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Aniki over here!” 

Fuma called out while Ueda waved frantically to get the older man’s attention.

Sho looked up from his phone as he heard the voice calling out for him, he spotted Ueda’s hand waving above the crowd and made his way towards the trio that had been waiting for him.

“Hey, sorry, I’m late.” Sho greeted his group of boys politely. 

Aniki ,” the group greeted him in unison. 

Sho was in his usual tee with a printed chest pocket, camo slacks and flip flops, his wallet in his hand. Round framed shades and black baseball cap for a slight disguise as he expected himself to be walking within the crowds.

“Don’t worry about it aniki, we have just arrived actually.” Ueda explained with a grin. 

“Besides, walking through the matsuri at night is easier for us actually. People would be more focused on the stalls and stuff instead of who’s around them.”, Fuma suggested as he scanned their surroundings to see if anyone noticed the group. 

“ Let’s go already” Massu was clearly excited to explore the festival. 

The group started walking along the shopping streets in pairs, blending into the growing crowd all heading towards the same place. 

Sho said nothing, but Ueda sensed that something was off with his aniki, something seemed to be on Sho’s mind.

“ Aniki, are you tired? Do you want to go back and rest instead?” Ueda paced beside Sho, glancing at the quiet man with a concerned look.

“I’m fine, Ueda, don’t worry about me. Probably because it had been a long day. But I will be fine. I could use some time catching up with you all. Look, the crowd is huge here”, Sho turned the attention away from himself as they come closer to the start of the stalls outside of the shrine. Ueda let the topic slide since Sho did not want to talk about it, he will respect that. 

As the sun set, the area basked in a tint of brown while the stalls lit up their lamps to continue their business in the dark. The voices of the stall owners promoting their products were drowned in the chatters of the people. There was a main stream of people walking towards the shrine, while small groups conjugated in front of some of the stalls. There were couples with their hands locked, groups of working adults and students, families with parents with their child on their shoulders as they moved along. Some were in bright yukatas while others in their tank tops and shorts for the summer. Everyone’s eyes were on the stalls and the eye-catching posters and banners promoting food and products. Hardly anyone noticed the group of idols amongst them. 

“The crowd is huge today! I guess we came at the right time indeed.”, Fuma commented as the people came closer with the convergence of the crowd.

“Yeah, let’s enjoy ourselves tonight! Shall we grab some food first?” Sho getting slightly fired up with the thought of filling up his stomach.

“Let’s do that. What do you want to eat, Aniki? I will get it for you!” Ueda is influenced by the excitement from Sho, seeing his older friend starting to enjoy the night. 

“I will look around, will let you know when I spot something Ueda.” Sho smiled. 

“Aniki, the yaki soba over there looks good, shall we get some?”, Massu pointed to the Yaki Soba stall near the car park area while looking back at Sho for his response.

“Sure Massu, let’s go have a look”, Sho nodded as the group headed for the stall. 

“I want some takoyaki too,” Fuma pointed at the neighbouring stall.


Sho closed his eyes to take in the smell of the food around him - the slight burnt batter from the takoyaki, the aroma of the sauce from the yakisoba. 

Then a hint of another scent.

Sho froze.

 

No way. 

That scent. 

It can’t be .

 

Sho turned towards his back to see if he could find the source of the scent. He visually scanned the sea of people but he could only see unfamiliar faces surrounding him. 

Then he felt a tap on his shoulder.

 

No way.

 

He turned back to see a confused Ueda, “Aniki? Are you okay? The boys are queuing for food, you want anything?”

Sho blinked a few times to get his thoughts back together.

 

I must be so tired that I imagined things. That must be it. 

 

“Hmm? Tell them we will share the food so that we can try more stuff. You go look around for more food, I will head to the benches to get us some seats to sit down and eat.” Sho suggested before moving towards the benches. 

