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Colors

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Colors

Everywhere we go, we can see the distinctive colors from objects, consistent colors that will always remain the same unless we paint them. An exception to this rule is the television, they are always flashing different images, but we never see changing colors emanating from people, and that is something I see.

It is an ability I inherited from my dad side, unfortunately he left my mom and I a long time ago, and the only thing he left is a paper with some emotions and their corresponding color. As helpful as it was in the start, that stupid paper didn't describe all the things I have seen. It didn’t explain mixed colors, what it meant when the amount of color surrounding the person when gets bigger or smaller, what happened when the shades got when it got brighter or darker, the figure or shape they took, or the colors I have never seen before.I have learned a lot of things by guessing, by talking to people and recollecting information about why do their colors look that way, but to this day, a lot of things remain a mystery for me.

As humans, we are always feeling things, we can’t be indifferent toward everything, and even if we do, then we feel alone. No matter what, each feeling has its own color. Some colors are glowing and other seems like it is draining the brightness of the world. Nonetheless, the most memorable moment was when I was 11 years old, waiting for the results of our auditions. I was anxious, everyone was anxious and the room was covered of Royal Violet, and even the most collected girl of the room, which was Matsui Rena, had that shade of violet exuding from her.

 

A guy enters the room, and I notice between his hands the paper that holds the results that we have all been waiting for.

The overwhelming violet got mixed with pigeon blue, I see my hand and it remained with violet, why would I be afraid of the results? What I want the most right now is to know if I can make my dream come true, even if I fail, I need to know the outcome.

"Sorry for the wait" he begins speaking, "I will now announce the selected girls, there is no particular order for this list." And he starts calling the names.

At that moment, I completely forget to be anxious about the situation, instead, I find myself fascinated by the burst of colors right in front of my eyes.

When a girl got called, the violet transformed into bright yellow or orange, meanwhile the others that were still waiting, slowly changed to blue, gray or light green, in some girls I even see red, because they probably felt frustrated by the development.

The colors keep changing, so quickly that the new colors consume the old colors, in others they slowly and perfectly mix with each other. Every color was bright, so bright that the lights of the room are unnecessary, and I even start getting afraid that I might end up blind. Then I realize, the fresher the emotion, the vivid the tone.

I can’t stop watching, the colors were exploding, and they are so invading, that I can’t tell from who the colors are. It looks like someone decided to launch in this small place a hundred fireworks at the same time and place.

“Matsui Jurina.” Now it was my time to overspread my emotions, I cover the room with bright yellow and orange, but a little of violet stayed there.

My only reaction was to smile. Barely showing what I’m truly feeling, because my body was bursting with colors just like everyone else.

 

Thinking about it, of course that moment was a festival of colors. It was a small room, full of teenage girls waiting to hear if they have what they need to become an idol. We heard the news that would decide if they can continue with our dream, or if we had to wait for another opportunity. This is a memory that will forever remain in my memory, because of two reasons: it marked the beginning of my dream, and the colors. To be honest, I feel bad for everyone. I think it is sad that we can create all those colors, and no one besides me can appreciate the beauty of our creation.

Chapter Text

Some people have an extensive flow of colors, and they can affect the colors of others. Meanwhile, there are others that make you wonder where their colors are. In summary, some people feel too much, and some people feel too little.

The most dangerous ones are the ones that sense too much. They live making decisions based on what they feel all the time, and the problem is when they have negative emotions.

I have seen a lot of girls react in certain way only because of the emotions they were feeling at the moment. I lost the count of how many girls have graduated as soon as they felt grey and blue colors and, considering it was only a momentary feeling, whenever I ask them about their life as an idol all I see is a dark brown, almost black, filled with regret because of that rushed decision they made in the wrong moment. Somehow, most of the time they manage to smile, and answer the question as if they weren’t making the whole room dark.

Just like the situations I mentioned, there are a lot of girls who are masters of hiding their emotions.

I have seen how the one who smiles the brightest has the darkest color of all of us. I have seen girls exploding with red of anger but still smiling in front of the managers or members. I have seen the horrible green of hatred between girls that swear they will be friends forever. Human nature is truly scary.

The good thing is that not everyone is evil.

My two examples are Mariko and Takamina. Mariko is the epitome of positivity, the main color of her is always yellow, the only time it changed to a grayish shade of green, which is pain, was when her most dear friends announced their graduations. Nevertheless, she is without exception emanating yellow, to the point I have discerned how her yellow energy sometimes mixes with other people's color, making them visibly happier. It is amazing how her friendly vibes easily influence others, and it is almost as if she knows, therefore she makes sure to talk to everyone to share one small piece of her positiveness. Even during concerts, when she is sweating from head to toes and can barely stand for herself, she is still thinking positive, you can see thunder gray color of exhaustion making her yellow aura lose their usuals brightness, but it constantly remains there. Somehow, Mariko can always see the bright side of everything.

The other fascinating person is Takamina; she perfectly understands her and other other people's feelings, to the point I think she might see the colors just like me.

For example, if she feels angry because we made too many mistakes while dancing, she will let us know and explain the reason of her anger, what is more amazing is that after doing that, the red starts to dissipate and it gets replaced by this maya-blue color that means concentration. But also, as soon as someone is having any kind of negative emotion, she seems to sense it. She can point out what you might be enduring, and she repeatedly manages to be right about it.

The time I almost got chills by it was in 2013, during our Manatsu no Dome Tour, when I injured my finger

 

The first day of our tour, I was in the middle of the stage staring toward the empty seats that will be soon filled by our fans.

I didn't even need to see my colors to know I was bright fandango violet, I was so nervous since this was the first day of one of the longest tours we have had. Yet, deep down I also sense sadness and worry, because during this tour we will have three graduations of the most known members of the 48-group family; Mariko, Tomochin and Sayaka, each one would have their own graduation concert during the days of our tour.

The one that hurts me the most is Mariko. She is genuinely my mom here, the one who taught me how to dance, how to behave and many other things. She was the first one to receive me when I got chosen as Oogoe Diamond's center, the only one who didn't even have a light shade of dark red in her, instead of envy, she was full of excitement about me with her orange color around her, and I could even see a light shade of pink called carnation, which is affection.

I will lose one of my biggest support in AKB, the one who could easily lift my mood and I could be babied by her without shame. I will really miss her.

"Jurina! Practice will begin so get to your place!" Shouts Takamina bringing me out of my gloomy mood, she certainly knows when to intervene.

"On my way!" I shout back as I see in my phone the setlist, we begin with “River”, but not the usual one, in this one we will be divided in groups and we will be appearing on the stage with dramatic entrances. I run inside the backstage and climb the stairs to get where my group is. As I get there, I notice everyone already in position, waiting for the call from Takamina and the Instructor.

"Someone almost didn't make it." Says Sae, teasing me with her short hair and usual boyish aura around her, she is one of the few members that make me feel short.

"Oh, shut up." I say a little out of breath, that run was longer than I expected.

"How are you feeling?" Asks Sae, who is also great at reading people, almost sensing how a few seconds ago I was sad about the graduating members.

"Nervous about the concert, and sad about the members leaving." I admit.

"I can understand" she says, and I could tell by the similar colors we had, "however, instead of getting sad by all this, why don't we spend our last tour with them as happy as we can?" She says smiling and I could even see that her mood got brighter.

I nod in approval of what she said, and suddenly all of us listen in our in-ear 'get ready'. We all get in line, in our respective positions, and music starts playing.

"First group, now" and we heard a loud explosion, meaning their 'hiding place' is exposed.

20 seconds more and it would be our turn.

I fix my hair using a pin to keep my bangs away from my face.

I take a deep breath and when I finish exhaling, we all hear it.

“Second group, now”

A loud bang almost leaving me deaf explodes, and when go to the stage to get in our positions to the dance.

We step out and I raise my left hand out of habit, because that way our walking doesn’t look boring. But as I do that, I unexpectedly feel a sharp pain in all my hand. I quickly look up and I see that the place where we waited, that was a big box, is being moved by the staff. My hand hit hard the box made of some kind of metal, and the fact that it was also moving didn’t help at all.

I quickly glance how it looked; I saw a little of blood because I apparently stabbed my index finger with something, I try to move it and I almost scream in pain. I definitely broke something, but with my professional side taking over myself, I brush it off and I dance with everyone else.

My body moved along with the music, with the dance steps I have practiced many times, I could feel the usual initial frenzy of the concert that by the end of it you beg you could experience again.

We change positions, we smile to each other, we high five, and then we are all leaving the stage for the second song that Mariko will perform alone.

We are backstage now. I hear how they instructed us to leave more slowly to give Mariko more time to change, and then they begin scolding a group for coming out too late, it wasn’t mine, but even if it was, I couldn’t hear anymore what they were speaking. My hand almost burned of pain.

I wasn’t moving at all my left hand and I felt as if I just got hit, it really hurt and as time passed it only got worse. I close my eyes, and say to myself ‘it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t hurt’ almost as it will magically take my pain away, but it wasn’t working. But I can’t leave now, this the first official practice and in only two songs more I need to perform another song. So, I must continue.

I look my surroundings, and many members were changing for the next stage, which is “Flying Get”. I start doing the same. I go to the tables, and I search for the one that that had written on it.

There were only a few. With my right hand I hold my costume by the hanger. I walk to the changing place, that is only a big room in which we all change. I leave it on a table to start undressing, but I stare at my clothes, how do I even begin changing?

First, I need to take off my top. It has a zipper, so I only ask to the first girl I see to please unzip it. Now, I have to put on the tight golden top. It is elastic but, I really can’t use my left hand, whenever I move one of my fingers my index hurts so much that I can’t even bear to move it again.

“Jurina why are you half naked and angrily staring at your top? Are you asking to get dressed like in the past?” Asks Miichan teasing me and I start blushing. All the colors disappear I only have a ruby-pink coming from my body, why do I get so easily embarrassed?

“That was only one time! And it was when I first used this kind of weird costumes!” I say defensively, because I could see tell some girls were listening to us, they always do.

“Change quickly” she says letting it go, “We have one minute to get in our positions.” I nod, and she leaves.

It is all or nothing. I quickly put the top and I do it ignoring my damaged hand, but the agony was so unbearable that I feel tears forming in my eyes. Without passing out I succeed. Only the skirt is left, that’s easier to put on, I only use my right to pull down my old skirt and put on the new golden one.

Now I have to rush to the main stage. I run with my right hand holding my injured one on my stomach, making sure it doesn’t move too much. My hand felt heavy and I swear that the suffering keeps increasing. As I almost reach the stage, I see some girls also arriving there, I say hello to everyone and I get on my spot.

My chest feels heavy and my stomach aches, I feel like throwing up, so I tell myself; ‘Jurina please wait until “Pinnochio Gun”’, after it I can wrap something around my finger to make it stop hurting whenever I move, perhaps I can also ask for an analgesic.

The music begins blasting loudly through the music equipment, and we walk to the stage. I dance with confidence, but it was slowly being conquered by pain. I observe how my own usual maya-blue turns into this artichoke-green that looks almost grey. I can’t fully extent my left arm without fearing the sharp pain. I can’t high five the girls like I always do, and somehow my finger is looking kind of purple.

The song ends.

I feel awful, I can’t describe it, but I just hate what I’m feeling right now. I can’t even see my colors to understand, because all the colors got mixed in one, resulting in a dark and ugly green/brown.

With the lights still off and everyone just worrying about themselves, I run to the bathroom, afraid of throwing up and crying in front of everyone.

I close the door of the bathroom stall, I lean all my body against the closed door and now give a good look to the mess of my hand.

My finger is swollen, part of my hand too, it looks purple with green and the blood I saw in the beginning is dry. How do I even cover this without catching everyone’s attention, they will-

“Jurina! What happened?!” Asks Takamina, sounding worried, without even a hint of anger in her voice because of how I ruined the choreography.

“No-othing.” I barely blurt out and I realize I’m crying, why does it ache so much. It is only one little finger.

“Don’t even try to lie to me, and you better open that door before I break it down.”

“I remember you once did that when Acchan didn’t want to center a song so yeah, just wait a bit.” I say faintly smiling at that memory.

“Okay kid, but please don’t pretend you are okay when you aren’t.” I take a deep breath, clean off my tears with my right hand, open the door and stand in front of her.

“I think I broke my finger.” I tell her pointing my left hand.

“Oh my god” she says looking at it, I guess I wasn’t exaggerating. “Jurina why are you so stubborn? You were waiting until the song with ske, right?” I only nod, and I see how a sapphire-blue starts taking over her other colors, she is really worried.

“Sorry, I should be more careful.” I say looking down.

“Jurina this could have happened to anyone, don’t feel sorry. I know that right now you are probably more concerned about the lack of quality of your performance, but if you really want to fix that, please go to the doctor and comeback with a proper treatment for it, because I don’t understand how did you handle the pain.” she pauses and I frown not liking at all the idea of going to the hospital, I don’t like them, I have been too many times there and they always say the same useless words: ‘You should rest’.

