(Name) gazed at the snow piled outside. It had been snowing for two days straight, non-stop, and with no signs of stopping. The town was covered in a gentle tone of white, making it seem as if someone had accidentally dropped a bag of flour. Despite the beautiful scenery, it was extremely cold and, for someone as sensible to cold weather as (Name) was, this was totally unpleasant.
With a frown on her lips, she put on another layer of clothes; she was already wearing two sweaters and the cold didn’t seem to leave her alone. This was intolerant! How many more sweaters should she wear to stop the cold to bother her? That was when she decided to wear one more, making a total of four. (Name) had worn a pair of high stockings and her uniform skirt – she couldn’t believe she was wearing a skirt with such a cold weather, but it was the code of her school so it couldn’t be helped. She then put her jacket uniform and her favorite winter jacket. Taking her school bag with her, she left her room to eat her breakfast.
On the kitchen, she took a toast and started to eat it. (Name) was alone there; her parents were probably getting ready for work and had breakfast before her. Gazing at the clock, she noticed she still had time to eat her food. With luck, she would catch Rei and Nagisa on the way, since she lived near school.
Finishing her food, she put her hat, the scarf and gloves. (Name) shouted an “I’m leaving, see you later!” from the stairs and left her house. The cold wind blew onto her face, freezing her.
Shivering, she started to walk to school. “Good luck, me.” she muttered beneath her muffler.
As she was almost reaching the school gates, she spotted Rei and Nagisa not too far ahead of her. They were talking, also wearing hot jackets, hats and mufflers. Seeing them, (Name) smiled and hurried her steps to reach them. She immediately thought of something and a mischievous smile bloomed on her lips. She was finally going to get warmer! Reaching towards Nagisa’s waist, she hugged him from behind, making him shriek.
“Huh? (Name)-chan?” He called and looked at her, puzzled at her actions.
Nagisa was slightly smaller than (Name), something that (Name) was proud of and sometimes used to make fun of him.
“…Cold… Need… Kotatsu*…” It was the only words the blonde boy heard, which immediately made him realize what was going on. (Name) was freezing; with no surprise there when the weather was so cold.
With a giggle, he took her hand and looked at her. “Let’s go inside, then, shall we?”
(Name) only nodded in response, her eyes sparkling with the thought of finally getting warmer.
The three friends got inside and (Name) immediately let out a sigh of relief.
“Thank goodness… It’s so warm here.” She said and took off her gloves.
“You really are sensitive towards cold, are you?” Rei asked, taking off his gloves and hat.
“Yes. Just thinking about it makes me shiver.” She said, laughing. People around her were all in groups, probably to diminish the cold. Being in groups was so much better; and she was proud she had friends to warm her up. It was the best feeling ever. Whenever she was cold, some of them would lend her their jackets to make her feel better. “Guess I wasn’t made to feel the cold. It’s weird, though. The snow is so beautiful, but as soon as the winder starts I feel like close myself inside of something warm to keep me alive.”
“If you were to go to Alaska you wouldn’t survive.” Haruka said behind her, making her turn her head. She then saw him with Makoto; they had just arrived.
(Name) giggled. “Guess you’re right. Good morning!” She smiled and then noticed that Makoto was just in the same condition as her: shivering non-stop. “Makoto, are you okay?” she asked, even if she knew the answer. Of course he wasn’t okay.
“I’ll be fine in s-s-s-some t-t-t-t-ime, d-d-don-t-t-t-t wor-r-r-r-ry…” He stuttered and forged a smile; (Name) noticed how his cheeks and the tip of his nose were rosy from the cold. It made him look so cute she started to feel her own cheeks getting warmer.
“C-come, let’s search for a place to get ourselves warmer.” She said, inviting him. He only nodded, keeping his hands inside his pockets. God, he really is cold, she thought. As they started walking towards their classroom, she remembered she had to go to her locker to grab her English book. “Oh, can you go without me? I have to go to my locker.”
“It’s okay, I’ll go with you.”
“But Makoto you’re freezing, go warm yourself up; I’ll be fast.”
“No, it’s no problem at all, I’ll keep you company.” He insisted.
(Name) looked at him for some time and then cracked a smile.
“Fine. But don’t die of hypothermia on the way, okay?”
Makoto laughed, same as (Name), and both parted ways from the other members of the swimming club. As they walked, she noticed that Makoto was walking side by side with her, and she noticed their height difference once again. She had always dreamt that, on a distant future, a boyfriend as tall as him would walk side by side with her, just as they were doing. Her cheeks grew hot once again with the though and she tried not to gaze at him. Because, thanks to those thoughts, (Name) started to develop feelings for Makoto. He was so gentle, so caring and an amazing person; someone she never thought she could ever met in her whole life. She didn’t know why, but comparing to Nagisa, Rei, Haruka, or even Rin, Makoto was always the one to help her whenever she needed help. The other ones were caring as well, but with Makoto things felt different. He was someone who she always wanted to see. Because it would make her day a million times better.
