Episode 08 - Tears and healing - is the eighth episode of Loveairaharune's first fanseries, Pretty Rhythm: Melodic Dream.
Petal Sparkle have lost... and Amane feels like it's all her fault, and pushes all the blame on herself. She begins training non stop to make up for everything... but also feels lonely and that nobody cares. Can someone prove her wrong?
I'm such a failure. We could have won...
"Hey, Amane!" called Yumeko from behind. "Wait up!"
"Oh, hi, Yumeko," replied Amane in the most normal voice she could manage. "You're early today..."
"Yeah, I finally managed to get out of bed in 5 minutes, instead of the usual 20!"
Amane faked the best laugh she could. "Wowwww Yumeko... getting out of bed doesn't take me more than 2 minutes..."
"Well, it's because I don't sleep!" said Yumeko, winking at her. "I don't sleep at night much! Yesterday, I fell asleep at 5 pm, then woke up at midnight, ate dinner, and I was on the internet the whole night," said Yumeko.
"How are you even allowed?..."
"I'm not! Oh, yeah, and I baked some curry buns...."
"In the middle of the night-"
"Yeah! You've got it! I made the special curry buns from this anime..." Yumeko trailed off into a long description, and Amane tried hard to pull an interested face and sustain conversation.
How can she talk casually like yesterday was nothing? wondered Amane. Do Prism Shows really not matter to her at all?
"Hi!" Sayuri came running up. "Yume, why weren't you here at the gate with me and Aiko today? Didn't you say you wanted her to wait for you there so you could give her a curry bun or something?"
"Oh right! I totally forgot," said Yumeko, laughing. "Tell Aiko I'll meet her at break instead. I'm too lazy to go down and find her!"
"Dude but..." Sayuri sighed, but then she laughed too. "Aiko's gonna be sooooo mad!"
"Yup, I know," said Yumeko. "But..." Yumeko said in an imitation of Aiko's voice, "Nobody cares!"
Sayuri burst out laughing, then turned to Amane and said, "Aiko's our friend, she's in one of the other classes in our grade."
"Yeah, I know." Of course I would know! You guys hang around like, 24/7, and the sound of your laughter can be heard from 20 feet away.
And I'm not interested in Aiko. All I want to do to turn back time, and go back to 2 weeks ago, and practice, and somehow pull off a successful show... I just... Amane held back her tears, and walked back into the classroom. Obviously, Yumeko and Sayuri were too engrossed in gossiping about Aiko to hear.
"Hi Amane," said Asuka as she walked into the classroom.
"Oh, hi Asuka-chan! Did you do all your japanese homework?" asked Amane brightly.
"No," admitted Asuka. "It was way too hard. Can you help me?"
"Sure, sure." Amane began typing away at Asuka's laptop, helping her fill in all the worksheets.
"Okay, done!" Amane handed Asuka's laptop back, and said, "Tell me if I'd made any mistakes."
"Wow... you're so fast!" exclaimed Asuka. "I knew you were smart!"
Amane smiled wanly, and stuck her headphones in, hoping to distract herself further. But as soon as she turned up the music, she knew something was wrong.
What... happened? I can't seem to... feel the music anymore. It's just... a bunch of notes. It's just... dead.
"Amane!" called her mom as soon as she walked into the door after school.
"Done all your math homework? Remember you've got tutoring tomorrow. I want to see all those worksheets DONE BY TONIGHT. Under-"
"Yes, mom, I get it!" Amane sighed in frustration, and began turning away, knowing she had made a wrong move.
"COME BACK HERE!" yelled Amane's mom.
Shivering, Amane turned around.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK GIVES YOURSELF THE RIGHT TO TALK TO ME LIKE THAT?! SO ONCE I ASK YOU TO DO SOMETHING, YOU'LL JUST GIVE ME THAT SORT OF RESPONSE?! WHY AM I THE ONE WHO DESERVES YOUR KIND OF ATTITUDE?! YOU ONLY KNOW HOW TO EAT, SLEEP, ENJOY YOURSELF, WHILE OTHER PEOPLE DO ALL THE WORK. THAT'S WHAT YOU WANT, RIGHT?! RIGHT??!!?" The rant droned on and on and on, and Amane tried to have a conversation with herself in her head to stop herself from reacting.
