“Text”= Japanese People Speaking
“/Text/”= English People Speaking
“+Text+”= American People Speaking
“#Text#”= Australian People Speaking
Fujisaki just can’t seem to grasp it. Four years with that woman and he still hadn’t accept Damon fully. “He’s not my child,” he told himself. Yet, this child looks to him like he was his father. His little arms reached out to hug him at this point. The boy had just started to learn how to walk. He was still a little clumsy, but he was learning. For some reason, Fujisaki felt proud about this. But always, he would try to distance himself for it.
He is not my child, the keyboardist thought. He is not my child!, He looked down to see Damon staring at him. Fujisaki tried to tear himself away from those big blue eyes of that child. He groaned to himself.
“Don’t look at me like that,” he told the baby. Damon only looked at him in silence. Fujisaki groaned again.
The finals are coming up. As Shawn put it, “countdown to leave this hell hole.” So, these past few weeks have been busy. Fujisaki had his own plans after he graduated from this experimental cram school. Bad Luck had a big tour in America coming up in a few weeks. Shuichi was already excited about that. Emma was okay with the boys going. However, that wasn’t the issue at hand here. Fujisaki stood in front of the apartment he shared with Emma and Damon. The man drew in a deep breath as he watched her try to cook in the kitchen. He rehearsed what he wanted to say.
“Emma-chan,” he began. “We need to talk.” His girlfriend struggled with boiling the noodles on the stove. She’s cooking dinner for him tonight. Probably won’t taste good again, but he eats it with a smile anyway.
“Emma-chan,” Fujisaki began again. “I have something to tell you; I am just uncomfortable with raising Damon with you. Let’s find the child’s father, okay?”
Emma rushed around with the cooking even more.
“Emma-chan,” the keyboardist said again. “I have something to tell you; I am just uncomfortable with raising Damon with you. I just can’t do this.”
The Aussie still rushed with cooking.
“Emma-chan,” he began again. “I am just uncomfortable with raising Damon with you. I just can’t do this. I’m sorry.” Each time sounded harsh.
Emma still cooked in the window. She even cradled Damon in her arms at the same time. She had grown to trying harder lately. The woman looked up and saw Fujisaki looking at her. The keyboardist looked and saw a small group of elders staring at him. The man went quiet and walked away.
In class, Casper, Ando, and Sid studied for their finals. Sid narrowed his eyes in his textbook.
“/Sigmund… Feud?/” he asked. “/What the f**k did he do?/” The friends kept looking hard in their books.
“/F**k,/” Sid muttered.
“F**k,” Ando mumbled.
“/F**k,/” Casper echoed.
“Oh crap,” Jack said as he read through his textbook. Ando sat back and sighed.
“I’m actually f*d!” he muttered. “Ignorance is f**g bliss. I was fine before!” Fujisaki tried to focus on his own studies.
“I was totally fine before I started studying,” Ando complained.
“Aw, f**k this shit,” Jack said. “I’m playin’ some killa beats!” He pulled out his phone for help. But before he could connect, the teacher walked by and took his phone.
“Thank you, Jack!” she said.
“Thank you, everybody!” another teacher yelled. “A little attention!” The students were too busy goofing off at the moment.
“Inoue Ando, shut it!” he snapped. The man looked up at him, stunned. The rest of the class went silent. The teachers look at all of the students.
“Yes, thank you, Yusuke-san,” the professor said. She looked at her students.
“No problem,” Yusuke said.
“You may be wondering,” the other professor began. A student walked in late and took a seat.
“You may be wondering,” the other professor began again. “What happened to study sessions? Well, never in my twenty-five years as a teacher have I ever come across a senior who was so utterly, hopelessly, sadly, pathetically stupid!” She stopped over Sid as he folded up a note. The man glanced up at her. The rest of the class giggled.
“And that,” the teacher went on as she walked back up to the front. “Is why study sessions have been abolished.”
“What?!?” the students cried out in shock.
“Guys,” Yusuke spoke up. “You’re not going to do it for yourselves, do it for us!” More groans filled the room.
“Please?” he asked. The female professor stepped forward.
“From now on,” she said. “It’s revision, on campus!” More groans filled the classroom.
“What?!?” a student cried out.
“Nine until 3:30!” the professor went on. “No excuses, no exceptions or you’re expelled! We will be the center of excellence if it kills me, got it?!?” Fujisaki glanced over at her from his thoughts.
“Screw you lives up in your own time!” the professor barked. Suddenly, Jack’s phone rang in her pocket. A couple of giggles followed as she reached in and pulled it out.
