Chapter 7:

Chapter 5 (Reira)

ヒドンライス (Hidden Lies)

Spending time with Mikyu was nice. Of course, the rain never did stop until late into the night. With not much to do the two of us stayed up watching idol videos. Mikyu educated me on so many things that went on behind the scenes of music videos, how the people shooting the video would get different camera angles to make the scenes transition well. She knew so much, but what was crazy was just how long it would take to make these videos. Surprisingly, idols would finish up the music videos within only a few days and yet the company would wait months to release them to spark the interest of people. Without realizing it, the two of us must have fallen asleep because I found it odd that I woke up on my couch.
Looking around the apartment, I noticed that Mikyu was not around at all. Did she leave?
“It looks like you woke up a bit early.”
Mikyu was in her school uniform and trying to brush her hair with her hands. It was a bit jarring to see her without make-up and her hair flowing down freely pass her shoulders. I was used to her always being in pigtails.
“I know I must look like crap, right?”
Even without her make-up Mikyu was still as beautiful as ever. I was somewhat jealous that she was a flawless beauty no matter what.
“You wouldn’t happen to have a straightener I could use, do you?”
After showing her the straightener in my bathroom I gathered my uniform from the dryer. Unfortunately, it did not have the have the nice warm feeling that you get when you first unload clothes from a dryer. It was a good thing that they finished drying though as there were rumors that the student council president would beat you with a shinai if you showed up to school without your uniform. Once I had my uniform on I looked at the clock, 5:45 a.m. with not much to do I figured I would check my laptop, however, Mikyu stopped me before I could even grab it.
“Checking the news every day like that is unhealthy, besides, come here for a second,” she said winking at me.
Without warning she dragged me to the bathroom and made me stand in front of the mirror. Standing next to Mikyu made me realized just how short she was to me. Standing there for a few seconds made me wonder what she was doing. I tried to turn my head to look at her.
“Hold still for a minute. I am going to help you with your hair.”
Mikyu slowly brushed my hair while straightening it without burning me by mistake. Within a few minutes she had managed to get my hair straighter than me. That was a horrible joke. Once she was done she pinned back my bangs and got out the fine eyeliner on my counter. I never applied eyeliner all that much as sometimes it was just a pain to put on.
“Try not to blink.”
I nodded as she carefully applied the eyeliner under the lip of my eye. It felt like she was drawing onto my eye itself. When she was finished she brushed a bit of foundation around my cheeks and then grabbed two hair ties. As she grabbed a strand of my hair she was able to quickly tie it into a perfect pigtail. She did the same with the other side and proceeded to apply a bit of hairspray to style my hair. It was amazing watching Mikyu quickly do all of this. After she was done with me she started to work on her own make-up and hair. She looked so professional as she styled her hair. Once all was said and done I noticed that it was 6:25 a.m. Mikyu told me that she needed to head back to her place. Apparently, her body wanted a cigarette. In a way, I felt bad for her. She was bound by the chains of her habit, while I was bound by the fate of my condition… if one could call it that. As Mikyu slipped on her shoes she waved good-bye and headed out the door. Damn, I should have stole her socks when I had the chance.
When she left, part of me was sad. Being with her made me happy and forget about a lot of things… like the failure of my idol audition. Would I have turned out like her if I had made it? It was possible I could have ended up smoking and drinking like her. Maybe it was a good thing I lost my voice. Memories started to come flooding into my mind, recalling that day…Bookmark here

Akari, and I were outside in the snow, playing just like any normal ten‑year‑old. Mainly, I just needed a way to calm my nerves at the time. Still, I never would have thought that a simple cold would cause me to became a mute.Bookmark here