As he came closer to the bench area, some noticed Sho but respected his privacy. He was offered an empty bench by a young family who was done with their meal. Sho thanked the family politely before taking his seat, fishing out his handkerchief from his pocket to wipe the sweat off his forehead. 

Actually, Ueda was right, Sho was indeed not himself today. He had wanted to decline Fuma’s invitation to this matsuri

Not that Sho was tired from work or needed some alone time. He does appreciate the time to unwind from the hectic schedule he gave himself.

Just that this is not any other matsuri.

It is one of the top summer festivals of the year.

The Tenjin Matsuri .

The festival that brought him fond memories years ago.  

His favourite summer memory with the person whom he could not get out of his mind. 

Sho looked towards the crowd again, thinking about that scent he caught on just now.



Could he be here, for the matsuri too? 

 

Sho fished out his phone from his other pocket, unlocked the screen and opened his line app to the friend’s list. Sho’s right thumb moved towards the person’s name but he stopped himself right before clicking it. 

 

Maybe it’s just someone else with the same scent as him.

There’s no way we can pull off the same encounter twice, right?

I can’t just text him “Niisan I caught your scent at the matsuri, are you here?” That is so weird.

Besides, I don’t even know if he is in Osaka at the moment. 

Don’t think about it, Sho. 

Don’t disturb him.

Just enjoy yourself with the boys, then go home and rest.

 

“Omatase Aniki!” Massu’s voice brought Sho back from his thoughts as he saw the three guys coming towards his table with plates of food. 

Massu with his yaki soba and Fuma’s takoyaki. Fuma took the utensils and had a plate of fried fish with him. Ueda tailed behind while balancing four cups of soda in his hands. 

“Ah, thank you! Thank you! They looked great! Let’s dig in already!” Sho stood up to welcome the trio. 

Sho looked at the takoyaki on the table as he remembered the unusual flavour he tasted from years ago. 

He let out a small sigh and shook his head to clear his mind. 

 

Not now Sho. 

 

“Let’s eat!” Massu split his chopsticks before picking up some noodles. The group was clearly famished as they gobbled the food down quickly before returning to the crowd again. 

They could hear the drums followed by gong sounds from the end of the road where a raised white tent was set up for one of the performances.

Fuma turned to the older guys, “let’s go have a look!” and moved towards the white tent. 

The human traffic was much lesser now as there were less stalls near the tent area. There was still a crowd in front of the tent with people fishing out their devices to record the performance. The group stood at the back and watched. The beats of the drum and gong roared while a middle aged man danced in his happi, making wave moves with his hands. Sho closed his eyes to immerse himself into the rhythm of the drum beat. 

Sho opened his eyes shortly after. As he looked towards the stage again, he caught a glimpse of a side profile amongst the crowd on the opposite side of where they stood. 

A small hunched figure that looks familiar to him

He could not see the face of that person but he was quite sure of that hunchback.

Until the next second, a group of students walked past them. When Sho looked back at the same spot, the figure was gone. 

Sho frowned.

 

Not again. 

Do I miss him so much that my mind begins hallucinating?

 

Ueda blinked and looked in the same direction before looking back at Sho, “Aniki, you saw someone familiar?” 

“Yeah... I thought I saw someone I knew, but turns out it isn’t him, just someone that looked like him instead,” Sho replied half-heartedly before removing his cap to comb his hair with his hand. 

“Let’s get moving shall we, before the performance ends,” Sho suggested. 

The group moved towards another part of the street stalls, now Fuma walks alongside Sho. Fuma, clearly excited about the festival, he kept pointing Sho towards the items displayed on each stall, Sho smiled and replied Fuma accordingly. Massu and Ueda followed behind them, enjoying themselves too. 

The group walked towards the goldfish scooping stall, they stopped right before as Ueda and Fuma took interest in the handicrafts. 

Children circled around the pool along with their parents as they tried to get the fishes. Sho looked towards the pool of fishes as his mind drifted away.