“Hello?” she asked as she answered it.
“I ain’t trying to hear your pussy little asshole mouth!” a woman screamed on the other line. Jack winced to himself.
“Hold on,” the professor whispered as she walked around with Jack’s phone.
“Mimi?” she asked as she handed the drug dealer his phone.
“Yeah, Mimi!” the woman on the other line yelled. The class giggled as Jack took back his phone.
“Yeah?” Jack asked. The professor walked over to another student.
“Tetsu, didn’t I expel you?” she asked. The baby-faced man looked up at her.
“Baseball team made it to the finals,” he said with a shrug. A couple chuckles followed that statement.
“Jesus Christ!” the professor mumbled as she walked around again. Sid turned to Yusuke.
“/Yusuke-sensei,/” he said. “/What’s this all about? What’s this about no more study sessions?/”
“I’m a man about the town,” Ando complained. “I have appointments.”
“Yeah,” Tetsu said. “I wanted to go to Harajuku!” More complaints filled the room. Yusuke held up his hands.
“Alright, alright! Settle down!” he shouted. “Let’s not panic!” He turned to the big calendar on the wall.
“After all,” he said. “We only have five days before exams begin.” The man reached out and tore the nine through six down to the five. The class groaned in more disappointment.
“Come on, let me hear you!” Yusuke yelled out. “Fight! Fight! Fight!” The students all stared at him in silence. Yusuke stood awkwardly.
“Okay…” he said. Then, he walked out of the classroom.
“Casper,” Fujisaki whispered. “I need to speak with you.” The hippie turned around to him.
“Hold on,” she said in Japanese. “What did we agree on? We would only speak in the languages that we were studying until oral exams are over. Otherwise, why would these twats expect us to memorize all of this shite?”
“No,” Fujisaki said.
“Silence,” his friend cut in. “Thanks. I don’t speak English.” Fujisaki frowned at her.
“Now, test me on the history of the Meji Era,” Casper went on. She looked around for a bit. “And then…” she said. “I want to tell you what Simon did. I still hate him, obviously, but it was so romantic.” Fujisaki’s mind drifted elsewhere again.
Later that night, Fujisaki came back home. He knows mother and son are waiting for him. Another awkward dinner tonight. The man breathed in and walked up to the apartment that he shared with her. Inside, Emma lit the candles on the table. Damon sat in his highchair, watching.
“#And… open!#” the Aussie said aloud. Fujisaki lowered his hands from his eyes. A bit of a puzzled look came onto his face. A pink penis-shaped candle burned in the center of the table. A melon salad sat in a bowl before him.
“#It’s your favorite!#” his girlfriend cheered.
“What is?” Fujisaki asked.
“#Well, you like melon, yeah?#” she asked. Her boyfriend blinked at her.
“Yeah…” he replied.
“#So,#” Emma said. “#I met you melon salad!#”
“Oh, right?” he asked. “But... it’s strange.”
“#I prefer unique,#” she said. Her boyfriend chuckled.
“Guess you’re something else,” he said. Damon laughed from his highchair.
“#And what do we have here?#” Emma asked as she took a seat herself. “#Le Plum of Night Sake.#” Fujisaki looked on in discomfort. He probably should tell her now. But, she looked so happy pouring the sake in the tumbler glasses on the table. The keyboardist sighed as he turned to her. Emma glanced up at him.
“Emma,” he spoke up at last. “I’ve got something to tell you.”
“#Cool, me too!#” she chirped. “#I got you a present!#” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a small black box. The hostess opened it up and showed him the silver wedding band inside.
“#Yeah?#?” she asked. Fujisaki blinked.
“#Got it this morning while you were in the studio!#” she bragged with a grin. Fujisaki stared at her speechless.
“Um…” he began.
“#Look, I know it’s sudden,#” Emma cut in. “#But I feel like it’s about time that you, Damon, and I all became a proper family. So, Sugo-kun, will you marry me?#” The keyboardist looked at her with big, shocked eyes. This was bad, really bad. She had already came to the point that he really feared now. Now what could he do?
“What?” he asked.
“#I want to be your wife,#” she went on. “#I wanted to be married to you in this apartment, raising Damon. What could be better than that?#”
“Emma…” Fujisaki began.
“#Alright, now what did you want to tell me?#” she asked. The keyboardist went quiet for a moment. Then, he lowered his head.
“I love you,” the man said at last. Emma’s eyes lit up brightly.
