The girl woke from a deep sleep. She saw her mom putting her clothes in a luggage hurriedly. It was too early, the sun has not shone yet.
"Mom? Where are we going?" She asked, jumping out of her bed. She knew that she has to attend her classes today because they have a major exam. Sixth grade was so remarkable to her. She could not afford to skip classes. Her mom gave her quick glances as she dragged the zipper close. Grasping her daughter's hand, she pulled her out of the room and ran downstairs. The girl has no idea what was happening, or why everything seemed panic stricken.
"Mom! Where are we going?" She tried to squeeze an answer but received no reply for the second time. Her mother halted after they reached the service door in the kitchen. Catching her breath, the mother kneeled down to be of same level with her daughter. Tears were visible from the mother's eyes as she gently patted her head.
"Mom? I have no idea what's ...happening. Is it...?"
"Your father, brother and I will go...somewhere. We have to leave you to Dr. Hoshine. It will not be so long, darling. We will be back soon," If it wasn't for her melodious voice, the girl could have cried like a rain forest.
"I know it mom," the girl smiled in understanding. "People are mad at Dad, aren't they?" Her mother smiled and kissed the top of her child's head.
"No, no. They just...misunderstood papa,"
"Where's Mikuo then?" The girl asked with a hope that her brother could come with her so it would not be so lonely. After all, no man is an island. Even though Dr. Hoshine is a familiar, she would still miss her family. Her pushed the door open. There was Dr. Hoshine, the wise scientist, standing by his car.
"We will bring Mikuo to Latria. You will be there soon, but it's too risky if we'll bring you there at the same time so you'll stay with the doctor for a moment," The mother gave her child's hand to the friendly scientist. He was not smiling like he always used to, was the cheerful scientist she knew gone? Was the situation really serious to make every person she knew, sad?
The girl grabbed her mom's hand again, tears fell down. Of course, goodbye was never easy and never wanted.
"We'll meet in Latria, mom!" The child smiled as the last tear she could held back fell. The sun is peeping out, a cue that the mother and her daughter has to depart. Without hesitation, the older woman bent down for the last time, and told her child the things she may not be able to repeat or say;
"I love you, Miku."
It has been a month ago since Miku Hoshine died. Last month was just unforgettable. That day, 29th of December, Len, Rin, their cousins and Gakupo rode the Kagamine's car and raced their way to the Hoshine's residence. Parking at the Hoshine's lawn, brakes screeching, Rin jumped out of the car and barged in the quiet house... Only to see people in black, mourning on Miku's photo on a corner, surrounded with white flowers. Rin scowled and despised the scene; she knew this facade, like who would quickly set up this very thing when she has left just four or five hours ago.
"Who is her guardian?!" The female twin yelled in the middle of silence, walking at the center of the sad faces. They send her weird glances of absurdity because of the scandal she is doing.
"I am. Who are you to destroy the silence here?" An old man in his late 50s descended from the stairs said, together with a familiar blue haired guy tailing him.
"Rin?" Kaito's voice sprang in Rin's consciousness, but she pushed off his melodious voice that distracted her in chatter. She is here for her best friend, not for a flirty chat with her crush. That's if she can flirt.
"Kaito?" Len called upon entering the house. The audience in front of them looked puzzled as if they are watching some drama series on television. Behind Len, there entered Meiko, Gakupo and Oliver pushing each other to have a good view of this name calling.
"The bastard! Meiko! The bastard!" Yelled Oliver, causing worse disturbance than what Rin did. His index finger was pointing Kaito, who was standing about five meters from them. Meiko narrowed her eyes to the image Oliver was pointing, and slowly, her irises adjusted and recognized the blue haired man. She instantly turned to her beast mode and forgot that they were in a... Funeral.
"YOU!" Meiko and Kaito called in unison. The group of small people inside the Hoshine's house started to exchange low whispers about this fragment of scandalous play.
"Kaito! This is being absurd! Bring out your guests and let us reflect in serenity. This is Miku's funeral." Screamed the old man, summoning the teens back in reality.
