The situation in the archery club is so intense at the moment. The video of the prez is still playing while Yumi still can’t take her eyes off the screen.
“We, the student council committee have the right to close down the archery club because the club never wins any tournament in the past until now. There is no report about how the club has contributed to the school; hence, we are going to close down the club immediately. The decision has been made and if you are against this, you can talk to us when I am back to Japan tomorrow. The absolute decision is always on us so whatever the decision is after our meeting, you should be respectful and follow the results of the meeting.” the video stops playing.
“Reika….” again, Yumi calls her longed best friend’s name. “…your prez is Sakurai Reika??” Yumi asks Minami.
“Yes….” Minami notices something and she covers her mouth with both hands. She looks surprised. “So that’s true!” she shouts with her mouth covered with both hands.
“So, our prez is Waka-sama’s old friend. Is that right?” Kazumin adds.
“Yes. She is my friend.” Yumi clarifies.
“I have always wondered if prez is Waka-sama’s best friend since I joined student council but since Sakurai-san is not approachable, I am scared to ask her directly about you.” Minami explains.
“Isn’t it good, Waka-sama? You have found your best friend! Though I am still not sure whether you’re happy or not because you know, the rumor that spreads on internet about you two.” says Kazumin.
“What you read on internet about us is not true.” Yumi breaks the silent. “What time will she be at school tomorrow?” asks Yumi to Minami.
“She will arrive at noon.”
“Good. On behalf of the archery club, I am against this closed out thing and need to see the prez tomorrow to talk about it.”
“Fine. I will let the prez know.”
“Thanks.” then Yumi turns around and walks out.
“Hey, you Kazumin right?” Mai approaches the clueless Kazumin.
“Well, I really don’t get it what just happened here. Mind to explain?” asks Mai.
“Wait… you don’t know Wakatsuki Yumi?!” Minami then walks closer to Mai with a surprised look.
“I know her. We met today and become friends.”
“It’s not about that. I mean, you really don’t know her? What is she and stuff??” now is Kazumin’s turns to ask with a surprised tone.
“I would say, I don’t.”
“Are you for real?? OMG.” Minami facepalms.
“Okay. Listen. Wakatsuki Yumi is very popular. She’s well known at least in every junior and high school in this area, okay? There is a forum dedicated to her where you can find any stuff related to her. But mostly, well, some of them are not true or need Waka-sama’s confirmation. Some of her fans are crazy too and you need to stay away from them.”
“Are you one of them?” Mai asks.
“Well, I am not.” They turn the look to Minami. She shakes her head.
“I am a diehard fan but I am not that crazy, yet.” Minami adds.
“Well, I got beaten up by those crazy fans of her earlier though.”
“Omg! Seriously?! That’s scary…” says Minami.
“Ironically, Yumi helped me. Anyway, can you please continue?”
“Okay. What we talked about earlier was that our student council prez, who is Sakurai Reika, happens to be her best friend when they were still in elementary school. They were always together until one day Sakurai Reika disappeared. No one knows where she goes but the rumor says she gets transferred overseas or other source says that Waka-sama dumped her. I have never thought that our prez is actually her longed best friend.” Kazumin explains.
Mai looks worried after hearing the story, somehow.
“Earlier, Waka-sama told me that she will help your club to win an archery tournament just to keep the club on. She’s totally different person that people describe online. I shouldn’t have trusted shit people post online.” Kazumin says and starts to leave the room.
“Thank you for telling me everything, Kazumin.” shouts Mai. Kazumin doesn’t even turn back. She just waves her hand as if she says, no problem.
Yumi then sits down by the river on the way back home. She blankly stares at the river, thinking about Sakurai Reika.
“Reika…..what have you been doing these past 5 years? Why didn’t you contact me? Do you forget about our promise?”
“Found you!” a voice comes from the back. Yumi looks back and finds Mai is standing there. Mai walks closer to Yumi and sits next to her.
“I am on the way back home then I saw you here. Do you mind I sit here?” Yumi shakes her head.
An awkward silent happens between them.
“I have heard everything from Kazumin. I don’t know that you are a superstar.” Mai breaks the silent.
Yumi chuckles. “I am not a superstar.”
“Yes, you are! I got beaten up by your crazy fans earlier, remember? And thanks again you’ve helped me.” Mai smiles.
“You know… I don’t know if it’s okay to say this but I have heard about Sakurai Reika too. Since she becomes the student prez, I never think she’s a bad person. She is so responsible to her work and as a student prez, she listens to us, the students. She’s a great person.” says Mai.
“Yeah. She’s always been one.” Yumi pauses for a sec. “The rumor you guys heard are not true. Some said I dumped her, some said she got transferred to overseas, some said she’s a bitch who used me, etc but that’s not true. She didn’t get transferred overseas. I know because I know people who used to work for her and Reika is not a bad person.”
Mai keeps listening.
