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Author Topic: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories (AtsuMina) - COMPLETED  (Read 11081 times)

Offline Nhoc Sin

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2014, 09:07:42 AM »
Thanks for leaving your comments. The author will be very happy that you guys like this 8). Enjoy this chapter.

Chapter 3: If...

Massive amount of letters, of which could fill up some sacks, started flocking over. It started with fans' letters neatly written on pink papers, then gradually turned into series of endless poetic love stories expressing burning sorrow; some were even illegible for tears had blurred out the words. Takamina read every letter with a pale and solemn face while her hands gently coddling them. She only read a few at a time as she didn't have enough courage to read everything all at once.

One night, Atsuko grabbed one of the letters from the coffee table after Takamina had slept. She quietly took the letter out from inside the envelope in a careful manner so as Takamina wouldn't notice.

"What does it say?" Simon curiously asked. He cuddled himself on the opposite couch, bare feet buried underneath Memory's warm fur.

"Nothing. You could say it's a love letter. I shouldn't have read." Atsuko answered. "An act of privacy invasion."

"It's just from fans." Simon said. His doubtful tone made Atsuko feel unease. She unconsciously crossed her arms.

"Many crazily obsessed guys out there believe in her more than their family." She carefully folded up the letter, fingers unintentionally grazed over those carefully hand-written kanji words.

"Atsuko, do you find that a bit silly?"

"Yeah, probably. Because I hate it. Too responsible. But Takamina has always been serious."

Sometimes, the manner in which Takamina grouched or complained about fans' behavior made it feel like they were her husbands or beloved children while Atsuko was her secret lover, someone whom Takamina loved earnestly, whom she would always be devoted to but that person's happiness could only play second fiddle to her responsibility. They were the symbols of an army of nosy husbands and poor children.

Atsuko had told Takamina about this once as they slept together after many busy months excitedly preparing for Tokyo Dome concerts.

"It's as if I'm your secret lover." Atsuko said, spreading her limbs all over Takamina's bed, feet wrapping the blanket around her body. Today Takamina's family had left town. "Staying in a love hotel, wrapped in a pile of cheap blankets and sit there for hours waiting for you to come home from your husbands."

"We've never been to a love hotel." Takamina said.

"That's because you're always afraid of paparazzi." Atsuko irritatingly said

"It doesn't matter if I go there with you or someone else, I would still get into trouble. You clearly know that." Takamina still ignored her.

"If you were with me I would have made it better instead of you throwing yourself out there into a pile of work the whole day as if they were your true lover."

"Please..." Takamina cut her off. She had gotten mad, her feet trying to untangle from Atsuko's. Contrarily, Atsuko buried her feet further into the blanket, causing them to even be more tight-knitted. "Speaking of it, I'm ten thousand times more faithful than you."

"It's because you've never met anyone who truly loves you more than I do."

Takamina signed and leaned her head against Atsuko's, her half-closed brown eyes looking at her.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't always act like that."

"What was that? You will spare your time for me one day?"

Will Takamina spare her time for Atsuko one day?

"All right." Takamina promised. She took her hand, intertwined their fingers and placed them by her waist.

Atsuko turned her face around looking at that slender shoulder and messy hair. She squeezed Takamina's hand tightly. "Then I'll be your husband?"

"You're crazy!" Takamina sighed.

"Please let me be your husband..."Atsuko insisted.

"You're already my husband. But we should make a plan for our future."

oOo

In the morning, Takamina marched around the living room as if walking on the stage of Tokyo Dome, her hair neatly tied to the side embracing her slightly pink cheek. Her lips graced with colorless lipstick, eyes brightened behind the thick, curvy eyelashes. Atsuko almost choked on her cereal bowl whereas Simon stared at her trying to decipher what was going on inside that head.

"Do I look too fragile?" Takamina asked. She was holding a mini camera which must have worth Atsuko's monthly house rent. But Takamina never had to buy these things, it must have been a gift.

"No." Atsuko answered. Takamina uttered a small "okay" before turned on the camera and started scanning the room.

"What are you doing?" Atsuko couldn't help being curious.

"Finding the right light angle." Takamina answered.

Atsuko grimaced. Sometimes Takamina really knew how to make others boiling with anger. Takamina staying at her house helped her not forgetting why they had gotten into many mouth fights before.

"Be more specific." She almost begged.

"Just making a small clip. Mariko plans to broadcast it this tonight."

Atsuko followed Takamina into her bedroom, ignoring Simon's look carved on her back. A familiar feeling suddenly arose in her making her want to protect, to overwhelm, to possess. As long as it concerns Takamina she couldn't stay put. While she perfectly knew that, she could never change. If only Takamina would obediently listen to her, even just for once, then she wouldn't be clingingly followed the whole day, then Atsuko would be more satisfied and Takamina being more contented.

"Is it okay to do that? You don't have to force yourself to do this too early."

"It's just a VTR Acchan. I can even do it when I'm sleeping." Takamina rolled her eyes.

"Don't be silly!" Atsuko said. "You're not ready yet, or if you think of yourself as a weirdo then..."

"I have my own responsibility." Takamina vaguely answered, as if she couldn't understand why Atsuko said those absurd things.

"Minami..."Atsuko tried to say but Takamina smiled and put her hands on the camera.

"I can do it." She assured her and walked toward the balcony

Atsuko's job was to hold the camera as Takamina spoke, which resulted in her missing Takamina's usual star-shined smile at the start as she failed to turn her concentration back on her in time. Takamina became really different standing in front of a camera. She didn't entirely become a different person nor did she preserve her true image. In front of the camera, she turned into someone serious but not too open, genuine but not too honest. She told her fans that she loved them and will return as soon as possible. She apologized to everyone for making them worry and conveniently reminded them to look forward to Yuko's new drama. She smiled brightly and firmly. That was Takahashi Minami. She brought people's dreams closer to reality.

She ended the speech with a smile and a wave, yet immediately hung her head down on her hands after the camera light turned off, exhaling tiredly.

"It's fine." Takamina said as Atsuko placed both of her hands on her shoulders, her thumbs caressing Takamina's neck and gradually glided up to her ear. "I'm fine."

"I know. You've done well." She gently replied.

oOo

Simon moved out. He said that he would stay over at his friend's place for a few days so that the two of them could have a bit of privacy; but Atsuko knew he would not come back. He brought along his entire belongings. The bathroom's supplies had been replaced with feminine products, one-time-use tissue packs and perfume bottles functioning as fragrance emission as well as moist preserver. Standing in the empty house, Atsuko suddenly felt lonely and scared but she didn't think Simon's decision was wrong.

She and Takamina went to a hospital at Newcastle where a doctor specialized in cancer who could speak some Japanese resided. He tried to explained to them about drugs' and their side effects and how each patient would react differently to chemotherapy. For Takamina's condition, she should be anticipating for signs of flu. In addition, she should also be mentally preparing for hair loss symptom as well as encountering the worst state of mental condition ever.

Takamina truly became weak, pale, and shaking due to the disease. Rashes appeared on her skin resembling that of erythema all over shoulder, chest and down to her feet. She had to force herself to eat a bit every day. Sometimes Atsuko would catch sight of Takamina checking her hairs despite them still being thick and beautiful as always, a heart-rending existence on a haggard body deteriorated from the disease.

Her mood swing changed rapidly, from being lovingly sweet to unreasonable childish tempers. One moment, she could thank Atsuko for taking care of her with a brightest face; then the next moment she could become cold and distant, even fuming with rage to all the foods Atsuko had brought back. She tiredly rubbed her ears and eye sockets, explaining that it was the result of those migraine headaches travelling along her spinal cord. She became quiet and strength-deprived after those rage explosions, stared at Atsuko with her eyes wide-opened or wrapped a jacket around her body and heavily fell to sleep.

When the next morning comes she would find ways to make up to Atsuko, like waking up and making her a cup of coffee, that is if she had the strength to do so.

Atsuko was no longer stranger to Takamina's tempers as they were like wastes being ushered out of the body after a vomiting session. The only difference was the source of problem. Takamina's fear was corroding herself away just as much as her disease .

...

Nighttime arrived sooner that day; the silent atmosphere made Atsuko uncomfortable. Black clouds gathered in large number even before her work hours were over. Lightning bolts flashed at the tip of her finger as she was about to enter the house. Atsuko tried her best to stay calm and serene but Takamina knew her the best. She knew how to reach to the weakness Atsuko had been concealing, rip open that fake cover and haul it out.

Atsuko couldn't understand Takamina. She couldn't understand what she does, couldn't read what's hidden behind those eyes when her tongue continuously rubbed  salt on Atsuko. Atsuko used to see those eyes before, but they were never as provocative as they are now. The first time she saw those eyes was when she was caught kissing someone else other than her. That time, Takamina went inside the house and out instantly without a single word. It was also those eyes when she announced graduation from AKB48 leaving Takamina behind. She knew she deserved it then. But now, she hadn't done any wrong at all.

It was when Atsuko rushed over to help Takamina stand up, she had crankily brushed her arms away.

"For God's sake, leave me alone. I don't need your help even at these trivial things."

"I'm just trying to help you." Atsuko gritted.

"Why don't you go help someone else?" Takamina smirked saying only those words.

Damn this retarded girl. She understood that this "someone else" meant Simon. Takamina probably had discovered something.

"He's not here." She finally retorted back, instead of saying "You're so retarded and yet I don't know why I still love you that much."

"I bet he needs your help more than I do." Takamina said, still trying to steer herself out from Atsuko's reach. They just came back from the hospital last night, which is why only a few steps of switching seat on the sofa could drain out all of her energies. Atsuko followed her yet Takamina somehow became hesitated.

"What are you doing?" Atsuko asked, her tone clearly sounded furious." I don't care whether you're sick or not, but don't act selfish to me like that."

oOo

Atsuko left for the beach. She sat there enjoy burying her feet inside the sand. It would be great if she could talk to Simon now. He was good in these things as he was an outsider after all, plus he must have read a lot of books on how to chase after a girl. She needed someone to explain to her about Takamina. Someone who would teach her how to, step-by-step, bring her outside and make her become joyful like before.

