Acceptance 4.0 (AtsuMina)

FOR SOME REASON I JUST NOTICED THAT I DIDN’T POST THE LAST PART OF THIS FIC!!!!!

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I can’t believe I forgot to post it… it’s been so damn long… I’m sorry….

For those who haven’t read Acceptance here are chapter 1,2 and 3.

Please enjoy it and forgive me for not posting it…

And again, thanks for reading!!!

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-I’ve been thinking… – Oshima Yuko stopped eating and looked at me- Maybe it’s time…

I couldn’t face her, not yet; I wasn’t even sure about my own decision and even if already had discussed it with Akimoto-sensei, still felt like I wasn’t ready.

After Atsuko’s breaking up news and many months of silence from her, I really thought about it. Maybe, and just maybe, it was time to graduate. But I wasn’t really sure. The younger members were not ready, yet the older generations… only three of the first generation were left, only three.

-Are you sure about it? – Yuko asked me.

-No…

I was being honest, I never liked to talk about this with anyone, except maybe Akimoto-sensei, but I felt this necessity to say it, to someone; and there was no one better than a graduate and a friend.

-He said that if I’m ready then I just should follow my heart.

-And your heart, what does it tells you?

I smiled.

Looking at my reflection on the mirror I noticed deep marks under my eyes from my lack of sleep. The mirror showed me the reflection of my tired a face. I sighed. I looked at my phone and I unlocked it; in the screen a simple yet constructed message was shown. I added the number I wanted to send it to and then pressed the button. The answer arrived a few seconds later while I changed my clothes, it was also simple.

I asked for a day off, I told the manager that I needed this day for an important meeting. I wasn’t lying, I was tired and I wanted to sleep but I really needed this time to talk with someone; with her. I walked down, didn’t want to rush myself. I was trying to feel everything around me while I headed to her apartment.

For some reason the day was brighter than ever, the usual cold wind of November, it wasn’t so cold. It was just perfect. If I have to use a word to describe it, I can’t think of any other word than perfect.

I grabbed a cab, with a cap on my head, barely anyone knew it was me; in the past though, people recognized me, but as I said, for some reason no one did. I told the driver the direction I wanted to go and I looked out of the window.

The cars and the people outside were so busy and loud, the normal routine of their lives, something so rare in my eyes. I could see some tired faces as well. This stress and this pain wasn’t mine alone, I smiled. Not because I was glad that other people could feel pain but because it reminded me that I wasn’t alone.

The travel to my destiny was slow, the traffic jam of that day was heavy, I was glad again. I remembered that day, the “meeting my boyfriend” day, I grinned. It was like this, the traffic and me thinking of many questions, many answers, many talks and many topics; and all that thinking just to be forgotten at the exact second her face was in front of me.

I was weak, she made me weak. It was always like that. She is my strength and my weakness. I sighed again.

The car stopped right in the front entrance of the building. After paying and getting out of the car, I couldn’t take another step; I was afraid, suddenly the fear of the unknown overpowered my courage and all my body wanted to do was to turn around and run, as far as I could, run away from there. I closed my eyes and swallowed the knot in my throat. I was Takahashi Minami, the same Minami that always walked ahead even if she was unsure of the future.

Walking inside the tall building was really nerve breaking; I never expect it to be, if I’m honest. It was just a building. It was a meaningful building. I chuckled. The way up to the exact floor was slow, for some reason, the time seemed to go slowly than ever, as if telling me that I still could regret my decision and just turn around and forget about all this.

It’s funny how our minds work during our biggest decisions, during the hardest times and even during our most joyful moments. The painful and long way to the top; the fast and hectic schedules of the top and, then, again the slow ending of everything; it is funny how our mind works indeed.

Without noticing I was right in front of the door. I wasn’t really sure of what should I say, a simple “Hi” or something along the lines of “I’m sorry for being a jerk”? Which one could work best?

Finally, knocked the door with my knuckles and waited. Maybe it was the longest waiting of my entire life. It felt that long. The door opened slowly and in front of me, there was the person I wanted to see.

We looked at each other for a moment and then I smiled. All the words I thought earlier disappeared. She had that effect on me. We really never needed words, we only had to see each other eyes and we knew.

The body seems to remember way better than the mind. Memories were powerful, yes. But there were memories of the mind and memories of the body. I missed her touch for so long, that when she launched at me, after I went in and she closed the door, I felt like crying; I got goosebumps and tears started falling from my eyes. I hold her in my arms as if my life depended on it; and just maybe my life really depended on it, of having her like this.

She rubbed her nose near my neck, barely touching it, and it made me sigh.

-I missed you… – she whispered.

I caressed her hair so slowly, feeling every strand of her longer hair. She hugged me tighter, maybe to make sure that I was there, maybe to encourage me to say something, maybe because she didn’t want to cry. Many ideas went to my head, apparently a new habit of mine, but I only could reply with the same exact words.

-I missed you too, Atsuko.

She pulled away slightly, just enough to look at my face and smiled. It wasn’t a sad, tired, relieved or acted smile; it was just her smile, the one that only showed when I was with her, my smile.

And I’m not gonna lie, I kissed her. So sudden, so not like me, that she froze on the spot. It was the first time I kissed her and now I understand why she liked to do that. The feeling I had from seeing her like that, shocked and surprised, it made me giggle.

I left her lips and looked at her, still giggling. I never planed that kiss, she was just so cute and I was just so glad to see her that my body acted by itself.

