This diary entry is part 19 of 26 in Lily's diary dated 30 - December 2023

Hi! It’s me! Lily!!!

So… a lot has happened.

Last night, we all went to the shop so Yuki can do her concert.  Both Yuki and Minami dressed up in identical outfits (she fit into Yuki’s other costume, thank goodness).  We don’t really have a dressing room so they commandeered the back office for a while.  People started coming in pretty early, I was surprised.  There were a few people who came here from Japan just for this concert.  I was…  a little creeped out.  But I guess that kind of dedication is to be admired.

About three quarters of the audience was Japanese.  I mean.. came from Japan Japanese.  The city ought to be thanking us for driving tourism.

Well…  I speak Japanese.  Not well, but at least passably.  I speak Japanese well enough that I had to go up and say a few words and introduce them.  OMG it’s so embarrassing!  I got up on stage, and someone from the back yelled “TRAIN ONEE-CHAN” and everyone stood up and applauded.  I didn’t know what to do!!!  So I just let them sit back down, and I said thank you and got on with the show.  I spoke a little bit about how Yuki and I met and about how she used to be an idol and now she’s a good friend and sister, and then I introduced her and got the heck off the stage.  And she sang and danced her heart out.  She really puts her all into it!  It was nice to see.  If she was faking it, it’s hard to tell.  But I don’t think she was.

Halfway through the concert she introduced Minami, who had been dancing with her through some of her songs.  David turned the lights down to the “solo” setting with just her face lit up, and she sang the most soulful, heartrending song I’d ever heard.  I didn’t even understand all the Japanese and I had tears.  Grown men in the audience were sobbing.  Aww.  That girl can really go places if she wants to.  After she was done, she wiped her face, bowed (to a standing ovation), handed the mic back to Yuki, and went back to the back office.

Ai’s mouth was dropped open, along with Yuuko and Mariko.  I…  went back to the back office.

She was sobbing her heart out.

I just… held her, and the other girls came back too, and we spent pretty much the last half of the show just comforting her.

You know when I said Yuki put her heart into it?  Well, she did.  She sand and danced and the audience was the most important thing to her at that moment.  But Minami…  Yuki put her heart into it.  Minami put everything into it.

Anyway, after she cleaned up, we all came out, just in time for Yuki to pull Minami onto the stage, and both of them bowed.  The audience yelled “ma-ta! ma-ta!” (again! again!) and… damn her.. she pulled me on the stage.  She said that I’d performed concerts with full orchestras and maybe I’d give a short performance for them.

I wasn’t ready for that!!! I wasn’t even dressed for it!  I was just wearing my nice “introduce Yuki” clothes!  If I’d known she’d pull that, I’d have worn my gown, or just not shown up!!!

But I sat down at the keyboard and played a short Chopin prelude, and there was more cheering!!!  Someone yelled “You’re the best onee-chan!”  I… blushed.  Dangit.

Anyway, it was a success.

Today, someone had already put a review up on LINE, and they were really complimentary.  Said that Yuki hadn’t lost any of her charm, that Minami was a star in the making, and that train onee-chan could actually play a decent piano!  And they put videos on X and YouTube!  (I wish they hadn’t, we asked them not to.)  They were also complimentary towards the venue, they said it was a little small, but the pastries were delicious and it felt a lot more intimate than other idol performances.

Anyway…  we were all on kind of a high afterwards (Sabby too, she sold a lot of pastries and other merch) and so we went to an iHOP and had a late night dinner.  Minami seemed a bit withdrawn.  That kind of performance has to come from somewhere, and I imagine it takes a lot out of you.  She ate her food but just didn’t seem very happy.  But we didn’t pry.  She was able to smile a little, so it wasn’t like she was a downer or anything, but you could tell she wasn’t really doing alright. Yuki’s parents came with us and seemed content to eat American comfort food and watch all the banter.  They seem nice but didn’t have too much to say.  I guess that’s to be expected, there was a definite language barrier.  They seem proud of her though.

There was a little more sniffling and hugging last night too.

I’m not upset at her.  Not at all.  None of us are.  But we’re worried about her.

I hope Christmas helps, a little.  It’s always nice to spend time with people who care.

With… people who…  ummm….

I think I need to talk to Ai.

Anyway… today, we just took it easy.  Traffic is nuts, everyone’s on edge, so we just took a quiet day and played games and watched anime and stuff.  Yuuko recommended “Love is war”, so we watched the subbed version.  They were rolling on the floor laughing at episode 7, but some of the jokes didn’t make sense.  They explained it.  It was a lot funnier than it seemed.  Chinchin!!!  Haha!!!

We couldn’t watch the whole thing, but got through seasons 1 and 2.

Ok.  Everyone’s asleep in their futons so I’m going to go to bed too.

Love you all!!! ❤️

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