks adorable.
After my sudden praise, I noticed that Shinozuka-san was staring at me with a bright red face and teary eyes.
“Did you just say… I was cute?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“You’re lying, I’m certain you said that.”
“I’m still safe because I stopped saying it halfway.”
“What’s with that theory? Why didn’t you just finish it?”
“I felt like I’d lose if I said it.”
“What are you losing?”
Shinozuka-san is cute, there is no doubt about it.
I am a little hesitant saying it directly to her.
It is a bit like hitting on someone, and I was simply embarrassed to say it outright to her.
It’s not the same as complimenting someone on their clothes.
“We are about to descend down so hold on tighter.”
“My thoughts are in a mess because of you.
I can’t concentrate.”
Shinozuka-san’s eyes changed color and she bit her lower lip sweetly.
I was holding the safety bar in my hand, but he gently held out his right hand to me.
Her body was still shaking, and then she gently held out her right hand toward me, which was earlier holding the safety bars.
“…Can I hold your hand?”
“It’s a punishment for distracting me, now you have to take responsibility.”
“Haah… Alright, fine by me.”
I grabbed her right hand with my left one.
When our hands held on each other, she tightened her grip, her hand was soft and a little cold.
Unlike a man’s hand, it’s thin and slender.
It felt like it would snap any moment if I applied much force to it.
Holding hands with Shinozuka-san was not at all a punishment or anything.
Instead it was a hidden reward.
As the roller coaster reached the top, my heart rate rose rapidly.
I was exposed to the strong wind while listening to the high pitched screams of the people close to us, it looks like she was not the only one who fears these types of rides.
The rest of the roller coaster ride was fun and boring at the same time, fun because I got to see Shinozuka-san panicking and fidgeting, who is usually calm whenever she was involved in anything that requires her utmost attention, and boring because I was not thrilled at all during the ride.
“I’m alive… Am I really alive, Segawa-kun?”
“Yes, you are absolutely fine.”
After the roller coaster ride, with Shinozuka-san on the verge of life and death, my reason and instincts were at odds with each other.
I noticed our interconnected hands which she was still holding on as she refused to let go even after the roller coaster ride was over.
Perhaps the impact of the ride made her forget that we were still holding hands.
Normally it is right that I myself tell her about it, so that she wouldn’t be that embarrassed when she notices it, but… My instincts as a man were saying to keep silence as holding hands with such a beautiful girl was quite rare.
“Is it okay to let go of my hands?”
But after contemplating it, I decided to be discreet as it was a gentleman’s duty to not take advantage of a girl whom I am not dating.
Shinozuka-san, however, looked up to me because of the difference in our heights and gave me an affectionate smile.
I” still have some lingering effects from the roller coaster ride, so I wonder if it would be okay if you held my hand for a while.”
“Yes, that’s fine.”
Come to think of it Boy’s hands are usually rough aren’t they?”
“Well, of course that’s how it is.”
I guess she might have had one or two boyfriends in the past.
But she was acting like it was her first time, was that really the case? So I decided to ask her about it.
“Have you held hands with someone of opposite s*x?”
“No, it’s actually my first time holding hands with a boy, so I didn’t know the details.”
It was a shocking revelation.
Shinozuka-san, never had a boyfriend?
But as she is such a beautiful girl, and relatively popular with boys of our school, I thought she might have dated someone.
Inwardly I felt a little sorry that I was the first person she held hands with.
“Segawa-kun, have you ever held hands with a girl before?”
“Yes,I have held hands with a girl before.”
Shinozuka-san looked down with a defeated voice, and she looked a little sad.
Is she perhaps worried about something?”
I’ve held hands before with a girl, but I’ve never been in love.
“Well, I’ve never had a girlfriend.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah I’ve only held hands with my cousin once.”
So I’m the first girl in our age group?”
“Well, I guess you can say it like that.”
“Heh~ then you are the same as me.”
I wonder what made her happy as she giggled in satisfaction.
Kaede is in middle-school, so she is a little different from her peers.
Sakuramiya-sensei is in her early thirties and well Shi-chan is still a child and not even of enough age.
The people I’ve held hands with are a bit peculiar, don’t you think? This is what I get for running away from love.
I’m going to have to work harder.
[Point Of View] Kaede Ayase :
What in the world happened on the roller coaster…
The three of us, Shi-chan, Yumi-nee and I were still following Mi-kun and the girl.
They were not holding hands before the roller coaster ride, but now they were, and there were no signs of any of them letting go.
“I’m sure it’s the suspension bridge effect.”
“How do you know that word, Shi-chan?”
The teacher behind me, Yumi-nee aka Sakuramiya-sensei was marveling at the vocabulary of the little girls who was just 5 years old.
But I’m now used to her smart antics.
But the suspension bridge effect…
When you share fear and anxiety, it becomes easier to fall in love with each other.
I’m not sure both of them are a couple or not, but after these turn of events there are high chances that they might end up as a couple probably because of the suspension bridge effect.
It is possible that they may have confessed their feelings for each other during the roller coaster ride? No, I don’t think so, let’s not assume things on my own.
But the fact that they are holding hands is worrisome.
“Onee-chan, please don’t do chew on the handkerchief like that.”
As I was chewing on my striped handkerchief while looking at the couple with resentful eyes, Shi-chan tugged om the sleeve of my dress.
And Yumi-nee, standing behind me, said with a puzzled voice.
“Shall we also ride on some attractions as well?”
“No, if we do that, we’ll lose sight of Mi-kun and her, so I am sorry but I’ll have to decline.”
“Haah… If that’s the case then, Shi-chan would you like to go on some rides with me? You must be tired following both of them for so long.”
“Please don’t treat me like any other child, I can handle this much.”
Yumi-nee defeatedly sighed and smiled awkwardly while sweat was dropping from her cheeks.
Meanwhile we continued to follow Mi-kun while maintaining a reasonable distance.
TL & ED : Zenon #4120
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