Chapter 47: Palm of the Hand
I was struck by a shock like being struck by lightning at his words.
(I see… I was confusing the real William-sama with the William-sama in the scenario. Although he is living in this world without doubt, I have been confined to the scenario by applying my heart to it and acting on my own.)
The distortion of my own way of understanding that was not visible until now becomes clear.
(“This is the real world, and there is no guarantee that things will proceed exactly as the story goes” while being imprisoned by the image of William-sama in “You and The White Rose” while considering it myself.)
I faced the distortion of my own cognition head on and clenched my lips.
(Certainly, there is a need to act to avoid the fate of William-sama’s death as the scenario proceeds. However, it was wrong to confine living people to the framework of the scenario and determine the movement of their hearts. Moreover, I cannot repent enough for having made such a hurtful imitation of William-sama.)
I looked at William-sama’s face covered in negative emotions because of me.
(Even now, I should face his feelings sincerely.)
Not knowing what to talk about, I felt like I couldn’t stay or stand and opened my mouth.
“William-sama, I’m sorry.”
What came out of my mouth was a word of apology.
Hearing my apology, William-sama took a deep breath to calm himself down.
And when he looked at me next, the color of anger had disappeared from his face, and only sorrow spread across his blue eyes.
“No… I was the one who was wrong.”
He turned his face away from me as if to hide it.
“I didn’t think about your feelings. I’m sorry if it made you feel uncomfortable when I showed you my affection.”
“There is no way I could feel uncomfortable about feelings shown to me by William-sama!!”
As I yelled that, William-sama stared and turned his face towards me.
I continued speaking.
“I thought that I wasn’t worthy of you, who showed me your feelings… that there must be someone better for William-sama.”
Upon confessing my sincere feelings, he replied with a look that said he hadn’t even thought about that.
“Such… you are a wonderful person. You have saved me in pain many times.”
I shook my head at his response.
“I am just an ordinary person. You would have picked yourself up by your own power even if I weren’t here.”
I continued speaking in a whisper as I had said so far.
“My feelings are very ambiguous. Even if I am shown strong feelings, I cannot return the same feelings. What I feel for you now is not love, but a heart of affection.”
It takes courage to expose my ambivalent feelings, but I tell myself that it is necessary to face him and express my honest heart.
William-sama fell silent as if he was considering my words, and eventually slowly opened his mouth.
“So Leah… you don’t have any hatred towards me for showing you my affection?”
I immediately denied it, and he breathed a sigh of relief.
He muttered and relaxed his face for a moment, but then furrowed his well-shaped eyebrows.
“But you have a heart of friendship with someone you have an engagement with. You must have been troubled when I approached you despite having a predetermined partner.”
I tilted my head towards William-sama, who had a pained expression and closed his lips.
“A heart of friendship with someone you have an engagement with…? I’m sorry, but what do you mean?”
Upon hearing this, he furrowed his eyebrows even more, amplifying his own pain.
“You don’t have to try to deceive me. Did you meet a woman with chestnut-colored hair at the end of summer?”
My memories go back to the end of summer.
(The end of summer… a woman with chestnut-colored hair…?)
The memory of going around the store with Poppy in the clothing street revived in my mind.
“Th-This is a misunderstanding!! She is a friend, that was not an engagement!”
I insisted as if eating foam, he widened his eyes in surprise.
“What?! Even though you were acting so close together?!”
“Yes. Probably because we were looking at the same thing in the show window, it looked that way.”
William-sama stands still as if stunned by my words.
“It was my misunderstanding…”
And he drops his shoulder strength and puts his hand on his jaw as if thinking.
“In other words, the reason you rejected my confession of love is… because Leah’s self-esteem is low and your feelings towards me are affectionate, rather than because you feel rejection towards me? And also, you don’t have anyone in your heart yet.”
“Is it something like that…? No, I don’t think my self-esteem is low… but in fact, I am not worthy of William-sama…”
As I feel doubt about the conclusion that William-sama has reached, I tilt my head, but when I see him picking up my hand and placing a kiss on my palm, such doubts are blown away from my head.
“…?!.. William-sama, what on earth are you doing?!”
The kiss on the back of the hand that was given to me when I was attacked before and the kiss on the palm that was given to me now have very different meanings. Kissing the back of the hand means [respect], but kissing the palm of the hand means [courtship].
Without paying attention to my agitation, he slowly lifts his face from my palm.
There is no longer any hesitation in his eyes that are looking at me.
“You see, even though I knew that you had someone else, I couldn’t bring myself to give up on you. If it’s true that the reason you rejected my confession is because of such a reason, then there is no longer any reason for me to give up on you.”
William-sama lifts my hand and rubs his cheek against it.
“From now on, I will court you with all my might. Until your affection turns into love.”
He looks at me with a determined expression.
“I’m sure I’ll be able to win your heart.”
After declaring this, William-sama once again places a kiss on my palm.