“Hey!” Says Takamina loudly and now I look at her “You hate doctors, I know, but leaving your finger like that will probably make it worse. And you look so pale right now that I’m afraid you might pass out. Please go Jurina, everyone will understand.” I sigh, Takamina reads everyone like a book.

“I will but, can I do it after Pinocchio Gun?”

“The song already passed, I came here because no one could find you and you didn’t even change of clothes” I stare down my gold clothes from Flying Get. “Jurina, you could miss the whole concert and you will still know the choreos, and I can explain you if there is any change in setlist”.

“But my group needs their center, they need someone to rely on and ask about things.” I tell her.

“I know how it feels, the pressure of being center and making sure you shine but only enough to also make everyone stand out. But, remember you also have Rena, and all your members can understand if you explain it to them, they are really good girls.” I nod agreeing about the last thing.

“I still don’t like the idea of leaving everything to Rena.”

“I can also help her, don’t worry, I could even get Rie to help.”

“She would die.” I say smiling.

“She can try, but now please, go to the hospital, I will ask one of the staffs to drive you. I would go with you but if I leave for hours, I’m sure something bad could happen.” I don’t like the idea, but here I have Takamina dropping everything to help me, and worried sick about me, I can’t just brush her off.

“Okay, I promise. Now run because Sayaka and Tomochin might be already fighting about something dumb.” she opens her eyes as if she forgot that problematic duo.

“As much as they will relieve my stress after they leave, I will miss them.”

“Me too.”

 

That day was hell.

I’m bad at expressing myself, but I’m so thankful that with barely speaking Takamina understood everything. No wonder she is the General Manager.

Also, I should be thankful she forced me to go to the hospital because the doctor told me that the bone of my finger was in such a wrong place that he wondered how it even moved that much, of course I didn’t tell him it was because I was dancing for a concert. He told me to have my finger with a cast for two weeks and to not remove it no matter what, because if I did, they would have to take me to surgery to put my bone in the right place.

In the end, I can say that people that feel too much aren’t always bad, it depends of the person and their intentions. If the want to do good, their colors will expose them and even help without noticing the ones in need. But, if they want to do bad, you can see how all their colors are dark, with no brightness and consuming others.

Chapter Text

 

Many times, I have recognized this bubble gum pink radiating from girls. How it intensifies when they are near their crush or just by the mention of their name, it is cute.

From a group that is banned from dating, I think everyone has showed at least once this shade of pink, and the most surprising thing is how I have seen girls overflowing with pink when another member is close, a lot of girls here get crushes on girls. The first time I saw it, when I still didn’t know it was possible, it caught me by surprise. The worst part of it was that it was my color the one that showed me that girls can fall in love with other girls.

 

Today we are filming the “So Long!” music video, it is the first AKB single of 2013. For this single I’m not center, but my character called Mirai has a lot of scenes with Yume, that is played by Mayu, who is the center. So, I still kind of have the spotlight, meaning no rest for me.

The day was cloudy, and we had to act out the first encounter between Yume and Mirai. It is a simple dialogue between Mayu and me about why I came to this small town, as we walk it starts raining and we take refuge under a tree. Fairly close to each other, we continue our conversation. My character isn’t the strongest, so she tells some of her weakness to Yume, who as natural reaction decides to embrace Mirai. As the hug continues, I can’t help but notice how warm was Mayu, and how her body felt a lot smaller than mine. I don’t want to let go.

Sadly, I feel how Mayu starts to slowly back away, and I copy her movements, after all right now we are working.

“Cut!” Screams someone, and we proceed to move of location. As the staff hurries to carry the lights and cameras to the other place, Mayu and I stay behind watching them from afar, our help right now would more of a bother than anything.

“Aren’t you freezing?” I ask Mayu, we are in the middle of autumn and the wind made me shiver.

“It is not that cold, you are probably freezing because you are so skinny, you are almost bones.”

“I’m not! Have you seen Rena? She is skinnier.”

“She was, I see she started to eat more and now is normal weight, but you…” and she stops there. It is not like I’m starving myself, I just can’t eat after practices, as hard as I try, for some reason I feel nauseated by looking at food, so I end up giving it to someone else.

“Whatever.” I say.

“Are you really pouting because of what I said? Oh god Jurina why are you so adorable.” She hugs me by my waist and rests her head on the crook of my neck. I naturally put my arms around her waist and I again feel this heartwarming sensation that I felt while filming, now it is even more pleasant.

“Does this help you warming up?” She asks, and for some reason her breathing against my neck made me a little nervous, and my heart was beating loudly.

“I think so.” I blurt out, to be honest I forgot about it.

“You are so tall, lucky you because in my case I stopped getting taller a long time ago.”

“Woman’s last growth is when they are 18.” I say, and Mayu separates from the hug to see if I’m messing with her or not, I see her eyes light up.

“For real? I would trade my soul to be taller than Yukirin.” she says grinning and getting more yellow colors around her, lifting up her mood is so simple.

“No need, simply wait because this year you turn 18.”

“If I don’t grow, I will expose that while sleeping you called Mariko ‘mom’ and Takamina a dwarf.” she says playfully, and I know she will never let that one go.

“I will never share a room with you again.” I say.

“Too bad, for this filming we will be together for 3 days.”

I sigh.

 


 

 

As the days go on, I continue feeling weird.

Not in a bad way, but this is something I have never experienced before. I keep overreacting about anything that Mayu does, from a innocent smile directed toward me to the hugs I don’t want to separate from. While I’m with her, I feel better than I have ever felt before, I’m happy and nothing bothers me besides Mayu leaving my side, and when she does, my energy is drained. I miss her.

It is the second day of filming, and it is already dark. We will shoot a scene in the hot spring, and we will all wear a bikini for that. A lot of girls changing always takes a longer than expected, because they talk a lot. I wasn’t talking, so I waited on the side while I wore a hoodie to keep me warm. I listened what they were saying, and some of their comments really made want to roll my eyes.

“Your bikini is so pretty.”

“Yours is even more!”

“Your have such a good figure.”

“Wow that diet you did was really effective.”

“Your bottom looks amazing.”

The compliments they gave to each other were infinite. But none of them was said with real meaning, all I could see was an ugly red called mahogany around them, and a hint of sacramento-green: they said nice words full of envy and loathing.

I hate how people are like that, I know no one is perfect, but why do they all share the same defect.

“Why do you look so frustrated?” Asks Takamina, one of the few I can confirm she has never once said something she doesn’t truly mean.

Why do people give to each other empty worded compliments?”

“So young and you already see the flaws of our society, scary. But I think it is a way to win other people’s trust, or at least have them on their side. I know you don’t like it, but it would be worst if they hated each other to death.”

“True, I’m surprised we haven’t had major fights between us.”

“So, you call Sae a Yuko’s Cold War of three months a minor fight? The same that made Yuko shout ‘maybe it is better for you to graduate from akb’?”

“Well, it didn’t end with a fist fight that we anticipated.”

“2010 was a wild year, how did you not think we were crazy?”

“Do you think SKE has never had those kinds of fights? Last year Mieko slapped Nakanishi for telling her she will never get married with that attitude, and it didn’t end there the fight.”

“Wow, for some reason I have always imagined SKE’s fights more hardcore than ours, and I wasn’t wrong.”

“They really are.”

A voice interrupts our chatting

“Everyone please go to the hot spring, we will film the group scene first and then film the Yume and Mirai scene.” No one complains, and we go outside.

It is so cold, oh god why didn’t we film this during the day. All because this dumb director isn’t the one wearing bikini. I take off my hoodie and quickly get into the water, careful enough to not wet my hair. The heat of the water felt nice, but for the group scenes I can’t stay like this. I see how everyone is also submerged in the water, except for one girl, and I go next to her.

“Mayu why are you standing? You will freeze to death.” I tell her.

“I don’t like public baths, even if I know everyone, other people have used it before.”

“Mayu, we shower before entering here.”

“Still.” She refuses to come down, so I stand up and hug her from the side, trapping her right arm and leaving her left one free because I had my hands around her waist.

“You are extremely cold, to the point I’m getting cold too.” I say lying, her body was warm against mine, and for some reason I relished this more than we have hugged before. It calls my attention how soft is Mayu’s skin and I rest my head on her shoulder.

“You never miss the opportunity to start physical contact.” Says Mayu as she holds with her left hand my circling arms.

“It feels pleasant, that’s why. Be grateful I don’t try to kiss you.”

“What are you even saying, I always have to almost punch your face to stop you from kissing me.”

“But I try to stop myself.”

“Try harder.” She says teasing as she flicks her fingers against my forehead, making me separate from her because ouch, that hurts.

“What was that for?!”

“For you to stop being a needy puppy, and because I will try to get into the water.”

“I’m not a puppy.”

“And I’m not Mayu.” She sticks out her tongue and I can’t help but notice how cute she is.

I watch how she looks down the water that reached her knees. My eyes travel her body, and as the girls said, she has such a great figure. My face feels warm.

            I see she slowly sits down until the water reaches her shoulder, she is smiling, clearly content with herself. I also smile.

“I did it!” She says proudly looking at me, and caught me shamelessly staring at her, my face feels even warmer and my vision goes bubble gum pink. I open my eyes startled, I look down my hands and legs, and this hue of pink is definitely mine. What is this, I’m in love with Mayu?

“Did you drop something?” Asks Mayu while I still look down my hands. I will deal with this later.

“No, I remembered I have a test next week.”

“Sometimes I wonder how you even manage to keep up with school.”

“I barely do, but it is not like I have another option.” I admit and sit, feeling the hot water around my shivering body.

“True. Hey look! under that rock it looks so dark, do you think it is extremely deep?” I look and yes, it seems to be deep.

“Let’s see.” I say as I walk toward it.

“Please be careful.” Mayu says with concern, I see from her sapphire-blue, but also Prussian-blue. Is she scared?

“Don’t worry.” I say as I calmly walk to the rock. With my right foot I feel the depth under it, and it didn’t change at all, it was only the shadow that made it appear deep, and somehow the water here is warmer. “Mayu it only effect of the shadow, come and you will even find a pleasant surprise.”

“Jurina if you are lying to me, I will suffocate you while you sleep.” She says slowly approaching. I’m not the bravest person, but she is such a coward.

“Stop whining, just come closer.” She does and opens her eyes in surprise.

“It is warm here.”

“I told you it would be pleasant.”

“I guess you will sleep without trouble.” She says smirking.

We stay in silence, and I’m left alone with my bubble gum pink that does not disappear. I have seen it before when I’m with Mayu, but it was smaller, and I just thought it might be affection (which it lighter), but I was wrong. I genuinely like Mayu. Now I stare at her, her beautiful face that you could never confuse, my eyes travel down to her neck to her breast and, what am I even doing right now, I need to stop. I move close to her, and stare into her eyes, warm and brown.

“What?” She asks confused.

“Nothing.” I say smiling as I hug her to hide the big smile on my face. What am I even doing.

Mayu is warm, warmer than the hot water around us, and she makes experience more things than just warmth, I feel comfort, security, serenity and even happiness. My bubble gum pink now got mixed with other colors, but it remained strong. From Mayu I only see the faint light pink of affection. I’m glad I have never seen Hunter or Sacramento green, if she felt disgusted, or even worse, if she loathed me, I would be heartbroken.

I break apart from her and see how she is glaring at me curiously by my actions, I can’t hide the stupid smile that refuses to leave, and the evident embarrassment. I hide again against her neck.

“Jurina you are being weird.”

“You are always weird, let me be for once weird.” I tell her closing my eyes, enjoying the embrace, and her arms around my back.

“I can’t believe you just dared make fun of me while you are clinging to me like a baby.”

“Unless I try to kiss you, I know you won’t push me away.”

“Well, you are pushing your luck too much.” Maybe I really am, but I don’t care, at least I’m fortunate that I’m in love with someone as pretty and nice as Mayu. I finally let go, because I don’t want to make her to inquire what is wrong with me.

“In the future, I really want to continue calling you my friend.” I tell her.

“Me too.”

 

That’s the first time I had such a strong bubble gum pink emitting from me. I’m glad it was with Mayu, and not with any other girl that I see the hate or disgust coming from them.

I was helplessly in love with Mayu from the start of Majisuka Gakuen, in 2011. It continued growing in 2012 while promoting UZA, and I confirmed it by the next AKB single in 2013. After that, I didn’t see her as much as before, so it gradually started to fade. In the present I still enjoy hugging and kissing her, but my feelings have calmed down.

During that same year, I met someone that had such an astounding pink and because of that uniqueness they stood out to me. I hardly had time to bond with Team K members as my schedules with SKE increased, without doubt SKE came first, but I couldn’t drop like if it meant nothing to me my team in AKB, so I still tried my best to attend to the stages and practices.

