Thank you all for your nice comments! I love reading what you think and your theories.
I'm sorry if I don't answer to them, but I have a tendency to spoil, so I prefer to not say anything...
I also hope I'm not going too fast... Tell me what you think!
Here's chapter 4!
Rena is waiting in front of a shopping store for her friend to arrive. She knows she's a bit early but she can't help it: she hates being late. The girl looks around, surprised to see so many people. She doesn't come here often - being more of an indoor person - and usually spends her week end at home relaxing, reading a book or watching TV. She really doesn't go out much often. Checking the time on her phone, she knows her friend should be here anytime soon. A voice suddenly calls her name, and she smiles when she sees a cheerful girl coming towards her.
"Hello Airin," Rena exclaims, watching her as she swiftly approaches, before kissing her on the cheek.
"Hi Rena!" Airi answers, slightly out of breath, before reciprocating the gesture, "Sorry for keeping you waiting."
"Not at all, I've just arrived," Rena waves her hand at her, a small reassuring smile on her lips.
It's a lie, but she can't help it. She doesn't want her friend to feel bad, especially when she's the one who has the bad habit to arrive way too early.
"Where do you want to go?" Rena asks, even if she already knows the answer. Airi has been eying a book shop for a few seconds now.
"You don't mind?" Airi asks tentatively, pointing at it.
"Not at all," Rena replies swiftly, an amused smile on her lips. Her best friend can be so predictable sometimes.
While Airi goes straight to the manga section, Rena looks at a few cooking books. After going through three she chooses one to buy, eager to try some new recipes. She then goes to look for Airi, who's busy in the manga section. The older Matsui smiles when she sees the girl holding five of them.
"So many?" Rena teases.
"There are new interesting titles this month," Airi replies, avoiding her best friend's gaze in embarrassment.
"I don't mind," Rena chuckles, amused by her sudden unexpected discomfort, "I like how passionate you are."
When they're finished buying the books, they go to a few shopping stores. Rena mostly follows the other girl, as she doesn't want to spend too much money today, not to mention she's not really into fashion. When they get in the fourth store, Rena silently follows Airi, frowning at her friend's odd behavior. Airi seems to be looking for something as her eyes wander around the store with interest, but she doesn't try anything on. The older Matsui is about to question her when she spots a nice red scarf on a shelf.
The weather is getting a bit chilly lately, and her recent sickness tells her she definitely needs something warmer. Rena's fingers caress the fabric, appreciating the soft sensation under her skin, before pondering buying it. As she notices the expensive price her eyes widen slightly in surprise. She promised herself to not spend too much money today, and she already bought a quite expensive book. She watches the scarf a few more seconds, still a bit hesitant, before shaking her head. She must resist the temptation. Taking a step back she looks around, before noticing Airi by her side. Lost in her musing, she didn't hear her friend approaching.
"It's 4 PM. Do you want to go to a café? It's my treat," Airi offers.
"Okay," Rena replies.
Both girls arrive at a café a few minutes later and are about to enter when Airi suddenly stops at the doorstep.
"I forgot to buy something," Airi admits, slightly averting her eyes.
"Oh?" Rena's voice pitches up in surprise. They already went through five stores without buying anything. What could she have forgotten? She starts to follow her as Airi retreats, and almost bumps into her when the girl suddenly turns around.
"You don't have to come with me," Airi says, waving her hand at her, "I won't be long."
"Okay," Rena frowns, finding her friend's behavior a bit odd, "I'll find us a table then."
Rena has been reading her cooking book for the past five minutes when Airi erupts in the café and takes a seat opposite her. Rena looks up, immediately noticing the shopping bag in her hand. Her mouth tugs into a smile as she guesses her friend has finally found what she's been looking for all afternoon. Just as she's about to question her about it Airi places the bag behind her chair, out of view. Rena frowns at the gesture but doesn't think too much of it, and chooses not to pry.
"Mayu, just choose one."
Jurina sighs for the third time, watching her friend taking a CD and putting it back on the shelf. She's been doing it for quite some time now and even if Jurina is accustomed to her friend's antics, she's not amused about it today. And not very patient.
When Mayu had sent her a text this morning asking her if she wanted to go to Shibuya, she had gladly accepted, expecting a fun afternoon with her best friend. She also wanted to take her mind off Churi, after the awkward thing that happened the evening before. She had messaged the girl to know if she was available on the week end, but she had only received a short reply, stating she was busy. Somehow, she believed Churi was embarrassed about what had happened at the train station, and Jurina wanted to clear things up between them as fast as possible. She had sent her another message during lunch, but hadn't received any reply yet. Churi's attitude was unsettling, and it was starting to make her grumpy.