“#Now you’re talking!#” she said. “#By asking, I think…#”
“Don’t think!” he said quickly. He leaned in and kissed her on the lips. The love fest led back to their bedroom. Fujisaki lied there as Emma kissed him on the neck and collarbone. He tried to convince himself this would be okay. Maybe this could work. Yeah. That lasted about… ten minutes. Fujisaki shut his eyes.
What am I thinking? The man put his hand on her head as she began going down on him. Emma looked up at him, puzzled. Fujisaki opened his eyes and looked at her.
“Sorry,” he said.
“#Oh, not again,#” she complained. “#Please Sugo-kun, not again. You can’t let a kitty eat? I’m f***g hungry.#”
“I can’t,” he said. Emma’s face clouded in disappointment.
“#What’s wrong, Sugo-kun?#” she asked. “#I feel like I’m giving you but…#”
“Sorry,” he repeated. Emma rolled over beside of him. She looked over at him.
“#Not even let me jack you off?#” the Aussie asked. Fujisaki laughed and turned over. Emma looked down at him, smiling. Fujisaki frowned to himself in bed.
The next morning, the keyboardist headed home. His sisters and their friend were cooking breakfast in the kitchen with their boyfriends watching. The chef lectured the girls on how to cook properly. Fujisaki walked up to his parents.
“Hi mom, hi dad,” he said. His parents looked up at him.
“Look what the cat dragged in,” his dad said. Chiyo looked up at him.
“Hey, Sugu-kun!” she cheered. “We’re making pancakes!” He forced himself to smile at her. He turned back to their parents.
“Did that foolish woman finally dump you?” his mother asked.
“No,” he said.
“Such a shame,” she said. The sisters, their friend, and the chef watched on.
“And why is that?” Fujisaki challenged. His father held his wife’s hand, but she wouldn’t stop.
“You’ve got exams and a tour coming up,” his mother pointed out. “Forget about him. That woman is a waste of space.”
“She’s not a waste of space!” Fujisaki argued as everyone watched on.
“She’s a druggie, no good, waste of space,” his mother said. “Anyone can see that you’re not going to end up with her.”
“How would you know?” the keyboardist asked.
“It’s not going to happen,” his mother said.
“Yeah?” he asked. “And you know all about love, don’t you, mom?”
“Suguru-kun,” his dad cut in. The mother glared at her son. Amber flipped her pancake and happily bragged about it. The chef had to smack her in the head to keep her quiet.
“Shush!” the chef snapped.
“Look me in the eye and swear to me that that woman and her son won’t mess you up somehow,” the mother said. Fujisaki looked at her uneasy.
“Why don’t you get a life of your own and stay out of mine, okay?!?” he snapped. Then, he turned and walked away to his old room. His mother frowned as he turned his back on her. She was about to go after him, but the chef lightly grabbed her arm.
“Come eat some pancakes, okay?” she offered. Fujisaki practiced his song for the exams in his room while pondering the thought of being Damon’s step-father if he married Emma. Meanwhile, the Aussie took her meds in their apartment.
That night, Fujisaki came back home to their apartment. He unlocked the door and went inside. Due to the darkness in the doorway, she and the baby must have been asleep by now. The man slowly took off his shoes and walked into the kitchen.
“Hello?” he asked. The keyboardist flipped on the lights and walked further inside. He set down his schoolbag and pulled out his textbooks to get to work.
“Morning, Fujisaki-kun,” Arisu cooed as she circled him. He didn’t even look up.
“Morning, Arisu-chan,” he said. The woman walked over to the sink to get some water.
“It’s not the morning, by the way,” Fujisaki corrected her.
“Does it matter?” Arisu asked.
“I came home for somewhere quiet to study,” the man said. His loopy friend cut off the faucet and turned to him.
“Well, it’s quiet, isn’t it?” she asked. Fujisaki didn’t answer her and buried himself into his studies.
“I haven’t spoken to you in such a long time, Fujisaki-kun,” Arisu said as she walked over to the table.
“Got to study, Arisu-chan,” he replied.
“It’s not like you need to,” she said. “Forget the books, let’s talk!” The keyboardist looked up at her.
“What about?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” she said. “Fill me in with everything. Every little detail.”
“I don’t know,” the keyboardist said. “There’s nothing really to talk…”
“I’m really happy, Fujisaki-kun,” Arisu cut in. “Things worked out for once.” She gave him a huge cat-like grin.
“Isn’t that great?” she asked. Fujisaki made a face at her. Just by looking at her, he could tell that Arisu wasn’t on her meds again.
“Sid-san?” he asked.
