I like those little things of you…… so sad those are not mine.
“Will you keep practicing though you know we all will have dinner party tonight?” I attached my body to the wall behind and decided to pick my best friend’s call up. My lips formed a smile, and once my hands wiped the sweat on my arm with towel I brought.
“Sorry I forgot…” a short excuse or a lie I told her.
“Eeee…. No way! We talked about it yesterday remember? I don’t want to hear any excuse from you! Stop practicing and come here like in 10 minutes!” she scolded me from across.
“No way! In 10 minutes I haven’t even done with showering yet.”
“I don’t want to hear any excuse from you! You have to be here before the dinner starts!”
“Okay, okay. If I haven’t showed up when the dinner starts, you just start without me, okay?”
“No! We won’t start before you come here!”
“Okay Yuko. I will be there soon, okay?” After she responded from there, we ended our conversation.
I walked out from the building and headed to my house. Go shower, dressing, everything.
I really don’t want to go. I’m not sure if my heart can take it again. The big hole on it was still not close yet. The pain was still fresh, like it wouldn’t be cured in any short time. But I couldn’t say no to her since she was my best friend. We were always together, stage MC, dance lesson, everything.
My phone rang as there was a message. It was from Yuko and she told me to be rush. I closed it and put it inside my bag. No rush, I just walked slowly like snail so that they could start without me.
Fail. They didn’t even start yet since someone hasn’t arrived yet. I know I should just walk even slower and didn’t take a train to go here. I just don’t want to come at all.
“Sorry, sorry! She will be coming a bit late. Suddenly she needed to extend for some hours at work.” she said.
“Oh…” a very short respond from me.
“You know she always comes home late. She doesn’t even eat properly like she usually does. Honestly I’m worried about her. I want to accompany her everyday if I could…. Cooking her bento, taking care of her when she is exhausted, so that I am not worried at all.”
“But when she’s off, we are going to many places. Spending our time together, holding hands everytime, eat together, we will do everything together. Aaa…It’s like we won’t get separated at all. I will protect her with my life.”
Yuko, please stop.
“Ah! You know there was time when she ate my foods and it was so spicy. Actually she took it accidentally and when she ate it, she was like burning. Haha… funny. And then I gave her 2 big bottles of water to calm her down. When I imagined her face at that time, I really want to hug her and give her a kiss.”
Please I don’t want to hear anything about you and her.
“Yeah it was funny…” I let out a small chuckled but my heart hurt. The smile you formed when your heart hurt was like adding some more pains into it again. My heart would reach its limit. It couldn’t take it anymore.
“Tadaima.” A voice came from the door.
“Acchaaaaaaan~” Yuko ran like crazy to the person who just showed up from the door. She hugged the gorgeous lady who stood there then gave her a quick kiss on cheeks and smiled.
“Mou~ I miss you so bad…” Yuko said and she rubbed her lover cheeks with hers.
“I have told you right I would come a bit late.” She smiled.
“I know but still I miss you so much~”
When Yuko gave her very deep hug, my presence was finally being acknowledged. Our eyes met and she smiled.
“Ah, Takamina is here… good evening.” Very warm voice and warm smile greeted me. My body was shivering from it and just giving her a smile.
“Okay~ let’s start the dinner. I will prepare it for you all! Just wait here. Nee Takamina, you stay here with Acchan, okay? I will call you when everything is done.” Yuko left to the kitchen.
Atsuko put her belongings on the table near me and then she sat beside me.
I felt so awkward. I was afraid whenever she was around me.
“How’s everything?” she finally talked to me first.
“Ev-everything is fine.” I chuckled.
“I see. Although I don’t participate in kouhaku, I would support AKB48….” She smiled.
“…..and you.” She continued. Deg deg deg.. my heart beat so fast. Are AKB48 and Takahashi Minami different? Why she mentioned my name at the end of her sentence?
“Me?” I looked at her and I got her looking at me as well. Smiling, those firm eyes were looking directly at me.
“Yes.” She then held my hand, squeezed it and held it so tight. She didn’t even look away and kept looking at me. I couldn’t look away. It was like her eyes put some glues on me. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t look away. Inside myself, I fought against my heart beat. It wouldn’t even move slower. It kept beating like crazy and I hate it.
“Minami…” she called my name. “I want you to be good leader in AKB. I know it’s not easy. I saw you doing that these times when I was still in AKB. Kinda worried a bit because you were very stubborn. Don’t force yourself from now…” she smiled.