Mayu casts a look at Jurina who's busy staring at her phone. She's noticed how her friend was in a bad mood today, but didn't pay too much attention to it until now. Jurina's exasperated tone doesn't go unnoticed and she frowns, before turning back to the shelf. She continues to hesitate between three anime CD, not willing to buy them all. The choice is really hard and she decides to go through the tracklist again. She's currently reading the tracklist of the second one when Jurina decides to manifest her annoyance with another loud sigh. This time Mayu chooses to not ignore it and she turns around, crossing her arms over her chest.
"What's up with you today?"
"Just make up your mind. We've been here for hours."
Mayu rolls her eyes at Jurina's exaggeration, before looking back and forth between the girl and her phone. Jurina is currently energetically typing a message, and Mayu feels her annoyance building up inside her as she's being ignored. When it seems the young girl is not going to look at her she swiftly grabs the phone from her hand, examining it with curiosity.
"Who are you texting anyway?" Mayu grumbles, ignoring Jurina's protests, "You haven't stopped looking at your phone the whole afternoon!"
Jurina tries to take it back but Mayu's swift movements and keen eyes enable her to dodge Jurina's hand each time it approaches.
"Since when are you friend with Akane?" Mayu asks, widening her eyes in surprise as she goes through her last messages, "That's a lot of texts!"
"Stop it Mayu, give it back!" Jurina exclaims, exhaling deeply in exasperation when all her attempts to retrieve the device fail.
The shorter girl can sense Jurina is getting really mad, and even if she enjoys teasing her friend, she doesn't want to go too far.
"Here, take it," she mutters, not amused anymore.
As Mayu stretches her hand Jurina quickly grabs the phone, taking a quick look at it as to make sure Mayu didn't do anything, before sliding it in her pocket. Mayu guesses by her friend's strange attitude that something is bothering her and is about to question her when she suddenly notices two familiar faces in her peripheral vision.
"Oh, it's Rena and Airi!" Mayu exclaims.
Jurina quickly turns around at her words, her features slightly decomposing as she watches the two friends' arrival in the shop.
"We should go and say hi," Mayu suggests and starts to move forward before halting when she feels a hand on her arm.
"I prefer if we spend the afternoon just the two of us," Jurina murmurs, avoiding her gaze.
Mayu frowns at her friend's odd request. Jurina has been grumpy all afternoon, and now she's suddenly acting all nervous when she's merely suggesting to go and speak with two familiar members. Mayu opens her mouth to question her, before thinking against it at the sight of Jurina's discomfort.
"Fine, you can let go of my arm," Mayu relents, taking a quick peek at the two SKE members who haven't noticed them, before gazing at Jurina, "You're hurting me."
"I'm sorry," Jurina murmurs, releasing her grip.
"You're really weird today," Mayu states, a frustrated sigh leaving her lips as she witnesses Jurina's embarrassment. She doesn't know what's going through her head, but one thing is for sure: she's definitely not going to let Jurina off the hook.
They are now sitting in a crowded café. Mayu is really enjoying her cake and coffee, but not the same can be said about Jurina. She has barely touched hers, and her tea is getting cold. The younger girl isn't looking at her phone anymore, but not talking much anyway. Mayu receives a text from Yuki asking her how her afternoon with Jurina is going, and Mayu ponders if she should answer truthfully. She doesn't want to be seen as a bad friend, but really, Jurina is not making things easy. She had asked her what was going on, but she had stubbornly stayed quiet. She kind of wished Yuki was here, she was better with these kinds of things. She would probably be able to get the truth out of her. Now Mayu has decided to ignore the other girl's odd behavior, and enjoy her cake. If she didn't want to talk about it, then fine.
The entrance door suddenly opens and Jurina absently looks up, widening her eyes when she recognizes the girl coming in. She's aware this café is pretty popular around here, but still, what were the odds of meeting Rena again? Jurina makes a small noise of discomfort and at the sound Mayu looks up from her cake, following her gaze, before rolling her eyes.
"Don't tell me you want us to leave? I haven't finished my cake yet," Mayu grumbles.
Jurina watches Rena who's taking a seat in a corner of the café, before turning to Mayu who's gazing at with hopeful eyes.
"No, everything's fine," Jurina replies, a faint smile on her lips.
Everything is not fine, especially not when she sees Airi arriving a few minutes later and joining the older Matsui at her table, but she decides to ignore them. She doesn't know why she's always acting this way when she sees them together. It's getting a bit ridiculous if she has to admit. Even if she doesn't speak with Airi much she seems a really nice girl, so why does her relationship with Rena bother her so much?