You shouldn't have done that.
Yeah, I know! But I just couldn't help it! She was just getting on my nerves! I come back from a bad day of school, and the first thing she says is literally, "DO YOUR HOMEWORK!" I just wanted to-
Forget the Goddess Tiara Cup for now, just work on holding back your emotions, like you always do!
I know, but-
It's important! I know! But you have to learn to hide things better, okay?
Yeah, I understand. But it's hard.
Finally, two days later, she could return to Pretty Top.
I'm so glad my mom isn't at home. She annoys me so much. It's like her full time occupation now. I'm so glad to finally get rid of her for a while, thought Amane. A wave of guilt came over her, but she ignored it.
"Oh, Amane-chan! Hi!" said Aira cheerfully as Amane entered.
"Oh, uh... hi, Aira-san!" said Amane, trying to sound normal.
"I got this for you!" said Aira, handing out a cake box. "To congratulate you on the Goddess Tiara Cup!"
"U-uh.. ehh?" Amane felt her voice shake as she took the box.
"You've worked really hard! I know you've mastered the Twirl Catch by youself! That isn't easy, you know?"
"Oh... thanks!" Amane smiled again, and said, "Well, I'd better be getting to practice now. See you around, Aira-san!"
"See you, Ama-" Wait... is she okay? thought Aira. Because as soon as she turned her back, the smile disappeared...
"Amane-chan!" called Aira.
"Um, yeah?" Amane turned around once more and put on her neutral expression.
"Don't be upset about losing! It doesn't matter, and you can always turn it around into motivation to win next time, right?" Aira said cheerily.
"Oh, you're right!" said Amane, trying to sound convincing. "Thanks so much, Aira-san!"
There's something about Amane though. Something we haven't figured out yet... thought Aira.
As Amane skated around the rink, she couldn't help thinking, if I had practiced more here, if I had done more with my team... I wouldn't have been at this stage.
I wouldn't have failed.
And because I failed... everyone doesn't like me anymore.
My mom, and Sayuri and Yumeko too... all they want to do is to hang out with Aiko. Maybe that's what they used to do before I came along. Well, they're not interested in Prism Shows anymore, aren't they? They haven't mentioned practicing together for ages.
And... Kaori-san. She was disappointed in me. I know she was.
Aira only gave the cake to me out of sympathy. Now, I'm just a loser. Someone people feel sorry for...
And finally, the tears came rolling down her cheeks.
The feelings of anger and hate and sadness were all unleashed in a matter of seconds as she cried.
I was so... I was so...
And suddenly, Amane felt another hand on hers.
"U-u-uhh..." Amane whispered between sobs.
"It's okay," said this new, unfamiliar, yet warm voice. "It's okay." And Amane felt another arm go around her shoulders.
"Cry all you want. Let your emotions out. It's okay. There's nothing wrong with crying," said this mysterious girl.
"But I... but I... failed-"
"You haven't failed," said the girl. "You're crying because you're frustrated. And that's totally fine. It's totally understandable."
"I saw you. You were always working hard. You worked so hard just to master the Twirl Catch. Your determination... really touched my heart," said the girl, letting out a small laugh. "You've always been working hard for everyone around you."
"You're a really nice person, you know, Amane?"
And with those words, Amane began to cry even harder.
"T-Thank you... Thank you... for..." Amane choked between her tears.
"It's okay, you don't have to speak yet," said the girl gently.
"You okay now?" said the girl after several minutes.
"Y-Yeah... I'm uh, fine," said Amane, slightly embarrassed about what had happened earlier.
"There's no need to be embarrassed. I, myself, cry a lot, and I'm not ashamed of it," said the girl.
"Crying isn't a sign of weakness, you know. It just means you need to let out your emotions, and that's only human," she replied.
Amane sat there in silence.
"So that's why I think you should stop blaming yourself," the girl continued. "It's not totally your fault you didn't win. It could have been the judges liking Kaori better from the start. It could've been the fact that Yumeko had a cut on the side of her leg-"
"Wait, she did?" asked Amane in surprise.