Arriving at her locker, she took out her key and opened it.
“Ah, by the way, (Name)” Makoto spoke, making the girl look up at him. He took a book from his bag. “Do you mind keeping this book on your locker? I forgot my key and I’m not going to need it today.”
“It’s fine. Keep it here.”
As she grabbed his book, she touched his hands and she noticed how cold they were.
“Makoto, your hands are freezing.” She said and, after keeping the book on her locker, she grabbed his hands. “I thought you were wearing your gloves!”
“My mom put them on the washer and I didn’t have a spare, so…” Makoto trailed off and laughed. (Name) couldn’t believe this guy. She thought he wasn’t this careless with himself; apparently he cared more about others than himself.
“Compared to my hands, yours are really warm…” He said and squeezed her hands, interlacing his fingers with hers. (Name) observed him, amused, as he kept on squeezing her hands as if they were some sponge. What was he doing? She noticed how manly and well-cared his hands were; the texture of them was smooth, it felt really good to feel his skin on hers. There was a tickling feeling on the pit of her stomach that was making her want to giggle. She restrained it, not wanting to make him think she was crazy.
“Your hands are so small; look at this.” Makoto observed; an amused smile plastered on his face as he put his hand beneath hers. The difference was obvious. As he was taller than her, his hand was also bigger than her. (Name) couldn’t stop thinking how cute the difference in sizes was.
“Yaoi hands.” She teasingly muttered, not wanting anyone but him to hear.
“HUH?!” He shouted and the students that were nearby all looked at them. (Name) started laughing, her laugh muffled by her scarf, as Makoto blushed from ear to ear. “What are you saying?!” He asked in a mutter, completely shocked with what she had just said.
“I was just joking! Don’t need to blush that much.” (Name) stuck her tongue out and he sighed in relief.
“Seriously… But why yaoi hands? I don’t get it.”
“Trust me, you don’t want to know. Forget it.”
“Okay…” He said and sighed again. He then noticed they were still holding hands but, instead of letting her go, he squeezed both hands of hers and giggled. “Your hands are so warm I don’t want to let go of them just yet.”
(Name) felt her cheeks grow hot and she smiled awkwardly. “Then if you continue to squeeze them like that I’ll get my hands cold.”
“In that case, I’ll warm them up for you.” Makoto said and looked at her in the eyes. Her cheeks flushed red and she gulped. (Name) felt her soul melt as he continued to stare at her in the eyes and she tried to resist. Damn it, I can’t avoid his eyes. I can’t even let go of his hands and run away! Endure. I have to endure. I must… fight…
“Are you cold?” He asked, squeezing her hands.
“I… don’t know…” she answered in a low tone, almost breathless. Makoto gave her a confused look and she hurried to explain. “I mean, I am… No! I…”
Makoto smiled and took her hands on his towards his lips. (Name) was steaming. Her heart started to race faster than usual as she saw him kiss her hands. She tried to take them away from his grasp, but she didn’t have the strength to do so. (Name) was officially dead.
“W-what are you doing?” She asked breathlessly and he looked at her. Makoto saw how red her face was and cracked a smile.
“I’m warming your hands. Thought they say who has cold hands has a warm heart but…”
(Name) tilted her head. “So it’s better if I have cold hands…?”
“Hm… I think so. Yeah. If you have cold hands you have a warm heart.”
Does this means something else? (Name) thought and couldn’t shake the idea off. What was he trying to say?
“Makoto…” She started but then, meeting his eyes, she got lost again. I see. It’s how it is. She was in love with him but, since she didn’t know how he felt about her, she felt like things needed to be clear between them. But… “Then,” she started, having another idea. She was going to get him by another way. “If I have warm hands and a cold heart, what happens?”
Makoto was taken aback with her words but didn’t take long to give an answer. And (Name) didn’t expect what he said next.
“If ever, ever, ever that happens,” he held her hands again and intertwined his fingers with hers, gazing at her eyes. “I’ll be the one to melt that ice.”
Time seemed to pass by fast, because none of them unlocked gazes. It was their moment, and (Name) felt as if her main question, about his feelings, had been answered. It wasn’t a clear answer, though, but it sure was something. With that, she thought that perhaps her doubts about what he honestly was feeling towards her would be cleared someday. Someday soon.
Then, someone came rushing through the door, muttering “I can’t believe I overslept; I’m so late!” and both realized they were also late. Their eyes popped wide-open at the sudden realization.
“We’re late!” They shouted at the same time.
Makoto stretched out his hand and, hand in hand, they both run to class laughing like a pair of kids.