Episode 3 : Life and Breakfast

Mama...?

Mama...where are you??

Mama!!

*Kenya! What are you doing here?!*

I didn't want you to go alone, Mama

*What?! Oh god! Get away from here Kenya! It's not safe!*

I don't want to!

*Go back to Moji's house! Do as I say now!*

But Mama--

*Do as I say now, child! Hurry! There isn't much time! It isn't safe here!*

Mama....

"Kenya?" Akane's voice called, breaking through the young girl's dream. She opened her eyes and saw the said girl across the room, adjusting her green-jumper uniform.

"It's time for you to get up, Nemui-Atama (Sleepy-head). Today's you first day of school"

"School"? Kenya yawned as she sat up and rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

"Yeah, remember Daddy telling you at dinner last night?"

"Last night?"

Kenya opened her eyes fully and realized that she was in a bed that was positioned by Akane's window. The sun streaming down was blinding and she covered her eyes up with her hand before she got a headache.

How did she get into this bed?, she wondered.

She didn't even remember ever heading off to bed. But what she DID remember had to have been a dream, right? People don't tranform into different animals and sexes at the drop of a hat....right?

"W..what....happened last night...?"

"Uh..."Akane looked away nervously before answering.

"Well...after you left the *ofuro* you....went to sleep..."

Kenya looked at the older girl in suspicion and it took almost all of Akane's will power to keep her from blushing cherry red under the intense gaze.

What she had told Kenya wasn't a *complete* lie. Though she more of the lines *fainted* then *fell asleep* in Ranma-chan's arms after leaving the bath. And by the time Akane got there (after hearing Kenya's scream she rushed out of the bath as quick as she could) Ranma was already carrying the very unconscious preteen up to her room with Mr. Panda and Soun in tow.

"Well, I'll see you down stairs!" she waved and hastily went out the door

"Hey wait--!" Kenya began, but Akane had already gone.

"This is too weird…" she sighed getting out of the bed.

She then looked down at her self and noticed that she wasn't wearing her own night-clothes. To her confusion, she was wearing an over-sized Chinese shirt that clearly belonged to a boy.

"How in the heck did I get *this* weird shirt on??"

She didn't even own any Chinese clothes!! Stranger yet….she had a inkling where this certain Chinese shirt came from……

Kenya frowned intensely.

Now, Kenya Jambo was not stupid. Far from it actually. She was actually quite clever for her age and not absentminded in the least. And she hated it when someone assumed the opposite and tried to pull the wool over her eyes.

Yes, oh yes…..she didn't like that *one* bit!

__________________

"Ohayo Akane-chan" Kasumi smiled as her little sister entered the dinner room

"Ohayo.." she said back warily

"So how'd it go?" Ranma asked as he stuffed his mouth with rice

"Think for once, baka" she replied crossly "Put yourself in *her* shoes!"

"Well excuse me!"

He looked way from in annoyance and she did the same.

Suddenly Kenya walked in the room. She eyed the family carefully before sitting down at the table.

"That plate is for you "Kasumi said kindly, indicating the food in front of Kenya.

In responce, Kenya looked at it but didn't touch it. It was some kind of fish, she observed, with a small pile of white stuff on the side. Next to the plate was also a bowl of some kind of weird looking soup and in another bowl a scoop or so of rice.

"What kinda breakfast is this?!?" her face clearly said

"That's salmon" Kasumi answered her unsaid question "And this is radish paste" she pointed to the white substance,

"And that bowl over there is miso"

"What's miso?"

"It's a sort of bean"

"So it's bean soup?" the question came out a bit deadpanned

"Um...you could say that.."

"For breakfast? *Bean soup* and *fish* for breakfast??"

The older girl stared at her in confusion and hurt. To her it was just a normal breakfast, prepared with all her love. But to Kenya....she looked like she thought it was a monstrosity! She had never been criticized

for her cooking before....

"Well...I .um.." she stuttered a bit, trying to hold her tears back

"Can I have some cereal instead?" the younger girl asked looking away from Kasumi's pained face

"But...we don't have any.."

