Episode 12: “Even in a year like this, Christmas still comes as Christmas.”
Tamaru Luka (Furuta Jun & Kanda Yota/Radio Shonan Personality)
The clubroom in December was colder than I expected. Leaning on the electric stove that shakes its head helplessly, the only sound that can be heard is the whirring sound of Natsuki's calloused hands flipping over the script. I was in a daze, remembering that day. The stars I looked up at on the beach, the conversations we had, the dawn, the sunrise, the first train, the Enoden train, the excuses I made to my mother. I don't know what inspires my expressions. I wrote down all the ideas that came to me, went to the library and researched them, and painstakingly incorporated all of them into the script. I'm embarrassed to use this word, but if I dare to use it, I'll be completely focused. Yes, I concentrated fully and finished revising the script for ``Sky and Puzzle.''
Natsuki, who had finished reading to the end, said tremblingly.
"What's this... it's dangerous."
I was confident. In fact, I don't think I can write anything more than this. That was the honest truth.
"The characters are well-developed and the story develops well. I think it's gotten a lot better!"
"it was good"
I responded briefly, suppressing my happiness. It is said that the script revision for ``Sky and Puzzle'' went well. Natsuki and I took another step forward.
"Now, what should we do from here? How will we perform this work..."
As expected, I was at a loss for words. As usual, activities are uncertain due to the influence of the coronavirus. In fact, the situation may be getting worse. Last month's school festival was also canceled, and the theater club's activities have been suspended for a while. Rumor has it that if things continue like this, the February graduation party will also be cancelled. It feels like a long time ago when people were allowed to carry out their activities freely. Even though I had come up with a script, there was no opportunity or place to perform it. This is hard. Sigh. After being silent for a while, Natsuki handed me a small folded piece of paper.
"Luka, would you please read this to me?"
I took the folded paper and gingerly opened it to see the word ``Operation'' written in dirty handwriting. That's not the Natsuki handwriting I know. There weren't many text-like characters on it, and I realized that it was an illustration of a distribution system that connects the camera and computer with a cable.
“You talked to your boyfriend the other day, didn’t you?”
"Wait, wait. Boyfriend...?! Huh? Huh?"
"I see, you haven't told Luka yet. I've been dating someone since last month. Do you know Takemura-kun from the broadcasting club?"
Yuji Takemura. This is a boy I was in the same class with when I was in first grade. I knew he knew a lot about music, but that's about it. To be honest, I'm not even the handsome type. It was surprising that Natsuki, who was self-admittedly a self-centered person, fell in love with him.
"I've been getting a lot of attention."
Natsuki said shyly but not completely satisfied. I think there must have been something that only the two of us could understand. However, rather than digging into the details, I first tried to understand the meaning of the illustration written on the paper.
``Takemura-kun said, ``Why don't you stream it?''
It is true that the number of live performances is increasing during the coronavirus pandemic. I also watched some of the theater troupe's streaming performances that caught my attention. But we never thought we'd do it ourselves. Because I don't know how to do it, and I've heard that it costs money to do it properly.
“If we do it, the broadcasting department will help us.”
``Since it's a collaboration performance between the drama club and the broadcast club, we'll be able to use the broadcast club's expenses as well.''
Natsuki was somehow proud. I don't really know what kind of person Takemura-kun is, but I felt like I could trust him if he said he would do this much for his beloved girlfriend.
“It might be a good idea, a live performance!”
"OK! We'll meet today so we can talk. I mean, if we decide to do that, we'll have to practice!"
"Yes, I'm going to be busy!"
I left the high school and headed towards Fujisawa Station. It is filled with people rushing home.
My steps were light. The big thing is that they have taken the next step of streaming performances.
Suddenly, I stopped inside the station, turned my back to the wall, and took out my smartphone.
Launch LINE and scroll with your thumb.
I looked for the blue planet icon and found it right away.
"It looks like Sky and Puzzle will be performed as a streaming performance."
I pressed the send button.
1 minute, 2 minutes,... 5 minutes.
It doesn't get marked as read.
I started walking out of the station, fed up with myself waiting for it to be marked as read.
There was a signboard accepting reservations for Christmas cakes. Even in a year like this, Christmas still comes as Christmas. Natsuki may be spending time with her boyfriend Takemura. Maybe we should exchange some gifts. I've only seen Christmas like that in manga and dramas. I thought Natsuki was expanding her potential as an actress. Go ahead, go ahead, go ahead, Natsuki.
I heard the ringtone of LINE and hurriedly opened my phone.
"What time are you coming back?"
It was from my mother.
Try tapping the blue planet icon.
It's not marked as read yet.
What the heck is that?
It was on the night two days later that I received a reply from Aono.
"Sorry for the late reply. I think the streaming performance is great! Congratulations. I finally completed the song. It's the first song I wrote by myself from beginning to end. The theme song for 'Sora to Puzzle'. I wanted Mr. Maruyama to listen to it first.”
After the final message, a sound source was attached.
Suddenly, my chest started pounding.
Before you know it, your mouth will be parched and dry.
I tapped the play button and slowly closed my eyes.
"to be continued"
*Back issues can be viewed here .