The sun had already set, the streetlamps were turning on one by one, you wouldn’t think the vacant park they were walking through was packed just a couple hours ago.
“I had a lot of fun today.” Tsugumi said.
“I’m glad I could make our… trip enjoyable for you, Hazawa-san.” Sayo tried her hardest not to say that other 4 letter word that she knew was more appropriate, “Still, I’m sorry we couldn’t get what you came for.”
“It’s fine! Who knew the store would be so busy today.”
“I should have planned ahead more…” Sayo let out an exasperated sigh.
“There’s always next time! Please don’t beat yourself up over it.” Tsugumi tried to think of some way to light up the mood and blurted out the first thing that came to mind.
“Say uh… Random question, have you ever slow danced before, Sayo-san?” She silently regretted taking Himari’s advice and watching all those romance movies for “date prep”.
“Sorry! It really was out of the blue wasn’t it.”
“It’s fine. You just really caught me off guard, Hazawa-san.” said Sayo, after taking a couple seconds to compose herself, “But to answer your question, I don’t think I have, though I did ask my father to teach me when I was younger.”
“Yes, I remember being curious about it after seeing people slow dance on TV, then I asked my father about it. After a couple lessons, Hina wanted to join in.” Sayo took a pause, “Naturally, she got the hang of it right away. I haven’t got the chance to dance with a partner properly yet.”
“Well… Would you like to teach me?” said Tsugumi, gathering all her courage.
“It’s fine if you don’t want to! It was just umm… a suggestion.”
Sayo took a minute to think everything through. Her… date, as she finally let herself call it, was asking her to teach her how to slow dance. On one hand, her heart was practically jumping out of her chest. On another, the scene was quite romantic, with the fall leaves and the lighting from the streetlamps. It was as if they were the only two people in the world.
“First,” Sayo held out her hand, “May I have this dance, Hazawa-san?”
“Yes, Sayo-san.” and Tsugumi took it in hers.
They stood there, just for a couple seconds, as if to rein in their thumping hearts. Their eyes locked, their fingers intertwined. And Sayo took the first step.