"Hey, kiddo. What are you working on?" Yuu asked his eldest son as he walked over to stand behind his son so that he could look over the boy's shoulder. "You know frowning at the computer won't make the words magically appear, son. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, it's just a stupid report for English." Takato said with a dark look at the computer's screen even though it wasn't helping much. "I don't see why we have to do it. It's such a kiddy and stupid idea. It's just to show that we can say a paragraph worth of stuff in English without screwing up too badly."
"Well that doesn't sound so bad. What's the problem?"
"The problem is the assignment is to explain how your parents met each other. I mean how do you explain grandma Chiyako, grandpa Jin, grandma Rumi and grandpa Youji?" Takato demanded to know, throwing his hands up in exasperation.
"Ah." Yuu said, swallowing a chuckle. He could definitely see how this would be a source of frustration for his son. "Well at least you know the story off by heart by now."
"How could I not. It's the grandmas favorite bedtime story or just any old time story." Takato said dryly, sharing a rueful look with his dad. "Not that they don't embellish it every time they get it into their heads to tell it. I can say with complete certainty that Harumi and I are going to have the most messed up stories without a doubt."
A Week Later
"Thank you very much, Armani. That was a lovely story." Mrs. Honda said as she smiled at her student from her desk then told the girl she could sit down. It was sixth period English and her students were giving their reports on how their parents had met each other. Since they had to do it in English there had been some stumbles here and there but as a whole it was turning out to be a very interesting period with some very interesting stories. Nothing however could have prepared her for the stories her next two students would be telling. "All right, Harumi. It's your turn."
"Yes, Mrs. Honda." Harumi said as she got up and looking over at her best friend Takato for a supportive look before heading up to the front of the class. Standing there in her school uniform she was quite pretty with long, curly dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, the image of her father as her mother was fond of saying. Since everyone agreed her dad was good looking she took it as a compliment.
"Whenever your ready." Mrs. Honda said with a nod, a pen ready to record Harumi's marks.
"Yes ma'am. My parents met when they were in high school. My mom and dad didn't go to the same school though and they actually met because of my best friend's parents. My dad went to school with Takato's mom Miki and his dad, Yuu use to go to school with my mom but then transferred to my dad and Aunt Miki's school. My mom and Uncle Yuu went out when they went to school together but they broke up. Anyway one day while Aunt Miki and Uncle Yuu were out together at an amusement park they ran into my mom and once my mom found out where Uncle Yuu had moved to and that he was going out with Aunt Miki she hatched a plot with my dad to break them up since my dad had a crush on Aunt Miki." Harumi said cheerfully, none of this seeming weird to her because she was often surrounded by the weird and unusual. "So anyway they tried lots of things to break them up but none of them worked and my parents ended up spending so much time together hatching plots that they ended up falling for each other in the process. By the end of high school they were a couple and went to the same college and eventually married. And that's how my parents met each other. Any questions?"
"So your parents fell in love with each other while they were trying to wreck someone elses' relationship?" One of the girls said with shock in her voice. "But your dad is so nice."
"Well you see my dad had liked Aunt Miki for a really long time but because of a really big misunderstanding Aunt Miki never knew that. She had liked him but hadn't known he felt the same and so she ended up moving on and ended up with Uncle Yuu." Harumi explained, not wanting anyone to think badly of her parents. "And I think that my parents just cared about Uncle Yuu and Aunt Miki in the beginning so much that they were willing to do anything to get the other back."
"No kidding." Takato muttered from his seat, more then a little familiar with this story. He'd heard it millions of times after all. Then again when you looked at his godmother's marriage, his parents marriage, his grandparents' marriages and Harumi's it was hard to decide which was the weirdest. His godmother had married her teacher, his parents were step siblings and Harumi parents had gotten together trying to break his parents up. His grandparents both divorced from their partners half way through their marriage and then to make it that much weirder they'd married their eventual in-laws. When your dad's mom was married to your mom's mom and your dad's mother was married to your dad's father things were more then a little screwy.