Ugh… Atsuko….you made me fall for you again and again. Deeper and deeper. Much and much. Atsuko, I love you so much…
“Atsuko….I….” I stopped.
“I…I….toward you I…”
“DINNER IS READY!” Yuko’s voice surprised both of us. Quickly I pulled my hand from her and she just looked down.
“Ah dinner is ready…” she smiled. Then she got up and walked to dining table and left me alone.
I let out a deep sigh. What am I doing? I almost said those words out. Stupid! Atsuko, she didn’t know that I love her. We have been good friends until now, what if I said those words? I would lose everything right? She was Yuko’s girlfriend and Yuko was my best friend. How could I betray my best friend? Calm down Takamina, calm down….
“Just wow… Acchan got a lot of awards lately. She is awesome.” Yuko started the conversation when we were already in dining room. I sat across them.
“I saw it on TV as well. You’re absolutely cool and gorgeous.” I said.
Atsuko blushed and kept munching the foods.
“Oi…oi…” Yuko butted in, “…don’t say it to my Acchan, will you? It’s me who are supposed to say it to her. Ne?” Yuko looked at Atsuko and she just nodded. Yuko immediately gave a quick kiss on her cheeks. Spontaneously I looked away and took one spoon of my chicken soup. Such a view that I didn’t want to see.
“Eh doushita?” Yuko asked.
I looked back at both of them and Atsuko just pushed Yuko’s body, rejecting her kiss.
“I’m sorry Yuko. Let me finish my meal first. I’m hungry.” Atsuko said.
“Oh…Un, okay…” Yuko smiled and back to eat her food. That smile only remained for few seconds and soon it disappeared replaced by a reaction of curiosity.
“It’s midnight already, is it okay you go home alone Takamina?” Yuko asked.
“Of course! I’m used to walk alone at night.” I smiled.
“You can’t go home alone! I know we shouldn’t play too long. I wish I could take you home but I have something to do. Acchan, can you accompany Takamina?”
“Eh? No need Yuko, mou~ I said I would be okay. Acchan, just stay with Yuko. I am fine.”
“No! Let her accompany you.”
“Then, you let your girlfriend wandering around city at this hour just for someone like me???”
“Acchan would be okay, but you are not. Okay no more discussion, go now. Have fun.” She closed the door leaving me and Atsuko outside the house. Behind the strong white door, Yuko was leaning against it, sitting. Slowly she pulled both of her feet close to her chest, linking both of her arms and she put it on her knees.
“What am I doing?” then she buried her head inside the circle she formed with her arms.
“Have fun she said?” I just shook my head and chuckled.
“Well… should we go now?” Atsuko asked.
“You sure you’re okay? I don’t mind if I walk home alone. You should be with Yuko tonight right? She mi….” I stopped for a while, “….she misses you so much.”
“I can be with her after taking you to the station. Don’t spend much time, let’s go.” Atsuko walked through me and took my hand with her.
We ended up walking together and we were holding each other’s hands. Along the way I couldn’t take my eyes off Atsuko. Once I looked at her, she was so pretty in this short distance. If only you didn’t fall for Yuko, if only you know that I loved you this much, if only you know this heart was full with you plus the pain I felt whenever I saw you with Yuko, if only Yuko wasn’t my best friend, probably I would fight for my love…
“Am I that weird?” suddenly Atsuko spoke to me.
“Do you think I don’t know you keep looking at me since beginning?”
Shoot. She knew. Oh my god I’m dead now, this was really embarrassing.
“We-well….I…I didn’t look at you. Haha it must be your imagination, haha….” I talked to her nervously.
“Oh…” then Atsuko held my hand tighter and put it together with hers into her jacket’s pocket. So warm. “It’s cold tonight, isn’t it?”
“Yeah….” But my heart kept warmed because I could walk with you like this.
I could see the station was right in front of us. If I could walk with her for one more time. I still wanted to be with her, for awhile or… longer.
Suddenly she stopped, I blinked at her.
“Minami…” she spoke,
“Can we turn around and have one more lap?”
DEG DEG DEG DEG I just thought that she heard my wish.
“Oh, alright. If you wish…”
“If it’s about my wish, then forget it.” She said.
“Never mind.” She then started walking to the station, and no more one lap.