Jurina diverts her attention to observe Mayu who's enjoying her cake. She suddenly feels bad for the way she's been treating her the whole afternoon. She wanted to confide in her best friend, but her mouth refused to produce words. She didn't even know how to explain a situation she herself didn't understand. A soft sigh leaves her lips as she wonders what's the problem with her when her phone suddenly rings, alerting her she just received a message."I'm sorry for not answering sooner. Something has been bothering me lately and I didn't feel like going out. We'll talk about it on Monday. Everything's fine. I promise."
Jurina smiles as she reads the text, relief washing her at her friend's reassuring words. Turning around, she notices Mayu's curious gaze on her and she puts her phone away, her attention now fully on her. Jurina's mouth curves up in amusement as she mischievously approaches her fork to Mayu's cake, swiftly taking the last bit before her friend can react. Mayu releases a helpless cry as she watches Jurina making a pleased sound as the cake disappears in her mouth.
"Here, you can have some of mine," Jurina chuckles, pushing her own cake towards her.
Mayu pouts, looking at the empty space where her cake previously was, before taking a big piece of Jurina's.
"Hey!" Jurina protests.
"It's really good Jurina, thank you," Mayu exclaims, a mischievous smile on her lips as she purposely makes an exaggerated happy sound.
Jurina doesn't have the heart to complain as she witnesses her friend's cheerfulness, and she takes a sip of her tea, giggling softly when Mayu continues to munch on the cake.
"I'm sorry for today," Jurina murmurs a while later.
"Yeah, I'm too good of a friend," Mayu nods.
"Get over yourself," Jurina laughs, patting the other girl's head in amusement.
Mayu feigns annoyance at the girl's gesture, but there's a subtle smile at the corner of her mouth.
Jurina slowly sits on the bed, looking pensively out of the window, a sad expression in her eyes. She suddenly feels the bed shifting as someone sits next to her, and a small weight on her shoulder a few seconds later. Turning her attention from the window to discover its origin, she watches Rena who has laid her head on her shoulder and is closing her eyes, a faint sigh escaping her lips.
"Okay, cut!" The director yells, and Jurina relaxes while the older girl moves away and gets up from the bed.
It's Monday morning, and they're shooting the videoclip of their new song. As it's a duet, Jurina and Rena have most of their scenes together, the other girls being more in the background. For now, it's just the two of them, the other girls not needed for this scene. They've just finished a bedroom scene and are now heading towards their next shooting location.
Jurina doesn't wait any time to get on the bus that's waiting for them. She didn't sleep well Sunday night and unfortunately, the shooting started quite early. As she knows it's a two hours ride, she hopes to catch some sleep. A small yawn leaves her lips as she takes place near a window, trying to make herself comfortable in the chair. Her eyes are already starting to close on their own, and even if she usually has difficulty resting when she travels, she knows it's just a matter of seconds before she falls asleep. Her body is starting to relax when she catches a small noise next to her and she sleepily opens her eyelids, witnessing Churi who's taking a seat next to her. As they look at each other Jurina absently nods, failing to reciprocate the smile she's receiving. She wants to say something and welcome the girl properly, but her eyes are closing again without her consent.
When she wakes up, the first thing she hears is the music softly playing on the radio. It takes her a few seconds to recognize one of Ayumi Hamasaki
's most famous songs, Trauma
, and she sleepily opens her eyes, immediately noticing they are still on the road. After stretching for a few seconds she tilts her head to her right, watching Churi who's listening to music. As the older girl senses some movement next to her she looks up from her book, taking her earbuds out and smiling at the view of her young friend.
"Good morning, Jurina. Did you sleep well?"
"Not too bad," Jurina mumbles, before leaning over and laying her head on Churi's shoulder.
"Hey!" Churi protests, shaking Jurina's arm a little, "Don't go back to sleep."
"How long have I been asleep?" Jurina asks, not moving an inch.
"More than enough," Churi answers, a defeated sigh leaving her lips as she notices her action is not having any effect, "We'll arrive in twenty minutes."
Jurina absently nods, appreciating the comfort of Churi's shoulder for now, before straightening up and releasing a yawn a while later.
"I envy you. I can never sleep on the bus," Churi admits.
"Me neither. I guess I was really tired," Jurina murmurs.
"Didn't sleep well?" Churi asks, tilting her head in curiosity to the girl who's now looking out of the window.
After this small exchange both girls stay quiet, Jurina absently watching the scenery unfolding in front of her eyes, while Churi listens to more music. Jurina's eyes widen slightly as she catches a glimpse of the sea. If only the weather wasn't so bad, she would enjoy the view much more. Unfortunately, it's awfully windy and cold today, and the young girl can't help but dread the scenes they have to shoot outdoors. She's so lost in her own thoughts that it takes her a few seconds to notice Churi is speaking to her again.