“He just left,” Arisu replied. “We’ve been getting to know each other again.” She giggled a bit.
“A lot,” she went on.
“Cool,” the keyboardist said as he turned back to his studies. Arisu walked over to him.
“And it’s lovely having someone who cares about you,” she said. “All the worries feel lighter when you got someone to tell everything to.” Fujisaki glanced up at her.
“Yeah?” Arisu asked. She took a seat next to him, smiling. Fujisaki shook his head and went back to his text book.
“We can carry on pretending if that makes you feel any better,” the crazy woman said. “Treat it like a role-play. I love dramas.” The keyboardist looked up at her.
“What?” he asked.
“Do you want to play Suguru-kun or should I?” Arisu asked. He stared at her blankly. The woman smiled and took his textbook.
“Shut up Arisu, I’m trying to study here!” she said, imitating him.
“What?” Fujisaki asked again.
“So much to do, so little time,” she went on. “Study, study, study. I don’t really need it to go on tour in America. I can’t help myself. I got to do this because it takes my mind off not enjoying raising my girlfriend’s bastard child.” He looked at her stunned as she pretended to study.
“What?” he asked.
“All these books,” Arisu said. “Keeps me from thinking about anything, like when I’m keeping this a secret from my girlfriend.” Her friend’s face flooded with worry.
“Please?” he pleaded. Arisu looked up at him.
“And my best friends,” she added. The keyboardist felt his stomach turn.
“Please don’t tell, Arisu,” he said. She shoved his books back to him.
“Secrets hurt,” she said. The woman to her feet. “It’s only a matter of time before you and Emma-chan know about each other, Fujisaki-kun.” He turned to her.
“And there’s a lot of secrets out there,” Arisu said as she picked up her glass. “Breakfast?” Fujisaki turned away as his friend walked back to her room.
“Bye,” she said. He stared as the door closed shut. The keyboardist went back to his studies as he heard the front door open.
“#Hey, I’m home!#” Emma called as she walked in with Damon in her arms. Fujisaki looked up.
“#Hey,#” the Aussie said. “#Who’s my babe?#” She leaned in and kissed him on the cheek and neck. Fujisaki turned and kissed her on the lips.
One more day until the big exams. Everyone got to studying in the classroom the next day. Well, sort of. Sid slept on his notes. Jack read some hip-hop manga that he bought yesterday with some of the pot money he had left over. Ando played with some origami on his desk.
“Hey, hey! Get back to class!” they heard Yusuke yell in the hallway. Everyone held their idle toys and snapped back to attention before he walked through the door. Yusuke took one look around.
“Very good,” he said. “Thank you.” Once he was gone, everyone went back to being idle. Ando looked over at his ex, Ghost, as she frowned at him.
“Hey, everybody!” Shuichi said as he walked through the door.
“Shuichi!” his classmates cheered.
“I have some big news!” he announced. The vocalist took a moment to gather himself. He clapped his hands together.
“Yuki and I are getting married!” he said. The whole room filled with gasps. Shuichi nodded.
“That’s right,” he said. “I proposed yesterday and he finally said yes!” Everybody clapped and gave him their congratulations. Ghost looked away as if she was going to cry. Shuichi took his seat between Sid and Ando.
“/So,/” Sid asked. “/How did you do it?/” The vocalist grinned at him.
“I worked him over until he said yes,” he bragged. Sid nodded.
“/Cool,/” he mumbled.
“Sidney,” a familiar voice called. Sid looked up to see Arisu standing in the doorway. Happy surprise filled his face.
“/Hey!/” he said. “/There she is!/” The man rose to his feet and gave his girlfriend a kiss went everyone watching and cheering. Jack sat up in his desk.
“Damn dawg! Everyone’s at it!” he said.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” Casper whispered to Fujisaki. He frowned to himself and went back to his studying. The couple walked over to him.
“Hey Fujisaki-kun,” Arisu said as she leaned down to him. “How’s your studying?” He looked up at her. The couple walked over to their seats. Casper looked on the whole time.
“Casper, can we go outside for some fresh air?” he asked.
“So Simon and I agreed to take it one step at a time, yeah?” his hippie friend said as they walked around the campus. “But I haven’t heard from him. I know there are exams, but what should I do, Suguru-kun?”
“Casper,” he complained.
“I can’t even think straight,” she went on. “Japanese Oral the day after tomorrow. Exams in two days and all I can think about is should I get back with him?”
“Casper!” Fujisaki tried again. “Casper!”
“English for you, please,” she said. “Otherwise, how can we…” The keyboardist sighed and turned to her.
