Why So Nervous, Hiro?
Posted March 24, 2011 by beamlette and galatia9
Continued from: An Invitation...
Hiro: I wish this was over. I know I said I wanted to meet your family, Fenchurch, but... please tell me it's over. Is it over?
Fenchurch: Aw, Hiro, you’ll be fine. Though you do look a little queasy, like when I first showed you some guacamole –
Hiro: Can I change my mind, like I did about the guacamole? *sighh*
Relaxing in the living room are (l. to r.), Joe, Janet and Cheryl Tait; respectively Fenchurch’s uncle, mother and aunt. Joe is Janet’s older brother; Cheryl his wife, and Janet’s best friend.
Janet: Fenchurch describes Hiro as a nice young man – but what girl doesn’t say that about her boyfriend?
Cheryl: Well, my boys have met him before, and they say he’s all right. I can usually trust their judgment; they all watch each others’ backs very closely, Jan –
Janet: *sigh* I know, but… guess I can’t help project my own experience with Fen’s dad on this… she’s still so young, not even out of high school yet –
Cheryl: Speaking of Randall – I feel pretty sure Fen’ll run in the opposite direction of anyone remotely like him! You have nothing to worry about that way –
Joe: Yeah – don’t we all wish you’d done that the first time you saw that Amick bastard! Useless SOB if there ever was one –
Randall: Now, now, Joe, watch the language in front of the little one, hey? And hello to you, too – and Janet and Cheryl *smile*.
Cheryl: Speak of the devil, eh? And what’s with that baby – she looks familiar –
Janet: What – what are YOU doing here? Who invited you? And Cheryl’s right, I’d swear that’s the image of Fen when she was a baby!
Baby Fenchurch: Da?
Joe: *grumble* Bastard’s got a lot of nerve bringing around another of his little bastards –
Randall: No, no…she’s the real deal. There’s this Spatial Anomaly thing going on about this house, and she’s part of it – huh, kid? **bounces baby**
Baby Fenchurch: Gah!
Janet: But what – how – ?
Cheryl: The boys told me about it, Jan – though if that’s what it is, it’s the first I’ve seen of it –
Joe: Huh… *squint*
Randall: S’funny – seeing her at this age again, I realize how much I missed it – hmmm, Princess? **bouncing knee**
Baby Fenchurch: Ooooo-mmmmm…
Randall: Yeah, li’l Princess **bouncing** – ooooo –
Baby Fenchurch: Oooooooo – *gurgle*!
Cheryl: *whispering* Jan, this is some timing on his part – think he knows about the visit? Fen’s not going to like this –
Janet: *whispering* Who knows – he always had a gift for the surprise appearance, though… **staring at baby**
Fenchurch: Hi everyone, this is Hiro, Kazuhiro Tanaka. Hiro, this is my uncle, Joe Tait, my mom’s older brother –
Joe: Nice to meet you, Hiro **offers hand**
Janet, Cheryl, together: Hi, welcome, Hiro!
Hiro: Um, h-hi Mr Tait. Nice to finally meet you too. Fenchurch has told me all about you and her aunt, and that, uh... she grew up at your house.
Joe: Call me Joe – Mr. Tait’s my dad *chuckle*.
Hiro: Oh, um... okay. Thanks, Joe.
Fenchurch: Hiro, this is my mom, Janet Tait – and next to her, my aunt, Cheryl –
Janet: Fen’s told us about you for so long, Hiro, and all good things too, not to worry. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better!
Cheryl: Hello, Hiro – I’ve heard so much about you from David and Winslow that I almost feel like I know you already, after all this time.
Hiro: *overwhelmed* Um... thanks, Mrs. Tait, Miss Tait... um, I mean, Mrs. –
Janet: *smiles* Please, call me Janet.
Cheryl: And you can call me Cheryl, Hiro. We're all pretty mature adults here, I think?
Joe: *glares toward Randall* Well, MOST of us, anyway.
Randall: **waving** Hey there, Hiro – I’m Fen’s dad! Nice to meet you – come see Fen as a little baby; cutest darn kid ever!
Baby Fenchurch: Gweeee…
Hiro: *distracted* Baby... Fenchurch?
Fenchurch: As that man said, he's my father, Randall Amick – and for some reason, my baby self on his lap, courtesy the Spatial Anomaly. Sorry, Hiro, I had no idea HE would be here, though I’m not surprised.
Hiro: *shakes it off* Oh... sorry, Mr. Amick. Yeah, she is awfully cute.
Randall: You’ve got good taste, Hiro; my Fenny’s a prize, whatever her age. I wouldn’t have missed meeting you for anything. Don’t we make a nice family, all together – we should do it more often, haha!
Hiro: Um, yeah, sure... I guess so.
Baby Fenchurch: Gwee?
Janet: *low voice* As usual, the nerve –
Cheryl: *low voice* How does he do it?
