How To Melt the Ice Lady - Chapter 54
Chapter 54: The Ice Lady and Her Cold Past
After Asahi brought Fuyuka into the room and made her sit on the sofa, silence continued for a while.
The expression of the girl next to him was grim and somber, and there was no light in her eyes.
The air was chilly, as if she had returned to being the “Ice Lady”.
“Is there anything I can do?”
Eventually, Asahi opened his mouth.
He was aware that he was being overly pushy in many ways.
However, he just couldn’t leave her alone.
It was the same situation as when Fuyuka had collapsed in front of him, but slightly different.
Her words were scarce, but it was clear that she wanted help.
I’m not okay, that was what it implied.
“…Asahi-kun, you’re always reaching out to me.”
After she briefly spoke, Fuyuka smiled.
“…I want you to listen to my story. The… story of my past.”
Asahi saw in his eyes the girl’s fragile smile, and he could clearly see that she was straining herself.
That was why he nodded strongly.
He would reach his hand into that cold ice as many times as he could for her.
“I’ve only had my mother my whole life. My father disappeared before I was born. I had no relatives to rely on, so my mother did her best to raise me as a single mother.”
Fuyuka slowly began to talk about her mother, whom she had mentioned several times in the past.
Somehow, Asahi already expected it.
The bad feeling that he felt was turning more and more real.
“After a while, an unknown man started to come to our house frequently. His name was Himuro Makoto, and he was a very scary person. He was expressionless and unsociable. But he was actually a very kind man. In front of mother, he had a calm and gentle expression on his face… And so, over time, we became a family.”
As he listened to Fuyuka’s words, Asahi suddenly thought of a picture.
On the last day of winter vacation, when Fuyuka unusually forgot her phone.
At that moment, he happened to see two adults on the phone’s standby screen.
It was, after all, a family photo.
Fuyuka and her mother, and the tall man in the suit was her mother’s second marriage partner.
“After my mother remarried, my life completely changed and I had no inconvenience whatsoever. I was blessed with unconditional love and a privileged environment, and I made many friends.”
The story he had heard so far was a happy family story or you could say so.
Fuyuka’s expression also became somewhat calm.
However, she still had a hint of concern.
“…But that happiness didn’t last long.”
Before, he saw the same scene over and over again.
Whenever Fuyuka talked about her family, she always had a gloomy look behind her joyful expression.
A bad feeling came over him again and again.
That was today, this was a clear fact that stuck out in Asahi’s mind.
“It all started three years ago when my mother was involved in a car accident and… never came back.”
Fuyuka briefly described her mother’s death.
Her expression was distorted and her voice was shaking.
“You don’t have to talk if it’s hard.”
The truth was, she probably didn’t want to recall it.
Asahi was certain that there would be more dark and sad stories to follow.
He didn’t want her to push herself.
Fuyuka took in Asahi’s concern and slowly shook her head.
She wanted him to hear her out until the end.
That was what her eyes with tears conveyed.
“After that, Makoto-san rarely came home. He had always been a busy man, but after mother passed away, he left the house to the housekeeper. Then last summer, I was forced to live alone due to a job transfer.”
“I’m sure that Makoto-san only loved my mother and didn’t care for me. Even now, he only supports me because he has a duty to do so… and doesn’t look at me properly at all.”
It was harsh.
“It was the same with the people I thought were my friends. They seemed to be only after money, and when they found out that Makoto-san didn’t care for me, they left one by one.”
It was painful.
“My mother, father, and friends all left me. I was so depressed that I didn’t go to school for a while and stayed in my room by myself. As I did so, I began to think.”
Every time Fuyuka spoke, a variety of negative emotions attacked Asahi.
“If it’s going to be this painful and difficult, then I shouldn’t have gotten involved with anyone in the first place. So I tried to live on my own so I won’t get hurt.”
After listening to Fuyuka’s words, Asahi finally learned the truth about the “Ice Lady”.
In the past, Asahi had also experienced the loss of his relatives.
When his grandfather, who taught him many things while his parents were busy with work, passed away.
He still remembered, the feeling as if a hole had been left in his heart.
It was his family, relatives, and friends who helped him heal from his emotional trauma.
And yet, and yet…
Fuyuka had no choice but to choose solitude.
Unable to heal the wounds in her heart, she had no choice but to keep them to herself.
She always kept her distance from everyone, never spoke to anyone beyond what was necessary, and always maintained a straight face. A lady that was as cold as ice.
The “Ice Lady” persona was a way to protect the deep scars on one’s heart. It was also a way to prevent the wounds from spreading any further.
“I learned to study and exercise as a way to survive on my own. I also tried my best on cooking… In the end, it was impossible for me to do everything on my own like my mother did. Then, as soon as I started living alone, my body collapsed.”
The story from here on out was familiar to Asahi.
However, now that he knew about Fuyuka’s past, the impression he got was completely different.
Asahi wondered how much pain and suffering Fuyuka had been through.
Even now, he had no idea.
Even if he could imagine it, what could he do?
The answer was…
“…That day, I met you, Asahi-kun.”
Fuyuka had the answer.
“When I caught a cold, when my stomach rumbled, when I couldn’t carry my load… I could have rejected you at any time, as I had done for the past three years, But I received your warmth. I’ve grasped your hand back.”
“…Sorry for being meddlesome.”
“I was saved by that meddling. You taught me the importance of being involved with others. You gave me the courage to get involved with people again.”
Every word that Fuyuka conveyed reached directly to Asahi’s heart.
From the bottom of the “Ice Lady’s” icy cold heart.
“That’s why, I’m afraid that…”
She shouted out the thoughts she had been keeping to herself.
“…That somebody might leave me again.”
Asahi took in that tragic cry with his whole body.
Before he knew it, a clear drop of fluid was running down the cheek of the girl sitting next to him.
Thinking about it, he once saw Fuyuka’s tears.
He didn’t understand at that time the meaning of the word “nostalgic” that she had uttered in a small voice.
But he was able to understand it now.
Surely, Fuyuka saw the image of her mother in Asahi’s cooking.
She felt the heat she had avoided for so long again, and she couldn’t help but shed a tear.
Even now, Fuyuka was quietly revealing her emotions.
Asahi didn’t want to see Fuyuka cry, he didn’t want her to get hurt.
Asahi strongly proclaimed as he looked at the fragile figure of the girl who might disappear if wind blew.
He wanted Fuyuka to keep smiling.
What could he do to make that wish come true?
Without pondering about it, or thinking about it.
Asahi frankly conveyed the words and thoughts that came to his mind.
“I’m not going anywhere.”