It was Friday morning, the last working day and Carrie could not be more excited. She hasn't been having a rough time at work (minus her boss Natusmi's sullen demeanor). Akira has been an attentive and vocal student. She didn't have a problem teaching him how to read the English language. He was a very smart intuitive student. The only factor that caused her stress and worry was the fact that she was breaking the school rules. She could be suspended or if Natsumi got her way Carrie would be fired. She could not afford to lose her job. If she did she would be stuck in Japan indefinitely.
Shivering at the aspect she grabbed her messenger bag that contained her laptop and notes for the day. Normally she would have caught a ride with Gabrielle but she was already 15 minutes late and she knew that Gabrielle would be at least 30.
"Gabby, I'll meet you at the Job, Okay?" Carrie called as she walked in the direction of the front door.
"Yea, just cover for me!" Gabrielle's disembodied voice traveled from her bedroom.
Carrie nodded her head as if Gabby could see the gesture. She opened the door and immediately knew that today was going to a very bad day. One that would go down in the record books underneath "Carrie caught Hiroshi cheating on her".
The guy that she learned to hate was standing at her door step. He looked depressed about something and she wasn't sure why but Carrie could care less. As far as she was concerned he deserved everything that was coming to him.
"Move." She said as she tried to push pass her ex. She wasn't in the mood to talk or to play games. "Get out of my way."
"We need to talk."
Hiroshi grabbed her arm, holding her back. Carrie quickly pulled away from him and glared at him openly before saying, "Says who? I don't have anything to say to you. We discussed everything; you wanted to end our relationship. What more is there to talk about?"
She tried to push her way pass him once again but he blocked her escape route with his large frame. It seemed that he was using what she was attracted to most, besides his smile, against her. Hiroshi was tall, about 6'2 and he a nice build.
"I don't have time to deal with this right now. I'm late for work. Don't make this day more difficult than it has to be," she pleaded.
He was silent for a moment as if he was thinking over Carrie's words. She thought that this would be over. Maybe he would see that things were not worth trying to work out because their relationship is irreparable.
"I just want to talk."
"And I don't want to. I'll say this again. Get out of my way!"
"I want us to be friends. You mean a lot to me."
Carrie couldn't believe what she was hearing or rather what Hiroshi wasn't hearing. She couldn't have said it anymore clearer. She didn't want a relationship with Hiroshi. She didn't want to see him anymore. She didn't want to hear his voice. She didn't want to smell his cologne. She just wanted to be left alone. Carrie didn't think that was too hard to understand.
"If you did you would have had the decency not to cheat on me then blame me for your stupidity. You don't care about me, Hiroshi and I don't think you ever have."
Hiroshi sighed as if he was the one in pain. "I admit it. The way that I handled things was wrong. I could have done it better. I should have done better. I didn't take your feelings into account and I'm sorry. I wasn't in my right mind and I behaved appallingly. But I still would like our relationship to continue."
"Hiroshi," Carrie said slowly as if she was talking to a child, "It's over between us. You made that clear when you walked out on me."
"That doesn't mean that we can't be friends."
"That's exactly what that means. You broke my heart. I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive you."
She pushed moved pass him and this time Hiroshi didn't attempt to block her. Carrie was thankful; she didn't think that she would be able to last much longer. The urge to cry was becoming harder to withstand and the last thing she wanted him to see was her crying. Her pride wouldn't be able to handle it and she didn't want him feeling sorry for her.
He didn't have to say a word. She knew what was coming. The events of the past few years were leading up to this very moment. Delores Oaks, a beautiful African-American woman in her mid-forties, watched her husband's reflection anxiously as he silently stared at her as she brushed her hair in the vanity mirror. She noticed that he had two suitcases on either side of him. He was leaving.
"She's pregnant," Michael said quietly, almost fearing the response that would come from his wife.
"…" Delores remained silent. There nothing for her to say. She had done it all before. She was tired of the constant fighting, the verbal abuse, and the stress. She was done crying over a man that she no longer wanted.
He sighed before turning away from the mirror. He couldn't look into his wife's eyes. "The girls are grown now and they're old enough to handle a situation like this. I think that's time for me to leave. Natalia needs me."
Delores still remained silent. It worried Michael. He wasn't use to the idea that Delores could be calm. That she could be quiet, she had never stopped shouting since the moment she discovered that he was having an affair.
