14 September 2011


So sorry for the long absence!

Some updates:
- The book is finished and I did manage to trim it down to approximately 25,000 words
- Partly the reason for the edit was that I submitted the book to a publisher to be considered for publication
- However, I've been asked to change a few things that have resulted in the story morphing into something different; this is supposed to be a trilogy of books, one each for Ana, Kaye, and Tessa, but I seriously wonder if I don't have enough on my plate at the moment
- So in the end, I decided to post the original in it's entirety for purposes of posterity
- I'll try to post the whole thing soon! Only 2 more chapters to go!

hugs and thanks for your patience! Keep reading The Japayuki Chronicles


Leave it up to fate: Chapter 28

Chapter 28

“That was some renegotiation.” Jon commented as he sipped champagne beside me. “When I saw you last, you guys weren’t even talking and now you’re engaged!”
I sighed. It didn't seem real to me either. The past two weeks had been a whirlwind. Everything seemed constantly on fast-forward … dinner with my parents, Takashi’s press release, the ensuing media interview, and finally, tonight. I almost laughed aloud. I was standing in the middle of a private function room at the ANA hotel—our engagement party was ongoing, people were congratulating us left and right, and yet I still couldn't believe this was actually happening.
Someone please pinch me. I actually said that aloud and Jon had complied. My side smarted from where he had over-enthusiastically squeezed.
I glanced to see who had called and saw Dan standing nearby. As I smiled and greeted him, Jon politely excused himself.
“So I guess this means you aren’t coming to Texas with me, huh?” Dan asked.
I shook my head. “I’m really sorry Dan, the research sounds fascinating but…”
“I understand. You don't have to be sorry Ana. Science will always be here for you, but people …” He glanced at Ken, who was introducing my mom to someone. “Sometimes you have to hold on to people.” He smiled wryly. “I’m just sad I wasn’t able to hold on to you.”
Lordy, that was the most romantic thing I’ve ever heard Dan say. But why wasn’t I hyperventilating? Instead I smiled sadly at him. He smiled back, shook my hand, and then left.
“What did wonder-Dan want?” Kaye asked, sidling up to me.
“Nothing, he just said goodbye. He’s leaving for Texas soon.”
Kaye was silent for a minute. “It never would have worked Ana. You were never really yourself with him. Whereas with Ken…” she grimaced, “I’m not saying it’s a match made in heaven, but I’m glad you can be your usual cranky self with him. At least he knows what he’s getting.”
I gaped. “Does this mean you approve?”
“Does it matter if Kaye approves or not when you and Ken are so obviously in love with each other?” Tessa asked as she, Jon, and Yoshi joined us.
I stared at Tessa, “Oh, but we aren’t!”
Tessa rolled her eyes. “We aren’t blind. Ken adores you! Even Kaye agrees.”
“I’m not disagreeing.” Kaye clarified.
“You of all people should know that this is all just an act.” I protested.
Yoshi shook his head. “I hate to say this Ana-chan, but Ken isn’t that good an actor.”
“And that rock on your finger certainly doesn't look fake.” Jon commented. In unison, we all looked at the 2-karat solitaire diamond ring that glinted on the fourth finger of my left hand.
“It’s just a ring.” I said though I cradled it protectively.
Oi oi, we spent half a day picking that out!” Yoshi reminded. At my mulish expression, he sighed. “Ma ne, I think you’ve gotten too used to version 2.0 these past few months.”
“Version 2.0?”
Yoshi nodded. “Sou sou, Ken-chan version 1.0 scowls and grunts, gives monosyllabic answers, freezes people with a look, and walks around with a haughty look on his face.” He paused and took a sip of champagne. “Ken-chan version 2.0 smiles and laughs more, he’s more patient with people, and for the past few weeks, when he’s in the company of a certain someone, he walks around with a stupid grin on his face.”
I started shaking my head.
Dyosko Ana, you’re not usually this obtuse.” Kaye complained.
Ano ba, the guy loves you!” Tessa hissed, rolling her eyes.
“The question is do you love him?”
“Honey, someone had to ask.” Jon replied.
“Yeah, otherwise you’d be skirting the question until the next millennium.” Kaye snorted.
“Ne, ne, so do you?” Yoshi asked.
I gulped. Yoshi, Jon, Kaye, and Tessa stared at me expectantly. Muttering something about needing to visit the lavatory, I turned away. As I fled, I thought I heard the four of them sigh in unison.
Oi, gaijin.”
I thought had the lavatory to myself when I heard someone address me. Hardly anyone ever called me a foreigner—at least not to my face—the Japanese were too polite for that. It was clearly meant as an insult and I turned around to see who had delivered it. I was surprised to see Ai, the woman from the concert after-party standing behind me. It wasn’t hard to recognize her—her clothes were just as skanky as the last time.
Nan de? What are you doing here? This is a private party.” I told her as I turned to leave.
Baka! He doesn’t really love you, gaijin.” She sneered.
“And I suppose he’s in love with you?” I asked derisively.
She laughed bitterly. “He’s still in love with Sakamoto-san. She’s back in town you know, that’s the only reason for this charade. He’s hoping she’ll be jealous and come back to him. I hope you won’t cry too much when he finally dumps you.”
“What I’m hoping for is that you’ll shut up.” I swear it took all my patience to leave without slapping her silly.
However, I felt my composure crack slightly as I walked back to the party. I’d almost forgotten about the issue of Erina. Ken never talked about her and I was too afraid to ask.
“Ah, Ana-san, Ken has been looking for you.” I looked up and saw Takashi heading towards me. No one had been more surprised to learn about our engagement than Takashi. Yoshi had joked that although Takashi was a good agent, he had the emotional range of a teaspoon (which kind of explained why he was still single).
I smiled and allowed him to escort me back to the party. Just before we were to enter, I stopped him. “Ano, Takashi-san, may I ask you something?” He looked at me questioningly. “Why did Ken and Erina break up?”
I could see that I had made him uneasy. He started mopping at nonexistent sweat on his forehead. “Etooo… I really don’t know Ana-san. Why don’t you ask Ken?”
“How long were they together?”
“Around 4 years maybe.” He scratched his head. “But he, Yoshi, and Erina were very good friends, so it may have been longer… Anooo, maybe we should go in now …”
I preceded Takashi back into the room, trying to hide how taken aback I was at his revelations. So Ken and Erina had been friends. They had been together for quite some time. And he did plan to ask her to marry him. That is, before she dumped him because she thought he had been getting it on with me. Were things really that simple? What had really happened? He couldn’t have forgotten her that easily, could he?
I rubbed my temples. Lordy. Did I really want to have ghosts in my bed even before I was even married?

