Chapter 67 – Almost A Confession (2)
She heard Simon’s voice coming from the window next to them just before her fingertips reached the box of gummy candies.
Simon looked alternately between Louise and the candy box with a puzzled expression.
“Am I interrupting?”
“No! I was just getting some gummy candies.”
“…Just gummy candies?”
Simon stared down the other boy, who smiled awkwardly and withdrew the box.
“I didn’t know Louise Sweeney had two scary brothers.”
“He’s not my brother.”
Louise answered quickly, but the meaning didn’t seem to fall on him.
“I meant it when I said you could borrow my notes. Come and see me anytime.”
He turned and walked through the library hall rather hurriedly.
“It was a misunderstanding, Simon.”
“…I was interrupting something.”
“That’s not true.”
“I was wondering if you would take it.”
He paused for a moment.
“I worry you don’t know all the traditions of the Academy. Sometimes there are a few students who put a lot of importance on the gummy candies.”
Louise doubted that gummies could be so serious, but she was pleased to hear Simon was worried, and she simply decided to smile.
“I suppose I shouldn’t have worried.”
It wasn’t an unnecessary worry. Especially in Simon’s case, where she knew he cared about her with a good heart.
“I like that Simon worries about me.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“But it’s also good not to worry.”
In any case, Simon would find something to worry about anyway.
Like right now. When he was finished worrying about the gummy candies, he started eyeing Louise’s bag anxiously. At this point it would be fair to call Simon her worry doll.
“Would you like me to fix it?”
He held out his hand and Louise gently handed over the bag through the window.
“The metal ring is broken open.”
He turned the bag around in his hands and nodded. He seemed confident he could fix it.
“Leave it with me for an hour.”
“If that’s the case…”
“I’ll bring it back when after I’m done.”
As soon as he finished speaking, he immediately turned around and began to walk away.
“Wait a minute, Simon. I’m coming with you!”
Louise clung to the window frame and yelled after him. Simon had a long stride, and if she missed him now she probably wouldn’t be able to catch up.
Louise looked around at her surroundings for a moment. After making sure there were no faculty members around, she climbed onto the window. Only then did Simon look back at Louise, his eyebrows furrowed. It seemed she caused new worries for her doll. She was only on the first floor, and jumping out of windows was something she had always done at her mansion home.
“You’re not fourteen anymore, Louise.”
Simon sat the bag on a nearby bench.
“There is no age limit for jumping out of windows.”
Isn’t that right? Louise leapt out of the window. It was a little bit higher than she expected, but she wasn’t worried. The soil was soft, and in the unfortunate event that she would fall the most that would happen would be that her clothes would get dirty.
As she was thinking this, Simon’s arms caught her body. He seemed to have timed her jump. He held her waist with both arms and landed her safely.
Unlike Louise’s surprise at the sudden kindness, Simon was as calm as usual. Then he turned around as if nothing had happened.
He picked up Louise’s bag again. Louise naturally had to carry Simon’s bag instead.
“Oh, it’s heavy.”
Louise made a face, and Simon answered sternly.
Punishment for jumping out of the window?
“What on earth is in your bag?”
She held it close to her chest, but Simon didn’t answer immediately. As usual, he answered at a time interval of five steps.
“Have you submitted your reports yet?”
“I’m jealous. I didn’t turn in anything so far.”
Louise adjusted the bag in her arms again.
“It’s okay to take it out and eat it.”
With his permission, Louise opened his bag without any hesitation. As she walked with Simon, she pushed various fruit-flavored gummies in her mouth one by one. Several times Simon asked if it was delicious, and Louise nodded happily. Simon even complimented her for a job well done. She didn’t understand why he was praising her, but because of Simon’s rare smile, Louise smiled along with him.
The gummies soon ran out. And the bag was not lighter at all.
“Let’s stop with the penalty.”
