Champagne from No.318

Papa Rocks to Love Abound!

"Do I really have to eat this?"

Drenched in lines of ketchup was a steaming heap of omelet. Reluctantly the eight year old circled his spoon around the plate. Red sauces are wonderful but eggs were evil. From above his lanky father watched with pleading eyes. Grunting complaints the child scooped up a large spoonful. Sour flavors soon bombarded his dying tongue.

"I knew you loved me Katsu-chan!" His dad cheered wiping his hands on his apron.

"And you know I hate eggs."

"But this was our favorite." He replied feebly. "Besides it's all I really know how to cook and you swore off cereal yesterday."

"I'd rather eat stale wheat." Katsu whined forcing another bite down. "This is disgusting! You sure this won't kill me?"

"I am positive; now eat up so you can give your full concentration at school."

Devouring each bit of breakfast got him out of having to drink a full glass of orange juice. Time to leave was closing in on them so his father got their stuff together. Katsu maneuvered around boxes to get out of the apartment.

"Let me see I got his back pack and mines…oh I almost forgot this!" He snatched the boy's lunch box from the couch. Hands full he left the cramped abode. "Son, come here and grab your things I need to lock the door."

"Okay I'm coming dad!"Katsu jumped back up the metal stairs. He snatched his lunch first then his back pack. "One day I want us to move back to the hotel."

"Really, that's funny you were saying you hated that place."

"No, the place was awesome! We had a pool to go to and everything. I didn't like it because that maid was always callin' you Kichi-chi or Kichiro-kun instead of Fukui-san."

"Oh you mean Uchida Kogome! That was annoying but she hooked us up with free food." He countered whilst struggling to secure his space. "We wouldn't have eaten some nights if it weren't for her. Money was tight back then."

A click from the locked door gave him the ease to leave his place. Steadily the pair got downstairs and into his rickety car. Frustration balled up Katsu's china doll face. Kichiro returned with a weak smile then fastened his son's seat belt. Once settled he started the car and safely merged onto the road.

"I would have been okay not eating. I don't want anything from a woman that thinks it's good to hit someone!" Katsu watched the changing atmosphere while toying with his lunch box.

Maid Uchida and so many others stole Kichiro's gentle heart just to bash it. Those women callers loved his European features and strong, mellow voice. When they discovered his softness they took advantage of it. This truth was rainbow vibrant to Katsu but misty to his father. No matter how hard he tried Kichiro ended up in cruel affairs. Currently there was no one absorbing the rest of his time. His child loved it but he could tell his hopeless father was depressed.

"I made her mad—"

"No it wasn't just her…it was Ami and Kim and Gina and Ren! You can't make excuses for them. If mom was alive she'd—"

"Enough Katsu…I appreciate that you care—"

"But you are too young to get involved. Yeah dad I know! Now just promise me you'll leave women alone. You suck at picking them out."

"I promise."

The father pulled over at his son's school, parked, and then let his thought heavy head hit the steering wheel. Katsu patted his dad's back before vanishing from the car. All Kichiro could muster was, "Damn how'd this come up."

Kichiro got to work approximately fifteen minutes early as usual. As he went to punch in his boss grabbed his arm. He gave only a short glare as to the problem. Firmly wrapped around Kichiro's waist was his stained cooking apron. The young man laughed sheepishly.

"Before you clock in you might want to change out of that."

"Sorry boss!" Kichiro bowed deeply. "I was late getting my son to school…I won't let it happen again."


Papers rustled in expectant hands as the lead singer began to project a malevolent sound. As the musical tune switched his body swayed. Rhythm danced close to him giving him an ethereal veneer. Eyes were glued to his performance of the lyrics, except the ones he cared for most. Hers were fixated on the page of lyrics. Things sounded off so she wrote critiques between the lines. He removed himself from the sound booth.

"So…"

"What do you want us to say?" The band member rubbed his tatted arms.

"Well Hyde do you think it was suiting? It will do me good to hear it from you first."

"Your performance was top notch Yoshida-san! It has me mesmerized!" A bony girl exclaimed.

"You sure it was the performance Yuu or just him gyrating like a washing machine."

"Musashi you're an ass, why don't you go eat grass!"

"Present it."

"Go to hell!"

