Sae yawned loudly as she walked to school. She rubbed her eyes, not noticing when Suda-kun snuck behind her, smacking her back as a morning greeting. Sae jumped, startled by his greeting, made the boy chuckle.
“What’s the matter? You seem jumpy this morning.”
“Ah… Sorry, Dasu. I stayed up late last night, so I’m tired.”
“I see. Anything happen?”
“Nah, just studying.”
The two chuckled as they entered the school.
“You seriously need to go to sleep earlier. It’s because you’re always up late.”
“I have unlimited energy. Fatigue can’t break me!” Sae said energetically, making the boy laugh again.
“Your hyperactiveness scares me sometimes.”
As they head to their classroom, they crossed paths with Yuki. Sae suddenly remembered her dream from the previous night. She didn’t know what to make of the fact that Yuki had appeared in her dreams, but she didn’t worry about it and smiled to Yuki.
“Yukirin, ohayou~” she said.
“A-ah, good morning, Sae,” she said, seeming deep in thought about something.
“Hm?” Sae stopped in her tracks before turning around, tapping Yukirin’s shoulder. “Hey, everything okay?”
“Oh, yeah. Just a little tired. I had a weird dream last night.”
Sae tensed up a bit. “I-is that so?”
“Un… But I don’t remember it too clearly. I never really remember my dreams.”
“Ah, alright. Well, I guess I’ll see you later, then.”
Yuki smiled back, giving her a nod. “Yeah. See you.”
As they left, Yuki continued toward her classroom, but with a puzzled look on her face. She had lied to Sae; she actually did remember a portion of her dream. In her dream, she saw Sae, but she looked like a prince.
She had no idea why she dreamed that. She had only just met Sae, so why?
“Kashiwagi-san~” A familiar voice chimed as Yuki was approached by Rena-sensei. “You look cute this morning~”
“Oh, thanks, sensei.”
“I really am jealous, someone so young can be so pretty.”
“Mou, sensei, you’re very pretty, too. And still young.”
“Ahh~ you flatter me~” Rena giggled, Yuki kind of chuckling at her ditzy behavior. “Speaking of, a little bird told me you’re going to audition for this spring’s musical. Is that true?”
“Oh, yes! Sae-senpai talked me into it.”
“Aw, you two are so cute. Break a leg!”
During P.E., Sae was practicing by herself, bouncing the ball against the wall when approached by a young underclassman of hers.
“Senpai, you seem to be working hard as usual,” she said with a cat-like smirk.
“Ah, Jurina-chan. You could say that.”
Sae decided to take a break and sat beside her kouhai, wiping off some sweat with her towel. Jurina handed her a water bottle and opened her own.
“I saw you running earlier,” Sae commented. “It’s ridiculous how fast you can go.”
“What? You jealous?”
“No!” Sae chuckled as the girl guzzled down her water. “I’m amazed! You’re so much younger than me and you’re one of the most athletic girls I know. The other being Yuko.”
“She’s the coach. She’s supposed to be,” Jurina chuckled. “Akimoto-san has some muscle on her, too, right?”
“Oh, speaking of, I heard this rumor recently from Churi…” Jurina leaned closer, whispering to Sae, “According to her, she’s dating Takamina-san.”
“Eh?! Sayaka and Takamina?!”
“It makes sense! Those two are always together! Ever since they both arrived here, they always talk or spend time in Takamina-san’s office. Why wouldn’t they be dating?!”
“But, it’s just a rumor, right?” Sae pointed out. “We’d only know if one of them said so.”
Sae sat back and thought about it more.
“Although, I guess that would explain why Takamina always gets so shy and flustered talking to her.”
Somewhere else, Takamina let out a small sneeze.
“Something wrong, Minami?” Sayaka asked.
“Ah, yeah,” she replied. “But I think someone was talking about me…”
Later that day, Yuki found the drama club room and saw several students looking over typed-out scripts. One of them was Sae, who seemed to be reading lines to herself.
“You’re Kashiwagi-san, right?”
Yuki looked over and saw a tall woman looking at her with kind eyes.
“Ah, yes. Are you Akimoto-sensei? Sae-senpai told me about you.”
“Just Sayaka is fine. Calling me Akimoto-sensei would confuse people. Can’t have them thinking I’m the principal.”
Yuki chuckled. “Right.”
“I’m guessing you’re here for auditions.”
“Awesome. Here’s the script,” she hands her a typed up copy. “You just go over a few lines and pick what you like. We’ll get started soon.”
Yuki took the script, taking a seat beside of Sae. The two shared a quick glance a bit and smiled to one another.
Yuki then opened up the first pages of her script and started reading. From what she read, the play, called “Infinity”, was a musical about a tragic love between a human girl and a vampire boy.
Once auditions started, Yuki waited for her turn while continuing to read the script. The story drew her in and it felt like she was reading a book rather than a play script. She became so invested, she had forgotten about everything going on around her, only to be brought back when she felt Sae’s hand touch her shoulder.
“Hey, you okay?” she asked.
“You were so quiet, I was worried…” Sae stopped mid-sentence when she noticed something. “You’re crying.”