"Yes, we do have cereal in Japan" Nabiki cut in, speaking up for her sister. She was feeling bad for her (but of course the ice queen didn't show it in her face) and decided to explain some stuff to Kenya before

her poor sister had a break down.

"This is really not going the way she wanted it to" she mentally sighed before continuing.

"It's just the fact that *we* don't generally buy any. What you see in front of you is what we usually eat. A *traditional* Japanese breakfast."

"Well can I have some toast?"

"Nope. We don't have that either. Bread is expensive and doesn't fit into our budget."

Kenya looked down at her plate in disgust but started to consider her options.

It was either eat fish for breakfast....or nothing at all..

She sighed in frustration. She really did NOT want to eat fish for breakfast....she didn't even like fish! To tell the truth, in the past she rarely ever even had the opportunity to eat fish that much. And she didn't want to begin now.

But then suddenly she remembered that she had some money in her pocket from the exchange booth at the airport. Her father had given her 10 dollars before she felt Ethiopia.

Maybe she could get some food somewhere else...like a fast food restaurant. After all, what country didn't have McDonalds??

"That's ok I guess..." she sighed "I'm not that hungry anyway"

"Are you sure?" Kasumi asked, feeling the same pain from the previous night returning

"Yes I'm sure"

"So Kenya, are you ready for your first day of school" Soun asked from across the table

"Yeah I guess" Kenya sighed in frustration once more "but I don't see why I have to go so soon"

"Well I explained it to you earlier, my dear. Jutoku junior high is the only school close enough to home that would not only allow you to enroll on such short notice *and* a month late in the school year, but also with out you having to take an entrance exam. Lucky they took your transcripts instead because you are a foreigner"

"It's not fair that I have to start the 7th grade all over..." she mumble to herself. She also recalled her Uncle telling her about school uniforms and the thought made her even more depressed. At the moment she was still wearing what she wore the day before. She hadn't bothered unpacking that morning or even the night before...

That thought made her frown. What HAD happen last night??

She stared even harder at the family before her.

"Did anything...*weird* happen last night?" she asked carefully

The others visibly tensed. They had all agreed that they didn't want her to get freaked out before her first day of school.

"Nothing more than the usual" Nabiki said smoothly before gathering her things

"I'm done now.." she said over her shoulder "See ya.."

As she watched her go Kenya began to rub her temples in annoyance. This wasn't getting her anywhere...

"Your father told me that you are quite the intellectual in school" Soun said, changing the subject.

"Yes" Genma agreed "I heard he told your Uncle much of your achievements and your skill at sports"

"I'm not that great at anything.." Kenya said, suddenly finding her miso soup interesting to look at.

She felt her face grow hot and a flutter of happiness and pride rise in her heart at the fact that her father had praised her so.

"I only did as best as I could, especially when it came to school"

"Well that's good" Soun grinned "In Japan, we take academics very seriously and trying your best is basically a motto in this country. *Ganbatte Yo!* as they say."

"Yeah, but *some* students don't try as hard as others" Akane said shooting a glance at a certain pig-tailed boy

"Shut up" was the irritated responce

"Well you three better get going" Soun piped in before a fight started between the two betrothed ones.

"After all you don't want to be late as usual. And we wouldn't want Kenya to be late on her first day. By the way Akane, are you sure you're ok with taking Kenya to the Jr. high?"

"Yeah it's cool I guess, after all it is only about two blocks away from my own school"

"Are you sure? I could take her, you know" Kasumi volunteered

Akane looked from Kasumi to Kenya.

"Well it's up to you" she said to Kenya "But you better make it quick"

Kenya looked down for a second in thought. Akane seemed ok, at least from the impression she got the night before but Kasumi.....

Kenya gaze shot up to the other older girl.

Kasumi's motherly affections were repelling the 13 year old like a mosquito to bug spray. She hated it that she was acting like a mother towards her. Every time she did, every smile, every attempted touch, made Kenya hurt and yearn for her own mother even more! And besides, she already HAD a mother! And she wasn't going to let anyone try to replace her. Her mother...was *hers* and will always be...no matter what...

