“Inside my heart, Nyan Nyan will always stay.
No matter how many times she pushes me away…”
“Nyan Nyan!” Yuko said, jumping behind Haruna, who was reading the day’s script.
“Good morning…” she just said, trying not to mind the little squirrel behind her. She was also quite tired that day.
“Nyan Nyan… you look so tired. Didn’t you sleep?” she asked, worried. “And you were the one who went home first.”
“Ah, I’m fine. I just need to fix something in the house, that’s why I was tired,” she lied.
Haruna had a secret that she could never tell anyone, not even to her best friend, Mariko. If someone finds out, it would be her end. Her phone rang and she stood up, shrugging Yuko from her back. She hurriedly went out of the green room.
“Mariko, is there something wrong with Nyan Nyan?” Yuko asked the tall girl, who was busy with her phone.
Mariko, who was equally worried, looked at the door. “I don’t know, Yuko. She has been like that for more than a week already. She doesn’t speak or anything.”
“Nyan Nyan…” Yuko said sadly.
The tall girl returned, grabbed her things, and said, “I have to go now…”
“But, you’re still…”
“See you tomorrow, Yuko, Mari-chan,” she said before running.
“Ah, Nyan Nyan forgot her jacket,” Yuko said. “And it’s quite cold outside.”
“Maybe you should go down and give that to Nyaro,” Mariko replied. “And try to talk to her because she seems to be different nowadays.
Yuko ran out of the building. “Nyan Nyan! Your jacket!” she said. The girl did not hear her as she continued to rush towards a certain place. Yuko had no choice but to follow the tall girl as she walked briskly.
She saw Haruna turn around a corner of a street. “Hey, Nyan…” she was surprised when she saw, across the street, Haruna and a man, hugging.
There were fast cars moving that they did not notice her. She dropped the jacket in shock and looked at the two love birds. Haruna, who was wearing thick glasses at that moment, smiled at the man and he did in return.
Yuko could just look in despair as the two walked away from the side of the road. “Ha…runa…” she said, as it started to rain.
Nyan Nyan has a boyfriend. I know that she did not tell anyone because she wanted everything to be safe and quiet. I saw the two of them.
It hurts yet I have to keep the secret for her… for my Nyan Nyan.
“Good morning, Yuko,” Haruna said, making Yuko close the notebook in haste.
“Ah, morning!” she responded. “How’s your day?”
“Very fine!” Haruna replied, flashing her cute and lovely smile that Yuko loved. It just made her sad that the smile was not caused by her. “Yuko… are you okay?” she asked, noticing that the shorter girl was paler than usual.
“Ah, genki genki…” she replied, waving her hand in front of her. Being soaked under the rain really made her awfully sick. She sneezed.
Haruan affectionately went beside her and placed her hand on her forehead. “No way. You’re burning with fever!”
“I’m okay, Haruna,” she said in a small voice.
“We have practice today. I can’t skip since it’s the only practice that we are all complete,” Yuko replied, unconsciously brushing off Haruna’s hand rudely. Realizing this, she said, “I’m… I’m sorry…”
Haruna, who was surprised that Yuko acted differently, recoiled. “Umm… just please tell anyone if you’re too sick to practice, okay?” she said meekly before leaving the room.
“Why is Yuko like that towards me?” she asked herself as she looked at the restroom mirror. Yuko, who was always so gentle towards her even though she’s quite annoying.
Her phone rang. She read the new message.
Meet me later, at the usual place.
Haruna frowned. She had promised Mariko that they would have a dinner date.
“But Mari-chan invited me out.”
“Who is more important?” he replied.
Haruna had no choice. She loved him so much. She sighed and then sent an apologetic mail to Mariko.
“You see, Nyaro did not accept my invitation,” Mariko said. “And you’re the only one I can ask today,” she told the small girl. “And you’re sick so of course, you cannot cook.”
“Ah, I see…” Yuko said. “So I’m a replacement?” she asked jokingly.