"I wanted to talk to you about what happened Friday night."
As Jurina progressively registers her friend's words she turns around, immediately locking eyes with Churi. The older girl holds her gaze a few seconds before looking away, her fingers twisting nervously her earbuds. Jurina watches her expectantly, guessing she's about to give her an explanation for her odd behavior at the train station. As time goes by Jurina widens her eyes slightly, wondering why her friend is having such a hard time letting it out.
"What is it?" Jurina asks, placing her hand over Churi's one to try and ease her nervousness.
Churi's attention get back on her and she stops playing with her earbuds, a faint smile on her lips as she finally opens her mouth.
"I'm sorry if I surprised you at the train station. The thing is, I've grown accustomed to you and I think a lot about you," Churi explains, momentarily looking away and taking an unconscious deep breath, before locking eyes with her again, "I really like you, Jurina."
Churi carefully watches Jurina's reaction, and her body slowly relaxes when she sees her cheerfully nodding, the gesture prompting her to continue.
"At first, I thought you were just fooling around with me like with the other members," Churi explains, remembering all the times she witnessed Jurina stealing kisses from other girls, "but now I know it's not true."
Jurina doesn't miss the expectant look and she guesses her friend is wishing for some sort of confirmation.
"I like you too Churi," Jurina affirms, squeezing the hand inside hers, "You're my friend, and I'm glad you feel the same way."
Jurina's mouth tugs into an amused expression as she watches Churi's broad smile, and she leaves Churi's hand to pat her head.
"You shouldn't have left like that," Jurina chides, shaking her head in disbelief.
"I'm sorry," Churi replies, blushing slightly as she remembers her awkward behavior. She really made a fool out of herself, "I kissed you out of the blue, and felt bad about it."
"Why? You didn't do anything wrong," Jurina frowns.
"I didn't know how you would take it," Churi admits.
"I don't mind if I know what it means, but you were avoiding my gaze and it got me worried," Jurina explains.
"I know," Churi murmurs, her mouth tugging in amusement as a sudden memory emerges in her head, "I got all your messages."
"Hey!" Jurina elbows her, frowning at her friend's change of mood, "you were nervous just a few minutes ago, and now you're making fun of me."
"Sorry," Churi chuckles.
"What are you listening to?" Jurina asks, grabbing an earbud and placing it in her ear, suddenly very eager to change the subject.
The older girl can't help but smile as she catches Jurina's small pout before she leans over to lay her head on her shoulder. Churi places the other earbud in her ear, her index sliding on her IPod until stopping on the name of her favorite band, Every Little Thing
. Her eyes soon drift close as she relaxes to the soft music of Water(s)
Jurina is sitting on a bench, watching the SKE members that are biking on the road not far away. They're pretending to have fun, smiling and laughing. The cameras are on them and they know they have to do their best, even if it's freezing. Why do they have to shoot outdoors scenes in school uniforms? It's winter!
Jurina shakes her head in disagreement, shivering a little despite her warm coat. She has a few scenes to shoot with Rena later, and she takes a look at the script again. The first one is not really complicated, the two Matsui have to talk and smile while walking on the beach. Very easy. What's bothering her is the second one, and most of all the last sentence on the sheet. They have to kiss.
Jurina turns to look at Rena who's standing not far away and reading the script. They haven't talked about it, and Jurina wonders how it will turn out. She sees Rena going to the director, asking questions. Maybe she's trying to get out of it? Honestly, she would be glad if she found a way. She doesn't want to witness her painful expression again. She saw it too often and got rejected too many times. She still remembers vividly the shooting of the Kataomoi Finally
videoclip. She had to kiss Rena in the neck, but the girl couldn't stop fidgeting. She thought she would never see the end of it.
As Jurina takes a peek at the script again, it hits her it doesn't say where they have to kiss. She ponders asking the director, but refrains. Maybe a kiss on the cheek will do. At least she hopes.
The other girls have finished filming their scenes and it's time for lunch. They only have thirty minutes to eat as there are still many scenes to shoot. Jurina doesn't enjoy her break that much, bothered by a knot in her stomach as she dreads what's to come.
The sand is cold under her feet and waves are crushing violently against the beach, not to mention the grey clouds in the sky. Jurina shivers and tries to warm herself up, almost wishing it could rain. At least, this awful day would be over.
