30. Julia and the Boy (6)
Towards those unexpected words, my heart thumped.
“…Us …married?” You and I?
When I looked up at him, he nodded.
“Yes. Let’s get married.”
“But… we are still…”
“I know. So, let’s wait when your next birthday comes.”
As his embrace tightened, his expression grew even more serious.
“Are you… for real?”
“Yes, why would I lie about this kind of thing?”
My head couldn’t wrap itself around the sudden development.
“Am I… dreaming?” Hearing my words, his eyebrows furrowed.
“Hey, hey, don’t chalk up my proposal to being a mere dream—I’m desperate, here!” He laughed.
“—so… it’s not a dream.”
“Yes. It isn’t. Are you too happy to speak?” He smiled faintly.
After seeing his usual smile, I finally regained my composure.
“—happy… I’m so happy—!” I encircled my arms around his neck.
“I, I really love you, Elliott!!”
“Me too, Julia.”
We strongly embraced each other.
“Ah, I’m so full…” Elliott said happily, while rubbing his stomach.
“Fufu, you’re amazing. I deliberately made a lot, and yet, you’re able to finish it all—!”
“Oh, I can’t eat anymore. It’s truly delicious—I’m satisfied.”
“I’m so pleased hearing it from your mouth.”
I started to stack the dishes, satisfied with my cooking. Elliot gazed at the tree the whole time.
“What’s so unusual about the tree?”
When I asked while collecting the tableware, he responded, sounding impressed.
“No, I just thought that you’re very creative.”
“The ornaments? They weren’t so hard to make.”
“If it were me, I probably wouldn’t be able to.”
He continued. “Julia is really amazing—it’s almost as if you can do anything, and at the same time, you never cease to smile at me. I’m really happy.”
His profile seemed a little lonely—I wonder what happened?
I picked up the hidden red muffler from under the cushion, and slowly approached him from behind. He was still focused at the tree.
“What’s the matter with you? Or, could it be, you’re regretting your recent proposal?” I said so on purpose, while wrapping the muffler around his neck.
“Julia—this is!!” He turned around, at the same time, I smiled.
“Merry Christmas, Elliott.”
Astonished, his eyes went wide—however, for some reason, he immediately casted his gaze down.
“I’m so sorry, I got distracted by the tree. Looking at this amazing tree, I was wondering if this would be good enough…”
Saying that, he approached the luggage he had left on the floor. He took out something and handed it to me—
—my gaze immediately shifted there.
—the thing he was holding…
“A hair accessory?”
In his hand was a cute silver barrette decorated with blue gems scattered like flowers.
The gems were like a clear, deep blue, starry sky.
When I stared at him, he looked a little embarrassed.
“Lapis Lazuli—September, it’s your birthstone. I really wanted to give it on your birthday, yet, I couldn’t finish it in time.”
“—! You made it—!?”
—just… for me?
He blushed and let out a groan.
There was a hot feeling that bloomed from the bottom of my heart—as if boiling.
Ah… I’m so happy.
Is receiving a gift from someone supposed to make you this happy?
No, it isn’t just that.
It’s because Elliott especially made it for me.
—contrary to my feelings, his eye shook. He looked distraught.
“If it’s you, you can probably make something better… you might not like this…”
Gosh, what kind of expression am I making right now?
I felt so loved, and so in love—I couldn’t help but feel this way…
However, it was also frustrating because I couldn’t put it to words…
Thus, I raised my voice.
“You’re wrong! It’s really nice of you! It’s so beautiful! I really like it!”
“…is that so…?”
“Yes, I’m truly happy right now, and it’s because of you! I’m going to wear this barrette every day!”
“You should remove it when you go to bed, though…”
“This is so romantic! Just like those stories, I’m so happy!”
Declaring that, I leapt into his chest.
“I… I’m really happy, Elliott.”
“I’m glad that Julia is happy, too.”
Elliot’s expression turned gentle.
“Will you stay with me all the time?”
“Of course, I promised you that since a long time ago.”
His voice became gentler.
“So… don’t you dare have an eye for other girls?”
“The same goes to you, I won’t forgive you if you talk to another man.”
“—even just plain talking?”
“That’s right. I’m actually a very jealous man.”
“Fufufu, I sure want to see that side of you.”
“—said other man might lose his life because of it, you know?”
“You’re all talk! Well, if you get imprisoned for murder, we can no longer meet, boohoo! So, give it up!”
We joked around and laughed.
—even after the sun went down and the moon rose over the thin, snowy clouds, we spent the rest of our time together.
“Aren’t you cold?”
A faint moonlight fell into the room.
Elliott’s sweet voice resonated from my back.
His body temperature was slightly higher than me. Hence, it was truly pleasant.
“I love you, Julia. I will never let you go.”
“So do I, Elliott.”
We got into a deep, deep slumber while feeling each other’s warmth on the narrow bed until the sun rose.
***T/N: It’s still going, huh, …enuff, I said-