Nearing the end!

Leave it up to fate: Chapter 27 EDIT

“Damn, damn, damn!” Kaye cursed, “Why did I have to go to the grocery just then?”

Sou, sou!” Yoshi seconded. “Chikusho! I was only downstairs having a smoke, why didn’t I come up earlier?”

Tessa giggled. “Too bad, it was really something to see! Don’t worry,” she tried to console them, “Jon doesn’t even know about it yet.”

They stopped and turned when Ken and I walked back into the apartment. We had just seen my parents off in a cab. I nodded curtly to them, grabbed Ken’s hand and dragged him to my room.

Tessa, Kaye, and Yoshi looked at each other and smiled when I closed the door after us.

“C’mon guys,” I heard Tessa say, “Let’s give the newly engaged couple some privacy.”


“Why?” At Ken’s raised brow, I said impatiently, “You know what I mean. Why did you go along with it?”

“Why did you say we were engaged in the first place?” He countered.

“I don’t know. It seemed the right thing to say at the moment.” I rounded on him, “But why did you go along with it?”

“It seemed the right thing to say,” Ken echoed, smiling maddeningly. “I thought you’d want me to back you up.”

“Well, I did but … but … but did you have to go so far as to arrange a wedding date?”

“We didn’t exactly decide on a date …”

“That’s beside the point!” I shrieked, “My mom is practically planning the wedding already.”

“Efficient woman, your mom.” Ken chuckled, “I like her already.”

“Oooh! We’ve got to do something,” I cried, “Have you got any ideas?” I buried my face in my hands. “Maybe we can just pretend to get married at the local city hall…”

“Baka. Your parents would see through that in a minute.”

“If we broke up …”



“It’s out of the question.”

I fell silent. He was right, if we broke up he’d be left in the same position he’d been in when we first met. Plus, it’d been my fault and I did promise to see it through. But damn, I had never envisioned things to get so tangled.

“Would being married to me be all that bad?” He asked.

Hmm, it actually wouldn’t be bad at all.

No, no, no! It would be a disaster! Gaga. Why am I even considering this?! I looked at Ken. “It just wouldn’t seem right. Marriage is sacred, but … you don’t … we’re not even …” I took a deep breath. “Well, it’s not as if we’ve suddenly fallen madly in love with each other.”

Or have we? The unspoken question seemed to float in the air between us.

“Do you still love Sato?”

I looked at Ken blankly, for a minute I had trouble remembering who Dan was. Ken patiently repeated his question.

“I-I don’t know.” I finally said.

“Then what’s stopping us from getting married?”

“A hundred things!” I cried. “And anyway, why would you want to marry me?”

Ken smiled mysteriously, “I have my reasons.”

After a few seconds, I prodded, “Well? What are they?”

He shook his head. “You’ll have to figure it out for yourself.” At my exasperated expression, he chuckled. “Don’t you want to get married sometime?”

“Of course I do!”

“Then why not to me?”

Yeah, why not? No, no, I had to be the adult here. “No Ken, we can’t do this.”

“Fine,” he said, “Call your parents and tell them that dinner tomorrow is cancelled and that you lied.”

I glared at him. Catch 22. That was something I wasn’t willing to do. I know that this is the 21st century and that I’d just told my parents I was an adult with a life of my own, but if they found out, they’d drag me on a plane back home and chain me to the house until I turned 90.

“But Ken, you wouldn’t want to marry me!” I whined, sitting down on the bed.

“Why not?”

“Well… you’re you… and I’m … me.” I grimaced. Lordy, that line was trite, even to my ears.

“That seems to have worked out for us so far.” Ken sat down beside me and surprised me by pulling me onto his lap. “If we got married, it’d get your parents off your back and you could stay in Japan for as long as you wanted. And we do get along quite well…”

“What? We argue all the time!”

“Yeah, isn’t it great?” He grinned. I actually had to bite my lip to keep myself from grinning back. “Plus…”

“Plus?” I asked; distracted by the way he was looking at me.

“Plus, we seem to turn each other on.”

“Oh.” There was that.

“So is it on?” He asked huskily.

Tao lang po. Lordy, I was not immune to the soulful stare that had snared many a heart onscreen. The logical part of my brain was screaming no, but the hormone-driven sex-starved part won and I nodded.

Ken smiled. Then he stood up so fast I thought I’d land on the floor. He gave me a quick kiss and checked his watch. “I’ve got to go Ana. I’ve got some shopping to do.”

And then he was gone. I must’ve stood where he left me for a good 10 minutes before I crumpled to the floor.

Lordy, what just happened?