"I will as soon as possible! It would be my pleasure to enjoy some warm weather for a change." He smiled brandishing his vampire teeth.

Kohaku saw the young lady still penning information onto the lyric sheet. She had cracked a terrible grin at Musashi's ranting. A sickly pale male stood between them begging for silence. Still they went back and forth yelling complaints.

"That's enough you two. I will not have discord in my band. You in the corner…Mayu, you're not a member of the band so your insight will be more along the lines of our fans. Tell me what you thought."

Mayu slowly looked up from her marked paper. Kohaku towered over her with high expectations. She knew he just wanted his ego stroked; He knew she was withholding something big.

"Kohaku you know that I love you, right?"

"Sure. So what did you think?"

"I'd only tell the truth to you." She pressed her paper to her chest.

"Dear Gods in heaven, just tell me!" Dismay sparked all over his face, this must be bad.

"It was awful. This is supposed to be dark! It sounded like something I listen to! Honey your tone was off in several parts and you came in to fast."

Kohaku staggered away staring at her as though she were a stranger. Relief washed over Hyde. It felt so good that he patted Mayu on the back. Similar feelings could not come until the end. No matter how much he denied it, Kohaku had a terrible temper when he did not get praised.

"That's it. I agree one hundred percent."

"Do you really Hyde?" The lead singer watched his boots. "And you guys…Musashi…Tachi, how about you?"

"W-well I probably would have said it nicer but yes." Tachi huffed. "Sorry Kohaku."

"Ah yah, you should listen to your girlfriend. The jealous sow will always lie." Musashi winked at Yuu.

"Ugh…why do you care so much about what she has to say? She's just a make-up artist."

"Yes, but she's my make-up artist!"

Mayu hopped from her seat. "You always do this! Instead of being honest with him you lie and say he's good. That's not real love!"

"Who said anything about love!"

"You're stupid face! I see you on stage performing with him...rubbing on him and always jumping on him! And you I am tired of you always letting her do it! I've kept quiet long enough! The name Skull Box Suicide is not supposed to evoke a field of flowers but you guys are picking the fruity crap out of it! All because Yuu said you should. She is just living her fantasy through all of you and we're the ones suffering from it. And the fans are too. We are losing them every day to the High-Fu School Brigade!"

"How dare you!"

"To be honest I think…Skull Box Suicide is going to fail if you don't get a new bassist!"

"Bitch!" Yuu drew back her hand to give Mayu a good slap. Before it could make contact Kohaku caught her by the wrist. "Why?"

"Let me."

All the men moved to grab him but it was too late, he had already slapped the girl to ground. Rage seared his face red as his band mates kept him pinned. Priceless equipment met their demise as they struggled. They rolled around in cracked pieces. Pain stitched through her painted pores as she dragged herself to the wall. Stunt emotion left her jaw hung down. Not even her father would lay a hand on her. Worse off it was her precious little face that she toiled on for hours.

"Tell me…ugh…does it hurt dear?" Kohaku wiggled his way up. "We don't need a new bassist so you leave Yuu out of it!"

"Fuck the both of you and fuck this band!" Mayu cried.

Hyde sent his heavy fist deep into Kohaku's chest. Air wheezed out his body along with his balance. Hyde rocked a huge ball of phlegm in his throat then he spat it on the lead singer.

"Don't ever put your hands on Mayu again!" He went over to the flushed girl. "Are you okay?"

"I think so. Thank you Sasaki-san."

"Thank you for speaking up for me. I've wanted to scream at him about ruining my songs but that damn Yuu…I hate her."

Waterworks failed and the tears just started to gush. Mayu loved Kohaku but this was unforgivable. She grabbed her bag and ran out of the room.

"Time to finish this—"Hyde cracked his knuckles.

"Enough fighting you guys, we got that bastard back now let's just leave. Hope you can practice with just Yuu." Tachi pushed himself off the floor. "Should we go after her?"

"No she'll be fine she is a Ryusaki woman. She'll get her revenge later." Musashi laughed before kicking the band leader's leg.

The men departed but Yuu stayed. Tenderly she stroked his hair and took in his fragrance. It was no lie she loved him. He wiped the spit from his face.

"Do you still love her—Mayuki I mean?"

"I've only ever loved my fans."

