It had already turned dark when a girl came out of a building. She was short and dressed in a short dungarees and long sleeves shirt with a red and black plaid scarf wrapped around her neck. Her name was Kawachi Nami. And this story was about her, well mostly, how she chased her dream and many new experiences she got along the way.
"Unbelievable. Again?" Nami said, sighing. "Mother will kill me."
Nami breathed out another sigh. Today she had audition for newcomer of Music Ten which she failed it. She was certain that she would pass the audition this time- it wasn't her first actually -but sadly she didn't. Her father wouldn't allow her again. Although her mother supported her dream to become an idol, but her father didn't, even in the slightest. That was why she was really disappointed right now.
She was about to leave the building when she caught a figure. A tall girl with long hair, wearing high school uniform. She remembered the girl who sat beside her during the audition. The tall girl mumbled something while reading a book, notebook. She then approached the girl. "Hey,"
"Oh my god, you startled me."
"Ops, sorry," Nami said as the girl picked her dropped notebook up from ground.
"It's okay. Hey, you're the one beside me right? My name is Wakamatsu Asahi, call me Asahi."
"Yes, my name is…"
"Kawachi Nami," Asahi said, smiling widely. "I remembered your name."
"Yes, you can call me Nami."
"Nice to meet you Nami chan*, I meant properly meet." (*honorifics in Japanese language, referring to girl. In general it is ‘San’)
Nami was about to tell the girl to call her without ‘chan’ but interrupted as someone approached them. Actually it was the person's odd 'song'. They turned around and saw a girl with Lolita dress.
"Hi," Nami and Asahi greeted back the Lolita girl.
"You two also fail the audition?"
Nami turned her gaze to Asahi and they nodded.
"Good, me too."
Nami knitted her brows at the smiling brightly Lolita girl. "Should I congrats her?"
Asahi let out a small giggle hearing Nami's whisper.
"What are you two doing here? Oh, by the way, my name is Hinata, Otawa Hinata."
"Mine is Nami, and she's Asahi," Nami said, introducing their name.
"Nice to meet you Nami chan, Asahi chan."
Nami really didn’t like to be called with ‘chan’. She was about to tell the other girl but once again interrupted.
The three turned around and found a handsome tall man standing behind them. Nami remembered the man as one of the juries for the audition. But she couldn’t make his name out.
"Hi, Katsuyuki san," Hinata greeted the man.
"I told you not to wear those stupid clothes," he said.
"Why not? I thought this is brilliant, and cute," Hinata said, looking down at her dress.
"Yeah, brilliant," Nami whispered and felt Asahi's nudge on her arm. Katsuyuki caught her mumble and smiled a little.
"Wait, you two know each other?" Asahi finally realized.
"Yes, he's my friend," Hinata stated, still checking on her own outfits and mumbled. "What's wrong with my dress?"
"Your friend?" Nami asked. "If you know each other why you failed the audition?"
"Well, that's obvious," he said and gave a quick nod toward the Lolita girl.
"Ah, I see," Asahi and Nami said in agreement.
"Hey," Hinata- finally realized that she was being insulted -gave a light punch on his forearm. "You and the other juries have bad eyes, well giving the fact it's a small audition, no wonder."
"Says the girl with out-of-place-dress," he said. He turned his gaze when the other two girls gasped.
"A small audition you say? It's Music Ten!" Asahi said.
"The most famous music program in this country!" Nami chimed in.
"She's just kidding," he said to calm them. "By the way, should be going. It's a shame you haven't got the chance now, but hope you don't give up yet. Wish you luck ladies," he said to Nami and Asahi. He sent a wink toward Asahi before turning to Hinata. "For you, don't come again."
Hinata pouted a little but then waved her hand. After Katsuyuki left them she looked at the two. "So, what are you gonna do? Go home?"
Asahi blinked, finally could release herself from the spell. She was surprised when he gave her a wink.
Nami was about to reply but the questioner changed the topic immediately.
"We should change phone number," Hinata said, pulling out her phone. "You know, maybe we can hang out sometimes, and share about audition info. What's your number?"
