Rating: PG...13? Lol, they're silly and cuss and stuff.___________________________________
I hate roller skating rinks.
They are smelly and germy and retro and too loud and too gross and they have terrible taste in music.
So, naturally, Jun had to take me to one.
Jun is this dorky kid that I've known since we were in diapers. He has dyed black hair and brown eyes, a wide, toothy grin and some crazy singing and dancing talent. He was in the sixth grade play every year of primary school despite his age. When we were thirteen. he got accepted into Johnny's Entertainment without an audition, making him an elite member right off the bat. I remember when he told me, he sat me down and said it sadly. I got excited for him, but he just frowned and said that Johnny's boys aren't allowed to date.
I honestly did not understand why he was so sad until about a month later when my hormones caught up with his.
At age fifteen, he was sent to Hawaii to debut in a new group called Arashi, making him extremely busy. We still talked and emailed, but he started getting home schooled and we hardly ever saw each other. For a year, we managed to talk every day and see each other on the weekends.
Two summers after Arashi debuted, things went downhill.
My mother told me that my high metabolism and long legs would go to waste if I didn't start modeling. I figured that having some extra cash for college and things would be nice, so I got myself an agent. Modeling wasn't too hard, you just stand around and let someone play dress up with you. The part I wasn't expecting was the insane schedule, the fact that a photo shoot could end in two hours or seven, depending on the photographer and the other models. I started online courses, the high school I was attending didn't appreciate the unpredictable ways of the job I had acquired.
Since both of us were working long hours, the only time Jun and I were available to talk on the phone was late at night, when both of us were exhausted and should have been sleeping. We kept at it for a month or so, then agreed that we would speak again when things cooled down. Without realizing it, it had been nearly eleven years since we last talked, much less gotten together.
One day, while I was surfing the net on my day off, my manager called me.
"Naka-san, there is a modeling request being processed. I think you'll like it."
I rolled my eyes. The last time he said that, it was a 'Got Milk' ad. That white concoction was disgusting. I kept on scrolling through my Google images search of American hamburgers. "Is that so? I'm in the middle of something very important, you know."
There was a pause. "You're looking at food."
I sat up straight and looked around. "How did you know?"
Kashiku-sama laughed. "I know you, Minami-chan. Now about that modeling request..."
"Right, right," I said, going back to my Google search.
"It's with Arashi."
I froze. Arashi meant Jun. Modeling. With Jun. "Yeah, sure. I'll do that."
I could hear the smugness in Kashiku's voice. "Great. I'll send it through," he said.
I hung up and stared at me phone. After eleven years of no contact, we were going to meet again. I wondered if he had requested me, then realized that that was silly. He probably didn't even know I'd be coming.
I've been admiring Jun from afar, trying to work up the nerve to call him again. Arashi was huge now, and they were everywhere. It seemed that every time I turned on the TV, some Arashi variety show or commercial or drama was playing. I watched VS Arashi every week and bought their two latest CDs. I haven't gone to a concert, but I do have all of Hana Yori Dango and both PIKANCHI movies on DVD. I wonder if Jun ever saw me in magazines and reminisced like I did. I wondered if he had seen my in one of my many commercials and smiled.
I noticed my phone in my hand. I opened it to the dozens of contacts I had collected over the years and scrolled down until "Jun-chan" was on the small screen. I doubted that it was the right number. Surely he had had to change phones since they were in high school.
I clicked call and put it to my ear before I could change my mind. It rang twice, then the other end picked up.
I gaped at my empty room.
"Moshi moshi? Matsumoto desu. Can you hear me?"
I shook my head violently to wake myself up. "Ah, gomen! It's been a while, ne?"
"...Sorry, who is this?"
"I can't believe you deleted my number, Jun-chan! After everything we've been through."
There was a long pause. "Mi-chan?"
I couldn't help but smile. "Hello, Mr. Idol. Still got time for me?"
Two weeks later, I was standing in a line with four other girls. Cameras were on us and we all wore matching black jogging suits, pant legs rolled up at the end. To our left, Arashi was talking about their last Mannequin 5 special.
"Well, this year," Nakajima-san said. "You boys not only have to dress up yourselves, but also one of these lovely female models. The public will vote on their favorite couple and the one with the most votes wins."
The five nodded. I watched them all look over at us and caught Jun grinning at me.
"He knows something you don't," Erika, the girl next to me, whispered. I quietly agreed as Nakajima-san spoke.
"The one who got first place last year will be the first to choose their partner."
I nearly coughed, remembering last year's competition. Jun had won by a landslide with his winter get up.
Jun smiled at me. "Naka Minami, come here."
