Ono glanced at the takoyaki that his assistant was making then he made some comments before looking back at the two girls. “I see. It’s good to finally meet the Captain you always tell me when some problem comes up with you and Sugaya-san.” Miya became silent with the mention of Risako and their problems. She glances at Saki to see her reaction with the statement but as she did, there wasn’t any observable reaction on her face but only her wonderful smile before turning back at Ono with a false smile. “Well, Risako always comes after a while to get you and you two would always make peace.” Ono continued as he took over with the cooking. “You know, Sugaya-san was on my usual stand near your house a day ago and it seemed she was about to visit you.”
Finally finished with the recording, Saki, Miya, Megumi and Mai said their thanks to the staff present with ‘otsukare-sama’ as they made their way down to the entrance and off to the amusement park. The amusement park was just a few blocks away and the four could see some of the rides it has – mostly the big rides. It has a medium sized though thrilling roller coaster, small but high fall logjam, and a never ending circular Ferris wheel. It is not as grand as the very well known Disney Land and Hello Kitty Amusement Park but it was still a place where people could enjoy themselves and forget about their problems, even for just a little while. As Blitz was halfway to their destination, Mai saw this crepe store and wanted to buy one. “Wait! I wanna buy one.” She said as excited as a kid and even ran towards the entrance but Megu stopped her and led her back to the two who were waiting a few meters away. “Aww… but I want to eat crepe…” She said in a sad tone. “Don’t be sad Mai.” Miya told her and even patted her head. “Don’t worry Mai. I bet we could buy a crepe somewhere in the amusement park.” Saki said with an assuring smile which not only gave Mai the joy of being able to buy a crepe but also Miya who had remembered how her Captain shows her “kakkoi” side. It has been already a week that she hadn’t looked up to Saki as her captain because as they are in Blitz, she is the leader and not her captain.
She shook herself from her thoughts as she realized she was already calling Saki as “HER” captain, as if they were a duo or that she belonged to her. “Miya?” a voice called and she looked where it came from and realized Mai and Megu were already lining up at the ticket booth and Saki was waiting for her a few steps away. Miya hadn’t realized that she had stopped walking as she was deep in thought. She was still rooted on where she stood and it is as if she was frozen and the signals that went to her brain were so slow on being depicted. With another call from Saki, Miya’s actions finally sped up and as she was about to walk, she found Saki holding out her hand to her. She stopped once again to look at the scene; Saki, holding out her hand to her and waiting there for her to take it, a very charming smile painted her face plus the sunset background; it looked like a scene from an anime Miya remembered she had watched a long time ago. She remembered that that scene from an anime made her feel soft, emotional and happy; and that is how she felt at that moment. “Miya, c’mon. Megu and Mai are waiting for us.” Saki finally said that made Miya smile, take her hand and let her take the lead to the line. “You two are so slow.” Mai complained but when Megu handed her the ticket, she dragged Megu to the entrance and didn’t wait for Saki and Miya.
A few minutes later…
“Ah! I want to ride that! And that! That too!” Mai pointed at each ride she wanted and poor Megu that she was the one who was being dragged around. Miya and Saki stayed a few steps behind and just watched Megu being dragged from one place to the other. “Don’t you think we should calm Mai down? Megu looks tired.” Saki asked with concern but Miya on the other hand took this as a chance to get away from the other two and just stay with Captain, alone. “I think it wouldn’t be a problem.” She then yelled at Megumi who was already a few feet away. “Megu! Would it be okay if we separate ways from here?” Megu looked back and nodded. “What time should we meet then?” Miya looked at Saki as she thinks of the time. “How about we meet back here in two hours?” Saki just nodded and Miya confirmed it with the other two before really separating ways.