"No! You'll tell me where is Miku. I know who and 'what' she is, so show me." Rin bravely said. Her face held fierce although she's shaking inside. None of her facial muscles believed that this old creature is Miku's guardian. Why will he show up when it was her time? She's not naïve. The old man scrutinized her before he finally asked her to follow him upstairs.
Meanwhile, Len and his cousins were pushed out of the house- Gakupo is no exception. The purple haired gentleman was restraining Kaito before he could run and beat Len's cousin. Meiko and Kaito were yelling each other with swears and curses they could handle while the distabpnce between them was kept.
"This guy should have died instead of Miku!" Meiko finally escaped Len and Oliver's grip. Seeing how furious the brunette was, Gakupo released his prisoner before Meiko may hit Gakupo as well. The clash of the titan happened in a matter of second. Kaito fell down on the soft green grasses, his eyes were crossed out- the poor being fainted. Guess why? Meiko hit him square in the gut! Cheers for the feminist movement! The brunette threw her arms in the air, rejoicing the defeat of the guy who insulted her life. By life, we mean music, that's Meiko's definition.
"AHAHAHA!" The evil laugh echoed but was abrupted when she heard a coughing behind her.
"Meiko Sakine. There's a funeral so behave yourself. Just a reminder," blabbed the Oliver kid, and walked to the guys who were slapping Kaito back into life.
"Is he dead!?" Oliver asked. Gakupo smacked him because of his rude question.
"Aww, why!? Did I say somethin-"
"Stop whining. Not a good joke," Len scolded then Kaito blinked. The blue skies were clear, few clouds. Peace.
"Is this called heaven? It looks like normal and...distant." Mumbled Kaito. When Oliver heard this, he quickly looked down at Kaito's face with high spirits.
"You survived!? Goooooooodness!" Kaito shot up instantly. Seeing the weird blonde is not a heavenly feature, he reminded him of the evil brunette. Soon, everything came back to his senses, that brunette leaning on a black car's bumper hit him. They both glowered to each other, each stabbing glare made Len, Gakupo and Oliver panic.
Gakupo covered Kaito's eyes while laughing. When his laughter faded, he whispered an advice to the blue haired fellow while dragging him to the backyard with Len.
"Come on. Bro, don't look at mad people's eyes. You're making it worse," he smiled when they escaped the deathly glare of Len's cousin.
"The fudge, Gakupo. Let me go!"
"How are you related to Miku? Is this the reason why you can't go with us?" Gakupo asked after releasing Kaito. He eyed him suspiciously.
"Yeah. When you sent me a message, my uncle already asked me to give him a lift to some funeral. Who knows that it was Len's girlfriend," Kaito grumbled and flinched his face away.
"She's not my girlfriend," Len muttered disappointedly. "I wish though... I wished she was," he noted to himself. But she's gone.
"Yeah, sorry. I thought she was. Recently, you rant about her too often for my liking. It's like bragging you have a girl you know," Kaito retorted sadly.
"So? That's not the case now. If she was my fiancée, I'd tell you personally." Len turned back. This was no good news at all. He was riding Kaito's retort but deep inside he was screaming for the truth. How? Why? Who? He doesn't know what to ask. The blonde stooped, his feet was the interesting to look at currently.
"I'm sorry, Len." Gakupo and Kaito both stopped him before he may leave completely. They were both sorry for Len, knowing that the blonde was always, and maybe will always be, interested with Miku.
"No, you're not. It's fine. I'm worried about Rin. You know, she's her best friend after all...who am I?" He whispered the last part to himself. The two didn't look convinced but they let it slip by now.
"How are you related with the thermos woman?" Kaito's question was unexpected.
"Ha? You mean Meiko? She's my cousin." From a distance, Oliver waved a hand to them as Meiko stiffened.
"I can tell," Gakupo smiled. They are closing distance to the front lawn.
"Cousin? The fu-"
"What are you trying to say, idiot?" Meiko yelled from a distance, interrupting Kaito's supposed to be curse. The blue haired man made funny poses that annoyed Meiko in a split second. The brunette quickly ran towards them but Gakupo caught her and carried her away before she may hit Kaito again. Len, on the other hand, was holding Kaito back because he never ceased to assault back his cousin.
