Thanks to all the readers who read and enjoyed Unrequited! Here is the sequel, Unrequited II!
Check out what happens next when Ayumi wakes up!
RATED M FANFIC!
Chapter 1: The Awakening
Ayumi slowly opened her eyes to find herself alone in the bed.
The space beside her was painfully empty and cold. Only her loyal stuffed animals remained in the bed but no trace of the jellyfish plush.
The girl was realizing that all of this was just a dream.
Tears were now rolling freely along her cheeks. Her heart was tearing apart, breaking.
Ayumi choked with painful sobs. She was stunned, hurt and terribly sad.
Yet, she didn’t understand why she was still surprised. After all, everyday was the same. She felt lonely and tired. It was as if a cold and merciless wind blew endlessly in her heart. Smiling was her duty as an idol but it was more and more difficult with each passing day.
Of course, she stayed in touch with Riho via LINE and She even talked with her on Skype from time to time but to not be able to be or to dance with her was a pain on a daily basis. Ayumi missed the ace and it was killing her slowly but surely.
She couldn’t help but wonder what she did to deserve this treatment, this pain.
As she wiped off her tears, she noticed that her room was very bright, the sun shining through the curtains. No doubt, it was a mid-to-late morning. Curious, she checked the time on her phone.
It was already 11.15 a.m.
She sure slept a lot! She noticed that Haruna called her a few times. She suddenly remembered that she was supposed to meet her friend at Shibuya at 11 to spend the day with her and her beloved senpai: Michishige Sayumi and Kamei Eri. The PonPon might be a part of it as well.
Feeling bad for not answering her phone, she called back her generation mate to apologize and warn her that she would be late.
“Moshi-moshi? Haruna?” Ayumi said with a faint voice as someone picked up the phone.
“Ayumi-chan? Are you ok? Did you oversleep?” Haruna asked with surprise and the concern in her voice.
“Yeah...yes, I’m ok...” The tiny girl answered without much conviction.
“Did you...Did you dream of her...again?” Haruna asked cautiously, knowing how this very subject was a sensitive one.
“Yes...” Ayumi confessed with a quivering voice.
“I’m sorry...” The taller girl said quietly. She knew how her friend suffered these last months and how she felt useless at comforting her.
“It’s ok.” Ayumi managed to articulate, fighting hard to hold back her tears.
“Ayumi, you should come and spend the day with us. We’ve got a few days off, it would help you clear your mind you know...” Haruna pleaded with concern in her voice.
“Hum...” The tiny girl pondered, not really convinced.
“Michishige-san is here, Kamei-san is here and the PonPon just arrived! We miss you...” Haruna continued on a soft tone.
“Haruna...this dream was weird...It feels so real and yet so strange...” Ayumi began, eager to change the subject as she was not sure yet if she would meet her friends or not.
“Strange? In which way?” The taller girl asked, intrigued.
“Well, all dreams are strange but this one was especially weird since Ikuta-san and you were...lovers...” Ayumi confessed, embarrassed.
“Me? With Ikuta-san?!” Haruna exclaimed with a high-pinch voice. She was totally shocked and, without a doubt, quite red right now.
“Oh...You’re talking about me?” A sharp voice got closer.
“Yes, it seems you were dating Haruna in Ishida-chan’s dream last night...” A high pinch, and yet mature, voice concluded.
“Oh...I wouldn’t mind dating two cute girls!” The sharp voice exclaimed, followed by Haruna’s squeal.
“What...what’s wrong?” Ayumi asked incredulously, not understanding the situation.
“Oh, I’m just...hum...in Ikuta-san’s arms...” Haruna answered with a faint voice. No doubt, the girl was terribly embarrassed and totally red.
“You’re still unable to take good care of a girl, how could you properly look after two?!” A warm and soft voice retorted indignantly.
“But I’m such a hard worker~!” The sharp voice answered cheerfully.
“Sure but you often fails...” The high pinch, and yet mature, voice retorted sarcastically.
“Easy, easy!” A cheerful, and yet sleepy, voice tried to calm things down.
“Maybe but you love me senpai!” The sharp voice pleaded with a cute and fruity voice.
“No and I’m not your senpai: Gaki-san is! I prefer my cute and sweet Rihoriho~!” The high pinch voice retorted matter-of-factly but cutely at the same time.