Fenchurch: This once is too often! Other than to make trouble, there’s no reason for you to be here. You haven’t been around for six years, so why start now?
Randall: As I said before, I didn’t want to miss this special moment in my daughter’s life *wink*. Why the counting? See, Hiro, this family takes things so darn seriously –
Fenchurch: And you NEVER do! You NEVER get it, AT ALL!
Randall: Fenny girl, what is it I don’t get? I just wanted to see your boyfriend, like a good dad should – why’s that a problem?
Fenchurch: Exactly! You just see it all YOUR way, no clue about ANYone else! It’s all about you, all the time! I don’t want ANY of it, anymore!
Baby Fenchurch: Ohhhh! **wriggle**
Hiro: **fidgets uncomfortably**
Cheryl: *low voice* Hiro, I'm sorry you're stuck in the middle of this. It's a bad time, I know.
Hiro: *low voice* It's okay, Cheryl... Fenchurch told me about her father already, but... I don't like seeing her all upset like this.
Randall: Too bad you feel like this, Fenny – makes me wonder if I should stay –
Fenchurch: Not on MY account.
Randall: If you’re sure that’s what you want. Here, Janet; where I’m headed, the kid’ll be a liability –
Fenchurch: Like always! Do what you do best, disappear already.
Randall: Uh-huh – so long, Princess! **exits**
Janet: *low voice* Fen sure didn’t mince words, eh, Joe?
Joe: *low voice* Yep – she did a good job on him, fast… hey, Jan, lemme hold, um, little Fen, hm?
Cheryl: *low voice* Looks like she didn’t scare Hiro off – hmmmm…
Hiro: Fenchurch, are you all right?
Fenchurch: I – I’m sorry, Hiro…he’s just – so – *siiiigh*…
Hiro: Hey, no need to be sorry. You didn't know he was going to be here, and even if you had... I don't know how you could have prepared for it, anyway.
Fenchurch: Thanks, Hiro – for understanding…
Hiro: No problem. After all, that's what you pay me for... right?
Fenchurch: Remind me to give you a raise! *giggle*
Later that day...
Hiro: Feeling better?
Fenchurch: Much! Nothing like a good hamburger, with people you want to be around, to get back on track. And speaking of that, I think Mom and Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Joe think you’re an OK guy. Bet that’s a relief!
Hiro: Okay? I'm just an okay guy? Not great??
Fenchurch: We don’t want you to get a swell head! *chuckle* Seriously, though, it’s all good. They see who I see, an all-around-nice guy who’s fun to be with. No pretenses or agendas, like my father has. You’re welcome any time.
Hiro: Fenchurch... do you really think your father has ulterior motives all
the time? Maybe it's naive of me or something, but I can't help thinking he
wouldn't come to see you if he didn't really miss you. And
Fenchurch: That’s really open-minded of you, Hiro –
Hiro: By "open-minded", you mean "naive". *chuckle*
Fenchurch: Haha – no, that's not what I mean! Just that it’s easier for you to think that, since you’re coming in part-way through the play. I guess in his way, you could say he’s interested in his kids, but it’s a real short attention span! When I was little, I really looked forward to his visits. He’s handsome and full of energy – you saw him in action – and a kid can’t help but be fascinated. But he’d just up and leave, and it was a frustrating feeling. Eventually I got tired of being treated that way. It’d be simpler if he never came around again; all he does is push my buttons.
Hiro: I sure can't blame you for that. But I don't think he intends to push your buttons. It sounds like he doesn't have the right equipment to be a dad for more than a few hours at a time. I've never known anyone whose parents were divorced, so... I never thought about a father not being there for you, if he was able. Is it stupid of me to suggest that you enjoy his company when he's here? Or do you think that's impossible? That it's been going on too long to forget it now? I know things can't be made right overnight, but –
Fenchurch: Oh, Hiro… that sounds so sensible. And easier to think about when he’s not here! But, you’re right – I need an attitude adjustment, don’t I? Stop taking him so seriously, and accept him for who he is.
Hiro: Yup, maybe he just needs your tolerance. I know I'm not the best
example, because I'm not the most tolerant guy in the world... but HE’S
going to be your father for the rest of your lives. Nothing can change that.
And since he's been acting like this pretty much your whole life, I know you
don't expect him to change. And he might not. But... you got to be
better friends with
Fenchurch: Hmmm… you’re right about the “now”. I’m not five years old anymore, so “now” I don’t need him the way a five-year-old needs a father. There’re other people in my life who’re better at giving me emotional support when I want it, so… I’ll try to think of him more like “entertainment” – how about that?
Hiro: I think that's a mature attitude to have about the whole thing. I'm sorry he wasn't there for you when you needed a father, but yeah, you always had Joe and Cheryl, and your mom. You didn't have to go without – but maybe someday, your dad will realize he did.
At least this little family dust-up didn’t come to blows, like for our next protagonists – or should we say antagonists? –