“The truth is….she is the one who leaves me and I don’t know where she is going. The people who used to work for her didn’t exactly know where she goes but for sure it’s not overseas. I heard that she is a student at this school so I moved in. Now, I finally will meet her again after 5 years. I want to know the reason why she leaves me.”
“She’s so important to you, isn’t she?” Mai asks.
“She is always the half of me,” Yumi smiles. “I can’t explain but she’s really important to me.”
“I see…”Mai smiles. “It’s great to see you smile. Frowning is not really like you.” Mai laughs. Then followed by Yumi.
Today the meeting between student council and archery club will start in any minutes. Everyone from the archery club sits tight in the meeting room and they are waiting the student prez to come. Minami, who has been in the room earlier, seems busy with her tablet. Well, it turns out she’s the vice prez. She probably is busy checking what’s on the school and stuff. In second, the door is open and a few student council walks in.
“Oh, everyone is here,” a name tag on the left chest says Eto Misa. The table is set up like meeting which student council will sit across the archery club. Misa takes the seat followed by everyone else.
“Eh, where is Sakurai-san?” Minami approaches Misa.
“I don’t think she’s coming.” says Misa.
“What do you mean she’s not coming?” Yumi asks Misa while standing up.
Their eyes meet.
“Oh shoot. You are the most popular Wakatsuki Yumi, right? It’s an honor. Welcome to our school.” Misa stands up too.
“Thank you. But first, tell me why she’s not coming.” Yumi insists.
Misa frowns for awhile knowing Yumi keeps insisting but then she notices something and whispers on to Minami’s ears. Minami nods in agreement.
“Well, prez is busy. She just came from France and there are some work waiting for her. She doesn’t even take a rest, you know.” Misa explains.
Yumi seems not satisfied. Then she sits down. Seeing Yumi sits down, Misa does the same.
“As everyone knows why we are here right now, let’s just get started.” Minami starts the session and sits next to Misa.
“So, what can you do to convince us not to close down your club?” Misa asks everyone from the archery club.
“As I have told Minami yesterday, we still want to appear in the next tournament and this time we will win.” Mai as the club manager speaks up.
“You have always told us the same everytime,” Misa adds.
“We will win for sure. I am joining the club.” Yumi speaks up.
Misa takes a glance at Yumi.
“Well, what makes you join archery club, Wakatsuki Yumi? I believe your power is needed by our kendo club to make it much stronger. It’s one of the best clubs at this school at the moment. So, I suggest you to join kendo club instead.” says Misa.
“I don’t want to join kendo club. I want to take archery club to the championship and win. Now, will you give us chance?”
“If you see the record of the archery members, no one has the ability to shoot an arrow. They keep failing. This club stands for nothing at the first place. What’s the point then only you have the ability to do so? Isn’t it better if you give your power to the club that’s already making a good record every year?”
“I refuse. I am not interested in joining any clubs beside archery club. Will you please let us play?” Yumi stands up. Followed by Mai and the rest of the members.
Misa looks at the number of people who are standing right in front of her right now. The student council doesn’t plan to revive the club no matter what the reason is. The decision from the board is absolute and the archery club will be shutting down for good.
“We’re so sorry….we-,” before Misa finishes her sentence, the door opens and there a girl walks in.
“I am sorry I am late.” when this girl puts the notes on the table, her eyes meet with the person’s who is standing across her.
So much feelings between these two right now. What an emotional meet up after a long time. That emotion can be seen on both eyes.
Moment in silent.
Mai looks at Yumi. Mai bites her lower lips and looks somehow worried, then looks back at the student prez who is also standing across her.
Misa and Minami, and the rest of students here are probably the luckiest one to witness the meeting between Yumi and Reika after being separated for 5 years. They can feel the emotion between these two.
“Wakatsuki….long time no see.” Reika smiles. Yumi nods, not even says a word.
“So, how late am I?” Reika turns the look to Minami who stands beside her.
“They promise to win the tournament and ask not to close down the club.”
Reika then looks back again at Yumi.
“You sure you will keep your words, archery club?” Reika asks.
Mai is about to answer, but gets cut by Yumi.
“We will win. Definitely.” Yumi looks straight at Reika. Reika smiles and then nods.
“As long as you have Wakatsuki, your club will definitely do well,” Reika pauses, “Let’s keep the archery club.”
“What? Wait, Reika, are you serious??” Misa stands up and sounds panic.
“Don’t worry, Misa. I’ll talk to the board. If I explain the situation, it will be fine.”
“It’s okay. Don’t worry.” she taps on Misa’s shoulder as if saying there’s nothing to worry about.
“Any other concerns?” Reika asks the archery club again.
“Reika…” calls Yumi.
“Thank you,” says Yumi while smiling. Reika replies with a smile too.
“I am happy they don’t close down the club.” says Akimoto Manatsu, one of the archery club members.
“Yeah… it’s all thanks to Yumi.” Maiyan replies.
“I don’t think we should thank her or anything,” Manatsu sounds a bit annoyed.
“Eh? Why did you say that? Do you think they will keep the club if Yumi doesn’t join?”
