Is it strange for me to be attracted to a member of the same sex?
That is the question running through my head. I'm backstage, sitting on a leather sofa, my hands clasped together in my lap. I keep squeezing them every time I hear her hit a high note on the stage. I have this fluttering in my stomach that is making it impossible for me to think of anything but her. I want to confess to her so bad, but I don't want it to ruin anything that we have. We're best friends, and I don't know if best friends should feel the way I do about each other. When I had first met her, I hadn't had any weird thoughts about her, we were friends. We talked and sung and hung out together. But as time progresses, I find that more and more I am starting to actually love her, and not in the friend way. I want her to hold me. I want her to kiss me. I want us to hold hands. If I got the courage to tell her these things what would she say? That's my only obstacle; the fear of her rejecting me and not wanting to be friends anymore. I don't know if I could live with myself if she stops being my friend.
Her song concludes and the concert goes into an intermission while we got dressed for our next set of songs. She walks into the room and notices me on the sofa, not hanging out with Rin like I usually do during this part of the concert. I twiddle my thumbs in my lap, my face bright red. Her deep blue eyes look into mine for the tiniest fraction of a second and it sends my heart into a flutter. I feel like it wants to burst out of my chest. She moves through the room and sits down next to me. I feel her pink hair brush against my arm and it just makes things worse.
"Miku, what's the matter?" She asks.
"N-nothing." I manage to stammer out.
"You've been acting strange lately. You can tell me what's going on. We're friends after all." She is looking at my unsteady hands. I wish I could keep them under control. I clasp them together as I had been doing during her song. When I do that, they steady a little. Luka then places her hand over mine and I start to shake like crazy.
"Miku, what's the matter?" She asks. She sounds really worried.
"L-luka." It's all I can manage to say.
This is my chance! But I don't take advantage of it. Instead I blunder to the changing room and leave Luka wondering what my problem is. She probably thinks I'm crazy or something. She'll probably avoid me. I don't blame her, I would avoid myself. I'm acting like a complete idiot. When I go on stage I will throw on a façade, pretend like I have nothing bothering me and be the ultra-cute and happy pop star everyone knows and loves. If they saw this side of me, they'd probably think I'm pathetic.
I change fast and do my performance. Everybody seems to be as happy as ever when they see me and I smile back at them. My mind is going crazy with thoughts of Luka. Usually when I perform I think about the song and the music and the dancing but those are at the back of my mind. My movements are robotic and my singing is something I don't seem to be doing of my own freewill. Because if I could do anything of my free will it would be scream. This feeling is made even worse by the fact the next song is Love is War. I don't know how I will make it through the song without breaking down.
I start to sing. I push all thoughts of Luka to some dark recess of my mind, at least for now. All I want to do is get through this song, then be done until the final bow. All I need to do is steel myself and push through.
It's over. Everyone is clapping and hollering. I bow and walk off stage only to find Luka is waiting for me. All those thoughts I put into the recesses of my brain come forward, my heart starts to beat harder. I open my mouth to say something, what it is even I don't know, but instead I run away from her. She follows. Rin and Len are onstage leaving just her, me, and Kaito. Kaito is probably raiding the food as he usually does. I have nowhere to run. Luka will catch me no matter where I go.
"Miku!" She yells. "Please talk to me!"
You don't know how much I want to. But I can't. And so I hole myself up in a little cocoon and hope the storm passes over. I try to make some sort of excuse for my behavior but Luka isn't stupid. Of course she won't fall for it. She knows me better than anyone and knows that I never act this way. When she tries to grab my shoulder I recoil away and she looks at me with a bit of hurt in her eyes.
"Did I do something?" Luka asks. I shake my head. "Then what is it? I'm really worried about you."
"I did something!" I explode like a bomb and instantly want to cry. I didn't want to yell at Luka. I want to yell at myself.
