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“It will be hard to pull off two birthday surprises in a row since your birthdays are so close to each other.” Kochi said as they started cleaning up the plates. “Why don’t we just do it in random turns of which of the three of you will get a surprise and which ones will not?” He suggested.

Shintaro laughed while washing the dishes they used to eat. “Jesse’s the easiest to surprise but I don’t think we can trick Hokuto in any way.”

“Your birthday is in three days, right?” Taiga reconfirmed. “We have to film on that day.”

Hokuto nodded. “But we all have nothing scheduled on Saturday so I got us tickets to Hamanako Palpal. I’ve arranged a car for everyone to ride in as well!” He excitedly took the tickets out of his wallet to show the members. “Don’t lose them, okay?” He handed it to them one by one and placed Shintaro’s in his pocket since he was washing the dishes.

“We shouldn’t have prepared so much for Juri but prepared for Hokuto instead.” Taiga commented.

“Oi! What do you mean by that?” Juri protested and playfully played with Taiga’s hair to which the other one simply laughed off.

******
As soon as he woke up, Hokuto sent a message to everyone saying that he will be waiting for them at the entrance of the theme park. He was looking forward to this day so much he always sent them reminders to keep Saturday open. After taking a shower, he dressed fashionably as usual but comfortable enough because they would be moving around.

Hokuto visited his grandparents first before heading for the theme park, but still he ended up getting there before anyone else. He was checking his phone but no one was sending him any messages for cancellation which he was glad about. He kept fidgeting while standing from the excitement of getting to play around with the members without cameras following them around.

“Oi! Hokuto!” Somebody called out to him.

Hokuto turned around with a wide smile on his face that slowly faded when he only spotted Jesse from a distance with no one else around him. Jesse kept waving his hand while walking up to him with the widest grin he could muster up.

“Where are the others?” Hokuto looked around behind Jesse, seemingly ignoring the one who just came.

Jesse put his hand inside his jacket pocket. “Some things came up and they can no longer make it.” He tapped Hokuto’s shoulder with his left hand. “Let’s just go have fun just the two of us. We’ll take lots of pictures and show them what they missed out.” He gently pushed Hokuto towards the entrance.

“Do you want to eat first?” Hokuto asked without a hint of enthusiasm in his voice. He was really down in the dumps that no one else came but Jesse even after he arranged everything for them.

Jesse hit him playfully on the shoulder. “Why are you so disappointed? I’m really fun to be with!”

“I know that.” Hokuto sounded a bit annoyed. “I see you the most than the other members even if it’s not my birthday. I’d prefer someone else instead.” He let out a sigh.

“Why don’t we start to raise our spirit up by looking at the scenery, huh?” Jesse was nudging him, getting him to smile a little. “Let’s get on the ropeway!” Jesse ran towards the ropeway and Hokuto had no other choice but to follow after him.

Hokuto could not help but think that maybe they were trying to pull a fast one on him and the rest was waiting to surprise him at the end of the ropeway. He shook his head to try to get rid of the thought, he did not want to be disappointed the second time but maybe they were really going to surprise him. After all, surprises are what they all enjoy doing the most. Jesse kept on snickering while they waited in line, this made Hokuto think even more.

Jesse pulled out his phone to take some pictures of them while waiting in line. While inside the ropeway, Jesse took their pictures again. Jesse had a wide grin and all smiles on all the pictures while Hokuto always had a blank face. But still, he was a little bit excited to get to the end because the rest might really be waiting for him there. He was fighting off his smile as they got off but again, disappointment poured over him as there was no one there waiting for him. Jesse yet again kept on taking their pictures with Hokuto still donning a disappointed expression.

Hokuto was then dragged by Jesse to the vertical maze. He wanted to go into the delusion again that maybe the others are at the end of the maze but that was a dangerous path to dwell on as he did not want the whole day to be full of disappointment. While they were walking around the maze Jesse kept on taking more pictures of them, it was as though his picture taking will never have an end.

“Enough with the photos!” Hokuto complained halfway through. “We have enough photos to last the year already.”

“Hey come on! Let’s have a little fun here. You wouldn’t want to waste these tickets, right?” Jesse’s spirit was never defeated with Hokuto’s sulking. He dragged him to the end of the maze.

Suddenly, Jesse covered his eyes and they were walking faster than they were earlier.

“Oi! Jesse!” Hokuto shouted. He tripped on something and fell down. “Jesse - ”

Party poppers blasted around him and the members surrounded him laughing. Kochi helped him get up from the floor, Hokuto was in a daze seeing the members around him even if he had already predicted that this might happen. Juri wiped off the dirt from his pants.

“You really showed us a great expression, Hokuto!” Shintaro snickers as he showed Hokuto his phone. Apparently, Jesse was sending the members their picture that’s why he was taking so much.

“Shouldn’t we congratulate Jesse?” Juri was laughing a little. “We never thought he could pull it off, I bet you were dying to tell him already, weren’t you?” He was pointing his finger at the laughing Jesse.

Jesse nodded. “He was really down no one else came and I was starting to get guilty the sulkier he got.” He pointed at Hokuto. “Just look at his face in our pictures!”

Hokuto couldn’t help but laugh at himself as well. “Ah~! You all pulled one at me.”

“Sa~ let’s not waste any more time standing around.” Kochi said. “Let’s go enjoy things around the theme park just as how Hokuto wanted to celebrate with us, alright?”

Everyone nodded and they made their way down the vertical maze.