Taya's Point of View
It was November 8th, the day the Theatre Club was to finally perform our original play, Fantasia Story, to a large live audience.
November 8th fell on a Friday this year. A very cold Friday. I felt a crisp chill in the air that reminded me of the holidays, which were soon approaching. It made me feel even more joyful and excited.
I was still not fully recovered from pneumonia, but my voice was mostly back and I could finally get through the solo song, which was the longest I had to sing for, without having to stop and wheeze and catch my breath.
My parents, who I haven't seen in quite a while, were coming to see me perform. My parents have kept in touch and were close with Saya's parents as well. My mother called and asked if she could invite Saya's parents to watch the play as well.
"Certainly!" I said. "It would be nice to see them again and for them to see how I've been doing as well."
Uta said her three siblings were all coming to the performance, but not her father. I didn't exactly blame her for not inviting her father.
School wouldn't be over quickly enough that day. Afterwards, I eagerly headed to the theatre club room along with Uta. We were going to head from there to the auditorium.
"You're in such a good mood, Taya." Qingxian said. "I'm glad."
I did notice I was walking a bit rhythmically. I just did so when I was excited.
"Seeing him happy puts me in a good mood too." Uta said.
"His happiness really is contagious." Qingxian smiled.
"Indeed!" Uta replied.
"Hehe!" I blushed a bit.
The auditorium was all set up for us to perform from the preparation we had done yesterday night. The sets were all in place and looked rather gorgeous.
We had two hours before the crowd was to come in. Meanwhile, we would get dressed, warm up our voices, do last minute mental preparations, refresh our memories, hang out, give cheers, and loudly whisper "Ahh! This is it, this is it!"
This really was going to be it. My story which I had poured my heart into writing and creating with everyone was finally going to come to life onstage and be brought into to the hearts of many... it gave me such excitement to think about.
Merli was painting some make-up on my face so I would look more mechanical doll-like. I didn't have this make-up for the mini performance we gave on the 1st of November. This was entirely new. I wondered how I would look...
When I saw myself in the mirror, I thought I looked... rather cute. The mascara made my eyes seem bigger. There was a bit of blue blush on my face to give me both a metallic look and the appearance of rosy cheeks (but of a different color.) I had a faint bit of pale pink lipstick on. Certainly otherworldly.
"Taya?" Uta reacted when she saw me with the makeup. "You... look like... a doll..."
"Well, heh. That's literally the point, Uta." I said.
Uta began turning a bit red. Now her cheeks were becoming rosy pink!
"It's... cute..." She muttered.
"Ah, thanks." I said.
All day long, I felt a peculiar feeling. It was an inexplicable feeling that was surrounded by magic and joy... it certainly was a great and comforting feeling. It was a feeling that I associated most often with Saya.
After Saya passed, I seldom felt it anymore, and nearly forgot what it had felt like. Now that I was feeling it again, I felt all tingly and nostalgic. It must've been because of the big day. The play, and being surrounded with friends like Uta.
"We're heading backstage in five minutes!" Lapis announced. "The first guests will be arriving in approximately that time."
"Alright!" Everyone responded.
"Ready for our final boss battle, Taya?" Kyo asked me.
"Haha, well... this certainly kind of feels like one, doesn't it?" I laughed.
"Haha! But we're super ready for it!" Kyo said. "But I'm feeling the same anticipation! And it'll feel twice as triumphant!"
"Wow! I feel pumped now!" I said.
"Yeah! Now you're talking, Taya!" Kyo gave me a fist-bump.
"I heard gamer talk." Uta said. "Taya, we should play an RPG together sometime."
"Sounds like a deal to me." I said, smiling.
Everyone went backstage and had quite a chat.
Eventually after a while, I peeked through the curtain and found that the huge auditorium had been filled halfway already!
"Eep!" I squeaked. "Um... all those people!"
I suddenly felt so unnerved. I just realized I hadn't done enough exercises to combat my stage fright! I was so focused on overcoming my pneumonia, I had forgotten all about my stage fright!
"Uta, there are so many people out there!" I said.
"I know..." Uta said. She looked a bit worried as well.
"Uta, do you have stage fright too?" I asked.
"Relatively." She said, shaking a bit. "Weirdly, I never realize the things I'm scared of things until I'm face-to-face with them. Then it suddenly becomes as clear as day that I'm scared. Like, one time I had no idea I was scared of beetles until I saw one live and I freaked out... I guess this is happening to me again now, but with preforming for crowds... hehe!"
"It's okay Uta!" I said. "Let's be scared together! No wait, let's be brave together! I know we can do it!"