"I'm leaving you for her," he continued.
Delores couldn't help the smile that appeared on her face. She turned away from the mirror and stared Michael in his eyes before saying, "You're not leaving me for anyone Michael. I'm letting you go. I don't want you anymore. I don't need you."
Michael wasn't shocked by her words. Delores always made it clear to him how their situation was currently, even if he had a preconceived notion of it. She wasn't afraid to speak her mind, a trait that his daughters inherited.
"The girls will be visiting soon," She continued, "I think you should take the time to get your story together because even though I don't like you, I still want our daughters to respect their father." She turned around on her plush stool to face the mirror once again before continuing brushing her hair.
He walked towards the bedroom door with his suitcases in hand. "I'll speak to them before they come home. I have business in Japan and I'll see Lisa before I leave."
"See that you do. If I have to tell them, they won't like the story that they'll hear."
He nodded and gave his soon to be ex-wife one last look before leaving. Delores listened as she heard his footsteps travel down stares before she heard the front door close behind him. She noted that this would be the last time that she would have him around and didn't know if that was a good or bad thing. Yes, she would no longer be with a man that put her through so much pain but she will also be away from the man that she built her life with, the man that gave her two beautiful children, and the man that she thought she would be with forever. Yes, it was a time for happiness but also a time for sorrow. She knew that she would be alright after time healed her wounds. She only wondered how her daughter would take the news.
Being a freshman at college would be daunting to anyone but not for Lisa. She was incredibly excited and couldn't wait to meet the new people from different cultures that the university so gladly advertised to prospective students. She had lived in Atlanta all of life, and while it was a melting pot in its own right she still wasn't able to satisfy her appetite to learn new things, to be surrounded by new and interesting people. She was seriously thinking about following her sister's footsteps and traveling to a different country for a year or two but unlike her sister, Lisa wouldn't limit it to just one. She had dreams of traveling to every continent and living amongst the indigenous people. Her first stop will be Europe, Ireland to be exact. That trip will be taken during her Akiraior year, just two years away.
Classes were about to start and she was sitting in her Philosophy 101 class, watching as all of her classmates poured in. She didn't believe herself to be shallow by any means but she couldn't help but rate the boys from 1-10 on looks as they entered the room and only one made it to number 10. He was blonde, with blue eyes and a nice build. He sat down next to her and Lisa tried her best not to stare at the handsome man. She tried but her best wasn't good enough apparently because she received a text from her friend Kenny, two rows behind her.
I know he's fine but dayum must u stare so hard?
Lisa quickly looked behind her at Kenny who staring at her with his fabulously threaded arched eyebrows. She couldn't believe that only 2 years ago she had a crush on this obviously homosexual male. She acquainted it to Kenny's looks. He was very handsome, the type of guy that most women would define as their ideal. She was so heart broken when he told her his orientation that she cried for a week.
Lisa quickly slid her phone up so she could access her full qwerty keyboard so she could text him back before the professor arrives.
He is finer than fine. He is a Greek god that has come to life.
He doesn't look Greek to me and a god? Isn't that a lil 2 much?
Lisa rolled her eyes. 'Of course he would take me literally.'
You no what I mean. He is hot.
She didn't receive another text for almost a minute and was beginning to think that the conversation had ended but he sent her another one just before the professor, a meek, tall and blonde, woman, entered.
I find it fascinating that your texting me how hot a guy is that's sitting right next to you instead of chatting him up. Put your game face on and reel him in. If you find out that his tale doesn't wag, send him to me so I can have a go at him.
If his tail doesn't wag, I'll kill myself because my gaydar will forever be broken.
Just as she finished the text the professor began speaking.
"Hello, everyone," Her voice was hoarse as she spoke. "I'm sorry about my voice. I attended a game last night and I got a little excited."
A few people in the class chuckled.
"My name is Professor Cooperman but you all can call me Gina. In a few minutes we will take the time to introduce ourselves before starting the class. Please say your name and one interesting fact about yourself that you would like your classmates to know about you," Gina said as she sat down behind the desk in the front of the class.
