When Midori showed up at my door, it took all I had not to reveal how shocked I was. After all, it had been a while.
When I went to college, she was one of the only things that stopped me from breaking under all the pressure. She'd come over to my dorm room, chat up my roommate, take me out to dinner or shop with me, tell me how stardom was turning out for her. Sometimes, just to bully me, she'd point out that I could have achieved the same status if I had stuck with Shell Plate, but she gave up on that one after a while. She became one of my closest friends, and she tried to make time for me.
However, when she went out on a world tour with her band and I got caught up in schoolwork, the communications began to fade out, and we pretty much went our separate ways. She hit the top of the celebrity social ladder, while I worked through my four years and saw her face in the magazines my roommate liked to read. Where Midori took on everything I came close to, I wondered if I had made a mistake. But I soon brushed that off as being naïve. I graduated from college, and that was something I would've put off if I stayed with Shell Plate.
I made the right choice, I told myself over and over as time went on. I made the right choice. I know I did.
But as I left college and moved into a rented apartment with the little furniture I could take from my home, it occurred to me that I was really lonely. My roommate had gotten engaged and broken off communication with me, so living with her was out of the question. My family was back at home…hell, I didn't even have a pet. It made my nights so quiet, and it got kind of lonesome after a few months.
But then Midori showed up again. And I mean this in the most literal sense- she really just knocked on my door one night without any warning, shouted my name and glomped me- all within the course of two seconds.
"Midori?!" I squeaked, trying to handle hugging her and keeping from being hit by one of her suitcases all at once. "H-how did you get here?"
"Aw, you can't just be enthusiastic that I decided to visit?" she asked, pouting. Before I could apologize, however, her smile returned. "I asked the guy down at the front desk if he knew the name. It's been a while, huh? How's it been? You're out of college, I see. That's good to hear. How's the place treating you? No bugs? No drafts? No noisy neighbors?"
God, it's like listening to a chipmunk on caffeine.
"Um…Midori," I said, cutting her off from her interrogation. "Want to come inside?"
A moment later, Midori was slumped across my couch, surrounded by four suitcases, two sets of fake, fluffy hair, and her tiny backpack. She was pulling her actual hair out of its bun and shaking it into place around her shoulders.
"Well," she said, "I might as well tell you why I decided to track you down." I frowned.
"I thought you said it was because you wanted to visit me."
"That too, but there is an ulterior motive," she admitted with a sly grin.
Of course there is.
"Go on," I said, falling back on an armchair and looking over at her. Midori's eyes strayed to the corner of the room, where my electric guitar sat on its stand.
"There's my motive," she said. "You haven't touched your guitar since you went to college, have you? And no, picking it up to move it in here doesn't count," she said, causing me to close my mouth again. "You completely abandoned that dream since you left Shell Plate. How dishonorable of you."
"Um…ouch," I said, cringing. She came here just to make me feel bad about not playing the guitar? Midori smiled again.
"I'm not here to put you down, though, Michelle. I want to help you get your dream back." She stood, picked up my guitar, and dropped it in my lap with a smile. "My band needs a second guitarist. You know, to make the sound more unique? Two is better than one, as they always say. Play a chord for me." My fingers instinctively touched against the strings, and I strummed a simple chord. God, I missed that feeling. The soft vibrations of the strings against my hands, and the echoing sound it produced. Midori must have noticed my happiness, because she leaned forward, pressing her chin to her hands.
"Michelle. You'll have a job that you like. You won't have to pay for this apartment anymore, since you can move in with me. You won't be bored, you'll have friends, you'll make a name for yourself again. What do you have to lose?"
What do I have to lose? I sat in silence, pondering the offer. There was one thing, though…the fact that I had been separated from them. My old band. And yet…
"I guess so," I said without thinking. Before my expression could give away my surprise at my own words, Midori squealed and hugged me yet again.
"I knew it! Thank you, Michelle! I'll pick out a nickname for the public to know you by…you'll be famous in no time!"