Through the television screen in the studio, he watched as a small built man in navy green jacket and jeans squatted in front of a pool with a girl by his side. The man spoke gently, guiding the girl how to scoop the goldfish up before doing so successfully. 

Sho looked away from the fishes and saw a tanned man squatting down. The man was in white t-shirt, with a dark cap and a mask covering more than half his face. 

Sho stared hard at the man, he did not dare to approach. 

Sho needed confirmation before he could go near, 

He cannot walk up to that person until he is sure that’s the person he was looking for. 

The man spoke to the stall owner, Sho could not hear the voice but he saw the stall owner turning towards the man and nodded. The owner reaches out to the man with his palm facing up, seemingly to receive the payment for his game from the man.  

 

His hands, if I can catch a glimpse of his hands I can be sure.

 

The man nodded and looked down, clearly fishing out his wallet from his pocket. 

Sho held his breath.

“Aniki! Let’s go to that gun-shooting stall, it looks fun!” Fuma dragged Sho away from his spot, catching him by surprise.

Sho did not manage to confirm his doubts.

Unbeknownst to him, that man turned his head in the group’s direction upon hearing Fuma’s call. 

Fuma brought the group towards the gun-shooting stall and challenged the trio for the high score. After two rounds, Ueda suggested the younger pair continue their competition without him and Sho. As Ueda sensed that Sho was clearly not in the mood for the game, very distracted in fact.

“Aniki, shall we get some beer?” Ueda pointed at the beer vendors as they moved away from the game stall.

“Sure, I’m kind of thirsty now actually,” Sho nodded as they moved towards the beer vendor. Sho took a glance towards the goldfish stall, the man was no longer at his spot. 

Ueda queued and bought the beer while Sho looked around the people around him trying his luck to see if the questionable person would appear around him again. But he was disappointed.

“Aniki, your beer,” Ueda handed over a cup of chilled beer to Sho before they found themselves a table to stand around for their drink. 

“Thank you,” Sho received the cup and took a sip to calm himself down.

“Aniki, I’m sorry. We shouldn’t have asked you out to this matsuri . I’m terribly sorry about it. I should have realised.” Ueda bowed sincerely as he apologised. 

“Sorry for? About? Don’t worry about me, I’m fine.” Sho was confused, he doubted Ueda would know what’s bothering him tonight. He did not mention anything about it, he might have looked tired but he did not think he was so off that Ueda could guess what was on his mind. 

Ueda took a big gulp before he continued, “Aniki , you should have looked at yourself, ever since we reached here, you are so distracted. I don’t know if the boys noticed but I know you are only here physically, your mind is somewhere else. Then I remembered this matsuri is something special to you and…”

“Ueda, don’t” Sho cut Ueda off before the person’s name reached his ears. 

“Thank you for watching out for me. Yes you are right, this matsuri did bring back memories.” Sho exhaled slowly before looking down. 

“Maybe I’m really tired, let’s walk around for a bit more. I will head back after this, you guys can continue after I leave.”

“Yes, Aniki. I will let Fuma and Massu know. Sorry again” Ueda felt bad for bringing up a topic which seemed to make Sho sadder than he was. Sho patted his back gently in reply. 

“I’m going to the toilet,” Sho stated before leaving his spot. 

Ueda nodded as he watched the older man look for the toilet signage before walking into the crowd again. 

Sho managed to relieve himself. While washing his hands at the sink, he thought of getting some skewed steak he saw on his way to the toilet to go with the beer he was having. 

While walking back, his phone rang and Ueda's name appeared on the screen.

“Ueda?” Sho greeted after he picked up the call.

“Aniki, Massu and Fuma are done with their games, they said they wanted to go see the boats by the river,” Ueda explained while he looked towards the crowd trying to spot Sho.

“Oh okay, sounds good. Are they coming over or we will go meet them?” Sho stopped right in front of the steak stall, planning if he should get some before he returned to the boys. The aroma of the beef made him salivate. 

