Today was Christmas. It is a day to exchange gifts and spend happy time with family and lovers. A small Christmas tree was placed in our house to celebrate Christmas. Thanks to the decorations I bought at the party supply store, it was very flashy even without a light bulb. Today, there were a lot of people having a party with their acquaintances. However, Yuria and I decided to have dinner together instead of gathering together to end the day.
As it was a gift-giving day, I shared presents with several people. The gift I prepared was a specially made ballpoint pen. Unlike the ones sold in the market, the name of the recipient is engraved with a pretty pattern. I gave it to Yuria and the store staff, and gave one to my acquaintances and the children in the neighborhood. Seeing the people who received the gift smile makes me happy too. Of course, it wasn’t just giving. I received as many gifts as I was given a ballpoint pen. The thing I liked the most was the pink scarf Yuria gave me. Of course, all the gifts from others were good, but not as good as hers.
Time passed quickly and it was already evening. I flopped on the sofa, fiddling with the one remaining gift box. This was a present I prepared for Isley. He had always been around me, but he didn’t show up at all like today. I went to his house, but there was no answer even if I knocked whether he was out of the house.
It was late in the evening when he appeared, who had been missing. Dinner was already over, and I was spending my time doing what I wanted to do until I went to bed. I was getting ready to go out to put Isley’s gift in the mailbox.
I wore a pink scarf and a thick coat. He came to our house just in time and hesitated as if he had something to say. So I said let’s go for a walk and went out with him. Because I thought Isley would be able to talk comfortably with only the two of us. After walking silently for a while, Isley stopped in a rare place. Embarrassed, he pulled a gift out of the pocket of his coat.
A yellow ribbon was tied to a black box. As I took the gift, he whispered softly.
“Is it too late?”
“It’s not too late. It wasn’t past 12 o’clock. It’s still Christmas.”
“… Actually, I wanted to give you a present before everyone else. But I was worried that you might not like the gift, so it took me a while.”
He smiled embarrassedly. Why were you so worried? Whatever was in it, I was sure to receive it with pleasure. When it comes to gifting, isn’t it more important to think about the gift for the other person than the item itself?
“Can I open it?”
Isley nodded. I untied the ribbon and opened the box. Inside was a beautiful silver necklace. At the end of the necklace was a jewel in the shape of a water droplet. The gem had a color closer to red than pink, which I really liked. I opened my mouth to reassure Isley, who was scanning my face with concern.
“It’s pretty. Thank you, Isley.”
Then his expression brightened.
“I have something to give you.”
I took a present from my coat pocket and handed it to Isley. Isley looked down at the object in surprise. He asked in disbelief.
“… Are you giving it to me?”
“Not to anyone else, but to me?”
“Yes, it’s a present for Isley.”
“Isn’t this a dream?”
Saying so, Isley pinched his cheek. As his cheeks flushed, he let go of his hand and muttered that it wasn’t a dream. Did Isley think I wouldn’t give him a present? He acted like someone who never expected to receive a gift from me. Isley cautiously handed the gift and bowed his head.
Then something started falling from his face. Transparent water droplets fall on the floor. For a moment, I thought my eyes were wrong.
Isley was crying.
“… Are you crying?”
“No, no, I don’t cry.”
Isley covered my face with her large hands. There was water in his voice. Even if he says he’s not crying with that voice, no one will believe you. Why did you suddenly burst into tears? What did my gift mean to him? It’s just sad that Isley is crying. So I patted his arm lightly.
“I’m not crying….”
“Lie. you’re crying. Be honest.”
“… Yes cry! I’m crying…”
“I am so glad that you gave me a present….”
“Layla, I never thought I would get a present from you. To you, I’m just an annoying and scary person. I’m an annoying person who persists in chasing after you even if you say you don’t like it. Thank you for giving me a present.”
“… Raise your head.”
“I don’t want to show my face right now. I must have been ugly because I cried.”
“It’s okay, so hurry up.”
Isley raised his face to my words.
What ugly? He was proud of his handsome appearance as usual.
The only difference is that the corners of the eyes and nose are dyed red.
I took a deep breath and opened my mouth.
“Now I know. That Isley isn’t a scary person. In fact, I knew it a long time ago. Isley, will Isley threaten me or Yuria?”
