Yuuichi recalls some of his memories with Ayu back from seven years ago in his dreams. However, he only remembers minor fragments of them...
You hear him. Now, make a wish.
However, Yuuichi has no memory of giving the hairband to you at all. =\
Now, that's the spirit, Nayuki! Fight!
Just imagine Kitagawa's reaction to what she said. LOL.
Now, that's what I call a 'snore inducing principal'.
What an adorable little red marble... ^_^
Yep, girls with secret are more attractive, indeed.
That's not your ordinary Oreo cookie. The black colour is not even chocolate, mind you.
Hey, Ayu! Come down. It's dangerous up there!
Looks like Yuuichi had gotten used to the 'surprise attacks' by Ayu.
Sure Yuuichi had the experience. Like I said, you know nothing about Yuuichi.
“Winter break is almost over,” said little Ayu. “You’re going home, right?” Little Yuuichi replied, “Yeah, since I have school.” Little Ayu then asked, “You’ll come visit next year, too, right?” “Yeah, I’ll definitely come.” he answered. “Can you promise me?” Little Ayu again asked, clutching the little angel doll Little Yuuichi got for her earlier in her hands. He then went in front of her and made a pinky promise with her. “Now, it’s definitely alright.” He then looked at the angel doll she was holding tightly and told her that the doll grant wishes for the owner, but it can only grant three wishes for her. He then said that he’ll be granting it, so he’d ask her not to make any wishes which are impossible for him to grant. At that moment, she made her first wish.
“Please don’t forget about me.”
Yuuichi was then seen on the veranda, thinking of Shiori and the note she left her. Ayu then approached him. “You’ll catch a cold,” she said, but he replied, “Leave me alone.” It was snowing heavily. Ayu said to him that she was told about Shiori’s disease by Nayuki who was told about it by Kaori. Yuuichi said that he didn’t know much about her disease as well. “All I know is that she can’t step outside for a while.” Ayu then offered herself to do whatever she can for Shiori, just like what Yuuichi did to her. She said that if it weren’t for Yuuichi, she wouldn’t have been able to smile again. She took off her headband and told Yuuichi that it was him who gave it to her 7 years ago before he left the city. “Do you remember the day you gave this to me?” Yuuichi honestly answered, “No. Sorry.” She confessed that she couldn’t remember it either, and then advised Yuuichi to go back into the house as he would have to cheer Nayuki up the next day. Yuuichi did as told.
The very next day was the school’s marathon. It was held in outside the school campus and in the city where roads was closed for the event. Yuuichi, Ayu, Akiko, as well as Kitagawa were there to cheer for Nayuki who had been training for the event ever since the first day of the school. As Nayuki was doing her warming up, she saw everyone beside the track. Kitagawa had brought his bicycle and told her that he’ll be riding it while rooting for her. She thanked him. She would be the anchor (the marathon is like a relay where the anchor is the final one to run) but she seemed rather relaxed. Yuuichi was worried about it but she told him that it’s useless to be nervous. “Fight~!” Later, Yuuichi realised that she is quite famous that he noticed a few by-standers talking about her. Ayu then pulled Yuuichi to a better spot where they can have a better view of the marathon. As they left, Kitagawa told Nayuki that he wish that she’d win the race as Kaori would cheer up if she were to do so. Nayuki nodded and smiled. “I’ll give it my best.”
All the while, Ayu seemed to be rather worried that Nayuki would lose. Noticing Ayu, Kitagawa whispered to Yuuichi, telling him, “Don’t make a grade schoolgirl your girlfriend, okay?!” But Ayu was able to hear whatever he said and made a sour face as she said, “I’m (boku wa) the same age as Yuuichi-kun and Kitagawa-kun!” Kitagawa was rather shocked by what she said and wondered which high school she did she went to. Ayu told him that it was in the west forest, but he doubted that such school even existed. Yuuichi then told him not to take her words seriously.
The focus then went onto Nayuki where her team was lagging behind. Nayuki, as the anchor, ran as fast as she could the moment she grabbed onto the cloth. Everyone was amazed by her speed. As Nayuki overtaken a few other runners, Yuuichi then jumped down and grabbed onto Kitagawa’s bike as he sped. He caught up to Nayuki as he gave her some encouragement. In the end, Nayuki crossed the finishing line first and won. Everyone cheered. In school, the headmaster presented her team with the trophy as the team broke the record as the first team to win the marathon three years consecutively.
After that, Yuuichi brought Nayuki to a café where she had had her favourite strawberry sundae. He congratulated her on her success. Nayuki told Yuuichi that Kaori was happy as well as she would tell it through the phone. “And so Yuuichi, have you gotten used to this city?” she suddenly asked him. “When you got here, you said you didn’t like the cold weather.” Yuuichi frankly answered he was still indeed bothered by the coldness, although he got used to it. He then asked her, “Do you have someone you like?” Nayuki’s facial expression changed. She weakly answered she did had someone she liked in the past back when she was in grade school, but she was rejected by the boy. She continued saying that the boy must have forgotten about it since he liked some other girl. She was still sure that the boy’s must still have liking towards the same girl at that time. He’s devoted but mean sometimes, but when he sees someone in trouble, he can’t leave that person alone, although that person doesn’t seem to be aware of it.
