So sorry for my hiatus, but I am back with another chapter, hope you enjoy.
Track Three- Avoidance
Le Rivière was a very elegant restaurant and I wasn't expecting it to be such an elaborate depiction of an actual french restaurant. I was surprised to say the least. Despite my being an idiot at the beginning of our date, once we arrived to the restaurant the tension eased away.
"So that's when Hiro and I ran. Can you imagine? Two twelve year old boys covered in tar and feather's running down the street? We definitely learned never to mess with old man Noruji again."
"Wow, I didn't think you would be such a rebel Shuichi."
"Well you know what they always say, don't judge a book by its cover."
"I guess not." Ayame replied. So I had to admit, for a blind date, it wasn't half bad. "So, I must ask you, what is it like to be famous?" I get this question a lot.
"Well it has its good and bad sides. I guess the only real downside to being famous is all the attention you get. I always have to come out wearing a disguise so that no one would notice me. Not like they would know, since I've changed my look."
"I was going to mention that. Was bubblegum pink becoming too much for you?" I laughed.
"Hardly. I just sort of outgrew the need for attention, not like it's something I can get rid of now that all of Japan knows who I am, but I wanted to try something different."
"Well for a minute there I thought you we going to say that you lost a bet and had to dye your hair black, but it's nice to know that you changed for a reason."
"Yeah, I guess it is." I looked down at my half eaten plate. The date was really going well, I hardly touched my plate. Usually I would eat my food as fast as I could so I could get out.
"Can I ask you something else." I looked up at Ayame.
"What happened, between Yuki Eiri and you?" Good thing I requested a private room because this date just hit a sour note. And it was going so well. Ayame must have seen the expression on my face and quickly remedied the situation by saying, "I'm sorry I shouldn't have asked you that." I sighed.
"No, it's ok, I mean I was expecting it to be brought up sooner or later. People are always curious to why we went our separate ways."
"Well I'm sorry , again, it's just I'm such a fan girl sometimes and I can't help myself." Wait a minute, did she just say fan girl?
"Fan girl?" I questioned. Ayame blushed.
"Yeah in my last year of High School I formed the Yuki Eiri and Shindou Shuichi Fan Club." And there goes the eccentricity, and for a moment there I thought she was normal.
"Wow, that's really, wow." I was pretty much speechless at this point.
"Yeah it's pretty, strange, I know." Ayame replied.
"Well I wasn't expecting you to be a member of an Eiri Yuki and Shindou Shuichi Fan Club let alone be a founder. Usually fan girls are a little…"
"Yeah, to put it lightly."
"Yeah well I've never been the type of fan to scream my lungs off when I see one of my favorite celebrities."
"Well, that's a good thing, because I've had about enough of crazy mobs of fan girls chasing after me." Ayame laughed. "So besides being a founder of a fan club, what else do you do?"
"Well right now I am attending a fine arts college. I want to be an artist."
"Wow, that's pretty cool."
"Yeah, well, my parents, they don't really agree with my career choice." Ayame admitted. I could say the same thing about my parents. When I told them that I wanted to become a singer, my dad wasn't very happy. My father always hoped that I would become a successful businessman, but sitting behind a desk all day was not what I wanted to do with my life. After I told him, we had an argument and we haven't talked to each other since I became a professional singer. I guess the whole Yuki situation didn't help out our situation either. My mom on the other hand was elated about my career choice and my relationship.
"I know what you mean. My dad is not very happy about my choice in career too."
"Even now, when you have become so famous?"
"Yes, even now, but enough about that. Can I ask you a question, Ayame?" Ayame put her glass down and looked at me.
"Ok?" She questioned.
"Would you like to come to a party with me?" Now I know that was pretty rash for me to invite Ayame, a girl I hardly knew, to Sakura's birthday party, but at the moment I thought what the hell, why not?
"What type of party are you talking about?"
"Well it's a birthday party for Seguichi Tohma's Daughter." Ayame's face lit up.
"You mean Nittle Grasper's Seguichi Tohma!" Ahh and her inner fan girl was beginning to come out again.
"Yeah, so do you want to go?"
"Of course I'll come."
"So where can I pick you up?" Ayame took out a piece of paper and a pen and wrote down her address and handed it to me.
"Thanks. So I'll pick you up next Saturday at 6pm, is that ok with you?"
"Yeah, it's perfect." Ok so I know you are thinking that I invited Ayame to make Yuki jealous. Well actually I really don't know why I invited her. After dinner we walked around for a while and I dropped her off at her house.
"It was nice meeting you Shuichi."Ayame said her hand on her door.