“No, not like that!” the taller one said. “My treat, actually…” they stopped in front of a yellow-lit, romantic Italian restaurant. “I saw Nyaro carrying a paper bag from this restaurant so I guess it’s good…” she said as she opened the door.
“Welcome,” a waiter said.
“For two, please…” Mariko said. They were led to a table next to the window.
Yuko poked Mariko and said, “Bathroom.” The tall girl just nodded with a smirk while the waiter told Yuko how to get there.
The team K member walked towards the said room when she saw an unexpected sight.
It was Haruna with her boyfriend. Even with the dim lights and the glasses on, she knew it was the only Haruna. Her bag was even on top of the table.
Haruna, who was shyly smiling as her boyfriend showed his affection was surprised as she heard her name. She saw Yuko standing in front of their table. “Yuko?” She immediately stood up.
“What is the meaning of this?” Yuko asked, pretending that she hadn’t seen them the night before.
Haruna went to the guy and whispered something. He nodded, and Haruna led Yuko to the veranda. “You know all of these things are pretty much illegal for us, right?”
“I… I know…” Haruna replied.
“And then why?”
“Yuko…” Haruna started guiltily.
Yuko smiled bitterly. “I’m not your mom or anything but what about AKB? What the hell are you doing?”
“But Yuko… I love Akira!” the long-haired girl said. “I can’t leave him. I don’t know what will happen to me if he leaves me too…” She held Yuko’s hands. “AKB is as important, but he’s my life.”
“I know what you’re going to say next,” Yuko said with a sigh. “You want me to keep this as a secret, right?”
“Please…” Haruna said.
Yuko felt heartbroken. “Are you happy?” When she saw Haruna nod with a smile and tears on her eyes, she had no choice. She nodded.
“Yuko… I love you!” Haruna said, hugging her.
“But that love isn’t the love I’m asking for, Nyan Nyan…”
“I must go back and stall Mariko,” Yuko said, breaking the hug abruptly, surprising Haruna who was used to the squirrel girl hugging her when she had a chance.
“She’s here too?” she said in surprise.
“Yes, but leave it to me, Nyan Nyan…” Yuko smiled, hiding her pain. She left her beloved Haruna to go to Mariko.
“Marikooo!” she said, acting nice.
“Yeah?” the tall girl asked. “Did you take a dump? What took you so long?” she asked as she lowered the menu.
“Can we go to another place?” she asked with a big grin.
Mariko sighed as she returned the menu to the waiter. “Okay, fine. But your treat now!”
“Just joking.” She stood up and bowed to the waiter in apology before they left. Yuko was glancing on the glass walls of the restaurant, catching sight of Haruna being hugged by this guy, Akira.
Yuko laughed and joked with Mariko as they ate.
The acting really exhausted her. As she arrived inside her apartment, she placed her keys on a cup and sat on her small couch.
“Ah,” she said, going at the terrace. The only one hanging in the clothesline was Haruna’s jacket. It got wet under the rain so she washed it.
As she held it, sadness overcame her. “Nyan Nyan…” she cried, holding the jacket against her chest. “Why?”
She asked me to keep it as a secret…
I guess, it’s like telling me to keep my own secret too.
I love Nyan Nyan too much. I just want her to be happy.
I want to help her cherish what she has.
“Good morning, Yuko!” Haruna greeted.
“Yo!” she replied just to acknowledge the greeting. She was busy reading the script for her new drama.
Haruna felt a little lost that Yuko was ignoring her. There was a small pain in her chest as she thought of those things. “Anou… Yuko, are you fine already?”
“Ah, yeah,” she replied. She closed the script book and stood up. “I’m going to go to the rooftop…”
Haruna was surprised. She sighed and looked at the floor. “Uhmm… okay.” She watched as Yuko walked quietly, still staggering because she was not feeling well.
Takamina entered the green room. “Haruna, why the long face?” she asked.
“Ah. Yuko seems… different…” she said.
“Well, sick people act differently,” Takamina replied as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Ah, I see…”
What should I do?
Should I also graduate so that I won’t see her?
I want to see her but I don’t want to see her!