“Aniki, I think we will go find them since they are nearer to the exit” Ueda suggested, his eyes looking at Sho who stood in front of the steak stall.



Guess we will give the steak a miss then .

 

Sho took a look at the banner of the steak stall before he started walking again. Taking one more breath of the steak aroma as he walked through the crowd. 

“Eh.. Ueda-kun, where’s Aniki?” Massu’s voice blared through the phone.

 

Wait. It’s not just the beef smell. 

That light milky scent again. 

It’s thicker now, the person must be near me now!

 

Sho froze in realisation, not registering the voices from the phone. His hands now trembled as he could feel his heart racing.

 

The scent did not disappear. 

It lingered. 

Sho quickly turned back to see for himself. 

 

Sho dropped his hand that was holding onto his phone, looking at the person who stood feet apart from him, jaw dropped in surprise. 

The person wore a plain white t-shirt and khaki bermudas with brown flip flops. He had a surgical mask and thick black framed spectacles, covering almost all of his facial features. The black cap shading what’s left of his eyes and forehead. The man looked at him with his shiny black pupils, the curved waves at the end of his eyelids remained the same. 

 

It’s really him. 

It’s Ohno Satoshi. 

 

Satoshi overheard someone over the phone calling the person beside him Aniki mentioning Ueda-kun. The aniki that he has been hearing the whole night must have been referring to Sho, he was sure about that. Which means that tall curved shoulder he saw just now was really Sho.

 

Sho is really here for the matsuri too!

 

Satoshi stopped his steps and turned to see if he could catch a glimpse of Sho. 

What he saw was a shocked Sho staring right back at him with those big black pearls swelling up with tears. Those plump lips opened up in shock.

 

It’s really Sho.

 

People walking past the pair, sometimes brushing past their shoulders. But this pair stood in their spot for sometime before Satoshi walked towards Sho. His cheek puffed up with a smile beneath the white mask.

 

“Sho-chan,” Satoshi greeted.

“Ni..i-san” Sho stuttered in reply while trying to recover from the shock. 

                                      

 

“Ne, Sho-chan, I’m tired from walking around the matsuri. Shall we find a seat to sit down somewhere? My legs are aching so bad” Satoshi sighed before slouching his hunchback further. 

Sho stifled a laugh, “Haha okay Nii-san let’s find somewhere to sit down.”

Sho reached out to grab Satoshi’s long slender hand with a firm grip as they paved through the crowd. Silently, Satoshi followed the younger man on his right, letting Sho take the lead to get them out of this human maze.

 

“Do you remember how I held you close”

 

Sho suddenly remembered the call he was having with his boys before he saw Satoshi and looked at his phone.

The call had ended, it seemed, replacing it was a notification for a text message from Ueda.

 

Sho opened the message.

Aniki, don’t worry about us. Enjoy your reunion with Ohno-kun. I’m happy for you. -Ueda

This Ueda…

 

Ueda was watching Sho when Fuma and Massu found him at the beer vendor. He saw a small built tanned man walking past Sho. Sho then froze before turning back to look at the person. Ueda’s eyes turned towards the man who Sho was staring at and saw the reason why his aniki stood still in bewilderment.

 

Ohno-kun.

He’s back.

Aniki’s gut feeling was right, Ohno-kun really came to the matsuri.

Yokatta Aniki, you must be so happy now. 

 

“Ueda, what are you looking at? Where’s Aniki , why aren’t you replying to me?” Massu tapped Ueda’s shoulder as the younger pair tried to look into the crowd at Ueda’s direction but they could not see what caught Ueda’s attention. 

Massu’s tap got Ueda’s attention back to them, “No, I was looking at what snacks should I get to go with this beer, feel like munching on something now.” Ueda halfheartedly explained.

“So.. where’s aniki , for the millionth time Ueda-kun? Were you on the phone with him?” Fuma lost his patience, pointing at the phone on Ueda’s hand.

