Eisuke and I were out to a family restaurant, much more to my liking than anywhere else he’s taken me.
“Thank you for taking me here, Eisuke.”
“I knew you would complain about it if I took you to a fancy restaurant. I just hope I can digest this food.”
I have an announcement for Eisuke tonight and going to a fancy restaurant isn’t going to help my nerves. I placed my handbag with the positive pregnancy test on the floor under the table and waited until dessert to tell him. I avoided alcohol for the night to my hardest effort against Eisuke’s consistency. The order was placed and the waiter left us alone.
“So Eisuke, I really wanted to tell you something tonight…so…I’m-”
Eisuke turned around in his seat to look at the crying child and they’re struggling parent trying to keep them quiet.
“For Gods sake, there’s no way I would ever have a child. What a burden.”
From the first word that left Eisuke’s mouth to the last, I felt my chest clench in an iron grip. My throat closed up and my hand shook with the test in my hand.
“… What were you saying?”
“… Nothing. It’s trivial.”
My grip on the test loosened as it fell back into my purse. I didn’t speak for the rest of the night as we went back to the hotel in Eisuke’s limo.
In bed I thought about the evening and if there really was a future with me and Eisuke. My body moved itself to my closet and suitcase while my mind still swirled with questions. Two hours of turning heads and I finally came to my resolve with a suitcase of my clothes and my work salary I had earned over the last four years… I had to leave. I left my phone to stop him from contacting me and left the hotel long before dawn. There was no going back now…goodbye Eisuke. I’ll always love you.
(19 years later)
“Mum, can I go out with Rin tonight? He invited me to this night club.”
“I don’t mind, Hiro, but please make sure your phone is charged and you stay with Rin. Don’t go off on your own.”
“Of course.” I gave my mum a quick hug before I rushed to grab my phone and wallet from upstairs.
Mums raised me on her own the whole of my life and I love her for it. She never raised me based on hate for dad, whoever he was, but she raised me on love and attention. She’s patient and she will always listen to my problems. I’ve been a good kid because I never want to get my mum into trouble but tonight will be a little different.
“Hiro! Rin’s here.”
“Coming!” I race down the stairs and give mum a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“Love you, too.”
“Goodnight Miss Knight.”
Rin and I shut the door behind us and I head for his car.
“Where are we going tonight, Hiro? Your mum said something about a night club.”
“That’s what I told her but that’s not what we’re doing.”
“… Since when do you lie to your mum? If we’re not going clubbing where are we going?”
“We, my friend, are going to a casino. This is the first time I’m lying to her and she won’t have to know about this.” Then off we go to the Tres Spades Hotel and Casino.
The room is filled with constant chatter, laughter and cheers of victory in the casino. The pinging of slot machines, roulette tables and chips being tossed around the betting tables, echoed in the room. We walk along red carpet that’s then met with golden walls and crystal chandeliers. Rin is wearing a pink shirt, white blazer and his skinny black jeans whereas I opted for my grey shirt, red tie, black blazer and black jeans.
“You’re really wearing that pink shirt?”
“It’s faded salmon!”
“Remind me why you chose to come here tonight.”
“Well mum’s birthday is coming up soon and I want to treat her for once. I figured I would use my hundred dollar salary and multiply it by the end of the night.”
“You know you have to be good at these kind of games to win money, don’t you?”
“How hard can it be?…look roulette.” Just before the spin I placed five of my ten chips on the number 23. I could tell by everyone’s faces they thought I was crazy putting so much on a tile after just joining the game but the ball lands in the 23 like I expected. They looked dumbfounded and after moving around the casino and making my hundred into eight thousand, I had caught everyone’s attention.
I sat at the poker table where I planned to have my last game before calling it a night when the door to a grand staircase opens and a man descended the steps. He had a lavender shirt, a black blazer and trousers. His hair was brown and messy and his eyes were golden. They were also staring into my blue orbs that I had gotten from my mum. If it wasn’t for the eyes and age difference, we could have been brothers. Women flocked to his side in a second while a few others stayed near me. He stared at me coldly and took the seat across from me.
“Deal me in. You’ve piqued my interest.”
“And you are?”
“Don’t you know? I’m the king. The names Eisuke Ichinomiya.”
“Don’t think this is a place for you to act like a hero. Isn’t it past your bedtime little boy?”
“…I could say the same thing to you, grandpa.” The room filled with gasps and a few odd sniggers.
The room was completely silent as they all gathered around our table to watch us play. We were about equal in skill until eventually we got to the last round. All in. Eisuke placed a hundred grand worth of chips in the middle of the table.
“Sorry, highest I got is eight.”
