Today was Kasumi’s birthday, and she was about to make it everyone's problem.
Especially Ayumu’s problem.
It all started the day before at practice.
“Good job everyone! You did well today, go home and get some rest now, okay?” Yu, the idol club's manager said as the rest of the idols finished up practice. She clapped her hands together. “The live concert is in a couple of days, but since you guys seem to have everything under control, I’m gonna cancel practice tomorrow! Go out and do something nice! I’ll be making the last preparations for the concert if anyone needs me!”
And with her last words, she walked out the clubroom.
“Woo! Day off! Yu-yu must be happy with us!” Ai yelled out, and Kasumi heard Setsuna groan.
“How could she do that to us?! I needed that extra practice! I need to make sure my dance is perfect…”
Ayumu smiled. “Do you want to hang out tomorrow? There’s a new store in town, and Yu’s gonna be busy tomorrow, so I figured I’d ask you to come along with me? It might be fun!”
Kasumi ignored the suspicion.
“Of course! Kasumin would love to hang out with you, Ayumu!”
Ayumu smiled, then made her way out the clubroom, throwing a wave as she left.
“See you tomorrow, Kasumi-chan!”
Kasumi honestly had no idea what to wear. The weather report from last night said it was going to be snowing, so she wanted to wear something warm. So she settled on a yellow coat, followed by snow boots and blue gloves she’d stolen, no, borrowed (Shizuku hadn’t asked for them back, so surely it’s fine, right?) from Shizuku last winter to top it off.
Now all that was left to do was to go meet Ayumu in Tokyo.
The walk to meet her was cold and snowy, but nice in a way. There hadn’t been snow in Tokyo for ages, and Kasumi was enjoying every minute of it.
“It’s lovely, isn’t it.” Ayumu’s voice called out as she walked over to greet Kasumi. “I love it when it snows, Yu-chan and I used to have snowball fights when we were younger.”
Kasumi nodded in agreement. “Before Shizuku and I went into high school, we used to go snowboarding up in Kamakura on the holidays when it snowed enough.” She smiled, then turned to face Ayumu.
“What do you want to do today, Ayumu-senpai?” Kasumi asked, and Ayumu smiled in response.
“Well, I was going to see if this restaurant was open, but I thought maybe we could enjoy the snow while it lasts? What do you think, Kasumi-chan?”
Disappointed. Ayumu seemed to have not remembered her birthday. Still, she forced a smile and nodded.
“That sounds great, Ayumu-senpai! Kasumin loves that idea! Do you want to have a snowball fight or something?”
Ayumu shook her head. “No, no, I was thinking we could just… admire the snow for a bit? It’s too pretty not to go to waste, plus, maybe we could write a song about it?”
Kasumi pressed her lips together. She wanted to say something, anything, about today not just being a normal day, and she honestly just wanted at least a ‘Happy Birthday, Kasumi!’ to come from Ayumu’s mouth, but she shoved those thoughts towards the back of her mind. Ayumu was right, it was a lovely day, and maybe they could find something to write a song about.
She forced another smile. “S-Sure!” She felt herself coming more and more sad by the second, but pushed those thoughts away as well. She didn’t need them.
Besides, the snow was nice as well.
“Do we have everything for the party?” Shioriko called out to her fellow idols, and Karin shrugged in response.
“I have the cake!” Lanzhu yelled out.
“She didn’t make it herself, don’t worry everyone!” Mia yelled out directly after, causing some of the others to sigh in relief.
“Ayumu’s keeping her distracted, right?” Ai asked, before Yu nodded in response.
“Mhm! She messaged me a while ago, they’re admiring the snow down in the park.” She giggled. “Good job everyone for the performance yesterday! I think y’all convinced Kasumi that we were busy today.”
“We literally are busy though, setting this up is taking up our time.” Karin said, pulling out some balloons to blow up.
“At least we’ll have fun later!” Ai called out, causing Setsuna to laugh a little.
“We have just over an hour to get this all set up, let’s go!”
“Ah, Kasumi-chan? Do you mind if we start heading back now? It’s getting kind of late and I have some stuff to do before I go home.” Ayumu asked, looking at Kasumi who was lying down in the snow.
“Uh, sure, Ayumu-senpai! What do you have to do? Maybe Kasumin can help?” Ayumu’s face lit up into a grin at those words.
“I need to get something I left at Ai’s house! You can come help if you want!”
“Sure! Kasumin will help you! How far away does Ai-senpai live?”
“Not too far away. Only about a five minute walk.”
As the two of them walked towards Ai’s supposed house, Kasumi questioned if Ayumu had actually forgotten her birthday or if she was just pretending to.
“We’re here, Kasumi-chan! Come in!” Ayumu’s words shook her out of her thoughts and back into reality.
As the pair walked further into the house, she tried to listen for the usual noises you’d hear in a house, the noises of idle chit chat, or Ai making puns to one of her older sisters.
Instead, she’s surprised with a party, just for her. The usual set-up for parties, yellow-coloured balloons, streamers hanging down from the ceiling and a cake in the middle of the table, with the words ‘ Happy Birthday, Kasumi!’ written on it.
Her expression says it all for the others as Kasumi tries to string together words.
“I thought… Huh? Kasumin is so confused, I thought you all forgot Kasumin’s birthday?”
“Why would we do that, Kasumi-chan? You’ve been going on about it- wait a second,” Shizuku looked closer at Kasumi’s hands. “Are those my gloves?”
Kasumi’s face turned bright red, causing some laughter among the other idols. “Uh, yeah. Yeah, they are…”
Shizuku laughed. “So that’s where they went… I was looking for them today…”
“You never asked Kasumin for them back!”
“I know, I know.”
“Hey, Kasumi-chan, are you gonna come and see this cake we made?” Lanzhu interrupted, pointing at the table.
“Thank you everyone for celebrating Kasumin’s birthday!”