 

Sore. Every inch of my body felt that way.

Team K’s rehearsals intense as SKE’s, but never more tiring than them. Today I felt more weary than usual, perhaps it is due to the long trip by train from Nagoya to Tokyo right after finishing the practice with SKE, or because I continue coughing for no motive. Lately I have noticed I keep getting sick.

Water will refresh me. As I drink, I see the door open and some members enter chatting among themselves after eating. I should have eaten, Yuko will scold me again for not taking care of myself.

“Is everyone here?” Asks Yuko as she enters last to the room, everyone says ‘yes’ in reply.

“I want us to practice the setlist from start to finish one last time, without the MC sections included, and we would be finished for today. For the extra hour we will have left, I want to talk about some details.” We all nod, and for an unknown reason the room turns violet, we are all nervous, but Yuko didn’t seem angry, she had all her playful colors dancing around her.

So that is what we do. We dance without stopping as Yuko watches us with her sharp eyes every movement we do. In one dance in which she didn’t feel confident enough, she asked me if we could switch and I watch for mistakes, I agree, I can practice later. Everybody moves in sync, even the newer members are doing their best, specially Muto Tomu, she isn’t outstanding at dancing, but I can see how much passion she is putting to be able to catch up with the old members of this team.

I drift my attention to the colors of everyone. Sayaka was the only one with no grey colors of tiredness, Tomochin is full of maya-blue and Fire-orange, perfectly concentrated and enjoying this, everyone had different colors, but the one that showed most was mustard-yellow of joy, everyone loved this.

The song ends and I give them feedback.

This was the last song, so we sit down in a circlr. Most of us were still sweating and drinking water, Yuko talks:

“As team leader, it is my job to keep Team K in the best condition, and I’m glad I’m not alone doing that. All of you help in their own way, even the new members that are scared of seniors manage to still give me their support, so I wanted to thank you all of you” says Yuko and I understand how she feels, getting help is always nice. “So, to break the senpai and kouhai gap we have, I created pairs for practicing. I divided us in two groups; the ones who have stayed the longest and the new members, and randomly chose names from each group to form the pairs.” She explains, and I think it is such a great idea, I have noticed many girls feel intimidated by me, as soon as I get near, they change their colors, and I expect it changes with this.

Yuko reads the names, “… Matsui Jurina will be with Fujita Nana.” I search among all the faces, and I find her, she is also staring at me. Nana is really pretty with her long and black hair, tan skin and graceful face features. I smile and wave my hand as I stand up to sit next to her. She is really great at dancing, but I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to talk with her.

“Hello.” I say as I sit down.

“Hi Jurina-san.” She replies back.

“Drop formalities, just call me Jurina.” I tell her and I see how a bubble gum pink appears in her colors. I wonder who it could be.

 


 

 

I start to talk a lot with Nana. I spend more time with her than with any other member, and the initial shyness she had with me completely disappeared.

Nana liked to flirt, even more than me. She hit on every girl possible, but when she was with me, a big cloud of pink surrounded her. At first, I thought it was because of another member, but later I observed how the pink shimmered when I hugged her or how she even had a little hint thulian-pink, that means jealousy, when I was with other members. It was undeniable that she liked me.

I feel bad because I don’t share the same passion, and she is such a considerate person, I know she would take care of me.

“Nana.” I call her.

We were at a hand shake event and we finally got a break. No one was around, all the tables were empty and the large resting room that silent.

“Jurina?” She replies playfully, drifting her attention from her phone to me. She looked delighted with my sudden focus on her, so much that I felt upset for not reciprocating her feelings.

“I have noticed something, and it might be bold to ask but, do you like me?” I see how her smile fades, but she shows no sign of what she feels, so I check her colors, and they reveal everything. A strong pink mixed with blue of worry and terror, I need to careful with my words, “You probably have heard about it, but I like girls, and maybe I’m just being paranoid so that is why I’m asking.” The terror goes away, but the worry remains. I see her hesitate, but she manages to speak.

“I… never planned to confess because I thought you might feel repulsed by it, in my case I have never seen a woman the same way I see men, but you are an exception… so yes I like you, but I guess you don’t?” She asks and I see her hands slightly trembling, I hold them.

“I’m sorry, I even feel angry at myself for not feeling more for you.” I reply.

“Can we at least try?”

“What do you mean?”

“Could we date? Just to see if it is possible to get you to like me, and you can tell me whenever you want when you want to breakup.” I feel taken aback by the request, she is too bold.

“What if I hurt you?” I ask back

“I never even thought of being able to date you so there is no way I could get hurt, you would be doing me a favor.”

“I can break it off whenever I want, but the same should be for you… if you don’t like it please tell me, because as you said I’m the only woman you have ever liked.”

“Jurina you are too good for this world,” she says smiling, “I will be okay as long as I’m with you, don’t worry. So, what is your answer?” She asks.

“We can date.” And I feel two arms around my body, almost crushing me, then those arms let go, and now Nana’s face close to mine. My face is burning a little.

“Thank you, now let’s commemorate this day.”

She leans in and her lips touch mine. They feel soft and they are moving against mine, I reply back, but Nana breaks it off.

“I think we shouldn’t do this here, anyone could enter” she whispers still close.

“You are such a tease” and I close the gap between us.

The kiss was sweet. Nana’s lips are soft and know what to do, it wasn’t explosive and intense how people describe it, but still liked it.

 

Nana and I dated for one year until she got transferred to Team A.

During that year we didn’t try to hide our skinship to the members or fans. Only Nana sometimes forgot we were in public and tried to kiss me, I know I normally do that with other girls, but with Nana it was different, I don’t know if I could just end it with a peck.

I felt at ease with Nana, I got pampered all I wanted with her and she loved it. For a moment, I honestly thought I could be in love with her, but I never got that burning sensation or saw an intense bubble gum pink. I also never said ‘I love you’ to her. The most I ever saw, was a light pink that at times I hoped it got stronger.

Of course, because we weren’t subtle at all with what was going on, some people found out, and not in the most pleasant ways.

 

I don’t know how we got here, but right now I’m kissing Nana. The room is dark, but the hibiscus-violet of lust from Nana shined bright, I even see how it is consuming me.

She pushed me against the wall of the practice room, and her lips are aggressively moving against mine, her tongue is brushing against my lips telling me to open my mouth. I let out a moan that gives her the access.

Nana’s hand moves under my shirt and massage my abs, sending shivers down my spine. Then her right hand moves up and cups my right boob, that is still covered by my bra, but it was enough to make me let out a whimper.

I don’t think I can tell her to stop, because I don’t want her to stop.

The darkness disappears, and the whiteness of the room leaves me blind. Confused, I look at the open door and I see Muto Tomu with her eyes about to pop out.

“Oh god, I’m so sorry, I was only-“ she shakes her head, “You can finish what you are doing.” And she leaves the room quickly.

I look at Nana, she looked so embarrassed by what we were doing, and we even got caught.

“So, this is what they mean when they say that teenagers are a bunch of walking hormones” I say, and Nana only nods hiding her face on my neck. Lucky me, from the mirror I could see that my face was also bright red.

 

Poor Tomu had to witness that, but then she became overprotective about us because “We were too obvious” she said all the time, as if she still didn’t know about us until she saw us making out.

From AKB only first and second generation knew, they have always told me anything that involves the group, so it was fair I told them. All of them were supportive or just told me to not get caught. I also told Mayu, who just replied with: “Oh I knew, can I tell Yuki? because we did a bet and I won.” I made her give me half of what she won.

On the other hand, I have SKE, and telling them was a complete mess. All because of some foolish misunderstanding that made everyone think I was planning to transfer to AKB, at the moment I was really angry and frustrated, but now thinking about it makes me laugh. I had no idea of the confusion until I see an angry Dasu:

 

Finally, home.

Today we will have a mini concert in Nagoya, so that is why I came back from Tokyo instead of staying there for the Team K theater performance.

SKE always comes first.

I arrive to the venue and ask to the staff where everyone is, they told me they were having a group discussion and that they will soon conclude, I hope it isn’t anything too crucial.

I change into dancing clothes and consider going upstairs where they are discussing, but I don’t want to interrupt. I sit on a chair near me and check my phone, a bunch of messages from the staff, some of the team K group chat, others from the Team S and too many from the first-generation group chat, they call themselves grannies, but they send messages at the speed of light.

A door opens, and someone quickly steps down, I look, and it was Dasu, burning with red and gray colors. What happened there?

“Jurina.” She says looking at me coldly, Dasu is always smiling, so why can I hear and see how angry she is?

“Did you end up fighting?” I ask concerned.

“Yes, they are being too selfish,” she pauses, looking at me in a way I don’t understand, “I don’t want to believe this, but everyone does, and I can’t help but also think this… do you plan to leave SKE and fully transfer to AKB?” I frown.

 What kind of questions is that? How can they even think that? Are they insane?

“What.” That is all I say.

“Sorry, I know it sounds crazy, but a lot of girls have heard things. How someone jokingly said in Team K ‘maybe it is time you join AKB’, and you just laughed along. How lately you spend more time there, how you seem so close with the members there, specially Mariko and Nana, and how in your free time you travel to Tokyo. There are too many things that give us the idea that you might prefer to be there than here.” Explains Dasu without pause, and giving me a bomb that I don’t even know where to begin deactivating.

“I… do they all really think like that?” I ask.

“Yes, I tried to dissuade them, but it also affected me. However, by only seeing your face I know that it is not like that, but when you weren’t there, I really believed for a second you might leave us.”

“To make you stop worrying, I will say it. I will forever put SKE first, no matter what the situation is.”

“Thanks god, because I wouldn’t know what to do without you.”

“Thanks for believing me, but how do I convince the rest?”

“Tell them what has made you stay there in Tokyo, because I know there is something.”

“I can’t tell that.” I tell her, it is not something I should be saying in front of everyone because of various reasons. One, I’m dating, and second, it is a GIRL.

“Then… lie, but please talk with them because it is a real mess, I will back you up.” Says Dasu finally smiling at me.

I muster a lot of courage, and I decide to go upstairs.

I open the door, and everyone is looking at me. Some were angry, other deeply worried, and other both. It was a big sea of blue and red colors that occasionally mixed up creating purple. I’m afraid.

“Hello everyone, I have been told there is a… misunderstanding.” I begin awkwardly, I can’t believe this is really happening because I’m dating Nana.

“Yes, you should really explain.” Says Mieko clearly angry, she is really passionate about everything, and even more about SKE, therefore, me betraying the group is a calamity.

“I don’t comprehend why, or how, but I definitely don’t plan to leave SKE for AKB.” I put simply.

“Then why do you spend more time there? Why do you even use your free time to go there? You even look happier.” Questions Abiru in an angry tone.

“I…” What can I say? ‘Yeah I do trips to Tokyo because it would be weirder if Nana traveled to Nagoya’. I could say I’m doing a secret project, but that won’t work in the long time. “Do I really have to explain things of my personal life?” I ask back, this is annoying.

“No, but we want to understand why we barely see you here, when this is your group.” Says Nakanishi.

“You are exaggerating, I spend as much time here as Nao, and you aren’t attacking her.” I say, and it is true, both of us are here and the both of us travel together.

“But Nao doesn’t have half of her life there.” Replies someone, not sure who between all the girls here.

“Why is it a bother to have part of my life there, when I could perfectly sacrifice my own life for SKE? I have done it in the past and I could do it again” I try to reason with them, they are being paranoid with the mass graduation that we recently had.

“Then don’t tweet only about AKB all the time, don’t laugh at the jokes of you leaving SKE, stop using in your signature AKB, and reply to our messages, because we start thinking you don’t like us. Don’t assume that we know what is going on in your head.” Says Rena speaking up, is that really what she thinks? How many times have I told her about my love for SKE, and that she is the only one I can rely on when I can’t protect them.

Why can’t they understand, I can accept the fan’s misunderstanding, but my members are able to see me training, learning and teaching them until it is perfect. Can’t they see I give my 200% to SKE.

“Guys, I think you are exaggerating.” Speaks Dasu seeing I wasn’t saying anything.

“A while ago you considered it.” says Mieko.

“Yes, I did, but can’t you see in her face how she shows no hint of fear? She knows her love for SKE, and now all I see in her is frustration toward us, even I feel it.” Dasu defends me and I subsequently see a light pink in this sea of crushing purple.

“Then she should show it. All the fans believe she will abandon SKE, because lately what has she done for the group? We don’t even see her.” Says Miki.

This is my limit.

“I hate saying this, but who do think got this concert? I personally asked for the help of the Mayor. He was thankful towards me for all the times I have mentioned restaurants from Nagoya on TV. I could have asked him for a job for myself, but I didn’t.” I say, I didn’t want them to know because I requested it would look like an offer from a famous company. After the graduations we have been having a tough time, we lost many sponsors.