“Are you going to threaten me?”
“Are you going to hit me?”
“No! I never do that. I won’t forgive anything that hurts you! Even if it’s me…!”
“Yes. I know. So I’m not afraid of Isley.”
“Sometimes I thought I was annoyed by Isley who followed me. Very rarely. Most of our time together… I thought it was fun. Otherwise, how could I have talked so much with you? Now I think of Isley as a friend.”
“Yeah, a friend.”
Isley looked down at me.
“Sorry for being late. I was wrong. So stop crying.”
The watery red eyes glowed white. It reminded me of a sunlit water surface, a red jewel kept precious in a jewel box. For the first time, I thought Isley’s eyes were beautiful. There were times when I thought it was red as blood, but it was the first time I felt this kind of emotion. Isley’s eyes were so beautiful that it was inevitable that I suddenly wanted to touch them. When I woke up, I was holding Isley’s cheek.
I bit my lip at the warmth felt through the palm of my hand.
You’re crazy, Layla.
These days I’m really weird. Aren’t you behaving like a person who’s fussed like a human because I can’t reach Isley? It was, and still is, when Shelly disappeared. I can’t stop, even though I know that this behavior will make him misunderstood.
“… I’m sorry for touching you.”
I tried to let go.
At that moment, Isley’s hand wrapped around mine.
His jewel-like eyes looked straight at me.
“Stay like this.”
A drop of tears that had been pooling in his eyes ran down the line of his face.
He’s so moved that he cry just because he received a gift.
Just by touching my hand, his face glows as red as the brightly colored eyes. He is terrified and afraid of a girl who can’t even make a shallow wound to herself.
What is love?
What the heck is it to break such a huge and strong man helplessly? What is it that makes a man who is not afraid of the world tremble, and makes a man who has always had an arrogant smile cry? Is it to inspire a man who used to be funny to everyone?
I don’t know.
All I know is the love of family. I know the love that makes them feel stable and warm when they are with each other. But love between a man and a woman is not well known. They do not know the love of giving up all that one has for others, the love that asserts that you can do anything for that person, the love that makes you want to touch each other.
Up until this point, I had never been in love with a man. I fell in love with a man I met through a friend’s introduction and promised to marry him, but I never loved him. The reason I chose the man was simply because I thought that if I was with him, I would manage to live happily ever after. Good looks, friendly personality. His occupation was stable as a 7th grade civil servant. He was a good person to live with.
After meeting three times, we started dating naturally like flowing water. They dated, laughed, chatted, and slept just like any other couple. And after a year, we promised to get married. I thought that was enough. But it seems that man wasn’t good enough.
– It’s all because of you! The reason I met another woman was all because of you…!
The man who promised to marry me cried like that and wept. He said it was all my fault for not loving him. He blamed me and justified himself.
– Yes… Cheating is not normal. do you think you did well
Then I got angry.
I told him not to make cowardly excuses because the reason he cheated was because I wasn’t good enough. I shouted that you were all wrong and that you were the only one who was wrong. But when I think about it, there was one thing that wasn’t wrong.
Yes, that’s right. As he said, I don’t know love.
I’ve never loved anyone else.
I love Yuria, but I don’t know what Isley is talking about.
I don’t know the feeling of wanting to give everything I have, to touch, to kiss, and to spend the night together. I read and reread a lot of romance novels, so I know what they are in theory, but in the end I don’t know.
I just expect it to be a different feeling from loving my family.
“… Do you like me?”
Looking at Eisley, I felt like I knew what love was.
“… Uh. That.”
A little, but
“I really like you.”
I seemed to know
Is that why?
I suddenly had a thought.
The thought that one day, I might fall in love with this man who bursts into tears over an insignificant gift.
I didn’t know why I thought that way. Perhaps the warmth in my hand made me dream of sweet fantasies like romance novels.
I looked at the sky that spread out over there.
The stars twinkled beautifully in the black winter sky.
Soon winter will pass and spring will come.
The white snow melts, and the chilly winter wind will come to you as a warm floral scent. At that time, an uninvited guest who came to me in the middle of winter might one day turn into the boy I love.
Masters Are You Going To Imprison My Sister?
-Side Story End-
Thank you so much…