"Good."

Kohaku snuggled underneath her. "All I need is you. Ever since I was a poor nobody you've been there for me. Even now; perhaps you were right. Being with Mayu was a big mistake."

"There, there. I forgive you for not waiting for me." Yuu blushed embracing him. He sat up from the buzzing in his pants pocket. He retrieved his cell phone.

"It's Mayu…she wrote: "You're an ass. I hope you get ran over by two big trains on your way home. I hope you lose all your good fortune. You just wait until my ex hears about this. He's going to kick your ass too! I am done being your girlfriend!" Good 'cause I am tired of looking at her ugly pig face." He muttered furiously typing away.


A near empty bus load was highly unusual on Friday. Grey clouds tackled any chance of a beautiful day. Rainy moments recollected in his mind. Nothing good could come from this. At least he had one woman to remember. One that had not died in a cheating escapade or one that abused his body. Jazz was her name. She's the lovely lady that would never betray him. So with much love he unleashed Unforgettable from his soul. Smiles ignited over everyone's face; a few tingles and hearts began to race. As he finished the patrons clapped and whistled.

"Thank you, thank you!" He turned pink as he eased the vehicle to the sidewalk. "Don't forget to tip your waitress!"

Not many got the reference; some left money at his feet on the way off the bus. Kichiro shook his head but showed his gratefulness. That money would come to good use somehow. He was ready to pull off when he noticed a regular of his texting away. Rain began to soak into her lovely attire.

"Hey Mayu you gettin' on, or just playing the pretty mannequin?"

She looked up from her phone. Heartbreaker blue lit her chin on up. Burnt red eyes glared achingly up at him. Kichiro rub the back of his neck; women. As she crept on the bus and paid her fee he noticed the hand print on her face. Mayu sat down hard behind him. He did a one eighty.

"What happened to you? No smile? That's not like you. I look forward to you cheering up my day—"

"I am sorry!" Mayu wept tossing her phone aside. "I just can't believe that he hit me—"

"A man hit you?"

She rolled her head back. "Does that surprise you?"

"Damn straight! Should I call the police?"

"No that would get the guys in trouble. My friends they took care of him."

"Good."

"It-it's just I still love him." She grimaced feeling beyond foolish. "He's always been a hot-headed one but I never thought he hit me."

"In situations like this is best to stay away. Trust me I know."

"I want to d—"

Kichiro ran out of his chair and covered her mouth. Today was indeed odd for it was not only the first time she'd been hit by a man, but hit with the close sight of a handsome man. Her heart fluttered all the sadness up at the smell of his cologne.

"Never speak those words, understand?"

Mayu nodded in return he released her mouth. "What gives?"

"Life is beautiful and unique. You only get one so don't chance it away with stupid phrases."

"Sure—Fukui-san why—"

He began to wipe the tears from her face.

"Fukui, thank you. I thought at least one the guys would have come with me. Hell I didn't know what I was going to do. Whatever that was…doesn't matter anymore."

"That's a relief. I better get back on the wheel or I'll be late."

"My stop is your last stop right?"

"Yes."

"Are you doing anything tonight?"

"Huh—"His brow arched; was she asking him out?

"Well—"

"I gotta pick my son up from daycare and then there's dinner and homework.

"To thank you, please let me buy and make dinner for you!" She smiled.

"I didn't do anything to deserve that. You should cook for the men who helped you—"

Had she not typed what she had typed or spoke the words she had, Mayuki would be. Right now she was in more of a dilemma than she let on. For in a response to her angry text Kohaku threatened to get her fired if she didn't produce her ex boyfriend. She needed to be independent. Going back home was no option.

"Fukui this thanks is long due! How many times have you waited for me when I was running late? Do you remember how many umbrellas you gave me? No…me either! You've done so much for me the past two years so let me treat you!"

"The Fukui's never turn down free food." He laughed returning to his post. "Katsu will be thrilled!"

"Yes he's tall. Handsome with a deep voice…yes with the right makeup he'll be a god. Sorry Kichiro this dinner is not for thanks. No I want your body—Geez that sounds awful! I want to use you—No! I need to borrow you to make him hurt. Yes you will hurt Yoshida's ego for sure! God please make my cooking hands create magic tonight. I want to hook him."