Yuko closed the small notebook. She closed her eyes as she felt the cold air hit her face. It was already autumn, bordering on winter so it was a bit cold. She was surprised when someone draped a jacket behind her.
“Yuko, you’re insane. It’s very cold out here,” she said, sitting beside her. “Is there… something?”
“Stop lying. I know that when you look like that, there’s something wrong, something major,” her best friend said. “Sadly, I couldn’t see what that is…”
“No, you’re not. I’m your friend. I’d feel worse if you keep on hiding like that,” the captain replied. “Hiding your feelings… isn’t that the worst thing ever?” she added sadly. “It hurts here,” she added, pointing on Yuko’s heart.
Yuko suddenly hugged her friend tight and started to cry. “I couldn’t bear it anymore, Sayaka… I love her!”
“Ah, I know,” she replied, hugging back. “I know.” She sighed. “It’s Haruna.”
Yuko nodded. “Should I hide it? I know it’s a bad feeling. She’ll get mad at me!”
“Why would she? Why… why would she…” Sayaka reacted sadly. She turned to Yuko and held her shoulders. “I don’t have the right to say these things to you, being a coward myself. But I couldn’t bear to see you like this, see?” She smiled. “We want the energetic Yuko back. You don’t have to hold everything back.”
“I can’t tell her, Sayaka. I can’t!”
“Because…” she remembered the promise and stopped. “Because she deserves someone better,” she said in a small voice. She just hugged her friend and wept.
“I just want to go for a drink!” Yuko said, laughing loudly. She was with some of the other members to just unwind after a theater performance. “I want to celebrate because it’s been a while since my last theater performance.” She then put her arm around Sae. “You should celebrate too! You are now fully recovered!”
“Yeah!” Miichan said, raising her hand. “You know what? I got some free coupons to a bar. It’s just their opening, that’s why. Won’t that be fun?”
“Yay!” Yuko replied with a large grin. Four girls, Yuko, Minami, Tomomi, and Sae, made their way towards this place Minami was talking about.
“Should we worry?” Tomomi asked once they arrived.
“This place is member-only so it’s okay,” Miichan said. “Oi, Yuko. You’re drinking too much,” she reminded. Yuko just kept on chugging down the alcohol.
“We’re here to celebrate!” she said loudly, trying to hide the real reason why she was drinking. “Cheers!”
The others were a bit confused with this but they just responded to her toast.
After drinking a few bottles, Yuko, staggering, stood up. “Guys, this is fun!” she said, tipsy. “I’m just gonna go to the bathroom,” she said.
“Yuko… you want me to accompany you?” Tomochin asked, worried that she might just fall on the floor any time.
“No need. Ja ne,” she said, walking down the flight of stairs.
“I’ll go after her,” Sae said. “Excuse me…”
Yuko made her way through the dancing and drinking crowd. “Excuse me, haha,” she laughed as she swayed towards the restroom. The hall was quite dark, lit only by dim and strobe lights and was quite noisy due to the music.
However, all of the tipsiness and blurriness became clear as Yuko sighted something unforgivable.
“You!” she said, going towards the man. He was flirting and hugging a woman. There was no mistake; it was Akira. “You cheater!” she shouted, pointing her finger at him.
“Who is she?” the girl asked. Yuko ignored her as she just flung herself towards him.
“Haruna loved you with all her life!” She just hit him as she could, all her anger and frustration went out. “How dare you do that to her! How dare you!” she shouted.
“What are you saying?” Akira asked. He was also as tipsy and shocked that he was not able to defend himself.
“You cheated on Haruna!” she said through gritted teeth. Her eyes were glistening with tears. “You damn cheater, you should die!” she said as she continued her assault. She was able to scratch and bruise this guy.
“Yuko, stop it! Stop it!” Sae came, trying to get her away from Akira. “Stop it!” she said, “Please.” She pulled Yuko away from the guy. The drunken girl was able to give her final punch to Akira before she let Sae pull her away.
“You’re going to pay for this!” Akira said before he walked away. The woman who was with him had already left him due to her own anger.