"I want Akane-neechan to take me"

"Oh.." Kasumi said, hurt clearly written on her face "Alright..well don't forget your lunch" she handed Kenya a boxed lunch wrapped in a pink handkerchief with smiling bunnies on it.

Kenya grimaced when she saw it.

"What...are these??" she asked pointing to the design

"Aren't they cute?" Kasumi smiled "I saw it the other day and bought it just for you. I had also bought a green one with frogs just in case you were a boy"

Kenya immediately wished that she had the green one, no matter what was on it. She HATED pink...

"Whatever..." she sighed and took the *obento*.

Besides the outside, she didn't even want to *think* what was on the inside of it.

"Probably some of those octopus things.." she shivered in disgust

"Well let's get a move on" Akane said, picking up her own things and taking a hold of Kenya's hand.

"You too baka" she said over her shoulder

"I'm coming, I'm coming" the said baka grumbled

Then just as Kenya and the others left the room she heard Kasumi say to her father,

"What are we going to do about Kenya's uniform?"

"I don't know, my dear. I'm not sure if we can afford it or not"

Kenya sighed once more in frustration, and realized that was definitely going to become a frequent habit.

* "They can't even afford to keep me.."* she mumbled to herself in English so the other two teen wouldn't understand her.

She thought back about how Nabiki had told her that the family had a budget. Whenever she stayed with either of her divorced parents, they had a budget too--but never on food. They always had cereal and bread. And they didn't have to have bean soup for breakfast!

She shivered at the thought.

"Hey Kenya…" Akane said as they walked down the street "Do you…"

"Do I what?"

"Do you..well not like Oneechan?"

Kenya knew who she was talking about….Kasumi

She looked down for a second in thought. When she looked back up again Akane was staring down at her expectantly.

"I'm just not comfortable around here…..and don't like the food"

"Oh" the older girl said "But you know, you hurt her feelings today. You know, when you didn't eat. And I could tell that you didn't like your obento bag either. She tries really hard to cook wonderful meals and to be there for everyone. And she just want to do the same for you."

Kenya didn't say anything in response but only continued to stare adown at the passing ground as they walked. Akane took this as a sign to continue.

"I know how you feel…when I lost my mother, it was very hard for me to even *try* to love again. She was my world, as all mothers are to their young children. Kasumi was there for me, and she wants to be there for you"

Kenya's face visibly darkened and her brows fowned sharply to Akane's words.

"She does not know…how I feel" Kenya countered mentally "She does NOT know what I have been through…"

*Run Kenya!!*

"She not trying to replace her, Kenya"

The young girl looked up at Akane for a second, a bit surprise at her words. Suddenly the anger slowly started to slip away…

"It's just that, she just wants to help fill in the empty void…in your heart" Akane smiled and was about to put a hand on Kenya's shoulder when Kenya's sudden cold words froze her hand.

"But what if I don't want it to be filled?"

Akane's smile dropped. She know that she had gotten through to the other girl for at least a second there….but now it was gone. She had closed up again and was as cold as ever. Her whole aura was cold, Akane had sensed--dead cold sometimes. And that wasn't healthy.

"What happen to her….to make her like this" Akane wondered

"Come on you two!!" Ranma called from a head of them "Ya'll are the slowest girls I have ever seen!!"

"Shut up, Ranma!" Akane responded to his taunts, pushing Kenya disturbing attitude to the back of her mind, "Let's go Kenya, before he has a cow"

Kenya watch for a second as Akane ran to catch up with Ranma. She didn't want to listen to Akane's words. And she could feel her anger rising inside of her. She hated what happen that morning and she hated the fact that she couldn't figure out what had happen the night before. She felt as if they were playing with her mind! Telling that they cared for her one minute, tricking her the next! She knew what she saw! But thought they though that she was too dumb to notice, she assumed.

"Calm down. Every thing's ok, kid" she remembered Ranma saying to her.

He was wet, after being flung into the pond. But *he* was a *she*!! And his father…he was panda…

But how--?