I tried to hide my glee as I joined him.
We hadn't gotten the chance to talk before the show started filming. I was nearly late and was put in a room separate from his to get makeup and the suit on. When I stood next to him, he pulled me into a hug. The first hug in eleven years.
"Ah, soudesu ne." Nino said. "You guys know each other.
"Mi-chan was my friend since before primary school all the way up until we were... sixteen? Seventeen?" Jun looked at me.
"Seventeen, I think. That's when I landed my modeling job."
"Right." Jun turned back to Nakajima-san. "Two to seventeen. We haven't seen each other since then, though."
There were assorted "Uwa"s and "Sugoi"s among the crew and members. I stood, smiling, acting pretty, until everyone had picked their partners and headed off into the mall.
When we got to the building, I realized how different variety shows were from modeling. In modeling, it's pose and shoot, pose and shoot, pose and shoot. You get breaks and you can slouch and eat food. In this case, we would be walking around for five hours with constant cameras. it would be impossible to be a constant model for five hours.
So I let it all hang loose.
I stopped trying to be pretty for the camera. I slouched and leaned on walls and laughed at Jun being silly. If I'm going to get famous, it should be for being me, not being that "pretty girl Matsu-Jun knew as a kid."
We started on the third floor, trying to get away from the other members. Jun had grabbed my hand and pulled me to the escalator, taking the moving steps two at a time.
"Wait up," I said. "It's five in the morning, dammit."
He laughed. "this is exciting! You're gorgeous, by the way. I wasn't expecting that."
There was a moment where my heart stopped. I snorted to cover up my flattery. "I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not."
"It's a compliment, promise." He smiled and pulled me to a store with racks of sun dresses and swimsuits. "This years theme is 'a stroll down the beach'. See anything you like.
I shifted through a few bikinis. "Do I get to keep it afterwards?"
"If we use it in the final outfit, yes."
I found a dress with orange cinching around the chest and polka dots down the navy blue skirt. "I like this."
Jun took it and held it up to me. "You'd look good in it, you've got nice legs."
I laughed. "How can you even tell? I'm wearing a baggy sweat suit!"
He winked. "I looked you up yesterday."
I felt my face get hot. A lot of the shoots I did were, well, skimpy. I can't control that, but that's the way it works out. It's not weird when people you don't know see it in a magazine, but this guy that I used to be best friends with deliberately went out to find photos of me. I was a bit embarrassed.
"Aw, don't blush. You look good in close to no clothes."
I hit him firmly on the back of his head. "I do have some dignity, you know."
He grinned. "That's the Minami I remember. C'mon." He told the clerk that we were taking the dress and led me to another store, hand holding mine.
Throughout the day, Jun held my hand and kissed me cheek and wrapped his arms around my waist playfully. He would help me try on jackets and shoes and even asked if I needed help while trying on a pair of shorts. I wondered how Johnny-san would react to all the flirting Jun was doing. Surely he watched Himitsu no Arashichan, and surely he still doesn't allow dating. I thought Jun was being reckless and asking to be kicked out of Johnny's, and I told him so, but he didn't seem to mind.
"We haven't seen each other in ages, Mi-chan. Let me have some fun."
"Making out in private is fun, risking your job isn't."
Jun raised an eyebrow and got closer than he already was. "Is that an invitation?"
I slapped him across the face and was thankful that the camera men with us had all found something else ultimately more interesting to video tape. "You are asking to lose your job, Jun! You can do what you want in your own time, but we are filming a TV show! Please, at least try to keep it PG."
He looked at me in what seemed to be surprise, but soon changed to regret. "You're right. I'm sorry." He turned away slightly, allowing me to exhale in relief. Then, in one swift motion, he grabbed one of my hands and, before I could stop him, swooped down to kiss me.
On the lips.
With cameras everywhere.
I should slap him again, I thought. I should step on his toes. I should punch him in the gut.
My body wasn't listening to my obviously correct brain. Me other hand went to the back of his neck and our mouths moved together.
It felt so damn good.
Not just because kissing is wonderful, but because it was with Jun. That dorky short-sighted kid that I had played with when I was little. The one who taught me how to tango. The one I showed how to jump rope. The one I learned my times tables with. It was the same guy, no matter how old or famous he got. Still cocky, still goofy, still Jun.
When we pulled away from each other, his arms stayed at my waist and my hand lingered on his jaw.
"Well, crap," he said. "That probably wasn't PG, was it?"
I chuckled. "You're lucky you're a good kisser."
Eeeeeew what the hell is this.
I'm so sorry.
Too large for one post so second half is here.