“Yuko, what’s wrong?”
Yuko just grabbed Sae’s collar and cried on her chest. “That damn guy…” she cried. “I won’t forgive him!”
“You were lucky that it was dark,” Akimoto said the next day, eyeing Yuko and Sae. On the other side of the table was Haruna. “And you… this will certainly get you into trouble.”
“I… I am sorry…” Haruna said, her head down.
“This guy called me and said that he’s your boyfriend and that he’ll reveal all of these if we don’t pay for his physical injuries,” the boss said. “I already did something to keep things under control. For the meantime, I have to suspend you, Kojima-san.”
“Suspend me?” she asked, her eyes wide.
“You won’t be able to attend concerts and theater events. You’ll just say that you’re sick. I want you to fix this trouble.” He looked at Yuko, “As for you…”
“Yes…” Yuko replied.
“Last night did not happen, understand?”
“Yes,” the two girls chorused.
After the meeting, Yuko ran to chase after Haruna who was making her way out of the office, her head still down and her eyes watery.
“Haruna! Wait!” she said. She ran in front of the tall girl to stop her. “Haruna, I…” She earned a slap.
“Why did you do that to Akira?” she asked.
Yuko touched her red cheek. “Haruna…” “She’s already suspended for being with him and she still thinks about that cheater?” she thought. “I was just doing it for your sake!” she explained. “He was cheating on you! I saw her flirting with another woman!”
“You’re lying! He said he was just sitting there and you suddenly hit him!”
Yuko looked at her in disbelief. “What?”
“Why? If you don’t like him for me, I don’t care! Akira… we love each other so much! I don’t care what other people think! I don’t care if I get suspended! Screw all of these…”
This time it was Yuko’s turn to slap Haruna. “How dare you say those things, Haruna?” she asked, crying. “We have built everything for 7 years, how could you say that?” She looked away. “I was just concerned about you. You are my friend. We have been together for a long time and you don’t trust me?” She said something unexpected.
“I hope you’ll be happy making yourself stupid for a guy who lies to you,” she said, wiping her tears. “I HATE YOU!” She walked off.
Sae, who heard everything, dashed after Yuko, leaving Haruna standing by the door, dumbstruck.
Why doesn’t Nyan Nyan believe me?
I only wanted the best for her.
Why is she happy with someone who was cheating on her?
There was tension in the air when the senbatsu members were all together to practice. Yuko was talking loudly to the other members, laughing loudly, reacting and groping the other members.
“I heard Haruna-san is suspended,” Mayu said.
“No! That’s not true,” Sae denied. “She just got sick, that’s all. Where did you get that?”
“The staff was whispering to each other…”
“Geez, there are gossips inside?” she said loudly. She caught sight of Yuko, who got silent upon hearing Haruna’s name.
“You okay?” Sae asked as she patted Yuko’s back.
“Yes. I think I should ask the same question. Are you okay?” she shot back at Sae, who was surprised.
“I am!” she said defensively. “Genki genki…”
“At least I won’t be able to see Haruna for some time. That will lessen the impact of things,” Yuko asked. “But… we have a theater performance in two days.”
“That doesn’t bother me at all,” Sae said innocently.
“Good morning, Sayaka!” Mariko suddenly said, running towards the newcomer.
Sae and Yuko looked at her from their place and then shot glances at each other.
“Am I late? I was asked to sub for Haruna so…” she said. Her voice disappeared when she looked towards her two friends who were talking to each other.
“So… that doesn’t bother you…” Yuko said before walking towards their starting positions.
Haruna phoned Akira. He was not answering. “Please pick up,” she said. She was really in a mess; she and her dogs hadn’t eaten, her room was in disarray. She just felt lost.
“Akira, please pick up… please…” she whispered as the phone just continued to ring.
“I’ll just go to his place,” she said. She dressed up nicely. She wanted to apologize to him in behalf of Yuko.
“Yuko…” she thought. She regretted saying those things to her but there’s no turning back already. Surely she was offended and hurt.