"Can you please stop acting like kids? Respect Miku's death, will you?"
They all froze like a paused movie. Rin was standing near the car, her head hung low as she opened the back door of the car. Her mood made them regain their polite selves.
"Len, Oliver, Meiko-nee, let's go. Let's leave. Now." Rin's cold voice stung in Len's chest because it means one thing. She is gone. Of course, she is. You see the people in black, the coffin, the flowers. The boys exchanged quiet nods as they all moved in the car, leaving Kaito in the lawn.
Rin was quiet within the road trip. Her fingers never let go of that thick notebook she got after talking to Kaito's uncle- or Miku's guardian. She stared absentmindedly at the scenery from the car's window.
"No! I don't believe you. Don't try to deceive me. Dr. Hoshine told Miku and I about this. About what really is she. Stop treating me like a naïve,"
Rin remembered her harsh words against Kaito's uncle. She remembered how the old man ran his frail fingers into his white hair when he heard her. They were inside Miku's room, talking seriously while the guys are in a riot down in the lawn. She's pretty sure that the old man is just hiding the truth... Even she knew it already.
The old man paced back and forth but stopped halfway to her. "Alright. I am Dr. Honne. I am Dr. Hoshine's former workmate. If you really know what Miku is- I mean who is she, then what was her illness?"
Rin chuckled. "She has no illness, of course. She's engaged in an apoptosis program after gaining sanity over the matter and running through the rain. You know what I mean, doctor. I told you, Dr. Hoshine told me, us, everything...aside from one thing,"
She watched Gakupo hit Oliver's head and the lad whined. "He failed to clarify the database of Miku's memory."
"Hahah-" the silence was cut off by Dr. Honne's brief hoarse laughter. Rin turned around in disbelief. How can he laugh at such thing? The old scientist gave the blonde one last look before turning his back and trailed the words; "Get anything from Miku's property that you shared memories with her. Then, leave. Don't believe too much with what you've heard. Some things are better left unknown, kid."
Rin sighed inwardly and pulled away the thick notebook to give it a good look. It was Miku's diary that Rin had read many times. Who knew if the tealette has a diary entry before she shut down? It was not Rin's habit to pry. Her golden lashes flutter in grievance as tears streamed down ceaselessly.
"Len? Come on. We have to work for this. I found an interesting unfinished project of Dr. Hoshine in the library. Just a document inserted in between the shelves of the theses section. The idea was... Len?" The pink haired classmate of Len, Luka Megurine, sat beside him on the stairs. Len has been unenergized for the whole month. She found it annoying for sometime. It is either he will not cooperate or he will agree without listening. She knew that Len was not like this, he was a good student.
Hearing Dr. Hoshine's name mentioned, Len snatched the files from Luka's hand and read the letterhead.
"Humanoid vocaloid project?" He gazed at her curiously. "Vocaloid. Vocaloidism. Isn't this the thing that the I.T students are trying to make?"
His project partner scowled momentarily then smiled. "They seek Dr. Hoshine's suggestion before arriving at the idea. Basically, this document says that this was their source."
"This is difficult Luka." He grumbled, passing the document, sulking again. The project was too complex and advanced for them to make. Luka may be the best student, and say, he is too, but two great minds can't get to make a humanoid solely.
"Why not? We have the bes idea for the project!"
"Dr. Hoshine failed to finish that. It's a failed experiment. If he failed, how can we succeed?" Len asked, brain drained. Miku's death and Rin's grievance distracted him so much. His twin refuses to tell a thing about Miku that's why curiosity eats him.
"Why are you so negative? I suppose that foresight should be positive in our case. This is our project, Len. Maybe he failed, but we can continue the study. The findings were condensed but that's enough for us to try. Repeat trials." Luka stood. She is cheerful, optimistic and smart. This lady never fails to amuse Len. With that, he felt like he is a burden for her.
"Yeah. You got the idea, whatsoever. You'll make the proposal then," Len shoved his hands in the pockets of his jeans, taking his leave.