It was indeed a beautiful day. The sun lazily hung itself on the clouds and shined its sparkling light upon the clear sea surface. If Takamina's mood was better they could have gone out here and lie down on the sand to enjoy this sunlight.

Atsuko came back home as she started to feel bored and lonely.

Takamina was sitting in the living room with suitcases. That sight made Atsuko's heart want to explode out from her chest.

"You're not going anywhere." She blurted out.

"I know." Takamina answered, head leaned back on the back cushion, hands and feet contorted. "I felt irritated and started packing my stuffs. I planned to catch the earliest flight back to Tokyo. But now I don't have the strength to go anywhere."

"I will not let you go anywhere. I'm holding you hostage." Atsuko said as she was pulling Takamina's suitcases back into her bedroom.

She looked at Takamina for a long while after coming back to the living room.

"Now could you talk to me without putting up opposition?" Atsuko asked. Takamina was like a naughty kid wanting to make a rebellion on her way to adulthood who needed to be taught a lesson. If it was under a different situation, she would find it very comical. "What's going on?"

Takamina didn't look at her, her fingers grouchily poked the hole on her jeans around the knee.

"There are times when I can't stand having you beside me." She agonizingly said." When you're gone I wish you would be here, but when you're back I can't face you."

"Why is that? Have I done something wrong?" Atsuko asked.

"No. You didn't do anything."

"Then you don't love me anymore?" Atsuko asked knowing that can't be and will never happen. Absolutely no.

"Shut up. Stop talking. I don't know"

Atsuko knelt down opposite Takamina.

"Can you look at me now?" She asked.

Takamina touched Atsuko's cheekbone with her hand, her fingers gliding around the wet eyelashes. "Acchan." She whispered, and started kissing her.

Their first time happened a long time ago and it wasn't really the most amazing sex. Takamina was really careful and considerate; her passion and worry flowed intertwiningly in every single cell. All Atsuko did was just lying there and moaned. But it still remained  a wonderful experience to her.

In the past, Takamina always acted embarrassed when they started. She was used to be careful with her facial expressions, always exposing her good, gentle, and moderate side which made her become more beautiful in others' eyes. Atsuko hated that; she liked a Takamina who sleeps with her mouth wide-open, exposing all her bad habits. She would use any means to bring that side up and would only be satisfied until Takamina's eyes became dreamy and her cheeks blushed. A Takamina like that is a Minami that belongs to her.

"You are really sexy." she repeated to Takamina in that heavy Japanese accent, "Se-ku-shii." (sexy), with her eyes wide-opened encompassing a genuine look.

She was always like that. Takamina had already become the hottest thing in her life even before people started to notice her. Reasons? She didn't even know. They were too young back then. Looking back at the old photos, it was hard to imagine how crazy that clumsily soft, child-like skin could drove people. Being a fourteen-year-old girl at that first audition, she could still remember clearly how she watched Takamina, from the silly look on her face to the curve on her waist. She loved her body fragrance which was a mix of body bath scent and teenager's shampoo. She had imagined about Takamina that way long before they reached further in their relationship.

Atsuko tried not to press her body hard on Takamina by temporarily keeping her balance with her already tensed arm muscles. She could feel Takamina's ribs rubbing against her abdomen, arm muscles also deteriorated over time. Takamina looked really fragile, her pale transparent skin resembled that of a butterfly wing. Takamina pushed her away, but Atsuko still stubbornly gripped her wrist and knee tightly as her shoulder passionately leaning down for a kiss. Takamina angrily exclaimed trying to use her elbows to clamp Atsuko's fingers. Atsuko rolled herself down moaning.

"Silly, I could have crushed you." She said, but Takamina only giggled like an overjoyed kitten.

"No you won't." She said snuggling into the crook of Atsuko's neck, hands slowly moving on her back. Takamina was always like that; even at the foreplay of love-making she would still find it to be something new and embarrassing. Atsuko snorted and released her entire weight onto Takamina's body and her limbs. Takamina exhaled delightfully. "I miss you, Acchan. I really miss you."

...

Before departing for work in the next morning, Atsuko didn't forget to give Takamina a goodbye kiss as she engulfed her tightly in  her arm. Takamina annoyingly grumbled, pulled up the blanket and drowned herself in that blue-checkered pile of cotton fabric. They had just been back to sleeping together again four hours ago. Atsuko satisfyingly rested her head on Takamina's arms; instead of feeling tired she felt fully energized and her heart was also full of vitality.

Everything went on smoothly that day. She watched the afternoon sunlight reflecting upon those gloomy clouds; behind it was a dazzlingly beautiful blueness fading in and out. The students obediently harmonized like little angles. The cup of coffee especially tasted better. Egg and vegetable sandwich purchased from the cafeteria also had a delicious smell. And Takamina's health would get better. The two of them could live together for real for the first time. That was what she had thought.

oOo

There was a staff meeting after school which lasted till late evening. Everyone put their best efforts into debating something which Atsuko couldn't bring herself to pay attention to. Volume became louder, opinions consistently being brought out which concerned something relating to teaching program, disciplines or result evaluation. She silently sat there drawing images of dragon balls on a blank paper while her mind wandered to the scenes of making evening dinner and hugging Takamina to sleep on the bed.
 
When Atsuko got home, she found her house without a single light of electricity while Takamina locked herself in the bedroom. Atsuko wasn't able to see her for the next two days.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 03:35:13 AM by Nhoc Sin »

Offline Keisthename

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2014, 12:02:34 PM »
Thanks a lot for a new update! I wish you could keep it coming. Thanks for you hard work in translating! It's very much appreciated!

Also, say our gratitude over this great fic to the author!!

I know a fact that this would be very sad just looking at how things go for Takamina. It's a bittersweet love between her and Acchan.  :cry:

Offline Nhoc Sin

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2014, 04:02:16 AM »
Yeah, this won't have a happy ending but the joy in reading it is to see how they express their love in their own way, how much Atsuko loves Minami despite her illness and how much Minami cares for Atsuko even after she's gone. How about a happy OS after this  XD?

P.S.: As much as I enjoy translating I'm still waiting for your Contract update Keis-san *poke* as well as your other fics on your blog

Offline cisda83

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2014, 07:25:56 AM »
well I guess simon did the right thing... somehow he knew that he was always going to be a second to everything as long as Minami was there...

Poor Minami... I guess the chemo had very bad effect on her moods...

Poor Atsuko... to need to be lash out upon

What's going to happen to them next?

Can't wait to find out

Thank you for the update

 :twothumbs :twothumbs :twothumbs

Offline Drakon

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2014, 10:59:56 PM »
Damn! This fic is real catchy. I look forward to continuing.

Offline Nhoc Sin

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2014, 03:34:41 AM »

Here's Chapter 4, ẹnoy :):


Chapter 4: Among All Things

Atsuko asked Simon out for a dinner after work on Wednesday. When she arrived at the familiar pizza store, the female boss kissed her on the cheek and asked if she was waiting for the "handsome-looking neighbor". Atsuko wished that she hadn't chosen this place for the meeting. She arrived early and picked a seat at a hidden corner, hands continuously twiddling the serviette.

Simon didn't look much different from before which surprised Atsuko a bit. If it was her ex-boyfriends, a few weeks after the break-up Atsuko would find them at Shibuya with constant change of hairstyles and a cooler fashion style. Simon's overly casual manner as if nothing had happened made Atsuko uncomfortable. She'd rather have him acting like her other ex's.

She sat down, placed the serviette on her lap and called for a glass of red wine. They both sat woodenly until the wine had been served. At that moment, Atsuko let her tongue slip: "Do you hate me a lot?"

He rolled his eyes."It's not like you to ask something like that."

"Why not?"

"It's just not like you!" He shrugged his shoulder, arms still crossed across his chest. After a moment of silence, he slightly leaned forward and brought the wine up to his lips for a sip. "Like how I didn't intend to ask if you have slept with her or not."

"Go ahead if you want to." Atsuko instantly said as aunt Ella was about to approach them to take their order. She suddenly changed her mind and turned the other way after sensing a tense atmosphere lingering around this corner of the room. Atsuko straightened on her seat and drew a circle on the table with her hands to cover up the embarrassment. At the same time, Simon's cup of wine was still dangling in between his fingers.

"I don't want to." Simon looked a bit angry.

"Takamina rarely speaks to me." Atsuko said miserably. She wasn't sure what she needed from him. A sympathy? Probably! She wanted to let Simon console her by his unique husky voice and have his hands placed firmly on her shoulders like before.

Instead, Simon didn't look anxious or curious about what had happened between her and Takamina ever since he left: "It'd be meaningless for you to give up just because she doesn't want to share her feelings with you."

"You are indeed mad at me." Atsuko concluded. This thought suddenly made her stomach take a twist and her shoulder hung down."Every time I got into trouble with my colleagues, you always gave me long lectures."

The tables around them were all occupied by families and children's laughter. They were the only ones maintaining the silence and drown in their own words until he decided to break the ice. "It's true that sometimes I feel like hating you a lot."

Atsuko lowered her voice. "I'm sorry."

Simon snorted, his impatient legs started wiggling under the table. When they lived together, Atsuko always felt uncomfortable with this habit of him. At times she had to step on his feet as they were having dinner to put a stop to it. But now, she hesitatingly retreated her legs further under the chair.”

"It's like watching a movie where everyone pretend not knowing that the two main characters will be together. Any time I looked at you, you would look at her. What I meant is, you really gave me goose bumps, do you know that Atsuko? How miserable it was for me to once wish that I was the reason for those looks." Simon's fingers dug deeply into the tablecloth which unintentionally crinkled and entwined the fabric material's stars-and-heart patterns along with it. "I thought that we would keep on living like that for the rest of our lives, but you obviously never wanted that." His voice sounded like it had been suppressed from the highest pitch of panic which, in a splash, kind of sounded like mentally disordered patient's speaking style. "You have turned me into a fool."

