Emma's displacement crisis.
“Text”= Japanese People Speaking
“/Text/”= English People Speaking
“+Text+”= American People Speaking
“#Text#”= Australian People Speaking
Nothing to do again. Emma flopped back on the beanbag chair. She envied her friends for going to do. At least they had something to do in the morning. What did she do? Emma slept in from last night’s party at her hostess club. Sometimes, she didn’t even to sleep as long as she wanted because of her son, Damon. She barely had time to party anymore.
Emma glanced up at the clock. Only eight in the morning? The Aussie shut her eyes. Why?, she thought. Why am I up this early? I should be sleeping now. Why? Why?
Then, Damon’s crying caught her attention. She lifted her head and frowned.
Oh, she thought. That’s why. Emma sighed aloud.
“#Hold on,#” she said. “#I’m coming, baby.#” She got up and walked down the hall.
Emma sat in the nursery with Damon to her chest. She looked down at the sleeping tot with discomfort on her face.
Me?, she thought. A mother? I can’t even take care of fish correctly. Fujisaki cared for the child most of the time. They even started to look like father and son by now. Yet, the keyboardist didn’t seem to enjoy being around that child too often. Despite working with him on warming up to Damon, her boyfriend still kept his distance. Emma looked down at her son.
“#Why won’t he accept, eh?#” she asked. “#I mean look at you; you are just so cute.#” Damon just looked up at her with big eyes. Emma sighed to herself. This wasn’t really supposed to turn out like this. Sister died, dad left the family, mother abandoned, lost her old house, former boyfriend left her, kicked out of her old school, found a new relationship and new apartment, working as a hostess, got pregnant, and now has a GED. And then what? Emma hung her head.
I’ve got nothing for it!, she thought. Suddenly, she paused when she heard “Out of Time” by Blur on her cell phone.
“#Huh?#” she asked. She reached over and picked up her phone.
“#Hello?#” the woman asked.
“Emma-chan!” a woman yelled on the other line. The Aussie sat up straight.
“#Emi?#” she asked.
“Hi, what’s up?”
“#Not much. You?#”
“Just getting my nails done.”
“Say, you doing anything tonight?”
“The girls and I are having a party tonight. Want to come?”
Emma bit her lower lip. “#I’m not sure…#”
“What? Since when do you ever turn down the chance to party?”
“If it’s a baby-sitter, you can always call for connections.”
Emma shook her head. “#That’s not it…#”
“Then… what is it?”
The Aussie shook her head. “#Just…#” Then, the doorbell rang. Emma looked down the hallway.
“#I’ve got to go,#” she said.
“Okay,” Emi said. “Call me back when you want to go out to the party.” Emma nodded a bit.
“#Okay,#” she said. “#Bye.#” She hung up the phone and walked over to the front door.
The delivery man stood at the doorway. Emma looked at him with a blank look on her face.
“#Yeah?#” she asked.
“I have a package for a Fujisaki Suguru,” he said. “Is this the right address?” The Aussie nodded at him.
“#Yeah,#” she said. “#He’s at school right now though.#”
“Sign here ma’am.”
Emma did so in silence. The deliveryman smiled at her.
“You have a good day,” he said. The Aussie bowed her head at him. She closed the door once the deliveryman had left. Then, Damon began crying again. Emma sighed.
“#Hold on,#” she said. “#I’ll be there in a second.#” She turned and walked down the hall to tend to her son.
Fujisaki always came home about evening. Emma sat on the couch waiting for him. Damon slept beside of her in his basinet. His mother kept her eyes on the door. She about fell asleep when she heard it open.
“I’m home,” Fujisaki whispered.
“#Welcome home,#” Emma replied. Her boyfriend looked up at her from the doorway.
“Say, do you have to work tonight?” he asked.
“#No, why?#” I asked.
“Arisu’s back in town and we’re throwing her a welcome home party at this new club that Nicole and her dance troupe found last month,” he said.
“#New club?#” the Aussie asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “It’s one of those straight edge-type places.” Emma looked at him with an eyebrow raised.
“#Straight edge?#” she asked. “#As in no drinking, drugs, or smoking?#”
“That’s right,” he said. “You can even bring Damon with you.”
“#I’m not sure…#” she said.
“What did you do all day?” he asked. Emma took a moment to think about that question.
“#Uh…#” she said. Fujisaki frowned at her.
“Exactly,” he said. “I’m taking you and him out tonight.” The Aussie only nodded at him. Okay then…
The dim colored lights shone overhead in Club Momo. The wait staff all wore cat costume as they served non-alcoholic beverages to the patrons. A DJ managed the both on the second floor of the building. High school-aged kids danced in front of pictures of naked Roman gods and goddesses. The usual crew of friends sat near the window. Shawn leaned over to his girlfriend.