Mai and Megu started to line-up with the nearest ride Mai wanted “Mai, are you sure you want to ride this?” Megu asked as she stared at the carefully painted dinosaur car. “Uh-huh!” Mai answered with matching smile and tug on Megu’s arm. Megu sighed as she couldn’t escape the hands of Mai and she couldn’t think of herself riding such a childish ride. She looked at Mai who seemed so excited with eyes glistening as she stared at the cars. Megu smiled herself upon seeing Mai this excited. ‘She’s already starting to grow into a wonderful woman but she still hasn’t moved on her child-like side.’ Megu thought as she looked at the few children lined up in front of them before sighing. ‘I just wish there were other people the same age as ours riding this thing… We really stand out when riding with a bunch of five year olds…’
On the other side of the park, Miya and Saki were slowly walking around the area, not really finding any rides that they both liked. As they got tired, they agreed to stop and rest on one of the vacant benches near a snack stall. “What should we do now?” Miyabi asked as she took out her phone to check on the time but before she could, she found herself staring at the one message she wouldn’t have dared to open. Saki on the other hand was busy sending a mail to Megu to ask how they were and if Mai had already bought a crepe. Once she had sent the message, she put it back in her pocket before looking at Miya whom she heard was asking her a question, “Miya, sorry I didn’t catch what you were saying. What was it?” She asked but the other girl was quiet and was staring at her phone with a serious look. Saki didn’t want to bother her but she got curious. “Miya?” She called but the girl was still focused on the piece of equipment. “Miya?” She asked again but this time, she got her attention. “What?” Miya replied as she closed the message and put her phone in her bag. “Are you okay?” The older girl asked and the younger replied with a nod. “Yeah. I’m fine. I just got a message from my mom asking how I was with a lecture series of not inviting boys in the house.” Saki smiled with the thought as she remembered her mother telling her the same. “Well, that’s how mothers are, I guess.” She answered as she glanced at the snack stall. “You hungry? Want anything?” She asked as she stood up and examined the food the stall was offering.
Not really hungry but with curiosity, Miya stood up and walked beside Saki as she surveyed the stalls’ food as well. “I’m not really hungry but I guess that strawberry pocky is one tasty treat.” Saki laughed as she heard Miya’s comment. “That is one tasty treat but that’s a dessert pocky.” She smiled, “Do you want it? There are other flavors but if you want it, then it’s good.” Miya began to contemplate if she were to buy the strawberry shortcake or the five-fusion berry flavored pocky well known from Goka, Sashima district in Ibaraki Prefecture. As Saki waited for Miya’s answer, she asked the lady at the other side of the stall for a Blueberry flavored Ramune and that she will have one stick of Dangos. As the lady hands over the stick of Dangos, Miya looked at it and it made her change her mind. “I guess I’ll also have Dango as well.” She told Saki as the older girl gave her the stick. “Okay. Here.” She handed her the stick with Dangos and she asked for another.
They sat back down on the bench and enjoyed their snack. They talked for a while; laughing, teasing, encouraging each other and also took pictures and before they knew it, the two hours were nearly up and they have 30mins left. They decided to start on walking and since it is already getting dark and cold, they want to work up their body heat and stretch their muscles. On the way to the main square of the park where they separated with Megu and Mai, Miya spots a takoyaki stand with a familiar person as the cook. Miya tugged on Captain and led her to the stand. “Kon’nichiwa.” She greeted as the cook looked at her. The cook gave the utensils to his assistant before smiling at Miya. “Ah! Isn’t it Natsuyaki-san. What could I help you with today?” He greeted with glee before looking at the shorter girl beside her. “Eh? Who is this with you? You’re not with Sugaya-san today?” He asked as he smiled at Saki. “Ah. Ono-san, this is Shimizu Saki. She’s the Captain I was telling you about.” Miya introduced as Ono smiled again at the sight of Saki. “Kon’nichiwa. I’m Ono. It’s nice to meet you.” Saki bowed slightly as she greeted him back.
