A light flickers beneath the billboard and for a moment Yamada sees his face illuminated again, the way he used to see it so often on the screens of Shibuya crossing.
The billboard he’s looking at now isn’t half as fantastical, it’s just a regular billboard, paper illuminated by lights from below. It’s barely that because the light is old and temperamental, it flickers again and then sputters out.
Yamada raises his eyebrows as he watches, and then inhales a long drag from his cigarette. “That was a good movie...”
Yuto hums but it takes a moment for him to answer “It was a shitty movie, you were good.”
It was a good movie. Yamada cringes a little as he thinks of it though, because he can’t watch his own movies without remembering everything, every co-star, every laugh they shared, every hardship and every critic review. It was a good movie. It was. It was the pinnacle of his career, and it always will be.
He decided something the night it premièred. It wasn’t at the screening, it was long after that, after he’d made his escape from the after party, as he was walking along the streets of Shibuya, as he reached the crossing and saw the billboard, his face shining back at himself from thousands of led lights. He would never be able to top this.
The train tickets were booked before the sun had even come up, two of them, to the middle of fucking nowhere.
Yamada hadn’t expected to find a billboard in the middle of fucking nowhere, especially not one with his face on, even if it was only a regular billboard, a paper poster lit up from below by a temperamental spotlight.
“It was a good movie.” Yamada repeats, only to himself this time. For just a moment he congratulates himself of the success of it, and then he looks out at that shitty, crumbling billboard again. Once you reach the top there’s only one way left to go and Yamada sure as hell wasn’t going there. “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” he mumbles.
They’re powerful words, Yamada doesn’t even remember where he heard them, who it was that translated them for him but they’ve been with him since before he even made it to the big screen.
He knew this day would come, they both did. They knew there’d be a day they’d both walk away and Yamada didn’t think it would be so soon but as soon as he accepted the contract, he somehow knew.
The light flickers again, half flickers at least, the light an almost blueish hue before it emits a loud popping noise and vanishes again, drowning the billboard in eternal blackness. It feels strangely poignant. Yuto blows a billow of smoke into the space between them “Once you’re, gone you can’t come back...”