an English translation of the novel

Page 108-109

“Alright, we’re gonna go for a bit…Mamoru you should take a break.”

Mamoru looked miserable at the prospect of Maria and I going off alone.

“Thank you, it’s beautiful. I love it,” Maria said, taking a quick look at the painting.

Mamoru’s face lit up with joy for a second. He was always dead silent in front of me. Maybe he was embarrassed to let other girls see how devoted he was to Maria. Since he was always so quiet, I had gotten into the bad habit of completely forgetting his existence around Maria.

We walked to a small boat anchored on the river. It was one of the town’s communal boats, painted with a blue dolphin on the side, which anyone could use as long as they returned it to one of the designated docks when they were done.

I pushed off with my cantus. As we glided over the water, Maria untied her hair and let it fan out in the breeze.

She put her arms around my neck and whispered, “What’s wrong?”

Her gentle voice nearly brought me to tears.

“Nothing, really. I just wanted to see you.”

She knew it was a lie, but didn’t press further. Maria ran her fingers through my hair, untangling all my worries along with it.

We were heading for a little hill overlooking the Hamasaki sand dunes that was surrounded by bushes and provided perfect secrecy. In Harmony School we would often spend the afternoons there when the weather was nice. Back then, I was the first to suggest taking off our clothes, but Maria was the one who bravely stole a kiss from me as we lay naked together.

After docking, we raced up the dunes. I was worried that someone may have discovered our hiding spot since we hadn’t gone there for a while, but thankfully it looked untouched.

Although I knew for sure that we were completely hidden from view, we still made a check of our surroundings before taking off our clothes. At first I felt a little embarrassed, but our laughter as we slowly undressed each other made me feel like I had returned to my innocent childhood days.


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