Rebirth Online World

Creating, Telling, Sharing Dreams

Upside Down

Chapter 088 - The Dance (Part 3)


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After several more dances, the man leads Mayumi back to the table. Her jubilant expression when she arrives makes me smile. I’m happy she’s having a good time.

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When the band starts up a pop song next, Ryu lightly squeezes my hand, and says, “Come on babe, let’s dance.”

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Ballroom dancing I can do, but I’ve never danced to this kind of music. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? I’ve got good rhythm and I’m a good dancer overall, so it should be alright.

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I smile and nod at him. After I sit up in my seat, he stands and offers his hand. I take it and when he pulls me up, he spins me around to catch me by my waist with his other arm. I have to giggle at his smile. Once he lets me go, I take his elbow and he leads us to the dance floor. I look over at him as we walk and think to myself, ‘I’m going to marry this charming, handsome man. How I got so lucky that he loves me, I don’t know, but I’m ever so happy that he does.’

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He notices my stare and asks, “What is it, babe?”

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“Simply thinking how happy I am that you love me. Thank you for that and being my boyfriend.”

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He smiles and shakes his head. “That’s my line. Do me a favor, look around us. Do you see all the boys looking at you?”

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I do as he asks and look around. He’s right, there are a lot of boys openly staring at me. Some of their expressions are downright indecent. The worst one is from a boy who's expression says all he want to do is rip my dress off and, excuse my language, fuck me. How gross can you be?! Why do some boys do that? I’ll never understand. Don't they have any control over themselves? The only girls that might find that enticing would be absolute sluts. You know, the kind that will jump into bed with anyone that asks. That’s not and never will be me. Regardless, none of the ones staring at me are even remotely close to my type.

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Tightening my hold on his elbow, I turn back to him. “Yes, I see and I don’t care about them.”

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“I get a lot of dirty and jealous looks from boys like them. It doesn’t bother me, but it happens everywhere we go. You’re just so gorgeous that you can’t help drawing their attention. I’m the lucky one here. That’s why I’d do anything to make you happy.”

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“Same here. That said, I don't want to talk about them, let’s dance.”

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And that we did, continuing right up until the band takes a break. I take his elbow again as we head back to the table. Halfway there, three sleazy looking boys step in front of us blocking us.

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“Hey pretty girl. Why don’t you dump this loser and come party with us. I have lots of money to spend on you.”

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My hand clamps down on Ryu’s elbow. I’m not afraid, far from it. What I am is furious and I think, 'Seriously? You're insane if you believe that I'm going to go with you.' Ryu looks at me and I smile at him. Looking back at the idiot that spoke to me, I say, “No thanks. Not interested.”

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“Who said we were giving you a choice?”

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I chuckle. “Oh, is this a kidnapping attempt?” I slip my other hand around Ryu’s arm I’m holding.

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“Whatever you want to call it. You’re going to party with us and that’s all there is to it. We’ll make sure you have a good time.”

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I press the buttons on the right side of my watch for two second, then the upper left button. Shouldn’t take but a few moments.

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“Not only no, but hell no. I’d slit my own throat before I'd ever be seen with bottom feeders like you. Speaking of which, how did boys like you even get in here?”

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I see my father, Honoka, and Sofi making their way to us quickly through the crowd as the boy smirks, telling me, “Easy my father was invited to this and he allowed me to bring my friends.”

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I give him a sweet smile. “I truly feel sorry for your father to have an embarrassment like you for a son. Especially with what is about to happen.”

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His confused expression last until Dad grabs him by the back of the neck and Sofi and Honoka put the other two in arm locks.

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Dad asks, “Are you two alright?”

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“We're fine Dad, but little Mr. Macho there said to get rid of Ryu and to ‘party’ with them. When I said I wasn’t interested, he told me I didn’t have a choice. I asked him if this was a kidnapping attempt and he told me ‘whatever you want to call it’.”

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“How did you boys get in here?” He demands of the boy he’s holding.

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“That’s none of your business!”

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“You try to kidnap my daughter and you think it’s none of my business…”

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Interrupting him, I say, “Dad, he said that his father is here and that’s how they got in.”

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“Alright. Well, that makes it easy. Okay boy, you have two choices here. One: you tell me who your father is and we can deal with this quietly, or two: I drag your ass up on the stage, announce what you did, and ask your father to come claim you before I call the police to have them deal with you.”

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“You can’t do that, he would disown me!”

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“Maybe you should have thought of that before trying this with my daughter. You’ve got five seconds before I make the decision for you.”

