Lilly trainride ni

NARRATOR: "After a chaotic dash to the station and finding our seats in the otherwise deserted carriage, we promptly crashed. Looking at the time - close to midnight - it's little surprise that few take this particular train. Hanako is fast asleep on Lilly's shoulder and I can only barely muster the energy to stay awake. The excitement we had a while ago probably didn't help. I'd probably be pretty depressed about going back to school if my brain was actually working. As it is, though, the sight of the night-time scenery scrolling by is surprisingly beautiful. My loud yawn is nearly wholly drowned out by the clacking of the train tracks and the old carriage's rattling."

HISAO: "So tired..."

LILLY: "And whose fault is that, Hisao?"

NARRATOR: "She really does toe the line between insulting and amusing sometimes, though I manage to wring out a weary smile. I look back out the window, my reflection just visible on the clear pane. Truth be told, she's perfectly correct. If it weren't for that little interlude a few hours ago, both of us would have a lot more energy. On top of that, we both had to take another bath, very nearly making us late for the train's departure."

HISAO: "Yeah, yeah, it was mine. Still, getting into a bath with a guy is a dangerous thing to do."

LILLY: "Evidently."

HISAO: "Sorry. I guess I kind of took advantage of the situation back there."

LILLY: "Well... I didn't exactly hate it..."

NARRATOR: "As she trails off, I look back to her. My eyes narrow as I see her slightly reddened cheeks and small grin, her mind obviously elsewhere."

HISAO: "Say it."

LILLY: "I... knew the possibility of it happening... was there."

HISAO: "I knew it. You're just as dirty-minded as I am."

NARRATOR: "She quickly coughs into her free hand, making her disapproval crystal clear."

LILLY: "That's a rather crude way of putting it."

HISAO: "Oh? And you would suggest?"

LILLY: "I merely have a healthy adolescent sex drive."

HISAO: "So in other words, dirty-minded."

NARRATOR: "Almost seeming to sense the moment, Hanako mumbles quietly as she furrows her brow in Lilly's lap. Lilly's look of disapproval melts away as she gently smiles and strokes her hand on Hanako's long, dark hair. All I can do is watch. Watch and smile. If someone were to ask me when I fell in love with her, I wouldn't be able to answer. The best I'd be able to come up with is “it just happened at some point, but I didn't realize it.” If someone were to ask me why I love her, though, then I could answer much more easily."

HISAO: "You really love Hanako, don't you?"

NARRATOR: "She gives a deep nod, smiling warmly."

LILLY: "It's a pity we have to return to school. She seemed to relax so much while we were all away."

HISAO: "I wouldn't worry. Hanako's been gaining confidence thanks to you, at least for as long as I've known you two."

NARRATOR: "She gives a self-deprecating sigh."

LILLY: "I think I merely provided her with company and support. Since she came to know you she's opened up much more, even to me."

NARRATOR: "I get the feeling she's understating her influence on Hanako, especially given that before the two came to know each other, Hanako had no friends to speak of. The friends I'd had in my previous school fulfilled what I'd have expected of them, for the most part simply being there for idle chatter, but in Hanako and Lilly there really feels to be more to their relationship. A part of me envies it, but another can't ignore the fact that the school year will eventually end. After graduation, I really have no idea what Hanako will do. This trip has shown me just how much we've all come to depend on one another. Indeed, we're all going to have to make decisions. Maybe that's the reason why, despite our return to school also heralding a return to the normalcy of everyday life, I can't help feeling a little restless."

HISAO: "Indeed. Exams will be starting, too, which will be another thing to deal with. Think you're ready for them?"

LILLY: "I think so. I don't think it will be a pleasant period at all, though."

NARRATOR: "I can't say I disagree with her. The exams had completely slipped my mind for a while now, and even though I may score well on most of our tests, I can't assume that I can pass easily with so little studying beforehand. Lilly does seem more studious, or at least more regimented, than me. That said, she has to contend with doing rather badly in some subjects no matter how much she tries."

HISAO: "At least they'll only last a couple of weeks."

HISAO: "On the bright side, it won't take long for the summer holidays to arrive after our exams are finished. We could come back here during the summer holidays if you want."

NARRATOR: "For a moment she thinks on the notion, her face becoming somewhat distant. I can only guess she's reflecting on all that's happened here."

LILLY: "That would be... good, I think."

NARRATOR: "I nod approvingly, smiling at her. Summer, together with Lilly. This idea seems like the perfect way to spend our holiday."


Next Scene: Slow Steps 'Fore a Waltz