Aniki … He left just now while we were drinking. His manager called regarding work so he had to go back now,” Ueda stated with a straight face.

“You said he left while you two were drinking then why didn’t he finish his beer before he left? That’s not like him,” Fuma pointed at the cup left beside Ueda’s which was half done.

Ueda looked at the cups then added, “yeah while drinking, Aniki left for the toilet. I got his call to tell me that he will be heading back first. He said for us to enjoy ourselves for the night.” 

Ueda got irritated by the questioning, “Are you saying that I’m lying about Aniki , Fuma?”  He knew what had happened but he reckon Sho would appreciate the privacy so he did not want these juniors to know about it. 

“Okay okay, point is Aniki won’t be with us right? Let’s get a cup of beer and go see the river boat before the performance ends guys!” Massu tried to change the topic as he sensed the tension building up between the pair. 

 

balmy night surrounds 

them crowd all around them bright 

lights in everything 

 

stay close hold my hand

look up isn’t it dazzling 

a colorful sky

 

The reunited pair found a path to the more secluded area, the pavement alongside the river. There were couples scattered around here but none of them were paying attention to this pair of idols. 

The night had fallen, making the lights and fire on the riverboat a stark contrast against the night view. Sensing that they would be away from public eyes now, the pair removed their disguises. 

Neither of them spoke, only the sound of their footsteps against the rocks and stones on the path. Both enjoying each other’s companion in silence while the cheers roared with ongoing announcements from the riverboats.

Satoshi saw the uphill grass area and walked in that direction, Sho followed, knowing that Satoshi had found a spot for them. 

There was a silent sizzle followed by a crackle when the pair turned to see a white spark flying into the sky, exploding into shiny white rays with a loud bang before dispersing into smaller bulbs of light. The loud bang continued as the fireworks were released repeatedly, lighting up the night sky, making everyone in the area in awe at their beauty.

 

                                   

 

“The fireworks, they are so pretty,” Satoshi whispered as he tilted his head up to watch the display. 

Sho turned to Satoshi when he spoke, taking a good look at the man beside him, how his eyes sparkled like the rays from the fireworks in front of them, “ Nii-san is right, they are gorgeous indeed.” Sho smiled and turned back to the sky again, enjoying the moment. 

 

“Right by your side

Yeah you know that I ain't gonna leave

So keep your dreams and hopes forever

Sparks in your eyes and it hits me so hard it's unreal

Cuz we were meant to be together”

 

After sometime, Sho remembered about the photo they took during their last encounter at the same matsuri and an idea came to him. 

“Nii-san,” Sho called for the older man while unlocking his phone to get to the camera application.

“Hmm?” Satoshi turned in wonder, he saw Sho shaking his phone signalling for a selfie shot and grinned with excitement.

The pair turned to have their backs against the fireworks and have their shoulders locked together, with their best smile, Sho hit the shutter a few times for multiple shots and checked the photos together. The fireworks stopped for a while after that.

The photos turned out slightly off centre and half of Satoshi’s face was cropped out. The pair laughed in unison before Satoshi whined, “ Sho-chan! I was cut out of the shot, let me try it next time!” 

Sho handed his phone to Satoshi while trying to stop his laughter. Satoshi checked the angle and focus of the shot to get ready when the next round of fireworks scattered through the sky once again. 

This time, Sho stretched his arm onto Satoshi’s shoulder while Satoshi held the shutter for the burst shots and they checked again - the photos were better this time. 

 

                                    

 

Satoshi sat down while asking Sho to move in front of him, Sho was confused until Satoshi brought his phone in between them, telling Sho to pose for the fireworks. Sho did a star-struck pose for Satoshi which tickled the older man so bad that he had to hold his laughter to get the shot before bursting out. 

After a few more shots, the pair sat down together on the grass.