Everyone in the room is silent.

I suspire.

It is really heavy to breath here, especially when no one knows what to say.

“You could have told us.” Says Churi for the first time talking.

“Why do I need to? If you know me, then you should know I do everything for SKE.”

“People change, a simple incident and they can become a different person.” Replies Rena.

“I haven’t changed, what makes you think I did?”

“The way you behave,” Says Nao, “You seem to… be keeping a secret, I see it in Team K. You giggle with Tomu and Nana about who knows what, Yuko stares playfully and just with your eyes it seems like you are speaking to each other. I have never, not even once, seen that here, so of course I would think you prefer to be in AKB, sometimes I really think you are part of AKB and get surprised when I see you between us dancing.” I understand their point of view, but why can’t they see mine. I see no other option than to tell them everything. God, if they want so much the truth, I will throw it to them. I hope this doesn’t end up with me announcing a forced graduation.

“Yes, I have a secret” I start, and everyone’s focus is on me, “I didn’t want you to know because it is part of my private life, and some members in AKB only know because they have seen it. To put it simply, I travel so much to Tokyo and smile so much because I’m dating Fujita Nana, a girl that is part of Team K. That is the truth, now stop doubting me and involving in my personal affairs, I have never done that to anyone before.” I stand up and leave the room. I don’t want to face them. I only saw shock over their faces, that could lead to a bad or a good reaction. But I don’t want to deal with the reaction of 60 girls.

 

At that time, I was sixteen years old, that was five years ago and until now I wonder how I did do that. I must have been in a really awful mood to say it like that in front of everyone. I’m grateful no one reacted in a bad way, and if they did, they didn’t show it (but I knew who they were). Many members said sorry, some even congratulated me about Nana, others didn’t mention it, but finally no one doubted my loyalty to SKE.

Because dating caused that mess, I have never dated again, it was nice being with Nana, but only because it was her. People look into my life too much. So, if I have one secret, they can tell, and trying to find out what is my secret, they can create anything out of it.

My relationship with Nana worked because we were in the same team, but as soon as she got transferred the time we used to spend together ceased to exist. For my surprise, she was the one to ask me if we should breakup, she looked collected when she asked me that, but her colors were so dark that I felt terrible, but I knew it was impossible for us to keep seeing each other. We ended our relationship with no hard feelings.

In 2015, during those seven months that we spent together in Team K (before I cancelled my concurrent position), we acted the same as before, but we never spoke of dating again, we both knew it was almost by luck that we ended things so nicely.

Until now I keep in contact with Nana, I’m always supporting her in whatever she is doing as a payback for all the things she gave and what I couldn’t give her. She never asks anything from me, but I can’t ignore how until now, when I talk with her there is this bubble gum pink around her.

Chapter Text

I have seen colors perfectly blend with each other, creating unique new colors. But I have seen others being so strong that they consume all the colors around them, even their own holder.

Someone who is always with raw or blended colors, looking bright and almost shiny, is Sashihara. It is not like she is always happy, but she never stays with negative emotions for too long, and they eventually blend with new and sparkling pigments. Sashihara never holds grudges: you can discern the hunter-green of uncomfortableness when she interacts with males that think she is easy, or with the members that spread fake rumors about everyone, however, as soon as the person departs, she is back to normal, dark colors never remain longer than necessary with her.

When Sashihara gets angry, I can observe a carmine-red shining from her, but as soon as it shows, she speaks what she feels, and it fades. Her most common color is a carnation shaded pink (affection), mixed with a hint of fire-orange (excitement). I pondered towards who is that pink, and I later found out.

I became aware of it the day we discussed about the group, we were practicing to for the 37th Single Senbatsu Sousenkyo at the Ajinomoto Stadium, when she approached to me:

 

Thunder-Gray: Exhaustion

I don’t have a trace of any color besides that horrible shade of gray, on occasions I even think I might stay with it forever. I believe that because it started to gradually become more present, it is such a somber shade of gray that I can’t see the colors of things.

It began at the start of 2014, and between the Sousenkyo and Yuko’s Graduations Concert it only got more intense. I can’t rest. Even when I get to sleep, I can’t fully relax because I keep thinking about the choreographies and formations. Not only mine, but everyone’s, because I know that if anything bad happens, they will seek for my aid. Which is conflicting, because everyone says “Jurina please stop pushing yourself”, but whenever there is a problem, I’m the first one to get asked to help.

We are in lunch time; all the girls are cheerfully talking among their groups or so tired that they quickly ate and now are resting; I can’t do neither of those. I stand up from my chair and walk to the room next door.

I was confused about a step of Oshiete Mommy, and it wouldn’t stop bothering me. As I search for the song on my phone, I notice how heavy my body feels. Even if I haven’t eaten anything, I feel heavy, every movement I did it seemed as if I was carrying 10kg dumbbells on each arm and leg. Nevertheless, I persisted to dance. The loud music filled the room and from the mirrors I see my gray body moving.

I extent my arm and leg, a step forward and now back to the original position. The songs end, I sigh and let myself drop to the floor.

God, I could fall asleep here, and who knows when I would wake up.

I close my eyes.

I hear a door opening.

“Matsui Jurina!” Someone screams and it sends chills down my spine. Did I fall asleep without noticing? I push my upper body with my arms and now I’m sitting. I struggle to recognize the person, because my vision is so blurry, I only realize who it is when she was a few meters from me. It is Sashihara Rino.

“Sorry, I was resting a little.”

“A little?!” She shouts, and all I can see is carmine-red coming from her.

“Did I do something to make you so angry?” I question confused.

“Yes, not directly to me, but I guess this might the be the only way you understand,” I stare at her confused, she continues. “Jurina how old are you now?”

“Seventeen”

“Which means you are still a teenager, you are young, and you are supposed to act that way, to have fun and live without pressures. Then why the hell do I feel like a seventeen years old is carrying behind her back everyone in the 48 group, when there are older people that could and should be in charge. I think it is great that young people take responsibilities, however, you are taking everyone’s, at this point you are doing even more than Takamina, and even she has expressed her concern. The worst is that you take care of everyone, but you can’t even take care of yourself, look at you, if I hadn’t come you would have passed out here. I haven’t seen you eat anything during these two days, and no one here has slept so I just can’t help but wonder how you are dancing like if it is the best day of your life, and replacing everyone as soon as they say they aren’t feeling well. Jurina please take a goddamn rest.”

She finishes talking, and all you could hear is Sashihara’s loud breathing. I can’t think, I feel cornered, I can’t even breath without feeling like I’m doing something wrong. Sashihara is vehemently glaring at me. Her red is so intense that I could finally see a color under the sea of gray.

I can’t disagree with what Sashihara said, but I can’t stop what I’m doing, if I do that, what will happen? I don’t want anyone to take over my place, not out of greediness, but because it is so difficult to bear this position and not end up resenting this job and dropping everything out of fatigue.

I frown, I’m uncappable of expressing myself, it is like my voice decided to stop working, and even If I could speak, I’m afraid of crying.

I look my hands, the gray is gone and now I have to many colors, with each thought I had in my head a different emotion took over me, but it didn’t stay long because I have so many things to think about.

“Sorry” I mutter, I hope she understand that this sorry is not empty worded, it holds my apology for worrying her, for being unable to talk, and for not doing my job in a better way. She sighs and visibly calms down.

“Before I came here, Mariko told me you aren’t good at sharing what you think, and yes she is right because I spoke for 10 minutes meanwhile you barely muttered a word. But I can feel it holds more than I can understand, so I will accept it” and her red transform into a sapphire-blue and carnation-pink, she is worried, and she also cares. No wonder I have heard Takamina say how there is no one like Sashihara, she has a clear idea of what is good and what is bad, and lives by it.

I give myself a little of courage and try to put it simply. She has a sharp mind and will get what I imply.

“Sashihara-san, your job is to be the center and face of your group, but do you see anyone else enduring the same as you?” She opens her eyes, proceeds to sit down next to me and replies to my question.

“No, I don’t see anyone being able to do my current job. My group is full of little girls with pure dreams and ideas, and some of them even say to me ‘one day I will beat you’. When I hear that, I’m glad they have the ambition for it, but I’m afraid of the things they must go through to get there,” I nod understanding, “However, I can’t protect them forever, and the same goes for you. We won’t be here our whole life, and what we must do is guide these girls toward what they want. Let them take over of some of your responsibilities, and only intervene if they make a mistake or they are taking the wrong path, lead them while you can, because if one day you suddenly leave without warning, they won’t know how to handle all the pressure, and they will break.” I feel a pang against my heart with the last sentence that she said. She is right, I won’t be here all the time, no matter what, someone in the future will have to take my place, and if they don’t know what do, or even worse, if there is no one, the group will be in danger.

My head hurts. This is too much to take in.

“Do you have water?” I ask, and Sashihara gives me hers, I start drinking and I didn’t realize until now how much my body needed some water. I drank the whole bottle without stopping and I give it back. “Sorry, I will refill it for you if you want.”

“I don’t mind,” she smiles warmly “Afterall this is a little step, you never ask anything from anyone.” Her revelation shocks me.

“I feel like you study every move I make.” I admit.

“Yes, but it is not like you don’t do the same with everyone.”

“Maybe it is a center thing.”

“Yeah, maybe it is a center thing.”

Sashihara’s usual pink and orange aura comes back, and that’s when it clicked. As tiring this job could be, Sashihara loved it.

 

We didn’t become best friends for life or anything, but we both knew we could rely on each other, because we both had to endure the same things.

I wouldn’t say we are friends either, it is not like we hang out with each other in our free time, but there is a mutual respect and understanding between each other. That’s something you don’t have with everyone, sometimes you can’t even achieve that with friends, so I don’t know how to label it, but I can say we have a unique connection.

Chapter Text

 

2008 

Rena is selfish.

That is what I think about her, and I don’t believe this out of nothing, I see it in her colors.

No matter what we are doing or what is happening, she is always practicing. You could think ‘She is probably doing it for the group’, but it is not like that. All she projects is maya-blue and thunder-gray, pure concentration and exhaustion, and no matter what those colors won’t change, someone can fall, and she will not even flinch. She doesn’t care when members sob of exhaustion, or when they stop showing up to practices and they later tell us she decided to quit. She probably doesn’t even know out names.

Rena seems to completely ignore her surroundings, she only focuses on her own improvement, she doesn’t even spare a second to look at her members. Her actions could define egoistic; however, she lacks something to be the right definition of that word.

When I became center of “Oogoe Diamond”, she didn’t know until she saw a poster of me at the handshake event we were having with AKB. Her face evidenced she was surprised, and the colors she had too, but they quickly went back to her usual color, white (serenity). When a girl that isn’t her is chosen, not even once she has showed envy or loathing, the only green I ever see in her is the one of pain.

I can’t say Rena is a bad person, but she isn’t a great one either.

 

 

2009 

Sharing the center position with Maeda Atsuko is more terrifying than to be center alone, because without even trying everyone will be comparing us.

I once read a comment of a fan, saying that by the way they introduced me, it is like I’m the villain of the story, which is why I endure the harsh comments some AKB fans give me. For them I’m an invader.

I’m thankful they gave the center positions, but I dislike this spotlight.

I mean, I love being an idol. I love seeing everyone smile and give my best to each performance, but it is not like I’m the only one with those qualities and dreams, so I can’t help but question why they pick a 11 years old to center a song, when there are ton of other girls more experienced than me. Now wonder AKB fans are so angry at me.

I know It wasn’t luck because I got chosen again, and that makes it worse because I can’t get a proper answer.

Some people say it is my confidence. But I can act that way because I make sure to master each song, to the point I know I can’t fail; that it isn’t natural talent, anyone can copy me if they want. If we talk about looks, I’m confident about myself, but in this group what you find the most are pretty girls. Dancing could be my strong point, but Yuko is far better than me. Singing I’m decent, however all of the first generation members have stronger vocals than me. Maybe I get chosen because I’m young, but recently AKB got a new generation in which there are girls my age or younger.

I list all my qualities, but I always find someone better. So why me?

When I detect that my colors are getting too dark, I know I have to stop, so I distract myself with anything. I may not know what do all the shades of gray mean, but I can tell they aren’t feelings you should have for too long, because they consume you. And I can’t let my feelings do that, I got chosen as center, and I can’t refuse something that everyone fights to achieve. So even if I can’t find an answer to my questions, I need to shine for the sake of the group.

For this AKB single I’m not alone, they also chose Rena. She has been gaining a lot of fans, therefore it is not surprising that she got selected, I guess all that practice payed off, but I don’t think it was worth it, I always see her alone.

We are traveling by car and Rena is looking the changing view from the window. She looks peaceful, almost bored, but her fandango-violet is a complete disaster, it keeps creating spikes and it is glowing. I’m not acquainted with colors that can’t keep one shape, but I would say she is uneasy.