Suddenly, I heard my phone vibrate against the wooden table in my living room. It was Mikyu asking me how I was. I somewhat lied and said I was great, and then thanked her for fixing up my hair and make-up. Looking over all the text Mikyu and I sent it dawned on me that the text I would send to her were… like that of a middle schooler. So many emoticons. Why did I even text like that? Maybe I was just expressing myself through text. Perhaps I should text like a normal person instead of a thirteen‑year‑old girl.
Oh well, like every other day I met up with Mikyu and made our way to school. The day was boring and each lesson was hard to focus on. How was it Mikyu learned all of this stuff? Studying in the library on our lunch break was a mix bag of feelings. It wasn’t getting any easier for me. I was understanding things a bit better but even still it was a lot. Once Mikyu finished teaching me about Forces and Newton’s Law of Motion — which I learned that he didn’t create the Fig Newton — I decided to read more of Rose of the Dark Moon and finish off the first volume of the manga. As I read more and more of the manga I slowly felt myself getting lost more and more into the plot. I was so enthralled that I did not even hear the bell ring.
The two of us went through the rest of the day as always. However, there was still the president to deal with. As we walked down the hallway to the shoe-lockers the two of us noticed Chizaki walking down the opposite end of the hall. Both of us stopped as the two of them stared down each other like they do in a Kendo duel.
“Do you have my umbrella?”
Chizaki looked as expressionless as ever.
“Well, you see—”
“You lost it, did you not?”
Chizaki’s head tilted to one side.
“No no, it just got bent, slightly.”
“I can buy you a new one.”
“No, it is fine.”
Chizaki walked past us up to the second floor. After a few seconds Mikyu spoke.
“I should go talk to her. You can head home if you like.”
I shook my head, and decided to follow her up the stairs to the student council room. Inside the student council room was Chizaki staring at a chess board while she sat there with her chin leaning on her knee. Emira was standing next to her serving a cup of tea. After removing our slippers at the door, Mikyu sat down on the opposite side of the table as Chizaki continued to stare at the chess board.
“Do you play?”
Her eyes were still fixed on the board.
“Yeah, a little.”
“Lie. You play at the skill level of a grandmaster,” Chizaki said staring up at Mikyu.
Mikyu laughed at the statement.
“I do not think I am on par with Rikyu Velzarian.”
“Many people are not, but I would bet that we are a cut above the rest.”
Chizaki stared back at the board. It was as if she was waiting for something to happen.
“Would you like some tea Haruna?” Emira asked.
“No thank you. If you happen to have Koke in here that would be wonderful.”
That was still odd to me. How was it Chizaki and Emira knew Mikyu’s last name? I thought Mikyu was keeping it all a secret.
“I can run down to a nearby store and grab one if you wish.”
“Oh, there is no—”
“I insist you let her Mikyu,” Chizaki said looking up at her.
“It is no trouble at all Haruna. I do errands for Kuroharu all the time. Almost like a maid, hehe.”
“Well, if you put it like that then by all means, one koke please.”
“And for you Ishikawa?”
Suddenly, all eyes were on me. It was odd with everyone staring at me. I shook my head.
“Very well, I shall be back soon.”
With that Emira was out the door.
“Let us play a game of chess and shogi at the same time…”
Chizaki got up from the chair and made her way over to a nearby bookshelf.
“…The rules are simple, play both games in tangent while only using the left hand…”
She sat back down with the shogi board and placed it next to the chess board.
“…for shogi and the right hand for chess. Of course, it would be reverse for me.”
How were the two of them going to play both games at the same time? I could barely play one, let alone two at the same time. Once both boards were set up the two of them sat there, staring at both of the boards. What was going through their minds? Suddenly, the two of them started to play with Mikyu making the first move for the chess board and then hitting a clock. Followed by making a move for the shogi board and hitting a clock. Everything was simple after the first few moves but things quickly became confusing as the moves flew by quicker. I was completely lost by this point. Move after move with nothing but the sounds of a clicking timer and pieces hitting the wooden boards. Until Chizaki spoke a single word.
I was not completely sure what happened but Mikyu was thinking hard about the chess board in front of here. She moved a piece and the two continued.
“Check,” Mikyu said placing down a piece.
After some time had passed Emira came back with two koke cans in hand and set one of them down on the table.
Suddenly, both of them stopped.
“Oh my, who won?” Emira asked, looking over the board.
“Tie,” the two said in tangent.
I was not sure how either of them could tell as the state of the board looked like chaos. Mikyu grabbed the koke and popped it open after thanking Emira.
“So, why did you come here today?” Chizaki asked slowly sipping her tea.
“I wanted to ask you more about the idol club but…”
“Ah. I see.”
Chizaki got up from her chair and without even a care in the world grabbed the inside of Emira’s shirt. I was pretty shocked at the whole thing. What was the president thinking? Mikyu seemed to raise an eyebrow but not much else.
“C-Chizaki… please be gentle there… mmm,” Emira moaned as Chizaki continued to feel around.
After a minute of soft moans, Chizaki pulled out a small silver key from Emira’s bra.
“You keep a hidden key… in the vice president’s bra?”
“Yes, for safety.”
She walked over to the bookshelf and pulled out a large chest. Putting it on the table she inserted the key and opened it. However, what she pulled out threw me for a loop.
“You keep your laptop… in a locked chest… with a key… that is hidden in Emira’s bra?”
“Is that not normal?” Chizaki asked with a puzzled look.
“Well, that depends on how one would define the word normal.”
“Normal — Conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern. According with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle. Occurring naturally…”
Chizaki continued on as if she was quoting a dictionary.
“I think we get the idea,” Mikyu said cutting her off.
“I see.”
“Anyways, on to the main matter,” Mikyu said.
“Yes, what would you like to know about the idol club? No need to worry about Ishikawa hearing everything here today. I assume she will be one of the members?”
Chizaki began typing at on her laptop, but it was impossible for me to tell what she was typing or even doing for that matter.
“Yes, she will. I would like to know where would the idol club practice?”
“Where ever you wish. I can make arrangements for almost anywhere.”
“And what about classes?”
“The principle can see to it that the idol club can miss all the classes needed to make this successful.”
“All right.”
I was completely lost as to what conversation those two just had.
“You planned this from the start, didn’t you Chizaki?”
Mikyu sat back in the chair with a sight smile.
“Well then, I think I know what to do for the idol club, nice talking to you Chizaki,” Mikyu said as she got up from her seat.
Mikyu and I left while I still tried to figure out what in the hell was going on. How did those two already know what Mikyu’s real last name? What was so important that the idol club could just completely miss class? What was I getting myself into? The two of us silently made our way down the hall and outside to the front gate.
“I am sure you have a lot of questions.”
I nodded.
Mikyu explained how the school would be shutting down next year due to lack of students. It was a shock to me. I thought the school was well known, but it seems that the principle was keeping this secret from the students. Mikyu’s goal was to basically fix it. She would form an idol club and draw in students with the truth that she was Mikyu Haruna on the day of the arts festival. It seemed that Mikyu wanted nothing to do with it but fell into the president’s trap and was being blackmailed basically. In a way, it made sense as having someone as famous as Mikyu Haruna in the school would draw tons of fans and other students from different schools. If people knew she graduated from a school like this people would think they had to enroll in the school.
Without much else to say after that, both of us went home. Alone, I sat there on my couch with my laptop trying not to think about things. I felt sorry for Mikyu. She had the stress of dealing with everything and could not live in peace like she wanted. I noticed she had not sent any text whatsoever. I hoped she was okay.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.