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He has tears in his eyes as he tells Dad, “Gentaro Imagawa.”

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Dad takes out his phone, scrolls through his contacts, and then presses on one. Putting the phone up to his ear, he waits for a few moments until he speaks, “Gen, it’s Eiji Kobayashi. I’m over by the dance floor with your son, would you come over here please?” He waits a few moments. “Alright, thanks.” He ends the call and puts his phone up.

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“Your dad will be here soon. How did Gen’s son become a sleazeball wanna be punk?”

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“I’m not, this is all an act. A lot of girls like it.”

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“Well, I hope you enjoyed it. Knowing your father like I do he’s probably going to disown you for this.”

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The boy’s mouth keeps flapping like a fish out of water, but I don’t feel one bit sorry for him since he brought this on himself.

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About a minute later a man and a woman arrive. “Eiji, what’s up?”

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“Your son and his friends accosted my daughter. They told her she was coming with them to ‘party.’ When she told them no, he told her that she didn’t have a choice. She asked him if this was a kidnapping attempt and he told her ‘whatever you want to call it’.”

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Mr. Imagawa sighs loudly. “Eiji, I’m so sorry about this. Can you let me deal with this instead of the police?”

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Dad nod. “That’s why I called you when I found out who his father is. I wouldn’t hurt a friend unnecessarily.”

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Mr. Imagawa looks at his son. “What did your mother and I tell you would happen if this kind of thing happened again?”

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“No Dad, please! I promise it won’t happen again. I’ll drop the act and straighten up!”

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“That’s what you said last time. Well then, you made your bed, so now you have to sleep in it. You’ll be going to Hiroshima to live with your cousin and work for him. If, and I do mean if, you keep your nose clean for the next five years and do everything your told without complaint I’ll consider not disowning you. One single report from him that you are acting up or not listening to him and I’ll have him dump you on the street and I’ll disown you.” He turns to me. “I’m sorry, we haven't been introduced.”

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I let go of Ryu and curtsy as I introduce myself, “Sora Kobayashi, I would say ‘pleased to meet you’, but under the circumstances…”

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“Trust me, I understand. I’m Gentaro Imagawa and this is my wife, Keiko. How can I make this up to you?”

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I wave away his offer. “There’s no need for that. You’ve dealt with him splendidly, his friends are another matter though.” I say with a predatory smile and they pale. “You two are accessories to a kidnapping attempt.” I look at Dad. “How should we deal with them?”

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“That’s up to you, Sora. You’re the one they accosted, so I'll let you decide.”

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Nodding at Dad, I turn back to Mr. Imagawa. “Mr. Imagawa, do you think your cousin could use two more workers?”

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He laughs and looks at Dad. “Eiji, you’ve got one hell of a daughter.”

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Dad chuckles and proudly states, “You don’t even know a small part of it Gen. She’s exceptional in so many ways.”

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Mr. Imagawa looks back to me with a smile. “If that’s how you want them dealt with then we can accommodate your wishes.”

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I nod. “I’d say working for your cousin for ten years without wages and only getting food and housing should be enough. It’s far less than they would get if Dad called the police.” I look at the two of them. “I suggest you not try to run off to get out of going, because if you do Mr. Imagawa will call my Dad and we’ll file kidnapping charges against you, is that understood?” They both nod. “I need a verbal answer to make sure you understand what I told you.”

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They tell me, “We understand.”

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I nod, “Nee-chan, Sofi, you can let them go and head back.”

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“Okay. See you in a bit.” Honoka says as they let them go and return to the table.

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“You two can see yourselves out of the venue, but you’d best remember what I told you. Bye-bye now.”

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They almost run as they leave.

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Mr. Imagawa looks at his son. “Same goes for you. I’ll see you at home.”

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“How am I going to get home? I came with you.”

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“Walk.”

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“…But it’s 12 kilometers!”

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“I don’t care. If you aren’t at home when we get back I’ll assume you decided to live on your own. Now, go.” His son head drops as he slinks out of the venue.

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“Now that that’s taken care of Dad, we’re…”

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He cuts me off, “Wait a minute Sora. Ryu, would you go back to the table. Sora will be there in a few minutes.”

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“Sure Mr. Kobayashi.” He looks at me. “I’ll see you at the table,” and walks off toward the table.

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“He’s a good boy Sora.”

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“I know he is Dad. I had to lock my hands on his arm to keep him from breaking them in half. He’s very protective of me.”

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“I know, it’s one of the reasons I like him… Anyway Sora. The reason I asked you to stay is Gen here is a huge investor in TGR. He owns about half of the common stock.”

