Chapter 53: Conflicts
After that, I became more afraid of my gender becoming obvious.
(William-sama’s love is directed at the provisional “me.” If the truth of my deception is exposed and William-sama’s love cools…)
Thinking about that made me feel as if my heart was pierced with a blade of ice and I couldn’t breathe.
A few days after strolling through the cosmos field.
William-sama touched my hand in a deserted corridor.
If I were my former self, I would have entwined my hand with his finger.
But when he touched my hand,
(Maybe he would notice my gender from the difference in the texture of my hand)
This thought passed through my mind.
A dry sound, pash.
After hearing that sound, I realized that I had waved off William-sama’s hand.
“I’m sorry! Are you injured?”
While flustered, I called out to William-sama.
Even so, I don’t take his hand. No, I can’t take it.
I’m scared to death that I’ll be noticed by my gender if I have physical contact.
William-sama looked at the hand that was waved off as if in a daze, but eventually he put a smile on his face and looked at me.
“It’s okay. I’m sorry for startling you.”
Saying that, he pretends as if nothing happened.
I watched him with a feeling of helplessness as an unbearable sadness flowed across his face.
Even after that, I continued to avoid physical contact with William-sama.
While noticing that William-sama’s face clouded each time, I let the time pass without even coming up with a plausible excuse.
And the seasons turn, and the winter arrives.
“Leah, I wonder if I did something without noticing that you dislike it.”
In a corner of an empty classroom with no one around, I was finally asked this by William-sama.
I desperately shake my head.
“No! That’s not it, I don’t dislike it…!!”
When I answer like that, he asks further.
“Do you dislike holding hands or physical contact?”
To that question, I firmly fell silent.
(I like holding hands with William-sama. It makes me happy to have our shoulders touch by accident in a sudden moment. However…)
William-sama looked at me in silence for a while, but eventually he gave a faint smile.
“I’m sorry, it seems that I got carried away and went too far. From now on, I’ll be more careful… Don’t worry. I swear that I won’t do anything you dislike.”
He smiles at me as if he’s concerned.
On the surface, it’s a perfect smile. But to me, who has been close to him for a long time, I knew that smile wasn’t genuine.
…It’s because his eyes showed a definite sadness.
Without even knowing the reason, I can’t bring myself to touch the person I love.
Normally, you would try to expose that reason. Or you might give up on that person.
But William-sama didn’t do that.
In fact, he accepted it and tried to find a way to walk together with me.
But how much sadness will that involve? How painful is it to continue to love someone without understanding their heart?
“Let’s go, the afternoon class is about to start… Leah?”
Before I knew it, I was holding onto William-sama’s uniform as he tried to leave the classroom.
(Should I say it?)
Should I bare everything and entrust myself to him?
I started to open my mouth.
But my lips stopped moving as if they were frozen.
My fingertips tremble.
(Even though all I have to do is say “Leah Flores is a woman”, the tremors won’t stop)
Cold sweat ran down my spine.
We looked at each other for a while, but I released my hand from William-sama’s uniform and said,
“…It’s nothing. Let’s go to the laboratory.”
That time ended.
William-sama said nothing.
On the other hand, it seemed that Prince Finlay and Charlotte’s love was progressing smoothly.
Prince Finlay, who had realized “it seems that our relationship won’t progress unless I speak directly”, started to whisper his love to Charlotte, and Charlotte, who had never hated Prince Finlay, smiled and responded without reservation.
I often witnessed this scene beside William-sama.
The way Prince Finlay openly showed his love and Charlotte accepted it without hesitation… seemed dazzlingly beautiful to me, who couldn’t accept my own lies and William-sama’s love.
Spring comes, summer comes, and fall approaches.
William-sama and I spent our days outwardly as usual master and servant, but as I repeatedly avoided physical contact, our relationship gradually became strained.
(The cause is all mine. I don’t have the right to mourn our current relationship)
Despite this, “I want to touch William-sama” and “if I touch him, my gender will be revealed” conflicted inside me, and my chest ached.
As William-sama’s graduation from school approached,
I was dazed in my room in the servant’s dormitory, but when I stood up, I slapped my cheeks.
(What are you thinking? Get your head together and protect his heart and body. Don’t think you can save William-sama with such a thing, Leah Flores.)
I renewed my spirit with the stinging pain in my cheeks.
Yes, I can’t afford to be dazed.
As a first step in protecting William-sama, I must prevent “that incident” that will happen on the day of the graduation ceremony.