Hi again... Who missed me?
Ah well... what can you do?
In any case, welcome to the sequel of Those Mindnumbingly Boring Day. I know I said that this would only start in December, but the worst of my exams are over and I got bored.
That being said, you might recognize the title of this, and if you do, I'll give you a cookie for paying attention when you were following TWGOK, either from the manga or the anime.
Well, I've said enough... This basically picks off a month after Chihiro's conquest ended, and maybe a week or two before the 4 Girls Plus Idol chapters. I know... I did miss that one chapter where they started playing, but I don't think it needed any more elaboration.
And so, it begins again...
I stood outside my parent's room, the paper shaking in my hands and the corridor's temperature a good five degrees hotter than normal. I pulled the front of my T-shirt, hoping some non-existent breeze would cool me down.
'Good luck with that!' My father's laughing voice repeated in my head. Just yesterday, I'd showed the paper to him, but he told me to take it to my mother…
Which is why, at 8:15 pm, after mum has eaten her daily chocolate piece, and is in her best mood, I was quaking outside her room, waiting till I got the guts to go in.
After ten minutes of reaching towards the door handle then pulling back, I heard the door to my brother's room open.
"Ah, Nee-chan," he said, louder than what I would've liked, so I quickly put my finger to my lips so he'd shut up. He got the message and tiptoed to where I was.
"Don't tell me you got your report already?" He whispered.
"Please… this is way worse than any report," I lowered the paper and moved my hands, which had left wet marks on the side. I pointed at what I wanted.
"It's just a guitar…" his eyebrows furrowed. I then pointed at the price. His eyes widened.
"Wow… you could get a lot of games for that…"
"Exactly… Now I have to beg Mum to buy this for me…" he smirked.
"Good luck with that…" he patted my shoulder, "and if you don't come back, I'll take your room…"
As he was walking away, I landed a well aimed kick on his butt, causing him to stumble and lurch forward. He stuck his tongue at me anyway.
Once he was gone, and my momentary amusement disappeared, the fear started up again, and I considered trying again tomorrow, like how I'd been saying for the last three days.
It's 8:23 already, and her sugar induced happiness window will nearly be closed now…
But if I stop now, I'll never get the guts to step in… I sighed and knocked on the door.
When I stepped in, with the newspaper catalogue behind me back, it seemed like Oka-san was just about ready for bed. She even had had her book open on her lap.
"Umm… Oka-san?" She glanced up over her glasses at me. I gulped and continued.
"You see… you know I've picked up learning guitar as a hobby, right?"
"Yeah… what of it?" her hazel eyes narrowed, probably because she understood where she was getting at.
"For the last month, I've been borrowing the guitar I was using from Chitose's friend, but I can't keep using it forever…"
"Alright," she sighed, "so what's behind your back?"
I pulled the catalogue out from behind me, and pointed at the guitar I liked.
"I know this looks like a lot of money, but it comes with the amp as well as some other stuff, so it actually is cheaper than usual…"
"No…" she said bluntly before turning back to her book.
"But you didn't even here what the other stuff was…"
"I don't particularly care… I've known you for sixteen years, and picking up hobbies on whim is something you do. Who's there to say you'll even want to play guitar in two weeks time?"
"But I've been playing for a month, and I'm still interested…"
"And how often do you play? Twice a week, maybe?"
"Ah…" I was going to disagree, but her estimate was closer to the truth, "I've just been a little busy, but it doesn't mean I don't want to play…"
"Look Chihiro, I understand, but spending this much for something you're not even that interested in… It's a waste… You should just find a hobby which doesn't need specialized equipment…"
"Maybe…" I stared at my bare feet.
"If you want to do baking or knitting or something, I'll buy you whatever you want, but this is a bit much…"
"I see… sorry for bothering you…" I took the catalogue with me as I left her room.
Back in my room, I sat on the edge of my bed and looked at the wooden guitar at the foot of my bed. I was pretty lucky I got to borrow this long…
I'll have to give it back tomorrow, so I guess this is over now…
I pulled the guitar over to my lap and pushed myself back till I was against the wall.
Honestly, I don't want to give this up…
We were going to be a band… me, Ayumi, Ellie and Miyako… But this can't work if I don't play something… Even if I can do vocals, my voice isn't pretty enough to justify me doing one thing…
But Oka-san has a point… I just don't play enough… to warrant buying a brand spanking new guitar.
Still… it's not as if I didn't care… I honestly was busy… you can't play without some technical knowledge… I was too busy learning how to play this thing to actually play this thing. I learned what all the strings were (every angry dog growls, barks, then eats…) then I learned how to tune a guitar, with the help of that mp3 on how the thickest string must sound… then I learned chords…
Everything I'd learned was scribbled down and stuck by my bed so I could look at it, but it only got harder.