"Oh, Taya. You're so great at cheering me on." Uta smiled sincerely. "Thank you."
"Hey, Uta. What's something you really love?" I asked. "Something you can be yourself in front of?"
"Hm... Um... honestly? You, I guess." Uta said, giving a shy smile.
"Well..." I continued. "Pretend the audience is made out of just a bunch of Tayas then."
Uta suddenly burst out laughing. A pure, genuine belly laugh. I wondered what was so funny about that! Was I really such a funny person that the thought of an audience of nothing but me cracked her up so much?
"Oh man!" Uta said. "That is one FANCY audience!" She laughed. "Nothing but suits and ties and tuxedos! And all the strawberries they'd be eating! Haha! And when I say something interesting, the audience will all say, "Is that sou desu ka? Ah, sou?"
"Hey, don't make fun of me like that!" I said. But I was laughing too. "I'll just imagine an audience made up of a bunch of Utas then! Tons of hats! And hopefully the building doesn't have a kitchen in it!"
"Hey! Don't you dare!" Uta said. She was still laughing however. I laughed back. We were having such a wonderful time laughing, and just like that, the butterflies in our stomach were flying away.
It was finally about time for the play to start. Backstage, we gathered together and gave one final cheer before we lifted the curtain and started the first scene.
"Alright... let's give this performance our best!" Lapis said. We all joined hands. On the count of three, we all lifted our hands up and gave a cheer. It felt wonderful being part of something. It was like our theatre club was a team.
The curtain opened, and the scene of Lapis in her room began. Lapis was a lonely girl, and the first scene featured her building toys and getting lost in he own stories alone in her room. She sang a solo song as this was depicted.
Eventually, the girl was to build the mechanical doll. This where I came in. The girl and the doll had all sorts of imaginary fun, before the girl had to die of scarlet fever.
The doll had an inner monologue then. Basically, I had recorded myself speaking beforehand, and these lines were played over the speaker so my voice could play without me having to open my mouth. This was because the doll was not yet alive.
Suddenly, I came to life, and I spoke my first words on stage.
"Alive..." I muttered. "I'm alive!"
Thus began my adventures and escapades filled with meeting and helping various people and making friends.
I met Uta along a stone path and fixed her compass. Dex in a fursuit began attacking me. Oh, he was playing a wild wolf, remember?
Uta saved me and we had our first conversation. I promised to grant her wish. I got to say my favorite line for the first time...
"Take my hand. I'll take you to a place where miracles happen."
Uta took my hand in hers and smiled at me.
"Now, shall we go?" I asked.
The scene had to switch. In the meantime, I heard the audience applaud during the small break. Ah, they were applauding for the world I had created! What a wonderful feeling!
We met Ruby and Gumi. They were deeply in love, yet Gumi was hospitalized for a chronic illness with an uncertain prognosis. She wished to see the ocean with Ruby. I used the power in my heart to magically lead them to the ocean. I made Gumi's hospital bed able to fly as well, so she wouldn't have to walk in her condition.
I met Nigaito, the little boy with a wish to see his dog again. He wasn't able to comprehend that his dog had passed away. I used more of the power in my heart to give him a last memory with his dog and to help him accept his dog's death.
Qingxian was an orphaned little girl who I took on my journey as well. She wanted a mother who loved her.
I met Bruno and Dex, a farmer and blacksmith who were in love, but rarely got to see each other due to being constantly busy. I used my magic to give them a time together where they could relax together.
There was Merli, the lonely and stoic librarian with a wish to have a daughter. She eventually adopted Qingxian, the little girl who wanted a mother.
Uta and I met Daina and Kyo, an elderly man and woman who were having their first argument after fifty years of never fighting. They wanted to make up with each other, so I lead them to a situation where they would notice each other's remorse and apologize.
At this point, I only had a bit of magic left in my heart. The magic in my heart was what was powering me, and without it, I would no longer be able to move.
At this point, I realized I was fading away, and that I couldn't be the family Uta wished for.
I decided to use the last of my magic to give Uta a family who wasn't me. But in turn, I would have to fade away and part from her.
Uta began to cry.
"Taya." She said. "I just want you to know, you are the kindest, most magical and wonderful friend I ever had, and I will never forget you. Thank you so much for everything you've done. I love you."
"I love you too, Uta." I said. "But it's time for me to go."
I waved one last goodbye to her and departed to a place where nobody would have to see my death. I began to sing one last song. My final solo. My goodbye to the world.
I actually got a bit emotional as I sang this song. And not just my character, I mean. Me, myself. I tried keeping it in. At one point, I was fighting both shortness of breath and the onset of tears as I sang. I tried to keep my voice sounding as stable as possible. I choked up just a bit during the end, but luckily I don't think anyone noticed.