“+Emma wants me to marry her!+” he barked. The hippie gave him a blank and confused stare.
“/What?/” she asked. “/What do you mean?/” The hippie walked away as her guy friend groaned.
“Casper!” he called out. His friend paused when she saw Simon walking over to her. Her cheeks turned a bright pink when she saw him.
“/Hey,/” she said.
“/Hi,/” he said. The man paused for a moment before speaking. “/Carry your books?/” he offered. Casper looked away a bit.
“/I haven’t got any books, Simon,/” she said. “/They’re in the study room./”
“/Well, let’s go get them,/” he said. “/Then, I’ll carry them./” Casper smiled and then they walked away. Fujisaki just stood there beside himself. Talking to his gal pal was a bust. He sat on the yard as he watched the happy couple walk away. Casper turned back and gave him a little smile before she left. Now what?
Suddenly, Arisu came along and sat down next to him. The keyboardist turned and looked at her.
“I know I should talk to Emma; it’s just…” he said. Arisu grinned at him in twisted way.
“Telling her will hurt and it’ll ruin everything?” she asked. The man nodded at her. She patted him on the shoulder.
“You just need to disconnect, free yourself,” the woman said. “You need some time out.” She rose to her feet and pulled him up with her.
They came all the way downtown. Arisu led him to big, brightly colored building.
“This is where I go for some peace and quiet,” she said. The woman led him inside. Pachinko machines buzzed through the air. Fujisaki looked around at all of the slot machines to his left and right. Arisu walked up to the window.
“Hey Toji!” she said. The middle-aged man looked up at her from his magazine.
“Hey Tsumugi,” he said. “I’ve not seen you in a while.”
“Oh wow,” she said. “Well, I finally got it back together with that Slim guy I was telling you about.” Fujisaki looked up at her.
“Slim?” he whispered.
“You never pull it together,” Toji said. “Lucky, Slim.”
“Toji, this is Choji, but everyone calls him Cho,” Arisu went on. Toji looked him up and down. Fujisaki gave him a little wave.
“It’s his first time here,” Arisu went on. “He’s lord luck.” Toji nodded a bit.
“Alright,” he said. The man handed him a chip.
“He’s something for nothing,” he said. “Take a chance.”
“Thanks,” Fujisaki mumbled. Arisu grinned and walked over to the machines.
“Cho?” her friend asked as he followed behind.
“You can put any face behind a mask,” the crazy woman said. “But be careful.”
“Why?” he asked.
“Because someone else might be pretending,” she said. “You might not be the only one with a secret.” She walked over to a random Pachinko machine. Fujisaki frowned.
“Arisu!” he called. “For Christ Sake!” Arisu pulled the machine and got a flood of little silver balls. She cheered aloud excited as the keyboardist walked over to her. Arisu gathered up the balls.
“Whew!” she cheered. “I win, mother f**r!” Fujisaki raised an eyebrow at her.
“How often do you come here?” he asked. Arisu turned to him, grinning.
“Don’t you get it, Cho?” she asked. “This is nowhere! Nothing matters here! It’s what you want, isn’t it?”
“I don’t know…” he said. Arisu smiled at him.
“Go on,” she said. “See how your luck is. Win means you decide one way; lose and you decide another. You decide!” He didn’t like the sound of that, but…
Fujisaki put his coin into the slot machine and took a pull. A low groan came out of the machine.
“Oh,” Fujisaki said, disappointed. Only one gold coin came out. Arisu picked it up.
“Wow, a golden one,” she said. “You win, so what’s the decision, Cho?” She placed the coin in the keyboardist’s hand. He closed his hand around it and raced out of the gambling parlor.
The man ran all the way home. For ten minutes, he stood outside the front door with the coin in his hand. In the end, he walked back to his parents’ house while Emma lied in bed. Amber walked over to him at the door.
“+Sugu-kun,+” she said. “+In the living room now, family meeting.+” Fujisaki rolled his eyes.
“I know your parents are going to Sapporo for a week, but you are not my family,” he said to the white woman, He tried to walk away, but Amber stopped him.
“+We all started in Asia,+” she said. He rolled his eyes again and walked into the living room.
“We are callin’ this family meeting because, we, the Pop Star Collective, is makin’ an official announcement,” Chiyo announced. She, Mai, and Amber stood before their parents, Seiguchi, Fujisaki, and Mika.
“Basically,” she said. “We’re not singin’ anymore.” The girls waved their hands.
“We’s goin’ into business,” Chiyo announced.