“Atsuko…I think you want to have another lap?” I asked.
I held her hand and made her stop. She turned around.
“Let’s have one more lap.”
Atsuko chuckled and smiled, showing her cute nose wrinkle. So perfectly cute.
“Okay…” then she dragged me away from the station and we were taking one more lap. I’m happy.
We walked around, went there and went here and somehow we didn’t want to reach the station ever.
But finally we’re here. Finally….
“Hey…” Atsuko said, “…is Yuko very important to you?”
“Why so sudden?”
“I just want to know… how precious is she to you?”
“She is like my sister. Well I treat her like one.”
“How about me?”
“Atsuko is my bestest friend.” I smiled.
“Hmm… but sister sounds better than best friend.”
“Eh?? Eto~ I mean…. You might be my bestest friend, but you are different of course. You’re special!”
“Special? Like what?”
“Ye-yeah special… My special best friend.”
“Do I have special place?”
“Special place?” I frowned.
“Yes. Here….” Atsuko put her hand on my chest. DEG DEG DEG my heart started beating, damn it.
“It…it….it….” I stuttered.
“Don’t be nervous. Just answer my question.” Atsuko continued. She kept putting her hand on my chest. I’m hopeless. She would have heard my heart beat.
“Before you leave let me make sure one thing.” She said, “….do you like me?”
I widen my eyes. Okay which like she meant? Omg… why did you do this to me god…
“Of course….I do like you, Atsuko.”
“As best friend or sister?”
Atsuko’s reaction showed me like she really was disappointed with my answer.
“Your eyes tell everything Minami. They are not convincing enough to me. Just be honest, will you?”
I can’t Atsuko, I can’t! How could I betray Yuko, my best friend? You are her girlfriend, I love you more than anyone else! If only I could tell you that but I can’t! You both are important to me, I couldn’t even choose. What should I do?
“Why? You like me more than friend right? You like me more than sister right? You like me as girl, am I right? Tell me which part is wrong to you.”
“No. They are right.”
“So…what’s the matter?”
“You’re my best friend’s girl, that’s why.”
“Why you can’t be honest? Even to yourself?”
“I know I’m such a loser. I’m a coward who can’t express my real feeling. I’m pathetic, I’m slow as snail. I’m always on bad part. That’s me.”
“You are just confused. Okay let’s talk about it with Yuko. With fine discussion, she would understand.”
“Eh?! No! Why did you do that? You want to break my relationship with her? Why you so cruel?!”
“Because I love you!”
Surprisingly……shocked. I was shivering from her confession.
“I love you. It is before I am with Yuko. I love you more than anyone else, but you never realize it.”
“Atsuko….I….I don’t know what I…”
“Just listen to me…” she took one of my hands, placed it right on top of her hand which was on my chest. She walked closer and didn’t even look away. “….we love each other, that’s it.”
I bit my lips, didn’t even dare to look at a girl whom I really really love. If there was no Yuko, if Atsuko didn’t date my best friend, probably I would be the happiest girl now, ever.
“I like it when you support me. I like it when you pat my head, I like it when you always give me a bottle of water during rehearsal, I like it when you try to comfort me. I love the way how you talk to me, I love the way how you smile. I love everything, as long as it’s you.”
Tears just dropped from my eyes. Hearing Atsuko saying such a thing, I am extremely happy. I don’t know if she had such a feeling toward me since long time ago and so did I. I don’t know who to blame but it’s more like my fault.
“I should just….say it to you right?”
Atsuko smiled. She wiped my tears. “Yea but you’re too slow for such an issue. I wasn’t that sure at that time if you do love me as well so that I kept waiting for you. But you showed me nothing which can convince me. At that time, me and Yuko were hanging around together a lot until finally she confessed to me. I rejected her at first and said I have someone I love but almost give up on my feeling. Then Yuko said she doesn’t mind if I use her to forget the person I love. But until now I couldn’t forget you. I was about to tell her this though.”
“Atsuko….I’m sorry…I should have said it much earlier. I was….just afraid because I think you only see me as friend.”
Atsuko pinched my cheek, “It’s not a problem anymore. We’ve known it all that is the most important.” She held one of my hands.
“Okaeri, Acchan!!” Yuko shouted at her and smiling after opening the door and saw her girlfriend was standing in front of her.
Her smile faded away when she was seeing me appearing from behind.