“Rah, not again! And I’m cute too!” The sharp voice exclaimed with frustration.
“Well...Rihoriho~ is cute, Ishida-chan is cute, Fuku-chan is cute, Haruna is cute too and Eri is super cute but...” The high pinch voice teased mischievously.
“Ah ok I understand!” The sharp voice gave up, totally jaded. As she didn’t talk anymore, she was pouting for sure.
“Well, Ayumi-chan, as you can hear, it’s quite animated here...” Haruna chuckled, slightly embarrassed.
“Ok, I’ll meet you if you’re willing to wait for me...” Ayumi suggested shyly.
“No problem, we’ll wait for you!” Haruna answered on a reassuring tone.
“Thank you! See you then!”
And with that, Ayumi hung up.
Seeing her friends was not a bad idea after all, it would help her cheer up and forget a little this too realistic dream, forget about how she missed Riho. Still, as she ate a light breakfast and began to get dressed, she remembered all the strange events that occurred before this fateful day, the 29th October 2015, when the ace announced her graduation from Morning Musume.
-18th July 2015, Hello Project Summer Tour-
Ayumi and the now famous Dancing Club of Hello Project were rehearsing this day of July to be able to perform in smaller venues.
The major topic of the day was Riho’s absence. Everybody was talking and speculating about it. Only Ayumi stayed silent, still shocked by the ace’s sudden defection.
As the tiny girl was repeating her steps and struggled to stay focus on her work, she couldn’t help but hear a conversation between Yajima Maimi and Nakajima Saki from °C-ute. As everyone, they were talking about Riho and possible causes of her absence.
“So...Do you think it’s the end?” Saki began with her usual frankness.
“Well...I don’t know if Riho-chan is going to graduate but I wouldn’t be too surprised about it...We all know how things are not the same anymore in Morning Musume since Michishige-san’s graduation...” Maimi answered, lost in her thoughts. She was unusually serious.
“Sure you’re right but it would be such a shame for the Hello Project!” Saki noticed while frowning deeply.
“Indeed! And it would be very hard to find a girl of her skill level. I think it’s even impossible but it’s still her choice. She’s free to continue being an idol or stop if she doesn’t like it anymore. Her contract will be renewed, or not, in January. I think we’ll know very soon what’s coming...” The leader of °C-ute and Hello Project explained matter of factly.
The two older girls ended their conversation here and resumed their dance routine. Ayumi was looking at them with a stunned face. Slowly recovering her senses, the tiny girl turned her head to look at her bag where her cellphone was. She then hurriedly went in that direction and grabbed the thing with quivering hands.
She had to text Riho.
She had to make sure she was alright.
She had to reassure herself.
She breathed shakily and began to text:
“Sayashi-san, are you alright?
The girl suddenly felt very shy. She knew she was blushing right now and decided to change slightly the content of her mail:
“Sayashi-san, are you alright?
Everybody here is worried about you...”
Ayumi was definitely not satisfied with her mail. She feared it might sound too rash and make the ace feel guilty to not be here. She decided to text a lighter one:
“Sayashi-san, you definitely must come back soon!
Harocon is a ton of fun and everybody miss you!
Take a good rest and come back in great shape!”
Ayumi pressed the “send” button and felt like a coward. Even under such circumstances, she was unable to express her feelings.
Maybe Riho would not come back but she just couldn’t believe it! She knew how her dance partner was tired this year and put under such great pressure since Michishige-san’s graduation but as all of them! Everybody in Hello Project knew ups and downs, but to leave like that...
To leave her like that was simply out of the question!
Ayumi couldn’t imagine herself dancing alone and her so cool and so determined ace leaving like that.
She couldn’t imagine her loved one leaving the group she dedicated five years of her life.
She couldn’t imagine Riho leaving her.
How was she supposed to dance without her?
How was she supposed to perform without the one she had admired and loved for years?
How was she supposed to keep on working? To keep on living?
It was impossible…
As all these thoughts ran madly in her head, the tiny girl felt distress growing in her heart. Fortunately, she was taken out of her dark thoughts by a response to her mail.
“I don’t know if anybody is missing me but I’ll be back in 3 days.
Good luck for these rehearsals Ayumi-chan!”
As Ayumi read the answer, a single tear dropped on the screen of her phone.
This was not going to be the only one she would shed these next months...
TO BE CONTINUED