I should at least try to talk to her.

“Rena… san,” I say, and she turns to my direction, “Are you close to anyone in AKB?”

“No, I have only said hello to some of them in the past, that is all” she replies shortly, almost too casually considering her violet was moving so much that it disturbed me.

“I can introduce you to them, I’m really close with Mariko, Yuko and Sae, the others too but those three that are the closest to me.” Her violet halts its twisting.

“Really? That would be really nice of you, I kind of… admire them.”

“Yeah I have no problem, and what, are you a fan of them?”

“Yes, they are the reason I decided to audition for SKE.” She tells me, and I see for the first time a light pink come from her, but it soon gets absorbed by the violet.

“You are a really lucky fan then.” She nods agreeing with me.

 


 

Talking with Rena is effortless. I can talk with her about anything and it will be entertaining, I wish she hadn’t insolated herself so much during out first months together. Since the music video recording of 10nen Sakura I started to hang out with Rena, and she didn’t seem to be bothered by me, so I continued searching for her whenever we had free time during our practices.

As we got closer, at some point I considered we were friendly enough to start hugging her. The first time I did, she was so stiff that I wondered if she hated me, but I only saw a ruby-pink on her, she is embarrassed, probably because she isn’t used to physical contact. But I continued doing that, and at some point she didn’t even flinch when I hugged her, she just let me be.

One day I pushed my luck and kissed her. It was a little peck on her lips that she didn’t see it coming at all. She covered her mouth with her hands and stared at me with her eyes wide open, the ruby-pink was back and stronger than any other time possible.

Today I want to push my luck again.

Rena was reading a book, And I can only see her back. I walk to her, lean down and kiss her cheek . Rena almost jumps out of her seat.

“Jurina!” She screams because of my ambush. I grin.

“What?”

“Stop, I’m not fan of that.”

“But your reactions are funny.”

“I’m not here for your entertainment.”

“Too bad, you are really great at it” I reply back, and Rena looks at me almost not believing how shameless I am.

“Jurina stop bothering Rena!” Says Nakanishi joining our conversation.

“But it is fun.”

“At times like this I remember that you are only 12”

“As if you are less childish than me.”

“The problem is that you don’t look like a child at all.” says Rena.

“True! When I first met her, I thought you two had the same age.” Replies Nakanishi.

Since I started to hang out with Rena the members also realized she isn’t cold or rude. She is the kind of person that when they have a goal in mind, they don’t do anything besides reaching it, which can be dangerous or misinterpreted just like I did by calling her selfish. It took me almost a year to give her a chance, and because of that I never talked to her before, and I never saw that carnation-pink that grows on her whenever SKE is mentioned.

She deeply cares about SKE.  

 

 

2012 

The friendship I built with Rena during 2009 and 2010 disappeared.

I think that after we ended promoting Majisuka Gakuen 1 and 2 we stopped seeing each other as much as before, so we began to talk less. Perhaps I’m being paranoid, because in general I haven’t talk with anyone of my team, filming for Majisuka Gakuen 3 made my schedule collapse, therefore I was absent in many theater performances. The good thing is, that I recently ended the shooting, and I can’t wait to reunite with everyone in Team S again.

 

I enter to the changing room, and as soon as they notice my presence they welcome me warmly, and start teasing me by saying that I might have forgotten the dances. I laugh a long with them not denying it, but that would never happen, every day I still practiced our songs.

My initial excitement starts to fade as I register I still haven’t spoken to the person I wanted to talk the most. I search for her, she is probably to here yet. I start doing my makeup in front of the multiple mirrors we have, when I see from the reflection Rena’s figure. Always graceful, with her long and straight neat hair. As she talks with Airi, for a second she drifts her attention from her to me, our eyes meet and she waves her hand with slight smile, I instantly wave back, expecting her to say something when she gets near, but instead, she leaves the room.

I continue looking the mirror, thinking I maybe saw wrong. The growing blue just makes me see even less. I don’t know why, but I expected more. I wanted a bigger reaction from her.

With little energy I finish my makeup and change into my practicing clothes.

We start dancing, and they explain to me the few changes they have done to the setlist. I catch up quickly, but by the end of practice I feel so tired, my body will never get used to how exhausting is SKE’s training. I sit down almost dropping my body to the floor, I concentrate on the floor that looks blurry despite being so close to me. Unexpectedly, a bottle is placed in front of me, I look up and I see it is Rena, now with a big grin on her face.

I tell myself I’m being paranoid.

 

 

2013  

Too many things are going on.

I have an excessive amount of work in AKB and SKE, and I often need to decide which side to choose and which one to drop, but whenever I drop AKB, which is almost always, they look at me as if I did the worst decision of world, what is wrong in choosing your own group?

From that moment things only got worse. Management stopped telling me SKE’s schedules to send me to AKB. It didn’t take me too long to find out, I follow all the girls on twitter, so I obviously see all the pictures they post about the event they went to. I could tell them that I found out, that I’m angry and disappointed, that I could tell just by their colors something weird is going one, but I don’t think they care if I know or not, they always find new ways to trick me.

The obsession that our managers have with sending me to AKB is idiotic. Maybe because these events are only offered to AKB they think that it is good promotion for SKE if I attend to them, but they can’t expect me to not miss my group. Last time I performed in SKE was a month ago, to be more precise the day before new year. I came to the theater because I knew I had to go with AKB to perform in Kouhaku, and now we are starting February and I still haven’t even entered the SKE theater. The year is barely starting, and I already hate how things are going.

 

Today I have to travel to Tokyo to film AKBINGO, for this occasion no other member is accompanying me, and there is not management either because I have been doing this journey for too many years to need someone to look over me.

I see the train arrive, and once it stops a big mass of people proceed to go out of the wagon, until it is almost empty. Now people start entering the train and it starts to get full again. A voice announces the train is about to leave and you can see people running because they arrived late. The doors close and the train leaves.

Looks like I missed the train.

I call a cab and I leave the place; my new schedule is to attend Team S rehearsal at the SKE theater.

I arrive early to the practice, so the place is unoccupied. Before anything bad happens, I turn on my phone and send a message to the AKB managers, saying I won’t arrive. I also check the Team S group chat, some of them are saying they already left their houses, and others say that they will arrive a little late, and Masana texts that we shouldn’t wait for her because she just woke up. I laugh.

I leave my phone in my bag, and walk to the speakers to turn on the music. There are many new songs added to the set list that I need to practice. As I dance, I’m left with a lot of doubts about the choreography, I will need to ask Nakanishi about it.

“Jurina?” I stop dancing, Rena is here.

“Oh, hello. Long time no see.” I say half serious half joking, we really haven’t spent time together.

“Nice to see you, but why are you here? Didn’t you have schedule in Tokyo?” Asks Rena confused.

“Yes, I did, but I missed the train.” I say casually.

“That is weird, but it is great to see you here.” Did she see through my lie? Technically I’m not lying abou-.

“JURINA!” Screams Kuumin hugging me so forcibly that I lose my balance, but thanks to other members joining the hug I don’t fall. They are loud and asking me too many questions that before I can even answer they start creating weird stories about it. Yellow grows in front of me, this is where I belong.

 


 

Team shuffles happen all the time. Girls leave and girls come. I always thought some exaggerated when they cried so hard that they couldn’t talk, it is not like you are never seeing each other, this isn’t a graduation. But right now, I’m those girls.

It is not me who got sent to another team, it was Rena. She is now part of Team E and not only as a member, but as team leader.

I try my best to not cry, but my eyes suddenly blur, and I know the tears are flowing. Why am I so affected by it?

I look to the floor, keeping my face low and with my hair partially covering my face. I hope no one asks why I’m crying, because I’m unable to calm myself. I let the tears flow just like the ash-gray flows around me, it is not like she is dead, but I’m so sad.

I lose the track of time, this is not good. I clean my crying face and try to connect with reality again. I look up and there are only a few more girls to get called. I search for Rena who is behind the sign with a big “E” written on it. She looks relaxed, she even had a faint smile on her face, which is the complete opposite to the bunch of changing colors in her. Rena felt sad, afraid, uncertain, nervous, surprised, anxious and many others that are floating around. She has more colors than a rainbow.

They finish calling everyone and that marks the end of the concert. Each team gets called by their team leader, and I see how Rena calls every one of her group with the confidence of someone who has been leader before.

I try to concentrate as Nakanishi speaks mostly to the new members, but my mind can only think of Rena, the girl that if she was here would be speaking along with Nakanishi. Yes, I understand why they appointed her as leader, but it doesn’t make like the change.

We finish speaking and we go backstage to change into our normal clothes.

I search for Rena, and like always, she is with Churi. I interrupt their conversation.

“Rena can I speak with you?” I ask trying to sound calm, not needy or ready to break down.

“Is it urgent? I’m tired.” I know she isn’t lying, but her honesty hurts and I’m afraid that if I don’t talk with her right now I will lose my sanity.

“Kind of, I will make it short.” I say a little more desperate.

“Okay, we can talk as we walk to the train station.” I nod and walk away from them, I need to find my bag, but with my hands shaking so much I don’t think I can even hold it.

 

Now I’m with casual clothes, jeans and an old hoodie that I can’t get rid of.

I wait outside the doors, why was I so eager to speak with Rena? I don’t know, but I know I want to, I’m not exploding with violet for nothing.

I finally see her, she was talking with Airi and Churi. This trio are always together, to the point no one can join them, or maybe it is only me that can’t join.

“Hello again, I will have to steal Rena from you two, I hope you don’t mind.” I say when they get closer.

“Please keep her, she is always talking about her obsession with little girls, I’m tired.” Says Churi pushing Rena away from her and Airi.

“Should I be scared? Afterall I’m six years younger than her.”

“Jurina you look 30.” Says Airi and I gasp.

“And people think you are a gravure model instead of an idol.” I reply back.

“Both of you stop, or you will end up pulling each other’s hair!” Intervenes Rena, and the four of us laugh.

Rena and I say goodbye to Churi and Airi who will walk together to their homes. We walk to opposite direction of them.

“What did you want to talk about?” Asks Rena.

“It might sound weird, but I’m not sure. I just had the urge to be with you.” Rena stares at me looking confused.

“Jurina you are being weird.”

“I’m always weird with you.”

“True, but I think I might know what you want to talk about, even if you don’t know or don’t want to admit you know.”

“Could you enlighten me?”

“I always let you figure out things on yourself, but I guess a little of help might not be bad,” She takes a step forward and now is in front of me, I stop walking, “It might be related with you crying your eyes out during the shuffle.” Oh, she saw.

“Was I that obvious?”

“Jurina, when you cry you look like a sad puppy, who wouldn’t notice that.” I guess I really cried for a long time, also, why do people keep saying that I’m like a puppy, but going back to the topic, I want to understand Rena.

“Don’t you… feel sad about being sent to another team?” I ask fully knowing she did, but I want to hear it from her.

“Of course I do, but I cannot cry in front of the team I will lead, I don’t want them to think I don’t like it… but being in Team S was really nice.”

“I don’t like this shuffle” I admit, almost sounding like a kid but that is what I feel, I hate that they took away Rena.

“Think positive, at least this wasn’t a 48 group shuffle, there I can even be transferred to another country.” She says as she begins walking, I follow her.

“That doesn’t make me feel better at all.”

“What I’m saying is, I’m still in the group”

“But even when we were in the same team it was hard for us to talk. Especially when they keep sending me to AKB.”

“Stop being so negative, and I think they want to promote SKE in Tokyo.” She changes the topic.

“Who cares about Tokyo, I want us to triumph here, and why am I the only one being sent there?”

“Maybe because when you were center of Oogoe Diamond you did a great job, so the best fit for their plan is you.”

“I don’t like their plan.”

“Do you really? Whenever you go there you start to happily jump from senpai to senpai.”

“That is because I’m allowed to do that, in SKE I’m the senpai, everyone is looking at me.”

“A sixteen years old senpai,” she teases, “but, you feel the pressure, right?”

“Yes, and it isn’t nice” Rena nods.

We continue walking, in silence as we pass the houses I’m so familiar with. The night is cold, but it is a refreshing kind of cold.

This night is especially bright, because Rena is next to me radiating white. I have no idea of how she maintains composed at all times, because she has feelings just like every human being, heck, a few hours ago she was a complete mess and now she is lighting up the whole street. I must admit I feel better after talking with her, but I’m not Rena, I don’t see any white, instead I see sapphire-blue and crusta-orange, this orange until now I’m not sure what it means, what is the use of this ability if I don’t know half of the stuff I normally see. I could help everyone more if I just understood more. Suddenly, SKE invades my mind. My dear group that when I auditioned to become a member I didn’t know I would love so much, and I’m glad I’m not alone with this feeling many of the members share the same passion I have for SKE, and I know I can’t be at all times supporting SKE, but whenever I’m gone always I bring back something to the group, just anything that can makes us improve. That is what I do, and other members also do their own thing, and that is I should talk with Rena about this.

