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Just One Bag

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Running to get tomatoes for her family’s restaurant, the girl doesn’t notice the bag on the ground. She passes right by it. She passes by it again on her way back and it doesn’t even catch her eye. The tomatoes in tow, Mama won’t be able to scold her this time.

A couple weeks pass and her priticket arrives. Remembering the school rules, she slips it in to her dresser. Next year, she’ll be in seventh grade and her and her best friend will finally get to see PriPara for their own eyes. They’ll marvel at the performances. Nothing beats being there in person after all.

Sometimes she’ll think about getting on stage herself to sing. Too conscious of her loud voice, she’ll change her mind. Watching is just as good, right?

The idol misses her audition. She traces her steps back to the spot where she purposely dropped her bag. It’s still there. Picking it up, she stares forlornly. “I guess my calculations were off,” she says to herself, shaking her head. Perhaps it was just not meant to be.

Biting into a pickled plum, she stares in to the mirror. A confident expression looks back at her but it’s not how she feels.

“I guess I’ll always be Useless Sophie.”

With nobody there to interrupt, the ticket ceremony continues on as planned. Her new teammates look at her and she can see the contempt in their eyes.

Her sister can do nothing but watch.

There’s no one to swear revenge against. The twins try several different three team formations but nothing seems to work out. The third member always leaves.

“Ah, who needs you anyway! We’ll be just fine on our own. Won’t we, Reona?”

“If you say so, Dorothy.”

The duo continues on together as they always do yet both of them can’t but feel there’s something missing.

The Go player glances at the television screen. “Idols? Hmmph.” She doesn’t see anything remarkable about the three girls on stage. Remaining in her black and white world, she’ll find something else to quench her thirst for competition. If there’s something missing, she’ll never notice it.

The GrandPrix is won by a strange girl with empty eyes. The Paradise Coord doesn’t glow for her. Maybe there wasn’t anything special there after all.

Alone in her room, she watches the other idols leave for a world unknown to her. “Fr-friend?” she asks, looking at the ticket in her hands.

The ticket snaps.

She never wakes up.