"Just not for the rest of our lives...." Atsuko admitted. This could as well be the conversation between grown-ups in its truest form they ever had; she and Simon had never talked about how their future would turn out. Atsuko never even had any idea about it. "Probably only for a relatively long time."

Simon sarcastically said, "And then what? Continue living together like good friends or siblings until your family force you to get married, we'll then get a fake marriage, adopt some kids, grow old, and then until Takamina retires, you will leave me alone living my solitude life by myself and go back to her? That's your plan, isn't it?" He laughed again while Atsuko didn't dare to move or breathe, let alone answering in fear that he would react more strongly. Eventually, after a long while of silence, Simon was the one who spoke again, he swept his faces with his hands. "I want to eat pizza."

They called for a large order of Capricciosa decorated by thin, curve-bending slices as topping. She and Simon ate as they talked about various things, Memory, a friend's girlfriend, work, weather, and everything else. Only after all topics ran out did Atsuko pretend to focus her attention on scraping all the hams out of her share of pizza. She still didn't have the courage to look straight into his eyes.

After the dinner, Simon took her out to the car and they both stood there for a while. A seagull fumbled into the trash can in hope of finding a few grilled porks or french fries leftovers with the street light as its guide. Simon's voice echoed erasing the silent atmosphere, "How is she?"

Atsuko looked up to the night sky. She could see more stars here compared to Tokyo but no matter where, they all scatteringly and weakly emit the same dim light as if close to fading away, a dying sign of a star.

"I don't know either."”
...

When she got home, Takamina was reading a book in the bathroom. Memory was dozing off on the carpet mat, its outer fur waving in the mist of water .

"Hey..." Takamina said when she saw Atsuko leaning on the door. The bathtub was filled up with soap bubbles sticking on her arms and extending to behind her neck. "How was the date?"

"It wasn't a date," Atsuko replied. She felt self-pity as Takamina didn't look jealous at all. "We were never anything to each other, he moved out because he didn't find us compatible anymore.

Takamina scowled. She didn't look one bit delighted seeing Atsuko for the first time today, rather her jet black eyes became narrower than usual. Somehow this look of her made Atsuko think of Voldemort.

"What?" She gritted, "why?"

"You need me." Atsuko said.

"You're a fool." Takamina started to raise her voice. "Get out of here now!"
 
When seeing that Atsuko didn't move one step from where she was standing, Takamina's anger exploded. She used all her strengths to throw the book from her hands toward Atsuko but it didn't get too far and eventually landed a few inches before Atsuko's feet in a messy condition.

"Leave me alone," Takamina said as Atsuko approached her by the bathtub, her hands ran through and caressed Takamina's wet hairs.
"Please. Leave me alone."

"No." Atsuko replied, and she stayed there..


oOo

Atsuko started participating in community support group meetings at local church. Every participants more or less were burdened with some type of deadly cancers. Initially, Atsuko had to awkwardly pretend that she was ill as she came to be aware of one taboo here: Her existence may not have been welcomed as a healthy person's participation could have been seen as an insult to sick people. Therefore, all she could do was snuggling at one spot hoping that no one would notice her. She simply wanted to listen for Takamina still didn't want to talk to her.

Not long after Atsuko quickly realized that giving remarks is a requirement, each person had to take turns bringing up their opinions. Her stomach stirred in fear, it felt like when it was her turn to be up for lesson reading  in primary school. She unconsciously rubbed her hands on her knee non-stop as the group's leader started approaching, seconds by seconds, closer to her. The woman seated next to her was avidly talking about ovarian cancer and how she couldn't give birth by normal methods. The time finally came when everyone focused her attention to her. Everyone wore a pale expression on their face as if on the verge of death, hairs covered in hoods and cheekbones hollowed out. 

"I don't have cancer." She made a slip of tongue, only in Japanese. She would become like that when losing her calmness, like when having to listen to someone's yelling, or someone glaring at her, or just simply having someone trustingly rely on her too much. At this moment Atsuko felt her cheeks burning when being looked at like a strange creature.

"I said that I don't have cancer." She repeated reluctantly. "A friend of mine is."

"There's a private counseling session for patient's family on Thursday." One of them spoke. His name seemed to be Tom. He was in his 50's, bald, and extremely offensive in the position of a drunken father. He could even get unreasonably mad for just looking at someone crying.

"I don't need any support counseling." Atsuko hesitated,unexpectedly brought her hands to her nose rubbing it. "I need to know how to support her."

"There's not a single answer to which we know for sure." A woman named Maria drawled. At first glance she was not a housewife type; her nails were neatly polished, hairs curled stylishly creating perfect waves by the ear. She had breast cancer. "We're also just amateurs like you. You even understand your friend better than we do.

"Mary..." Mrs. Collins gave a dry cough. That was in fact just her last name. Every one called her like that as if she didn't have a first name. "The poor girl only wants to get some advice.

"She's no longer a little girl." Tom grunted.

Atsuko really felt as if she was a kid who could only watch adults engaging in discussions but could not raise her own opinions; the feeling was really similar to when she was still working at the company. 

"All I want to do is to help her." She said. "I'll do anything."

"Does your friend know that she's sick?" Mary asked.

"Yes." Atsuko replied. "But she's an idiot; she doesn't want to receive my care."

"You must help her realize it." Vincent said. This was the first time he spoke up tonight; Atsuko knew his name by the name tag.

"Realize what?" Atsuko naively asked back.

"An obvious truth." Vincent said unfaltering. "That a happy life is more important than a happy ending. Whoever thinks the opposite is indeed an idiot."

oOo

It took her a few hours of driving along the coast to arrive at a small farm located outside of Byron bay for a meeting with a doctor specialized in treatment by natural methods. Although Atsuko didn't know how Takamina got to know her, she seemed to be optimistic about this trip. Takamina was in a good mood when they started out, even rested her legs on the windshield and occasionally hummed along the songs airing on the small radio. Atsuko also took this chance to chime in places where Takamina didn't remember. The sound of two voices harmonizing together suddenly made her heart beat faster.

Takamina had on a pair of sunglasses pulled up over her forehead which caused her fringes tucked up and floating along with it. Thanks to that, her natural hair color was exposed tracing around the root which closely resembled that of black chocolate color.

"This place is beautiful." Takamina inhaled a long breathe and gazed her eyes out to the ocean. It was a gloomy day; the clouds heavily gathered in the form of a long grey thread along the horizon. Crests of bubbling wave rising to an elevated height accompanied by the sky's silver-grey clouds had painted the ocean into a picturesque silver-grey surface. 

"We can come back in the summer..." Atsuko spoke. "...when your health has gotten better."

"Yeah." Takamina agreeingly nodded, hands intertwined and extended forward. Although even the way she cracked her joint fingers gave off a noble aura, that cracking sound unexpectedly made Atsuko shivering. Takamina wiggled on her seat and turned around to face Atsuko. "Where is the most amazing place in the world?"

"Japan." Atsuko answered without thinking. That made Takamina broke into a radiant smile which in turn made Atsuko brightly grin as well, she could even feel her bottom lips vibrating in an effort of expressing that joyful mood.

"Where else?" Takamina asked again. The radio started airing a rap song with heavy, dark tone accompanied by gun shots and sirens as background noise which absolutely didn't suit the current atmosphere. Atsuko then heaved a sigh of relief when Takamina raised her hand to switch the channel. She eventually found something more cheerful; at least it was something presented with bronze instruments and audiences' appreciative clapping sound.

She thought about her question. When she left Japan, a mountain of rumors started to surface about her hating on Takamina, got into conflict with AKB, or even her seeking escape out of hopelessness. The truth was, she was in love with Takamina, loved AKB48. She wanted to be an idol who could step on the stage returning a smile to a sea of her worshiping supporters. There were, of course, things she hated as well like criticisms from anti-fans, annoying phone calls at four in the morning, or even overly obsessed fans intruding her private email inbox to dig up some information. Those, however, weren't the reasons for her departure.

Actually, she had always wanted to look at the world outside of Akihabara, a big world consisting of strangers which she hadn't completely understand.

Therefore, she went to everywhere she could go, or at least tried to do it. Initially, she intended to travel across all continents, but then came to realize that would include her having to drop by the South Pole as well. She couldn't imagine how it would be to go to a place completely drown in white snow and pandas without a single living person's existence.

She didn't even know if she had given up the thought of around-the-world traveling or was just taking a break.

"I like this place." Atsuko said. "Everyone here is lazy."

"It's here then?" Takamina tilted her head.

"No. Well I don't even know. When I stepped foot anywhere I always thought "This must be the most awesome place in the world". except Germany, that goddamn Germany."

"What happened in Germany?"

"I don't know." Her fingers annoyingly tapped in rhythms on the wheel. "You'll understand once you got there. Everyone there look at you very differently. I missed home a lot when I was staying there."”

Takamina stayed silent, stared deeply at her, then turned her eyes over at the hands settling on the wheel. "Then have you ever regretted leaving Japan?"

"Of course, anywhere and anytime !" Atsuko laughed. "Every time something happened I would think ,"If I was in Japan this wouldn't have happened." Or when there was a rumor about you falling in love at first sight with a JE member and that you're about to get wedded I thought ,"May be it's true this time.!", and then I would act like a sleepwalker dopily ordering a return flight ticket only to not have enough courage boarding the plane for I was too scared. I'm too useless, ain't I?"

Takamina gently smiled. "When you left at first, I thought that you would return within two weeks."

Atsuko chuckled ."That truly happened!" She glanced at Takamina, then turned her gaze back on the road that bent spirally along the coast. "Every time I felt really lonely, I told myself "One day I will definitely bring Minami here." And thus, I regained the courage to persistently continue on.

She turned around taking another careful look at Takamina whose clear eyes were shimmering with nebulous clouds and yet, she still tried suppressing it, tried to show her strong side. Damn it. She probably would never get a better chance than this. After all, she believed Takamina would not be as stubborn as finding ways to jump out of a moving car.