“Rena,” I almost whisper, “I’m always ready to do anything for SKE, but I can’t always be here because it is not like I can always decide what to do. So please take care of the group when I’m away.” Rena smiles.

“You don’t need to tell me, I know.”

“I still wanted to. Sometimes you need to hear the words to be sure.” Rena chuckles.

“I could write a book out of all these lessons of life you say.”

“Thanks, now I regret speaking with you.”

“Stop pouting, it was a compliment.” She says laughing.

“Sure.” I say as I pout harder, and Rena pushes lightly my shoulder to make me stop.

I missed this.

Chapter Text

2014

 

We were doing an interview with SKE, the MC asks Rena something about me, that I can’t even comprehend because as soon as my name was mentioned, two shades of green emanated from her, the ones of hate and annoyance.

My eyes get watery when I see it, and I don’t want to believe it. Perhaps it was coincidence, or really bad timing. But despite having a hundred eyes watching me, I have the urge to leave the room. I’m drowning while being on the ground, the dark blue is suffocating.

I probably confused the colors, I think.

But it kept appearing.

One time.

Two times.

Three times.

At this point I lost the count.

I understand I can’t be liked by everyone, but it hurts when it comes from Rena. God, this feels worse than a heartbreak. So, to avoid the suffering I go through every time I see those colors, and to not make her loath me more, I stay away from Rena. I don’t spend more that the necessary time with her, the most I do is upload pictures of us together for the fans.

Avoiding Rena is not something that makes things easier, but I don’t want to see her covered in green by only the mention of my name, that hurts me more than anything else. The single good thing about this, is that no one notices, because we have never been close and the members know that.

It was almost too easy to avoid Rena, too easy that it hurts.

 


 

12gatsu no Kangoroo.

Rena and I aren’t chosen as centers, they choose Ryoha and Ami.

I can’t help but wonder if I did something wrong, or if Rena did something wrong. But I’m not angry at Ryoha and Ami or management, rather, I feel worried about them. Ryoha has been management’s push, and I have seen how some members don’t like it, mostly from the generation above her; and Ami is often called the next center, the ace of 5th generation, and I have seen her practice until reaching her limit to meet everyone’s expectation.

I fear that both of them will get tired and end up leaving the group.

Right after announcing the members for the main single, the first thing the staff does is ask me for our documentary how does it feel to not be center for this single, I smile:

“It feels great to not be on the spotlight, it gives me more room to look over everyone, and if Ryoha and Ami have what it takes to be center, I will gladly support them.” They sigh and let me leave, did they really expect me to say something like ‘They don’t deserve it, I should have gotten the center’? If I had those kind of thoughts I wouldn’t have lasted more than three years in this group.

When I leave, they ask me to tell Rena to enter. I groan, I can’t refuse.

I walk to the hallway, there are a few seats there, and I see Rena’s brown hair, she had to dye it for a movie, some fans weren’t fond of it, but I think she looks stunning.

I walk towards her, she is reading, too concentrated to mind my presence. My violet mess of color approaches her fixed whiteness, I talk to her:

“Rena, it is your turn.” Short and simple. But I don’t dare to look at her, instead I look to the ceiling, avoiding the obvious green that will appear. Sometimes I wish I didn’t see what people feel.

“That was shorter than I expected.”

“If they don’t have drama they don’t care to ask you more questions.” From the corner of my eye I see how she doesn’t move.

“What is so interesting about the ceiling?” She surprises me, but I’m the dumb one for thinking she won’t notice. Rena is a meticulous person, she can perceive every detail or change in seconds.

“I saw a spider,” I lie, I need to leave, “Look at the time, I have another schedule to attend, Goodbye Rena!” I turn around and walk away, too fast that even if she said something, I wouldn’t have been able to hear it. But it is not like she would want me to come back.

 

 

2015 

My biggest nightmare became a reality.

Rena is graduating.

She hasn’t said anything about it, she even denied it to Masana, but I can see it.  Byzantine-violet sparkling over her, with a hint of Ash-gray, the guiltiness and sadness from lying is evident. As nonexistent it is our relationship, she is really my biggest support in the group. When will she announce it? Today? Tomorrow? Next year? I don’t want her to feel forced to stay in the group, but I wouldn’t mind another day with her.

Until now, even if we barely talk to each other, we have kept the promise from two years ago, both of us take care of the group, and we even have an unspoken rule between us; when she isn’t here, I come back from AKB, and when I’m gone, she comes back from Nogizaka. However, now that her concurrency ended, I don’t need to be running as much as before, but what will I do when she is gone?

 

The first sign is when she says she won’t participate in Sousenkyo.

Fans didn’t freak out, it was something Rena would do specially when she is leader of a team, most of the times they don’t compete to focus on their groups.

Rena could have joined if she wanted to, she could have even pulled the card of ‘This is my last time here’ to get more votes. But Rena didn’t, so I suppose she did it to prepare me, and everyone, because for the first time I felt all the burden on me. The pressure from SKE wanting to beat AKB, the pressure from the fans that hope for me to finally win, my own pressure to not fail anyone, and specially Rena, that now will be watching from the side. I want her to have no worries about leaving SKE with me.

To promote myself I attend to all the possible events, to the point I only sleep while we travel to a different location. I even take advantage of me finally turning 18, because many magazines are desperate to finally feature me as an adult.

With only one goal in mind I keep going. I want to win first place, not for myself, but for SKE.

 


 

The deciding day is today.

We practice for the concert, and I make sure everything is perfect. I stay with my group all the time, a sixth generation just got added to the group, and I can see how motivated they are. I want them to keep that freshness.

As I practice with them, I start to feel dizzy and my vision goes all black for a second. This is a bad sign. I excuse myself and go to the Main room in which we take our respective lunch box. I enter, but all the boxes I see are already open or empty. I ask staff about it, they said everyone took one so there are none left. I forgot this happens a lot.

I walk back to the practice room, maybe Masana or Minarun have something to eat. I don’t feel hungry, but I don’t want to faint, that would just be a bother.

Someone taps my shoulder, I look back, and it is Sashihara.

“Hello” I say.

“Hello, you walking skeleton, I have an extra lunch box because I bought my own food, so you should take this one before you appear on national news fainting.”

“You just insulted me but thank you.” I reply smiling.

“Eat it all, because you need it and like 10 more boxes of food to be healthy.”

“I don’t have time, I have too many things to worry about.”

“Ask for help then, you have Rena who isn’t as busy as you.”

“I won’t have her with me for too long.”

“Oh.” That is all Sasshi say says. I thank her again and leave.

   

 


 

 

“… With 105,289 votes, SKE48 Team S, and AKB48 Team K kennin, Matsui Jurina!”

 

All I see is green and ash-gray, and together they make an awful color.

I cover my face, not wanting to see it and also trying to hide my tears. I feel like I’m drowning in these colors and no one can rescue me, I can barely hear the screams from fans, but I have to give my speech, I need to stand up and be grateful toward the support and because I’m lucky to always be sure that I will rank high.

So, I collect myself and clean the tears on my face. But, as soon as I start speaking, I miserably breakdown again.

 

Sashihara won this year, her second win and she even broke a record.

Meanwhile all I got this year is dropping a rank.

I forgot this is Takamina’s last Sousenkyo so she asked for everyone’s help, I didn’t expect to Yukirin rank higher than Mayu, and I forgot there are new members that fans can vote for. I even got too hopeful thinking I might get part of Rena’s votes.

My excitement for SKE members ranking in Senbatsu is gone, not because I’m jealous, but because I failed.

We exit the venue, Masana is with me, and I’m glad, I don’t want to rely on younger members, they shouldn’t see me like this. My uncontrollable crying ceased, but as soon as Masana holds me, I explode again.

Tears slip from my weeping eyes.

The only thing that keeps repeating in my head is: ‘You failed everyone’.

Masana asks me what is wrong, and even tries to smile to make it seem like it isn’t that serious. But I know that if they felt a little of what I’m feeling, they would know how bad it is.

“Rena, what are you doing here?” says Masana I don’t believe what I’m hearing, why did she come now? I’m in the worst state possible and she decides to show up. Also, I don’t want to see her feeling irritated by me, not now.

“I was watching, and I thought it would be better to come here to support everyone.” She replies.

I separate from Masana and look at Rena. She is wearing normal clothes, but you can still tell she is an idol, her smile fades a little when she sees me.

“I’m sorry” I manage to say, and I’m not sure if I’m the one moving forward or Rena got close to me, but now she is hugging me.

“About what?”

“For not winning,” my tears start again, I can barely breath, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” Rena holds me closer, her warmth makes me relax a little, but I still feel so frustrated about the result.

“You managed to see the speeches?” asks Masana.

“Yeah, like from 20th girl forward.” Replies Rena. I clench my hands that currently rest on her chest. She saw me break down on stage and now I’m on her arms doing the same. Her embrace feels different from Masana, but I can’t say I’m enjoying it, too many negative thoughts are invading me, and the one that bugs me the most, is my fear of seeing Rena shining with green; I can’t even open my eyes because of it. What did I ever do to make her hate me?

“Jurina, you need to let me go to enter to the car,” says Rena. Confused, I separate from her, I look around and I realize that we left the venue, and now there is a car in front of us, “Masana will bring your clothes, we are heading back to the hotel, you look exhausted.” I nod and enter.

We both sit on the back. I take little peek towards Rena, she was worried.

“Why are you crying so much?” She asks.

“Too many things, and things that haven’t happened yet” I say.

“Don’t suffer for what might happen, who knows, maybe it won’t happen at all.”

“It is unavoidable, so I’m preparing for when it happens.” Rena doesn’t flinch, but I see the color peach-yellow, my comment really surprised her.

“You need to sleep.” She simply replies. I don’t want to.

“Why? I want to speak with you”

“Later”

“When?” We both look into each other’s eyes.

“I will tell you, I promise.” I don’t reply, I accommodate my body and rest my head on Rena’s lap. She smells like flowers, I can’t say which one, but I know it is one I have smelt before, I start closing my eyes and I see is a light pink coming from her.

Maybe she doesn’t hate me.

 


 

 

Rena announced her graduation a few days later after Sousenkyo.

I cried again, almost as if I didn’t know beforehand.

I call Rena, not even bothering to think about how she would react. She picks up, told me she saw it coming, and we talked on the phone until I fell sleep. When I wake up one thought remained in my head.

Rena will leave the group, and everything will change.

So I cling to Rena. Every time I can spend a second more with her, I do it, because soon I won’t be able to. I kept thinking all the time ‘This might be the last time I ever do this with Rena’.

Rena didn’t stop me, she didn’t mind at all, just like in the past.

Being all the time with her, I noted that the color green only taints the whiteness around Rena at certain times, but never when I’m with her. I don’t understand, but I’m glad I can be with her without problems.

My sudden over attachment to Rena didn’t pass unnoticed, the members teased me and said I’m worse than when I was 12 years old. At some point Sae and Kaotan started to say I look like a lovesick puppy, and even asked me if I loved her. Their innocent jokes and teasing really made me think.

Being with Rena has always been pleasant. I even longed to be with her, in the recent day’s I must admit I have been getting a stronger attraction to Rena, and I occasionally feel like I want more than a hug. I have kissed her in the past, but it was more innocent, and I didn’t do it with much thought, but the questions appear: Why did I do it? Why do I want to do it now?

If I was in love with Rena, why don’t I see the bubblegum-pink I had with Mayu. It is odd, because if I compare the both of them, with Rena it feels even more deeper, but why do I not show any color similar to pink?

I always see crusta-orange, but what is that?

It is confusing.

I can see people’s feeling and I can’t understand mine.

 

Times passes too quickly, and I’m suddenly on the last day of Rena’s concert, singing the last song. Rena is no longer part of SKE.

I see Masana crying and my stomach shrinks, she never cries. For the last minute of this song I remain strong, I hold Masana’s hand and make her sing with me, she tries, but her tears won’t stop, and  I understand.

 

The concert finished. Everyone is taking pictures with Rena, and trying to spend their last few minutes with her. You never know what will happen in the future, so everyone is making sure to have one last moment with her.

I stare from a distance, the only moment I had with Rena was when we took a picture with Masana.

The photos slowly stop, and the girls change of clothes. I do the same.

Somehow I don’t feel like crying, maybe because I have cried too much. But I feel like something is missing. There is deep emptiness in me that makes me see all gray.

“Jurina,” Rena calls me, it surprises me, “Sorry for making you jump, but do remember you wanted to talk? I think this is the right time.” She didn’t forget.

My heartbeats increase.

If this isn’t love then what is it?

 

We decide to walk to the park in front of my home, that way once we finish talking, Rena can call a taxi to get to her home.

We depart together from the concert.