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“Oh, is that so?”

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“Gen, may I present my daughter, Sora, the CEO of TGR?”

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“You’re not pulling my leg are you?”

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“Unfortunately, he isn’t. Dad, I thought we were keeping that under wraps?”

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“Gen wanted to meet the CEO for one reason, to thank them. Akiyama ran that corporation into the ground. He’d cost Gen a huge amount of the money he invested. You’ve earned that money back for him and then some.”

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I smile hesitantly. “I’m happy you made your money back.”

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Mr. Imagawa has a huge smile when he says, “You saved my family Sora. Thank you. Akiyama's mismanagement along with several failed ventures cost me dearly. I would have never dreamed their CEO is, how old?”

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“I’m thirteen Mr. Imagawa, but I suppose you could say I’m not your typical thirteen year old.”

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He laughs. “I would say not. Thirteen…” He look at Dad. “What kind of monstrous genius are you raising here?”

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“Sora is actually adopted, not that I don’t think of her as having always been my daughter.” He says looking at me affectionately. “I’m extremely proud to be able to call her my daughter.”

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“I can imagine. Sora, thank you again. I think I’ve taken up enough of your evening and don’t worry, I know how to keep a secret. I’ll never tell anyone who you are.”

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“Thank you Mr. Imagawa. I truly appreciate that. I’m trying to live a fairly normal life and that would be impossible if word got out.”

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“Sora, if I can ever do anything for you, just call. I’ll be happy to do anything I can.”

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“Thank you, I’ll keep that in mind. If you two will excuse me though, I’d love to get back to my boyfriend.”

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“Certainly, it was a pleasure to meet you, even under these circumstances. Have a good evening.”

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“Go ahead, Sora. I’ll see you later.”

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I tell them “Bye.” and head back to the table. As I’m walking back , I think, ‘Once, just once, I’d love to not have curve balls thrown at me.’ Mayumi and the man she’s been dancing with intercept me on the way back.

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“Sora, are you all right?”

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“I’m perfectly fine, Mayumi. That was nothing to worry about. Ryu would have never let anyone touch me. Regardless of that fact, I didn’t want him fighting. By the way, who’s your friend?”

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“Oh right, you weren’t there when I introduced him. Sora, this is Dr. Kazuto Imamura. Kazuto, this is my friend Sora Kobayashi.”

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I curtsy as I tell him, “Pleased to meet you, Dr. Imamura.”

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I said before that he’s a good looking man, but he’s even more so up close. Roughly 180 centimeters tall, he’s not heavily muscled, but still well built. Bright amber-brown eyes, and short dark brown hair. Definitely, looks-wise he’s worthy of going out with Mayumi. We shall have to see about the rest of it.

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He bows to me and replies, “You as well Ms. Kobayashi, but I’d prefer to be called Kazuto.”

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I give him a sunny smile. “Then please call me Sora. I apologize, but please excuse me, Ryu is waiting on me and he’s probably a bit worried.”

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Mayumi says, “Of course. We’ll see you in a bit, we’re going to dance some more.”

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They head off to the dance floor as I return to the table. When I get there, I sit down, lean against Ryu, blow out my breath, and take his hand once again.

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“Are you alright?” He asks me.

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“Mhmm. Just need to snuggle with you a bit is all.”

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“Well, you can have all the snuggles you want.”

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I release his hand, lift his arm, and wrap it around me to get a little closer. “Mmm~ Much better.”

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“Sweetheart, are you sure you’re alright?”

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I look up and give him a smile. “Of course I am. I was never in any danger. You would never have let them touch me. I locked onto your arm to keep you from hurting them.”

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“You knew?”

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“Honey, you love me, so of course I know what you would do to anyone threatening me. They simply weren’t worth the disruption to our night that you hurting them would have caused. I have a lot of people around me who are very protective. My sisters, Honoka and Sofi, are two of them as you saw. Both of them know martial arts. Honoka is teaching me Krav Maga, so I can defend myself.”

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“You never told me.”

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“I didn’t think it was anything worth mentioning. You’ll see us in our backyard on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while she teaches me. You’re welcome to come watch if you want. Honey, look, I realize I’m a very desirable girl in most boys’ eyes and just how tiny I am compared to those boys. I’m 153 centimeters and 46 kilograms. I’m small even compared to most first year boys and they could easily overpower me. Therefore, I have to have another way to stop them or make them think twice about laying their hands on me. The only boy I want touching me is you, understand?”

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“Is there anything you don’t think of?” He asks me in amazed tone.