Lisa scrunched down further in hers. She hated the whole ice breaker thing. She thought she had gotten away from it when she came to college but that wasn't the case. She would have to stand before her fellow classmates and talk about herself. She will undoubtedly reveal boring information about herself and once again be thought of as only the "smart girl". She thought that this professor was trying to ruin her rep before she even established one for herself.
People one by one began to stand and tell someone information about themselves. Some of the information Lisa found interesting. Jon, several rows ahead of her, spoke seven languages that included Russian and Greek. Some of the information caused her to yawn like Tessie Wiser who has a massive stamp collection of different stamps around the world.
Minutes flew by and before she knew it, it was her turn to go. Lisa cleared her throat before placing a fake smile on her face before reciting the same introduction she gave every year since she started pre-k with a few tweaks here and there. "Hello, my name is Lisa Oaks and I'm from Atlanta, Georgia. My hobbies include reading any and everything and writing whatever comes to mind."
Lisa quickly sat down and watched with bated breath as the guy next to her stood and began to speak. She nearly died when she heard his accent.
"My name is Andrew O'Conner, I'm from Ireland and I'm here in America on a study abroad program."
'He's Irish,' was all Lisa could think of. The hottie sitting next to her was from the place she had always dreamed of visiting. He was not only easy on the eyes but he was also a well of information. She would definitely have to get in with him. She just had to think of a way how. Before could think of anything, she received another text message from Kenny.
Try saying hey. My name is Lisa. Want to hang out?
Shut up and get the hell out of my head. I can't just go in like that. This situation is delicate and has to be handled with care. I have to find a way for him not to refuse me.
"I think you should know class," The professor suddenly began speaking, "that the person that is sitting next to you will be your partner for all the upcoming assignments in this class. Maybe you should exchange numbers and email addresses now."
"Thank you, God," Lisa whispered under her breath.
Carrie stormed through the hallways. She was still angry about her run in with Hiroshi and she didn't care to speak to anyone. As a matter of fact, she would rather leave work and take a personal day of because she sure as hell needed one. She felt like she had been drained mentally and physically and she didn't know how she would be able to deal with everyone today. Since she was 15 minutes late, it was certain that she would have to hear Natsumi's mouth and she didn't know if she had the patience to deal with her as well as her new student.
'Speak of the devil,' Natusmi strode up to Carrie just before she reached the safety of her classroom. "I'm sorry. It's been a hectic day and traffic—"
Natsumi raised her hand, signaling Carrie to stop speaking. "I don't have time for excuses. If we receive any complaints about you, I won't hesitate to have you fired. Get back to work."
Carrie watched her walk away and resisted the urge to scream her head off. She really didn't like that woman. There were a few things that she wanted to call her but something was holding her back; probably the fact that she would be stranded in Japan without a way home.
She opened the door and made her way into the classroom before she slammed her books onto her desk roughly while closing her eyes and took a deep, long breath.
"Having a bad day?"
Carrie slowly opened her eyes and saw Akira watching her with a curious smile on his face. Her cheeks immediately became red and smiled nervously.
"Sorry about that, it won't happen again."
"It's alright. Everyone has a bad day once in a while."
An awkward silence passed between them while Carrie was trying to process her embarrassment. She couldn't believe that she was caught acting unprofessionally by her client no less. She was, however, grateful that he was nice enough not to hold this accident against her.
"Do you have the assignment that I gave you the last time we met?"
Yesterday she had given Akira a small assignment in order to ascertain his literacy in the English language after she seen how poorly he was doing in his English class in school.
Akira placed his backpack on the desk and pulled out a sheet of paper before handing it to Carrie, who immediately looked it over. She wasn't surprised to see that Akira had gotten all of the answers correct. It was obvious that he was a very intelligent young man; she just didn't understand why he was failing his English class but doing so well with her.
"You have gotten all of the answers right. You're doing really well."
Akira raised an eyebrow at the tone of Carrie's voice. She sounded very confused. "You don't sound like you're happy to say that."
"Oh, I am!" She said quickly while she turned away from the assignment and focused on Akira. "These results are very puzzling, though. The difference between the level of work that you do here is completely different than the grades that you show me from your English class. I think that you problem in school is something other than learning the material."
"It's not. Those tests that I showed you were earlier in the year."
"That doesn't explain why you are doing so well now."
"Maybe it's you? I mean, I never am able to get any one on one time with Mrs. Farkas. I guess it's obvious that I need it."
