I apologize in advance for a particular joke within this chapter. I couldn't resist.
--- Chapter 6, Part 1: ConveRINtion
The phone next to me goes off. Ughhhh. No.
It can't be time to get up yet. I watched two movies with Emi last night and sat against the bottom of her bed for both of them. My back had a contest with the wooden frame to see who would give up first. The bedframe won.
I just want to sleep moooooore. Pleeeeeeeaaaaase?
I manage to slide my hand over my head and pat around on the-
Oh crap. That's not my alarm.
I sit up, scraping the back of my head against the bottom of the bedframe as I do. My hand reaches up and pats the tender area as I let out a low hiss of pain. Thank god I have so much hair. That would have really hurt if I had been bald or something. But if my father's genes are what we're going on, I'm probably not going to go bald for a long time.
Wait. Phone.I grab the offending piece of circuitry and plastic off the floor and flip it open.
"I tried calling the house phone. Are you still sleeping, son?"
My eyes strain and snap open. Dad? Really? What time is it anyway? I glance at the clock a few feet from my head. It's only ten. Why are you asking if I'm still sleeping? It's the weekend. I can sleep in as late as I want old man.
"Not anymore, I guess."
"Did you remember to feed Nori?"
I groan and stretch. My back hates me for it. Dad starts something on the other end of the phone. I push it back to my ear in time to catch the last part of it.
"-says that it's refreshing her baby brother is being so responsible and watching after the house for once." That bitch. Chieko's still the Queen of backhanded compliments it seems.
"Dad what's it like to have raised Satan's spawn?"
My dad goes quiet.
"You weren't that bad."
Son of a bitch. The old man reversed it on me.
"So how's the love hotel going? Is Hisao's girlfriend a looker?"
I shove myself up onto the bed before rubbing at my eyes. Floors do not make good beds. I don't remember how we managed to sleep on futons before we moved here. Ugh. My old nemesis, the Sun. I squint and hold my hands up to my face. Why is he so goddamn bright all the time? Doesn't he know I just woke up? I don't need my corneas burnt out right now.
"Uh. No. About that..."
"Your mother wants to know if you're just trying to cover up the fact that he's really your boyfriend."
I can hear my mother shouting that she'd love me no matter what my lifestyle was somewhere behind my father. I wonder if this feeling of hatred is what Hisao feels every time I crack one of these jokes.
"No. It's... ugh. Okay. Give me a second alright? I slept on the floor apparently. My back needs straightening."
I stretch again, slowly. My back thanks me for the careful movements as it pops back into place. I don't mean it actually pops back into place. I mean, it certainly feels like it. I massage my shoulder, crack my neck and then put the phone back against my ear.
"Okay. So Hisao's girlfriend is actually someone I know from Yamaku."
"It isn't that girl you dated, is it?"
Haha. Oh father. No. No it's not. We’ll get to that in a second.
"Oh no. Close though. It's Rin, her best friend. I think I told you about her, right?"
My dad must be stroking his beard, digging through the filing cabinets in his mind.
"The... artist girl? Small world."
I rub the back of my neck. Yeah. So that's why this next part is going to blow your mind, Wizard Father.
"And Emi's here too."
The line goes quiet for the third time. I hear my mother's voice in the background again. Nothing she's saying comes to me clearly, but it sounds very urgent. Maybe she needs to use the toilet and wants the phone to play a game during the process? Probably not. In fact, there's no way in hell it's that. That's a stupid idea. Why am I so stupid?
Well, I did just wake up. Rather rudely, might I add.
"Okay. Emi. That's your ex-girlfriend?"
Oh fuck. How stupid am I going to be this morning?
"Uh, yeah. That's her." My dad gets a nervous chuckle from me. I explain the whole situation. About how Hisao brought her as a surprise for me. That he didn't know that we had dated in my third year and had a really bad falling out. He just listens as I go on about what happened yesterday and last night. I tell him about the movies and that small connection we had again. At least how I think it’s one. Maybe it’s more likely closure. The end to it all.
"Are you alright?" He finally asks when I'm finished. He’s worried I’ll go back to how I was after Yamaku. Back to being a complete mess. I don’t blame him. I’m worried too.
No. Yes. No. Well, okay. Yes and no. I'm alright right now, but I think that I'm going to be a complete mess later depending on how this weekend goes. If we can manage to keep the peace between us going, maybe I'll come out of this with minimal emotional devastation again. If we get into a shouting match then I don't know. I really don't know, Dad. But I can't just tell that to my Wizard Father. He'll never think me worthy of inheriting his magical beard gifts. And judging by the sad state of affairs of my scruffy face, I'll need those powers later in my life. So, the only question is just how am I going to put this so that he understands and I don't look like a crying pansy?
"Eh." Yeah. That should about cover it.
"Oh. You didn't sleep with her did you?"
My face scrunches up. My eyes clamp shut. My brain freezes. Somewhere on the other side of the world, the egg that a chicken was about to lay shoots right back up into her.
"What? That's a perfectly reasonable question."
"I'm assuming you put her in your sister's room? Please wash the sheets son."
"OhmygodDadshutup." It comes out a glob of words. I wish it could smack my father across the face. I wish it would smack the beard right off of his stupid, smug face. I wish he would come up with a new joke.