“Nii-san, just now you were watching the drum performance right? The guy at the goldfish scooping stall was you too, right?” Sho suddenly remembered his hallucinations from just now, and wanted to clarify. 

“Fufu, Sho-chan saw me? No wonder I felt a pair of eyes were on me since I came.” Satoshi laughed before he continued,”yes I did watch the drum performance and I did go to the goldfish stall but I heard someone with a familiar voice calling aniki so I turned to see if you could be around but I did not see you. I felt bummed and went to get cotton candy instead.” 

Sho giggled at Satoshi’s plan of getting cotton candy. 

Satoshi shrugged before realising something, “Wait, you are not alone? Who are you with? Your kai’s boys? Would they be looking for you?”

Sho saw the worried look and shook his head, “yes, Fuma got me to come for this matsuri , I was with Ueda, Massu and Fuma. Don’t worry, they will be fine without me. I’m sure they will be better in fact.” 

Sho gave a short laughter, thinking back at how distracted he was just moments ago.

“How so? Oh dear, was it because Sho-chan you were too boring as a companion? Oh boy, haha!” Satoshi teased.

Sho was surprised by the older man’s comeback. “That’s mean, nii-san!” But Sho was not upset by the comment at all. Instead, Sho bursted into his signature laughter which amused Satoshi and he also went into a round of laughing fits. 

The pair continued until they lost their breath before lying down together, side by side, on the grass, looking at the last few blooms of fireworks before the performance ends. 

When the sky finally returned to its darkness, the people around them began leaving so as the riverboats retreated to their ports away from the pair.

What remained with the pair of idols are the lights from the streetlamps and the stars that begin to emerge in the night sky. 

“Nii-san,” Sho broke the silence and called the older man after he realised he found something in the sky.

“Hai?” Satoshi turned to look at the young man in question.

Sho made eye contact with Satoshi before pointing into the sky, Satoshi followed Sho’s fingers into the sky.

 

                                   

 

“Hmm? What is it Sho-chan? They are just stars right?” Satoshi frowned and tilted his head in confusion with what Sho’s pointing at. 

“No, Nii-san look over there, on the right side, the sky near the tallest building in our view. The stars above that area are lined up in a specific manner.” Sho explained patiently.

“Oh? A specific manner? Like how?” Satoshi raised his eyebrows.

“See how some of the bright stars are gathered in a slanted straight line, with a few of the brighter ones scattered around them?” Sho slowly guided the older man with his finger still pointing to the sky, now moving slowly around. 

“Ah, yes they do! Is this what they’re called constellation?” Satoshi suddenly remembered that term from years ago.

“Yes, nii-san , you got it!” Sho was elated, and he continued, “when you connect the stars together, this is what they called a teapot shape.”

“Oh… Then which horoscope does it represent?” Satoshi thought of the connection between the two so he asked out of curiosity.

“It’s yours...” Sho smiled before turning to enjoy the surprised look on Satoshi’s face who was amazed.

“Un... It’s Sagittarius,” Sho turned back to the sky to guide Satoshi as he spoke, “that’s the sprout of the teapot where supposedly on better days, you will see a puff coming out of it. That puff is the most dense area of the Milky Way which is close to this constellation.”

“Wow, Sho-chan I’m impressed. This is amazing.” Satoshi spoke in awe before stealing a glance at the grinning Sho who was glad with his response. 

Satoshi then fished out his own phone to search for the constellation’s image to compare with the sky in front of him.

Sho was correct, they did align just like how Sho had described it. 

“Sho, how did you know all that?!” Satoshi was still impressed with the younger man’s wealth of knowledge about everything around them. 

“I… studied it for work,” Sho giggled in guilt.

 

Things I do to distract myself when you are not around physically but present in my mind.

 

“Sho-chan is still so impressive, so knowledgeable. Still the Sho-chan I loved.” Satoshi’s cheek puffed up as he smiled sweetly at the younger man beside him.