Nami thought decline the idea for she didn’t give her number to someone she barely knew, plus to this strange girl, but Hinata was waiting eagerly that she didn’t have a heart to reject. She gave her phone number and felt her phone buzzing inside her pants pocket.
"That's my number," Hinata said cheerily before turning to Asahi. "And you." After saving Asahi's phone number she put her phone back to handbag and smiled widely at her new friends. "It's really nice to have new friends, hope can see you soon. Never give up and fight! Bye!"
Nami and Asahi just stood in bewilderment, watching the Lolita girl walking away while singing her 'song'. "She's quite something, isn't she?" Nami said. Asahi let out a laugh.
"I'm afraid must leave too, have little sister waiting." Asahi put her notebook inside her school bag. "But, it's really nice to meet you. I also hope we can meet again."
"Certainly, that would be fun," Nami replied.
After biding goodbye Nami took bus, heading her house. As soon as she stepped inside the house her mother approached her, asking about the result eagerly. When she shook her head her mother gave her a light pat on shoulder. Her father was sitting in living room, waiting for her. She told her father about the result and, as she had expected, her father just huffed keeping his gaze at newspaper and told her to stop dreaming and focus on study instead. Her mother offered a small smile before leaving to prepare dinner.
Upstairs, Nami threw her bag before slumping on her bed. She reached over for pillow and growled. Her father words deflated her. Sighing she got up and changed her clothes before heading downstairs to have dinner with her parents. After dinner she decided to play guitar since tomorrow was Saturday. She loved to play guitar. That was why she wanted to become a singer. When she reached her room she heard her phone ringing. She quickly grabbed her phone and knitted her brows. It was from the Lolita girl, Hinata. She read the message. Hinata asked to hang out.
She glanced toward the wall clock, nine o'clock. ‘Should I agree or decline the invitation?’ Actually she didn’t have anything to do but she barely knew the girl, although Hinata didn’t look like bad girl, except her eccentric. Maybe it wasn’t a bad idea. She quickly typed a reply and her address, and sent it. She asked her mother permission and was glad that her mother permitted her, but she had to get home before eleven. She decided to wear her earlier clothes without scarf. She tied her hair up in ponytail and heard her mother calling her. She grabbed her bag and ran downstairs. She was surprised to see Asahi also came and glad.
Nami nodded her head at her mother and followed Asahi and Hinata, for her surprise again, to Hinata's car. "This is your car? It's awesome." Nami admired the black Mercedes. Hinata grinned widely in proud. Hinata wore skinny jeans and leather jacket. "I see you own another clothes beside that lovely dress."
"Of course I do," Hinata said, missing the tone. "Well, for the place we're going this much better."
"Now you bring it on, where are we going?" Nami asked. Asahi who stood beside her tilted head aside, showing she didn’t know either.
"Just look forward, you'll like it." Hinata winked and grinned widely. "Let's go."
"You've gotta be kidding me," Nami said with jaw dropped down a little. Hip-hop music filled her ears. Her heart beat following the beat. "This is awesome."
"Street dance?" Asahi asked with a bit worried. She couldn’t help since there were many boys, although there were also girls, in odd clothes. "I thought it isn't allowed here."
"Well it isn't, but that's the fun don't you think? Come on, don't worry." Hinata hooked her arm through Asahi's and placed one to Nami's, pulling them with her.
Nami looked over at bunch of young people who wanted to release themselves from boring daily life. This was the first time she came to street dance. Hip hop music from cars sound system broke the silent night. She was worried a little about the loud music. But the place was under an old bridge and the nearest building around them was factories.
"You like it?" Hinata asked her new friends. She had to say aloud as they approached the dance floor.
Asahi and Nami followed Hinata, they were being dragged actually. Asahi was about to reply but Hinata released her arm and started to dance, leaving her and Nami behind. "She's quite something."
"Told you," Nami said and chuckled. "But it's fun, I like it," she said, watching as a man did robot dance. And then another man came in, and did footwork and one-hand handstand. She clapped her hands together with the crowd. And soon she couldn’t help moving her body a little, following the beat. When Hinata turned around beckoning them to come she took Asahi's arm.