As they walk home, Yuuichi asked Nayuki, “Do you want me to get you something to celebrate your victory?” She thought about it as they walk by a shop selling marbles. She found something she wanted as she went into the shop. She picked up a little red marble. “I want this. It’s pretty and its colour resembles strawberry~” “You’re strange too, comparable to Ayu,” Yuuichi remarked. She then suddenly stopped and said, “Hey Yuuichi, don’t give Ayu too much trouble, okay?” “Well, if anything, usually she would be the one giving me trouble,” Yuuichi retorted. “You don’t understand. Ayu-chan is...” she started saying again, but she stopped the moment she were to enter to the main point, and then said, “...it’s a secret.” Yuuichi asked for several hints, but Nayuki was determined not to give any.
“Osoi-yo (you’re late), Yuuichi-kun!” was what Little Ayu said to him as he ran towards her. It seems that she had been waiting for him on the bench they had promised to meet for quite some time. “Sorry I’m a bit late,” He apologized to her for being late. He thought that he wasn’t able to see her that day. Little Ayu was holding onto a little gift. She then gave it to him and said that she baked them herself. Inside the wrappers were some cookies as Little Yuuichi smiled broadly as he heard about it from Little Ayu. But his facial expression changed as he saw the cookies: they were as black as coals, not to mention inedible. However, Little Yuuichi still managed to force himself to have a bite of the ‘cookies’ and lied to her saying that they’re good.
He then led her up the snowy hills. As Little Ayu wondered how far more they would have to walk, they reached the spot: an enormous tree without leaves, much bigger and taller than the trees in its surrounding. “Isn’t it amazing? This is my special spot,” Little Yuuichi told her. Little Ayu looked at the tree for a while, and then told Yuuichi to look away for a while. It took her a while to finish what she was doing as Little Yuuichi became impatient. And then, she made her signal. Little Yuuichi was frightened to see her high up on the tree, sitting on top of a branch. “What’re you doing up there?! It’s dangerous so come down now!” Little Yuuichi shouted at her. “It’s fine. I’m good at climbing trees.” She told him, but he then cut in, saying, “I’m not fine! I’m not good with high places!” “But I’m the one climbing~” “It scares me just to see someone climbing!”
A breeze then blew. “Kimochi...”
As they were heading back, Yuuichi asked, “Why do I have to look away?” Looking at him, she said, “Because......” Ayu just put her hands on her skirt. Back at the bench they’d met, the two promised to see each other again the next day. There were only two more days left that they can meet with each other.
Yuuichi had just awakened from his dream in the middle of the night. He went out to the veranda to have some fresh air. To his surprise, Ayu seemed to be waiting for him there. Ayu said that she had had a dream and Yuuichi said, “what a coincident, me too.” Yuuichi then started to ask her about how much did she remembered about 7 years ago while she said that she can’t remember much either. Yuuichi confessed that he can’t either, but he was able to remember about Mai and Makoto. Ayu simply said that it was amazing that she’s wearing the same hairband from 7 years ago, looking at the very same person she’d known 7 years ago.
The very next morning, Yuuichi woke up fresh and bright and went downstairs to greet everyone good morning. But he was shocked by a still-half-asleep Nayuki who suddenly appeared behind him. After telling her to go wash her face, Akiko said that she must have relaxed that the marathon was over. Yuuichi said that he didn’t see any much difference in her from any other days.
In school, Yuuichi and Kitagawa, two boys, were having lunch together with each other in the canteen without any girls accompanying them. “What can you do? Kaori’s absent while Nayuki’s having her club meeting,” Yuuichi told Kitagawa. “I hear that Shiori-chan’s well,” Kitagawa suddenly said. “I see,” Yuuichi replied, smiling.
After school, Yuuichi went for a walk alone. Suddenly, Ayu jumped onto him from behind without giving a warning. It seems that Yuuichi had got used to it since he wasn’t surprised at all. Ayu then looked at a bench beside the walkway. “Still remember that bench?” Ayu asked. Yuuichi replied, “That was the bench Nayuki made me wait for two hours several weeks ago.” “Seven years ago, we always met at that bench,” Ayu started to say. She then sat on it and said, “Osoi-yo, Yuuichi-kun!” Automatically, Yuuichi answered, “Sorry, I’m a bit late,” like he used to.
Then they started to search for Ayu’s lost item. They came back to the bench. “Sorry for making you follow me,” Ayu said but Yuuichi told her that it was okay since he had the time. “Sitting here reminds me of those days. I was alone since my mother left me and you came and spoke to me.” She paused as Yuuichi said, “Yeah, I remember.” Ayu continued, “Have you ever lost someone important to you?” she continued as she asked. “I have. I couldn’t do a thing. I was forced with the fact that I am a powerless child.” Vision of Makoto, Mai and Shiori went through him as he thought about it. Yuuichi couldn’t hold his feelings as he got up from the bench. Ayu followed suit as she realized that he had indeed had the experience. “Yuuichi-kun, don’t look at my face, okay? It must be messed with tears right now,” Ayu said. “So, close your eyes.” Yuuichi did as told.
“I’ll close my eyes as well.” Ayu said as she went ahead and planted a kiss on Yuuichi’s lips.