Ono glanced at the takoyaki that his assistant was making then he made some comments before looking back at the two girls. “I see. It’s good to finally meet the Captain you always tell me when some problem comes up with you and Sugaya-san.” Miya became silent with the mention of Risako and their problems. She glances at Saki to see her reaction with the statement but as she did, there wasn’t any observable reaction on her face but only her wonderful smile before turning back at Ono with a false smile. “Well, Risako always comes after a while to get you and you two would always make peace.” Ono continued as he took over with the cooking. “You know, Sugaya-san was on my usual stand near your house a day ago and it seemed she was about to visit you.” That information shocked Saki but not as much as Miya. Miya didn’t want to ask anything about it but Ono continued. “Something weird that time though.” He stopped as he focused on getting the takoyaki its perfection before continuing. “She was the one who stayed a while at the stand and acted like how you do when you were there.” Miya knew she should say something to either stop Ono from saying more or just to get them back on walking. “Is that so…” She started but before she could say more, Ono continued as he looked at her. “She also mentioned Shimizu-san.” Listening to Ono, Saki was not expecting her name to come up with the discussion but now it did, her attention began to focus on him and not on how the takoyaki was being made.
“What did she say… about Saki?” Miya asked as she bit her lower lip with the curiosity banging in her head. Ono turned some takoyaki before going back to the discussion. “She said that your Captain will take care of you more than how she did.” Saki began to sweat and so did Miya. As they go deep in thought, Ono gave out a small laugh. “It’s weird though. I mean, for her to say that. Did something happen between you two that I didn’t know?” He asked as he let his assistant take the cooked takoyaki. “Uhm…” Miya started but then she became silent. Saki on the other hand took the attention of Ono and gave an excuse for them to take their leave. Without any problems, they were on their way.
Both were silent as they walked and before they arrived at their destination, Saki knew that she needed to get Miya in a place where only the two of them could talk privately. Though they could talk about it when they get home but Saki felt this is the best time than later. “Say Miya, we still have 10mins. Do you want to ride the Ferris wheel?” Snapped out of her thoughts, she agreed and she knew she’s not in the condition to see Megu and Mai in the state she is in or else, questions would come up and she wouldn’t know how to answer them.
As they arrived, they got on it without a line to wait up and as they settled down, Saki took out her phone and found that Megu sent a message. It stated that they are currently eating crepe and that Mai still wants to go to one last ride before meeting up and so they would be late. Saki replied as she told Miya of the message. The ride hadn’t started yet for they were still trying to occupy each cart. Silence still covered the whole cart and Saki couldn’t help herself but to look at Miya.
‘I should do something. I mean, I did act like I wasn’t listening but I couldn’t help myself. Ono-san could have just asked first but it was not his fault. He must have been curious and didn’t really know what happened to them. Thinking of Risako and what did happen, I still can’t see the reason why Risako had enabled herself to get pushed by her grandmother. If you really do love the person, you’ll actually stand up to any reason that could make that love break. Ah! I can’t think straight…’
Shaking my head a little as I tried to erase the thoughts that came in, a voice broke the silence and caught my attention. “The sky is really wonderful tonight.” I looked at the girl in front of me and saw her eyes starting to water. I panicked but I tried to be calm. “Yeah, it is, isn’t it?” I answered, looking out at the sky while trying to be as calm as I can, thinking of a way to soothe her. “Saki…” I heard her say and as I looked at her, she was already looking at me. “Mh?” I answered as I waited. She seemed reluctant to continue but she did after a little silence.