-We need to talk – I said a few seconds later.

She was still surprised, she nodded automatically, but I knew that she was still affected. I giggled again and grabbing her hand I pulled her with me until we sat on her couch. I left her hand once we were seated next to each other and looked down, again trying to choose my own words.

She waited patiently; she didn’t move nor said anything. She just waited.

And I couldn’t help but start crying.

-Did you apologize? – Miichan asked me the next day.

I stopped reading the script in my hand and looked at her; she was expecting something, maybe a “No, I couldn’t” or a “Yes, now we are back as friends” or something. I simple smiled and continued reading.

-That’s so unfair, Bakamina!! – She yelled – I demand an answer!!

I laughed.

Both, Miichan and Haruna were so persisting about what happened that they would use any excuse to actually ask me about it, but I really didn’t want to talk about it. It was so personal, and yes, too embarrassing, just remembering about it made me blush.

It didn’t happen anything out of the extraordinary or something wild, as maybe Miichan was thinking, since she mentioned a few times already. It was just so us, so normal, that it really wasn’t that relevant. Yet I knew I had to tell them someday.

I grinned; they needed to suffer for calling me jerk for days.

We were in the middle of the practice when Akimoto-sensei appeared and called me for a talk. These days it was weird to see him around that I noticed the tension that fell on the room. I apologized to the members, left a few orders I wanted them to follow, told the captains that they were in charge and left.

I didn’t change my clothes, there was no need, I knew what he wanted to talk about and I had my answer already.

-And then? – He said first once we were inside his office.

-I will stay for a while – I said firmly- I am not ready to leave yet.

He smiled. He always knows my answers and what I would do. Was I really that predictable?

-You can’t date, that’s the rule – He said while looking at me from behind his desk.

I smiled.

-I will not date a man, sensei – I said and he laughed – I will not make it public either.

-Good. – He turned his chair and sat on it – I never expected anything better than that.

I laughed and bowed.

I left his office and went back to the practice room. I wasn’t really ready to announce my graduation yet; I wasn’t ready to leave the group; I wasn’t ready to take that step, but I was sure and ready to follow my heart.

And my heart had a name, her name.

Maeda Atsuko’s name.

Omake:

-Are you going to tell us what happened? – Miichan asked for the… I don’t remember what time in days after that – And why that old man wanted to talk with you so suddenly?

I looked up from my meal, they really were persistence and I couldn’t even enjoy my katsudon in peace. I sighed.

-Okay, okay – I saw how Miichan’s face went from frustrated to delight in less than a second and then Haruna placed her phone back on her purse – Listen carefully, okay? – They nodded – Because I will just say it once.
Atsuko hugged me until I stopped crying, I don’t really know if it were minutes or hours already, but when finally I calmed down I looked at her. I wasn’t really ready to leave the group, my family, my all. But then again, here I was in front of this person that was also my all, this person that I wanted to be forever with.

-I can’t… – I sobbed- I can’t… Atsuko… I’m sorry…

For some reason we could understand each other without many words and, after saying those words, she hugged me tighter and started crying too.

-I know… I know…

She then cupped my cheeks and made me look up at her, she was crying and yet she had the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen on her face. She nodded. She approved my decision. And that’s all I wanted from her. She placed her forehead on mine and wiped my tears, I was clinging from her shoulders, trying to stop my own tears, but I really couldn’t.

-I know… – She whispered and kissed my forehead – I know… – She repeated and kissed my cheeks- I know… – This time she kissed my nose – I know…

The kiss that followed was so slow and so soft that, for a moment, I thought it wasn’t real. Her lips barely touched my own lips and it made me sigh; in part, it was a frustrated sigh and in part a relieved one. But I really just couldn’t stop myself from what happened next.

I moved my hands from her arms to her face and I pulled her down. My lips wanted to die in her lips, tasting them, kissing them.

-I love you – I said between kisses- I love you…

It were the only words that my mouth and mind knew at that moment. And Atsuko cried as she kissed me back.

It was desperate and urgent. I desperately wanted to pour all my feelings for her on that one kiss that I literally attacked her without letting her breathe. She pulled me down on the couch, still kissing me, and…

-And you two finally did it! – Miichan yelled out of the blue.

All the eyes in the restaurant looked at our table, Haruna slapped Miichan’s head while blushing for the sudden attention we got and I covered my face with one hand.

-You had to scream, right? You just had to… – I sighed.

Miichan rubbed the spot where Haruna’s hand landed, but didn’t apologize. She instead looked at me expectantly.

-No, we didn’t – I said defeated.

-Why?!

-Because there was no need to do it! That’s why! – Again everyone looked at us and then I lowered my voice – We just smiled after that and hugged each other until it was time for me to leave. – I looked at both, what? Kids? I wonder what these two are – That’s all, happy?

Haruna nodded and Miichan growled.

-I wanted some more action you know? – Miichan said a few minutes later, as I continued eating- Like, you know, wild sex and all.

I almost died, my food got stuck on my throat and I started coughing.

-I’m gonna kill you, Miichan – I warned her after I gulped down my whole glass of water.

Miichan pulled out her tongue and Haruna laughed.

“Acceptance: ‘Sometimes we want what we couldn’t – sometimes we love who we could’” I remember reading that somewhere… But I forgot.

And now I accept it, I love Maeda Atsuko and nothing will change that.

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