Chapter 7 The Long-lasting Bond

We arrived at the planetarium after a long dinner at a Chinese restaurant. The sun had started to set and formed beautiful colours in the blue sky. The clouds were illuminated as light pink and orange, and buildings also reflected the melting sky. Our Saturday was almost over, with only a show left.

"Please get comfortable, the show is about to start," a woman spoke through a microphone. I was in between Yuka and (unfortunately) Tadao, sitting on a black padded chair with arm rests and a bottle of water in the cup holder. The lights went out and the screen above us lit up with bright stars on a black background. "Welcome everyone, to tonight's penultimate showing, which will last one and a half hours. Tonight, you will be discovering more about the universe we live in, and all kinds of different stars. We would like to ask you to turn off your mobile phones and concentrate on the show. Thank you," the woman finished, turning off the microphone and leaving the room. A professor then entered and welcomed us again.

There were only around fifteen people in the planetarium, who besides us, were couples. One couple didn't seem to bother with the show and were already making out in the row in front of us; I was surprised the professor didn't say anything about it. Yuka and Aiko were whispering inaudibly whilst the professor explained what black bodies and dwarf stars were. I admit, his voice was rather like an annoying drone, but what he said was quite interesting.

Thirty or so minutes later, I was ready to doze off. The professor had stopped speaking and was letting the hologram do its stuff by just spinning around in circles, with name labels for the notable stars. I looked to my right and saw Yuka fast asleep, inaudibly breathing. Aiko had her chin on her fist and looked like the most bored person in the world. Seita and Mitsuki were relatively close and Ayumi was also asleep. I didn't dare to look at Tadao, but from the corner of my eye, it appeared he was still awake and watching the projection.

Suddenly, I felt a vibrating sensation on my foot. It was my phone. I panicked but subtly reached into my handbag to check it. It was Belle, the manager for the Three Splendours. Oh... it must've been important if she was calling me internationally. I slipped out to the loo, where the light blinded me, and took the call.


"Ah, Lily. How are you doing? I haven't spoken to you since you left New York!" she mused. I groaned in my head. So it wasn't important.

"I'm fine, thank you. I've done several shoots already, and Misato is really helpful. How are things in New York?" I asked. Even if I didn't want to speak to her, I had to at least try and act friendly.

She sighed. "It's not the same without you here. Marie and Violet can't seem to do things properly. We've already turned down three offers because they haven't been up to it. Did Misato tell you when you would be coming back?"

"No, I haven't really thought about that. You did say that you wouldn't need me till September..."

She chuckled. "Yes, but you must understand that we're in difficulty at the moment... Do you think you could fly back tomorrow just for a couple of days and help us finish some shoots?"

What was she thinking?! Of course I wasn't going to fly all the way back to America to help them do some shoots. They were absolutely fine without me! "Sorry Belle, I don't think that's possible. You'll have to ask Misato, because I'm quite happy staying here."

"Listen Lily, it isn't all about you. Think about Violet and Marie, they're really struggling without you here!"

They were not! What was Belle trying to do? Why was she being so insistent? Violet and Marie were just as good as me, and they did not need me, at all. "Is Marie there? Can I speak to her?"

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