The pond! Kenya suddenly realized. But the pond in particular…

She stared down at the water as they passed over a small bridge. Ranma was walking on top of the fence that separated the bridge from the water of the small river while arguing/talking to Akane who was on the ground.

Water….

Suddenly Kenya's fast mind started to piece everything together. And the answer to the equation…made her furious.

Now as I said before, Kenya Jambo…was not stupid. But…even the most cleverest of people have occasional *laps* of stupidity…

"What the--?!" Ranma gasped as Kenya jumped on the rail beside him . He was caught by so much surprise that he didn't have to react as she pushed into the water! Unfortunately for Kenya, he *did* have time enough to accidentally grab hold to her (since she *was* the closest thing to him) and drag her down into the water with her!

"Ranma!!!!! Kenya!!!!!" Akane screamed as she watched the two disappear into the water below.

"God…..that was stupid.."

These were the thoughts that went through Kenya mind as the water engulfed her body.

"Why did I that? I mean that was so stupid--pushing him into water. Why am I kidding my self? I know why I did it. I couldn't stand the thought of them…making a fool of me. To think! A person transforming from water?! How ridicules can you get?"

She stared sadly at the surface of the water above her….

"I don't want to be here…god I don't even know *where* I want to be…America? Africa? I just don't know…"

Suddenly she felt her lung contracting and aching from the lack of air.

"Maybe…*that's* where I want to be…." she thought suddenly, the ache becoming more apparent. "Maybe…I want to be where my mom is……"

And with that last thought she closed her eyes and let herself sink deeper into the water--that is until she felt a strong hand grab her arm and pull her to the surface.

"Whoa! Are you ok, kid?" Ranma asked as Kenya broke through the surface. He then pulled her to the shallow end of the river before standing her up and patting her on the back.

"Kenya!! Ranma!! Are you ok??" Akane called as she ran down to them. She splash through the water and helped Ranma walk Kenya to shore.

"Kenya…what were you thinking??"

"I…" she looked up at Akane in shame before turning to Ranma to apologize when suddenly….well she actually *saw* Ranma….

"Oh god…" she sighed looking away. It wasn't the fact that he was girl. Really it wasn't! After-all she had seen plenty of weird stories about Japan on CNN. Like that really freaky one about the sightings of sailor suited superheroes. Now *that* she really couldn't fathom!

But it was the fact that…she was *right* along. They *did* think that she was some ignorant foreigner….a dumb black person….

"I knew it…."

"Kenya..I…I mean we…"

"You really don't care about me….it was all an act…"

"What?!" Akane said in surprise. She had expected the younger girl to get freaked out, scream, or any thing in that category. But that was the last thing she ever expected!

"Where would you get an idea like that??"

"But it's true isn't it?" Akane could hear Kenya's voice breaking, "You thought I was too stupid to find out didn't you?? Some dumb black kid that you could just look down on"

"No…"

"Well I'm not your average stereotypical black person you see on TV! I'm not going to sing to you, I'm NOT going dance for you, and I DON'T TELL JOKES!!!"

"Kenya…"

Akane moved to embrace her but she backed away from her.

"Don't touch me!"

"You know….when Akane found out…"Ranma said suddenly, speaking for the first time, causing the other two to looked at her "She tried to clobber me with a table. Yep…she was pissed"

Kenya stared at him in surprised, a tear rolling down her face mixing with the wetness of her damp skin. All she could do was rise an eyebrow slightly and think about the scenario.

"Yep…pissed. Pops thought it would be better to not tell them right away so they wouldn't be freaked out once we opened the front door." She paused for a second to ring out some of the excess water out of her shirt,

"And the result was me getting chased around living room with someone trying to permanently damage me--guess history repeats itself" he shot a smirk over to Akane, signaling her to take over from there.

"Ranma's right.." Akane smiled

"You mean you *did* try to hit him with a table?"

"Um..yeah well.." Akane stuttered in embarrassment, her face turning pink in the cheeks "What I mean to say is that the only reason why we didn't tell was so you wouldn't get freaked out on your first day of school….guess we where wrong to do that.."