“/How the hell did you find this please?/” he whispered.
“/One of the newbies is a straight-edge girl,/” she explained. “/Sides, this could benefit Arisu since she has problems./” Her boyfriend nodded.
“/True,/” he mumbled. Casper and Sid sat beside each other, not talking. Simon sat in the back corner with his carrot juice in front of him. Nick still looked miserable while Cassie talked to him about more wedding plans.
“/Should we get married in a church or a temple?/” she asked.
“/I don’t care!/” he blurted out. Cassie only nodded to herself.
“/Okay then…/” she murmured. She wrote down more notes. Lucas patted a rather quiet Lexie on the back. She sat at the table almost in a daze. Fujisaki looked around the whole first floor. He turned his attention to Emma. She held Damon to her chest.
“#It feels like I’m at work,#” she mumbled.
“Come on,” he said. “Just endure it a little bit longer, okay?” Emma nodded in silence. Ando looked up at the doorway and saw a head of sparkly pink hair clips walk in.
“She’s here!” he exclaimed. The friends all rushed over to her. Arisu looked around until she saw all of her friends.
“Hey Arisu!” Ando cheered. “It’s so good so see you again!”
“Yes,” she said in a calm tone. All of the goofy ones huddled around her for a bounce hug. Arisu lightly pushed them away.
“So, how was Mongolia?” Shuichi asked. Arisu nodded for a brief moment.
“Good,” she said. “But I’m far more interested on what’s been going on here.”
“What do you mean?” Hiro asked. She turned to Sid and Casper before she spoke.
“Don’t know you?” she asked with a creepy grin on her face. “Lovely Sid and Lovely Casper are f***g,” she said. Shock came over the crew’s faces.
“What?!?” they all asked.
“Oh yes,” she said.
“/Arisu-chan, I’m sorry…/” her (former?) boyfriend began to say. The woman held up her hand to stop him.
“Your dad’s death, Sid,” she said. “That doesn’t let you do what you want.” She leaned forward and gave him a light peck on the cheek. A stiff pause followed behind before she gave him a harsh slap in the face. The man stepped back in pain.
“/Sid!/” Casper cried as she raced to his aid. Arisu turned and walked away. The friends were all left there in utter shock. Fujisaki turned to Emma.
“You want to get out of here?” he whispered.
“#Yeah,#” Emma said with a nod. The couple and the baby quickly and quietly slipped out of the club.
They didn’t speak for the whole walk. Emma stared at Fujisaki’s back the whole time.
“#Why won’t you accept him?#” she asked. The keyboardist stopped in his tracks.
“He’s not my child,” he said.
“#But he likes you,#” she said.
The man shook his head to himself. “I’m sorry, I love you but I can’t just accept him just like that.”
“#So… You’re still upset about that?#”
“Yes. I’m sorry.”
Emma just went quiet from there. She just couldn’t tell him the truth at this point. He probably wouldn’t believe her.
“Come on,” the man said. “Let’s just go home.” His girlfriend nodded. She walked over to his side. Fujisaki her by her free hand and they continued on with their walk.
The couple came home to a rude surprise. They found Arisu sitting in front of the apartment. She looked up and waved at him.
“Ciao,” she said. Fujisaki gave her a stern look.
“What are you doing here?” he whispered.
“I’m not going home,” she declared.
“What?” he asked. She looked the couple dead-on in the eye.
“I’m going to stay here from now on,” she said. “I won’t be turned away! I won’t!”
“Why?!?” Fujisaki demanded.
“This is my home now,” Arisu summed up. “Now, could you please unlock the door?”
“#Uh… sure, hang on,#” Emma said.
“Emma-chan!” Fujisaki hissed as his girlfriend reached into her jeans pocket for the key. Arisu gave him a creepy little smile.
The three of them didn’t really do much inside after dinner. Arisu stayed on the couch and smoked weed. Fujisaki and Emma just went straight to bed. The former turned to the latter.
“How long is she staying here?” he asked. Emma shrugged.
“#No idea,#” she said.
“She’s not staying here.”
“#But what else can we do?#”
“I don’t know… Get her to go home.”
“#Oh come on, Sugo-kun. She found out that Sid cheated on her.#”
“Yeah, but still she needs to go home.”
“#Let her stay for tonight, please?#”
“#Please?#” She gave him a little pout. He tried to look away from her.
“No,” he said.
“#Just for tonight,#” Emma pleaded. Her boyfriend groaned, defeated.
