“Let us meet,” we decided. The prospect of seeing Nojima for the first time in years gave me a strange thrill. Why? I wondered, even though we have been close all this time?
He took the evening train.
I went to the café close to the meeting spot. The Christmas tree stood right outside the window next to my regular seat.
“I should be there in ten minutes,” Nojima’s voice said in my head.
“Won’t this be great?” I said, “Once we’re disconnected, you can go on dates with your girlfriend without worrying about me being a third party there.”
He took a while before responding. “We broke up.”
“What? How could I not know?”
“You were out with fever at that time,” said he. “She told me my mind seemed to be somewhere else completely when I was with her. And she couldn’t stand that.”
As I paid for my drink and left the café, Nojima got out of the taxi and walked towards me. Daylight had disappeared from the sky, and the Christmas tree lit up, showering the whole area with golden light.
“Before we meet,” he said before pausing suddenly and speaking again, “can I ask you something?”
“I have something to ask you, too.”
“Then you go first.”
“Do you ever think there’s a reason?” I asked. “For our connection, I mean.”
I closed my eyes. He did too.
It was only darkness we saw, till we looked at the star atop the Christmas tree.
“I don’t know why,” said he, “but I want to ask you this. If we disconnect today, may I still keep seeing you?”
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