“But why would she lie about Akira? He’s a good guy…” she thought. She fixed her hair and took her bag. She was about to go out of the door when she remembered something. “Ah, the keys…”
She grabbed the keys to his apartment and went out.
Haruna knew that at that particular time, Akira was not in the house so she decided to surprise him. She bought some food from a nearby store and opened the door. However, what she saw shocked and hurt her.
“What is the meaning of this?” she said. She saw clothes scattered on the floor, not just of Akira’s but of a woman. Black high-heels were scattered on the floor too. She covered her mouth to stifle her cry as she saw that Akira was with a woman, inside the open bedroom. She dropped the plastic bag and ran out of the apartment, angry at Akira, angry at herself.
After running towards an empty street, she fell on her knees and cried, hugging herself.
“I hope you’ll be happy making yourself stupid for a guy who lies to you,” Yuko’s voice resounded in her head.
“Yuko, I’m so sorry… I’m so sorry…” she said like a chant, feeling guilty for all the things she had said. she said stupid words to her friend, the man whom she thought loved her was a cheater, and she’s ruined in the eyes of their producer.
She felt weak and she was thinking of crazy things. She walked slowly.
Yuko waved at the others before walking towards her way home. She did not accept the invitations to eat first because she was not in the mood.
“It’s tiring to pretend, you know,” Sayaka had whispered before she walked away too.
“You’re right,” Yuko said as she stopped beside the road, waiting for the ‘go’ signal for her to cross the street. She was kicking a random rock when she heard a familiar voice.
“I don’t want to live anymore!” Haruna said as she was about to run in the middle of the street. There were cars and trucks passing by.
“Haruna…” She quickly ran to the middle of the road to save her beloved.
“Haruna, stop that…” the shorter girl pushed Haruna away from the road.
“Yuko!” she screamed. She saw the horrifying sight: the car that was traveling full speed hit Yuko instead, making her fly a few feet before landing on the ground.
“Help me!” she shouted to the driver of the car, hitting on the door. Haruna was crying; she was full of regret, guilt, and fear. “Please!” However, the car sped out of the scene, perhaps afraid that he would be prosecuted for it.
“Yuko!” she ran towards the unconscious girl. “Hang on!” she said, afraid to touch and further hurt her. She dialed the emergency number in her phone. “Help us! My friend was hit by a car!” She told them the details.
“Nyan…” a small voice from the side said. Haruna quickly crawled to Yuko’s side.
“Hold on, Yuko! Don’t sleep! Please!” she said. After some minutes, the ambulance arrived. They secured Yuko on the stretcher. Haruna followed and rode inside the ambulance as they made their way to the hospital.
“Nyaro, why are you crying?” Mariko asked from the other line.
Haruna was shaking badly as she spoke. “Yu… Yuko… she was hit by a car…”
“I… I don’t know what to do…”
“I’ll go there quickly. Please call Akimoto-san too, okay?”
“Ye…yes…” Haruna replied. She watched through the sides as the doctors and nurses tried to do their best to save Yuko.
“Please go out of this room first,” a nurse said.
“Please save, Yuko!” Haruna cried as she let the nurse steer her out.
She had no choice but to sit and pray that Yuko would be safe. “Mariko!” she called out when she saw Mariko, Atsuko and Takamina run towards her.
“How is she?” Atsuko asked. Haruna shook her head.
“She… she saved me…” the girl said. “And she got hit by that car… It was so horrible…” she started bawling again.
The doctor came out. “Sensei, how’s Yuko?” Takamina asked.
“She’s still unconscious as of this moment. Her life is out of danger but there might be some complications…”
“What do you mean?”
“She had a serious spinal injury. There is a 50% chance that she won’t be able to use her legs again…”
Haruna felt her world fall down. She felt guilty. She had already ruined Yuko’s life. “Yuko might not be able to walk?”
“No way! Please do your best, sensei!” Takamina said, bowing low. Atsuko and Mariko followed.
“We are doing the best that we can. I guess we have to pray for her too,” she said before bowing and leaving. The four girls were staring at the closed door. After some minutes, it opened and the nurses were pushing Yuko’s bed towards her assigned hospital room.