"Are we talking about ourselves?" Atsuko asked.

Takamina groaned and buried her face into her hands as if Atsuko was the most boring and annoying person in the world while truthfully, they had never touched upon the topic of their relationship ever since they started getting on the bed with each other.

"No!" She fretted

"Yes!"

"I don't want to."

"Hey, who cares!" Atsuko said boringly. "We did talk about it after all."

"I don't think there's anything between us to talk about." Takamina's voice already sounded sulky.

"I want to be with you." Atsuko gently said. "If possible, I want us to be official from now on. We were never really together in the past.

"Wrong timing." Takamina slid her glasses back down covering her eyes, thinking that it would prevent Atsuko from reading her thought. This, obviously, didn't work. Atsuko could read even the slightest movements inside her body.

"For you there will never be a right timing." Atsuko mumbled.

"Exactly, there won't ever be a right timing" Takamina said, crossing her arms in a serious manner. "If I do not get better I will only become a burden to you."

Atsuko couldn't keep her boiling anger under control anymore at this point. "Damn it! Do you know, for god's sake, that I really hate you sometimes."

Takamina instantly turned stiff. She solemnly turned to the window, her empty eyes gazing into the distance, becoming completely unconcerned to Atsuko's presence.

"I didn't know you could be this childish." Atsuko suddenly spoke up.

"What is that?" Takamina sharply turned back around, fretfully frowned. "I'm not a kid."

"Oh yes you are!" Atsuko didn't back down. "You are exactly like that, a Kid, Kid, Kid. I love you and you love me, so from now on I will be your girlfriend. Period. And it's better that way so don't you dare say anything more. All you need to do is hold my hands and peacefully enjoy this trip. Don't act stubborn because you will never be able to get away from me.

She then strongly held Takamina's hand placing them on her laps. Takamina struggled trying to pull her hands out to the point of causing her fingers numbly white. However, it seemed like Atsuko absolutely would not give in this time.

As they got off the car, Atsuko pulled Takamina around pressing her against the car's hood then confidently announced . "I will definitely be the reason for you to continue living on persistently."

"Silly." Takamina said, her voice shaking a bit. "To me, you're already the reason."
« Last Edit: August 04, 2014, 07:10:12 AM by Nhoc Sin »

Offline Keisthename

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2014, 06:58:23 AM »
Okay, I feel like crying. This is so sad  :bleed eyes: but I love how Atsuko's not giving up on the stubborn takamina. I wish everything will do well between them despite knowing that someone is already dying. I don't know if this fanfic will get any better when it comes to treating a protagonist's sickness, but I think the strongest possibility is someone's gonna die in the end.


Sigh.

Will there be a different twist and ending for this story? I wonder :(


Still, I love how Atsuko's trying to love Minami beyond to what's normal. Sad :(

Anyways, do your best in translating! I'll be waiting! Thank you

Offline Nhoc Sin

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2014, 07:05:30 AM »
Sadly, there won't be a twist ending (even though I really wanted to), it's just as you said, someone's gonna die at the end :(.

Offline cisda83

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2014, 08:20:36 PM »
I can understand about Minami's action... she most probably didn't want to be pity or be burden for Atsuko

Some more most probably she wanted to make Atsuko to leave her.... since she might not live for a long time

What's going to happen next?

Would Minami accept Atsuko declaration that they are now official

Can't wait to find out

 :twothumbs :twothumbs :twothumbs

Offline Drakon

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2014, 07:42:26 PM »
Thanks for the translation. Damn, sad :(
I want and at the same time I do not want find out what will happen between them...

Offline Nhoc Sin

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #30 on: August 25, 2014, 08:40:50 AM »
Here is chapter 5, enjoy :):

Chapter 5: Simple Happiness


The female doctor's name was Margaret. She gave Takamina a strange medication costing up to 500 dollars a week but determinedly refused to reveal the drug's identity. It had a dark-green color, condensed like a syrup and smelled like mud. She had to take it twice daily which made the smell linger even in her breath. There were also a bunch of pure seeds or something of the sort on top of a large bag of apricot seeds purchased from black market. It was said that those had cyanide in them, a chemical compound used to destroy cancerous cells. Its flavor tasted like almond though. Atsuko could even get a taste of it through every kiss.

The Australian cancer specialist doctor in charge of Takamina wasn't very supportive of this peculiar medicine. He even flat-out said that she shouldn't hold any fantasy dreams about this kind of treatment.

"What is their damage?" Atsuko asked.

"These things could produce unexpected side effects." The doctor grouchily answered.

"Just like chemotherapy?" Atsuko pretended to ask naively.

On the other hand, the Japanese-speaking doctor who provided mental counseling to Takamina was more optimistic. She was permitted to take in a small dose of those well-ground seeds every morning.
 

oOo

Atsuko was fired from her weekend bar-service job, though she wasn't really surprised about it as she rarely appeared there ever since Takamina had come. Truthfully, she didn't care much either. This part time job initially interested her as she could have an amount of undisturbed time to self-learn cocktail mixing and practiced English with come-and-go customers. The freshness feeling gradually faded overtime as most those customers were lowlifes who couldn't even call for a cocktail. All of them turned into jerks after getting dead-drunk. Atsuko honestly didn't care about that either. There were things far more important waiting for her.

Takamina, on the contrary, wasn't as nonchalant as she was.

She gritted. "What?" her elbow swinging inside the over-sized sweater. "Fired."

Takamina had never been fired from any jobs so this obviously came as a hard shock to her. Her face, at that moment, was a perfect sketch of panic with eye-browns curvedly frowned, hairs standing on end, and lips bitten hard to chalky whiteness.

"It's not that big of a deal." Atsuko shrugged.

"You lost your job." Takamina frowned. "How is it not a big deal? Then how are you going earn a living?"

Atsuko rolled her eyes. "I'll just spend less."

Takamina glared at her. Atsuko jerked her chin at Takamina in return. Realizing there was no way to make the girl worried about this matter as she had always appeared calm and self-controlled, Takamina eventually heaved a long sigh and said: "Give me the cell phone."

Atsuko instantly grabbed Takamina's cell phone but kept it to herself instead of handing it to her.

"To do what?" She suspiciously asked

"I will call the accountant."”

Atsuko wryly thrust the phone into the back pocket, her legs also coordinately retreated further from the bed just in case Takamina would jump up into a fit asking for it back.

"No."

"Acchan!" Takamina's patience ran out, her palms stretched out toward Atsuko.

"You shouldn't disturb him this early in the morning." Atsuko tried to come up with a logical reason.

"It's afternoon now." Takamina sounded anxious, her arms slightly shaken due to the overused strength.

"It's the time difference." Atsuko insisted.

"It's only one hour difference!" Takamina scolded, eventually gave up and let her arms freely drop down on the mattress. Her response toward this last injection course was even worse than previous times as she couldn't even walk a few steps away from the bed. "Give it to me quickly."

"I don't need your money."

"You always gleefully spent my money in the past." Takamina didn't care about showing any respect. "You even made me pay 100 yen for every time I borrowed your hair-dryer."

"I'm an adult now." Atsuko announced." I can take care of you. Don't underestimate me."

Takamina stared at Atsuko, wrath evidently shown in her eyes. "You're the one underestimating me." She raised her voice. "You're looking down on me."

"But you're sick." Atsuko calmed her voice down.

"That doesn't mean that I don't want to care about you, you are a goddamn selfish person." Takamina put her hands around her head, buried her face into the crook of her neck like a kid trying to suppress its anger. "I know I'm completely useless but I at least have the money."

Takamina was staring at her hands, wrinkles deeply etched in between her eye-browns. She closed her eyes as if couldn't bear the pain from opening it for too long.

Atsuko squatted down next to her. "You've always cared about me."

The pair of black eyes opened. "So have you."

Atsuko pulled the cell phone out from her pocket and opened it. A little nightingale sticker photo from anime film was stuck on the front side. Takamina's nephew had stuck it on her cell phone back when she was in Japan; the photo had more or less faded and torn out. 

"You can't be the one paying for everything." Atsuko said, then gave the phone to Takamina. "But we can join up.”

oOo

Brian, the P.E. teacher at her school, came to see Atsuko after the lesson and he had to play tug-of-war in order to drag Atsuko out to the parking lot. They sat inside a old-fashioned Holden, neither speaking to the other. When Brian leaned towards her, Atsuko suddenly had a suspicious hunch that all those indifferent, cold-shouldered treatments he had been giving her - an evidently obvious truth about race discrimination in Australia - were all talks. Just when she was about to give Brian a punch or something of the sort out of suspecting she was going to be groped; he cleared his throat, pulled out a brown paper back and forced it into Atsuko's hand with a seemingly satisfying nod.

Atsuko stared at the bag. It wasn't that heavy, the contents seemed to all be separate tea bags.

"You have to mix those in a bottle." He explained as if afraid Atsuko wouldn't understand. "I've heard that you friend's tea-making skills aren't really good."

Atsuko smiled sadly at him.

"This is just an obligation." Brian said. "Sounds miserable, isn't it? Nauseating too."

Atsuko felt more comfortable, but still didn't let her guard down. She had a puzzled and unease feeling as if Brian was trying to distract her, then he would knock her out unconscious on the neck, and everything would end with Atsuko going to jail by accidentally beating him to death.

"She's not my friend." She said. "She's my lover."

"I thought you've already got that attractive neighbor-turned-boyfriend guy?" Brian surprising exclaimed.

"Well now I must say that I have a really sexy girlfriend."

"Well..."Brian swallowed. "Well...each to his own taste."

"That's right." Atsuko nodded. She brought the bag to her nose and softly inhaled the scent inside. It had been a long time since she had any tea but her memory told her that it had a very sweet, cool scent like that of the Earth.

"My friend's younger brother who practices law is also gay." Brian said.

Atsuko ignored him, pretended to not have heard it. "How much do I own you?" She waved the bag in front of her face.

