V. And So, An Adult Love Began

(metal door clangs. Kazusa runs, then stops, out of breath.)


Kazusa:            (chuckles bitterly) What am I doing? What the hell am I doing? That sort of… something I should never have…
(Chiaki approaches, then spots her.)
Chiaki:             Oh, you’re…
Kazusa:            (gasps, startled) Wh-who are you?
Chiaki:             Huh? Oh, I’m on the executive committee. I came here to lock up.
Kazusa:            O-oh, right. I guess that’s what time it is…
Chiaki:             So what’s going on, Kazusa Touma-san from class 3-E?
Kazusa:            You… know me?
Chiaki:             Sure do. You were the leading player in today’s show, after all. Well done, Light Music Club.
Kazusa:            But… Ogiso was the leading player.


Chiaki:             Nope. I’m telling you, all of you on that stage stood out. Your teamwork was great.
Kazusa:            Really…?
Chiaki:             Yep, yep. I’ve been watching school festival performances since I was a first year, and I’ve never seen an audience get so excited.
Kazusa:            …
Chiaki:             So, why did you come back? In the same outfit you were wearing before, for that matter.
Kazusa:            Ah…
Chiaki:             Touma-san?
Kazusa:            I-I was in the music room just now, but… something came up, and I couldn’t stay there.
Chiaki:             “Something”?
Kazusa:            Something that couldn’t be resolved. I couldn’t stop it, and there was no taking it back.
Chiaki:             Huh…
Kazusa:            And then, before I knew it, my feet had brought me back here. Sorry, I’ll get out now.
Chiaki:             Nah, you can stay here a bit longer if you want.
Kazusa:            But…


Chiaki:             If you just found yourself here, that must mean some memory of the show is pulling you back.
Kazusa:            That couldn’t…
Chiaki:             Your heart’s been floating ever since you got down off that stage, and something about it still doesn’t feel real. Am I wrong?
Kazusa:            Well… Yeah, it definitely doesn’t feel real. You really seem to understand.
Chiaki:             It’s because I’ve seen any number of people experiencing the same thing.
Kazusa:            Yeah?
Chiaki:             But, listen, Touma-san, you really did stand up there and perform. Everybody was captivated by the three of you. You got a huge round of applause.
Kazusa:            That really happened here…
Chiaki:             It was truly amazing.
Kazusa:            It wasn’t that amazing.
Chiaki:             C’mon, don’t say that.
Kazusa:            What I mean is, the goal I had long ago wasn’t to stand on a tiny stage in a gymnasium with terrible acoustics like this.


Chiaki:             Oh, now that you mention it… Your mother is Youko Touma, right?
Kazusa:            …Consider yourself lucky. If I were my usual self right now, I’d have snapped on you for mentioning that name.
Chiaki:             S-sorry. Did I do something wrong?
Kazusa:            Nah, now that I think about it, that’s more of a problem with my usual self. Don’t worry about it.
Chiaki:             It’s fine. You don’t have to worry about it, either. So?
Kazusa:            Long ago, my goal was to stand on a big stage in Paris or Vienna, like my mom.
Chiaki:             Yeah?
Kazusa:            With thousands of people there—but no clapping along or yelling. Just listening to me playing the piano, with bated breath.
Chiaki:             Wow…
Kazusa:            But today’s show? Nobody was even listening to what I played.
Chiaki:             Well… Maybe so. The way you two looked was a bigger part of it for them than the music.


Kazusa:            They knew nothing about my arrangements or technique. They probably would have reacted the same way if we’d only been pretending to play, and the whole thing was really a karaoke performance.
Chiaki:             I was sitting at the back, so, to tell you the truth, I couldn’t really hear over all the screams.
Kazusa:            See? That’s what I’m talking about. So how can you say it was amazing?
Chiaki:             But you were feeling good, right? Maybe even more than you would in a competition or a concert.
Kazusa:            How could you possibly know that?
Chiaki:             That much I could tell, even from a distance. You were having a blast.
Kazusa:            Yeah, you’re right. I hate to admit it, but… I’ve never had so much fun in my life. Enough that I would end up chatting pointlessly like this with someone I only just met…
Chiaki:             I’m honored.