“Why hasn’t the one I love care for me as much as you do?” The question actually surprised me and it was a very unusual question to ask. I mean, I don’t know the answer… or am I just ignoring it? I looked at Miya, concerned as I could be. “Miya… Maybe you’re seeing it differently.” I slowly and carefully went to her side and sat beside her. Even though we need to balance the cart, I didn’t care. For now, Miya needs my comfort and I should give it to her. I hugged her from her side as she rested her head on my chest. “Risako had cared for you Miya. You might have not noticed it but she might have cared for you more than I did.” I was slowly moving my hand up and down her arm to help the soothing but she broke free and stared at me. “No… You’re wrong…” She said as she disagreed with what I said. “Even Risako saw this true… She even told Ono-san about it…” I tried to calm her down and reached out for her. “Miya, maybe you’re just saying these because you’re feelings are affecting how you think-” I was about to continue when she stopped me with her own explanation. “It’s true that she cared for me… But whenever I need her company, most of the time, she spends it with the boys her grandmother arranged.” I gently pulled her toward me to hug her again but she didn’t let me.
“I remember before we took a year break, before I started dating Risako, you always come when I call you up. Even though the reason is not urgent or anything, you come. Without any delay, you do. You cancel your schedules; you even skip school just to be there for me.” Tears started to fall from her eyes and I couldn’t help it. I gently cupped her cheeks to make wiping her tears easier. She held both my hands and slowly pushed them away. “But why can’t Risako do the same?”
Her question really made me lost for words. I don’t know how to explain it to her. I can’t say I love her and that it is the reason why I’m always there for her. It just stopped when she stopped calling, the news of her dating Risako and Momo and I hooked up. Things got difficult and there was no time for us being together. I pulled her into a hug once again but tighter to let her know how I’m serious at the moment. “Miya… We all have the will to choose. Risako has chosen to please her grandmother but we don’t know the reason behind it. She might have been doing it to protect you. We don’t know unless you ask her.” I paused as I felt her tighten her grip on my shirt. “At my part, I chose to be there for you every time you need me. And I’m telling you again, I will be there for you Miya. Whatever happens, I will be.” I hugged her more and let her cry. I tried my best to think of what to say and this is it. I might be calm and responsible when it comes to work but at these type of problems, I’m just like everyone else; weak and unwise.
The ride had stopped but Miya is still in distress. I held her near me as I led her to the main square where Megu and Mai were waiting. As we got close, I could see Mai holding on to Megu like a baby monkey with her mother. “There you guys are. We thought you guys already went home without telling us. I sent two messages and didn’t get a reply.” I let Miya take a seat beside Mai and I took the vacant one beside her. “I’m sorry Megu. Things came up and I didn’t get to look at my phone.” I reasoned.
Leaning forward to get closer to Miya, I told her it would be okay. I’m here to help her move on and that is the reason why I’m staying with her a whole month. “Everything will be okay, okay? I’m here.” I told her but the response I was waiting for didn’t come from her but from Megu. “What’s wrong with Miya? Did something happen?” She asked but I just told her generally that it was about their break-up. Megu was actually surprised with the news. She didn’t know that Miya and Risako broke up. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know. If I knew I shouldn’t have asked.” I told her its okay. No one knows about it aside from Me, Risako and Miya. No one from H!P Kids know of this news yet. Not to mention Momo… What would she think if she knew? How would she feel if she knew I’m spending my time alone with Miya in her house?
Breaking off from the thoughts that come to mind because of a sudden voice was heard. “Mai! I told you that we shouldn’t go inside that Haunted House because you’ll get scared.” Looking at Mai, I just realized that she had been clinging to Megu all this time with that scared expression on her face. “What happened to Mai?” I asked as I didn’t catch on what Megu was saying earlier. “Mai? Well, the last ride I told you about, it was actually the Haunted House. She wanted to try it but I told her we shouldn’t. Aside from it was already getting dark I knew Haunted Houses are really scary. And since she still has that child-like side of hers, I knew she would get scared. In short, this is the result of her being all “brave” as she said.” I nodded as I understood and a small smile came up from my face. “Okay. It’s getting pretty late. We should start walking home. We don’t want anyone to worry.” I finally said as it was already 7pm. “See you guys tomorrow for the recording. And don’t worry, I’ll take Mai home. You take care of Miya.” Megu said as she and Mai bid us goodbye.