There was a round of applause as I finished my solo, then gasps of anguish and "aww"s as I fell to the ground, unconscious. My character had died...
Ah... I had fallen asleep. In my weakened, drowsy state, still not one-hundred percent recovered from pneumonia. But this dream wasn't like any others I had. It was a lucid dream... an incredibly vivid and clear one. I've never experienced anything like this before. I was floating around in a dark, starry space.
I was a bit scared for a moment before. But suddenly, I felt a comforting, warm, and soft presence. A nostalgic and sentimental feeling washed over me. Something so tender...
Inexplicably, I immediately knew who it was who was visiting me.
I softly uttered her name.
"Taya." I heard her answer. That was when I saw her, floating amongst the twinkling stars.
She was all grown up now. She looked so beautiful. I felt myself melt into emotion.
Her light blue hair was still short and wavy, but was in a low ponytail on the other side of her head than I wore mine. She wore an elegant dress. Her cerulean eyes shone like two sapphires. Painted on her face was a delicate, sentimental smile.
"Taya, I'm so glad to see you again." She spoke to me. Her voice echoed throughout the space. "I'm sorry our final memories together had to be so sad. I am always thinking about you. I'm so proud of who you've become and I'll always be cheering you on. I will always remember our precious times together. I love you..."
"Saya..." I felt tears come from my eyes, but in this dreamlike setting, they began to sparkle and levitate around me, rather than drip down my face. "I... I love you too. I'm so happy to see you again. I missed you so much, Saya. Saya... I'm so happy..."
We wrapped our arms around each other and embraced in the center of the cluster of shining stars.
"Taya..." Saya smiled, once we parted. " Should I Taya ribbon in your hair?"
She pulled out a ribbon and began to gently tie it in my hair. I smiled...
Wait... did Saya just make a pun from my name? Well! Now I had to make one back to her!
"Oh, Saya... I 'Saya' coming. I sensed I was going to see you. I knew it was you." I said.
Saya began to laugh. Oh, how I missed the sound of her laugh...
"I missed hearing the Sound of your voice, Taya." Saya said, smiling.
"Hee, I missed hearing the Tone of your voice, Saya!" I said, smiling wide.
"Haha, alright Taya." Saya continued to laugh. "Remember, don't trip over mushrooms."
"Haha! Well, don't eat too many berries that your tongue turns purple." I joked back.
"Ha! Well... See you later, bunga raya." Saya said. Her presence was now fading away, ever so slowly. Ah... I wanted her to stay longer. But such is life, I guess...
"Well, right back at ya, jambalaya." I said back to Saya.
"Taya... Taya! Hey, Taya." A voice was shouting to me now. And it wasn't Saya's.
"Hey! Did you fall asleep for real?" It was Kyo. He was poking me. And I was offstage.
I sat up.
"Huh..." I said. "I... I guess I did."
"Haha." Kyo said. "Well, We noticed your were extra limp when we carried your character's dead body off. We just thought you were being extra devoted to your acting."
"Oh, haha. That would've been funny." I said.
I felt my hair to make sure it wasn't messed up from me being asleep.
Huh? I felt a ribbon in it. A ribbon that I swear I didn't tie in my hair earlier today... a pale yellow ribbon. It looked a lot like a specific ribbon that Saya had lost while we were in middle school. Somehow, someway, it had ended up in my hair...
Ah, I remembered. Saya tied a ribbon in my hair in my dream... but... if I still have it, then that means, it wasn't just a dream. Saya... she really did come to visit me.
Saya really did pay me a visit after all. I smiled, feeling so sentimental and touched. Saya was still out there. She hadn't forgotten about me. She was still herself. She still loved me and we were still best friends and we always would be.
That alone was enough to make me incredibly happy.
The play ended and we all gave a grand bow to a tremendous round of applause! The curtains closed, and I began crying. But I wasn't sorrowful in the slightest. I was crying because I was so, so happy. These were tears of joy.
"Taya! Are you okay?" Uta saw me crying and ran up to me.
"I feel so wonderful..." I choked out. "So happy..."
"Aww." Uta gave me a hug.
When I stopped trembling, I told Uta about the dream I had, and how it wasn't a dream. I showed her the mysterious ribbon tied in my hair as proof. Saya had come and visited me. She spoke to me. She told me we would always be together, and we even joked around again just like the good times.
"That's such a wonderful story." Uta said. "I really do believe you. I believe these things are truly possible. Miracles, and magic... they're real. I know it's strange coming from me, but... you make me believe in miracles, Taya."