"What did you do?" Luka is calm and collected, neglecting the fact I just yelled at her. She reaches out and this time manages to grab my shoulder. I don't recoil but instead jump forward. I wrap my arms around her and cry into her shoulder. She returns my hug and it just makes me cry even more. Why am I crying? This is exactly what I want. I'm in the warm embrace of the girl I am in love with. So why can't I stop crying?
is there someone you like?" I ask in what has to be the most pathetic voice I have ever let anyone hear.
"Is that what this is about? Did someone reject you?" Luka's voice is soft and soothing. I wish I could be like her. I don't know if she has ever cried or even gotten mad. I've said it and I'll say it again, I feel pathetic. "Did you confess to someone and they didn't accept it?"
I shake my head, rubbing my eyes against her bare shoulder. It shines with my tears.
"Then what is it?"
"I-I want to confess to someone but I'm scared to." I'm beating around the bush. I want to say "I want to confess to you Luka" but my mouth and my brain won't connect.
Rin and Len's song ends and it's time for final bows. I didn't even put on my gray shirt, black skirt, and boots. I'm dressed for the wrong thing.
Luka strokes my hair but it doesn't assuage the pain. The tears do stop flowing though. I hug her tighter. Her warmth feels so good, it warms my heart and makes me smile.
"Do you want to talk about this after the show?" Luka asks.
I don't know what to say. If I could talk to her alone and steel myself maybe I would be able to get all my feelings out. I know I'll sound like a bumbling idiot most of the time, but it would soothe my heart and my mind. I know if she rejects me I will be in pain, but maybe it's better to know than to keep wondering.
I nod and she leads me toward the stage. I look at the dress I am wearing but Luka just smiles. "Everyone loves you Miku. They don't care what you're wearing."
She makes me feel so much better. She can take the worst situation and make it bearable. It's part of the reason I am in love with her. Nobody else treats me like she does. Nobody understands me like she does.
And nobody has hugged me as warmly as she just did.
We take our final bows. I hear the cries of the fans, a tidal wave rush of my name over and over again. I smile and wave. As I walk off stage the cheers just continue. One voice rises above the others though.
"Miku. do you want to go get ice cream and talk at the park?"
I nod and follow Luka to the changing room. I put on my usual attire and follow behind Luka through the maze of halls that is the backstage of the theater. We nearly get lost but find Kaito along the way. He shows us the way out and waves after us as we head into the city. I keep falling farther and farther behind. I clench my fists, steeling myself for when we get to the park.
I feel something warm grab my hand and look over at Luka who has a big smile on her face. "Come on slow-poke." Her soft, warm hand is so nice. I involuntarily squeeze it and she squeezes back. If I were in an anime, I probably would pass out. But I don't and I just feel that flutter of my heart for the millionth time today.
We find a tiny ice cream shop and Luka orders for us both, her hand releasing mine. She knows my favorite flavor is vanilla. She even pays for it. The traffic on the streets is getting lighter, it is nearly nine at night. Before we cross the street that runs parallel to the park gates I grab Luka's hand. I expect her to flinch away or shake me off but instead she grips my hand firmly and walks me across the street like a tiny child.
We find a bench next to a tiny lake that glistens in the moonlight. Luka lets go of my hand and sits close beside me. She licks her chocolate ice cream cone and I follow suit with my own. There are a couple minutes of awkward silence as we work on our ice cream. I watch the little ripples in the lake as fish breach the surface. When I notice Luka's eyes on me I close mine and breath.
"So what's been going on?" Luka's voice pierces through my thoughts. I open my eyes and breath in and out, calming my nerves.
"You never answered me before." I answer in a low voice. "About whether there is someone you like."
Luka nods. "I didn't. There is someone I like." My heart beats hard. "How is that making you act like you are?"
I finish my ice cream cone, my fingers now free to twiddle about like snakes. "Um
can you tell me who it is? Or is that being too nosy?"
Luka finishes her own ice cream cone and scratches the back of her head. "Well. It's kind of embarrassing." She looks down at her gold boots. It's the first time I've ever seen her break her cool demeanor.