“Girl!” the trio said aloud.
“I told you that these girls would go out of the Jpop craze,” the father told his wife. “This time next week, they’ll be Visual Kei freaks.”
“Hey,” Mai said. “We tryin’ to build a new kind of empire. Clothing revolution starts…”
“Here!” the trio announced. They unzipped their hoodies to reveal pink and gold t-shirts. “Love Pop Honey” was the slogan.
“See, we’re goin’ all out,” Mai said.
“+We’re comin’ for everyone in the market,+” Amber said.
“We’ve got t-shirts for the NEETS, lolitas, and the gays!” Chiyo said. The trio all showed off the shirts.
“They the only people in the market!” the oldest said. She and the girls threw the t-shirts at the family.
“We the exclusive Peach Summer clothing range!” the trio summed up.
“So,” the mother said. “How are you going to pay for all of this?” The girls looked like deer caught in headlights. The family waited for an answer.
“Well, surely, you’ll head out, you get me?” Chiyo offered.
“You want us to invest in your t-shirt business?” her mother asked.
“Well, yeah,” Mai said. “And the record label. We’re takin’ over everything.”
“Aw, shit!” their father complained. “Now they’re back in the music business!”
“Come on, we have artists!” Mai said.
“Yeah, who?” the mother asked.
“Us!” Amber said. “How does that taste?” The parents, Mika, and Seiguchi broke down into laughter. Fujisaki looked around.
“You all are a bunch of jokers!” Mika said.
“All our loving parents have to do is sign the six figure deal,” Mai said as she came around to her mother and handed her the contract. The mom laughed and turned to her son.
“What do you say, Suguru-kun?” she asked. “Do I sign or am I in over my head?” The talking and the laughing became too much for Fujisaki to bear.
“Emma wants me to marry her,” he said without thinking. Everything went quiet from there. All eyes fell upon him. The man walked away to his old room.
“+Holy…+” Amber said.
In his room, Fujisaki’s cell phone rang. He picked it up and flipped it open.
“You have two new messages,” the voice mail said.
“#Sugo-kun, where are you?#” Emma’s message said. “#I want to talk to you, call me.#”
“Next message,” the voice mail said.
“/Okay Suguru,/” Casper’s message said. “/I get it now. Ring me. Ring as soon as…/” Fujisaki hung up the phone and flopped back on his bed. Too late now. Footsteps came up to his door. He turned when he heard it open. His mother walked in, frowning. Her son began putting away his music as she closed the door behind her.
“Sit down,” she said. Her son didn’t budge.
“I said sit!” she ordered. Fujisaki paused and looked up. He sat down on the foot of the bed.
“How will this even work out?” his mother questioned. “Marry Emma, play daddy to her son, have more kids with her?”
“Maybe,” he said. The man lied back on his bed.
“Look at me,” his mother said.
“I don’t want to,” he said back.
“You f***g look at me!” she barked. Her son glanced over at her.
“Mom!” he groaned.
“It’s simple, you either f**k up your life or you don’t! You’ve got a tour to go to. A music career on the line. Everything you have worked for! Everything our cousin paid for!” she snapped.
“I won’t do it!” Fujisaki snapped as he sat up.
“Why?” his mom asked. “I can’t even look at you right now. I’m… disappointed!” She turned to walk away.
“Disappointed?” her son asked. “Okay, I’m a big, fat disappointment!”
“Yeah!” his mother barked as she turned back to him. “You are! Jesus! Why are you doing this to us?!?”
“Oh, stop it!” he snapped.
“I knew should’ve stepped in earlier!” she yelled.
“Well, you didn’t!” he yelled. “I won’t leave her!”
“Right, look,” his mother said.
“I won’t be miserable like you!” Fujisaki barked. “You were happier in the country and then you dumped your boyfriend for dad. What happened?”
“I don’t know what happened,” his mother said.
“Crap!” he shot back. “Why did it come down to this for you?”
“Shut your mouth!” she yelled.
“Why are you unhappy?!?” her son yelled as the mother turned and walked away. “Look at you now! Tell me why! Come back here!” The door slammed shut in response. Fujisaki flopped back, defeated.
Moments later, Chiyo and Mai opened the door and went into their brother’s room.
“Yo,” the former whispered. “Aunt Chiyo in da house!”
“Go away,” Fujisaki moaned in his pillow.
“It’s blessed,” Mai said.
“Hey,” Chiyo said as she and her sister sat down on his bed. “Why so down? We get to spoil our nephew rotten.”
