Here is a slide show of Azusa with a mixture of promotional and Manga images. (To stop the slide show, click one of the arrows in the bottom left or the page will move around while you are reading).
Last time On K-ON!!!! “Dust in the Wind” Mio finally escapes her mental prison and returns to the world, yet she feels the cost was the miscarriage of Nao’s triplet girls. With a brief funeral asking for nothing from her friends, Nao locks her audible senses up in her headphones with an unknown pair of songs playing to block out the outside world. Maki doesn’t want her partner to carry the burden alone, but there is nothing that she can bring herself to do.
…And now, to the tune of “Dust in the Wind” by ‘Kansas…’
Keion!!!! (K-ON!!!!) “Dust in the Wind” Part 13.
“I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone…”
Nao and Maki stood in front of the gray family grave wearing their heavy coats in the cold and snow as the wind blew their hair and chilled them—it was supposed to be a bit warmer, but the bad weather was appearing as a negative omen. Maki had her arms around her partner as Nao leaned against her crying her heart out; her large green headphones clamped tightly over her ears with music from a small MP3 player blocking out the sounds of reality.
Maki and Nao hardly communicated much anymore because Nao would wear her headphones almost constantly, she didn’t want to hear her own crying anymore or the world around her—the laughter of children sounded like painful screams of death.
Abused by her Senpais, bullied, beaten up, teased, clumsy, uncoordinated—but highly intelligent, Nao had finally thought everything was going to go well for her. Nao’s tired Mother and her four brothers were safe and secure, she was married to Maki and had so many wonderful, kind caring friends and Sumire, her best friend…they all wanted to be with Nao through this painful torment, but Nao wanted nothing of it. She had cured Mio at the cost of her triplets, but that was what Mio thought, it wasn’t her fault…
No one would have ever thought that Nao’s unborn triplets would join her father in the family grave site, there was nothing but a vial that had been cremated to put with her father’s ashes…this was a pain that Nao would never get over—Maki too, although her genes weren’t in those three girls, they were still her children too, but because they were from Nao’s body, Maki had to be strong and she held onto her wife tightly and let her yelp out her painful cries…
“All my dreams, pass before my eyes, a curiosity…”
Ritsu looked at her final test, she was horrified, and tears began to stream from her eyes…it was a 92—she wasn’t allowed to get lower than a 97, this meant…this meant…she failed! She failed Mio, she failed Nao, Nodoka, and Tsumugi and she even failed herself…but she tried so hard, she listened closely to everyone; why? This wasn’t fair!
Ritsu stood before her Sensei and the woman shook her head sadly and said, “I’m so sorry Miss Tainaka, you really tried hard, you were a model student, but I know what the requirements are and there is nothing I can do…I would have given you the mark you needed, but so many people are watching and I just can’t, I’m so sorry…You were such a pleasure to have in my class and I’ll never forget you.”
Ritsu was quiet, she understood and didn’t fight it because she knew that she couldn’t. School was over forever and Ritsu would only have three years and an Associates Degree, it was the best she could do, but all the people who had sacrificed so much for her—she had disappointed. Ritsu cried in pain, she would have to tell Mio and the others that she had failed them…
“Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind…”
“Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea…”
Mio stood in the doorway of her apartment holding her Kiseru and wearing a heavy robe, her long black hair was down over her shoulders and blew in the cold wind, she had made it far thanks to Nao, Nao; she had miscarried triplets and that was what finally pulled Mio out of her Agoraphobia, she had to help Nao to her own car and drive her to the hospital and hear her cries and see Maki’s fear…then there was…a wake for unborn infants.
Was this the trade off, Mio was free and Nao would be trapped forever in her headphones, not hearing the world around her anymore? Her partner Maki must have been suffering too, but how do you ease the pain of another if she cannot hear the words? The embrace would only work so much and Nao didn’t want to hear anything but what came from her music player—and what was she listening to?
