There were too much emotions and tears for Sakurai Reika as she looks at Wakatsuki Yumi in her black dress, handing flowers and gratitude for her last concert.
This is it.
Even when she told her about graduating, Reika never thought it’ll be enough to mentally prepare. Seven years of companionship and she basically had a whole big family in Nogizaka. And Yumi is special.
“Arigatou.” Wakatsuki held out the flower and slightly kneels for her, as Reika looks down to her dear Yumi.
It was both professional and personal.
As captain of the group, Reika was barely speaking by the ending. Even when people cheer along the last song, she was clutched by deep longing and despair.
The person to look for beside her. A familiar presence in almost every event. Wakatsuki was her person.
And Danke Sheen was ending.
With a loud cheer, confetti fell across the audience seat and all the member retreat to the back stage.
There were a lot of people in the backstage yet Sakurai felt a pang of loneliness.
Wakatsuki Yumi in her best smile greets and wishes everyone to continue their support on Nogizaka.
“You’d still be in Nogizaka, Reika,” Wakatsuki said as they talked the night before her graduation, “And I’ll be supporting you from the side, just like always.”
Reika waited at the bottom of the exit staircase as Yumi steps down with each click of footsteps in her high heel.
“Reika..” Wakatsuki smiles again with her damp eyes and pulls her into a gentle embrace, “Thank you for being here for me.”
“I…I’m going to miss you,” Sakurai tugs on her sleeve and continued, “But I’ll do my best so you must too.”
“It’s not the end,” Wakatsuki tries to laugh and steadied Reika by her arms, “We’ll still see each other when we can, go to each other’s performances.”
Reika just nodded as everyone moves to clear the stage and head back to rest. She lost count of the hugs, cheerful and tearful members that came to greet and talk to Wakatsuki before she leaves.
She was looking out for everyone that even the juniors were lost at words as she patted their heads and gave encouragements.
Nippon Budokan glitters in the night as Wakatsuki sighs at one last look, feeling both overwhelmed and satisfied while Reika looks at her silently.
The chilly air of December at 1am was refreshing.
“Let’s go home,” Wakatsuki smiled and stuffed Reika’s hand into her coat, “we can walk until you feel better.”
Reika gave her hand a tiny squeeze, “Can I stay over for tonight?” But tears started to pool as she lifts her head up to look at the sky.
“Absolutely,” Wakatsuki replied, “Anything for you.”
P/S: If there is anything that can help us get through the feeling of separation, it must be the chance of meeting each other again.