“How does it feel?” I ask.

“The moment I left the stage I felt awful, they had to redo my makeup for the photos we took. But now, I feel in peace, I’m no longer SKE48 Rena one of the main centers. Instead, now I’m only Rena, the girl trying to have an actress career.”

“You haven’t started and you are already succeeding.” I tell her.

“Thanks.” There is a lot more I want to ask her, but I don’t want to be intrusive. “And you, how do you feel?” she asks me back.

“Terrible, today I solely didn’t cry more than necessary because I knew beforehand that you were graduating.”

“How?” She asks sounding shocked.

“I just knew… I guess I understand you too well to not notice something strange with you.”

“Jurina and her sixth sense, I guess that is why we get along.” She says, and I remember all the times she has showed the opposite. But I see no sign of lying in her, I’m puzzled.

“Are you… sure about it?” I dare to ask. She frowns.

“Why would you think the opposite?”

“I-,“ I need to understand, “Call it sixth sense or whatever, but you don’t like when my name gets mentioned. Why?” Rena doesn’t react, but the violet shows she has been caught.

“Don’t think I dislike you,” she begins, “This is really selfish of me, and I try to not get bothered by it, but sometimes I think they do it on purpose… Whenever people talk with me, no matter who is the person or what the topic is, they ask me about you.” She explains, and I wonder what is so wrong about it, they do the same to me. “I know you won’t understand,” she continues like reading my mind, “but for me it is like a slap on the face, like they are saying ‘We don’t care about you, we want to know more about Jurina’. I must say I have never felt hate or envy towards you, even if they tried to portray us as rivals that hated each other to death. But always being associated with you is tiring, I feel like I’m not my own person.”

When she finishes explaining we arrive to the park, the both of us sit on one of the benches, there is no one here except for us. I’m conflicted about what Rena said.

“I don’t understand exactly how you feel,” I take a pause, talking is hard, “but I get why you don’t like it. However, what is so bad about people thinking about the both of us?”

“How to put it… I don’t like it because we are individuals, people should see us as members of a group and that’s it. It not like we are dating, and I feel like they ask me more about you than if I plan to date after graduating, and that says a lot.”

It is not like Rena directly said something to hurt me, but hearing ‘we are just members of the same group’ felt like a punch on my stomach. I’m always thinking about her, doing things for her, and I forgot that she doesn’t need to do the same for me.

“I guess people like Wmatsui too much.” I say trying to lighten up the atmosphere.

“Not only people, you too” I stare at her, flustered, she didn’t sound or see angry, but a light hint of red gave me a bad feeling, “Jurina, whenever you have the opportunity to mention me, you do it.”

“Is it bad?”

“No, but it doesn’t help me at all with me trying to be seen as Matsui Rena.”

“Do you want me to stop?”

“No, that would be too cruel.”

“Why?”

“Jurina, don’t tell me you don’t know?” My heartbeat increases again, this is going somewhere I never thought we would go. I see this slightly dim orange from me. What is this? What am I feeling? Am I really in love with Rena?

“I’m confused.” I blurt out.

“About what?”

“About the exact thing I feel towards you.”

“I think you know, but don’t have the words to explain it.”

“I think I need to read more, I’m always missing the right words.”

“Don’t worry, you have a great understanding that helps you with that defect.”

“True, and because of that I know you don’t feel the same as me, right?” Rena looks at me, salmon-red travel between the white, am I that miserable that she feels pity?

“I’m sorry, it is not like I don’t feel anything about you. But it doesn’t go further than what I would feel for my family.” Rena admits, and it is definitely more comforting than just being another member.

“I’m like you little sister then?” I ask.

“Yes, that is why I’m always looking over you, and even if you kept being annoying I couldn’t push you away. I worry a lot about you.”

“I wish I had recorded the last thing you said, I don’t think you will ever repeat those words.”

“You really know me too well.”

We fall into silence, both of us looking to the black sky.

If to Rena I’m her little sister, to me what is Rena? When I see her, she is all I think about, I don’t even try, and my thoughts become flooded with her. She is the reason I improved, and the one that when I couldn’t continue took my responsibilities, no matter how long it took me she waited, and once I was back we fought for SKE again. We didn’t spend all our days together, but we were for each other in the right moments.

I admire Rena, but it goes beyond pure admiration, because I love her. I gasp, everything now makes sense. Admiration and Love, amber and bubble gum colors mixed together give: Crusta-orange.

“Rena,” she looks at me, “I figured it out.” I say smiling.

“If you say something dumb I will not include you in my graduation pamphlet.”

“You will have to include it,” I take a deep breath, the words feel right, “For me, you are my lover.” Her face softens and a hint of worry lingers between the white around her.

“The little sister in love with her big sis? Sounds like an overused storyline in yuri mangas.” She jokes.

“Everyone still reads them.” I say.

 

That night I had the biggest inner conflict ever. I was exploding of happiness because I finally understood my feelings for Rena, and I was in such a deep sadness that I know she will not see me more than family. When Rena finally left and I walked to my house, I could see the yellow and blue fighting against each other. That night I didn’t cry, I only stayed alone with my thoughts, looking back to every memory I had with Rena.

Rena has kept her word and has never told me to stop talking about her, but in return she doesn’t even dare to reply my tweets wishing her happy birthday, and even less to follow my account. You might think she is being cruel, but I don’t care, because she still called and thanked me for the tweet, and send me messages in replying to the things I tweet. Rena cares about me, and she shows it to me on her own way.

Chapter Text

The shape of the colors, they can have spikes, look unstable or be uniform. It depends of the person if they get spiked colors or not, I have seen my own colors take weird forms, but the reason of why they transform is still ambiguous to me. But, from what I have learned, it isn’t associated with one specific feeling, you can have the lightest or brightest colors and you could still occupy the whole room with colors that won’t stop moving. I think it is based in how much you are feeling, like when your colors get spiked it is when you are losing yourself into them, you can’t do or think of anything besides what is making you create those spikes. I only know this because I have experienced it.

The events I see the most spikes is during Sousenkyo. No one in that place isn’t shifting, it seems like the colors clash with each other and they even don’t know it.

The most common shape that I see, is the homogenous amount of colors that can be alone or mixed, then you can find spikes which are for specific occasions, but I have seen others that are so unique, that until now I can perfectly remember the first time I saw them.

The first one is Paruru, her colors rather than a taking a specific form or looking like they are exuding of her, they look like waves. It’s like you are seeing a colorful ocean right in front of your eyes. When I first saw it I knew I needed to talk to her at least once, and now I’m glad I can call her my friend:

 

Manatsu no Sounds Good!

A summer single that is the first to have so many senbatsu members for the A-track, to be precise we are 36 girls. A lot of new girls got added to this single to promote the new generations of AKB, therefore I saw a lot of new faces that politely greeted me, which is weird considering that most of them are older than me.

Right now, we were taking the pictures for the cover of our singles, the divided by age in different groups, so mine had a lot of the new girls. Our group gets called and we pose just like the photographer tells us to, many flashes hit our faces. When we finish, and separate from the group hug we were having for the picture, I spot something odd.

One of the girls has a hunter-green and fandango-violet, but beside being curious about her uncomfortableness, I get amazed by the way her colors move.

It is like seeing the ocean in front of me, but around a girl.

The colors act like watercourses and I can’t stop looking.

“Jurina why are looking at a girl’s body so intensively for?” Asks Yuko near me, making me jump.

“I’m not a pervert like you so it is not whatever you are imagining.”

“Oh, so you know what I’m imagining.”

“Why are you like this?, I only got too focused and the girl happened to be there.” I lie.

“What a lame excuse” says Yuko leaving before I even talk back. Truthfully, I had no idea of what to say, but I was definitely not thinking anything of what Yuko thinks.

But what I’m sure of, is that I want to talk with this girl.

 

I ask Mayu the girl with the waves and she said her name is Shimazaki Haruka, part of AKB’s 9th generation, that she isn’t the outgoing type and only talks with people of her own generation, she also mentioned how people talk about her ‘Salty behavior’, but that’s more like gossip that Mayu always tends to avoid.

Shimazaki seems to be special in a lot of aspects.

 

At some point of the shooting, I finally spot her alone. Her members seemed to be somewhere else and she was there, sitting on a chair silently eating her salad.

I approach to her and I sit next to her.

“Hello Shimazaki-san, you did a great job today.” I say starting the conversation. I see how Paruru’s waves increase their movement and get tinted with new colors.

“Hello Jurina-San, you did a great job today too.” She says a without much emotion, despite what her colors tell, is this what they mean with salty behavior?

“You can call me Jurina if you want, you are older than me. Also, how should I call you?”

“Shimazaki is okay.”

“Really? Isn’t it that too cold?”

“Fans and some members call me Paruru, I don’t know where that nickname came from, but it is too late to complain.” She explains bluntly.

“Paruru… it is cute, it suits you.” Her waves change to ruby-pink (embarrassment), maybe I should tone down my compliments.

“Thanks.” she says more warmly.

“Paruru, if in the future you are ever having any trouble you can always talk with me. I can see you are a great person, but people seem to not understand that, and I have a lot of experience in that.” I smile at her when I finish because I notice how the peach-yellow and amber-orange travel around her (surprise and admiration). She is truly a nice person.

“I definitely will, and I will thank you again, but for keeping me company.”

 

 

From that day, Paruru and I became closer, I spent time with her whenever I saw her alone. Sometimes I even brought Dasu, Churi and Rena along with me and they all got along with each other splendidly. At some point Paruru even admitted to me that it must be nice to be in SKE, that no matter the generation we are from, there is a strong bond between us. That made my heart flutter, and realize how proud I’m from SKE. In response I tell her she is an unofficial member, and that we will always take care of when we see each other. Paruru gives me the biggest smile ever; and her waves shine with a warm yellow.

The second particular case I have seen, more than she shape of them, it is they way they interact.

 

AKB48 Manatsu no Tandoku Concert in SSA Kawaei-san no Koto ga Suki Deshita 2015

An AKB  summer concert in which all the sister groups are participating and the first concert without Rena with us. I can’t habituate with it, I feel like no matter how many times I practice with everyone, something is still missing. Rena’s empty spot is too hard for us to immediately fill.

For this concert SKE barely has songs to perform, and I hate it, but the favorable thing is that I don’t need force myself too much. I still can’t help feeling dissatisfied, each concert they take of SKE a song and give it to some other group that they are more interested in promoting, and it is infuriating they only do that to us. I tried to talk with management, but they ignored me, or just said ‘we will see’. Fuming on my seat I continue mentally insulting management for not even bothering to pretend they would give us a song. They really don’t care about anything besides earning money. Pigs .

I take a deep breathe and try to calm myself, if I can’t be the one performing I should be guiding the ones that will be on stage.

I see a girl practicing, that if I’m not mistakes, is the same I saw a few hours ago. Has she been dancing all this time? I walk to her direction her, and I remember Takamina talked to me about her, her name is Okada Nana.

“Do need some help?” I ask trying to sound friendly, sometimes my juniors get too nervous with me.

“Ah! Jurina-san, I- hello, and no, you must be busy, don’t worry.” She says halting what she was doing and looking stiff.

“I’m not busy at all, that’s why I want to help you.”

“If you insist…”

I teach her everything I could and answered her doubts about the dances. Nana-san or Naachan, how I prefer to call her, is really serious about improving and becoming a top member, and she genuinely wants the best for AKB. Thanks to her, I can confidently say that despite the mass graduations in AKB, we still have a more years with the group, and that is because of the new generations hard work. SKE also has new members that make look forward our group’s future, with the recent enter of 7th generation and the 2nd generation of draft members, I feel reassured that there are girls with ambition, I can tell just by looking their eyes (and colors).

Naachan bids goodbye, and as I watch her I see a sudden smile appear on her face as she approaches a girl. I notice she is Yuiri-San, I have barely talked with her before, since she only participates in theater performances, but I have heard she is really talented and has brought popularity to the theater.

When the both of them get close to each other, I see their colors mix with other. The usual sky-blue of Naachan and emerald-green of Yuiri forming and moderate cyan color, with the same amount of green and blue in it.

It is my first time seeing this. I’m curious why, I have never seen anything similar with Naachan and someone else. I have seen how the color of someone changes or influences the other person, but never both of them perfectly blending with each other, never both colors accepting so easily the color of another person.

 

 


 

 

 

Intrigued by them, I watch them, and I learn a lot about the relationship they have.

Naachan respects Yuiri so much, and you could also see hints of bubble gum pink between the sky-blue.

But I concentrate more on Yuiri since it is rare to be together with her, and I can confirm that she never mixes her colors with other either. Also, that with other people she doesn’t have that emerald-green, instead she is always alert, with an electric-violet.

With physical contact, most of the time Naachan is the one initiating it, and she does it without caring if anyone notices. Meanwhile Yuiri is careful, while everyone is busy she watches over Naachan, and once she finds her in the sea of girls, she changes to a green, but as soon as she stops staring, her violet is back.