Mio looked to her neighbor who was returning home and smiled as the elder woman greeted her, they had a little small talk and the elder woman went into her apartment to get out of the cold. Mio didn’t feel the chill and she looked out into the parking lot at the snow and took a drag from her Kiseru and exhaled watching the smoke twirl in the wind…
“All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see…”
She had begun calling her “Yui,” it was always Onee-Chan. Ui was polite, respectful and even obedient and served Yui and even her guests without ever a complaint. Ui had just as well worshipped the ground that her elder sister walked on for so many years—following her through life, even if just a year apart.
Yui played her Gibson Les Paul in her bedroom with a VOX headphone amp using her pink ear buds so she wouldn’t disturb Ui as she was cleaning with a little more noise than usual…there was anger in Ui’s actions and company was supposed to come over, Ui had come to the point where she wanted a Marriage Meeting, she was tired of always being around Yui all of a sudden and her personality had started showing it more and more after Nao had miscarried.
Even with the sound of her guitar going directly into her ears, Yui could hear Ui’s footsteps come to her closed door. “Yui, make sure you’re dressed properly for when Mother and Father come, you don’t have much time!” Yui laid Gita on her bed and pulled the pink buds from her ears and replied, “Yes Ui, I’ll be ready.” Yui sniffed and wiped a tear, she wished that things were the way they used to be, Ui had never acted like this before, never…
“Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind…”
A failed concert, a failed business, all that remained was her holding of 10-GIA and the Café. Tsumugi was actually booed off the stage and lost a whole night worth of ticket sales. Now her father was screaming at her for the failures in her other business ventures—there was no excuse for a Kotobuki to ever fail in business.
Sumire tried to comfort Tsumugi as best as she could, for the first time Mugi felt what she must have been doing to Ritsu—however, she was also stretching herself too thin, the kindness she showed also was a deciding factor in the failure of her other businesses—now they were lost and overtaken by her father. However, playing the piano was something that she was truly a genius at doing, she was actually gifted, but it was over now, one mistake caused by the pain she felt for Nao had turned her successful career into meager remains. The recording company had dropped her, her agent had left her, all she had left were her few albums that used to be in the top five of the charts.
Sumire had fielded the waking dreams or nightmares for years of Mio crying for Ritsu, but even she couldn’t take it anymore—but, Sumire would never leave Tsumugi, she loved her. Without Nao, there was no more money from gigs with “The Wakaba Girls” it would have only added a little extra to both the take in of the café and music store, they would now have to cut back on the lifestyle that Tsumugi was accustomed to…although, unlike the others, Sumire and Tsumugi would be fine—but, it was the disappointment that her father felt for her that made all the money in the world useless and Tsumugi was never one to flaunt her family’s riches. What had truly killed Tsumugi was the loss of her career playing piano, the one thing she loved more than anything in the world; being with Sumire and playing her piano for people were the things that made her life worth living, and now one of them was gone…
“Don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky…”
Jun was out shopping, it was easier to take a list and get what the girls needed for the week and anything else while leaving Azusa at home; after all; she usually had a student for their guitar lesson. Azusa had nothing today, so she played her Mustang for a bit and put it in its stand, she then took an envelope from next to her hip and slid it in the strings of her guitar and rolled her chair towards the pink duffel bag that Jun had brought in from the van…she had peeked; and knew that this bag stored Jun’s heart.
Azusa used her arms to slide out of her wheelchair and onto the carpeted floor of the room right next to the bag and then positioned herself close to the chair in which she locked the wheels to use it as a wall to lean against. Azusa unzipped the bag and took out the bottle of Sake that had a cup or two left in it and then the framed photo and finally the little photo book.
Koyomi was really a handsome man and Jun would have been married to him, they probably would have worked side by side helping people and they would even have kids that they would teach to be as kind and loving as they were. Jun would probably peak one’s interest in playing music too.