"Y-you don't have to answer if you don't want to." I quickly say. "I don't want to be imposing."
"So this is about your liking someone." Luka said. "How about I make a deal with you?"
"W-what is it?" I ask, my eyes downcast and my whole body trembling.
"We can tell each other who we like, but we have to do it after the count of three. That way it's fair. We don't have to choose someone to go first and feel all awkward afterward."
I nod and close my eyes, waiting for her to count down.
My fist clenches.
My stomach feels so full, as if all of my emotion is waiting down there
waiting to get out.
I open my mouth and will my brain to spill the emotions hiding in my guts.
"Luka-chan!" I somehow get out.
"Miku-chan!" Luka says. I open my eyes wide in shock and notice her eyes are shut and her fists are clenched too. This is a completely different side of Luka, one I've never seen before. She is nervous and her voice had quavered just a bit when she said my name. Did she ask me here just to tell me she liked me? If so, I will really feel pathetic. She had to take the initiative because I was too scared to.
She opens her eyes and we stare at each other. Five seconds pass, ten. Now I fall into her arms for the second time today and cry. Her hug is tight, I feel like I'm melting into her. I feel her hair against my cheek. Her hand rubs my back.
"Why are you crying?" She whispers.
"Because I'm happy!" I smile and attempt to pull away from the hug.
Luka presses me tighter against her. "You can cry on me. It's okay."
I do. I feel like I am crying out all of my tension, all of the feelings that have been locked tight in me for so long. I feel something wet hit the top of my head and look up at Luka.
For the first time in my life, I am witnessing Luka crying.
"Why are you crying?" I whisper.
Her smile is still bright, even when she is crying. "Because I'm happy!" Instead of trying to break away from the hug like I did she just holds me tighter. A long time passes. Our tears stop and we keep each other warm.
"I-I love you Luka." I stammer out. "I want to be beside you forever. You make everything so much better."
There is a sound like someone choking and then I feel fresh tears against my body. "I love you too Miku. I've been wearing a mask, trying to act normal around you. The truth is, I was really hurting. And when you talked to me today I got the impression there was someone you liked and I felt really horrible. I was smiling on the outside, but inside I was crying. Because I thought you loved someone else and I wouldn't have a chance." She loosens the hug. We're looking into each other's eyes again and I can't help but let loose another wave of tears.
I feel her lips lock with mine. Her hands bunch up my blouse and hold it tight. Meanwhile I move my hand to cradle the back of her head. Our tears mix together and patter against our laps.
It is a long kiss. We pull away and Luka wipes her eyes with the sleeves on her arms.
"That was my first kiss." I say. Luka's finger wipes a tear from my eye.
"Mine too." Luka smiles and bends to kiss my cheek sweetly. "But I don't think it will be my last." She stands and offers me her hand. I take it and she lifts me up from the bench gently. Our fingers are entwined. We walk to the hotel, my head resting against her shoulder. I can't keep myself off of her.
"When we get to the hotel," Luka says as we follow the street to our place of residence for the next couple days, "I think we should write a song we can perform together. I've had this idea running through my head. The name is World's End Dancehall. We can even make up a dance for it together!"
I smile and nod. "I'd like that very much."
My heart isn't fluttering anymore. Now it is melting, it is keeping the rest of me warm instead of unsteady. The only bad thoughts in my mind are whether or not people will accept us for who and what we are.
Somehow, Luka reads my mind and her grasp on my hand tightens, her index finger rubbing my digits. "Everything will be okay. We'll be happy. And if anyone tries to stop us from being happy, then we can get through it together and laugh about it later."
"You always know the perfect thing to say." I wipe another tear from my eye. I have never been so in love with someone.
And so we walk into an uncertain future. But no matter what happens I will be happy as long as I have Luka there to hold onto me and keep me warm and be my best friend. At this point in time, she is all that matters to me. And I feel that she will be all that matters to me for a very long time.