"Maybe you're right."
He placed his hand on hers and Carrie quickly removed it. She stared at him in shock. She wasn't sure if the move was completely innocent but the smile on his face persuaded her that it was. Japanese men weren't known for being forward, especially when a foreign woman was involved and she could imagine someone so young as Akira even being brave enough to touch her so intimately with impure thoughts in mind.
"You're a great tutor. I'm sorry if I offended you or made you feel uncomfortable," he apologized.
"Thank You for both your apology and your compliment."
"You are very much welcome."
The long, intense silence that settled in between them began to make Carrie feel more unsettled. She forced a smile on her face and walked towards the chalk board at the front of the classroom. Even though she felt uncomfortable she was happy that she wasn't thinking about Hiroshi.
Lisa stared at Andrew with a dazed look in her eyes. Class was almost over soon and if asked she wouldn't be able to tell you anything about it. In fact, she forgot the name of the class and even her major. All she could think about was how great his lips looked, how they would feel on hers, if he was an amazing kisser or not. She was sure that he was. The way that they moved when he talked had to count for something.
She was startled by the tapping on her shoulder. She turned around and saw Kenny staring at her with a knowing smile. Lisa looked around the class and noticed that everyone had left, including Andrew; she wondered how long she had been zoned out. "So what's the plan?" Kenny asked.
"What do you mean?" Lisa asked innocently as she packed her books.
"I know you; you have a plan already in mind to get the boy in your bed."
"Hey! Don't make me sound like a slut! I mean sure, I've been known to be a little forward when it comes to men but I really like this guy. He's smart, he's funny, and he's sexy. How can I not like him?"
"You don't know anything about him. The guy barely spoke six words."
"Well, I can imagine can't I?" She said while walking towards the door and giving her long tresses a dramatic flip with her hand. "He could be my next great love."
"And how many of them have you had again?"
"Oh shut up Kenny!"
She walked outside and was surprised to see Andrew leaning against the wall opposite the door. She hoped that he didn't overhear her and Kenny's conversation. It would be so embarrassing if he did.
"Hi," he said as he kicked himself off the wall. "Am I interrupting anything?"
He motioned between Kenny and Lisa who quickly looked at Kenny with the expression 'get lost'. Kenny was about to leave but it was too late by then, "Well, since you are with your friend, I'll leave. I was just waiting to see if you were alright. You looked pretty dazed in class today." Andrew said before walking away.
"What the hell was that?" lisa asked herself as she watched Andrew walked around the corner. She looked up at Kenny and saw him smiling. "What do you find so amusing?"
"He was threatened by me or does he think I'm hot? Oooh, I think I'm going to like Mr. Andrew just fine."
"Hands off, this one's mine." Lisa said as she shuddered in Horror at the thought of Kenny stealing Andrew away from her. He's done that a few times before. He always wins whenever they entered into a competition. She was not going to risk anything with Andrew, especially since he showed some interest in her. At least she thought he was talking to her.
"I'm going to kill Alex. He is such a dickhead, a cabeza de guevo, a chimpitama."
"You guys need help. I am so tired of having you barge into this apartment and screaming your head off about something that Alex did. If you don't like the man then break up with his ass and move on."
Gabby stared at Carrie with one eye brow raised, surprised at her friend's attitude. Carrie was not known for possessing any form of hostility so she didn't know what was going on with her friend. She figured that it had something to do with Hiroshi.
Even though Carrie hadn't been thinking about Hiroshi the entire time that she was tutoring Akira, she couldn't stop thinking about him since she returned home. She was completely confused by his behavior. The way he broke up with her was completely unlike him to begin with but to come back to her, begging for forgiveness. That was strange as well even though that was within his personality. It was like he had two personalities. She just couldn't understand what was going through his mind.
"What has Hiroshi done now?" Gabby sat beside her on the couch and turned off the TV that Carrie for background sound.
"Can you believe that he had the nerve to think that it was alright to drop by here this morning? He actually came here to beg for forgiveness."
"Really what did you say?"
"Must you ask? I told him that I couldn't I don't want to ever see him again. He's not worth my time."
"Then why are you sitting here thinking about him?"
"He's just so confusing and infuriating I mean who does that to someone then does a complete 180? I just—I don't know what to think right now."