Memories of Ramune Bubbles
I will never forget that clear blue sky and her smile.
Memories are always vague and hazy.
Just like the bubbles of ramune.
Like a fading carbohydrate.
The more time passes, the weaker and non-prominent those memories become.
That’s why I don’t remember when and during what situation that even happened.
But to contrast that, the sky and that smile are as fresh in my memory as if I’d seen it just today.
An entire row of sunflowers grew beneath the sky.
Something white fluttered in front of that sea of yellow.
A cloud—No, not quite.
It was fluttering and moving because of the breeze.
Ah, it was her one-piece outfit.
“Sou-chan! This is so cool! Look! So many sunflowers!”
Back during that time, we were in grade school.
I think in our third year, at most.
Keep running like that and you’ll fall.”
Despite being just as much of a child, I showered her with cold words.
I just wanted to sound like an adult.
A child who wanted to seem mature.
“But look at how beautiful all of this looks! How can you be so calm?!” She said as she—my childhood friend Kazuhi—opened her arms wide to show off everything around her.
“Look! They’re so beautiful!” She screamed as she twirled around and ran further.
“Hey! Look ahead of you! It won’t be long until you—”
I couldn’t even finish my sentence as Kazuhi tried to twirl on the spot once more, only for her feet to entangle, as she fell ahead.
I ran toward her and offered her my hand.
Even though she just took a dive face-first, she seemed to enjoy herself, smiling happily.
“…You always smile, don’t you?” I thought of it as weird and voiced my doubts.
It’s not hyperbole.
She really is always smiling.
When we’re playing like this, or when she’s eating sweets, I get it.
But even when she has to clean, or when she’s busy doing her homework.
During all the times you’d say ‘This isn’t really a situation where you should laugh,’ she would smile.
Kazuhi always seemed happy and fulfilled no matter the situation.
“Mmm…But that’s because you’re with me, Sou-chan.”
Sou-chan obviously was referring to me.
But, why was she talking about me now?
“…It’s thanks to you that I get to have fun every day.
I can smile and laugh like this because you are by my side!”
A breeze passed us by.
The sunflowers around us fluttered, as did the dress she was wearing, and the ribbon she had around her wrist.
My childhood friend, a blue sky, a field of sunflowers, and a hat with a white one-piece—It was a picturesque example of a ‘Summer memory.’ And because it was so extraordinarily well done, it almost felt unreal.
Did it really happen, or did I just dream it up? That doubt still fills my mind.
“That’s why…Let’s always be together! Tomorrow, the day after, and forever!”
However, her smile was far too radiant and bright for it to have been a dream.
Kazuhi fixed her hat and tried to hide her red face.
Whether it was because she wanted to avoid a sunburn, or if it was because she just tripped and fell, I do not know.
But then a smile appeared from beneath the hat, and she said.
“I love you, Sou-chan.”
It was a beaming and glistering smile.
It’s really not my thing to say such emotional stuff like that, but one thought crossed my mind—It was a smile that encapsulated all of summer.
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