A staff member approaches and she knows it's time to shoot the next scene. She reluctantly removes her coat and watches as Rena does the same. The sooner it will be over, the better. Jurina briefly shuts her eyes as she reviews the script in her head a last time, before opening them again when the director announces the beginning of the shooting.
After walking and chatting endlessly on the beach like they're enjoying themselves, both girls sigh in relief when they hear "cut". The scene is finally over. Onto the next one. It's already 4 PM. Jurina sits on the bench for the last scene of the day. It's the one she's been dreading the most. She turns to Rena who's focused, as always. She doesn't see an hint of nervousness on her face, and it surprises her a little, knowing what they're about to do.
They act the scene quite well until the final moment comes. Jurina leans over, aiming for Rena's cheek, and closes her eyes as her lips touch Rena's skin. She's quite surprised when Rena doesn't mess things up and everything goes fine. She believes that means it's over for today, but she knows something is wrong when she sees the director approaching.
"I'm sorry Jurina, but you have to kiss Rena."
Jurina immediately frowns. Didn't she just do that? The director notices her confusion and apologizes before explaining.
"It wasn't specified in the script, but you have to kiss her on the lips."
The director doesn't wait for her reaction and swiftly goes back behind the camera. Jurina swallows a lump as she realizes she has been right from the start. Of course the director would not be satisfied with only a chaste kiss on the cheek. What was she thinking? Tilting her head to Rena, she immediately knows by the look on her face that she's going to relieve the Kataomoi Finally
"Let's get over with it," Jurina exclaims, trying to sound as nonchalant as possible, getting a small silent nod in reply.
What happens next really surprises the younger girl. She expected Rena to be difficult, but she's not. In fact, it's the contrary. She's the one who can't kiss Rena. Each time she gets close to her lips, she stops at the last moment and withdraws. Now it's her third tentative, and she still can't do it. Jurina sighs, wondering what's wrong with her. She hears the director giving them a five minutes break and she leans over, hiding her head in her hands in embarrassment.
Rena stays quiet on the bench, her eyes slightly widened as she watches the younger girl by her side. She finds it strange that Jurina is acting shy for a kissing scene. That's definitely a first. Usually she's the one to push her away when she tries to steal a kiss between takes.
Now that she thinks about it, it's been a long time since Jurina hasn't tried anything. There hasn't been any hug or kiss for months. Is she doing it for her sake? She complained about her attitude many times in the past. What if Jurina had finally decided to listen and stop? Rena moves her hand to let it rest on Jurina's, noticing that it's shaking. The cold is probably not helping.
"You can kiss me Jurina. I won't get mad. The director wants a kiss, so we have to do it. I know you're hesitating for my sake, but we can't get out of it," Rena murmurs.
A staff member approaches them, asking them if they're ready. Jurina weakly nods, not entirely convinced. Rena is now acting quite confident beside her and Jurina wishes she could feel the same way. They take their coats off, ready to do the take again. The wind blows Jurina's face, mixing up her carefully brushed hair. It's been happening way too many times today. Jurina is combing her hair with her hands, annoyed, when she sees Rena extending her hand to brush a lock of hair out of her eyes.
"It will be fine," Rena says, retreating it a few seconds later, a comforting smile on her lips.
The cameras are now rolling. Jurina knows she can't fail again. Everyone has been working hard all day long despite the bad weather. Another day of shooting awaits them tomorrow and they all want to go back to the hotel to rest.
Jurina closes her eyes and moves forward. She's now confident she'll make it. The fourth time will be the one. Despite her assurance, nothing changes. She still can't do it. When she's about to withdraw again, she feels a soft pair of lips on hers. She doesn't have time to register what just happened when she hears the director shouting "cut". Her eyes shot open and she stares in surprise at Rena's retreating form. Did she just kiss her? She turns around to the director, expecting him to ask for a retake. The script specified Jurina had to kiss Rena. Not the other way round. The man in his thirties approaches them, obviously satisfied considering the broad smile on his lips.
"Perfect, girls! That's all for today!"
Staff members quickly bring them their coats and both welcome the warmth. Rena is getting up when she tilts her head in curiosity to Jurina who hasn't said a word, immediately noticing the shock plastered on her face.
"What? You couldn't do it, so I helped," Rena chuckles, extending her hand to Jurina, "come on, let's go to the hotel."
Jurina nods and accepts the offered hand, before they part as Rena walks towards the bus. Jurina quietly follows, soon joined by Churi. She hears her friend talking, but she doesn't really listen, lost in thoughts. Her mind is still on what happened a few minutes before. It was just a small peck, but Rena's kiss had really surprised her. When she's on the bus heading to the hotel, she's still thinking about it. She also wonders why her heart is beating so fast.
TO BE CONTINUED