Tiredly resting my head on my hands, I stifled a yawn. The last few weeks of school had been overwhelmingly hectic. The fact that I had spent a few weeks stuck in the hospital did not help.
Three times already, I had caught myself dozing off while listening to my teachers’ monotonous voices. More often than not, I doodled or read novels underneath my desk. All of my friends were amazed at how I still managed to keep my grades above Crypton’s standard.
Thankfully, today was the last day before summer break.
Hunched over at the desk beside me, Miku scribbled furiously, finishing up her notes. Unlike me, she was a hardworking student who would go home and study every night, instead of procrastinating and pulling all-nighters.
I noticed that, even though Meito was gone from her life, Miku still had dark bags of worry under her eyes. I knew that there was something else on her mind that she wouldn’t share, but didn’t press her. After all, if Miku didn’t want anyone to know what she was going through, it was her right.
Still, I wondered, what could it be? Although Meito was on the loose, it wasn’t like he was going to come again anytime soon. I briefly wondered if Miku was trying to find Meito, but then brushed it off, deeming it unlikely.
As soon as Miku wrote the last word on her page, I stood up and stretched, grateful that my ankle had finally healed enough for me to get out of the stupid cast. No more Luka trying to draw on it with rainbow sharpies every waking second, of course.
I “nicely” helped Miku pack up, which was an effective way to annoy her. Yes, I enjoyed bugging my friends when I was bored. It must have been a crazy habit of Luka’s that rubbed off on me.
“Ugh. I can’t believe how much homework we have! When will I go to bed tonight?” I groaned, shoving random pieces of loose notebook paper into the teal-haired girl’s backpack.
“Calm down, it’s not that bad.” She snatched the papers from my hands and, smoothing them out, carefully placed them into her impossibly neat folder.
“But I have five novels I want to finish by the end of this week! How will I be able to read them now?” I shoved all of her pencils and pens into the front pocket of her backpack.
“No, Rin, I will not do your homework for you. Don’t make that puppy face, both of us know that your grades are the best in the whole school.” Of course, she just had to go and pick all of those writing utensils out, one by one, place them neatly inside her pencil case, and then carefully put the case in.
“Come on, come on, let’s go!” I said, having nothing else to shove inside Miku’s backpack. Like always, we were heading to the garden to perform our Crypton Club duties.
Miku and I were nearing the garden, when I suddenly saw a large crowd of students huddled around the gate, whispering to each other. Following their lead, I leaned closer to Miku and whispered, “What are they doing here?”
Miku whispered back, “I told the student body that we have an announcement to make, since it’s the end of the school year. And, why are we whispering?”
“What announcement? I never heard. And, no, I have no idea why we’re whispering.”
“MIKU! RIN-CHAN!” Both of us found ourselves being choked by our pink haired friend. The students gradually stopped whispering and turned their attention on us. The garden’s door opened from inside, and out stepped three more people.
Len, who smiled brightly at me, causing me to blush furiously. Gackupo, who gave Miku and me a friendly wave, then went to stand by Luka’s side, holding her hand. And…
Wait, three people?
“IA! You’re transferring here?” I smiled at the younger girl. Her platinum blonde hair was tied up in two loose pigtails that gleamed silver in the late afternoon sunlight, and her new Vocaloid High uniform made her look even more petite, if possible. Her cheeks were flushed in excitement, and Miku chuckled happily.
IA grinned. “I’m starting here next year! My dad said that I should start going to a public school, and I know all of you already. I can’t wait!”
Luka squealed in delight and wrapped IA in a giant bear hug.
“Welcome to our family, IA-chan,” Gackupo patted her on the head, in an older brotherly fashion. Or an “embarrassing parent” fashion…
“Family…?” IA said.
“Yup! Gacku and I are the parents, Miku’s the eldest, and Rin-chan and Len are twins. So that means you’re the baby!” Luka winked and also patted IA on the head.
“Don’t worry. It’s not you, it’s them,” Len added jokingly. I nodded and laughed.
Clearing her throat, Miku turned towards the crowd of students, who had begun whispering again but stopped immediately after hearing her. “As the president of Crypton Club, I, Miku Hatsune have a few announcements to make. A few changes will be made to next year’s members.” Although spoken quite softly, Miku’s voice rang out so clearly that every word could be hear perfectly.
“First, two new members will be joining. This is IA Yowane, tenth grade next year, transferring from a private school.”
Shyly, IA stepped up and nodded politely at the students. They seemed to welcome her, as they began to applaud enthusiastically. Luka and Gackupo, keeping up the “embarrassing parent” act, cheered loudly while Len and I just rolled our eyes at each other.
The petite girl received her golden badge from Miku. Everything was completely normal and everyone was completely calm.
Then, it happened. Like a solar eclipse, it was a dark blot in the midst of brightness that gave me great curiosity. No one else heard but me, it seemed. The words were spoken so softly that I almost missed it, but I distinctly heard Miku say, “I’ll hunt him down.”
IA murmured, “Good luck.” Then, as if nothing had happened, she slipped back into her previous position beside me, and Miku continued her announcements.
“Second,” Miku said, “Teto Kasane, also tenth grade next year, will be joining us.”
