In this World, I will Fall in Love with You a Second Time - Chapter 34
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He kissed me. —that’s what I thought at first.
However, the sensation I felt on my lips wasn’t his own but rather his hand, which covered what should have been a kiss.
But that was from my own perspective, not Arata’s point of view.
“Shhh…” Giving me a quick wink, he turned back to face Arata.
“This is what you wanted right? I’ll grant your wish. But in return…”
Kanata leaned his face close once more.
I subconsciously closed my eyes which made Kanata laugh.
At that moment, I heard the sound of a blunt impact.
“GET AWAY FROM HER!”
Opening my eyes, I saw Kanata sitting on the ground, rubbing his cheeks while Arata, whose face I couldn’t see, roared at him.
“What the hell… Wasn’t this what you wanted, you shit?” Kanata leered at him.
“IT IS NOT! I… I…” Arata stuttered.
“YES IT IS! You’re running away from her! If you keep doing that, then someone’s gonna take her away from you! Someone who can make her happier than you ever could!”
“I… I just…”
“IT’S NOT JUST YOU! She doesn’t… want it to end like this too…” Kanata stood up and glared at Arata, who was rooted to the ground with a blank expression on his face. “If you’re gonna make her go through all this then just tell her the truth, man.”
“The truth huh…”
“You might not be ready to do it but… Asahi was already prepared a long time ago.”
Throwing those words at him, Kanata turned around and started to walk towards the park entrance.
“Kanata!” I called out to him without knowing what to say.
Looking back at me while holding his swollen cheek, Kanata gave his best natural-looking smile while saying, “I think my job here is done so I’ll be on my way.”
“Thank you,” I told him.
“That guy… He’s a coward. An idiot who doesn’t think of anyone but himself, but… he’s a nice guy. So… my best friend, I’ll leave him in your hands. Take good care of him, okay?”
Waving his hand at us, Kanata turned and left for real this time.
Leaving the two of us here alone— Arata and I.
Arata wanted to say something but I cut him off, taking his hand in mine and saying, “Arata… I like you.”
“Do you hate it? I like you so I wanna be with you. Does that… bother you?”
“… You heard him right?” He said, face full of bitterness. “He wasn’t lying. I have an illness… and I don’t know how many years I have left. You’re wanting to be with someone like that.”
“That doesn’t matter! I still wanna be with you!”
“There might come a day where it’s filled with pain and sorrow… a time where there’s nothing left but sadness and misery but still! Even so! I wanna be with you!”
I didn’t intend to cry but my tears were already flowing before I knew it.
I wanted to make it clear to him, but my voice broke and I stuttered as I tried to speak.
“I could have lived without dealing with all of this— a life where I would be laughing without you… but that life isn’t something I want!”
“I want you to stay with me! Let’s create all kinds of happy and fun memories together! Sometimes, we might argue about small little things but we can just make up and smile again! And again… and again… it doesn’t matter how many times… I’ll tell you… that I love you every single time.”
“Asahi… I’m sorry.”
Hearing him apologise made my mind go blank.
Was all of this not enough for my feelings to reach him?
Will he still reject me after this?
Thoughts like these started to flow through my mind as I watched Arata’s expression change from one to the other.
(If this isn’t enough, then what now?)
As my mind continued to race through all the different kinds of possibilities, I felt a sudden warmth envelope me.
“I’m sorry… I’m sorry, I… I!!”
I could feel his body trembling as he spoke. Wrapping my arms around him, I returned his embrace.
“It’s okay. No matter what happens, I’ll be here for you. I feel happy whenever I’m next to you. So, will you let me stay by your side?”
“Yes.” Arata said with a nod as tears flowed down his cheeks.
When we finally released each other, Arata’s eyes were swollen red.
“Sorry…” he said.
“I was running away from you.”
“‘It was all for you’ or so I keep telling myself. The truth is, I was just scared to tell you.”
One by one, Arata chose his words carefully.
“I know that my mom’s been crying a lot because of me… because she knows. That’s why I don’t want to see you cry because of me too. That’s true, but…”
“There’s also this thing… it might just be me and my brittle pride, but… will you promise not to laugh?”
“I don’t want you to have to take care of me— and see me as someone pitiful. I don’t want you to look at me with eyes full of sympathy.”
Arata clenched his fist tightly, his fingernails biting into his flesh.
Seeing that, I slowly stretched my hands out and placed it over his.
Feeling my hands over his, Arata gave out a weak chuckle.
“I don’t want you treating me like some sort of delicate flower. I want us to stay like this, smiling and laughing without thinking about my condition.”
“But… at least let me share your worries.”
May these words reach deep into your heart.
So that you’ll finally understand how much I think about you.
That I need you in my life, regardless…
“Just like how you were worried about me when I got a cold and was taken to the clinic… And that time where you told me I can’t run with a broken leg? I’ll say the same to you.”
“I’ll always be right beside you. Whether it’s the happy times or the times where we fight, the times when you get sick or when you fall down on your knees— I’ll be there, to help you get back up. At least, that’s how I want us to be.”
Unraveling his clenched hands, I intertwined them with mine.
“Like this, walking together while holding each other’s hands.”
“I might die soon, you know.”
“No one knows that for sure.”
“We could be in a traffic accident tomorrow… or die because of sudden illness… or maybe… terrorists hijacking the bus we’re on.”
“Hijacking huh…” he snorted.
Hearing my absurd examples put him into a lighter mood.
“But I already said them so they definitely won’t happen! I… I want to be next to the person I want to be with! Arata! I want to be with you!!”
“What about you? Who do you want to be with?!”
“Then what about the one you want next to you?”
“It’s all you, Asahi!”
As he said that, Arata pulled me into a tight embrace.
 Be careful what you wish for… I learned this the hard way, I guess… I know I asked for a twist, but not this kind!
 Starting from this line, I gave up on reducing the redundancy because if I do, the conversation will stop making any sense…
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