Manatsu is in silent. She knows it’s because of that Wakatsuki Yumi the club can resume activities, but somehow it’s getting on her nerves by just hearing her name.
“Don’t tell me, Mai, you like her now?”
Mai blushes. “Don’t say such a thing! We’re friends!” she replies nervously.
Manatsu is giving a look saying ‘I can tell you like her by seeing your face just now, you idiot’
There, from afar, Matsumura Sayuri is walking closer to Mai. Then Mai gets this mixed up feeling when seeing her.
“Mai…” calls Matsumura. Mai just smiles. “I know I was so mean last time. I should have helped you, but I got confused. When you confessed, I was really happy but I didn’t know what to do and I just walked off. When I saw you got beaten up, I left you. I don’t know whats got into me but one thing I am so sure that I like you too, Mai. I enjoy the time we spend together and I love when you cook for me every day. I know you hate me now and I know I don’t deserve your love. Therefore I am really sorry.”
Mai doesn’t even look annoyed. Deep down in her heart, she has forgiven Matsumura.
Without thinking any longer, Mai gives a person who is standing in front of her a hug.
“I forgive you,”
“Thank you,” Matsumura hugs Mai back.
“Thank you for your confession too. But I am sorry I can’t return your feeling.”
Matsumura releases the hug.
“I have guessed that,” she looks down. “We’re still friends, right?”
“Yes. Of course. You are one of my favorite persons.” Mai replies with a huge smile.
Matsumura smiles too. “So…who is this person who replaced me?”
Mai blushes and acts nervously. “N-no…I-I..”
Matsumura laughs and taps Mai on the shoulder. “Nevermind!”
“Ar-are you still in the club?” Mai tries to change the topic.
“Yeah. I am not leaving. I heard that Wakatsuki Yumi joins the club as well. I somehow get fired up inside and she is gonna be my perfect rival in the club.
“Awesome! Do your best then!! I will support both of you,”
“Yes, I will. Thank you, Mai.”
And then there Manatsu is still standing and gets fed up. “Do they even notice me here,”
On the rooftop of the school building, there are two girls standing facing straight to the scenery of the school from the top. They happen to be Yumi and Reika. So after the meeting, Yumi ran to Reika and asked if she could talk to her. Reika led her to the rooftop where both can talk alone.
“How did you find me, Wakatsuki?” Reika starts the conversation.
“I just….heard from people, then I got transferred. Then I found you. I am really happy, you know,” says Yumi.
An awkward silent.
“These times, I have always searched you. I have something to ask.” Yumi hesitates at first, but she continues. “Do you still remember our promise?”
Reika is in silent. Then, she replies without even looking at Yumi.
“Then? Why did you….why did you just leave?”
“I am really sorry. I had to,”
“Why? What happened? You can’t just….run away without even telling me anything,” Yumi sounds so emotional. Why not? She has been keeping these emotions since Reika left her. Tons of questions to be asked as well as mixed emotion that she has. She is at least feeling a bit relieved within herself that she is able to speak up now.
“I am sorry. I should have told you that I am leaving, but…”
“But what?” cuts Yumi.
“I just can’t face you when saying goodbye. I would be crying, you would be crying and I hate to see that,”
“At least you said something, right?” Yumi almost breaks down, “You know, I have always imagined us when entering first year in junior high. We will be classmates, we will enter the same club, we will go to karaoke together, have fun together, and do things together…I was so sad when you’re gone…You took the half of my heart with you, Reika. Do you know that?”
Hearing that, Reika turns her look to Yumi and she is crying. She’s been crying.
“I have always liked you. You are a part of me.” here it comes, the confession from Wakatsuki Yumi. Sakurai Reika even cries more. Yumi walks closer but she gets stopped by Reika.
“I can’t…” says Reika.
“Can’t what??” Yumi frowns.
Reika wipes her tears and raises her hand. “I am engaged.” Reika is showing the pretty ring on her finger.
It’s like being stabbed by a knife right on the heart. Yumi gets freeze and just can’t believe the love of her life has been engaged.
“I am really sorry, Wakatsuki.” Then Sakurai Reika walks away leaving Yumi alone on the rooftop.
Yumi still stands there, keeps gazing on the ground. She is crying too much over the heartbroken moment earlier. For the record, Yumi is known as a strong character among her fans and there’s no record about her crying even for once. She is not as strong as people think. She’s still a girl who is falling in love with her best friend. She also has a fragile heart and just got rejected which she could not avoid but cry over it.
The person who has been hiding on the rooftop and overheard about everything including the moment Yumi got rejected by Sakurai Reika, couldn’t even walk out from her hiding spot to cheer the person who is crying now in a few meters from where she’s hiding. She tends to give Yumi time to be alone and she also thinks it’s better not to come out just yet. Knowing that Yumi actually has a feeling for Sakurai Reika, Shiraishi Mai somehow feels something burning in her chest. It’s painful knowing that Yumi likes the student prez and she somehow feels a bit happy to see she got rejected.