"Buy me a new TV?"
Naru didn't even look up from the papers sprawled out before him. "No." He must have found what he was looking for, for he turned his focus back up to his computer screen and continued typing. I pouted.
"But I can't afford one. Please?"
"Fiancé' doesn't make me your wallet, Mai. Honestly, I thought better of you." Type-ity type type.
I sighed loudly and dropped the cute act. I had wanted to try it just once, to see if it would work. I knew it wouldn't but it didn't hurt to try. "Well, if you're going to drop that bomb, fine: you break it you buy it. I'm also going to need a half a dozen mugs which you broke too."
He gave a grunt, not even a hiccup in the tippity tap of his typing. "Alright, I'll bring by some mugs later, but I think you'd do better without the TV."
I gawked. "You broke it!"
"Dah—jee—that's so not cool! Are you going to go around getting rid of my stuff when we're married just because you think I'd do better without? How high handed can you get?!"
With a rather violent slap of the space bar, he finally looked my way. I could see the reflection of the word processor in his dark eyes.
"I already have a TV," he said in that 'you're a moron, so I'm going to say it very slowly' tone. "I didn't think we'd need two. But since I'm so high handed, go make me some tea, and while you're at it, why don't you do what I pay you to do in the first place?"
Smack. Bang. Double slap.
Stinging, angry, embarrassed, but mostly just angry, I was none too kind on closing the door behind me. The asshole could have said that from the start, but no! Had to keep working on his blasted whatever research book of nerdy-nerdom and not give a thought to how worked up I was getting over it. Instead of just saying all that from the beginning—scratch that—he could have just said he was thinking of the future and not add all that insult to the end of it. 'Why don't you go and do what I pay you to do' my ass! I was on my lunch break!? And it wasn't like I had too much to do other than return a few more calls to clients he had rejected and collect articles I thought were suspicious.
I almost put salt into his tea instead of sugar. Almost. If only I had shaving cream instead of milk cream, that would be rich. Literally.
Jerk was still typing away like the arse he was when I brought in his tea. I could pour it over his stupid special 'V' shaped keyboard that was supposed to prevent carpal tunnel. How about that?
Ugh, but that would be immature and then he'd just glare at me and then maybe he might not feel too keen on marrying me anyways…
So I just set it there (though I would rather throw it), and said, "Loving you is so inconvenient to having a proper tantrum, you know that?"
If I didn't sound so pissed, he might have smiled. Instead he just took up the teacup and sipped it. At least he bothered to sit back a bit in order to enjoy the first hot taste.
"That's unfortunate, though I also have someplace I'd like you to check out this afternoon for me. Tell me what you feel."
I puffed a strand of hair out of my face. "Alright. Though wouldn't you rather Masako?"
"Ms. Hara isn't my employee. Also, she has a career of her own. Besides, you do just fine."
"I'm so glad." Hear that drip drip on the floor? That's sarcasm, Noll dear. Actually…wait, no that's not. That's good. Less association with Masako. Yes.
He set down his tea, typed a few more sentences, then pulled out a pen and notepad from a drawer. After scribbling an address down, he tore it off and handed it to me.
"Take a little walk inside. Ask a few questions of the management, if you can."
"Okay…" I glanced down at the address and blanched. "This is a—you want me to just walk into a five star hotel?!"
"Why not? It's not like you're going to be sleeping in any of the rooms or eavesdropping on their clients."
"This is where presidents and stars go, I'll look like a complete creep!" A really poor, plain complete creep. "Do they even have a reception area? Or is the entrance just an elaborate grand hall of gold and marble?"
There we go, there was the twitch of the mouth. "It's just a hotel, Mai. Five star or not. And make sure you get a good look at the ballroom as well."
"Why? Have people been sighting ghosts there?"
"No, those are on the upper floors. I just want to know your thoughts on having a wedding there."
I stared. So soon after the whole TV fight? "You have no feel for mood, do you?"
"Nothing. Sure. I'll take a look at it. But I've always liked the idea of a simple wedding outside, in the sun. Besides, where would you get the money to pay for the rent on a ballroom like that? I mean, a ghost hunting business isn't a freaking gold mine." I glanced down at the simple solitaire diamond ring on my finger. I didn't even know if he was still making payments on that, or even if it was a real diamond. The gold was real, though I'd seen rings like it online for little over one thousand yen.
"The ballroom request isn't from me," he said, now fully back to his typing. "It's from my mother. Oh, and she's coming into town tonight with my father, so mind you get back by six from the hotel."
"Excuse me?! Short notice much?"
He sighed and paused to close his eyes and pinch the bridge of his nose. "There's no need to yell."
"Oh hell there is. There's something called letting people know ahead of time so they can plan!"
"It's just my parents. What's to plan for?"
"Just your—What if I had had plans tonight?"
"That's not the point! What if they hate me? What if they pop over to my house and think I'm a complete slob?"
"You keep your apartment quite clean."
"That's not-" I clamped my mouth closed and took a deep, slow breath through my nose. I had to remember, Naru was too stupid to understand common social etiquette. I had to be logical, not polite. Polite was illogical (no it wasn't).
When I opened my eyes, Naru was looking at me, fingers to his keyboard, his mouth in a straight, pensive line.
"Should I have really told you sooner?"
He had lowered his voice, as he always did when asking questions like these, as though someone might hear him. After all, he was debasing himself from his god-like platform of knowing everything at all times.
If he could do it, I could too. Meeting at the half-way point and all that.
"It's polite to," I said slowly. "But it's probably just me being caught off guard and feeling…insecure. It's probably best this way. I would have just spent the extra time freaking out, not preparing or anything."
"There's nothing to prepare for. All you have to do is be yourself. They're just people."
"People who are going to be my family. My parents." I bit my lip from saying, 'I don't have any parents, after all.'
A whole world of thoughts and insecurities opened up in the pregnant silence. I could see in his gaze that he drank it all in, saw it all, heard it all: this was to be my new family, my ONLY family. What if they didn't like me? What if they didn't accept me? What if they told Naru 'no way'?
Then he blinked back to the screen and it was closed.
"You have nothing to be afraid of," he said crisply. "You have a natural warming affect on people. I don't know if you have noticed, but your coworker's affection for you is unnaturally high. They consider themselves your family already. I highly doubt my parents won't do the same—ignoring the fact that they're already determined to love you if for nothing else than to ensure that you will allow them access to their grandchildren."
There was the magic word that always lit me up quicker than chocolate. Babies.
Naru knew it, for I could see him slouch a bit more over his computer as I beamed.
"And there's that too," he muttered. "You're any in-law's dream."
I inwardly twirled a bit as pre-formulated images of babies I had spent many hours geeking out over ran through my mind, all with different bits of Naru shuffled in and adorable, pudgy limbs.
Naru sighed. "When are you leaving for the hotel?"
"After I return these calls. I can finish my sandwich on the run."
"Well be careful. Knowing you, you'd probably run out at a green light and get hit by a semi."
But I hardly heard him. I had already spun out of his office to get back to work.
Alright, here's the deal: I got two really big ghostwriting jobs and possibly a third on the way. This equates to about 3,600 words a day I have to write. This being said, I won't be able to do any quizzes or super purge updates. You're probably going to get one chapter a week. How can I find time to write this story when I have three other ones for clients you ask? Because freelance ghostwriting is a lot like being a whore. A cheap whore. So I like to take comfort in giving my love to someone who actually cares at the end of the day, aka, I need to be able to write for somebody who actually just wants to enjoy my story, not trying to get rich off of me.
Otherwise...I start to hate my craft.