“True,” Mai said with a nod. “We already in it fo’ sure!” Fujisaki reached forward and hugged her. Mai looked really lost at the moment. She hugged him back.
“I love you, guys,” their little brother said. Chiyo smiled.
“Give me some of that love!” she said. Fujisaki turned and hugged her as well. Mai thought for a moment.
“I never knew how lucrative the do you baby business could be,” she said. She turned and saw her sister shaking her head at her. “Not that right time, girl,” her eyes told her.
The next morning, Fujisaki headed off for exams. Emma came over to him from the steps.
“#You alright?#” she asked.
“Emma-chan!” he said in shock.
“#You didn’t come home last night,#” his girlfriend said.
“Yeah, sorry,” he replied. They shared a kiss outside.
“#Arisu said that I should talk to you,#” she said. The man looked at her in slight discomfort.
“I can’t, Emma-chan,” he said as he started to walk away. “I have to go to my exams.” Emma followed behind.
“#Yeah, I know, but you really need to hear this.#”
“#I’ll wait for you and…#”
Emma raced after him. “#Hold on! Look, listen! What are you waiting for? Marry me! Look, we’ll run out of time if you don’t stand still and just…#”
“I’ve got to go! I’m going to be late!”
“#Yeah, I know.#”
Fujisaki turned to her. “You know?”
“#I know when you go to America, you’ll be big,#” Emma said. “#And then, sooner or later, one way or another, we’ll be over.#” Her boyfriend sighed.
“You don’t know what you are thinking about,” he said.
“#No?#” she asked. “#Look, home’s this way.#” Fujisaki stopped and turned to her.
“Exams,” he said. The Aussie sighed.
“#Well, don’t go!#” she pleaded.
“What?” Fujisaki asked.
“I need you!”
“It’s not like we’re gone yet.”
“#You’ll be big and famous! And then you’ll be surrounded by groupies. And then one of them will hit on you and try to be your girlfriend. Then, she’ll blow you!#”
“#I love you. Yeah, you’ll marry her and then… I could be like dying here in Japan and you wouldn’t even know about it.#”
Fujisaki kissed her on the lips. “It’ll just be five months. I have my exam and then we’re going to talk, Emma-chan. Wish me luck.” Then, he turned and walked away. She blew a kiss at her.
“#Luck!#” she called. “#Alright, no blowing groupie, yeah?#” Fujisaki turned to her smiling before heading off. Emma walked home.
At home, she went to bed while her boyfriend had his music exam. Arisu opened the door to see Casper on the other side.
“/Hi Arisu,/” the hippie said.
“Hi Casper,” she said.
“/Um… I was just wondering if Suguru was here,/” Casper said. “/Thought that we could all go to the mall together.
“She’s not here,” the friend said.
“/Oh,/” Casper mumbled.
“Okay?” Arisu asked. Then, she tried to close the door.
“/Arisu!/” Casper called as she blocked the door. Arisu opened the door.
“/Has he told her yet?/” the hippie asked.
“It’s none of our business, Casper!” the Goth woman said.
“/Look, I want to talk to him./”
“Emma went to bed! She’s not feeling well again. You’ll wake up Damon. He’ll be at the oral exam. He always does what he’s supposed to do.”
Casper sighed and rolled her eyes. “/Yeah. Look, Arisu. I’m really sorry about me and Sid./”
“He saw sense,” Arisu replied.
“/Yeah,/” she said. “/I’m glad./”
“Good luck, Casper,” her friend said. Then, she closed the door in her face.
“+Hello,+” the teacher said at Fujisaki’s oral exam. “+Briefly tell me about your goals and problems which affect your future.+” He didn’t speak at first. The teacher gave him a little smile.
“+I know it’s difficult, so relax,+” she said.
“+I finally realize what it means to have it all figured out. I’ve always wondered, you know, but it’s easy. It’s when you have to decide, one way or another and nobody can help you. My girlfriend wants me to marry her, but I would have to be a step-father to a child that isn’t mine. She doesn’t even know who his real father is. I have to tell her the truth, but I will hurt her if I do. I’m just stuck. That’s probably why I’m having a hard time taking this exam seriously. So… excuse me,+” he said. The man stood up and bowed. The professor watched him.
“Suguru-kun,” she said. “+You did good.+” Fujisaki just walked away.
Outside in the hall, he found Casper waiting for him.
“Hello,” she said. The two friends hugged. That evening, Fujisaki came home. Just one more thing to get through this. He walked up the stairs and went into their apartment. To his surprise, the door was unlocked.
