Chapter 46:

A normal day

Bonded by Music

That night's program started just like the previous ones. The host greeted the judges and proceeded to call the finalist pairs so that they occupied their seats on the only set of benches placed in the middle of the stage.

However, from then on, the format of the program was completely different. And even if the finalists had been told that they would be interviewed by the host to discuss their participation in the contest, there were a couple of things they didn’t know about: first, that videos of their most remarkable moments had been prepared; and second, that the guests that they had invited would also be called to the stage to watch those moments with them and comment on them.

Of course, Genta’s performance in the second challenge was among those moments, making Eloy take a mental note of asking Mako if he could have that dress back, just in case. The Pocky game also appeared, along with a few other beach challenges, but the part that made Eloy cringe the most was when the challenge he ‘won’, where King sensually danced against him trying to make him react, was broadcast.

He didn’t know what was worse: either the fangirling and giggles of the girls - Hiromi was included in that group, or King playfully commenting that Eloy seemed to be someone really hard to please, or Genta’s stunned expression, since it was the first time that he actually watched the challenge.

“I’m going to make you pay for it,” Genta managed to whisper in his ear, one of the times the audience was busy clapping and laughing, and despite the threat in Genta’s words, Eloy had the feeling that he would end up enjoying that punishment more than suffering it.

Also, Eloy was completely taken by surprise when, just before they were supposed to return to their seats, a recording of his parents and Elia appeared on the screen, cheering him on and wishing him luck for the contest. The video had been translated into Japanese for the audience, and when it finished, Eloy had a lump in his throat. Especially because he knew how much his father hated appearing in that kind of videos, and seeing him there had moved him.

“Did you do this?” he asked Genta while walking back to the benches.

“Yeah, I contacted the program to ask if it would be possible to display it, and later your sister to see if they agreed on.” Genta smiled at him with satisfaction. “I’m glad it went well.”

Eloy exhaled an incredulous laugh and pressed Genta’s hand. He really had to beat the temptation of kissing him right then and there.

The interviews lasted almost two hours and half, and then, after a short pause, the moment of truth came: the performances of the original songs that they had composed. Once again, and to keep things fair, the order of performance was selected randomly.

SevenEG was chosen as the last to perform.

“Okay, now I’m nervous,” Eloy admitted when The Biwa Girls approached the stage.

“Well, it’s a little shitty to be forced to wait, but we'll be performing the last song the judges listen to, so it will be the one that sticks with them the most.”

Eloy looked at Genta, impressed. “You really are confident that we’re going to win.”

Genta snorted softly while grasping his hand, interlacing their fingers. “Yeah. I am.”

Eloy smiled, feeling Genta’s unwavering confidence contagious as he focused on the stage.

As expected, all the performances were impressive and diverse. The Biwa Girls had prepared a Nihon-buyo dance, with one of them dancing as the other sang. The Novas had delivered a powerful ballad that was executed flawlessly. Electric Soul had presented an energetic song, with Ayaka singing and dancing while Kota played the keyboard. The Cords Brothers had chosen a rhythmic song, during which Eloy feared that the cords of Ryo’s violin would break with the passion the big guy put into playing.

Once Ryo and Ren returned to their seats amidst the effusive applause, the host announced SevenEG as the last pair to perform.

The lights dimmed once again as Eloy sat at the piano and Genta stood in front of the microphone. In the hushed silence of the audience, Eloy awaited Genta’s familiar nod, which this time was accompanied by a warm smile that Eloy returned before he began to play.

Simultaneously, a video started to be projected onto the stage. While preparing their performance, they had deduced that the other pairs would try to content as many judges as possible, and that probably a few of them would opt for singing and dancing.

In response, they decided to take a different approach: they made an instagram live with their followers, and promised that if they sent them a short - family friendly - video, they would incorporate the first five hundred shorts in the performance. Needless to say, the editing process was a nightmare, but judging by the audience's surprised reactions, the effort had been worth it.

Eloy’s fingers easily moved through the piano keys, skillfully playing the song's introduction that lasted for around twenty seconds. Then, Genta’s clear voice finally joined the music.

It’s been a while since I stopped looking for a change,
Waking up, heading to work, and keeping on pulling through,
Sadly, dreaming doesn’t pay the bills,
And routine is all I can afford right now.

That loop was broken when we crossed paths,
I wasn’t expecting it, and didn’t know how to react,
But even if trust is something I lack these days,
With you it felt natural to take the risk.

Eloy continued playing for a few more moments before Genta's voice returned to sing the chorus.

It was supposed to be a normal day,
Not different from any other at all,
But fate had other plans,
And dragged me into them,
And for once, going with the flow,
Felt like the right thing to do.

Then, the performance took its second twist: following a short instrumental interlude, Eloy took over the vocals from Genta, provoking a new wave of stupor in the audience and judges.

For some time I realized I didn’t have a goal,
I got lost at some point, and was starting to drown,
Why am I trying so hard to meet up expectations,
That no one besides me has decided to impose?

But breathing became easier after we crossed paths,
I was able to remember how it felt to take the jump,
And though I had got too used to follow the schedule,
with you it wasn’t that scary to improvise.

Eloy also sang the chorus once, then Genta repeated it, and then continued with a new verse with a light different cadence than the previous.

The road is still bumpy,
But somehow with you, it’s easier to walk,
Maybe this is not supposed to last forever,
But the time we spent made it already worth it.

The last solo piano part began. When Eloys was two seconds away from finishing it, Genta stopped looking at the audience to face Eloy instead, in time to sing the chorus.

It was supposed to be a normal day,
not different from any other at all,
but fate had other plans,
and dragged us into them,
and for once, going with the flow,
felt like the right thing to do.

Eloy had joined Genta in the third sentence of the chorus, and since, by then, he knew his own melody by memory, he could allow himself to look at Genta before singing the last modified chorus together.

It was supposed to be a normal day,
but it was only the start,
of everything that came next,
and despite all the doubts,
and all the challenges ahead,
together we managed to beat the odds.

It was supposed to be a normal day,
finding love wasn’t something we were looking for,
but fate had other plans,
and dragged us into them,
and going with the flow,
was the right thing to do.

When the song finished, a couple of cords later, silence reigned in the theater for a couple seconds before a roaring ovation invaded the place. However, Eloy was just half-aware of his surroundings, since he simply stood up, approached Genta, and embraced him in a tight hug.

Earlier, while observing the others’ performances, Eloy found himself thinking that maybe their song was going to fall a little short in comparison.

However, now that the performance was over and he could feel Genta’s heart beating as frantically as his own against his chest, he truly felt that they couldn’t have come up with a better song.

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