Father's Day

Nakamura Aio sighed and marked the essay she'd just read; another cookie-cutter topic dictated in honor of the coming holiday. Picking up the next essay, she raised an eyebrow at the author's name: Tsubakuro Jinpei. Now she was interested; after last month's essay about mothers, she was curious as to what he'd write about his father.

My Dad

By: Tsubakuro Jinpei

First off sensei, I gotta tell you, these essays are a little lame and really naïve. You really ought to tell the department heads that assign these things that not every kid has a traditional family and that fact can make these essays hard to write.

Aio laughed to herself; she personally agreed with him and wished the topic was broader, but certain things were out of her hands. Trust him to call them out on it.

Take me for example, though I don't have a problem here; I've got several father figures. But some kids don't have one at all. Yeesh.

See, the way I look at it, I have three fathers. First of course, was my birth dad. He died when I was a baby, so I don't remember him or know anything about him. I wish I did though.

Then there's Nambu Hakase, my adopted dad. He took Oneechan and I out of the orphanage and gave us a home, and my three brothers, his foster kids. He's taught us a lot over the years. He works real hard at the ISO ; I just wish he'd introduce us to Gatchaman but he says it's too dangerous. But even though he works really long hours sometimes I know he does his best and loves us more than anything. He always wants what's best for us—though I still don't know what use I'll ever have for ballroom dancing. Yuck! He tells me that I'll appreciate it someday, though I seriously doubt it.

Then there's Ken-aniki. Though he's not the oldest of us (Joe-aniki is by two months) he's kind of the leader of us and another dad for me, though I've never told him that. Especially since Hakase works so much, Aniki really has stepped up on a lot of things. He and Oneechan keep tabs on my schoolwork and when I screw up, sometimes he gets to me before Oneechan does and he's harder to sweet-talk my way out of trouble with. He's taught me a lot about martial arts and is letting me help restore an old plane he found somewhere. Other than the fact that he's totally clueless about girls, I want to be just like him when I'm older. He may not be my real dad but if nothing else, he's getting in some good practice for when he's a dad someday.

Aio grinned as she marked the paper and set it aside; Jinpei certainly had a unique family but against all conventional wisdom, he seemed more well-adjusted and mature than many of his classmates. With all this recent new insight, she was certainly looking forward to their next parent-teacher conference.