Kazusa:            It wasn’t just me. Ogiso and Kitahara, too… It was a massive high for all of us.
Chiaki:             That’s why you all got so into it. Same for the whole audience.
Kazusa:            I guess so.
Chiaki:             The audience… They probably don’t understand the essence of it.
Kazusa:            The essence?
Chiaki:             What the people on the stage really want them to see—the technique, the sound, the message they want to send. And yet, even though the audience can’t see any of that, they’re super receptive to the energy of the people onstage. They take it in.
Kazusa:            I don’t really know about that…
Chiaki:             So, maybe, it’s that you haven’t really understood the audience up to this point. Y’know?
Kazusa:            Ah…
Chiaki:             What’s up?
Kazusa:            (muttering to herself) I see… Of course. That’s why my mother…


Chiaki:             Touma-san?
Kazusa:            You might be right. If I don’t start trying to understand what the audience wants, I’ll never get anywhere.
Chiaki:             Huh… Now I’m the one who doesn’t get it.
Kazusa:            No, it’s fine. Forget I said anything.
Chiaki:             Well, anyway, you were awesome today. That much is an undeniable fact.
Kazusa:            You… think so…?
Chiaki:             Tomorrow, you’ll see. Things are about to get a lot more exciting around you. You might start to see a grand battle between the Touma contingent and the Ogiso contingent.
Kazusa:            (chuckles) What are you talking about?
Chiaki:             When that happens, I wonder which faction the one and only person you both want will join…?
Kazusa:            Huh…?
Chiaki:             All right, I’ll come back in thirty minutes to lock up, so you’re free to do what you like until then.


(Chiaki walks off.)
Kazusa:            Wait, what did you just say? (the door slams.) What did you mean…? (Kazusa walks, eventually reaching the piano.) …Right. (she plays a note.) I was… amazing today. (she plays another note.) I was… the star today.

(she begins playing “Todokanai Koi.” She sings only the first line, quietly:)

♪Are you pretending to be lonely?


(she stops playing, breathing shakily.)

Kazusa:            I’m not pretending. I was never pretending. Why would I put on an act that would give someone such an embarrassing impression…? (her voice trembles.) Hey, will things actually change? Will they change… in the direction I want? To the future I want? Will they really? Tell me, Kitahara…!


(Full track: “White Album”)

Seems like the gap between us grows more by the day
But our feelings are always right there beside us
Even if we can’t see each other, we claim we’ll be okay


But it’s always mixed with sighs, isn’t it?
The treasures we’ve left with the seasons as they pass
Like a puzzle missing its most important piece
Just as the white snow softly buries the streets
Let’s fill up every blank page in this album


Even when I feel like the loneliness might crush me
Passing day after anxious day on my own
You’ll pat my shoulder, say it’ll be okay
And bring me back around with your smile
Even if we’re apart, I’ll have those words
So I can say I’m truly happy—isn’t that strange?
The fleeting snow carries my secret thoughts


And dyes the album’s pure white page
The treasures we’ve left with the seasons as they pass
Like a puzzle missing its most important piece
Just as the white snow softly buries the streets


Let’s fill up every blank page in this album

(Full track: “Sound of Destiny”)

Captured by that shapeless thing called love


I know there’s a kind of love that can stop your heart

The longing you gave me every time we met
I still believe in it—it will never disappear
Passion that never runs out, never slacks off—
Where does it come from? Somewhere it’s sleeping
La, la, the stars show my destiny, glittering countlessly
There’s just one thing I know: I will never part from you
If I softly close my eyes I can hear my heartbeat


The proof that I’m alive
I’ll follow the rhythm that my heart beats out
And dance as I go! Wherever it may take me…

Even when I’m tired of hurting and being hurt
I still fall in a love that stops my breathing
And even if a world of darkness is what awaits me in my path


I know I’ll be able to keep a sparkle in my eyes
La, la, the stars flow along and the wheel of destiny turns
Dwelling in our hearts, strong and weak, hot and cold
Put your hand on your chest and feel your heartbeat—the proof that you’re alive
Follow the melody that the stars play
And we’ll sing as we go! Until the end…


(Full track: “Todokanai Koi”)


Are you pretending to be lonely? I couldn’t help but wonder why
The next thing I knew, I was drawn to you more than anyone
How can I make you see my heart reflected in the mirror?


Even if my love can’t reach you, the day may come when it starts to show
Until that hazy answer appears
This love won’t come alive
The day I first called out to you, and you turned to me


You were so dazzling that I couldn’t look right at you
How can I trace myself into your heart?
Even if my love can’t be granted, the day may come when its outlines appear
If you can catch just a glimpse of that hazy answer
I know this love will come alive


How can I make you see my heart reflected in the mirror?
Even if my love can’t reach you, the day may come when it starts to show
Until that hazy answer appears
This love won’t come alive

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