 

“Arigatou, Nii-san,” Sho turned to face Satoshi at the same time, acknowledging the praise he got from the older man with a blushing nod. 

 

head tilt and a frown

they’re just connecting stars how

do you know that’s mine

 

yours is closest to

the Milky Way—shy mumble—

a star over my sky

 

Milky Way? that’s where

we are, right? A nod in answer

that where I am, closest to you

 

Both of them looked back at the beautiful sky once again. The same sky that showered with dazzling fireworks before and now displaying the stars that aligned as a beautiful constellation. 

The pair did not speak again, enjoying the moment in peaceful silence.

“Sho-chan...” Satoshi called the younger man, wanting to ask about him.

Sho had fallen silent.

Satoshi turned to check on Sho.


                                   

 

Satoshi grinned at the sight beside him.

Sho had fallen asleep, soundly.

Sho’s eyes were closed, his neatly trimmed brows were relaxed, those lips slightly pursed, showing bits of his front teeth. His shoulders were relaxed. A stark difference from the person Satoshi saw in front of the steak stall hours ago. 

Just as Satoshi took a closer look at the man who he was away from for some time, Sho let out a soft snore.

Satoshi giggled lightly, not wanting to wake the overworked man up. 

He turned back to look at the stars around them for one last time, trying to embed the scene in front of him in his mind before closing his eyes too.

 

Hours later, Satoshi woke up to a light shake on his shoulder.

“Nii-san, wake up” Sho hushed. 

Satoshi blinked a few times before he could orientate himself to the situation.

The sky was still dark but he could see a figure beside him, someone he is familiar with.

“Sho-chan” Satoshi greeted.

“We both fell asleep on the grass last night, fufu” Sho shook his head in defeat. 

“Actually, I slept after seeing Sho-chan’s cute sleeping look.” Satoshi corrected him playfully.

“Nii-san!” Sho was clearly embarrassed by the sudden confession.

Sho looked around and started putting back his disguises, “Nii-san, let’s make a move before the people come over and see us lying on the grass.”

“Sounds good, let’s go” Satoshi stood up and wore back his disguises

The pair walked out to the main street before coming to a crossroad where they stopped together. People started to come out of their homes as the morning begins for everyone. 

“Nii-san, do you want a lift home? I can inform the taxi driver.” Sho offered, slightly worried about the sleepy man in front of him. 

“Don’t worry about me. I live near here actually, it’s just 15 mins walk away. Besides, I could pick up something for breakfast at the bakery ahead before I head home.” Satoshi waved his hand to refuse Sho politely. 

Sho nodded while the pair stood in silence again, both knowing that they are going to part ways soon. 

Sho remembered something that he had wanted to do during the matsuri which he did not have the courage to because he did not know if Satoshi was comfortable with it. 

Satoshi saw Sho taking a deep breath before he spoke.

“Nii-san, can I contact you again?” Sho asked in whispers, unable to mask his worry for the rejection from the person in front of him. 

Satoshi smiled at the anxious Sho in front of him, “of course you can.” 

Sho, relieved from the reply he heard, composed himself before getting ready to head back.

“Then, I shall not hold you up further, Nii-san. See you!” Sho gave his brightest smile underneath the mask before doing a gentle wave with his hand. 

Satoshi nodded his head and waved back to Sho, “un, see you too, Sho-chan!” He turned his back to Sho and started walking away.

Sho watched quietly as the small hunchback man walked further away from himself before his phone in his pocket buzzed.

Sho took his phone out.

Satoshi’s name appeared on the screen, a notification indicating a line message from him. 

Sho’s heart jolted in surprise as he quickly opened the message to read.

 

“Let’s really go out for a meal soon, Sho-chan! (: “ 

 

Satoshi smiled at his phone as he saw his message was quickly read by the receiver before he continued on his path back home.

 

“Always know, always know

My feelings they won't ever fade

And even When the rain

Turns to snow

We will always be the same”