Transferring those notes to reality was easier said than done… Trying to play the five chords I knew… the thicker strings just didn't want to stay down…
Maybe I should give up… It's not like my hands are strong enough for this, and it makes my fingers sore…
That would be for the best…
I'll tell Ayumi tomorrow…
Still… I remember when this whole music craze started… The guitar had been sitting at the corner of my room for half a week after Nee-san had returned back to Tokyo, when I just decided to try it out. The sound wasn't that pretty, so I tried to sing louder than it, yet somehow, I realized I liked that.
So I asked Ellie if she wanted to learn with me… Somehow, I did manage to convince her.
A few days later, once I had gotten a better grip on the guitar, I was going to ask Mappy-chan as well.
We were actually sending each other emails during class… Takahashi-sensei had bored the rest of the class to a stupor, so it was fine.
'I was thinking of starting a band… wanna join?'
'That'd be fun… Though what did Ayumi-san say when you asked her?'
'I haven't asked her… Was I supposed to?'
'Wow… you're super dense, aren't you?'
'Am I missing something?'
'Kinda… yeah… Even look at her now.'
At that point, I looked up over my phone, and as Mappy-chan had mentioned, Ayumi wasn't in a stupor. She was actually watching me out of the corner of her eyes.
My phone vibrated again.
'I don't know if you've noticed, but she's been hinting at you that she would be interested…'
I put my chin on the desk, wondering back. That would explain why she'd been humming quite a lot… and why she was talking with Miyako about playing keyboard… and she'd even shown me some music videos on Youtube…
My God, I've been dumb… Normally, Ayumi isn't that into music, but she was trying to show me that she could be…
But I've already got Ellie to upstage me… Ayumi will only be worse…
But that's just plain rude… to not ask her because of my own insecurities…
Ayumi truly does want to play… I'll ask her after class. I felt my phone vibrate again, but it was from Ayumi this time.
'Sure, I'd love to join your band…'
Is she psychic? I glanced up, and she had a huge smile on her face, which made me feel guiltier that I hadn't considered asking her before… Still, at least she joined, in the end…
In the end, it had turned out Mappy-chan had asked her in my stead, and Ayumi wasn't actually a mind reader. When I had talked to Mappy-chan later, she declined her invitation, saying that this was a perfect time to hang out, and get closer to Ayumi.
It had been one of those subconscious decisions my mind had made, but Ayumi really had a sparkling presence, which I both admired and wanted to stay away from, because it made me feel worse about myself, but it was about time I got over that.
Still, I was the one who started this band idea… it was unfortunate that I'd have to cancel it already…
Though we haven't even had any practice sessions… And Ayumi didn't have her guitar yet. It's alright if I cancel it now.
I picked my phone up from my bedside and called Ayumi.
"Ayumi… how's it going?"
"You'll never guess what I got," she moved her phone, and I could hear some strumming, "I think that was an A minor…"
"Actually, that was just an A. All your fingers are on the same fret, right?"
"Yeah… that's quite impressive you got that over the phone…"
"Actually, I downloaded an mp3 on how all the notes are supposed to sound, so it isn't impressive…"
"That's what you think, but I think you're pretty amazing, starting this band and all…"
"Aah," I rubbed my hair, "I just did it− Wait, did you get a guitar!?"
Wow… that took super long to sink in… I must be getting dumber by the day. She chuckled.
"I was waiting for you to comment on that… Papa caved and we went to buy it at Inazumart today."
"That's great…" no it's not! I can't tell her now!
"So why were you calling?" And the mind reading continues…
"Err… it was nothing, really… I just wanted to say goodnight."
"That's really sweet… I'm glad, though… you're voice sounded really low, that I thought you had some bad news…"
"I-I'm just a bit sleepy, so… There's no bad news…"
"That's good then. You caught me just as I was going to sleep, anyway… Good night!"
"Sleep tight, then…"
"I know I will… my new guitar is so cute… I can't wait to show you it…"
I closed the phone, guiltier than ever… It's not like I can even say that it's still early enough that I wouldn't be causing any trouble by quitting.
I fell, face first, into my blanket.
"What's with the sigh?" Chitose asked. When did he even get here?
"Oka-san said no… but this has gone further than just me… Saying I'll quit will cause more problems for my friends…"
"Who says you have to quit?"
"Well, you need a guitar to play guitar…"
"So… do you want to quit?"
I pulled my head out of the bed and leaned it back on the wall, being careful to not disturb the notes which were stuck there with sticky putty. That was a good question…
I mean, this stuff is pretty hard, and I still haven't gotten the hang of it…
But this brought me and Ayumi together… even though we hang out during class, we don't actually have much in common, so it would be nice to have this…
And this is fun… I guess my answer is pretty clear.
"No… I want to keep learning till I can play something…" He smirked.
"I knew it… It's a pity Oka-san is stubborn about stuff like this…" He started eying the papers behind me, so I quickly adjusted my arms to hide the worst of it from him.
"Like you'd know… Oka-san has been on board with your soccer hobby since day one…" He snorted.
"That's what you think… it still took a good week to convince her I needed soccer cleats…"
"Is that so, huh?"
