Dawn’s Delicate Embrace

Dawn’s Delicate Embrace

Under the strong summer sun, standing in the garden of a countryside boarding high school, a gentle breeze carries the scent of the sea. That wind also brings with it the distant sound of waves, creating the illusion as if the sea was right next door. Beneath a large tree, behind the school building, two members of the volleyball team, Maki and Eri, were having a lively conversation.

Maki radiated a somewhat mysterious beauty. Her expression always seemed calm, presenting the same face to everyone. It was common knowledge among those around her that she couldn’t remove her mask due to remnants of the new coronavirus measures. However, the truth was that by hiding her mouth behind the mask, she wanted to prevent others from seeing her true emotions and thoughts. Eri was deeply drawn to this hidden delicate side of Maki.

“Hey, we don’t have morning practice for the club tomorrow. How about going to the sea early in the morning?” Eri suggested.

Maki pondered for a moment, her eyes sparkling, and replied, “That sounds interesting!”

As dawn approached, the two stealthily slipped out of the dormitory and headed for the seaside, waiting for the day to break. Soft light poured down onto the sandy beach from between the clouds, and the sea shimmered with a translucent blue. Enjoying the coolness of the early morning, they wore specially tailored cropped track jackets.

As they approached the shoreline, they saw luminous jellyfish floating from afar. It was a magical sight, as if the morning glow was reflecting within the sea. Maki gently removed her mask and, illuminated by the jellyfish’s glow, tasted the salty seawater with her lips. At that moment, Eri’s heart raced. She sat down next to Maki, resting her head on Maki’s shoulder, taking a deep breath.

“This moment is truly beautiful,” Eri whispered.

Maki gazed into Eri’s eyes and murmured, “Yes, it really is…”

In the midst of that sentence, the distance between them closed ever so slightly. The sounds of the world faded, leaving only the space and time shared between them. And under the dawn light, the lips of Maki and Eri met, delicately and passionately.