The most interesting thing is when they aren’t talking with each other. They can be in different groups discussing different topics, but their colors will still reach each other and become one. I guess this is what people call ‘soulmates’.

However, I think only Naachan is aware of it, Yuiri still refuses to accept how she cares more than normal about Naachan. I can see how Yuiri is smiling while seeing Naachan dance to the ne-

“Oh god, Jurina not with a junior, and not when Nana is here.” Suddenly says Muto Tomu bringing me out of my thoughts.

“What are you- Oh, I’m not-,” I say baffled,”I don’t flirt with every single girl I look at.” I finally manage to say defending myself.

“Say that to all the girls in love with you.”

“They aren’t in lo-.”

“Jurina, one time they fought about who could spend time with you and created a schedule, that of course didn’t last long.” I stare, is she being serious?

“Tomu that is crazy”

“Why do you think they came to you by one and suddenly had to ‘leave’ somewhere and came another one.” Oh.

“But, going back to the initial point, I’m not planning to flirt with Yuiri.”

“Good, she doesn’t need to be corrupted by you”

“I’m not a bad influence!”

“If you aren’t in your teacher mode then you are.”

“Thanks. Changing a little the topic, what do you know about Naachan’s and Yuiri’s relationship?”

“I have heard some things… they seem to be close and some even claim they are dating given the fact that Yuiri often hangs out with Naachan, and she is overprotective of Yuiri, but those rumors are always around so I don’t believe it.”

“If they aren’t dating… they definitely will in the future.” I say as I see their colors mixing again, Naachan now next to Yuiri.

 

Since I haven’t spent a lot of time with AKB it is rare to be able to see them together, specially when Yuiri never participates on singles, but for “Jabaja” I could see them again, and it was beautiful.

The moderate cyan would never disappear, no matter how far they were from each other, a thin thread would remain connecting them. And when they talked with each other, the room got washed in bubble-gum pink, it almost ate other people’s colors. It is obvious to anyone how strong is their affection for each other, but for me it was overwhelmingly obvious. In the future, I hope I can share the same experience with someone I love.

Chapter Text

2014:

In my life I have met countless of different girls, managers, and people from TV, but I have never met anyone with the same ability as mine.

I ponder if could recognize them without having to ask them, if they have something special. I also wonder if they have more knowledge than I, perhaps I have superpowers, who knows.

 

 

My job is being an idol. I make people happy with my smiles or with the people I interact with. During my life I have met wonderful people that I call my friends, but unluckily, I have also found people that to this day I can’t understand how inhumane they are, and I avoid them at all cost. However, there are others that aren’t my friends nor my enemy, they fall in the middle and they are just another coworker which I can do my job with. I can even say I like them.

For example, one person that suits that category is Sakura. In the start we barely interacted, but slowly we started to get more jobs together, being paired up for interviews, shows, even as centers, and we did an excellent job, which led to continue working with each other; but it never went further than what the cameras showed. I have never met up with Sakura outside of our schedule or talked with her on a personal level, the most common topics we discuss are about our job, and things without much meaning, like what we ate yesterday or the new shop that opened near the theater. Therefore, when we did our fan service, I knew it was only that, and I could see in Sakura’s colors that, for example, she wasn’t really planing to do a live show together, or meet up, or most of the compliments she said, and that is fine, because it is our job to do that, and I didn’t shun her because I always saw respect coming from her, and that is enough for me.

At some point things began to change, and it was when it caught my attention how Sakura was too talented at reading people. Maybe she was the perceptive type like Takamina, but it was something else that didn’t add up.

 

Mayu’s graduation concert, December 2017.

Another of my dear friends in AKB that is leaving. Sadly, I haven’t been able to establish more friendships in AKB since I ended my concurrent position, and when I participate with AKB I only spend time with the same people. So, it feels like I’m slowly becoming a lonely person here. It is like my family is leaving me behind.

I will also miss Mayu is general, how funny she is, how she always worried about AKB, and how she has always treated me more than just her coworker, and that is a lot coming from her, she is known for her professional nature. However, if you know her too well, she will show you how she really is, and she is messy in many aspects, for instance, she told me at last minute that I have to participate in a MC section that will be about her. So, to tease her and as a little revenge, I will bring alive JuriMayu again, who cares if Yukirin is also here, or Sakura, Rie and Sayaka.

“Let’s talks about our favorite moments with Mayu!” Says Yukirin opening the talk segment.

“She will see this, so be careful.” Replies Sayaka.

“It is not like she can stop us so let’s go!” Rie replies back. Sakura and I only nod along.

“I will start!” Says Sakura raising her voice. “More than a specific memory, my most memorable moment was sharing wcenter with her for “Kibouteki Refrain”, she helped me a lot and I truly witnessed what people meant with ‘Mayu is the best example of an idol’, until now, the things she told me remain with me."

"Mayu isn’t that good of an idol.”

“Shut up Yukirin, you can’t talk as if you haven’t had any scandal.” Says Rie and the fans shout, meanwhile Yukirin looks like she wants to kill Rie even thought she is laughing.

“My turn now!” I say finally speaking, “my favorite moment with her is when we recorded Majisuka Gakuen 2. To be honest, we spent so much time together that during the recording I had a real crush on Mayu. I was also kinda jealous of Mayukirin.” I admit laughing at Yukirin’s evident peach-yellow (with her eyes it was enough to say she was surprised), and Sakura, Sayaka and Rie shared the same color as her. The fans were squealing like always.

“Wow Jurina, that is a big confession!” yells Yukirin.

“But I already told her in the past, I’m only saying it again one last time.”

“Like a formal confession?” Asks Rie impressed.

“No, not to that extent, it was in an interview in which I casually said it. Mayu almost fell off her chair when she heard it.”

“Who wouldn’t!” replies Rie, I only laugh in reply.

The stories continue until we hit the time limit. Once we are off stage, I get flashback of what I admitted.

“Matsui Jurina why do you always make announcements like this like if it was nothing!” Screams Minarun reprimanding me. Lately she has been becoming such a mom in SKE, maybe it is the age.

“Is it illegal to love?” I ask sounding sad.

“It should be illegal for you too love too much.” Says Mikotti also joining.

“But how can I not love when the world is full of cute girls.”

“God, she is so gay.” Junakko whispers not so well and everyone laughs at her comment. I smile, I can’t deny it.

“Before you all continue bullying me, I need to move to the other side of the stage, so good bye, see you in two songs more.” I say as I move to the changing room. Mayu assigned me too many songs, but I can’t complain because I’m glad she considered me so much.

When I enter the room, I see Sakura changing next to the clothes I have to use, we are performing a lot of songs together.

I see the hunter-green and fandango-violet coming from her, bright and almost slapping my face. Is my presence that burdensome for her? Or is it something else? I wonder if it is my fault.

“Jurina-san,” She says bringing me out of my thoughts, it is weird for her to start a conversation, “I got so surprised during the MC section with what you said that I forgot my lines.” She admits smirking. Is that what makes her have those colors? Girls like this I have met them a lot.

“I was serious about it.” I say hinting what she might be thinking, I have no problem with other people knowing, I don’t deny it since the incident in my group (in which I ended up telling everyone), and fans know so I don’t hide it in public events, I just avoid explicitly saying it.

“I know.”

“How?”

“Just the way you… expressed yourself, I knew you weren’t joking, that is why I was surprised.”

“Only because of that?”

“Yes, don’t think I’m being hateful or anything” and now I get surprised because she said the exact emotion that I saw. The color stayed with her, so I guess it wasn’t my presence which made it appear. I’m tempted to ask her if something is wrong with her, but that is none of my business, so I stick to our topic.

“Sorry, I have gotten those kind of responses before.”

“That must have been unpleasant.”

“Yes, but I’m over it,” I stare at her and notice how she removed her shirt but didn’t put on the new one, “Sakura, do you plan to dress or be half naked the whole time?” I say, I must admit she has a really nice body to look at.

I see bright pink all over her, and her cheeks too as she puts on the new shirt. Both ready to go, we run to the stage because we talked for too long.

 

We finish singing “Kokoro No Placard”, and I start feeling tired.

Please not today, not on Mayu’s graduation.

My begs seem to be ignored, because my vision starts to get gray, and I know I have been worse, but I don’t want to worry anyone, specially Mayu that knows when something is wrong with me.

I walk with the little energy left in my body to change clothes, I do it quick despite how heavy my body felt. I grab a bottle of water and walk to the waiting area, as I drink water I feel my headache stop increasing, but my vision continued getting worse. I should have listened to Minarun and brought a piece of chocolate with me.

I walk to the group of girls that are wearing the same clothes as me, and I stand beside them staring the floor, it was so blurry I can barely see my own feet. My body aches, and it is almost screaming at me for not sitting, but I know that if I do it, I will feel dizzier and who know if I will be able of standing up.

Someone taps my shoulder.

“Jurina-san? Do you need something?” I recognize it is Sakura, but I can’t bring to lift my head, anyone would notice my exhaustion and tell me to rest.

“No, I’m fine.” Sakura doesn’t seem to leave, and stays beside me with her hand on my shoulder. This is weird, she shouldn’t notice so easily when I’m tired.

“Don’t lie, I can see you aren’t okay at all, do you need something? I can get it to you.”

“How are you so sure?”

“I feel it” or see it?

“The song will start soon, I can handle this.”

“You can’t, Jurina you don’t look good.”

“How do you even know?” I ask raising my voice, Sakura removes her hand from my shoulder as she clearly jumps surprised, I look directly to her eyes, “To anyone I’m only standing, and I just lifted my head for you to notice my fatigue.”

“I know because,” she pauses, probably because my sudden raise of voice must have shocked her, “I can easily understand people.” She replies and I realize how familiar that phrase sounds. I’m also good at that, but not because of body language or being good at comprehending human nature, but because I see in front of my eyes what people feel. Sakura shouldn’t understand or know what I’m going through right now, so there is only one option left; That she is the same as me.

“Do you see the colors?” I ask and Sakura gasps, but before she could reply Yuihan speaks:

“Everyone! The song will start soon.”

The both of us separate without knowing the answer.

            


 

 

 

The next time I see Sakura is for Jabaja single. Despite being distracted by many things, I manage to get time to talk with her, and knowing we were alone, I go straight to the point.

“You seemed to understand what I said during Mayu’s concert, was I right?” I ask as I sit next to her, she screams electric-violet to my face, why do I make her stay alert when I’m close to her?

“I-.” She hesitates, I hope I don’t end up like the crazy one. “Is it related with feelings?”

“Colors and feelings? Yes.”

“Oh.” she says.

“What?”

“How come I have never seen you before?”

“Where? In the group?”

“No, in meetings,” she probably sees my confused face, and continues explaining, “families that have this trait know each other, since we aren’t that many, we sometimes spend time with each other and stuff. Fun fact, most of them are phycologists for obvious reasons.”

“Well, I’m probably an outcast because my dad and mom divorced when I was little, and I haven’t had any kind of contact with him since that day.” I say, I don’t like talking about family with people of the group, but this is beyond group matters.

“Oh, but I can see that you at least understand something of it.”

I explain to her what I have known through the years, and I discover I know too little. Apparently I can even control my energy, for good or bad, I can make it grow or shrink and affect people around me. Sakura even explains to me that some people can control their colors at their own will and control others with theirs, but I didn’t get the explanation of why because we couldn’t finish our discussion, so we promised to keep in contact.

 

I asked Sakura for all the information she could give me, and she agreed. From that day we started to talk a lot with each other. I texted her, hung out with her, I even met her mother who was the one that saw colors.

With Sakura we started to have a really great relationship, to the point we decided to audition for “Produce 48” together, after all we both understood the pressure of leading your group, and we knew we could support each other while being there. When we announced we would participate, that caused other groups to also send their best members, like Miru from NMB and AKB sending their new aces. It was a trip we didn’t know that would affect so much our life’s.

The day of the audition, Sakura and I were worried about our low rankings, but we both managed to show what we are made of. I still regret getting a B and not an A, but I’m glad at least Sakura got an A, later Miyu also got the same rank which showed it wasn’t ‘luck’ that a Japanese member got that rank. After that, the intense training began, and between that and worrying about this year’s Sousenkyo, at some point I think we all lost our common sense and empathy. It became usual the extreme exhaustion, the frustration and crying. Everyone was with such a dark gray, even from the ones that smiled at you I could see that dark cloud around them, even from Sakura.

We barely survived that, but what definitely ruined me and Sakura, was what happened in Sousenkyo. In summary it would be, lots of misunderstandings and not a proper talk about the topic, leading to a very awkward situation and a broken friendship, if I could call it that.

I wish we could fix what happened that day, and I think it is sad that two people who perfectly understand each other can fight and never reconcile.