13. A kiss we had to wait for + miyusawa
At the age of seven, Kazuya thinks storybooks are a lie.
His classmates play in the sandbox almost every evening, small, grubby hands attempting to pat out a round, level base of a sandy sculpture. Kazuya doesn’t join them; he sits in the corner, opens a book and reads about a girl who looks out of the window and sees fascinating life stories, reads about a girl who makes friends who would’ve been misfits elsewhere, reads about a girl and happy children having lessons in train cabins.
Parents start streaming in one by one when the sky is tinged with dark orange, and they are greeted with carefree laughter and bright twinkling eyes as the children run to them with enthusiastic squeals. Kazuya spares them a disinterested glance and lowers his eyes back to his book again.
“Why is your mum not here, Miyuki-kun?” A girl from his class asks one day.