Afterwards, there was a bit of a party in the auditorium with food and drinks. I went up to my parents.
"Taya, there you are!" My mother said. "You did such an amazing job. Is this really a story you wrote yourself?"
"Um, yeah!" I answered sheepishly.
"Wow! I'm telling you, we have have such a talented son." My mom said to my dad. "And I'm guessing this girl is Uta?"
"Oh, yes! That's Uta. She's been incredibly nice to me, and without her, I don't think I would be where I am right now. She helped me out so much, when I was in the hospital, when I was sick... and without her, I may not even be alive, even. Mom, Dad, we owe my life to her."
Uta was looking away and was quite red.
"Oh my. Such a lovely friend. Thank you for always being there for Taya." My mother said to Uta.
"You're welcome." Uta said sheepishly. "Taya is a really incredible person. He has helped me out a lot too."
Soon after, I got to meet Uta's siblings.
"Uta, this is the first time I've heard you sing." The youngest one said. She looked a bit like Uta, but shorter, and with longer and lighter hair. "It was really lovely! I didn't know you could sing like that."
"Oh, um..." Uta was sheepish again. "I'm not that good yet. And Taya was the one who taught me, mostly. Everyone, this is Taya. Taya, this is my oldest brother, Kanade. That's my second-oldest brother, Hibiki. And this is my little sister, Koe."
"Nice to meet you, Taya." They all said.
Wow! They really did resemble Uta a lot in their own ways. I certainly did see a resemblance. They were all quite purple! Their hair and eyes were different shades of purple, anyway. They were all polite, just like Uta.
"So, you're Uta's boyfriend?" Hibiki asked me.
"Ah... no... I'm just her friend." I said.
"He's turning a little red." I heard Koe whisper.
Ah... I was?
"Well, I'll always be happy to have another brother." Kanade said.
"I'm telling you, it's nothing like that." I said.
"We're just joshing you around." Hibiki said.
"Ah, siblings." Uta said. "As annoying as ever."
I didn't have any siblings, so I didn't personally know.
Just then, Miki caught eye of Uta's siblings.
"Whoa!" I heard her call out. "There's a whole Default Family here!"
"...Default?" Koe asked.
"Don't ask." Uta answered.
"Are you guys Uta's brothers and sisters? You look just like her!" Miki squealed. "Did you know Uta's nickname is Defoko? Therefore I'll give you Default nicknames like hers!"
"Your nickname is Defota!" Miki pointed to Kanade.
"Your nickname is Defosuke!" Miki pointed to Hibiki.
"Your nickname is Defona, also known as Defo-Imouto!" Miki pointed to Koe.
"...What language is this girl speaking?" Hibiki asked us.
"Again, don't ask." Uta said again.
We hung out some more at the party. At one point, I ended up seeing, um...
It was Ruko and Ritsu. They were both underneath a window looking out to the stars. They were embracing, and fondly gazing into each other's eyes. Their faces got closer, and... ah... I'm afraid I can't tell you more... uh... never mind...
They just kissed.
There, I said it.
Ruko and Ritsu shared a passionate kiss underneath the starry window. It certainly did look pretty romantic...
I looked away though, to give them a bit of privacy. I realized that Uta also noticed their kiss as well. She was looking a bit flustered.
I felt happy for Ruko and Ritsu. I just hope that nothing was awkward about us catching them having an intimate moment like that. What if they had wanted nobody to see them?
I hung out with Uta and her siblings, along with my parents and Saya's parents.
"You know, this ribbon in my hair used to belong to Saya." I told Saya's parents. "She gave it to me. It's very special to me now."
"Oh! Well, it's in such good condition." Saya's mother said. "You certainly take good care of it."
"Yeah..." I said. "And... Saya... well. She's still out there. I know that for a fact. I can still feel her presence. I think that's enough to prove she's still with us."
"You know, Taya. You're right. Thank you." Saya's mother said. "She really is closer than even you know."
Huh. I wonder if Saya's mother had ever been visited by Saya before.
A bit later, Ruko went up to us. As usual, Ritsu was behind her. But Ritsu had a bit of an unusual smile on his face.
"Hey, Uta! Taya!" Ruko greeted us. "Ritsu and I are... well, we're a thing now! We're dating!"
"Ah! Congratulations!" Uta and I didn't have to pretend to be surprised, even though we kind of already knew. The happiness we had for them came out naturally.
"Yeah!" Ruko cheered. "You know, Ritsu and I were basically already in love for months now. But only recently did we decide to admit it and become official!"
Uta and I suddenly looked at each other... and then when we noticed we made eye contact, we immediately turned our faces right away!
