A Wish to Never Let Go
[Volume 1 Finale]
Francesca had no choice but to withdraw herself. Reading the mood properly, still sullen faced, she continued to speak so.
“For now, I’ll accept that, and leave it at that. But, you know, Leonardo…….”
She stared directly into Leonardo’s moonlike golden eyes, and spoke from the bottom of her heart.
“——-one day, I’ll make sure that you can love not just me, but yourself the same way. From here on, I’ll work really hard to make that a reality!”
The moment she said that, he showed a genuinely surprised expression.
“Just like Papa is dear to me, Leonardo, you are also a very dear friend of mine. I want you to understand that, and when you do, you’ll stop trying to sacrifice yourself like you tried this time, right?”
The game’s scenario will surely still continue for a long time.
Leonardo wasn’t the true mastermind, but was in fact chasing after them too. The primary offender of the drugs incident was Gerard, but there was still the mastermind that brainwashed him into doing all that.
The protagonist Francesca will surely be unable to run away from such incidents in the future as well.
And similarly, Leonardo who was painted as the mastermind in the original scenario will also continue to be deeply involved with everything in the future.
“I want you to never make the same kind of decision in the future, ever again. For that, I won’t just use my words to ask, but instead, I’ll make you truly understand just how much I don’t want to lose you from my life.”
“Leonardo, you are my very precious friend………..no, friend isn’t enough.”
Saying that, she grabbed Leonardo’s hand tightly.
“You are like, my precious treasure, my one and only bestest friend!”
Leonardo slightly narrowed his eyes, and the next instant.
Drawn into a tight embrace, Francesca eyes widened with surprise.
“………You are really……..”
Leonardo slowly spoke, and his voice sounded a bit more hoarse and huskier than usual.
“………..I give up. And here I thought I had in a way, made a mistake when I asked to become your friend but..”
“Eh? Wa-wait, d-did you not actually want to be my friend ………!?”
“That’s not it……….if you’re going to speak of me that way, then I’ll happily resign myself to your whims as much as you want.”
The way he put it was a bit strange.
She blinked confusedly but Leonardo only hugged her even tighter.
“……….Oh poor Francesca, you have become something that I really want now.”
He whispered very lightly so she didn’t fully catch what all he said.
And then, this time, to make sure she properly hears what he says, Leonardo leaned directly near her ears and whispered again.
“Allow me to apologize to you from the bottom of my heart. But, unfortunately, it’s already too late for that.”
“T-too late? F-for what??”
“I always thought, that I had only one regret in life………….and yet, when I’m with you like this, these regrets soon multiply into many more.”
Distancing his body from her, he reached towards the flower vase on the side table and picked up a black rose that had had its thorn removed.
He broke the stem off, and then gently attached it on Francesca’s hair. And then caressed her silky red hair.
The way he touched her, was as if he was touching something extremely precious, and seeing that made her heart throb like crazy as well.
“There are many interpretations, but do you know what a black rose stands for in flower language?”
“Eh,umm…………well, I did get taught a bunch of scary ones, if that’s what you mean.”
“Haha, those are true too.——-but, there’s one other as well.”
His golden eyes gazed at her affectionately.
“Eternal Undying Love. And that [You belong to me] as well.”
Leonardo pulled Francesca into an embrace again and then whispered, as if he was making a prayer.
“………I will never, ever let go of you ever again.”
Was that perhaps, a show of penitence?
Or perhaps an oath of some kind.
Or perhaps it was both. Leonardo words, seemed to hold multiple meanings and seemed to hold a strange yet mysterious emotions inside them.
(………I wonder why is it?)
Hugging Leonardo tightly back as well, Francesca thought.
(Leonardo feels like a small child right now.)
Feeling that, she began to pat his back in a soothing gentle manner. And sensing that, Leonardo only tightened the embrace even more.
“fufu! Now you’re hugging a bit too tightly, Leonardo.”
“Is that so? I’m sorry.”
Francesca had chided him for it but Leonardo laughed and continued to do it anyway.
“——Please, continue to scold me more like this.”
His way of talking, really was like that of a small child.
Perhaps he was wanting to be spoiled as her friend, or so Francesca thought. And so, she decided to fulfil his request.
“You don’t have to let go of me, so please get well soon okay? From next week we have our arts appreciation classes as well but, I heard from Ricardo that you skipped them all last year, didn’t you?”
“………..Yeah, I did.”
“Next month, we have our end term exams as well so, make sure you show up properly for them as well okay?”
“I know. Just like during the midterms, let’s study together again.”
“YAY! Thanks, I’ll look forward to it!…….umm, what else is there to scold you about…….”
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When she began to think out loud, Leonardo began to laugh while still hugging Francesca.
It must have been really funny to him as it took a while before his laughter stopped.
Francesca felt a bit embarrassed from that but, Leonardo looked so happy, that she too couldn’t help but feel very happy as his friend as well.
(END OF VOLUME 1)
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