#16 Makie Sasaki

"Makie!" I turned to see who was calling my name; Ako was waving her hand and running towards me.

"You made it!" I yelled happily, hugging her as soon as she reached me.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world." Ako beamed at me.

"Sasaki Makie, please report to the center of the gymnasium for your performance." A voice said over the loud speaker.

"Good luck Makie." Ako said, "I'll be watching from the stands."

I nodded and left the locker room. Slowly walking to the center of the gym I willed my heart to stopped beating so fast. I'll admit, I was nervous as hell. I could feel the eyes of every person there watching me, as if they were judging me already.

Just ignore them, I thought to myself, I only need to worry about three people. I looked over the judges: one was an old woman that looked like she smelled something bad and that she would bite your head off without a second thought, in the middle was a male teacher – I've never had him but I walked past his classroom once while he was teaching –, and on the far right sat coach.

Her words ran though my head as I began my performance. She too happy-go-lucky. It hurt to hear her say that, but not because she was insulting my personality. Her comment hit much deeper in my heart.

"Rhythmic gymnastics?" My mother scoffed, "Your grades are bad enough as it is and you want to hurt them even more with a distraction?"

"But mom," I complained, "You should have seen Misoko-sempi! She looked like she was having fun and it was so beautiful! Look," I held up a ribbon, "She told me I can do anything if I put my mind to it! She even gave me her ribbon!"

She pulled the ribbon from my hand and ripped the ribbon from the handle. "I you can do anything then why not start studying some more? Be grateful that you're in an elevator school!"

That night I sat on the floor in my room starring at the remains of the beautiful ribbon. There was a knock on the door and I quickly wiped away the tears and hid the ribbon. "Come in."

The door burst open and my dog ran into the room and began licking my face.

"Daddy!" I yelled with glee.

"How are you Makie?" My father said from the doorway. I looked up to my father and tried to keep Daddy's tongue from slobbering over me even more. "I was able to convince your mother that you might get some more motivation if you were involved with sports and she said it's alright."

I dropped Daddy and ran over to hug my father. "Thank you!"

A few months later and I had my first performance. My mother said it was the most graphic thing she had ever seen and that no daughter of hers would ever show that much skin again. I sat sobbing in my room as I listened to my parents fight downstairs.

It was that night that I had the resolve that would prevent me from ever getting hurt again…

By the time I was in 1-A with all of my current friends my parents were divorced and I was back in gymnastics.

As I was close to finishing my routine, I spotted Negi-sensei sitting in the crowd with Ako; a look of awe was painted on his face. Gezze, Negi-sensei really is just a kid isn't he?

I finished with a giant leap and listened to the applause. When I bowed I saw my mother sitting far in the back, her face barely visible. I thought back to that night,

That night I vowed to never take off this mask,

Negi-sensei ran over to me, "That was amazing Makie-san!"

I smiled, "Thanks Negi-sensei!" Out of the corner of my eye I saw my mother stand up and leave. I bit back tears.

This mask of a Happy-Go-Lucky Girl…

As you can see this story is just small exerts from the manga written with thoughts of the girls. Don't worry, not every girl will have family problems! I just haven't written the others yet. And since I don't have an idea for every girl, feel free to send any ideas you have if you wish!

As always, check my profile page to see updates on all of my on-going stories!