"And it was a pleasure meeting you Ayame. See you next Saturday."
"I'm looking forward to it." She replied. I walked off, feeling a little different. Usually blind dates ended horribly, but this blind date actually went well. 'Does that mean that I was finally ready to date?' I continued to debate that as I walked back to my apartment. 'Dating doesn't seem that bad', I thought. 'Maybe I can even have some fun for once.' I turned the key in the lock and entered the apartment. The place was empty, as usual. Not like I expected someone to be here. I sighed. 'It would be a nice change to not live alone,' I thought as I headed to my bedroom to get some much deserved sleep. I got to the door and there was a note taped to the door. 'To Shuichi: Don't think you can get rid of me so easily. I will be back.' It had to be Yuki, who else could it possibly be if not him. I opened my door and dropped the note on the nightstand. Maybe this whole dating thing sounded like an excellent idea.
"BIG NEWS!" K shouted over the commotion in the practice room. All of us stopped talking and stared. The last time he said big news, we ended up making a music video in the forest and I was dressed in a bear suit. Let's just say, it did not end well. K swiftly walked to the table and set a pile of papers on the table.
"We aren't going to be making a video in the forest, are we?" Suguru questioned.
"Ugh, please don't remind about that." I commented. K laughed maniacally and we all gulped. He held up two fingers.
"Two? Are we making two music videos?" I questioned.
"We have to arrange two more songs?" Suguru suggested.
"No. In two weeks, we are having a press conference about Bad Luck's new album."
"A press conference? We haven't had one…"
"In a year in a half since the tour ended." A year and a half, I haven't been in the spotlight for a year in a half?
"Were you talking to President about this K?" Sakano asked.
"Yes, actually he was the one who suggested this." Hmm I wonder why?
"Well, I think it's a great idea, it's about time that we get back into the spotlight." I replied. Everyone looked at me in surprise.
"Are you sure?" Hiro questioned.
"Of course I'm sure, why not?"
"Well, you heard the man. In two weeks we will be having our press conference." After K's announcement, we went back to work. But for some reason I could not stop thinking about the press conference. Why did Tohma suddenly want to have a press conference so soon? I was suspicious, and I had to find out why.
"I just think you are unsure about what you want in life and therefore you get stuck in a perpetual rut of always thinking that you are worthless at dating and the only thing that you are good at is music. Therefore you will always live your life alone with nobody to keep you company on those cold lonely nights." I was sitting on my couch eating a box of strawberry pocky, watching music central and talking on the phone to my sister. She thought it was necessary that she give me psychoanalysis for her psychology of personalities class, but now after what she had said, it wasn't such a good idea after all.
"Well geez, thanks Maiko, not only do I think I am a complete failure when it comes to having a love life but now I am going to become a hermit too." Maiko laughed.
"Shuichi, it was just a quick overview from my textbook, it doesn't mean that you are going to be a chronic hermit who will never know what it is like to love another ever again. You'll find love. And for all I know, love might have already found you." Or in my case an ex love. I sighed. I felt bad not telling Maiko about the whole Yuki situation, she deserved to know being my sister and all.
"It's just Shuichi, I worry about you sometimes. You're my older brother and as your younger sister I look up to you. But when I see you like this, all alone and giving up on love, it makes me sad. I want you to be happy Shuichi, that's all I want for my brother. What Yuki did to you wasn't right, but that doesn't mean that you have to give up on love." Maiko really felt that way? Suddenly my guilt increased tenfold. I had to tell Maiko about Yuki.
"Maiko, I have to tell you something, it's about …."
"Shuichi, I'm sorry I have to go, my friends are here, we're going out tonight, we can talk about this later ok?"
"I'll see you on Saturday at Sakura's birthday party. Love you, Bye!"
"Wait Maiko!" but the phone line went dead. I pushed end on my cell phone and moaned. See you on Saturday at Sakura's birthday party. Great. Sakura's birthday party was going to become one problematic event.
The morning of Sakura's birthday had me in a panic. I panicked as I got out of bed and hurriedly took a shower. What if Yuki was there? Of course he's going to be there, Sakura is his niece. I was panicking as I fixed myself breakfast. I bet Maiko is going to be mad at me as soon as she sees that Yuki is there and I never told her that he was back. I panicked as I was driving to Ayame's house later that day. What if everyone comments about me bringing Ayame? I panicked as I rang the doorbell to pick up Ayame. I was panicking while Ayame and I walked back to my car. I panicked as we headed over to the Seguichi residence. I was experiencing a Sakano size panic attack by the time I rang the doorbell to the Seguichi residence. When the door opened and Seguichi Mika was standing there with a party hat perched on top of her head, my panic lessened, if only a bit.