“Emma-chan?” he asked as he went inside. The man found Arisu sitting on the kitchen table in the dark. He flipped on the lights.
“I’ve been trying to call you,” she said. “Where the f**k have you been?!?” They hurried to the hospital. Arisu got them both juice. She handed Fujisaki a bottle as they sat down in the hallway.
“Well, they had coffee, but it tastes like rat piss,” she said. “Besides, these are better for you.” Fujisaki kept his eyes to his lap.
“Arisu-chan, nothing’s making sense,” he said.
“Plenty of vitamins and minerals,” she went on before taking a sip of the straw. “Mmm, coconut.”
“With a hint of mint.”
“Arisu-chan, what’s wrong with Emma-chan?”
“So refreshing, I can feel the steel drums chiming against my taste buds.”
“Arisu-chan! I don’t want to play anymore! What the f**k’s going on?”
Arisu sighed. “I told you, she had a bit of a headache, went down to the hospital…”
Fujisaki whipped around to her. “Hospital? To the hospital? What’s wrong with her?”
“What if I just told him your secret?” she asked.
“What?” he asked.
“You’re not the only one, Suguru-kun,” Arisu said.
“What are you talking about, Arisu-chan?” he asked. “Emma-chan doesn’t have any secrets. I know everything there is to know about her.”
“You never saw the pills.”
“Emma-chan’s always taking pills and I’m telling her to stop.”
“Not those kind. The kind you are supposed to take.”
“Because there’s something wrong with you.”
Fujisaki breathed hard. “What kind of pills, Arisu-chan?” he asked.
The woman finally broke down. “She fell on the floor, Suguru-kun. There was blood in her ear! I didn’t know what to do!”
“Ozawa Arisu,” a nurse said. “Is there an Ozawa Arisu here?”
“Here,” she said.
“This way, please,” the nurse said. Fujisaki looked at his friend as she rose to her feet.
“Why are they asking for you?” he asked. She turned back to him.
“You’ll have to explain,” she said. “I can’t do anything else now. Go on.” She took a seat. Fujisaki stood up and turned to her.
“I keep sitting on mines, Arisu,” he said.
“I know,” she said. She drank her juice as Fujisaki walked away. The keyboardist came to his girlfriend’s room. Emma was half-conscious with tubes in her body. Fujisaki looked around as he held Damon to his chest.
“Emma-chan?” he asked.
“Are you the boyfriend?” the nurse asked.
“Yeah,” he said.
“Good,” she replied. “She’s nearly gone.” The keyboardist looked up at her.
“What?” he asked. “Where?”
“Pre-meds,” the nurse said. “She’ll be back in a moment. Go on, talk to her.” She moved out of the way for him. Emma looked so peaceful in her bed. She fluttered her eyes and looked up.
“Emma-chan,” her boyfriend murmured. “What’s wrong?”
“#Ah, the sky is blue and the grass is green,#” the Aussie mumbled. She chuckled a bit.
“#Good move, shite,#” she muttered. “#Everything’s… Everything’s cool.#”
“What pills do you take?” Fujisaki asked.
“#Everything,#” Emma mumbled in a haze. “Stick the packages on the wall.#”
“What pills?!?” her boyfriend pleaded.
“#Shhh,#” she whispered. “#It’s a secret. No one knows. Don’t tell Sugo-kun, I guess. If you tell Sugo-kun, he won’t marry me. He won’t want a sick wife.#”
“I wasn’t comfortable with raising Damon,” he admitted in a soft voice. “Let’s find his father.” He kissed her hand.
“Why is she like that?” Fujisaki asked outside her room.
“It’s probably a mixture of the pre-meds for the operation,” the nurse said.
“What operation?” he asked.
“The swelling in her brain caused by the cot isn’t doing any good, though,” she explained. “That’s why we’ve decided to keep her under until… the doctor explained all this to you.” Fujisaki turned back to Emma in the window.
“It’s marked as girlfriend spoke to doctor,” the nurse said. “He said you knew about this because of the hereditary aspect. Her sister, her sister died of the same thing.” Fujisaki turned back to the nurse. He saw two nurses wheel away her bed.
“What’s happening?” Fujisaki asked. “What are they doing? Emma-chan?” He cried out to her as the nurse tried to pull him away. As they wheeled the Aussie away for surgery, Fujisaki left the gold poker coin in her hand for good luck. All he could do now was wait with Damon in his arms and watch her be wheeled away.
“#Any… Any chance that I can jack you off…#” was the last thing Emma said to Fujisaki before they wheeled her away.