"Okay. See you,"
The pink haired genius ran upstairs. Len made his way to the Department's lobby then sat on the empty couch. His eyes were pressed close to enjoy serenity as long as it is available. Instead of thinking random things that concern his anxiety, he thought of ideas that will alleviate their project. The seemingly impossible project.
"After all, we're just students. Can we really make a humanoid with some sort of A.I?" His depressed sigh drowned him in silence. A burs of nostalgia ran through him with the thought. Artificial intelligence, huh? Now, that's really nostalgic.
Meanwhile, his twin, Rin looked at her reflection. The white bow at the top of her head was the remaining reminder that she is still the same Rin. However, the loud and lively side of hers vanished at the same time when her bes friend disappeared. Her pale face was traced with mourning, loneliness and regret. She never had the chance to talk with Miku before she left. And yet, Miku's last email was left untouched. The coutrage to read Miku's last words for her and her twin has never appeared to her. She will never have it. Maybe not this time. Some time but definitely not now.
It's been a month. When will I stop acting like a coward? She lifted her gaze and stared at herself again. Things are gray without her best friend.
The door of the girls' restroom flew open as a green haired girl rushed in. The panting green haired girl locked the door behind her, but she flustered seeing Rin standing before the mirrors. The blonde's cerulean eyes grew wide after recognizing the girl in front of her- Gumi Megpoid, a singer that she and Miku idolized.
"G-Gumi?" Rin stuttered, still can't believe that the singing icon will hide in an empty restroom. And of all lucky fan girls, it was just Rin and herself that was inside the comfort room.
"Ah... Hi?" Gumi grinned like an idiot, both of them were surprised. "Please help me! The... The students are chasing me. I'm supposed to study and not to deal with fandom, you know?" She asked politely, smiling in shame. Her request lit up Rin's face as the blonde rushed to the popstar and crushed her in an embrace.
"I just said it..." Gumi grumbled, hugging back this girl, this fan. At least, Gumi was not annoyed with her. Rin will be her savior for today.
"I'll be glad to help, Miss Gumi!"
"Just call me Gumi. And you are?"
"Oh! The name is Rin, Rin Kagamine." They shook hands in acknowledgement. Soon the talked a little before proceeding to Gumi's class. It so happened that they were classmates and by that, Rin remembered the course professor's announcement that they will have a new transfer student. Who would have thought that it will be the popstar? Maybe, Rin was too depressed to care that she also recollected that the professor announced Gumi's name.
Rin gazed at the empty hallways. It was not a challenge when they made their way to their next class. Lucky of them, they were not yet late. The whole class shattered after seeing Gumi as she introduced herself.
"I hope you'll be good with me. Nice to meet you." Gumi chirped and the whole class whistled their hoorays.
The day ended as Rin waved a good-bye to Gumi. The singing idol rode in her black Lamborghini and left her newly found friends at the University Hall. The blonde was left there, waving a hand to Gumi until she was out of her vicinity.
"Rin?" The blonde, after being called, turned around to see her male version approaching with his friends- Gakupo and Kaito. A wave of glee rushed in her, and that made her flash a sweet smile. Len was caught off guard with that smile. Unbelievable, thought he, because he is not expecting to see her smile too soon. He nervously cracked into a smile and hugged his twin.
"Hey, Len? Are you okay?" Rin asked as she patted Len's back. Surprised by his weird action, she just hugged him back. If it's something about Miku's death- Rin was certain that it was about that, she never wanted to talk about that.
"I thought I'll never see you smile again," he pulled away. Gakupo rumbled Len's hair as Kaito stood beside Rin. Kaito dropped an arm on Rin's shoulder- which made the girl stiffen.
"I am glad to see you smiling Rin. We've never been as intimate with Miku as you did so, we can't imagine how down you've been after her...death." Said Kaito, smiling down at her. Rin flustered with the smile, the smile that could take her heart away. Her face redden in embarrassment.
"I... I... Uh, uh?" She glanced at her twin, who, on the other hand, was grinning mischievously. Len knew Rin's little crush to Kaito, the videos in her memory card proved it enough. Acting like a protective brother, he pulled Rin away from his best friend before she may faint in bliss.