"Nothing." Brian said, patted Atsuko's shoulder as if they were close friends. "It's true, my friend." He kept talking regardless of whether Atsuko actually listened or not. "That was self-planted by my uncle. It has to be consumed one way or another."

"Well, then thanks for that. "Atsuko said and got off the car.

"I hope it will be of use." Brian said in an sincere voice.

He actually wasn't that bad.

oOo

"No." Takamina glared after taking one minute to acknowledge what Atsuko had taken out from her bag. Feeling as if that wasn't enough, she even pulled it from Atsuko and threw it to the corner of the room as if Atsuko had brought back a bag of poisonous snakes. "Never."

"It's also medicines." Atsuko patiently said.

"Obviously. But I'd rather being in jail for 50 years than taking that stuff."

"Listen to me..."Atsuko said as she pulled out a small piece of paper and began rolling it. "This is not Japan. Police will not care about it."

"Marijuana is only to be used in the treatment of mental diseases."

"Come on." Atsuko encouragingly said, her hands waving the little roll of paper in front of Takamina. "Trust me. You will feel much better."

After a minute of biting her lips and crinkling her forehead, Takamina eventually spoke. "You try it first. I don't want to end up in jail alone." ”

Atsuko laughed, lit it up and inhaled while Takamina looked at her wide-eyed. It reminded her of the time frame in which they both took chances to try strong alcoholic beverages. Atsuko and Miichan took the opportunity to steal a couples of Vodka stored in Aki-p's drawer and shared them in Tomochin's room when their parents were absent. That time Takamina choked and coughed up. Atsuko remembered that Takamina had rarely touched alcohol ever since and probably never touched them again.

"It smells terrible." Takamina crinkled her nose as she held the paper roll. She hesitantly caressed around the inflated core wrapped underneath.

"You really have never touched this thing?" Atsuko asked surprised. She had always forgotten that Takamina wasn't the type who would waste her youth on trying out new things in the outer world like her. Thinking back about it, of all those years being together, Takamina's face was all she could see.

"I'm a model idol." Takamina said as her face turned upward. She slowly put the roll of paper in between her lips and pulled a long inhale on it. Atsuko leaned backwards, eyes staring up at the bulbs on the ceiling. Spiderwebs vaguely spun everywhere. It probably was time for a clean-up.

"Well then your adaptability is really great. " Atsuko said nonchalantly.

The two of them lied there, smoking in silence. Atsuko listened to Takamina's even breathing, limbs comfortably relaxed by wringing them over her body.

"Still feel nauseous?" She asked.

"No." Takamina answered, giggling a bit. "I'm fine."

Atsuko rolled and positioned her head on Takamina's abdomen. Takamina also cooperated by running her hands over her hair and caressing it gently.

Atsuko thought that they had just taken a quick nap for the sky still had a blueish-gray color a moment ago, yet it had turned into a pitch-black color just now, or so she thought. She slid her hands down Takamina's blouse, pulled it up a bit so that she could touch the flat abdomen skin underneath. The feeling was soft, comparable to that of touching a rose petal.

"You should get a tattoo." Atsuko said, her nose touching Takamina's pelvis.

"What?" Takamina said, her eyes completely abstracted while her fingers were gliding along Atsuko's shoulder telling her that she was, more or less, paying attention.

"Get a tattoo of my name, right here." Atsuko eased her thumb alongside her hip.

"All right." Takamina easily agreed making Atsuko grin widely. She then reached out to grab a marker from the drawer beside her bed and proceed to sit on between Takamina's thighs. She looked at Atsuko smiling nicely.

"Are you sure that you really want to get one?" Atsuko asked, opening the cap with her hand. Takamina laughed casting a challenging look at Atsuko, her hip slightly shifted.

"Can I?" Atsuko asked, and Takamina nodded. "Yes."

And that's all she needed. Atsuo started tracing carefully a bit below Takamina's belly-button, spelling her own name: "A-T-S-U-K-O" in Latin words.

"I love you!" Takamina said then drifted away into a slumber.
 
oOo

Takamina finished her chemotherapy and showed some improvements; her nausea sessions reduced and she had turned back to her usual nice character. Her collarbone no longer intruded out and her cheeks also became more rosy. 

Blood test results also yielded some improvements, or at least that's what Atsuko could understand from those long medical terminologies which had been maximally simplified. Takamina's physician in charge, who previously didn't show optimism, had also become satisfied.

"This is not a health certification." He told Atsuko. "We still need more time for her health condition to improve before proceeding to the second stage of chemo-radiation therapy."

"But the results have turned out better." Atsuko said irritated.

"The result is better than before." The doctor pushed up his eyeglasses' frame and calmly ended the conversation.


Takamina still had a long list of medication of which she had to take, in addition to various herbs and seeds given by that witch doctor. Every morning she took them one by one as Atsuko was cooking breakfast, sometimes even had to empty a whole bottle of water to thrust them all down her stomach. On top of that, she also had to carefully measure out the right dose of sterile water to be reconstituted with a half of well-crushed hormone balancing tablet in a syringe for injections.

On a bright side, her mood had gotten better; she reverted to being a Takamina full of fighting spirit who had been strictly trained through the encounter of her own fear.

It all felt like returning to the days of their youth when they would spend nights after nights in front of the TV with intertwined limbs. Takamina would then feel a heavy weight pushing down on her while Atsuko couldn't keep her hands off from touching her.


Occasionally, Takamina came to the school with her and would sneak her hand into the snack bag when the music class was in session. Atsuko told the kids that Takamina was a superstar causing them to burst out laughing as if it was a joke. Takamina told her to teach them some Japanese children songs so that she could sing along. Her voice echoed powerfully and clearly throughout the room, sometimes even getting off tune for being carried away.

Whereas for Atsuko, more than ever, she was crazily in love.


Sometimes Takamina showed her boredom, saying that she has enough energy to do more than just lying at one spot to vomit and moan. There wasn't anyone here for her to talk to either. Occasionally they would hold a gathering with Atsuko's colleagues at endless nighttime outdoor parties or random local competitions. Takamina's English had improved enough for her to hold an awkward conversation about weather, favorite food or other miscellaneous things; but that alone wasn't enough.

"I'm still fine." That's what Takamina would answer whenever Atsuko asked. "I can do it." Atsuko, of course , didn't believe it. Takamina was missing her family as well as her small dog at home. She missed AKB48. Her friends. Her parents. Asuko knew that as she was also feeling the same.

Atsuko discreetly made phone calls to her mother a few times a week and per usual, her mom would first give a greeting by showering down on her a scolding session, followed by things-will-turn-out-well promises. Atsuko hoped that it was the kind of promise her mother had accomplished when she asked for a nintendo on her tenth birthday, instead of the kind when her mother had sworn with her life that Santa Claus was real when she turned five. She closed her eyes and sniffed, letting her mom console her. She missed home. She couldn't even imagine how worse Takamina's mood could have been.

oOo


As Atsuko was reading a local newspaper in the staff break-room; she suddenly saw it, a standout advertisement decorated by a rainbow and a star with a flower-fall flowing to the side.

Offline Keisthename

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2014, 09:30:27 AM »
Ah! Finally, I have been waiting for this. As usual, I can't seem to shove this gloomy feeling whenever I read what's written on this story. Even though Takamina's mood/case is getting slightly better. Though I just really love reading this, I want to witness how they'll walk through things together. And how they'll end up in a bitter separation.

Damn, all these feels. I wonder if I'm gonna cry at the end of this story? I won't know of course, if you'll decide to abandon translating this wonderful piece. Haha But hopefully you won't.

Anyway, thanks for the update! Regards also to the author.  :twothumbs :twothumbs :twothumbs :twothumbs

Offline Nhoc Sin

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2014, 09:46:40 AM »
Abandoning when I'm more than half-way done is actually really wasteful don't you think :nervous?

Offline Keisthename

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2014, 09:49:09 AM »
Glad to read that from you!   :w00t: Ganbare!  :thumbsup

Offline Nhoc Sin

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2014, 09:23:12 AM »
And here is chapter 6, just one more after this before the bitter final. Enjoy :P

Chapter 6: Limit

"You've rented me a friend?" Takamina said in a sharp tone.

"I know Akimoto-sensei cares about his singer's private life fairly often." Atsuko teasingly imitated.

"To hell with you" Takamina precautionarily said. "I have tons of friends."

"Oh that's right, you are a celebrity after all."

"Exactly right."

Atsuko didn't even bother answering but ruffled Takamina's hair with her hands instead. Ever since she had gotten better, her hair had been more properly taken care of as it had turned back to the old shining chestnut color. Although she had whined about not being able to find a decent hairstylist, Atsuko thought that she was just having star-syndrome. Her hair was already very beautiful. Magnificently beautiful.

"Cut it off." Takamina scolded, swatted Atsuko's hands away, " Who are you to me, my mom?"

"I want your first impression to be good." Atsuko said, her hands sweeping straight the crease on Takamina's sweater.

"If this woman turns out to be a social worker I will return to Japan right away." And as if to boost her word's convincingness she threatened, "I'm true to my words, Acchan!"



Florence turned out to be a gray-haired Japanese-born Australian Obaachan with a gentle speaking manner and a neat appearance as displayed by the pink sweater she was wearing. She wore a warm, polite smile on her face -  a very Japanese style one - which made Takamina instantly relaxed. Atsuko had poured her some tea before taking Memory out for a stroll afterwards.

When she came back they were sitting on their knees besides the coffee table and chatting in front of a batch of photos. The old woman was showing Takamina the picture of a pale-haired young girl. Atsuko caught in between sentences that the girl was her granddaughter. In those pictures, the girl stood besides a large-built, blonde-haired man. Takamina told her afterwards that the man was the old lady's husband. She had left her family and ran off with him at the age of twenty. He had been everything she had when they first came to Australia and thus, she could understand Takamina better than anyone.

"Other than the fact that she knows nothing about homosexuality and thinks that we both should get ourselves a good man who can take good care of our family." Takamina said while smiling. She had come to like Florence, that's what Atsuko thought.