"I'm joking. I'm joking."
"I'm going to need a shower." I twist the flowery bed sheets in my fist. I'm not kidding. My brain needs to be scrubbed. Oh, it would be so nice if I could actually just unhinge the top part of my skull and pull the memories of my father's jokes out every day. I could live on in peaceful bliss when I wasn't talking to him. Also, I’m sweaty and gross feeling. So I guess I need a shower for more than the brain clean.
"Alright. You're sure you're okay?"
"Okay son. Just call if anything happens. Wash the-"
I hang up before he can finish his last line. I shudder on the bed and close the phone.
Oh god. Why would anyone's father ask them that?
I shake my head to clear it and take a deep breath. Alright.Time to get through the day.
I open my eyes again.
Okay. This isn't my room. This is Chieko's old room. That would explain why I slept on the floor. At least Emi seems to have disappeared. Hey. Maybe this is a huge dream? Maybe I'm back from some insane asylum and my father is just calling from the other room to try to recreate some sort of long locked away memory that will solve the murder of my sister or mother or wife or- Oh man, I need to write this down. This is a brilliant movie idea.
I'm going to make trillions.
The shower, while brain scrubbing free, manages to make me feel better about the day. Emi might be here, dragging up old memories and feelings and messing with my brain... But that's okay. I think. Well, probably not. But, if I can manage to keep my day relatively drama-free, I think I can make it through it. I just have to keep a clear head and try not to yell at her.
I'm still not sure what I should take away from our movies last night. We used to sit up and watch movies together all the time. Not just when we decided we wanted to mash our faces and other bits together. We started the movie tradition when she began dragging my broken ass around the track. I wish I was joking when I said that's exactly what the Nurse instructed her to do if I refused to run.
"Drag his broken ass around the track until he stops resisting."
Yeah, well, throw a pretty girl my way and I'll start drooling like Pavlov's dog, buddy. So fuck you, Nurse. If there's anyone I should blame, it's you for introducing me to her. It's your fault for mushing us together. It was only a matter of time before we kissed. You knew it would happen, didn't you? It's your fault that I got so hung up on her. It's your fault she punched me. If you hadn't made me fall in love with her, I'd have never yelled at her that day. I would have never been so bold to peek if you hadn't... Ugh. No. That is definitely not a memory I want to re-live.
Great. My heart still wants to do a belly flop into my... well, my belly. Ah-ha! I know exactly what's going to put me in the right mindset. Thank the heavens that I was smart enough to pack it.
I pull on a fresh pair of jeans and my favorite Astro-Boy shirt before my jacket. Alright day. Throw whatever you've got at me. I've got my lucky shirt on. I can take everything you've got. Nori? That fat tub of cat crap is going to love the crap out of me. I'm going to throw some shrimp from last night into his food bowl. That'll earn me some extra affection.
Emi? Who cares? I'll lock myself in my room and avoid her all day. And if, by some random chance, I have to actually socialize with her, I'll keep things nice. I can do it. I'm fucking invincible in this shirt. If she threw a punch at my jaw now, I’d totally be able to ninja flip out of the way and retaliate with a throwing star or something.
Hell, Hisao could even drag Arai up here now. I'm making fucking curry for dinner. And my curry is so good that it'll blow her pants right off and her supple butt right into my bedroom.
Today is going to be amazing. I can feel it.
I open my bedroom door.
Nori runs in and immediately jumps onto my desk. He manages to knock over exactly one- no, two, oh, just about everything on the desk and send it all tumbling to my floor. Great!
"Well fuck you too, Nori."
"Does he ever talk back?"
I turn around. Rin is standing in my doorway. She's got on a pair of jeans and a dark green tank top. So that's what her arms look like! Little stubs. Sort of like mine except shorter and thinner since she doesn't really use them. She stares at me with those deep green eyes, perfectly calm. I guess it's good that I got dressed before letting Nori in.
I glance at my clock. It's only ten thirty. I don't want to have a conveRintion at ten thirty in the morning.
"Uh. No. Well, maybe. He's a cat. He doesn't speak Japanese. He speaks... cat."
Rin nods. Did she take nodding lessons from my father? What mysteries of the cosmos does she hold in that twisted noggin of hers? How is she always so calm and serene? It's like basking in Buddha's glow. Well, at least that's what I imagine it's like. I don't personally know Buddha.
"That makes sense."
"Is everyone else up?"
"They went to the convenience store." Rin gives me a slow nod to further convince me.
"Oh. For what?"
Right. Of course. That makes sense. Rin continues to stare at me. Is there something wrong with my face?
"The phone was ringing earlier."
"I know. It was my Dad. He called my cellphone."
"I'm going outside."
Rin turns on her heel and walks off. Annnnnnnnd... That's the Rin I remember. That's just how she operates. RIght? Right.
Wait. Outside? Like outside outside? In a tanktop? Damnit Rin. It's practically about to snow out there. I groan and tug my jacket on quickly.
I get that she's Hisao's girlfriend and therefor I should try to make sure she doesn't get a cold, but still.... Why do I have to play babysitter?
Last edited by Dr.Worm
on Thu May 09, 2013 6:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.