"Kaito, stop touching my twin. I'll never let you lay a finger on here the next time."
"Yeah, whatever. As if I'm doing any harm," Kaito retorted, rolling his eyes dramatically.
"You are harmful, yourself." Inserted Gakupo as he pushed all of them to start walking. The skies turned orange from the horizon. It's getting late, they better get going.
"If there's harmful here, it's their cousin!"
"Just admit that she's stronger than you,"
"No, Gakupo. I think she's more manly than Kaito." Len and Gakupo laughed at the shunned Kaito. They laughed a little more until the train station was visible at the end of the hill-like cobbled stone ground. There were few people walking towards the station, means shorter lines, so the assumption is that the ride to home will be quick.
"Gakupo! Wait up!" A melodious voice stopped the four on their track. The voice echoed in the open ground as the four turned around, despite of the call being addressed to Gakupo alone. There was the pink haired goddess, Kaito's life, Len's project partner- Luka, running towards them. Several books were pressed against her chest while running at the same time.
"Luka!" Called back the liliac haired guy as he sprinted towards her to give assistance, snatching the books from her.
"Goodness! I...reached you. Thanks..." Luka smiled sweetly, trying to catch her breath from her almost 50 metre dash. Gakupo's face flushed unknowingly; both of them forgot their audience behind.
"Oh shit," muttered Kaito as he hung his head low. His fringe covered his eyes. The twin heard his whispered curse. Well, he just witnessed the love of his life engaged in a sweet conversation with his best friend. Luka and Gakupo turned around, their faces were in some shade of crimson, and joined the guys to a walk.
"Hi, Kaito!" Greeted Luka but the guy just shrugged her greeting away by walking ahead of them.
"Is he alright?" Luka asked Len. Normally, Kaito was a loud person around the class. Not that she's close with the guys but she's observant enough of these three. Kaito, Gakupo and Len were ones of the excellent students in the class. She and Gakupo grew a chance to be close friends after Christmas vacation for they literally spent it together. Len was her project partner so that means more time to talk with the blonde and to befriend. Kaito was out of range so far.
"Ah," Len looked at Kaito with a sly smile. "He's fine a while ago. Right now, he's just suffering from a syndrome that we, guys, hate to admit oftentimes."
"Syndrome?" Rin asked curiously. Len was not this kind of person at all. What could be this syndrome his talking about? Rin thought to herself.
"Yup. That's what you, girls, call 'jealousy'," Len quoted the word with his fingers. Luka got Gakupo's T-square hanging from her shoulder and shifted it to the other side while Len explained.
"Jealous of what?" Luka asked. Of course, she wouldn't know unless someone tell her that Kaito is head over heels to her.
"Of whom." Clarified Len as he and his twin stepped inside the station. "Bye!" He waved a hand to them as Rin bought their tickets. Soon, the train left and the twin was in complete silence. They were seated side by side, both lips sealed to shut.
Rin was quiet, realizing that her crush, Kaito, was in love with a beautiful girl in the name of Luka. Who is she compared to that pink haired girl? She thought. A flashback played in her head.
It was the beginning of the classes and she was running late. And yet, here she was, stumbling on the hallway of her twin's department because he left his lunch. A guy quickly pulled her up and helped her to pick her rummaged things. "Be careful next time. I'm not your prince to save you always." Silence. She was just gaping at him. "Just kidding!" Rin remembered Miku teasing her because of this. The first time she met Kaito. She instantly knew what she felt that time.
"Rin? Have you read Miku's email already?- Hey, Rin?" Len called again. Rin stirred and asked him what was it about.
"Have you really Miku's email?"
"Oh, I'm planning to that later." She smiled. "You see, I think I'm finally moving on from my loss, Len."
Today's event cheered Rin into high spirits. There are still reasons why stay happy, after all. From meeting and befriending Gumi, receiving Kaito's warm smiles, seeing Len's smiles... She knew that she can finally face Miku's last message.
"So, Len. I'm asking you once again, read it with me." Len smiled confidently and with that, Rin know the answer.