Curtain Call (Part 3)

--Thursday, November 1st, 20XX--


All of us get up early to pack the next morning. Although we aren't leaving until after lunch, we need to make sure everything is shipshape.

Asuka and Hinata are renting us a bus for transportation. We have to pack canned or nonperishable foods to eat, since we won't be staying in any hotels and won't have enough money to always eat out.

I get my suitcase from its place in the closet and look at the packing list I have on my phone. Choosing outfits is easy, it's deciding what extra things to bring for entertainment that's hard.

Once I finish packing, I head downstairs for breakfast. The others are already there, except Meiko. For some reason I feel uncomfortable when she's not around. Maybe it's because I trust her more than the others. We grew up together, went through the same things.

I sit down at the table and run my fingers silently over my earrings. One memory of Meiko that I always recall is the first time we escaped from our captor. I remember running after her in the rain to an abandoned summer camp that she used to go to when it was in business. She stopped in front of one of the burnt-up cabins and I remember how much she cried. She always said that camp was the only place she felt safe.

I am torn away from my thoughts as I feel someone cover my eyes and chuckle. I can tell by his stronger voice who he is. "Good morning, Gakupo." I say as he takes his hands away. His eyes seem to smile in the morning sunlight coming through the window.

"Did you sleep well?" He sets a cup of coffee in front of me and takes a seat beside me.

"Yeah, I slept well. You?" I sip the coffee and close my eyes.

"Snug as a bug in a rug," he chuckles and then walks off into the kitchen.

As I look off into the hallway, I feel my face go red. Even in her old T-shirt and athletic shorts, Meiko is beautiful.

"Morning, everyone. Morning, Luka." She places a soft kiss on my cheek and then plops into the chair beside mine with a grin. "What's poppin'?"

I hear Miki laugh from the kitchen. "Meiko, nobody says that anymore!" Daina calls. I can't help but laugh along with them. Even Flower, who usually looks like she wants to kill us, is smiling.

Everyone seems to be dressed in a casual way, or in their own quirky sense of style. Flower is wearing a white blouse and grey shorts with suspenders from one of her songs. Dex is wearing a pair of grey sweatpants and a band tee. Daina and Miki are matching, both wearing a teal top and white cutoff shorts. SeeU and Piko are wearing their usual outfits. Kaito is wearing a navy blue T-shirt and brown pants, Gakupo is wearing a gray shirt and jeans, and I'm wearing a pastel green tunic and black leggings.

Breakfast is quieter than normal, as everyone is thinking about what they're doing. Dex, Miki, Daina and Flower are staying home because apparently they get bad travel anxiety and would rather chill than tour. The rest of us are leaving this afternoon, excited.

As soon as we finish breakfast, Asuka and Hinata knock at the door. Meiko stands up and lets them in quickly.

"Good morning, everyone! Before we begin loading up, I have an important announcement!" Asuka calls. "Dex, Daina, Flower, Miki. You four are leaving Curtain Call."

The four of them grinned and stood. Dex cleared his throat. "Sorry guys, I just don't think we're cut out for music." He smirked a bit and led the other three out of the house.

I frowned. Dex seemed...mean. It was quite surprising, as he had always been at least okay to all of us. I guess he was tired of who we were...but, I mean, why quit being a Vocaloid? Then again, he was never too interested in singing.

If they had just been going to join the normal Vocaloids, I bet SeeU would have gone with them. The only reason she's still in Curtain Call is because Piko needs her. Part of me is disgusted at that, but I shouldn't be...because I feel the same way about Meiko as Piko does about SeeU.

"Luka! Quit staring into space like that!" SeeU giggled. I looked up, taken away from my thoughts, and sighed.

"May I be excused?" I spoke quietly, standing up and picking up my plate.

"Go ahead." Gakupo smiled at me. "I'll put your dishes in the sink."

I nodded and went out of there, into my small bedroom. I opened my suitcase and double-checked that I had everything I needed. Once I was sure, I zipped my suitcase and took out my backpack. All I needed was my cards, some books, and my coloring/sketch book.

It didn't take long to finish packing. I sighed and curled up on my bed, looking at the photo on the nightstand. It was a photo of me and Meiko when we were little, petting a kitten we'd found in the park.

There's a knock on the door and Asuka pokes her head in. "Hey, Luka. Everything okay?" She comes in and sits down by me.

I nod. "Everything's fine. I just needed to finish packing."

"Okay then. Can I load your stuff in the RV?"

"You rented an RV?"

"It belongs to Hinata's parents."

I shrug. "Go ahead. I'm coming out anyway." She nods and picks up my bags, carrying them out of the room. I follow a bit later, messing with the black-and-teal bracelet on my wrist.

"Everyone ready to go?" Hinata calls from the door to the garage.

"Ready!" I call. The four of us head outside and get in Asuka's van. Hinata will be driving his car behind us, with the RV in tow. Kaito will be going with him to help with navigation. The only one still missing is Meiko.

I turn back to the house just in time to see her exit. She looks beautiful. Her earrings were golden in the sun. She's dressed now, wearing a white tunic with black leggings and a rose pin in her hair.

As she locks the door, she grins at all of us and runs to join us by the van. Seating arrangement was done easily. Gakupo sat in front with Asuka, Piko and SeeU in the back, and Meiko sat in the middle with me.

As Asuka put the van in drive, I felt a wave of anxiety. I had people that I needed to see. Or did I?

No. I didn't. Not since a few years ago. And hopefully never again.

I never wanted to do anything like that. I never wanted Meiko or Gakupo to do it either.

I hate what we've been through. I hate it desperately. I know Meiko does too, because she'll talk to herself about it. She tends to talk to herself often, more so when she's mad. I feel bad for her, because she has such strong emotions and doesn't know how to express them. I don't know how to express myself either, so I just keep quiet.

I hear the others having a conversation about friendships. Talking about the benefits and drawbacks of things, or past friendships.

All of a sudden, Meiko turns and snaps at them. "Friendships are overrated and stupid. And even when you do have someone you really trust, when you really need them they'll f***ing betray you."

Everyone turned to her. "Shut up Meiko, we were just talking. You didn't need to ruin it by being such a bitch." SeeU hissed.

"F*** off, A**HOLE," Meiko shot back.

"G-Guys, let's not fight..." Piko murmured.

"I agree with Piko," I say softly. It brings everyone back to silence.


That night, I lie awake on the pullout couch in the RV. Meiko snores softly next to me.

I just can't sleep. Maybe I'm nervous about our first performance tomorrow...or maybe I'm scared our group will fall apart. I sigh and try to clear my mind, rolling over and turning my back to Meiko. I'm tired of being clingy and shy...weak.

Maybe I can be stronger, just maybe...
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0 | Aug 8th 2019 22:25