My head whipped around to see Len’s eyes widen in shock. Teto Kasane, Teto Kasane…Kasane. I suddenly remembered that Neru’s boyfriend, who had died, had the surname “Kasane.”
Out of the midst of the students, a teenage girl with hot pink twin drills stepped out confidently. Her uniform was so pristine that it almost gleamed in the late afternoon sunlight. Dignified and arrogant, the girl’s icy aura made the students shift to create a pathway for her. Although I knew she was actually shorter than IA, Kasane’s haughtiness made her seem older.
Large, round pink eyes narrowed as they coolly scanned me and my friends, glinting red when they spotted Len.
Miku smiled and said, “Welcome, Kasane-san. Crypton Club looks forward to working with you in the future.”
“I’m delighted,” the girl said. Like her appearance, her voice was confident and proud. Politely, the two girls shook hands, with Kasane thanking Miku for selecting her.
Teto Kasane looked like a young, proper lady brought up in a traditionally strict household, with perfect manners and no time for horsing around. She certainly acted the part too.
But…what was her real personality like? Was she related to Ted, and did she hold a grudge against Len?
As Miku handed Kasane a golden badge, the crowd of students applauded once more. For the third and final time, Miku cleared her throat and announced, “Next year, I won’t be attending this school anymore. I’ll be at my uncle’s ranch in the countryside with my mom.”
Everywhere, eyes widened in shock and disappointment. Miku was leaving?
“Your new president will be Rin Kagene. Your vice-president, of course, will be Len Kagamine.”
Sitting at the picnic table in the garden, I fidgeted anxiously. I felt extremely awkward, almost as much as the day when I first joined Crypton Club. “Miku…”
Sitting next to me, Len finished my thought for me. “You’re moving away?!”
“Hmm,” Miku serenely gazed at the beautiful sunset that washed the garden in warm colors. IA, of course, was still speechless from the scenery.
Len groaned. “And, seriously, vice-president? Again, why are you moving away? Look at Luka, she’s crying!” He pointed to the pink-haired teenager, who was standing a few feet away. Back facing us, she leaned on a tree to her right. Gackupo, who was standing beside her, saw us look at her and made a wild hushing motion, then went back to whatever he was talking to her about. I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at how weird they looked.
Miku finally stopped looking at the sunset. “Rin’s…well, I can tell that she’ll be a good leader. She’s clever, brave, and level-headed. And Len, I know that you’ll always be there to support her, no matter what happens. Of course, even if I won’t be here, all of us will still be friends! ”
Len caught my eye and we both smiled. Then, he turned back to Miku. “You know…I was just kidding. Rin would be a great leader. It’s just…why didn’t you say anything sooner? About you moving away, I mean…”
Miku, for once, was silent. I could tell that she was on the verge of spilling a secret of hers that she intended to keep. Perhaps IA knew…out of the corner of my eye, I saw her frown.
But it was Miku’s secret, whatever it was. She could tell us when she chose too.
“Thanks, Miku,” I interjected. “I promise that I’ll do my best to support the school.”
“I’m sure you’ll do great,” IA added. “Right, Len-san?”
Surprisingly, he caught on pretty quickly. “Yeah.”
Flashing me a grateful look, Miku added, “After all, you helped her through her troubles with her dad, right?”
Len caught my eye and both of us blushed. Miku and IA exchanged knowing glances.
So they were acting as embarrassing parents, too…
“Oh, look at that,” Miku cooed, flicking Len on the back of the head so he instinctively leaned closer to me. “Best. Boyfriend. Ever.”
“W-we’re not dating-“
“Are you sure about that?” IA said. She and Miku high-fived each other.
“But…we’re not o-officially-“
“Well, you should be!” Luka and Gackupo suddenly appeared right above my head.
“Just kiss already!”
“Kiss, kiss, fall in love…”
Len and I stared at each other. My heart pounded loudly against my chest, but nevertheless, I slowly turned towards my childhood friend as he clasped my hands in his own warm ones. I saw my reflection in his shining blue eyes.
We were practically best friends…and we did go on dates sometimes, sort of. So…why not?
Hesitantly wrapping my arms around his neck, I leaned closer. At the same time, he turned to face me.
For a few moments, there was only silence. With my heart starting to pound even harder than before, I held my breath and closed my eyes. I waited…and then…
Len kissed me tenderly on the lips. It lasted for only a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity. A tingling sensation spread throughout my body, washing me in layers and layers of pleasant warmth.
It felt like warm, gentle sunlight shining on my face, but a thousand times better. This was a moment that I would never forget.
When Len and I finally separated after a few moments, both of us were grinning like idiots. Miku smirked in triumph, Luka and Gackupo fairly jumped up and down in excitement, while IA vainly tried to suppress her giggles.
“Mission accomplished, team Rin and Len!”
Someday, we would have to confront Kasane and ease her grudge against Len. Someday, we would have to face Meito again.
“Wait, what?! It was set up?”
Miku was leaving us, so we would be losing one of our most trustworthy guides through hard and troubled times.
“You’d better be a good boyfriend to her, or else!”
Someday, all of us would grow up. Someday, all of us would have to move on.
But despite that, we would always
be together. In the meantime, we spent time with one another, creating precious
memories to be cherished forever.