“Yuko… Yuko…” Haruna kept on whispering as she followed her.
“Tell me what happened,” Mariko said. They were in the hospital cafeteria. A waitress approached then and gave them the coffee that they ordered.
Haruna’s clothing was still bloody from holding Yuko earlier. her lip was trembling and she was silent.
“If you’re going to be quiet…”
“She saved me…” Haruna said. “I was about to kill myself…”
Mariko almost sputtered on her drink. “What? What the hell are you thinking?”
“My life is ruined, I didn’t know what to do!” She played with the cup but never drank the contents. “And now there’s a possibility that Yuko won’t be able to walk.”
“That’s the worst,” Mariko said. “For Yuko who loved to dance, this is the worst.”
“And I said horrible things to her,” Haruna said, covering her face with her hands. “Horrible…”
“Nyaro, is there something?”
Haruna admitted about having a boyfriend who cheated on her, her “suspension”, and saying those things to Yuko.
“That is very horrible,” Mariko said with a frown. “But Haruna, I don’t have the right to be angry at you. Yuko does,” she said before leaving her in the empty room.
Haruna decided to go check on Yuko. The used to be energetic girl was lying on a hospital bed, fitted with a dozen instruments to continue living. She really felt sorry for her friend. She took the empty flower vase from the bedside to put the bouquet some members had left and in the process, Yuko’s small shoulder bag fell, the contents littering the floor.
“Oh,” the girl said, kneeling down and starting to collect the fallen objects. What grabbed her attention was an open notebook with a purikura of her and Yuko.
“I love Nyan Nyan (heart heart)…”
The note struck one of Haruna’s heartstrings, making her cry. “What have I done to you, Yuko?” she asked.
Haruna had been allowed to return to the group with a promise that she would not meet Akira anymore. The man had been paid a huge amount of money for his silence, which further proved Yuko right and further humiliated Haruna.
To the media, Yuko’s accident was just an accident; the police had been investigating on the case, looking at traffic cameras and interrogating Haruna, who of course, was in distraught that she was not able to record the car’s plate number.
Haruna missed Yuko’s hugs and stolen kisses. Everyday, when she missed her friend, she would read the diary. It was very impolite to do that but she felt as if Yuko was there when she reads the entries. Furthermore, it looked like they were love letters for her.
They showed Yuko’s unspoken love for Haruna.
“When I wake up, I’m happy if the first face that I see would be Nyan Nyan’s…”
A mini-alarm sounded in the hospital room. Haruna closed the notebook and rushed towards Yuko’s side. Her finger was moving!
“Nurse!” Haruna shouted, going to the intercom to report this. Fast enough, a group of nurses and a doctor came to check Yuko’s condition.
“Normal…” the nurse said as she checked the monitor.
“Kojima-san, can you wait outside?” a nurse said.
“Yes,” Haruna replied. She did not want to leave but she had no choice.
The nurse got out of the room and patted Haruna’s shoulder. “She’s already awake but…”
She heard Yuko scream in despair behind the door.
“I cannot move my legs!” Yuko said, sweating as she attempted to move her toes. She tore on her hair in frustration.
“Oshima-san, calm down,” the doctor said. Yuko tried to get out of bed but her legs were heavy.
Yuko’s eyes were brimming with tears. “I want to walk! I want to!” she said like a child in tantrum.
“Please, please calm down,” the doctor said, pushing her back to the bed gently. “Please don’t worry, you’ll be able to walk again… just wait…”
“I… I cannot wait! I have to work! I have to dance…” Yuko cried. The doctor patted her back.
“Oshima-san, don’t worry, when you’re fully recovered, we will recommend the best therapist so that you’ll be able to walk as soon as possible,” he said. “Please just call me when you need something,” he said as he bowed before leaving the room.
Haruna saw the doctor leave. She knocked on the door.
“Come in,” Yuko said, regaining her jolly voice.
“Good evening,” she greeted as she opened the sliding door. Yuko’s prepared smile faltered.