She placed Takamina's head on her lap and caressed her hairs by running her hands through them. "What's with you and those elderly women?" Atsuko asked. Even in their younger days, Takamina had always appealed to people twenty or thirty years older than her. Once there was even a rumor about her liking old men and that she had been in love with someone much older than her. Even Atsuko herself was never sure whether those rumors had been true or not.

"They know a lot." Takamina dreamily and sleepily said. "I find it a good thing."

oOo

Occasionally they went for a stroll at the nearby park, wandering between immeasurably tall eucalyptuses amidst a ghostly beautiful scenery. There were many people taking their dogs out for a stroll, silhouettes of people running and mountain bikes on the plane trail. Each road had a guide sign displaying names like "The River of Ned" or "Bill Gully's chewing-gum". Atsuko would read out loud every names to Takamina and both of them would break out laughing; their giggles echoed in between the leaves.

One day a quacking sound from behind startled Takamina causing her to run into hiding behind Atsuko's arms; her eyes wide-opened, evidently dreaded with horror.

"What is that?" She asked, her chest heaving up and down.

"Kingfisher" Atsuko said. "A species of bird." She flapped her arms to demonstrate the bird.

"Bird?" Takamina couldn't help asking back.

"Yeah." Atsuko answered, turned her face upwards and shouted at the top of her lungs: "Koo Koo Koo Koo Ka Ka Ka Ka Ka!!"

"Stop that." Takamina shrieked, tightening her grip on Atsuko's arm." What if they followed us?"

"Even though they look large.."Atsuko said while shaping her hands into a small box."...but they only eat rats"

Takamina blushed clutching her hands back,  "As if you weren't scared the first time you saw it. "She said and sulkily stomped away.

Atsuko laughed calling after her: "Simon once told me that it was a monster and I had locked myself in the car for several hours straight. It's true!"

Memory made a barking sound calling for its owner a few feet ahead. Atsuko strode to catch up to Takamina and intertwined their fingers. Two pairs of intertwining hands dangled back and forth like a linked bridge.

oOo

Takamina had become more comfortable with her sexual desires in their daily lives, at least more comfortable than before. Sometimes she would initiate body contacts with Atsuko in public places by grazing her fingers on her back then tracing along the waist, or simply drawing circles on her elbows.

There were times Atsuko had absentmindedly brought up this matter. Actually, she wasn't thinking much about it but as she had carelessly slipped out the words, she was wary that this romantic atmosphere would disappear if Takamina pulled her hands back from that warm place at her back pocket she had just found. Eventually, Takamina just shrugged her shoulder and said. "No one will notice."

There were also bad days, or bad weeks, when Takamina was forced to be bed-ridden with a large amount of painkillers. But again, those were the bad days. Other than those days Atsuko could say that she was living the happiest days of her life.

oOo

The long-awaited dreaded news arrived as a surprise to Atsuko but not to Takamina. She seemed to have mentally prepared since long ago. Although she didn't look at Atsuko, her hands were clutching her knees. It felt as if her entire body weight had accumulated at those shaking hands. 

The tumor had started to spread again at a fast pace to the point where even the doctors couldn't come up with appropriate counteractive measure in time. It had spread to her bones as well as her blood. The doctor bowed his head in apology. "I'm sorry. If only I could have given you a better news."

"Hasn't chemotherapy treatment been proven to have good effects?" Atsuko spoke, "Maybe it can still help?

"The treatment could only delay the cancer cells' development." He answered." But it won't work in the long run. In my opinion..."

"Perhaps we should consult another doctor's opinion." Atsuko angrily cut him off; however, Takamina was still clutching her knees.

"How much longer do I have?" Her voice halfheartedly sounded.

And yet it made Atsuko's heart beat fast.

"With the current spreading rate.."

Atsuko plunged out of the room before the doctor could finish his sentence.




Takamina stood on the sand gazing out to the ocean before her. Her body was fittingly wrapped in a loose sweater and a big knitted cap. Atsuko thought that she liked this image of her, a romantic sight of a self-preserving ascetic nun drowned in sorrow with stoned jaw and crystal eyes. Atsuko thought it wasn't necessary to bring her inside, unless she sky showed any hint of rain.


-----

A few weeks later, Yuko called Atsuko saying that other members would drop by to visit them. Takamina was sleeping on the long couch, not minding about Memory lying on her legs like a gigantic rough blanket. 

"You're not bringing over a cameraman team, are you?" Atsuko suspiciously asked.

"No." Yuko cowed. "You idiot!!!"

"But isn't this management's idea?" Atsuko asked, unable to refrain from chiming in a hint of tease.

"Of course." Yuko answered immediately. "How's she doing?" She asked after a moment of hesitation. Her voice sounded shaken.

Atsuko looked over at the fragile body whose skin color had slightly turned yellow on the couch.

"She's still fine."

It was a lie.

oOo

They arrived at a time when Takamina was trying to fight her pains and mostly stayed inside. She now was standing in front of the mirror, cheeks puffed up and eyes glowered as she was putting on makeup powder to cover up the eye-bags. She had been doing it for hours.

"Stop it." Atsuko said pressing down Takamina's cheeks with her own hands. "You already look beautiful."

"What beautiful?." Takamina sulkily said." I don't even look like how I was before. Now I look exactly like a cancer patient."

"Do not exaggerate it." Atsuko frowned. However, earlier that day, she had dug through all the scrap-heaps boxes in the art classroom and came back home with arms full of foil gift-wrap papers, decorative fur feather strings and meters long of flower wrapping fabrics whose patterns were a mix of sky blue/green roses.

"What's up with these things?" Takamina couldn't help being curious as she was throwing everything on the coffee table. Atsuko picked out a long, green fur feather string and waved it at her.

"You said you want to feel of being yourself?" Atsuko wrapped the beaded string around Takamina's neck then pulled her closer for a kiss. "They're from the costume room!!! Who says that Takahashi Minami can only become beautiful by wearing expensive brands?"

"You idiot." Despite saying that Takamina started digging into the scrap-heaps almost immediately. She found blue cotton fabrics decorated by bright pink stars in a square case. She then conveniently tied them into a ribbon around Atsuko's neck.

They spent about an hour long decorating each other by putting on sparkling tinsel papers on their bodies and edging yellowish jabots on their clothes. Atsuko made Takamina a clown's collar by folded tin papers. Takamina hung around Atsuko's waist a band of blue, frilly roses resembling that of a dress which looked absolutely dreadful.

When the taxi pulled over dropping off the girls in front of Atsuko's house, Mariko casually opened the entrance door and stepped in, not minding about showing any politeness.

"What the hell are you two doing?" She asked, eyes narrowed behind the square-framed glasses.



Seeing everyone being stirringly emotional at the same time gave off a weird vibe. They surrounded Takamina, eyes narrowed in an inspecting manner and started tugging her costumes and hairs with their hands. After a few minutes of shouting and screaming not unlike the crazy wotas meeting their idol, they all eventually sat down on the long couch and started chit-chatting about various what-in-the-world rumors from Akihabara, things like: who got caught going out with JE guys, who used amphetamines, who gave birth to an illegitimate child, who was seen stepping half-way out from a cosmetic surgery clinic.

Atsuko could only sit there jealously watching, just like back in the days when she was busy doing other things while her parents took her cousins out to Disneyland. They would always bring home several small souvenirs for her but that didn't make her any less mad as she thought about how they had fun without her.

Within the past several years, Atsuko had always avoided thinking too much about how AKB48 still existing and flourishing without her. They still continued talking about memories that didn't have her in it which made her become unreasonably angry until Yuko put an arm around her shoulder and told her through the eyes that it was truly comfortable being back to a "TRUE" AKB48. All of them had finally returned to their real family. 

oOo

When Atsuko woke up the next morning, she found the bed empty and the kitchen's lack of noisiness. With her eyes half-opened Atsuko almost tripped over the doorstep as she saw Yuko's and Takamina's heads huddled together, their excitement aroused by Yuko's much doted son's photographs.

Kenji had turned three this year. His mother was originally a model who had spent a one-night-stand with Yuko's brother. Eleven months later, she came knocking on Yuko's apartment door with a two-and-a-half year-old baby carried on her arms and vanished after that. No one had seen her ever since. Atsuko didn't believe Oshima Keita was the kid's biological father, but Takamina had told her that if she said that to Yuko, she would most likely get a good beat-up. Atsuko had no choice but to keep that thought to herself. She didn't understand what made Yuko's brother refuse to take up the responsibility he had created and pushed it to Yuko instead. It wasn't that important anyway. Yuko was truly a good mother.

As for Takamina, it was getting harder to know what she thinks underneath that beautiful face. She even rarely allowed Atsuko to give her a morning kiss.
Sometimes Yuko unintentionally glanced over at them and felt funny, as if she had never caught sight of them being playful under the shower in their younger days, the days when their love was still new, fresh and a surprise to Atsuko.

"Kawaii!!!" Atsuko exclaimed and grabbed a small photo of Kenji in an angel outfit with a small sparkling crown on his head from Takamina's hand. "How in the world were you able to give birth to such a cute angel?"

Atsuko herself even felt that her question was apparently ridiculous.

"You should have brought the kid with you." Takamina grunted. How could she not notice the anger in those black eyes and the veins popping out clearly on that wrist. Her tone was as cold and curt as it could get. Atsuko guessed that she probably had cried this morning and if that was the case, then Yuko was the most suspicious one.

"I've already told you." Yuko said looking miserable as if she had just been accused of a formidable crime. "I'mt not sure if the child will understand."

"He looks to have grown up." Takamina vaguely said, her eyes locked onto the small angel's face scattered all over the table.

"Well..yeah.." Yuko nodded agonizingly.

"I'm going to take a bath." She stood up after gathering all the pictures into a small pile and pushed them into Yuko's hand. The oatmeal and fruit breakfast had only been consumed halfway.

Just right after her figure had disappeared from sight, Atsuko kicked Yuko's feet under the table. "Did you make her cry?"

