Note: I went MIA again, sorry for that 8D Well, it can't be helped since I'm practically dead when writing this super short chapter (assignments… they're really killing me!) Anyway I hope you enjoy reading this short chappie~ :D Wish I could write longer though… so until then.
PS: I did promised you guys that I'll show a picture of Ritsuko when it's done right? So here it is:
Sorry for the sucky-ness, I'm bad in drawing :P (I might change Ritsuko's appearance a bit, she looks too well behaved in that pic 8D)
Chapter 21: Plan B… wait, what about plan A?
Director Seiji doesn't seem like he was planning to fire me anytime soon, unless he's sugarcoating his words just to lessen the hurt when he delivers the final blow. I was agitated to know his decision. My heart has been beating at 100km/h the last time I checked. Whatever the case was… I really need to get this done, whether I like it or not.
"Director…" I scribble, interrupting his conversation with Akatsuki-san "I was wondering… are you planning to fire me? Because if you do, I've come prepared."
Director Seiji could only blink at my statement. "What makes you think I was planning to fire you?" he said in disbelieve.
"Well, since I've practically screwed everything up… I kinda deserve it" I replied honestly while he smiled understanding the situation.
"No, you can keep your job. I think I won't find a better replacement anyway" he said jokingly. "And besides, your scandal with Tsukina-san is the hottest news in the entertainment gossip columns! It's increasing the show's rating as well. I can't thank you enough."
"But it's not attracting positive reviews though… in fact there's even a website created solemnly for the purpose of damning Ben-san…" Kashida-san slapped Asahina-san's head before he could finish his sentence.
"Ouch! That hurts! What the heck was that for?" Asahina-san shouted back while rubbing his throbbing head. Instead of apologizing, Kashida-san only rolled his eyes. He never thought that Asahina could be such a dimwit.
I could only smile bitterly at them. It's obvious that Kashida-san didn't want me to know about the people's hostility against Ben-san, but what Asahina-san said had somehow made a point. Isn't it bad to receive negative reviews about the show? Wouldn't that destroy the Kioku's image? The more I think about it, the guiltier I feel.
"Asahina-san is right. I don't think it's a good idea gaining people's attention in a negative way. Wouldn't that be unfair for Kioku? I'm destroying their image single handedly!" I quickly scribbled, my expression was grave. I couldn't entertain the thought of Kioku being hated because of my squabble with a stupid someone. Mind you, I don't even want to mention his name!
"That's why I'm devising a plan!" Director Seiji said with a glint of mischief in his eyes. His mouth was pulled into a devilish smile. Seeing that, I recalled back the times where I had to endure endless torture because of that smile, and right now… I think getting fired wasn't such a bad idea after all?
"Is this really going to work?" Kashida-san said doubtfully while peeking from behind the stage to look at the audience. Surely enough, the girls at the audience seat didn't seem esthetic to be there. After revising the secret plan with director, we were directed away to get ready since the show was schedule to start soon.
Reluctantly, I get dressed again as Ben-san. I could feel cold sweat making its way down my back as I walk around the studio towards the stage. Even the staffs were practically shooting daggers at me. The male staffers mostly hated me because I had increased their already hectic workload, while the female are for the obvious reasons. I could practically smell their hostility a mile away!
"I guess we have to trust the Director in this" Akatsuki-san said calmly.
"Yeah, don't worry Rit… I meant, Ben-san" Asahina-san said carefully "we have your back!" while patting my shoulder cheerfully. I sigh in great defeat. How can he be all cheery at a time like this? I'm so nervous that I could practically drown in my own sweat!
A sound of a bell chimes signals the starting of the show and that was my queue to get onto the stage and do what had already been planned. One wrong move and I'm dead. Taking a deep breath, I muster up all the courage I had within me and walked into the blinding spotlight. Deep inside my heart, I hope I'll survive this nightmare… somehow.
'This is going to be interesting…' I smirk evilly as I sat in front of the small TV in my changing room. It never crossed my mind that the agency would give me a day off because of the kissing incident! I should have done this a long time ago if I've known.
I've been waiting for this moment since that lil brat kicked me in the groin. I snorted happily to myself. 'Like I care… she'll get what's coming for her. This will teach her a lesson not to mess with me' I thought gleefully.
As scheduled, the show started on time, not a minute less. I waited patiently for the said figure to appear and there she was, still in the dreadful outfit, walking slowly onto the center of the stage. I couldn't help myself but to smile when I see her bow apologetically to me; well technically the audience but you get my point. I could feel my ego level increasing to 80% at that simple gesture.