Ruko and Ritsu looked at each other and smiled in a certain way, as if they knew something we didn't. Huh? I wondered what they were thinking...
Uta and I went back to the stage to see who else was there to hang out with. There was Momo and Teto! I noticed that Teto was tickling Momo. She was being all over her, and I heard her call Momo "sweetheart!"
Ah! Could it be? Were Teto and Momo also going out?
"Hello, Uta and Taya!" Teto said to me. "Guess what? I just asked Momo out, and she said yes!"
"Wow! Congratulations!" We both said.
"Yep! Well... it's a little early to kiss on the lips, though." Teto said. "However..."
Teto gave Momo a little peck on the cheek. Momo's face lit up. She looked so delighted.
"Aww, sweetie pie." Momo gave Teto a little smooch on the cheek back.
"Aww, honeybun!" Teto squealed.
Teto and Momo collapsed into a pile of hugs and cuddles. Haha! How cute. I kind of envied them...
I noticed Uta was becoming a little flustered.
After a while, the party ended, and we had to leave. I decided to be a bit bold...
"Uta." I said. I held out my hand.
"Take my hand..." I said. "I'll take you to a place where miracles happen."
Uta's mouth grew into a smile. She took my hand...
"Shall we go?" I said.
"Sure!" Uta smiled.
I then brought Uta to a place where a miracle personally happened to me.
The hill where I was lost on the first day of school, and where I first met Uta. Meeting Uta was a miracle to me. I wanted her to know that.
"You know, I'm starting to grow fond of this old hill." Uta said, as we were walking up it. "It does have a really nice view. And... it was where I met you, after all."
Ah! So... so she did remember!
"Yeah." I said back to her. "Um, Uta? There's something I want to say to you."
A soft wind began to blow across the hill.
"Yes?" Uta answered.
"Um..." I started saying. "I basically just want to say. Thank you. For being my friend. For everything. Meeting you has brought me so much joy and courage. It was such a chance meeting, yet I can't imagine what I would do without you."
Uta smiled. Suddenly, she began to take my hand into hers. Ah.. it was so warm.
"Thank you too, Taya. You're the reason I'm able to laugh like this. To smile again. It's so much fun with you around. I'm able to see the joy in little things again because of you. So... thank you too."
The wind blew again, and suddenly, I felt a third prescience here with us. As if someone was hugging us both... But nobody was. Not physically at least. But it felt warm and comforting...
"Taya?" Uta spoke up after a while. "I think... I think I just heard Saya. She spoke to me.
"I think I just felt Saya here with us too." I said. "But I think she only spoke to you. What did she say?"
A smile grew on Uta's face.
"She thanked me." Uta smiled. "Saya said... 'Thank you for being Taya's friend. You've made him so happy. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.'"
I smiled back. I was so glad that Saya and Uta got along.
"I'm sure Saya would've really liked to meet you." I said to Uta. "You know, ever since I first met you, I've felt you and her shared very similar souls... Perhaps that's why I latched onto you so quickly..."
"You know. Saya is my friend too." Uta said. "I might not have ever known her the way you did, but... she's important to me too. I feel like we are friends as well."
I smiled at Uta.
"Indeed." I said. "Saya is lucky to have a friend like you."
With Uta by my side, there was nothing I felt I couldn't do. We were still climbing uphill side-by-side together, and our destination was still uncertain, but all I knew so far that our journey was already quite an unforgettable one. And it was all because of Uta and her wonderful spirit.
-END OF ARC ONE-
NOTE: I'm planning on taking a bit of a hiatus after this, and write other things instead. Maybe I'll flesh out some side stories and characters in the Blue Song universe. I have been ignoring my muse Haku Yowane lately... I should write her story involving her budding romance with Neru, and her friendship with Kaito, and the other characters that weren't featured in these chapters that much, or at all.
The reason I was able to write this fic so fast was not only because I was very inspired, but because this was a fairly simple and low-key story project and I wasn't putting so much constant pressure on myself for it to be "the most absolutely perfect work ever." I definitely feel like I put that pressure on myself when it comes to my Whimsica stories. It's also so hard for me to get into that playful whimsical mood lately...
I think I might brainstorm how to tone down my more ambitious projects to be a bit more simple (and less daunting) so I could push them out quicker like I have been doing with Blue Song. I need to just go ahead and write them!
Also, the jokes that Taya and Saya said to each other in the emotional scene referred to inside jokes mentioned in chapter 7, and one from chapter 8.
Anyway, here's what is coming up in Blue Song: ARC TWO...
Deeper into Uta's backstory
Taya's 21st birthday
The second semester and new classmates
More fun! More feels! Laughing, crying, drama, it's all here in Blue Song!