To see a list of all of the posts in this series, click here. (*^-^*)
May 23, 2010.
The end of the end (almost). It took four months for Sensei to make time for my going-away party, but it was worth the wait. It was so worth the wait. I mean, and it gave me a few months of time.. free time. Time that I hadn’t had in so long that I barely knew what to do with it all. I went crazy, seeing and doing everything, and sleeping in to all hours. I was still working my tv and writing jobs, but they took up so little of my time in comparison.
I think that Sensei was actually waiting for this specific day to have the party– though I can’t say for sure. As if was waiting for the end of Tenimyu, because in effect, it felt like one ending. Why not make it two? It was appropriate.
So, Watanabe-san told me when and where to be, and on the very last day of Tenimyu Dream Live 7, the very last day of the first season of Tenimyu, I arrived at the venue. I met my friends outside that were also seeing the show, but had to leave them quickly.
I texted Watanabe-san to let him know that I was there, and he met me and we went in through the back. My heart was pounding. I hadn’t seen Sensei or any of the others in four months, and it was almost as nerve-wracking as our first meeting had been. I knew, knew, knew that I was going to cry today.
My knees were shaking.
Watanabe-san led me in through a maze of backstage doors, and into a waiting room. It was so, so quiet, and there was everyone that I loved sitting on a couch.
My Sensei…. My Kaiwa-san.. My Maru-chan and Marie and Tamusho… all of them there. <3 I wanted.. I don’t know. I wanted to hug them and tell them all how much I’d missed them, but it was so embarrassing with Watanabe-san watching.
I miss them so much, now.
I hugged Sensei and we took a picture. Ahh.. nothing, nothing had changed at all! Except that they tore him away to get ready for the stage and consult with him. While the rest of us were talking in hushed tones, stage manages and directors, and a few actors wandered in (Ueshima-sensei, Shirota Yuu), and there wasn’t much time to socialize, sadly.
We were soon gathered up to be led to our private booth. Ooh, our own private booth!! Down below us was the regular kankeisha area, and where we were was just for us. Wow.
Me and Maru-chan.
*You’ve noticed that I usually block out faces if they’re recognizable, but all of these pictures were taken with the understanding that they could be posted online, and they’ve all been posted online before, so enjoy the rare look at the real people that have been a part of this story the whole time. <3
Oooooooh, but there is one thing. To get to the booth, we had to be led across the lobby, and couldn’t go through the regular maze of backstage areas. As it turned out, leading Konomi-sensei across the lobby was a huge feed for his ego. 😉
It was right before the show was to start, but there were still a few groups of girls lingering in the lobby. I think that this particular group had been watching the staff door just in case someone they liked came through, and they were lucky today, I guess! 😉 They started squealing as soon as we left the door, and one of them screamed, “SENSEI!!!” Her and two other girls rushed up to Sensei and crowded around him, everyone trying to shake his hand at once.
Ahaha, it was soooooooooo cute! I know that Sensei loved that. He was beaming afterward. Completely and totally beaming. It was SOOOOOOOOOOO cute! =^.^=
Sensei, it seemed, had become a little bit of an Ikemen idol himself. Not too bad for a newly 40-year-old manga artist, eh? He certainly is good-looking, and pretty sweet. He deserves it (even if he frustrated me with his work ethic sometimes!).
Except for the part that Sensei was whisked off to be on stage (in the second half), we all sat together in the little booth, waving our light sticks and cheering. Well, me and Kaiwa-san cheered our hearts out (I’m infectuous and Kaiwa-san is just so good-natured), and Sensei chimed in a few times. I really think that he’s cut out for this sort of thing. 🙂
Funnily enough, I wasn’t the only one to cry. I finally lost it when Sensei came on stage, but for Kaiwa-san it was when Ryoma’s actor (6th gen, Ogoe Yuki) completely broke down on stage that he started crying.
I love these guys. All of them. <3
After the emotional show, we were all whisked back to the waiting room, and a few of my favorite Tenimyu cast members came in to thank Sensei (Kimeru and Yanagi Kotaroh, whom I talked to briefly as well. It’s nice getting to talk to actors that I admire, it really is!). Then, Sensei was whisked off to give some parting messages to the cast, since he wouldn’t be attending the wrap party.
Instead, he’d be going to dinner with all of us as my going-away party (soubetsukai)!
When he returned, we were all whisked off in a white van, driving to Yokohama. We went to my favorite mexican restaurant (it was a hit with everyone!), and joked and chatted. Everyone teased me, saying that it had been really hard with me gone to meet deadlines. I kept tearing up, but it wasn’t until the end of dinner that I completely dissolved into tears.
“We have something for you,” Sensei said, and Maru-chan reached into her bag and pulled out something long and flat.
I opened it up, and it was a signboard with heartfelt messages from everyone.
I totally, completely, dissolved into tears. I sobbed so hard. That one board is the best, most touching present that I have ever received.
Whoa, here come my tears again.
We took commemoration pictures, and then they dropped me off at the train station, and that was it.
From left to right, front row: Marie, Tamusho, Watanabe-san. Back row: Maru-chan, Kaiwa-san, me, Konomi-sensei.
I cried the entire way home. Happy and sad at the same time. I cried all night, and the next night as well. I don’t remember any more how long it took me to stop crying.
But a few months later, to my surprise, I got a sudden telephone call from Sensei, and he had something to ask of me…
What is it? You’ll find out tomorrow, in the very last part of this story! From deep in my heart, I thank you for coming on this adventure with me, and be sure to tune in tomorrow for the end! ♡