"Well that's quite a story, Harumi." Mrs. Honda said with a small smile, thinking that that certainly was an interesting way to meet your future spouse. Ganging up together to help each other get someone else. "If there are no more questions it's Takato's turn."
"Well if you thought my story was weird wait till you hear his." Harumi said with a wide grin after there was no more questions, heading back to her desk while Takato made his way to the front of the room to take Harumi's place in front of the class.
A little nervous Takato fought the urge to stick his hands in his pockets. A tall boy with his father's blonde hair and his mother's dark eyes he was a handsome boy and the best player on the tennis club's rooster with Harumi a very close second. Use to working under pressure he'd still rather not give this report. Thanks to his mom's parents he was pretty fluent in English but still, this was bound to be the weirdest report he'd ever had or would give.
"Go ahead, Takato."
"Yes, ma'am. Uhm...my parents met after their parents decided to divorce and marry the other's spouse. To simplify it my mom's mom divorced and married my dad's dad and my mom's dad married my dad's mom. My grandparents had all known each other in college and were in the couples they're in now but thanks to a bunch of things they broke up and ended up marrying the people they married first. Then they all met in Hawaii and fell in love with their previous sweethearts and when they got back decided to do the spouse switch. Since my mom and dad were still young and in high school my grandparents decided that they were all going to live in one big house together so that there wouldn't be a question of custody or who lived where. Anyway so that's how my parents met each other and they eventually because the..err..the couple Harumi's parents tried so hard to break up."
"You mean that the couple Harumi's parents were trying to break up were your parents?" Mrs. Honda said in shock, knowing full well that Harumi and Takato's parents were good friends. But how could that be. And this whole spouse switch? Takato couldn't be serious, could he?
"Yes, ma'am. My dad's been attracting girls like flies for as long as I can remember. He and Harumi's mom are still close, just like my mom is still really good friends with Harumi's dad." Takato explain with a small shrug. "Everyone in our family and honorary family is a little messed up. My mom said it was like living in a soap opera sometimes."
"Your parents's parents are married to each other?" One of his classmates, Hikaru demanded to know in a shocked voice, the idea totally bizarre to her.
It would be bizarre to him too if he wasn't living it. "Yup though that kinda helped when it came to the whole meeting the in laws thing." Takato joked, relieved when most of his class joined in to laugh about the idea. "Grandpa Jin actually wasn't too keen on the idea but that was just because he was overprotective of my mom and drove everyone crazy the way he was constantly looking over my parents' shoulders no matter what the other grandparents said. Up until my parents announced they were a couple Grandpa Jin liked my dad plenty."
"Your poor parents, they must have really freaked when their parents came home and told them what they were going to do." One of Takato's friends said sympathetically. "If my parents came back from a holiday and told me they were going to switch spouses with another couple I'd take them both in for C.A.T scans."
"Well my dad was pretty cool about it, he's a laid back, easy going sort of guy but yeah, my mom just flipped at the whole idea." Takato admitted with a small smirk as he shoved his hands into his pockets. "Especially since the whole trip was supposed to be like a whole second honeymoon thing. It did lead to a second honeymoon and a second wedding but not with the people they originally went with."
"And if they hadn't gone your parents wouldn't have likely ever met." Harumi pointed out from her seat. "Just like mine wouldn't have ever met if it weren't for your parents. The whole ripple effect thing."
"Yup and in the end everyone ended up with the person they were supposed to." Takato summed up with a grin in Harumi's direction. "Since Harumi and I wouldn't be around if the whole mess hadn't happened."
"Well those were certainly two of the most interesting stories I've ever heard presented in this class for this assignment. Certainly right up there with Marissa Shin'ichi's from last year." Mrs. Honda said with an amazed look as she set her pen down having finished her marking. As always Takato's English was perfect and his story had been very..interesting. Well definitely one for the record books anyway.
"Mai chan?" Takato said with a laugh then explained. "She's my god sister. Her mother is my mom's best friend and my mom helped get them together too. I'm not surprised that that was quite the story, especially given that Mai chan's inherited her mom's way with words."
"Oh dear heavens."