'She shouldn't have crossed me! Now look at her, bowing pathetically at a live show for everyone to see! How low can she get?' I chuckle loudly at that. I had expected this to happen. What else can they do except for apologizing publicly to me? The producers won't have a choice but to do this or else, they'll be pressured by my lovable fans until the show had to be canceled when it's not even that popular yet!
I burst out laughing hysterically at my own private joke. Looks like this is MY victory. It was an easy win. I thought she'll put up more resistance, but it turns out she's just a plain boring girl. Wait, let me rephrase that. "A plain boring mute girl… that's more like it" I mumble while a satisfied smile adorns my lips.
My eyes were fixed at the screen, waiting for her to utter words of apology. Well, in her case, should I say "write" an apology letter?
My smile widens when I saw her holding up the ridiculously huge whiteboard for the audience to see, but it vanished instantly when I read her message:
"Do you think I will apologize? Think again"
As I expected, the crowds began to stir uncomfortably in their seat while the staffs tried to control the situation. The staffs had been given a simple instruction by Director Seiji that whatever happens on the stage, they have to take control of the audience. By hook or by crook, before the Director give them a signal; they have to do whatever means necessary to calm the audience even if it means throwing themselves at the hostile crowds.
As directed, I scribble again the exact words the Director had drilled into my mind.
"Stir the crowd as much as possible. I'll take care of the rest. Don't be scared though, or it would give a different impact" that's what he had said. But gezz, how can I not be scared for my life now? I practically declared a war by stating "I'm not apologizing" in such a crude manner!
"Why is it that when a popular figure got harassed, the whole nation is concerned?" I hold it up for the audience to see, and then scribble again to change the message.
"But when it happens to strangers (citizens), we push it aside saying that it's an everyday occurrence?" I hold it up again and then continued to rely the messages one by one.
"What's the difference between the two?"
"Are we (citizens) not worthy enough to get people's sympathy? Think about it"
The restless crowd began to stop talking to one another and ponder on my words. I smiled to myself inwardly; it looks like the plan was working. I took a deep breath and scribble the last message and hoping for the best.
"Therefore for tonight's show, it is specially reserved for YOU… every one of you" at my statement, a loud "POP" was heard and the studio was bathed in roses petals. Pink smokes began to rise and completely fogged the stage. It was my queue to retreat to the back stage.
I felt my shoulder being patted on by the Kioku members as they walked passed me for the second part of the plan. "Good work, Ben-san. The rest, leave it to us" Akatsuki-san whispered to me.
As the fog slowly dissipated, the crowd couldn't contain themselves to cheer when they see their beloved band members, even though most of them are still quite confused to the situation. Each and every one of them holds a bouquet of rose as they stand elegantly on the stage.
"Today is a special segment where YOU are our main guest" Asahina-san said cheerfully.
"We've devised this plan together with Tsukina-san and Ben-san to convey our message on how society has downgrade citizens. We want to show that we actually care for each and every one of you, don't EVER think you're not special because YOU ARE!" Akatsuki-san said with an angelic smile which could melt any women's heart.
"We felt a bit guilty to entitle our own beloved Ben-san as the culprit in our plan, but since Ben-san has such a big heart he didn't mind being a culprit to give this surprise to you girls. Therefore, please give a big applause to our two actors!" Kashida-san said while gesturing towards me.
The crowds cheers and clapped as loudly as they can. I could see some of the audience was in tears; they were truly touched by this surprised. Some even starts to say "they were sorry for being so rude" to me. One girl stood up from the crowd and starts to count 3… 2… 1… before every one shouted in unison:
"THANK YOU BEN-SAN! WE LOVE YOU!"
And they began to cheer again while throwing flying kisses at me. I waved back at the audience and sigh in total relief. Deep inside I know that miles away, bastard Ogura was surely shouting curses at me since his plan has totally backfired! Thank you lady luck for sticking with me until the end!
The rest of the show went on smoothly. As devised in the plan, a few lucky girls from the audience got interviewed, mystery prize were given to lucky draw winners and girls that will be celebrating birthdays this month will receive bouquet of rose from their preferred Kioku members. All in all everyone was happy, esthetic even!
To my surprise, the crowds were well behaved. They didn't go berserk when Kioku members went up close to them and thank god for that! But what surprised me the most was that the audience pulls me towards them to have a group picture. Some even asked for my autograph! I gape, dumbfounded at their request. The last time I checked, they were out for my blood… and now they're all lovey-dovey with me. Girls can be scary at times… especially fangirls!