For a second, as if she had been waiting for it, Yuko looked to have turned several years into an old woman crouching in the kitchen with her shoulders hung down and her hairs disheveled.

"I don't know what to do either." She said. "She said she wants to say goodbye to the kid."

"Shut up." Atsuko said. Recently she would always display such a reaction whenever someone mentioned the word 'Goodbye'.

"Acchan..."

"Shut up." Atsuko almost yelled. Was she too old to cover her ears with her hands and screamed 'AAAAAAAA'?

"Have you mentally prepared for this?" Yuko grasped Atsuko's wrist. It felt as if the heart was cracking open and spilling out the blood everywhere. "She needs you to be there prepared. "

"Then you tell me, how should I get prepared for this matter?" Atsuko angrily said. It wasn't a rhetorical question, she really needed an answer.

oOo

The night before, after a big ruckus everyone ended up sleeping in the same room. Takamina rolled herself on the long couch while everyone else fell into chaos with messy, disorganized mattresses and blankets. In the past, they would sometimes get into this type of situation while on tours as the audiences were too passionate. Atsuko used to be the one falling asleep first and the last one to be woken up but everyone adjusted to that because they thought she has already had too much pressure being in the center position.

Miichan had been having troubles with her boyfriend and Mariko took the chance to enthusiastically tease her despite the subject had become embarrassed to the point of blushing. Mariko had always specially given this favorable eye of her to people's secrets had she stumbled upon them by chance. She would wait for the chance to speak in a slow, teasing tone, flail her arms animatedly completely different from her usually calm manner.

Takamina thought that no one would have the heart to say "no" to her during these times so she interrogated Miichan with countless questions rendering her defenseless; she finally surrendered by shyly admitting that she had become discomposed since started dating an opposite sex. Takamina shot her down with a sentence: "You're afraid he will find out that you wear a wig, aren't you?"

Laughter could be heard from everyone but Miichan who still determinedly crossed her arms and frowned. "It's not funny."

Atsuko landed a final blow by grabbing her fringes and pulled her up high. The gang jumped up and down all at once whereas she turned around to fully meet Takamina's awkward smile.

"Even though you're a bit short you're still pretty." Atsuko gently said.

Miichan swatted Atsuko's hands away, though it wasn't hard to notice her trying to suppress an incoming smile through her pursed lips. Atsuko grinned, threw an arm around her shoulder and pulled Miichan toward herself as she proudly said: "Is it not fun having us as your friends?"

"No. Fun your ass." Miichan resentfully said.

"I find it funny." Haruna spoke up as this air-headed girl was basically always slow to fully comprehend people's intention. "I'm very happy that all of us are friends."

That was also the last night that they had spent together.



After everyone had left, Takamina chokingly cried for several hours straight.
In TV dramas, the guys would always praise their girlfriend's crying face as being pretty. Atsuko, on the other hand, thought Takamina's crying face was the ugliest thing she had ever seen.  Every time it happened she wished she would never have to see it. Ever again.

...

Takamina had died on televisions five times but Atsuko never watched them; in truth, she witnessed a few scenes from Majisuka Gakuen as she had also taken part in it. The first time seeing it she instantly felt uncomfortable and left the room. She even suggested them shooting her crying scenes separately from Takamina's deathbed scene and joined those two footage together afterwards. Now she started gathering all those dramas, unwrapping every single DVD's that had not been opened ever since Takamina sent it to her, probably a few years back or more. She could as well use this as a method to practice. It would certainly be easier.

The drama started with her being kidnapped by a Korean terrorists and all twelve episodes were depicted like an epic story about leukemia. Just like that, Atsuko shrunk herself on the couch, legs curled up against her chest and fingers tightly wrapped around her toes. She continued waiting, waiting to see if she would be able to accept that death easier. But not at all. She felt heavier more than ever as every second passed by.

Two o'clock in the morning, Takamina happened to walk into the living room. She pulled a long yawn and sleepily scratched her nose. She glanced at the
TV, slightly frowned as she saw her paled, tired face.

"What are you doing?" She approached Atsuko by the couch, rested her head on her shoulder and sneaked her feet underneath Atsuko's woolen socks.

On the screen, the disguised mother was sniffing besides her bed.

"Yuko said you need me mentally prepared. "Atsuko said as she had difficulty realizing that her mouth muscles had almost become frozen, unable to move.

Takamina stayed motionless; a while after she slid her hand on the back of Atsuko's hands, looped over her ankle and sneaked inside the red sock. "Will that do any good?"

"Not much, but I don't know what to do either."

Takamina buried her face into Atsuko's neck, her voice hardened." You don't have to do anything." Her breath made Atsuko think of the sultry atmosphere before a rain. "Just don't leave me."

Offline cisda83

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2014, 04:06:52 PM »
Oh Oh... Minami is unable to be saved...

Poor Atsuko.... She needed to be ready for Minami's death...

Would she be able to move on?

Would Minami be able to at least stay longer?

How long does Minami have left?

Would the others come back to spend the last time with Minami again?

Can't wait to find out more

Thank you for the updates

 :twothumbs :twothumbs :twothumbs

Offline fishblub

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2014, 12:00:29 PM »
thank you so much for translating this.
this is the second time i've read this fic, it is really heartbreaking but beautiful at the same time.
can't wait for the last chapter.

Offline cisda83

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2014, 12:20:15 PM »
Continue this heartbreaking story please

Can't wait to read this story until its finished

Thank you for the wonderful story

 :twothumbs :twothumbs :twothumbs

Offline Nhoc Sin

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2015, 11:28:01 PM »
I don't know if anyone still remembers this fic, but here is the last chapter  :). Finally got around to finish it thanks to some of my readers :thumbup.



Last Chapter: An ending unlike that of a fairy-tale, only better!



"Don't forget  me.

But this is the most important:

Do not let me become the one ruining the rest of your life."



oOo



Takamina's family flew over for a visit. Her mother had been wanting to come by as well as staying here for good to take care of her to which Takamina objected. Just the sight of the old woman was enough to make Takamina weak, as when she was a baby hiding in her mother's arm. Atsuko's heart sunk while watching the mother walking toward her daughter whom she hadn't seen for months. She was originally a calm and strong woman yet in the span of a few minutes, such a full-of-pride person quickly collapsed. All Atsuko could see on her was panic.

The old woman gently ruffled Takamina's hair while she simply turned over to enjoy the caress.

Takamina only often talked about her father. This was the first time Atsuko got to see how her mother looked like.
 
Takahashi family's male members of which consisted of her father and a younger brother were still confusingly standing outside. Their appearances looked as if they were Takamina's dopplegangers - strong and tough. Although her health had been deteriorating days after days, she was still radiating beautifully with hairs neatly tied up, dark-colored eyes and the familiar smile.

These people and Atsuko had never gotten to understand each other before, not until now.




Her family took her to Sydney for a few days, taking advantage of the available time when she still had enough strength to enjoy the trip. Mr.Takahashi suggessted Atsuko to use this chance for a rest to which she reluctantly agreed, not because she was worn out, but out of sentimental feelings that their family needed to spend time together.

Consequencely, Takamina had to keep sending her a text message every five minutes in fear of Atsuko hallucinating herself into thinking that she had died.


...



Only Takamina's mother stayed for more than a week; her younger brother still had school to attend while her father seemed unable to endure the sight any longer. Takamina's condition had been getting worse every day, her limbs had become wonky and useless. She seemed to hate the rental wheelchair yet enjoyed watching Atsuko's silly antics purposedly done for her. Takamina had always felt embarrassed being spoiled by others.

Nonetheless, she still loved laying inside the bathtub after those torturous headaches the best while her muscle fibers relaxed and entire body comfortably blended in the water. She would let Atsuko shampoo and scrub her body at ease, enjoyingly moaned in between the touches.

Takamina seemed to be quite proud that she still had the capability to excite their emotions through every touches; although both were too exhausted before they could go any further. 

oOo

A few days after Christmas, Atsuko's colleagues started getting preparations for an Exhibition Festival to be held at the beach annually. December weather looked to be colder than previous years though compensated by bright sunlight and blue sky. They walked down the beach, bringing along blankets, mattresses, a volley ball, a pack of beers and outdoor foods. Atsuko laid Takamina on the chair, wrapped blankets tightly around her and shaded her with a large umbrella overhead.
As Atsuko was devotedly running out in the open air, Takamina started dozing off, only had her eyes open when it was Atsuko's turn to serve. She incessantly grumbled at Atsuko's poor playing and grimaced when someone else easily scored.

"You're useless!" Takamina shouted in anger behind the large glasses she was wearing.

"It's not like this is a professional volleyball tournament!" Atsuko resentfully retorted. "You don't even know how to play."

"I swear that if I could play without getting stuck in this wheelchair, I could even have played it better than you."

Nevertheless, she was the one cheering the loudest as Atsuko scored a point before Sophie in the next round. She ran over and embraced her as if she had just singlehandedly won the tournament. Takamina's smile alone was enough to bring her happiness. She broke out in laughter and wrapped her arms around Atsuko's neck whispering. "You are my hero."

Atsuko's heart screamed out.


oOo


On November 14, Takamina decided to go into hospitalization where everything would make it more convenient for her than being at home. She had to be injected with Morphine almost the entire day, occasionally accompanied by continuous vomitings. They arranged her a private room that had a view looking out into a small garden piled up with toothbrushes and paper chrysanthemum.

"I'm really scared." Takamina said as they were lying on the hospital bed, her arms and legs restrained by surrounding metal bars.

"Don't be." Atsuko said, laying Takamina's head on her chest. "We'll become robots in our next lives."

"Robots?" Takamina forced a smile. Despite her efforts in trying to look strong, Atsuko could feel her fingers nervously twisting the buttons on her sweater.

"Robots won't die."

Takamina exhaled strongly. "But they don't have a heart either."

"Asimo does! So does Doraemon."

"Doraemon's battery ran out."