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I shrug and tell him, “Honey, you’d have learned this sooner or later, but I’m always thinking about something and that creates more connections for my mind to follow and so on and so on. It’s a never ending cycle for me. That’s why I tend to overthink things.” I shake my head. “Enough. Come with me.”

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“Where are we going?”

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“To dance, of course.” I tell him with a grin.

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We spend the next half hour on the dance floor, right up until the band takes a break. At that point we head over to get a drink, then make our way back to the table. Everyone, including Dad and Kazuto, are at the table when we arrive and we take our seats. I scoot my seat a little closer to Ryu’s and take his hand again while sipping my drink. The current conversation is revolving around Kazuto. Mama and Dad seem to be taking turns asking questions.

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Mama asks him, “So you not only studied medicine at Tokyo University, but you also work at the hospital there?”

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“Right. I graduated second in my class and they immediately offered me a position there after graduation. I’m currently a surgical intern.”

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Dad says, “That’s quite an accomplishment. I’m sure your parents are very proud of you.”

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“I’m sure they would be, but they were killed by a drunk driver right before I graduated.”

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“I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.”

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“It’s alright. You couldn’t have known. Normally, for someone my age they would still be alive, so it’s a natural assumption. So, Mayumi tells me you’re a lawyer. Does that mean your that Kobayashi?”

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Dad grins as he answers him, “I’m the only Kobayashi who’s a lawyer in Tokyo.”

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“I knew quite a few people in the law department when I was still in school. They would talk about you all the time. I can’t wait to tell them that I met you tonight.”

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Dad laughs. “I’m just a Father, husband, and someone who’s good at winning arguments, except with my girls, who always seem to win.”

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“Kazuto, what made you ask Mayumi to dance?” I ask.

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He looks at Mayumi and smiles, then turns back to me and says, “I saw this lovely woman walking away from getting a drink and couldn’t get her out of my head, so I came to ask her to dance. Now, here we are.”

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I look meaningfully at Ryu. A somewhat familiar story, just reversed a bit for us, right? I lean up against him and he wraps his arm around me. “Mayumi is worth it,” I tell him.

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“I’m quickly figuring that out. I’m curious, how did you become friends with Mayumi? It’s not often that you see someone who’s twenty become friends with a thirteen year old.”

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“Well, I was in the hospital and I got really upset, so I started crying one night, she came in to comfort me, and then stayed with me so I wouldn’t be alone. Our friendship came from that. Regardless, if you’re around long enough, you’ll find I’m not your typical thirteen year old. If you’d like to have an in-depth conversation about Genetic Engineering, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, or many other subjects I’d be happy to have one with you.”

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Everyone chuckles at his astounded expression.

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After Mama laughs, she tells him, “Kazuto, I suggest that you don’t underestimate our daughter, or you’ll be in for a rather rude surprise.”

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The band begins playing again at this point and I look at Ryu with a smile, who grins, stands up, and offers me his hand. I take it and he leads us back to the dance floor. The first one is a fairly fast pop song. The second is one I’ve heard, sorry, I don't know it's name since I don’t listen to a lot of music, but it’s a slow song about a boy and a girl meeting and falling in love. Ryu gathers me in his arms as I slip mine around his waist and rest my head against his shoulder and close my eyes as we sway in time to the music.

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They play a couple more slow songs for which I stay glued to Ryu, simply enjoying the feel of him against me as we dance. Unfortunately, the next one they play is a waltz and I take a step back as he takes us around the floor. I’ve seen Chinatsu and Ryo join us on the floor, as well as Mama and Dad, and Kazuto and Mayumi. Even Sofi and Honoka have had some intermittent dance partners. Not that I don’t believe they weren’t asked far more times than they actually danced.

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Ryu and I never left the floor as we continued dancing, except for when the band would take breaks. Still, that’s how Ryu and I spent the majority of our night, on the dance floor, until I’m astounded when the band announces this will be the last dance of the night and I have to look at my watch. I can’t believe that it’s almost midnight. To me, it seems as if we arrived just an hour or so ago. Where did all that time go?

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Once the band finishes with the last song, we head back to the table to gather our belongings and I overhear Kazuto asking Mayumi for her number. Her smile tells me all I need to know about it. I quickly pick up my clutch and turn around to give them a semblance of privacy as they exchange numbers. I’m happy for her, as they seem to like each other.

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Once everyone has gathered, we head out to the cars to go home. After we load into the cars, I scoot close to Ryu, who slips his arm around me to pull me even closer, I rest my head against him, and close my eyes to happily relax within his embrace on the ride home.

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