Asahi was shy at first since she never done a dance in front of many people. She loved music indeed and secretly dance. But when she saw her new friends dancing encouraging her, she started to follow them moving her body.
Nami and Asahi were surprised when Hinata pulled them toward the center. And Hinata once again surprised them with her break dance. They couldn’t believe their eyes for Hinata could dance, swaying hips and stepping.
Hinata crouched down and pushed her body up, pointing a hand out. "Your turn guys!"
Hinata's grin and cheers from crowd broke Nami's and Asahi's stunned state. Asahi didn’t move but noticed Nami stepped in and started to dance. Like Hinata the shorter girl also could do break dance. Despite her height, Nami was great and had quick yet smooth move.
Nami ground her shoulders, stepping forward and backward. She popped her chest in and out before spinning her body. She let out a chuckle when Hinata whistled and the crowd encouraged her. She then noticed Asahi was still standing, watching them. "You too," she said, grabbing Asahi's hand, pulling her closer. And soon they made the floor as their own stage.
They just met today, barely knew each other but Nami was really enjoying the time with her new friends. Asahi did mannequin dance and they followed her. Some boys and girls joined in and they did group dance.
However, when the music changed the crowds’ cheers and whistles increased. The other boys and girls stepped out, leaving only them. Nami turned around and watched as two men approaching the floor. The men dressed in black casual suits with mask covered their eyes. Black scarf, black gloves, everything they wore was black.
"Oh my god, it's Men in Black!" Hinata squealed.
"Will Smith here?" Nami asked, looking around. She turned her gaze when Hinata slapped her shoulder lightly.
"I meant them." Hinata pointed toward the two men dressed in black suits. "They are called Men in Black, very famous here, you know."
"How am I supposed to know that?" Nami said but Hinata ignored her.
"Finally I can see their performance," Hinata said, pulling Nami and Asahi aside, giving the stage.
Whistles and squeals- from girls for the latter -increased as the two men walked and stood at the center of dance floor. Nami wondered what made the crowd squeal and cheer for those two. She observed the so called-famous-dancers before them. Their faces were hidden behind mask so she couldn’t tell if they were handsome. They had slim body and weren't so tall like other men, average height. They wore same outfits except the mask. The brown-haired man wore black mask while the black-haired man was silver. She jerked her head aside as a girl beside her suddenly screamed out. Cursing mentally she looked back at the dancer, they had started the dance. The men did footwork, stepping fast before crouching down, and spinning their bodies. It was basic move in hip hop dance. They jumped and crossed position with the silver mask man in front and the black one behind him. The music changed and they started to shake their bodies, following the beat. She couldn’t help a laugh in admiration, clapping her hands as the men did smooth moonwalk around before once again jumping, crossing position.
Nami only laughed when Asahi and Hinata started to scream. She couldn’t blame them- although she wouldn’t do it herself -because those two men were amazing. She had seen dancers but never saw one like them. It was like every single part of their body moving naturally. Especially the one with silver mask. She couldn’t help but staring at him. She noticed small movement of his lips as he sang the lyric while moving his body. And soon her eyes locked on the silver mask man. He shook his body and at the same time bent his back. The man then straightened up and turned around. And then their eyes met. She thought to move her gaze away but oddly couldn’t. It was for moment before he spun his body. After he turned around she let out a breath she didn’t realize was holding. 'What was that?'
"Oh crap, Nami you must go home now."
Hinata's hand on her shoulder broke Nami's thought. She glanced at her wristwatch and cursed. "My father will kill me if I'm not home before eleven."
"Let's go," Asahi said.
Nami nodded and followed them between the still squealing girls. She took a glance toward the dancer, the one with silver mask. She turned around when Asahi took her hand and pulled her outside crowd.
"You know them?" Nami couldn’t help asking about the dancer. Oddly the man with silver mask intrigued her.
"The Men in Black?" Nami nodded and Hinata added. "No one knows about them actually."