Kenya rubbed her eyes and sniffed a bit. The whole situation was getting her a bit out of wack, and her own out-burst had shocked her quite a good deal too.

"Hey we didn't know how you would react" Ranma chuckled a bit "You could have turned out to be more violent, like--"

"Say it and you will be sleeping with the fishes, Ranma Satome!"

"Well you know what I mean!"

"Whatever. Anyway….Kenya I guess I'm not so surprised that you thought that."

"You aren't?"

"No. I know there are a lot of people around here that might think that way. 'Cause they're ignorant of other people and races and would make their opinion of them from what they see on TV. It's not right but it's true…"

Akane reached out her hand once more, and to her joy this time Kenya didn't move away.

"But there's one thing that you must know. *We* are not like that. We don't think that you're less then us because of your race. We're your family. And unfortunately you're stuck with us--but you'll get over it"

Akane laughed and pulled the smaller girl to her--embracing her for the first time. Kenya stiffened, but didn't pull away.

"At least she's letting me touch her." Akane thought brightly

"I'm sorry for causing so much trouble. Even if I was right about what happened. I didn't give me the right to push you into the water. I was just angry I guess…"

"Well you better be sorry" Ranma huffed as he started towards the road, the other girls followed him "Now we're wet, I'm girl and we're definitely going to be late for school"

"Really…I'm sorry.."

Ranma looked at her face and sighed. Girl were sooooo sensitive!!

"Forget it. Besides Dr Tofu's office is not to far from here. You would have been meeting him tomorrow for your check up anyway and I can get my hot water fix there"

"Hot water?"

"Yeah well, you figured out that water does the trick, but it's actually *cold* water that changes me. Hot water turns me back"

"And Uncle Genma?"

"Him too. And that goes for all the other people around here that has the same problem as me"

"You mean there are other people around here who are aqua-transsexuals too??"

"Aqua-what?? Those are pretty big words, kid"

"Well I have a knack for languages" she confessed.

She looked at the two teen beside her as they walked and realized that they were not arguing that much anymore. It was interesting--their relationship. And Kenya figured she would be discovering something new every day during her stay there…whether she was up to it or not.

" Even though we're going to be late, at least we got to avoid Kuno, ne Ranma?"

"Hey that's right! To tell the truth get pushed in a river everyday than have to deal with that wacko. By the way, where did you learn to balance on a rail like that? You take martial art or something?"

"No. I'm not into that kinda stuff"

"Well I could tell that you have potential"

"Um..who's Kuno?" she asked quickly changing the subject

"Tsk..him? Believe if you are lucky, you'll never have to find out!"

*******

Author's note : Thank you everyone that review and very special thank you to Ukchan (I absolutely LOVE your story Modern Day I!!!!!!!) And to everyone else that was interested in my story! Also I have decided to move the rating up to PG-13 because of my Kenya's little mouth. But, believe me, if you're a kid in a foreign country and none of the grown up there know what you are saying, kids have the tendency to speak their minds with out caution. And about Kenya's eating habits: She's just stubborn because she's kid *and* doesn't know thing about Japan except for the language. Miso soup is actually very delicious--especially in the morning. She just doesn't understand that yet. But believe me! Jetlag and sushi does NOT mix!!

*shutters at the memory*

Well remember people, she's just a kid--of course she's going to be a brat…

And the last thing I'm going to talk about is the title. It's a tiny joke for those who know a little African and a little Japanese. Kenya's last name is Jambo which is actually pronounced more like "Hujambo" (but sometimes the first part isn't really heard) and it's Swahili (a predominate African language) for "Hello". Then add in the fact that Japanese people say their family names before given, her name would be literally translated as Hello Kenya. The first "hello" in the title is basically a greeting. Put it all together and you got "Hello, Hello Kenya"

*Readers look at her like she's crazy*

Well *I* thought it was cute…..

Anyway stay tuned for the next chapter of HHK : Episode 4 - Crazy School Daze!