“Fine,” he said. “But she’s leaves in the morning.” His girlfriend smiled and kissed him on the nose.
“#Thanks, Babe,#” she whispered. Her boyfriend rolled his eyes.
“Yes, yes,” he muttered. Whatever…, he thought. Anything to keep her happy. Anything to keep her happy.
By morning, they all sat at the kitchen table. Fujisaki kept his eyes on Arisu. She only ate up quietly. His eyes darted towards Emma.
“Do something!” they said. The stoner Aussie gave him a blank look before turning to her friend.
“#So, Arisu,#” she spoke up. “#What will you do now?#” The other woman glanced up at her.
“Hm?” she asked.
“#So, when are you going to see Jin again?#” Emma asked.
“Already have,” Japanese woman said.
“Okay,” Fujisaki replied. “When are you going home?”
“Never,” she said.
“What?” he asked. Arisu shoveled rice into her mouth.
“Don’t want to,” she said.
“#But why?#” Emma asked. Arisu turned to her with a smile on her face.
“Because,” she chirped. “He’ll put me back on the leash again.”
“But don’t you need your meds at this point?” Fujisaki asked.
“No,” Arisu replied, still smiling.
“#But…#” Emma said.
“I don’t need my meds,” their friend stated. The tone she said it already raised a red flag for them.
After breakfast, Fujisaki went to work and Emma slipped out for the day with the baby. (She was still uneasy about Arisu’s current state of mind. Leaving the baby with her wouldn’t be a hot idea either.) She walked all the way to the park with Damon in her arms. She looked down at her son.
“#So, what shall we do today?#” she asked him. Suddenly, her phone rang with “Get on Your Boots” as a ring tone. Emma reached into her jeans pocket and pulled it out.
“#Hello?#” she asked.
“Emma-chan!” a familiar voice filled her ears.
“#Ai-tan?#” she asked.
“Hey there, girl!” her work friend cheered.
“#How are you?#”
“Good. Say, are you doing anything right now?”
“#Uh… nothing, why?#”
“Meet us at Imperial Palace.”
“#Wait, right now?#”
“See you there.”
Ai hung up on the other line. Emma looked at her phone. Random… They didn’t even give her the proper directions to get there.
About twenty minutes later, she found her way to the restaurant. Emma looked around for the table that her work friends sat at inside. She noticed a tanned arm near the back corner flagging her down. There they are, Emma thought. She pushed Damon close to her side and walked over to them. The hostess girls looked up and saw her. Ai stood up at the table.
“Emma-chan!” she cheered. “So glad that you could make it!” The Aussie gave her a little sheepish smile.
“#Hi…#” she mumbled. One of the hostess girls noticed Damon in her arms.
“Oh look, she even brought the little cutie with her,” she said. The baby looked at her with big eyes.
“#Yeah…#” Emma said.
“Come,” Ai said. “Take a seat.” The Aussie nodded at her.
“#Right…#” she said, quietly. She walked over and took a seat between Ai and Emi. Another hostess held up her right arm.
“Waiter!” she called. “We need a highchair over here, please. And get us a menu while we’re at it.” The chatter picked up from there again. Emma looked around with a slightly blank face. The girls around her spoke too fast and about really girly things. The Aussie felt like shrinking away from the crowd.
Why am I even here?, she thought. This isn’t me at all. Emma was more of a party person. Drinking at the bar until two in the morning, staying out all night, sleeping around with the cute boys…
No, that wasn’t even her anymore. Sure, she loved all of those things. However, she had become much quieter at home due to having a baby and stable relationship now. Yet, she needed the job to keep everything a float for her. The Aussie just wished that they would stop trying to drag her out like this when she least expected it.
Afterwards, the girls went out shopping. Emma wanted to turn them down, but they wouldn’t listen to her. She stood in the back corner with Damon in her arms while they all tried on clothes in the dressing room and modeling off to each other. In that moment, she realized where she really needed to be. Not with these girly little dolls, but back at home with Fujisaki and maybe Arisu. The Aussie turned to her son.
“#Think they’ll notice if I was gone?#” she whispered. Damon only looked up at her and giggled. His mother gently shushed him. She gave him a little smile.
“#Okay then,#” the Aussie murmured. “#Three… Two… One!#” Mother and child slipped out the back way of the store as fast as they could. Emma didn’t even look back until she made it home. She found Arisu sound asleep on the couch. Once she both Damon in his playpen near the TV, the mother Aussie looked to her left and found a note left by Fujisaki on the end table.
I might come home early. Text me what you want to eat for dinner when you get the chance.
Emma looked at the note for a long time before sinking to her knees, smiling. For some reason, it felt really good to be back home in that moment.