The wall was bloody uncomfortable, so I grabbed my pillow so I could cushion my back. Plus, it helped with covering the papers a little more. He stopped staring there and continued speaking.
"Yeah… she said I'd get bored with it soon enough, and I should just use my sneakers… In the end, she caved when I showed her how I'd worn them down…"
"That sounded surprisingly easy…"
"That wasn't all… Sneakers also mess with your aim, so I also had to kick a ball through the window to close the deal," he looked weirdly proud of himself.
"Why are you so chuffed that you broke a window…" He sighed.
"My dear, naïve sister… When it affects our mother's pocket, she will be much more likely to fall for your cause…"
So… I have to be obnoxious if I want Oka-san to consider buying that guitar for me.
Obnoxious kind of works for me… I am pretty obnoxious by nature…
"So what do I have to do, Chitose?" His face screwed up in concentration.
"You have to convince Oka-san how much you want this…"
"But there won't be any monetary benefit for her to buy this guitar…"
The room fell to silence as both of us considered what could be possibly convince our mother that buying that guitar would be in her best interests… Then we looked at each other as the idea clicked. The same crafty smile was on both our faces.
"Oka-saaan…" I whispered as I entered her room. She still was awake. Oto-san must've been in the bathroom, because he wasn't here. I walked in.
"What is it?" then she saw I had Chitose's friend's guitar with me, "are you going to play something for me?"
A slight smile came to her face.
"Not exactly… I just want you to know how serious I am about this…." Then I lifted the guitar high above my head.
"What are you doing?" A panicked edge came to her voice, just like how I wanted.
"You like saving money, right?" The guitar was heavier than I expected, and it was shaking in my hands, "then if you agree to buy that guitar for me, I won't do anything to this guitar…"
"What are you talking about?" her voice got dangerously low and her already small eyes narrowed.
"If I broke this guitar, then you'd need to replace it… You'd still be out of money, without having gotten anything out of it…"
I took a deep breath to try and calm myself down, but obviously, my mother's signature glare didn't help in the slightest.
"Is this truly how you want to go about it?"
"I-i-if it works, then yes!"
If I was sweating before, by now, my body was as hot as the sun, and my grip around the guitar neck was slipping. I lowered it.
"You honestly don't get it, do you?" Oka-san laughed without humour.
"What's there to get? I-i-it would benefit you to just listen to-"
"Get out…" she said coldly.
"I said for you to leave… I refuse to be threatened by my own children over something stupid like this…" She then climbed out of bed. I edged towards the door.
"I don't give a damn about how much it costs, but if it's just going to pick up dust in some corner, I'd rather you broke a thousand guitars than if I brought you one…"
"And considering you'd use something you want as a hostage for your selfish game… You just cemented my point that you don't care about it enough."
The door slammed in my face, and my legs, which had slowly been losing energy throughout that conversation finally buckled, and I fell to the floor.
That… wasn't how I wanted it to go… But that was a really risky idea in the first place.
Well, you reap what you sow…
When I mustered the energy to mover, I went back to my room. Chitose was still on my bed, reading the notes I had made, but I didn't have the energy to stop him, or the energy to even care. He glanced at me.
"I'm guessing that didn't go well?"
"No shit, Sherlock…" I muttered, before faceplanting on my pillow, "go to your room…"
For once, he wasn't difficult about it. I felt him move off…
"What did she say?"
"That I didn't get it… and that I was selfish in taking that guitar hostage…"
"It kinda is like that…"
"Though I don't get it… you broke a window and there weren't any major consequences... I just threatened a guitar and all hell breaks loose."
"Maybe it was the guitar… you truly cared for it, you wouldn't put it in danger…"
Huh… he might be right about that…
"I guess that wasn't a well thought plan at all… Even still, how can I fix this now?"
"Maybe you could show her how much playing this actually means to you…"
"But how can I do that? I can't even play any songs on this yet?"
"Maybe you should do that then? I'm sure you can try some beginner song or something…"
"But I can't read tabs yet…"
"Then what's all that?" he indicated to the wall.
"That's chords and other stuff…" I half lied. While I did have some notes on tab reading, it was still too difficult to apply to real life music.
"So… you'll have to apply that stuff one day… Why not start now?"
Yeah… I pulled myself up.
I wanted this… for mine and Ayumi's sake…
I'm sure Ayumi has faced some hard stuff herself, and she got over them just fine.
"You're pretty smart for a jock…" he shrugged, "You're right, though… If Oka-san wants to see me serious, then I'll have to do a little better than that…"
"Attagirl," Chitose gave me a thumbs up, "I'll leave you to your work then. Don't stay up to late."
I barely noticed that he left, because I was too busy sorting through the papers that I'd haphazardly stuck on the wall.
Sorry, Oka-san, but I'm going to get that guitar!
So now, the question remains... Will Chihiro convince her mother to get that guitar set? Or was the guitar breaking stunt too much.
Anyhoo, stay tuned... The answer will come next chapter.