A dinner party with Arisu and her family prompts Sid and Arisu to come out with the truth.
“Text”= Japanese talking
“/Text/”= English talking
“+Text+”= American talking
“#Text#”= Australian talking
Saturday, seven a.m.
Arisu turned to Sid in his bed.
“Sid-kun,” she said. Her boyfriend’s eyes turned to her. He didn’t say a word. She ran her finger around on his chest in slow circles.
“My family is have dinner together tomorrow,” she said. Sid still didn’t speak. His girlfriend cuddled up close to his chest.
“I’m inviting you with me,” she said. Sid’s eyes shot wide open.
“/What?!?/” he asked. Arisu pouted at him.
Sid looked away some. “/Jin still hates me./”
“No, he doesn’t.”
“/Yes, he does./”
Arisu gave him a little smile. “Well, make him not hate you.”
“/And how do I do that?/”
“I don’t know.”
“/You don’t know?/”
“Maybe try to be good. Please come with me Sunday? Please? Please? Please?”
Sid laid his head back and sighed. Why does she always do this for me?
“/Alright,/” he said. Arisu smiled as she cuddled close to him.
“Oh thank you!” She kissed him on the chest. Sid sighed again. Why? Why does this happen to me?
Sunday afternoon. Jin set the table. His mother sat at the table with heavy sand bags for eyes. She hadn’t had a drink since last night. Jin paused when he heard a soft groan. He turned to her.
“Something wrong, mama?” he asked. She trembled as she closed her fist on the table. The woman shook her head. Jin gave her a little smile and patted her on the shoulder.
“It’s okay,” he said. “Just stay sober a little longer.” She didn’t even look up at him. Jin went back to setting up the table.
Outside, Sid and Arisu walked up to her old house. They both looked nice for the afternoon. She had on a white dress that hid her scars. He had on a cheap suit. Sid didn’t wear his hat today. Arisu turned to him, smiling. Sid blinked at her.
“/What?/” he asked. “/Is my tie crooked?/” Arisu giggled.
“Yes,” she said. “Hold still.” She reached up fixed his tie. Sid stood there with a nervous titter. It feels like we’re married… Arisu let go of his tie and stepped back with a smile.
“Perfect,” she said. Arisu began to walk up the driveway. She held out her hand to him.
“Come Sid,” she said. Her boyfriend nodded a bit.
“/Right…/” he said. He took her hand and walked up to the door with her. Arisu rang the doorbell.
“Coming!” her brother said inside. Sid tried to keep himself calm. I have to get through this. Maybe things could be different this time. The door pulled wide open. Jin smiled at her.
“Arisu-chan!” he said. “I missed you so much!” Arisu smiled.
“Me too, Jin,” she said as she hugged him back. She nuzzled him on the ear. Her brother chuckled. He happened to look up and see Sid staring at him. The younger man gave her a little wave.
“/Hi…/” he mumbled. Jin frowned at him.
“What is he doing here?” he asked.
“I invited him over,” Arisu said.
“He’s my boyfriend.”
Jin frowned at him. “Whatever.” He walked back into the house. Arisu skipped in happily. Sin frowned.
“Come on, Sid!” Arisu yelled inside. Her boyfriend dropped his shoulders.
“/Okay…/” he mumbled. Then, he followed his girlfriend and her brother into the house.
The clock ticked in the background of the dining room. Arisu and Jin’s mom looked so out of it. Jin cut Sid a death glare. Sid tried to keep smiling the whole time. Only Arisu looked happy herself. She clapped her hands once.
“Okay!” she said. “How is everyone?” Silence filled the room.
“I’m good!” she went on. “This is my last year in school.” Silence again. She turned to her brother.
“So,” she said. “And how are you Jin?” He snorted.
“Fine,” he grumbled.
“Good! And you, mama?”
The woman groaned as she tried to stay awake. Her daughter smiled.
Sid rolled his eyes. What is she doing? This will never work. Arisu turned to him smiling.
“And you, Sid?” she asked. He clenched his fists into tight balls.
Arisu looked on at him. “I’m sorry?”
Sid turned his head to her. “/Why do you pretend that everything is okay?!?/”
Everyone stared at him. Jin glared at him, but Sid didn’t care at this point. He didn’t seem to know how to shut up.
“/Everything is not okay! Your mum is a drunk! Jin hates me! My mum is shacking up with another man! Dad is still trying to keep it all together! Simon is still recovering from the hospital! And you…/” He breathed in hard. His girlfriend stared at him.
“And me?” she asked. Sid lowered his head. He shook to himself.
“/Forget it!/” he said. “/This is f***g stupid!/” The young man got up and stormed away from the table. The Ozawa family sat there with the clock ticking in the background.
“What’s with him?” Arisu asked.
“Who cares?” Jin answered. Their mother still looked out of it.
Sid stormed down the hall, breathing hard. This is so stupid! It makes no sense! Three years and she still refused to change. He should’ve known. They had known each other since they were kids. But still…
Arisu looked around at the table.
“Is Sid-kun coming back?”
Jin snorted. “Why?”
Arisu frowned at him. “Why do you have to be such a jerk to him all the time?!?”
“He’s no good for you!”
“But I love him!”
“You deserve better!”
“But I don’t want better!”
Jin stared at her. “What?!?”
Arisu’s fists trembled as she let her anger slowly leak out. “I’m not a child anymore.”
“But you are still a child.”
“No, I’m not!”
The whole room went silent. Arisu sat back frowning.
“I don’t get you, Jin.”
Her brother blinked at her. “What are you talking about?”
“Why do you always try to smother me?”
“I’m just trying to protect you.”
“I don’t want your protection.”
Jin sat there with a hurt look in his eyes. “Arisu…”
His sister shook her head. “I’m not Fujiko.”
Her brother looked at her shocked. “Do you really think I…” He saw the young woman frowning at him. “That’s not true…”
Arisu’s face didn’t change. “Jin, you have to let Fujiko go.” Her brother’s silence prompted her to finish.
“Until you can realize that, I…” She paused to deliver the final blow. “I just won’t talk to you anymore. Excuse me.” She didn’t even stay around to see the look on Jin’s face.
Sid stood sat in Arisu’s darkened room when he heard a soft knock on the door.
“/What?/” he asked.
“It’s only me,” Arisu said on the other side of the door. Sid rolled his eyes.
“/What do you want now?/”
Sid puffed up his cheeks. “/Figures./”
Arisu paused before going. “But, I will say this.”
“Sometimes I have to keep the peace.”
“Not just for me. For you, Jin, and mama.”
“/I don’t need any peace!/”
“Don’t you think I can grasp that?”
Sid paused. “/What?/”
“This will sound stupid, but Jin can’t get over Fujiko’s death. So, I try to humor everyone around me and then I’ll be fine.” She looked up at the door. “Until today.” They both stayed silent for a long time. Sid finally slid the door open and stared at her.
“/What do you mean?/” he asked.
Arisu pressed her hands together. “I am not talking to Jin until he can let go of Fujiko.” She stepped forward and kissed him on the lips. Sid didn’t move until he felt sure enough to take him into the room with him.
Jin still sat at the dinner table. His mother had fallen asleep by now. He looked over at her and shook his head. Where did I go wrong?
Sid and Arisu laid together on her old futon. She cuddled up close to him, smiling as she fell asleep. Sid smiled to himself as he shook his head.
Arisu-chan. What am I going to do with you? He might as well keep her. She’s getting it her all at least.