Azusa opened the photo book and took out the last photo and read the words that Koyomi had penned years ago, she then took out the engagement ring and squinted to see the engraving on the inside. Azusa slipped the ring onto her thumb; it was the only finger that it would fit on without sliding off.
Azusa closed her eyes and thought to herself, it was she who took this well deserved life from her friend…and it wasn’t fair…
Azusa took the medical bag from the pocket in the rear of the seat of her wheelchair and opened it, she took out her extra diapers and then dumped it on the floor, there was a few boxes of syringes and bottles of her Morphine…but, that wouldn’t be enough…She opened a small zippered case that looked like a lunch set with a fork, knife and spoon, the spoon appeared discolored—almost antique and tarnished. There was a lighter in the pile with a pack of cigarettes near it—neither of them smoked; it was just a cover, just like the lunch kit.
Azusa put the spoon and lighter aside with the box of syringes and bottles of Morphine and then reached under her wheelchair for the test tube vial of Cocaine…
“It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy…”
Jun unlocked the door to the apartment and with multiple bags in her hands she shrugged her way into the living area and then closed the door behind her with her foot.
“Azu, I’m home, and I bought brownies! Yummy, yummy!” Jun said a little out of breath from carrying all of the bags, she looked around the room with a smile on her face and then saw Azusa’s abandoned wheelchair, then looked to the floor.
Her expression changed drastically when she saw Azusa on the floor and she dropped the bags; some of which spilled out their contents on the carpet. Jun ran to Azusa who lay on her side, she was groaning and breathing hard and fast—then slow, almost gasping for air. Jun looked around her seeing her belongings of the album and photos of Koyomi and the bottle of Sake was lying open on its side empty. Also around Azusa were used syringes and empty bottles of Morphine and then there was the spoon—burned on the bottom which faced upwards and then there was the empty test tube with a few grains of white powder laying on the floor near the spoon.
“Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind (All we are is dust in the wind)…
Jun scooped Azusa up in her arms and yelped, “What did you do!”
Azusa was going in and out of consciousness and mumbled, “I’m sorry Jun, I’m so sorry, but I ruined your life…”
“No! You made it more complete, these things are just photos and mementos, they are nothing, but you, you are important to me and I love you Azusa, you are my sister and I love you with all my heart!” Jun cried.
“I love you Jun-Chan, I love you for taking care of me, for being there for me…for sacrificing everything just for me…but, now its time for you to have your life back…I…I can’t live like this anymore, I’m hardly a person; I have no feeling…” Azusa breathed hard and struggled to continue to speak. “I need you to tell my parents that I love them so much and Yui, Mio, Nao, Sumire…Mugi-Chan, Maki, Ui…Sawa-Chan..Ritsu…Jun…Jun, Jun, Jun…Thank you Jun…I love you, everything I own is yours, you, you…find envelope, in Mutton’s strings…” Azusa stopped as her nose began to bleed and her upper body slumped against Jun who held her tightly, she continued, “Don’t tell anyone how I…well, you know…get Ko..yomi to fake it…I love you Jun, thank you, good bye…”
Jun cried and said, “Don’t leave me Azusa, I need you, I can get you to a hospital, I can…” Azusa had a half crooked smile on her lips and said, “You will always have me…in your heart, never forget me, and I’m so sorry that I did this—the death of a rocker is a ‘Speed Ball’ right? So that’s what I did…I’m so sorry Jun, I love you…good bye sister…”
Azusa Nakano let out a long breath as her body went limp and her eyes closed forever.
Jun cried out in pain, her heart broken, Azusa, her friend, her sister, was gone forever; a part of her understood why, but she didn’t care, she loved Azusa and now none of them would ever see her smiling face ever again…
“Dust in the wind, (everything is dust in the wind) everything is dust in the wind…”
Next time; K-ON!!!! “Dust in the Wind” returns as K-ON!!!!! “Beautiful World” starting with part one. Be here next Thursday…