"All right." Atsuko gave up and glided her hands on Takamina's back where the skin was still soft and warm. "Then tell me, what should we become?"

"Well.” her voice sounded hoarse as if she had just finished screaming. It was like in the past when they were engulfed in cold war or yelling in each other's faces until one of them broke out in tears. "Bird. The seagull type."

Atsuko burst out laughing and caressed Takamina's sweat-drenched hair with her hands. "How maudlin you are!"

"Wouldn't that be splendid?" Takamina said. "Flying thousand of miles on top of the waves and consume fresh fish the whole day."

Atsuko pulled a wry face. "Seagull is loud!"

"Come on." Takamina sniffed. "Still better than you wanting to become Doraemon."

Atsuko slipped her hand behind Takamina's back and softly pulled her closer; she could feel her rough, uneven collarbone. She seemed to have a slight fever.

"Even if you became a bird and me Doraemon, it wouldn't matter." Atsuko buried into her hairs and said. "I will definitely find you."

"I know." Takamina replied, tightly squeezed Atsuko's hands.



Two days later, as Atsuko woke up early in the morning - probably only after dawn had just risen - she found Takamina lying still, her arms - which were neatly placed on her abdomen - had turned dead cold.

"Minami..." She agonizingly said.

Outside the room, phone calls were ringing;  the old,chubby nurse was pushing the food cart down the hallway amidst the loud, noisy chattings.
But here, inside this room, there was nothing.


oOo


Atsuko almost got flooded in condolences the following days. Everyone kept telling her that everything will be okay, that she's done very well, but she felt nothing of the sort. It was as if someone had cut off her legs, and she could only stand there, in the middle of her blood pool screaming out in pain. The path ahead was still long yet the only thing she wanted to do now was lying on the bed and cry.

She saw Takamina's mom arrive. The old woman appeared in her eyesight with a pale yet ever decisive face. She wanted her to help asking the staffs to contact the funeral house as she was better in English after all. Atsuko honestly wanted to just abandon everything and go home, but she knew Takamina would be very angry if she left her mom there alone.

Mrs. Takahashi was more proficient than her in regards to  time and preparations. She quietly listened to Atsuko's interpretation, gave out her request, and silently patted Atsuko's back the moment she sensed the young girl almost on the verge of collapsing. Atsuko thought the old woman would only cry alone at night though she would not let her tears seen by anyone. Atsuko was supposed to be the one consoling her instead.

They helped the nurses wash Takamina up with warm towels and water before transferring her over to the funeral house. It was as if Atsuko was seeing the image of a neat, meticulous Takamina embodied in her mom's fine eyelashes, slender neckline and every movements; although that was also the reason Atsuko didn't dare looking at her for too long, especially at her smile.

"You're a wonderful girl, Acchan." She told her when they were on the plane flying back to Japan. "You've done really well."

Atsuko leaned her head on the window base, watching the ground gradually moving farther away from her.


oOo


Despite Akimoto-sensei's effort in sending a security staff  team to the airport, they still struggled to get through the crazy crowd of reporters armed with cameras who kept calling out Atsuko's name non-stop in an attempt of snapping a picture of her the moment she lifts her head; flashes of light popped up as if a gunfight was in progress.Takamina would be transferred directly to the funeral house, this thought made Atsuko a bit worried and nervous as she was afraid that they would somehow lose her during the transit procedure, like when she lost her snowboard on a flight to Canada.

The driver dropped her off at Mariko's residence, a high-class building in the city. Atsuko still remembered how this irrational sister - who had left her family to come here living independently and worked at the theater's cafeteria - used to live here. Back then this place didn't even have an lift; escalators were decorated with various overlapping stickers and a pile of rabbit-eared, happily-smiling-face photos  placed around the lobby. When they were younger, before Haruna and Mariko got into a big fight resulting in them not talking to each other for a long time , this place had already stored a bunch of first generation's pictures plastered near the light switch on the third floor. Atsuko wondered if those were still there.

As Atsuko stepped out from the lift, she saw Mariko already standing there, still clothed in a blue pajama, her hairs uncombed and her eyes red. As soon as she saw her she immediately engulfed her in a tight embrace. Mariko's embraces were always comfortable; making one feel like a child being hugged by an adult, the feeling of coziness and at ease. She clutched her back tightly till her fingers were in pain then broke out sobbing.

"The happiness time of my life has truly ended."

Mariko just remained silent.



After returning from the funeral, a letter was found in Mariko's mailbox addressed to Atsuko in neat handwritings. It wasn't hard to recognize Takamina's handwriting. The letter had a post office stamp from two weeks earlier and was written on letter-writing paper bought in a small shop located inside the hospital. A border of green chrysanthemums and an animated tomato image traced along the bottom edge of the letter. Takamina had learned to draw tomato a lot, yet it was still difficult to recognize.

Atsuko had repeatedly read the letter thousand times.

....

Acchan...

Here is a list of things you must do.

You must finish them all even if they take up the rest of your life.

Go visit my mom.

Visit your mom.

Release a new single with AKB48. Donate all the money to Cancer Cure Research Organization. I've already told Akimoto-sensei about it. You just have to do it as requested. You absolutely must do it.

Learn to play guitar.

Travel to Oceania.

Take Miichan out to Karaoke sometimes.

Hang out with everyone more.

Become a good mother.

Keep in mind not to feed Memory chocolate anymore, it's not good for its health.

Go get a tattoo, at some hidden spot.

Find someone to fall in love...But don't love that person more than you ever loved me, will you?

Go back to places to which you had wanted to take me.

Don't be sloppy anymore!!!

Get back in touch with Simon.

Teach my brother driving.

Buy a notebook to write down things you need to do. Make sure you'll do what you write.

Find a good husband for Mariko.

Spend considerably. Savings without investment won't bring any profits, or are you planning on not earning money anymore? You should think for your future as well. I've left a professional financial advisor's business card in your wallet.

Treat Yuko nicely.

Oh, and play games with your son.

Also, go visit the Pyramids.

I know you like composing. Don't forget you have the ability to do it as long as you put your heart in it. It's the same for everyone but I especially have faith in you. Please live more seriously.

Don't ever forget me.

And this is the most importing thing:

Don't let me become the one ruining  the rest of your life.

Always be with you.

Minami.




oOo


There were two portraits of Mariko's deceased grandparents on the butsudan (altar) in her living room. The butsudan was quite high, meticulously decorated in mahogany which was previously in possession of Mariko's grandmother. As she came to be conscious of the world, it was already there. It had a mixed scent of orange and aloe wood, just like herself. Mariko could be said to be the only person below the age of sixty who kept a butsudan at home according to Atsuko's knowledge.

A couple days following the funeral, Atsuko took out the photo in her wallet and tried to put it in proper balance on the butsudan. Her hands kept shaking resulting in the photo not standing up-straight unceasingly. It finally took her great resolution to fixate the photo in a balance position. Takamina in the photo was staring at her with a gentle smile, one that was unable to hide her weariness.

Concentrating in her every movements, she held up an incense stick and tried to light it up. The smell of incense blended in the air, emitting pure, dark yellow colors. The thin smoke flew spirally upward in a slow manner. She clasped her hands and bowed, putting her utmost effort in paying attention only to her even breathing.

Atsuko called Simon asking him to make arrangements for Memory's trip to Japan. As Memory had never boarded a plane before, Atsuko was a bit worried. Mariko assured her that the dog would be just as happy as they were in their first flight whereas Simon said that he probably had to give it some anti-anxiety medications.

"Are you sure about this?" Simon asked. "It will have to be isolated for a while as well as going through quarantine process, if you're not sure how long you'll be staying in Japan then..."

"I need to stay here for a while." Atsuko firmly said. "There are things I have to do."

oOo


Atsuko participated in AKB's charity concert tour under Takamina's name. She made Mariko and Yuko suggest Akimoto-sensei to donate a large portion of revenue to charity fund. In the meantime, Aki-p's production unit's shareholders were painfully torn between anger and ecstatic bliss upon Atsuko's return. They, of course, didn't accuse her of being a traitor or a prodigal girl. All they knew was that as of right now, she is a potential goldmine. They thought that if they could fulfill whatever she wanted, she would stay here. Might as well let them be full of themselves at least for the upcoming months as Atsuko never even thought about her future after the tour ends. A future without Takamina.

Atsuko threw herself into work, stubbornly forcing everything her way. Her manager made every efforts in drawing the mass public's interest to the tour. Other than the first day of PV shooting where - as they turned their heads multiple ways - all they could see were each other's silly faces, it was probably the most strenuous tour for AKB48. Everyone repressed their heart-rending emotions and turned it into efforts to ensure that everything would turn out perfectly. Rather than bereaving at the graveyard, they spent long nights at studio with resolution reflected in their eyes looking forward to the future.

A long line of dancers consisted of even talented kenkyuseeis were gathered. The company's shareholders almost got a stroke upon seeing the expenses. It couldn't be helped, Takamina would not want to leave out anyone. The tour's wardrobes would consist of the most meticulous, radiant, and polished outfits in the world; stage-light system would be splendidly designed and fireworks would be on a grand-scale caliber. They would make an appearance in a completely new hairstyle, makeup, and concept in order to reach closer to the realm of goddesses.

The concert opened with River accompanied by a full-fledged orchestra. Thread of lights swept up and down, colliding into each other; followed by successive bombardments of intense drumbeats, and fireworks jubilantly exploding in the sky like stars.

Atsuko spread out her arms, shouting out loud. "We will make all of you cheer in excitement, the cheers that will reach her!"

And that statement was reciprocated by a deafening yell from thousands of audiences standing below the stage.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 11:34:28 PM by Nhoc Sin »

Offline shanju

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Re: [G - Trans] Filling Up Memories {Atsumina}
« Reply #39 on: September 07, 2015, 01:48:21 PM »
Yeayy finally i found your fic nhoc hehee
Hmmm i will read it, because i never read this before
Hehe, btw im in the group line
Keep updatee
 :on GJ: :cool1:

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