That was the question wavering in Misty's head. She was proposed this opportunity, not by some random agent from a company but from the Director of the school she used to frequent just a couple months before.
"Were you not listening to me this whole time? I decided on a career for you. You should be thankful. It's not everyday that I do something like this."
The office was neat and tidy. One could hear the laughter of children just outside the windows.
"It is my responsibility to look after the students when they graduate. And that proposal came to me a couple days ago. It has to be you and no one else."
"May I at least ask why me?"
The woman spun around in her chair. Her blond hair fluttered as she did this, giving her quite the seductive appeal. She looked trough the nearby window behind her desk.
"I have been the director of this facility for so long and yet I still ask that question myself. But fate always is chosen by somebody else that we cannot control. You can't avoid it."
Misty squeezed her fists as hard as she could muster. Any harder and her hands would start to bleed. She was angry. That was a fact that she knew very well, and despite this, she also knew that she shouldn't vent at the person in front of her. And yet she did it.
"I am sorry Miss Yuki, but I choose how I live my life in my own terms! I don't want anybody making choices for me!"
Yuki did not falter at Misty's sudden outburst. In fact her stern expression looked ever more serious than before. She adjusted her glasses trough the side and brushed the bangs of her hair behind her ear.
"Then, let me ask you. Have you decided on your career?"
Misty's throat went instantly dry. She swallowed air and took a step back. Yuki kept pressing.
"Do you have a stable location to live? A secure income to shoulder your expenses?"
Misty could feel a tear forming trough the corner of her eye. However she mustered her courage to not let it fall. She lowered her head, admitting defeat.
"It seems I've responded my own question. Your casting is scheduled by tomorrow morning, right here. And please wear something more presentable."
I wasn't able to say anything at that time.
Three months have passed. Misty was able to become an idol, starting with commercials. Soon enough they were asking for an album and merchandise. Everything was going too fast for her. It was unthinkable of her that it would ever reach this point.
She wanted to let some steam out. It was too much for her to bear. Walking around the park alone always eased her mind. Misty was never the talkative person on the... other side. But she would always open herself to those who she feels she can trust. In here though, she has to act like somebody else.
I don't feel forced to do it, and I really like this here. But... I'm being put into so much pressure already...
Sighing, she sat on a bench, throwing her body weight onto it.
"Well, that's not exactly the kind of way a lady should sit."
The voice startled Misty. Next to her, a tall, strong-looking man was sitting beside her. Misty was so absorbed in her own thoughts that he completely ignored his presence.
"Well, I'm no lady, so it's fine."
The man laughed. "Well if you are so certain, I won't push further."
Misty gave another look at him. He was quite tall, taller than the normal even. Not too muscular but his shoulders are wide enough to give him the feeling of professional fighters. His clothes are quite simple, way too simple. Perhaps he is from Gaia? The fantasy-setting in there is quite strict in terms of fashion if you are not royalty. And he certainly didn't look like that with his tanned skin and crew cut.
The man inquired again. "But if I may ask. You seem rather troubled. Is there anything I can do for you?"
Creepy. Is that your way to woo me or something? I thought I had enough of that from guys at Neon Falls.
"No. I am fine."
"It is not good for your health to bottle up your feelings you know? Well, I am certain that you won't say anything to a stranger after all. Forgive me."
While Misty agreed, she still had mixed feelings. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad to relieve herself of her worries to someone who has nothing to do with her.
"Well... if you put it that way... my name is Misty."
The man smirked. "I know."
It was then that she noticed the large banner hanging in front of a store on the other side of the walkway. It had her face on it. It was an advertisement for mineral water where she was asked to pose with the bottle behind some waterfalls.
"Bear in mind though that it's not because of the banner. That waterfall is a spot I am very familiar with and so it happened that when I was walking there you were posing for the cameras."
"Ah... so that's how it is..."
"Well then. Such a celebrity as yourself sure has plenty of work to do, right? I am sure that you might feel tired of all the work you do, but if you want my opinion..."
He paused, waiting for Misty to react. However she was already expecting him to finish that line of thought. After all it was the root of her worries.
The man smiled once more. "... don't see it as a job but an occupation. Try to enjoy what you do, and if you don't enjoy it... what's the point in doing it?"
For a moment nobody spoke until Misty broke in laughter. "What is that? You talk like you have been in the business before!"
"Well. I haven't. That's why it's just an opinion."
"And you said before that I wouldn't hear the opinion of a stranger."
The man stood silent for a while until he seemed like he reached a conclusion. "Yes. I did say that."
He stood up. "My name is Zacharias. But Zach is just fine. Keep up the good work idol-in-progress."
Misty grinned. "Who are you calling 'in progress'?"
With a single motion, she stood up and got herself up in the bench. That small piece of wood, now seemed like a big stage where thousands of eyes were laying on her and cheering her up.
She posed, winked and said her declaration of war:
"I will be the best idol there is. You can count on it!"