"Shuichi, it's so nice to see you." She said giving me a hug. "Oh and who is this?" Mika questioned her eyes on Ayame. I guess I should explain. Seguichi Mika never really liked me, and that was true, in the past. In the past two years she has changed her opinion about me. To make a long story short, for some strange reason, most likely having to do with Tohma's friendship with me, she likes me now.
"Oh, this is Sakirochi Ayame."
"Well it is a pleasure to meet you Ms. Sakirochi." Mika said politely.
"Oh the pleasure is mine, Mrs. Seguichi." Ayame replied.
"You can call me Mika, if of course, you let me call you Ayame? There is no need for such formalities here, besides a friend of Shuichi's is a friend of mine after all." She looked at me with knowing eyes and I blushed furiously. Did she have to say friend like that?
"Oh why of course Mrs. I mean Mika." Ayame blushed.
"Now how about we all go inside, the party just started." Mika said letting us in to the house. I handed Sakura's present to Mika as she headed into the living room where the party was being held. I wondered how many people were present already as I entered the living room. Fortunately everyone was there except Yuki. Maybe there was no need to panic. I said to hello to everyone and even got some encouraging looks when everyone saw that I came to the party with someone.
"Everyone, this is Ayame. Ayame, this is, everyone." Everyone greeted Ayame warmly. I sat on one of the couches next to Hiro and Ayaka. So far, this was actually going well.
"Here Mika, was this what you were looking for?" Damn spoke too soon.
"Yes Eiri, thanks." Mika said as Yuki handed her something. I could feel the tension build up in the room. Yuki looked up and our eyes met. What was it about his eyes that always managed to captivate my attention? Yuki seemed to glide as he came near me. I could tell that everyone's eyes were on me, including Maiko's. I would definitely have to explain myself later.
"Why, hello, Shuichi." Yuki said.
"Hello, Eiri." I replied. I glanced over to Ayame. "Ayame, allow me to formally introduce you to Yuki Eiri. Eiri, this is Ayame, my date for tonight." What was I thinking. My date for tonight? Who was I kidding? Yuki glanced at Ayame in acknowledgement but his eyes never seemed to leave mine.
"Shu…" Yuki began.
"Hey guys, sorry I'm late. I had to pick up a straggler on my way over here." Thank you Tatsuha, I will never speak badly about you ever again. "Happy birthday Sakura I hope you like my gift." Tatsuha said as he picked up Sakura who was sitting on the floor enjoying her toys. Standing behind him was a young woman. She came from behind him and stood next to him.
"Everyone I would like to introduce you to Yumi, my girlfriend. Yumi, this is everyone." Everyone greeted Yumi the same way that they greeted Ayame. Yumi? I would have never thought that Tatsuha would have a serious relationship. I thought he would be forever obsessed with Sakuma Ryuichi. I greeted Yumi when she came to me.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Shindou."
"Please call me Shuichi. " After greeting Yumi, I looked around at all of the people chatting around me. My eyes caught Maiko who had Sakura sitting on her lap. She looked slightly amused and annoyed at the same time. She swiftly handed Sakura over to Mika and headed into the kitchen. Taking that as a signal that I should follow her, I quickly excused myself and followed her into the kitchen.
"So, when were you going to tell me that Yuki Eiri was back?" Maiko questioned, her back to me.
"I was going to tell you, but I had to find the right time to tell you." Maiko turned around.
"The right time to tell me huh? You could've told me when it happened. How long have you known?"
"Almost two weeks now." I admitted. Maiko sighed, disappointed in me.
"Just answer one question for me Shuichi, will you go back to him, now that he's back?" I shrugged.
"I don't know." I honestly replied.
"Maiko, if it's not too much trouble," Mika said coming into the Kitchen," Could Shuichi and you help me bring the cake into the living room so we can get this party started?" I nodded in agreement.
"No problem Mika, we would love to." Maiko said. I knew this conversation was far from over, but at least I had a distraction.
I helped Maiko bring the cake into the shared living room and dining room, where we preceded to light the candles and sing a round of Happy Birthday to a giggling Sakura. After Mika helped Sakura blow out her candles, we all enjoyed a slice of cake and light conversation. Of course during that entire time I was trying to avoid Yuki by making sure I wouldn't end up being next to him. As the party wore on Tatsuha became restless and proceeded to challenge everyone to a Karaoke contest and the winner would receive a bottle of Sake. Needless to say, the party got a little out of hand so I headed outside to get some fresh air and to clear my jumbled thoughts.