‘Sometimes I don’t know what’s in his head…’
Then Simon took his bag again, and Louise was left wondering for a moment. Perhaps the punishment wasn’t carrying the bag, but eating the gummies. But that was a reward, not a punishment.‘Sometimes I don’t know what’s in his head…’
Louise sat in front of a table at the workshop while watching Simon across from her. Louise’s hair, which had been loose a little while ago, was neatly tied up. As soon as they entered the workshop, Simon tied her hair up quickly saying, “It’s a little hot here.”
“I can tie my hair myself.”
“Well, it’s like a hobby for me.”
“Well, you like anything you can do with your hands.”
However, he was also doing a perfect job of repairing a bag for the first time. He skillfully used a small metal hammer as he worked.
“So I heard.”
Louise, who had been lying silent for a moment, came up with topic to talk about.
The sound of a hammer was the only reply.
“You went to the party at the palace.”
Two times the hammer rang the on metal.
“…And while I was telling my story to the president.”
Louise gazed into Simon’s face.
“You had to stay at the party.”
Simon rarely answered right away.
“It wasn’t bad.”
Louise shook her head. She couldn’t believe it wasn’t bad for him. Simon was very reluctant to be among other nobles. People had great interest in who would succeed at the throne, and in short, if something happened to Ian, Simon would be next in line. As a result Simon always lowered his position, as if to prove that there was no possibility of it happening. To protect both himself and Ian.
“But I was worried.”
Louise spoke quietly, the taste of sweet gummy candy lingering in her mouth.
“What if Simon got into trouble because of me?”
“I don’t mind.”
“You would get into trouble for me?”
“Not only for Louise, but Ian as well. You are both precious to me.”
Like Ian, Simon never left out Ian from their vow of friendship.
“Simon is very precious to me, too.”
Louise bared her heart out to him. Simon glanced up at Louise with deep affection in his eyes.
“Simon, if I say ‘I’m glad you’re helping me,’ you’re allowed to be a little mean.”
“That’s Ian’s role.”
“It’s the role of Louise to be amused with every word.”
“What about you?”
“I think…my role is that I like you guys.”
As he returned to her bag again, Louise watched his dexterous fingers work.
The sound of a hammer filled the room.
Louise whispered quietly, still lying on the table.
“You’re sure nothing happened at the party…right?”
He answered indifferently as if he were talking about someone else and focused on repairing the bag again.
The bag was soon in perfect shape in less than an hour. Simon, ever the perfectionist, complained that “the metal is still slightly twisted and ugly.” But there was not an imperfection in Louise’s eyes.
Finally, that night Simon came to the student council room where Louise was studying and gave her a ribbon and lace trim to put on the metal ring. She supposed he couldn’t stand the imperfection of the metal.
“The master of the workshop is so picky he looks like he’s going to cry.”
Ian spoke jokingly, but Simon paid no attention.
“Take this, Louise.”
Simon handed Louise geography notes. This time it was clearly written with Simon’s handwriting.
“I took it last semester. The professor doesn’t change his class, so it will be helpful.”
“Huh? Thank you.”
Simon went back to the dormitory after only making sure the ribbons on the bag were perfectly symmetrical.
“That’s a relief.”
Louise gave a long sigh.
Ian didn’t lift his eyes from his report as he spoke.
“I was wondering if I had to borrow geography notes from your dorm neighbor.”
Ian finally looked up at Louise.
“Yes. He suggested I borrow his notes since we take the class together.”
“So that’s why Simon couldn’t sleep. He had a hard time finding his old notes.”
He grinned knowingly. Perhaps Simon’s discontent and anxiety was not about the metal ring. He didn’t Louise to be surrounded by rumors. Simon sometimes treated Louise as if she were a precious glass egg.
“Simon is so sweet.”
Louise clutched the notes to her chest, and Ian happily smiled and agreed with her. It was the truth.
“He’s a good person.”
His sentence had an edge of bitterness to it, however.
Maybe because Ian wasn’t good as Simon. Ian didn’t know. At least Louise didn’t borrow the notes from the weirdo anyway.
He decided to stop worrying about that for now.