“Eh?” Yuki touched her face slightly, seeing a tear droplet. “That’s weird…”
Yuki rarely cries. She was an emotionally strong person; it could only take something very specific and emotional to tug at her heart and make her cry.
“I must’ve gotten pulled in…” she said, wiping off her tears.
“Kashiwagi-san, it’s your turn,” Sayaka said.
Yuki stood up in front of the room and faced the students.
“My name is Kashiwagi Yuki, and I will be auditioning for the role of…” Yuki looked down at her script, choosing the role name she wanted. “Maria.”
Sae blinked for a moment. “Maria?”
“Let’s read through Scene 2 of Act 1. Takayanagi-san, read for Isako.”
“Hai!” Churi stepped forward, high-fiving Yuki.
“Also, Tano-san, Takahashi-san, Oshima-san, read the other parts.”
The students gathered and got their scripts to the correct page.
“Start when you’re ready.”
Tano Yuka started with her line from the script, “You’re late, Maria!”
“Sorry,” Yuki continued, trying to portray how she felt the character would act. “I was called to the principal’s office.”
“What? Something happen?” Churi asked.
“Maria’s an honor student. Nothing bad’s happened.”
“I was asleep during class.”
“I couldn’t sleep last night.”
“Are you sick?” Oshima Ryoka asked. Takahashi Juri approached her, touching her forehead.
“Her temperature's normal.”
“I had a weird dream last night.”
“A dream where you were falling?”
“Did snakes come out?”
Yuki shook her head.
“No. Honestly, I forgot it completely when I woke up. But, I felt as if my chest was tightening… I only remember I was surrounded by blue roses.”
“What does that mean?”
“If I remember correct, blue roses mean you cannot meet someone again,” Ryoka spoke. “In English, it means ‘impossible’.”
“So, if Maria was surrounded by blue roses, would something be impossible?”
“Like not being able to compete in the dance competition?”
“Ah! Maybe you’re just lovesick!” Juri said.
“That’s not it at all!”
“Anyway, you should go home for today,” Yuka said, receiving a nod from Yuki.
“I’m feeling a little tired, so I’ll do that. Sorry, guys.”
“If the leader isn’t here, I’ll just go, too~” Juri said.
“Hold on! What about practice?!”
“It’s pointless if we aren’t all here. I’m going on a date!”
“Utako, I’m sorry! I won’t go home; I’ll practice.”
“It’s fine,” Churi insisted. “You go home, Maria.”
“Hey, a date or practice, which is more important?!”
Juri thought for a bit before smiling. “My date~. Ufufu. See ya~”
Ryoka stifled a laugh at Juri’s giggle.
“I’m sorry, this is because of me…” Yuki continued.
“It’s not your fault. What’s Utako thinking? The competition is so close!”
“Does she really have a date..?”
“Leave her be!” Churi said, sternly, “Come on, let’s go.”
“And scene!” Sayaka spoke. “Nice job, girls! I wanna hear more from Kashiwagi-san, so the rest of you break.”
“Let’s see…” Sayaka looked through the script. “I know! Let’s go to Ruka and Maria’s conversation in Scene 6. Sae, you read for Ruka.”
“Ah, okay!” Sae walked to Yuki’s side.
“Whenever you’re ready.”
Yuki pursed her lips before beginning.
“Why did you kiss me?!”
Sae was startled a bit, thinking she was talking about the dream for a moment. But she realized what she said and quickly got into character.
“Because I love you!”
“We’ve only just met. How can you say that so easily?”
“Just met… Is that so?”
Sae then looked and realized something. She walked over to the prop’s table and took out a blue rose from the vase.
“Here,” she handed it to Yuki before continuing the line. “That rose… That rose shall never wilt. It will bloom beautifully for all eternity.”
“Did you really forget?”
“Huh? What are you talking about?”
“Remember,” Sae unconsciously took her hand, making her eyes widen. “Remember me. And about how we kissed and love one another.”
Coming to her senses, Yuki blinked and said, “W-what? I only just met you yester--”
“Your soul has been reborn countless times. Maria… You and I loved each other, 250 years ago.”
“That… that can’t be..! That’s…”
“Human love is meaningless. In the name of love, humans create children and become tied down by family. The love that both partners had once believed in suddenly vanishes. That is because there is death.”
Yuki looked up and her eyes met Sae. The boyish girl wasn’t even glancing at her script, saying the lines as if they were her own words.
“Because there is an end, humans become selfish beings. They rely on each other too much and lose sight of what is important. Love is not having to rely on anything, and to not be tied down by anything. It’s simply a pure feeling between two people.”
Sae grabbed her shoulders, causing Yuki to let go of her script. The two locked gazes, not noticing their classmates or how Sayaka was observing them.
“I will give you eternal life.”
She moved her head down, about to bite her, but Yuki pushed her away.
“Scene!” Sayaka stopped them, making them look to her, surprised.
“You two seem to have gotten into your roles,” Ryoka commented, the two blushing.
“Great job, everyone,” Sayaka announced. “I’ll look over everything and post the casting list tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” Yuki’s eyes widened.
