Love In 31 Syllables

Fumi and I were dating in secret. And I was always prepared for the breakup, should she decide to put her reputation first.

Valentine’s Day was two weeks away, and at the newspaper club’s request, I had agreed to submit a poem, which I had not yet written, for their special section. So, during the lunch break, I went to my favorite place—the corridor on the west side of the school building. Leaning against the window, I could feel the afternoon light on my skin. “Time passed.” Words came to me, my eyes closed. “I dreamed of the last season. You and I crossed paths—”

Somehow, the other two lines wouldn’t come together.

I opened my eyes, and Fumi startled me. She was standing right next to me. “How,” I asked, “how long have you been here?”

“Over twenty minutes?”

I was blushing because of the way she looked at me.

“Listen, Aoi, about this Valentine’s day,” she began. “We agreed to go on a date, right?”

“Is that no longer work for you?”

“My friends,” she said, “they’ve invited me to hang out. So, when we go to meet them, I want to introduce you as my girlfriend. Is that alright with you?”

Was this a dream? Or were my eyes being fooled by the light? Fumi had never looked as beautiful as she did now—

Time passed, and yet still

I dream of the past season,

You and I crossed paths

May I wish to wake up now

And still see this miracle?

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