"What do you mean?" Nami asked as they walked down the road, heading toward Hinata's car.
"Well, they never talk to anyone. They just come, do dance and then," Hinata said and made a pop with both hands. "Just disappear."
"Nobody try to talk with them?" Asahi asked.
"Oh, trust me everyone. But they never talk, let alone answering a question. That's why they're sooo famous, and mysterious. I wish can see their faces," Hinata said and started her daydreaming.
"Or maybe they just simply can't talk," Asahi said and they laughed.
Nami laughed but then remembered the man had sung the lyric. Or perhaps he was just mouthing the lyrics, she wondered. Asahi's voice broke her thought.
"Maybe we should do dance too, I mean singing and dancing."
Hinata suddenly stopped and snapped her fingers. "That's brilliant Asahi." Asahi grinned. "We all can dance, can't we? Let's practice together!"
Nami and Asahi nodded in agreement. "I'll do anything for pass the audition," Nami said. Just when they were about to enter the car someone approached them.
"Hello again, ladies."
They turned around and found Katsuyuki. "Katsuyuki san."
"Didn't expect to see you all here though," he said.
"You did street dance too?" Asahi asked but then lowered her gaze as she remembered the wink.
He shook his head. "Just watching. I forgot to introduce myself properly." He took his name card and handed it to Asahi and Nami.
"Teacher!?" "St. Mary's Academy!?" Asahi and Nami asked at once.
"Yes, I'm a teacher at St. Mary's Academy," he said proudly.
"Oh my god," Asahi gasped.
"That St. Mary's Academy? The fucking famous music school? Which has been producing many famous musicians, singers, actresses and actors? That St. Mary's Academy?" Nami still didn’t believe.
He chuckled upon seeing their disbelief. "Yes, that St. Mary's Academy."
"Holy shit," Nami mumbled and then punched Hinata's arm. "Why didn't you tell us?"
"You didn't ask," Hinata said defensively, rubbing her arm. "Next time do punch like girl."
"Anyway, you are great dancer, I must say. Never think to give a try at our Academy?" he asked the girls.
"I wish can," Nami said softly. "I will start my ordinary high school life next week." Beside her Asahi nodded her head.
"It's a shame because you two, and you too," he said to pouting Hinata. "Are great, you have talent, although need to be polished and learn more. And St. Mary's Academy student can get the ticket to final audition of Music Ten."
Nami, Asahi and Hinata groaned simultaneously.
"Well, just give a thought, and call me if you change your mind," he said before leaving them.
"I wanna go to St. Mary's," Nami said, rubbing her head. "But can't."
Asahi nodded. "Me neither."
"Why not?" Hinata asked, looking between the two.
"Because my father wants me to study, just study, fill my head with useful knowledge for my future blah blah blah thing," Nami said.
"Yup," Asahi chimed in.
"But you say you'll do anything to become an idol," Hinata pointed out.
"But our parents won't allow it," Asahi replied.
"Then don't let them know." Hinata shrugged her shoulders. "Make it secret, after you get the audition you can tell them, and they will realize your talent. See, it's simple."
"That's good yet bad idea. You mean we lie to them?" Nami shook her head.
"Not lying," Hinata replied but then added quickly. "Well lie, but good lie, for later. I mean, c'mon, you'll just let the chance go away."
"She's right," Asahi finally said. "But the thing is we can't be student of two different schools at same time."
"Let me see," Hinata said, patting her chin, thinking. "Maybe we should ask Katsuyuki san." She pulled out her phone and dialed the teacher.
Nami and Asahi waited while Hinata was explaining their case to the man. After moment finally Hinata cut the line and turned to them. "What did he say?" Nami asked. She unconsciously held her breath as Hinata's lips curled up to wide grin.
"He proposed about stop out for one year at our former school. And he will help for our entry to St. Mary's."
Asahi cheered up. "That's good idea."
"But…" Hinata trailed off.
"But?" Nami and Asahi waited.
"We've…" Hinata forced a grin. "Gotta dress as boy.""WHAT!?"