25: Make Me

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I'm late but happy birthday to our beautiful goddess!!!
             "The park is so beautiful at night," Y/n commented as we walked around a local park.
             I nodded in agreement as I admired the scenery. It was a bit chilly since it was still technically winter, but spring was coming soon. Then we could go visit the cherry blossoms again.
               "Aqours is disbanding in the spring, right?" She asked.
                "Yes," I simply replied.
                Y/n was upset, of course, at the idea of Aqours no longer performing, but she accepted it and was glad that she at least got to experience things that many fans couldn't.
                  "I'm glad I got the chance to be friends with all of Aqours. I'm glad I met you."
                   I smiled, tears forming in my eyes, knowing that soon we will be giving our last performance as Aqours. I knew that no matter what, we will still be Aqours, till the end.
                   "I feel the same way," I said.
                   Later, we went back to the apartment and watched a movie. I felt warm under the blanket, next to Y/n. It felt like a perfect winter day. A wave of nostalgia washed over me as I remembered how I first met Y/n about a year ago. How things have changed since then.
                     "Hey, Y/n," I started.
                     She hummed in response and turned towards me, giving me her undivided attention.
                      "About the other day..."
                      "I completely understand. I don't think we need to plan it out or rush anything. It'll happen naturally and I'll be ready when you are," She smiled warmly at me.
                      Her smile made my heart melt for the thousandth time. I always knew I could depend on her and I always knew she would understand.
                       "Thank you."
                       She chuckled happily at nothing in particular and planted a kiss on my forehead,"No problem."
––––––––
                      The days went by and it was officially the first day of Aqours final live. We all gifted Y/n a front row VIP seat for both days, which made her so happy she burst into tears of joy. It was understandable that she would enjoy having good seats, but it's not as if she didn't see us very often.
I got up early in the morning to prepare for the concert. As I got up, Y/n instantly rolled over to the part where I laid.
"Rikako..." She mumbled in her sleep.
I quietly giggled to myself as I softly planted a kiss on her cheek before heading into the bathroom to get changed. Afterwards, I left a note on the nightstand by the bed and left the apartment. I made my way to venue where we would all meet. I noticed that not everyone had arrived yet, so we would have to wait.
"Are you ready, Anchan?" I asked.
"We've performed so many times before on so many different stages, so of course I'm ready to perform. I'm not sure if I'm ready to let go of Aqours," She spoke sadly.
"Don't worry. We'll always be friends."
                        "Yup!" Everyone agreed.
                        We got up on stage and gave the best performance we could give with our hearts pounding with excitement. The second day went just as well, but we tried even harder. Everything was perfect. It was a memory I will never forget.
                          "I'm so tired," King groaned.
                           "Me too," Shuka agreed.
                           We all looked at each other as if we were examining one another. All of a sudden, we all burst into tears, knowing that this was the end. We've all grown so much over the years. It's difficult letting go. Where will life take us next?
"You did amazing out there," Y/n exclaimed, embracing me tightly.
I found comfort in her hug, "Thank you for cheering so loudly."
She laughed softly,"That's just me being me."
"Let's go home."
"Okay!" She grinned brightly.
She drove the both of us home in her car. The car ride was silent, with only the sound of the radio breaking the silence between us. Back at the apartment, we both rested on the couch, tired after yesterday and today's events.
I leaned my head against her shoulder and relaxed for the first time today. Y/n grabbed my hand, kissing the back of it. I felt that same warm feeling again.
"Hey Y/n, surely, you have loved another girl before me, haven't you?" I asked curiously.
She nodded,"It was a long time ago, back in high school, but I got over her."
"What happened?"
She sighed, "She never felt the same way and I knew I could never change that. She was the last girl I loved. She made me forget what it felt like, but then you came along."
I silently listened as she explained her story.
"You helped me remember," She continued. "You gave me the feeling of love and so much more. Sure, my feelings for you as a teenager was probably just me idolizing you, but eventually I fell for you as an adult. I fell so deep and then, I knew you were the one."
I smiled,"I like getting to know you better."
"What about you?"
"I would say I don't have much experience with love. I didn't know much of it, but now I feel like an expert," I giggled.
She teased,"Love master Aida-san."
"Yeah, right."
We laughed the night away until we found ourselves dozing off on the couch, only to awake to a burning rays of the morning sunlight.
                      "Off to work?" Y/n asked as I was putting on my shoes.
                     I hummed in response,"Off to school?"
                     "Yeah," She smiled. "Let me drive you."
                     "Thank you."
                     "It's nothing. You know I'd do anything for you," She replied.
                     "Don't say that so easily. You never know what I could make you do," I joked.
                     "I trust you," She chuckled, kissing my cheek. "Let's go."
                    I grabbed my bag and headed out the door. Y/n closed the door behind us and followed me to her car. She opened the door, letting me in, and started the engine. Then, we were off to our busy lives.

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