“Eh? Takamina? Aren’t you supposed to go home?” she looked at her watch, “…already more than an hour though and you’re still here.” Yuko looked uncomfortable and seemed a bit worried and panicked.
“Yuko….can we talk?” Atsuko said.
“Sure sure.” Yuko looked at us both. “What happened to you guys? Why a long face.” She chuckled.
“Can we go in?” said Atsuko.
“Yes yes! Come come…” we all went inside Yuko’s house.
“You guys want some drinks?”
“No thanks. Don’t trouble yourself. Actually, I want to tell you something that I hid from you since long time ago.”
“Don’t be so serious, Acchan. Have a seat first.”
“I think it is better when we all stand like this.”
Atsuko….why she sounded so cold? I know the situation was getting serious now, but at least we needed to make everything felt good not so tense like this. Yuko didn’t even say anything. She just gave us a sign to continue the conversation.
“I’m sorry….I can’t be with you anymore.”
“Ehe? Hmm…why?” Yuko looked so sad.
“Yappari…I can’t forget that person. I know you treat me so nice these times, but still I keep thinking about her. I can’t if it’s not her.”
“Yuko….Atsuko…. please don’t.” I butted in. I can’t stand seeing Yuko’s sad face. I wanted Atsuko to stop now.
“Oh… So these times you still can’t forget her? Did I just waste everything?”
“No, you didn’t. I felt so bad when I have to say this to you but I need to end this soon. If you can’t forgive me, it’s okay. I deserve it.”
“Who is that person?” Yuko asked.
“Okay, Atsuko please stop. Yuko, let me explain….” Before I could finish my sentence, Atsuko cut it off.
I closed both of my eyes. Yuko must be so sad. She might be mad at me and didn’t want to see my face anymore. I should not confess to Atsuko at the station. I should have just said other things. I felt so bad for Yuko. Damn it.
Yuko just looked down, frozen and shivering a bit.
“Yuko I can explain… Well, it’s not like what you imagine, okay? You think I would betray you? No. You’re my best friend. You’re like sister to me. I…”
“Stop it Takamina.” Yuko cut my sentence off. She looked at me. “This is the part of you that I dislike. Much.”
“You….you never think of yourself. You always lie to me eventhough you got pain in your heart and it went much worse. No cure at all.”
“Yuko, listen to me…”
“It’s you who have to listen to me!” Yuko pointed at me, “…you laugh, you smile, you advice me whenever I talk about Acchan. But you are indeed….feeling sad, right? Don’t you know I always have my eyes on you? Your reaction changed whenever I talked about Acchan even your body language. Do you think I didn’t notice it? Even tonight when we had dinner. I want to make sure if I am wrong or right, but looks like I am right. It makes me realized that you love her.”
“I’m sorry….” I shed tears.
“Why sorry? You didn’t even do anything to me. It’s me who is bad. I’m too bad as your best friend. I made you cry, made you sad and much worse when I realized it just now. I’m sorry Takamina.”
Yuko walked closer to me and wiped my tears, “…I think the time I gave you two to talk were used so well. And I’ve prepared myself for this conversation.” Yuko hugged me and I hugged her back. After few seconds, Yuko pushed me to Atsuko. “Go…go….go. Before I change my mind.”
“Yuko….thanks.” said Atsuko. Then she took my hand and followed her out from the house.
“She is the best, isn’t she?” Atsuko said. We were holding each other’s hand and walking around to have such a long talk.
“Yeah…I still feel bad of her.”
“Come on, Minami. She agreed right? I know she is really important to you, but aren’t I important too?”
“Of course you are! You’re the most important to me.”
“Well said, my boy~” she poked my cheek.
“Bo-boy?! I’m a girl!” I pouted.
“Haha….” Atsuko immediately leaned down and captured my lips with hers.
“Mou~ suddenly you attacked me…”
“So cute~ Can I have one more from you Minami?”
“Close your eyes…” Atsuko did what I ordered her to.
I made our distance closer and I pulled myself closer to her face. I captured her lips with mine, it felt soft and sweet. The lips I love. My hand went to her hair, stroke it. The hair I love. She intertwined her fingers in mine as we held each other’s hands while kissing. The kiss I didn’t want to break, the kiss for a girl whom I really love and fall for. I kissed her gently and I swear this love, I would never waste it and I would fight for it from now.
Because I really love you, Atsuko….