Chapter 35 – Former Fiancé’s Point Of View (2)
She saw the ceiling tilt in her view as she fell backwards. She couldn’t see after that. No, she had closed her eyes instinctively.
She was expecting pain but none came. Something warm and familiar touched her forehead. It was like the same touch that was on her shoulder a while ago.
She heard a small sigh.
“…I should get to complain about this.”
The voice sounded disgruntled. She opened her eyes and looked up, and Ian, who had captured Louise, was frowning with discontent.
“You need to think before you act with that clumsy foot of yours.”
“I didn’t know it would be slippery. And you did a good job at complaining.”
“It’s all to your credit, don’t you think?”
In contrast to his derisive remarks, Ian only withdrew his arms from around her back after confirming that Louise had completely regained her balance.
“Is your ankle alright?”
Ian picked up an umbrella he had dropped on the ground. It was soaked with water and slightly bent.
“If there was something else I could complain about, then I would say it hasn’t been that long since you got hurt in the library. Be more careful.”
That sounds like advice and concern, not a complaint, but Louise nodded.
While he shook off the water and mud on his umbrella, Louise put her hands together and apologized.
“You don’t have to apologize. It was fun.”
Fun? What was fun about this situation?
“It was fun to watch you lose balance and look embarrassed. I will remember it for a long time.”
“…I’m feeding the enemy again.”
Louise sighed and moved into the doorway, while Ian closing his umbrella and followed her. She could feel the stares of some of the students on her. Ladies and gentlemen, this is not a beautiful and sweet scene as you might think. It was just a rescue out of normal human decency. That’s all.
Louise, of course, couldn’t make such a stupid excuse, so she went up the stairs with her mouth closed. This little thing wouldn’t be a big deal anyway. Ian was already surrounded by bigger rumors, especially after he had asked Stella for a dance at the party. That would explain away everything.
“Well, thank you for taking me here.”
After climbing all the stairs, Louise turned and thanked him.
“I’ll walk you to your door.”
“You don’t think I can find my way?”
“I just want to return the favor properly.”
Louise then recalled that he offered to escort her for the strawberries she gave him. The strawberries were not just any strawberries. They were the strawberries that Louise had gotten up at dawn to pick, and had made her miss a whole class.
Louise nodded her head. If anyone received such hard-earned strawberries with such sincerity, they would probably be kind and considerate enough to walk her to the door too. Louise turned to walk down the hallway, and Ian soon followed by her side. The corridor wasn’t long, and soon they arrived at the front of Louise’s room.
“Thank you for taking me to my door.”
Louise looked at his slightly wet hair and clothes and made a sympathetic expression.
“You should wash up, too. “
“It’ll dry soon.”
“You’ll start to smell.”
“Why do you care?”
“From your girlfriend’s point of view, if a man she’s seeing smells, she’ll lose all her passion for you.”
Louise grinned at him and pointed at him, but Ian’s face was stiff. It was like he was trying not to show his emotions. Was it unwanted advice? Her heart started to shrink when she realized she caused some sort of offense.
Ian gave a long sigh then bowed his head, as if taking a moment to think about what he wanted to say. When they looked at each other again, his eyes looked tired. Louise was about to apologize when he opened his lips slowly.
“For your former fiancé’s point of view, there’s something I have to confess.”
They had promised not to mention engagement for a long time, but he did so anyway.
“I don’t have any personal feelings for Stella Lapis. Honestly, I thought you knew.”
Louise replied dumbly. Then he spoke again in a clear voice.
“It means I’m not interested in Stella Lapis at all. As a girlfriend or anything.”
Don’t be stupid! Those words wanted to come out of her mouth. Without realizing the turmoil going on in her mind, Ian continued to explain.
“That night I asked her to dance, it was because I was asked by the professor. My feelings weren’t involved at all.”
His feelings weren’t involved?
This bad guy…!
‘The illustrations were so beautiful but there was no emotion…what?’
“I was prepared for the gossip. I didn’t think it was important.”
“How can you think it wasn’t…?”
Louise couldn’t bring herself to finish her sentence. She didn’t even know what she was talking about.
“Really, it meant nothing,”
He had a sheepish smile on his face.
“Well, I never thought my former fiancée would believe such a rumor.”
How could she not believe it? She wanted it to happen more than anyone.
“Well, considering you have a tendency to forget about slippery ground, it’s only natural.”
Her expression crumpled. She didn’t want to look at him.
Louise turned her head. Why couldn’t an ant walk through the hallway in such a crisis?
Ian grabbed Louise by the chin and forced her to look at him, not allowing her to look anywhere else.
Louise didn’t know why she called him that. Maybe because his face and his eyes were closer to her. He didn’t point out Louise’s misplaced title.
“Why do I feel bad?”