“Ah, Haruna…” Yuko said, looking at her hands.
“I’m… I’m glad that you’re fine already,” she said with a shy smile. “Yuko, I…”
“I’m a little bit tired,” Yuko said, lying down away from her visitor and wrapping herself with a blanket.
Haruna gasped when she heard Yuko’s response. Of course, things would be awkward between them. “I… I’ll just tell the others that you’re fine already,” she said in a small voice before leaving.
Yuko sighed sadly as she heard the door close.
“I love it when Nyan Nyan’s beside me when I’m sick…”
“Wow, everyone’s here!” Yuko said, accepting the flowers that were brought by her teammates. “I can’t wait to go back!” she said.
“When are you going to go back?” Sae insensitively asked, earning a slight nudge from the team captain.
Yuko played with the flowers. “The doctor suggested a very good therapist so that I can walk in no time. But while I’m here, I leave the rest to you, guys…” she said with a wink.
“You should do your best,” Tomochin said.
“Of course!” Yuko answered with her thumbs up.
“By the way, the police are investigating about the hit-and-run case,” Sayaka said. “I want to beat the crap out of that guy! Honestly, he did not even help?”
The energetic squirrel was quiet. No one knew (except for Mariko) that everything happened because she saved Haruna from her suicide attempt.
“Ah, Yuko looks tired,” Miichan said, interpreting her silence as such. “I think we must go.” The other members bade their goodbyes to the sick girl, one by one, as they left the hospital. Only her two best friends were left.
Sayaka closed the door silently and sat on a stool. “I hate to see my friends in the hospital,” she said with a sad smile.
“Aww… sorry,” Yuko replied cutely.
Sae held Yuko’s hand. “No need to pretend now,” she said. They looked at each other for a moment.
And then Yuko broke down.
“I just want to return and perform with you, guys,” she said, sniffing as she cried. “But I can’t move even my toes.”
“The doctor said…”
“It will take at least 6 months! What if it takes longer? What if it takes forever?” she was really scared. “I want to return to the theater and dance! How am I going to do that if I’m like this?”
Sae rushed towards the theater where team A was practicing. She stormed towards Haruna. “It’s your fault!”
“Eh? Sae, what’s happening?” Takamina asked, confused.
Haruna was just silent, understanding what the other girl was talking about.
“The police investigation! The traffic camera! Yuko was there to save you!” she said. She wanted to hurt Haruna but Misaki and Haachan were holding her back. “After all of those things you’ve said to her! Were you worth her legs?”
“Sae, stop it,” Mariko said calmly. “That’s too much.”
“No!” she said. “There’s a possibility that she cannot return here because of you!”
“I’m sorry!” Haruna said, kneeling on the floor and bowing low. “I’m really sorry, Sae… I… I was foolish. I should have trusted Yuko more than anyone. I shouldn’t have committed those stupid things. I… I should have realized how much… how much Yuko cares for me…”
Everyone was silent. The intruder seemed to have calmed down. Takamina knelt in front of Haruna and helped her up. “Don’t say those things to us, Haruna. Say them to Yuko.”
“But…” she started to gasp as she cried. “She doesn’t want to talk to me!”
“Are you sure?” Mariko asked with her all-knowing smile. “Go.”
Haruna remembered Yuko’s notes.
Sometimes I would pretend that I’m angry at Nyan Nyan. But I love her so much I cannot resist her.
“Please allow me to go,” she bowed in front of everyone.
Takamina just smiled. “Well, we have few hours before the show,” she said, looking at her watch.
The girl wiped her tears, bowed again before running out of the building. She asked for a taxi to bring her to the hospital.
She felt that she had to say these things as much as possible. Not that Yuko’s going to die or anything. She just wanted to express her feeling as soon as possible.
“Yuko!” she said, opening the sliding door without waiting for any response inside. The room was empty.
“Yuko, where are you?” she called out as she searched. She asked the nurses but they did not know where the patient was.
Finally, glancing outside the glass window, she saw Yuko attempting to stand using bars in the garden. She rushed towards the garden and went to see her friend. Her heart throbbed fast.
