"Congratulation on graduating, everyone. Though, now we have to discuss continuing this contract of yours. Do you all wish to pursue being idols still?"
That question set a lot of things into question. Did they really want to keep doing this? Sure, Aya did. She always wanted to be an idol. That was no surprise. But, did the rest of Pastel*Palettes want to continue down this path?
None of them had that answer. Aya was the only one who did. Everyone else had never imagined really being an idol until they joined the group. This wasn't anyone else's dream at the start and it probably didn't change for anyone.
"How long do we have to give you an answer?" Chisato questioned, "I think we all need time to think this over."
"I will give you a week to decide."
"Okay. That's fair."
And so everyone left to figure out what they were going to do. Aya had her mind made up already. No matter what, she would stay. She wanted to be an idol so desperately. She'd do anything to keep that as her reality. But, what if it was only her? What if no one else wanted to keep doing this?
Maya had her answer soon enough. She wasn't going to be an idol anymore. She wanted to pursue engineering. That meant going to a trade school. That meant leaving. She wouldn't have time to be an idol.
Maya didn't say anything there for obvious reasons. It would crush Aya when some of them left. All of them knew that. But, this wasn't their dream. It was Aya's dream.
Maya didn't think she was cut out to continue as a professional idol. That would be a lot of work. And what if they decided to get rid of the band? If she had to dance instead... she didn't know if she could do it.
Chisato already knew her future. Her parents had decided that already. She was to become an actress. She was not allowed to be an idol now that she was out of school.
Did Chisato want to be an actress. Kind of. She did like acting, but the forcefulness of this job was a bit much.
Would she have stayed as an idol? Maybe. Being an idol wouldn't be that bad either. But, she obviously didn't have the luxury of a choice. Her parents wouldn't let her get that option. She hated it so much.
Eve had no idea. She just knew the idol life really wasn't for her. She had tried, but it had become boring. It wasn't as fun as it had been. So, what did she want to do?
Eve really didn't know yet. She was going to go to college and decide later. She wasn't sure what career she would find the best fit for her with.
She felt a little bad about leaving the group. She did have a lot of fun in it, but it wasn't for her. Eve enjoyed being with them all. It was fun to be in a band like that. But, that time was over now.
Hina didn't know yet. She hadn't even considered that option. Did she want to be an idol?
"Onee-chan? Are you busy?"
"Depends on what you want. How long will it take?"
"I dunno. I need help deciding something."
Hina decided to ask Sayo for advice. Maybe she could help her figure it all out?
"What can't you decide on?" Sayo questioned.
"If I wanna be an idol or do something else. We have a week to decide." Hina replied.
"What do you feel?"
"I mean.. it's fun and all being an idol, but I don't know if I want to do that for the rest of my life." Hina said.
"Well, do you have any other jobs that interest you?" Sayo questioned.
Hina shrugged, "Not really."
"Hmm... you know, I think you'd do well with kids. Maybe like a therapist or something." Sayo offered.
"A therapist for children? That sounds boppin!" Hina liked that.
"Why not try that out?"
"Okay! Thank you, onee-chan!"
"You're welcome, Hina."
The week was over. They were all back at the studio. Management was waiting for their answers.
"I'm staying." Aya went first. That answer was not a surprise at all.
Chisato spoke next, "Unfortunately, my parents have decided I will be an actress. I do not have a say."
"That sucks... you're parents are being really bossy." Aya frowned.
"They always are." Chisato sighed.
"Um... I'm not going to continue this. I'd rather pursue my own dreams." Maya said.
"I also am not continuing as an idol." Eve stated.
Aya was on the verge of tears. Everyone was leaving her. All that was left was Hina.
"Hina... are you leaving me too?" Aya was barely holding back her tears. Her voice was choked up and cracking.
Hina was conflicted now. Aya was really upset. If she left, Aya would be really hurt. She'd have no one left. She wouldn't have any friends in this company again. What did she do?
"No. I'm staying, Aya. We'll be idols together." Hina made up her mind. She'd stay by Aya's side.
"Really?" Aya was staring at her with wide eyes, tears now flowing down them.
"Yes. I'm staying with you, Aya." Hina nodded and smiled at her.
"Thank you!" Aya hugged her tightly, "Thank you... thank you..."
"I won't let you be alone, Aya." Hina whispered.
"Very well. You three are free to go. We will discuss the new terms with you two then."
The three girls gave one last look at the two staying, before they left the room for the last time. It was only two of them now. But, Hina was sure things would work out for them. They still had each other. That was all that mattered.
"I will ask one last time. Are you both certain this is the path you wish to take?"
"Yes." They both replied.
"Then let's discuss a new contract."