[translation] Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi ~ Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai, Ch. 1 part 166
Type: Novel Translation
Title: Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai
Series: Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi
Author/Circle: Nakamura Shungiku, Fujisaki Miyako
Notes: This is the first of our installments of Yokozawa Takafumi no Baai. We’ll post these as they come out, with each installment equating to about 5-10 pages of novel at least (more if we have a slot of free time). Please enjoy, and feel free to link people here to read.
Once a chapter is done, we’ll compile it into a PDF for easier reading and transport for offline consumption (you’re free to do it yourself before then, of course, but if you wait, we’ll do it for you) until eventually the entire novel can be read as a single PDF file.
First loves never last–I knew that from the very beginning.
He had at least understood that there was no ‘romantic love’ in the feelings held for him. Showing him his weaknesses, taking advantage of him…that was all simply depending on him as a close friend.
And yet, the reason he couldn’t cut away his lingering affections…was because he still held out some small hope. He didn’t have to be his lover–it was enough if he could just be the most important person in his life. It would have been more than enough…if he could just stay close by his side.
He could hear the sound of rain falling outside.
The rain slapped loudly against the asphalt, the sound seeming to resonate sympathetically with his own irritation. The rain had been falling for quite some time tonight, and yet even the mud-darkened water swirling outside couldn’t wash away the blackness soaking through his heart.
He glanced up at the television in the izakaya he’d ducked into for shelter from the weather and noticed a warning for strong thunderstorms. He’d initially planned on heading home once the rain let up, but the rain which had started falling in the early evening was certainly showing no signs of stopping, and he realized he’d long since lost the moment to leave the bar safely.
…Or well, perhaps that was just an excuse he told himself. In truth, he likely only wanted to put off returning to that room filled with memories of him for as long as possible.
And it wasn’t so bad while he was emptying glasses of sake in the midst of his despair, but right now he could feel a roiling sickness in the pit of his stomach–hardly surprising; there was no way he wouldn’t be feeling the effects of drinking that much. On the bright side, he didn’t have a headache. He furrowed his brows at the discomfort and tried to roll over, subsequently noting a strange sensation against his cheek.
Slowly pushing himself up off the gently springy mattress, Yokozawa Takafumi knit his brows in confusion as he took in his surroundings, a room he’d never seen before. It was neither his own house nor that of any of his friends. The simple aesthetic spoke of a business hotel–and yet he had no recollection of checking into a hotel. The last thing he remembered was settling in at the izakaya because the rain hadn’t stopped yet…
“I can’t remember…”
Sifting through his fuzzy memories, the one thing he was able to recall were the words of the bartender, worried that he was drinking too much. At any rate, he had to get rid of this hangover and fast, or he wasn’t going to be able to use his head at all.
He’d never gotten this drunk before in his life; after all, it had always been his job to look after a certain someone who liked to get shit-faced himself. He’d never so much as imagined that he would wake up one morning and not be able to remember anything.
Shaking his head wildly, he regained a bit of sense and blinked several times in rapid succession while massaging his sleep-heavy eyelids with his fingers. It was in that moment that he sensed something strange about the bits of himself that he could see.
While he didn’t recall stripping, for some reason he was completely naked. He hardly ever slept in the nude to begin with, and curiosity led him to lift up the comforter.
Realizing he wasn’t even wearing any underwear, he grew flustered and quickly covered up his lower half.
Perhaps he’d just gotten drunk and stripped of his own volition, throwing his clothes about. Telling himself this, he glanced around the room, but was unable to locate even a single sock, let alone his suit itself.
Finding his boxers had just slipped under the bed, he stretched out an arm to grab them and slipped them on under the covers, breathing a sigh of relief. There was a world of difference in ease of mind between having at least one piece of clothing on and wearing nothing at all.
He had also noticed one other thing when he’d surveyed the room: the sound of the shower running. Apparently he’d interpreted the sound of the shower from the bathroom as the sound of falling rain in his dreams.
But that was hardly the problem: that he could hear the shower running…meant that someone was using it.
He’d never in his life brought a casual acquaintance to a hotel like this. Quite the contrary, he was firmly against having relationships with strangers. And yet, when he paused to consider the state he’d been in the night before, he had to admit it wouldn’t have been all that strange if he’d been that careless…
As he sat there worrying on endlessly, the sound of the water running suddenly stopped.
He held his breath and prepared himself to confront whatever woman was about to come out of that bathroom. While he didn’t know why they’d come there with him, he knew he had a responsibility as a man to accept the consequences of his actions.
Yokozawa ran through a dozen patterns and simulations in his mind–but his thoughts ground to a halt when the person who stepped out of the bathroom, dressed in a robe, was in fact a man.
“Oh, you’re awake. How’s that hangover?” The man mopping at his wild hair that dripped with water from the shower and speaking with an air of nonchalance was none other than the editor-in-chief of Marukawa Shoten’s featured magazine Japun, Kirishima Zen.
With perfectly balanced and arranged long, almond-shaped eyes and thin lips, his composed expression made it quite evident he hadn’t just woken up.
Yokozawa did his best to try and force his blanked-out mind to restart, releasing a trembling voice. “…Wh–why are you here…?!” He couldn’t wrap his mind around why on earth he would be here, in this hotel room, stark naked with someone he normally hardly ever spoke to outside of work.
Kirishima maintained his cool in the face of the dumbfounded Yokozawa. “What’s with that? You trying to say you don’t remember anything about last night? Take a hint from your surroundings and I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”
Under any other circumstances, his ire would’ve risen at the arrogant way Kirishima addressed him with those thin lips, but right now he had no such leeway. Were this a manga or a TV drama, this would’ve easily been concluded as a plot device where two people get drunk and wind up sleeping together–but that typically involved a man and a woman, and they were both men here.
…But while he wanted to reject that idea outright on those grounds, his powers of persuasion were lacking just now on account of the fact that he didn’t remember anything.
In Yokozawa’s mind, he’d always known that he wasn’t gay–and yet the person he’d held an unrequited love for all these years had been a man. It stood to reason, then, that the hurdle towards homosexuality for him was substantially lower than for complete heterosexuals.
For now, the top priority was remembering what he’d done the previous evening, anything at all! He frantically scoured his hazy memories and drifted back to just when he’d left the office…
To be continued…