“Ahh…” Yuko yelled as she was about to fall down, her legs still in bad shape. However, she was surprised when she fell on something, someone. “I’m sorry, I…” she looked behind her and saw Haruna, her face contorted painfully.
“Are you okay?” Haruna asked.
“I’m… fine…” Yuko said. Seeing Haruna reminded the patient all of the painful words and memories. “Why are you here?”
“I came to say a lot of things, Yuko,” Haruna said as she helped the girl back to the wheelchair.
“Haruna…” Yuko started. “I don’t want to hear hurtful words,” she said truthfully. Her words amazed the former. “I don’t want to get hurt more.”
She held Yuko’s hands as she bent down so that they’re eye level. “I won’t.”
“I’m really sorry about everything that I’ve said,” Haruna started. “I’ve been very stupid… Akira… he’s no good…”
Yuko just nodded slowly. Haruna could be stubborn and behind the camera, she did not want to admit her mistakes and she would defend them. But right now…
“Thank you for saving my life, Yuko…” Haruna said. When she looked up, she was already crying. “Thank you for giving me a chance to realize everything, even though you became like that because of me… I owe my life to you.”
Yuko smiled widely. “Anything for my Nyan Nyan,” she said with her old composure. “That’s real love for you…” she giggled.
“Hey, are you even taking me seriously?” Haruna asked with a pout.
Yuko nodded and flashed a more sincere smile. “Of course,” she replied. She moved her wheelchair so that they were both viewing the city. “I always want the best for Nyan Nyan,” she said. “That’s how much I love you…”
I love Nyan Nyan too much. I just want her to be happy.
I want to help her cherish what she has.
I want to accomplish that, no matter how much it hurts.
“Yuko…” Haruna gasped throwing herself over for a hug.
“Haha… it hurts!” Yuko complained jokingly. She patted the other girl’s cheek. “Hey, today’s your first day back in the theater, right? You mustn’t be late! Takamina will be furious.”
Haruna shook her head. “It’s okay…”
“That wouldn’t help me, stupid! You do your best in the theater, I’ll do my best to recover…”
“I’ll help you recover, Yuko. I promise. In no time, you’ll be able to walk and go back to the theater…”
Yuko giggled. “Thanks…”
“But for now…” Haruna took in charge of the wheelchair.
“Hey, wait! Not so fast!”
“Welcome back, Nyaro!” Mariko said in a loud voice, earning cheers and applause from the audience.
“I’m sooo glad to be back!” Haruna said cheerfully. “I’m glad that after my vacation, this theater is my first stop.”
“Yay!” a voice from the back said. Yuko emerged from the side, pushed by one of the staffs. She was carrying a very large bouquet and the other staff beside her was pushing a cart with a cake.
“It’s not my birthday, Yuko!” Haruna said, laughing while trying to stop her tears.
“Hi~!” Yuko greeted to the audience, who were also cheering for her.
They could hear people shouting, “Get well soon!”
“Thanks!” she said. “But we’re here to celebrate Haruna’s return! After her, I’ll do my best to get well as soon as possible!” more cheers. “That time, I also want Nyan Nyan to visit me in my welcoming theater performance!”
“Yuko… this is embarrassing…” Haruna said.
“Anything for my Nyan Nyan!”
“How about a kiss?” Takamina joked. Everyone cheered after her, wanting to see some Kojiyuu action. The two blushed.
“Eh?” Haruna said, embarrassed. However, she bent down and gave a soft kiss on Yuko’s cheek.
“Yay!” the squirrel girl shouted energetically. “Because of Nyan Nyan’s magic kiss, I’ll be able to recover in no time!” She bade goodbye to the audiences before the staff pushed her wheelchair out of the stage.
“Nyaro, Yuko really thinks your kisses are magical…”
“Ah… I hope so… Because Yuko deserves more,” Haruna said with a smile as she looked at the sides where Yuko was watching.
She already knew who her most important person is.
Yuko’s notes from the heart reached her.