“Sayaka-sensei is a fast worker,” Yuka said.
“Alright, here’s to hoping everyone gets the role they want!” Juri said. “Later~”
The students disbanded and Sae and Yuki walked out together. They felt a sudden tension and didn’t say anything until Yuki decided to break the ice.
“Hey, Sae… Do you have any weird dreams?”
Sae didn’t know what to think of it, but just gave a light chuckle.
“All the time.”
“Like… seeing people you know?”
“Hmm, sometimes, I guess…” Sae started piecing together what she was going to say. “Why?”
Yuki was silent, getting flustered a bit, before speaking, “L-last night… I thought I saw you in my dream.”
Sae’s eyes widened a bit.
“Yukirin dreamed of me, too?”
Not sure how to respond, she simply smiled.
“Really?! Uwaa, that makes me happy!”
“I-it does?!” Yuki asked.
“Yeah! You must really care about me, huh, Yukirin?” she chuckled. Still with the thought in her mind, she decided to let it off her chest. While keeping her demeanor, she said, “Now that I think about it, I thought I was you in my dream last night.”
“Eh?” Yuki gained a surprised expression. “Did Sae and I have the same dream?”
“Strange, huh. I wonder why we both dreamed of each other.”
“Welp, whatever,” Sae patted her head. “I gotta go get ready for practice. See you later!”
The two parted, Sae feeling a sense of relief as she sighed out.
“Well, that was easy. I’m glad Yukirin didn’t seem to have any problems with it.”
Yuki also sighed, leaning up against the wall.
“What is going on..? Did we share a dream? ...No, it can’t be. So…” Yuki clutched her chest. “Why does my chest.. Feel so tight all of the sudden?”
As Sae got her things and head to practice, she happened to see Sayaka and Takamina talking to each other. Sae suddenly remembered what Jurina had said to her.
“I heard this rumor from Churi. According to her, she’s dating Takamina.”
Sae just brushed it off, laughing again.
“Yeah, right. It’s just a rumor. There’s no way Sayaka and Takamina could actually be--”
Her eyes widened, however, when she saw Sayaka kiss the shorter woman. Sae felt her cheeks grow red as she turned around and head to her clubs.
“Well… I can’t really deny THAT. I guess it is true.” She then formed a big smile. “Aww, they make such a cute couple, too! How sweet~”
Right as Sayaka parted from the kiss, the two touched foreheads. Takamina’s cheeks were blushed heavily, her eyes twinkling.
Sayaka’s eyes widened a bit. Takamina soon gasped, realizing what she said.
“I-I mean..!” The tall woman chuckled, making her blush. “I’m sorry. I should be used to calling you ‘Sayaka’, but… I miss saying your real name.”
“I understand. If it makes you feel better, I miss calling you ‘Maria’.”
“But, we aren’t Ruka and Maria as we are now… We’re Sayaka and Minami.”
Sayaka shook her head, brushing the girl’s cheek with her hand.
“You will always be my Maria.”
Takamina smiled shyly. “And you’ll always be my Ruka.”
“R-Ruka… I’m sorry.”
“Ruka! Please, don’t leave me..!”
“I won’t… I promised.. I’d always be with you… Forever..!”
“Forever and ever.”
“Ruka!” Yuki jolted up as she heard a crash of thunder outside.
She sighed heavily as she found she fell asleep reading over her script. She closed her script and walked over to her bed, falling onto her back. She then heard a knock at the door.
“Honey, is everything okay? I thought I heard you scream.”
“I’m fine, Mom,” Yuki said.
“Alright. Be sure to lock your windows tight; the storm outside’s pretty rough.”
“Okay, I will.”
She stood back up and went to her window, opening up the curtains to find the hatch. A flash of lightning came and Yuki jumped as she thought she saw a figure standing outside her window. The figure had long dark hair covering her face, which was dripping wet from the rain.
“Kyaa!” She fell down as the thunder crashed. Yuki looked closer and saw the figure had disappeared. “Eh? A ghost..?”
She quickly locked the window latch and closed the curtains before going to her bed, burying herself in the blankets. She looked to her window before hiding her face in her pillow, shutting her eyes as she tried to sleep through the storm.
The next day…
“The cast list is up!”
Students rushed to look at the cast list, some cheering as they had gotten their desired part, or sighing in frustration as they didn’t.
“Churi, you got Isako! That’s great!”
“Yossha! I’m in! I got Ai!”
“Eh? The maids?”
“Hey, that sounds like fun, Juri!”
Yuki and Sae got to the cast list at the same time, both in shock as they and everyone else saw the names at the top.
“Sae-senpai and Kashiwagi-san are the leads!”
The two looked at each other, both smiling shyly.
“Congrats,” Sae said.
From a distance, Sayaka and Takamina were watching. The two looked at each other, nodding. They then approached the two and smiled to them.
“Congratulations, you guys.”
“Rehearsals will start after school this afternoon,” Sayaka announced. “Be sure you all come.”
The bell rung and the students hurried to class. The two looked at the casting list, focusing on Sae and Yuki’s names.
“It’s just the beginning…”