Music used to be my life. I remember back during the days when I was trying not to flunk out of high school, when music was the only thing that dominated my life. Music was something that would never leave me. I don't know when I started to lose sight on what I wanted to do with my life, but it felt like forever since I've experienced those feelings about music. Those nostalgic feelings had faded and reality had sunk in. I walked over to the small pond in the Seguichi's garden and set on a bench next to it. Maybe I had lost sight on more than just my love for music. I sighed staring at my reflection in the water.
"So, this is where you've been hiding. I thought for sure you were going to be up on that make shift stage Tatsuha set up, singing." I looked up. Standing there in all of his Godlike glory was the man who had caused me so many problems since the day I met him.
"Usually I would, but I didn't feel like it tonight." He came closer to me.
"Oh, is that so?" He questioned.
"Eiri, can we please not do this tonight, I am seriously not in the mood."
"Do what?" He questioned innocently.
"Do this. Talking as if nothing has happened, speaking to each other as if two years haven't passed by since we've seen each other." Yuki didn't reply, in fact we both sat there in awkward silence for a few moments until finally Yuki said,
"Did you get my message?" I looked up at him. What the hell was he talking about. I was about to say just that to him when I suddenly realized what he was talking about.
"You know, I can get you for breaking and entering." I commented. He laughed. "You know, just because you want me back, it doesn't mean that I want you back."
"Is that so?"
"Yes." I replied without hesitation. "Besides it's not like I'm available." Why the hell did I say that? Of course I was available, I was so available that if he asked me to go out on a date with him at that moment, I would've said yes in a heartbeat. But of course, I didn't want him to know that.
"So you're dating that Ayane girl." Yuki seemed slightly surprised and amused as well. I needed to come up with a quick reply, but the word vomit that came out of my mouth was enough to make me gag.
" It's Ayame and yes, as a matter of fact, I am seeing her." What am I doing? I think I had one too many Russian vodka chocolates.
"Well that's pretty amusing considering the fact that I overheard Hiro talking about the blind date you were recently forced to go on by your mother." Another note to self, kill Hiro. Okay I was stumped, I was officially found out.
"Give it up Shuichi, you only brought that girl here because you knew I would be here, and you wanted to make me jealous."
"Oh please, not everything is about you."
"Oh, is that so?" He said coming closer to me.
"Yeah it is. I brought her to this party because she wanted to meet everyone, that's all."
"Is that right?" he was coming even closer.
"Yes, it is." I said standing up in anger. If he said 'is that so' one more time I might have actually punched him. I mean who does he think he is treating me like I'm an idiot who doesn't know what he is talking about? Before I could even comprehend it, Yuki closed the gap between us and his arms were around my waist pulling me into a kiss. I pushed him away before the emotions took over and glared at him.
"What the hell did you do that for?" I questioned angrily. The smirk on his face was enough to make me blow up but I calmed myself down.
"Thank you Shuichi, you have shown me just what I wanted to see." What? What the hell was he talking about?
"What the hell are you talking about?" I questioned. He didn't answer me, and instead he turned around and walked back into the house.
"See you around." He said before closing the door. I waited a few minutes to calm myself down, and to make sure no suspicions would arise with me walking in right after Yuki, before I finally headed inside.
"I had a really great time." Ayame said as I stopped my car in front of her house. At least someone had fun at the party. "Who would have known that celebrities act just like..."
"Regular people?" I questioned. Ayame blushed.
"Yeah." We sat in silence for a moment.
"Would you like to go out some time, with me?" I was hoping she would say yes but the look on her face said otherwise.
"Shuichi, you're a really great guy," here comes the rejection, "But I don't think it will work, you and me." I sighed.
"Why not?" I asked curiously.
" Because I like you, but you are still in love with Yuki Eiri." What? I wasn't in love with Yuki anymore. I mean at least not in the way I was two years ago. Was it that noticeable? "Shuichi I don't want to be a rebound, I want to date you with no strings attached." Ok I'll admit, I was being a little selfish.
"You're right, I'm sorry Ayame." She smiled and put her hand on my arm.
"It's ok Shuichi. You're a nice guy, but I'm just not the one." She kissed me on the cheek lightly before she exited the car. She was headed up the stairs when she stopped and turned around. " If you ever need anyone to talk to or just someone to hang out with, you can call me." I smiled.
I might have managed to kiss my ex, again, but on the brightside, I did gain a new friend. Maybe things were finally getting better.
Until next time,