"Yeah... I agree that Yumeko definitely should have worked harder, but her leg hurting downgraded her performance by a lot," the girl replied. "So you see... it really isn't your fault!" She smiled.
"What I think you should do, is to go perform right now. Tell your audience, and your fans, that you aren't going to let a little mistake keep you down. Perform a show which will tell them that you're a person who will keep standing up, no matter what!"
And with that, Amane felt a stone lift off her shoulders.
"Thank you, ..." Amane realized she didn't even know the girl's name.
"I'm Misora," the blue haired girl replied. "Itami Misora. And you're... Miyamoto Amane, right?"
Misora smiled once more. "Come on, Amane, perform a show which everybody can be proud of!"
"And um... Misora..san?" asked Amane shyly.
"Thank you so much... what you said to me today... was what I really needed to hear. I just want to say... thank you, Misora... san."
Misora's face suddenly lit up with pleasure. "Thank you, Amane... You performed wonderful shows all the time. It was about time for me to return the favour."
Smiling more than ever, Misora turned and left.
"And now, welcoming Miyamoto Amane on stage!"
Amane skated forward with a smile on her face, as the music begun.
"Counting the lights of the stars quietly,
Hiding my sorrow..." Amane sung her new image song with as much gentleness as she could, but she kept the passion in her voice. Thank you, Misora.
"Have you noticed
Just thinking about you makes my heart hurt"
"I can't sleep
Nights like this
Oh, just let me have one wish..."
"Amane is getting even better, huh?" remarked Mion.
"Yes," replied Aira. "And today seems especially... how do I say this... It's like her show really brings out her personality and character today!"
"That's right," said Mion, smiling. "I think that in time, with training, she would be able to beat Inoue Kaori..."
"Maybe," said Aira, smiling back.
"Falling star of dreams shining in the night sky,
I want to see it from the same place as you.
No matter how far apart are we,
Our hearts will someday become one."
Amane twirled upwards into the air, and found herself... in a multicoloured tunnel.
"Ehh?! So this is the.... PRISM ACT!" shouted Amane as she disappeared into the brightness.
"Nanisore?! What is this? A Prism Act?!... " shouted the audience.
Amane was in the air, with a blanket of white clouds over her. Shades of blue and purple light were shining through them, and they were glowing. Transparent blue fairy wings shot out of Amane's back, this time, bigger than before. She twirled into the air, and smiled.
She then dived upwards into the clouds, and found herself standing in a stunning purple blue sky. Flowers in all sorts of cool colours, such as turquoise, blue, and lavender, were slowly growing in the ground. A flower appeared in Amane's head, and she laughed and flew higher into the mist.
"PRISM ACT! EXQUISITE FAIRYTALE DREAM!"
There was a moment of silence as Amane landed.
Then a sudden roar of applause.
"Amane! You're the best!"
"She's the next Prism Queen for sure!"
"E-Ehhhh?! That was a Prism Act?! So I just...." gasped Amane.
"Hey, why are you still standing there so stiffly? Go wave to your fans!" called Mion.
"O-oh right.." stammered Amane.
"That was a good show. I admit that," said another voice.
"But I swear... you will not surpass me! I will make sure to defeat you someday! You are now... my rival!" yelled Mia. But she held out her hand and smiled.
"Mia...san..." Amane smiled, and clasped Mia's hand.
"Hey, have you seen a girl?" asked Amane. "A girl with messy blue hair, a small bun on top... what was her name again... Ah! I know! Misora-san!"
"Misora? I've never heard of her before," replied Aira. "But anyway, that was a wonderful show, Amane! Ganbatte! Keep it up!"
"Aira-san!" exclaimed Amane happily. "Thank you so much- Hey, you have a few minutes?"
"Let's eat the cake together! It's strawberry, right?" asked Amane.
"Y-Yes... it is. Sorry, I know it might not be your favourite..." answered Aira apologetically.
"Of course it's fine! Because.... strawberry is my favourite too!"
The two suddenly began to laugh.