“Ha! Typical. I knew a child like you wouldn’t have anything to play with.” He’s calling eight grand nothing?
“Does your mother know you’re here?”
“… I don’t need to tell her everything I do.”
“You know that’s a translation to mean ‘she doesn’t know and she doesn’t need to’. I’ll make you a deal. You win, you can leave with all the money on this table…but if I win…you call your mother and tell her to personally collect you from my hotel.” Wait, HIS hotel?!? I’m in real trouble now.
“Alright.” I placed my phone in the middle of the table and his mouth curved into a smug grin. The cards were dealt and I found myself with a full house. Nice. I turned my cards around and everyone around me started murmuring between themselves. Eisuke saw my full house and then he turned his cards around. A royal straight flush. Shit!
People around me patted me on the shoulder in sympathy as I sat in disappointment. Eisuke grabbed my phone off of the table, pressed a few buttons and held my phone in front of my face to see you mum’s number in my contacts. His arrogant smirk was beginning to piss me off so I snatched my phone out of his hands. She picked up after the forth ring.
“Hiro? Are you ok? Are you drunk?”
“Mum, I’m fine… I’m at a casino.”
“Oh God! You’re not in trouble are you?”
“Well in short I need you to pick me up. I’ll tell you the rest when you get here.”
“…alright. But which casino are you at?”
“The Tres Spades Hotel.”
“…” The line went dead which I assume was in hurry. When I turned around Eisuke was still standing there.
“She’s coming to get me.”
“Good. I’ll tell her what a bad parent she is.” This guys pissed me off so much tonight but that was the last straw. My palm collided to his right cheek which such force it left a burning sensation on my hand.
“Don’t you DARE talk badly about my mother. She’s slaved to take care of me on her own and she’s been nothing but good to me. Who do think you are to talk like that about someone you’ve never met before.”
“Based on her son, I can guess she’s as vile and ill-natured as you.” I wanted to kill him, not for myself but for my mum. I just wanted to give my mum a great birthday and he ruined everything. Then for him to say those things about her. The assholes in this world make me sick. Him, my dad, all of them.
It’s not long until my mum arrives in front of the hotel. I walk shamefully to the car unready to face mum quite yet. About a meter away from the door I freeze. I’ve let her down. Seconds later, mum panics and runs out from the car.
“Mum, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s fine but come on. We should leave.”
“…are you mad?”
“No, sweetie not at all, well, just upset.”
“I knew it.”
“No, Hiro. Not at you. Come on, can we please leave?”
“Why are you in such a panic, mum?”
“Nothing, let’s go.” She grabbed my wrist but not forcefully. If anything she was weak, shaking.
“Mum are you alright?”
“Are you Hiro’s mother?” The voice rang behind us. I looked back at mum to see sadness in her eyes. I knew she was disappointed in me.
“… Well? Are you?”
“At least have the decency to look at me when I’m talking to you.” Was she scared of him and his icy exterior? She turned to face him until her face became clear, out of the shadows of the hotel to the lights from the lobby. Her face was unchanged while Eisuke’s looked mortified. In that second, his body gave way and he collapsed onto the floor.
“Eisuke!” Mum screamed as she ran to his side. Wait… Eisuke? Did she know him?
“Hiro, go find Soryu. He has slicked back black hair and a grey suit.”
“How do you know these people?”
“I’ll tell you later, for now just go.” Surely enough like mum said, there was a man in the lobby that matched her description.
“Excuse me, are you Soryu?”
“Who are you kid?”
“Eisuke’s passed out in front of the hotel.” He didn’t say another word, instead he shouted towards the bar.
“Ota! Baba! Get over here!” Soon appeared two men. One with a hat and the other in a stripy blue blazer. We all rushed to the from of the hotel when the three men with me froze in shock.
“Knight?” Mum looked up but didn’t say a word. Baba and Ota picked Eisuke up and lead him back into the hotel, meanwhile Soryu approached my mother.
“Come with us.”
“No, Soryu. I’m just here to pick up Hiro.” He grabbed her wrist and growled, what sounded like a threat, into her ear. Me and mum were dragged back to the hotel.
We were taken to the penthouse, a huge room with a TV and a huddled group of sofas. On one of them laid a guy in a suit next to an overflowing ash tray. Eisuke was laid down and mum was forced to sit in front of him.
“Don’t man handle my mum like that.”
“…Mum?” The men stared at her silently until the moment that Eisuke had woken up.
“You passed out.”
“…yeah…right after I saw…” He turned his head until he saw her, sitting in front of him, with her eyes glued to the ground.
“…Jessie. Is it really you?”
“…Yes.” The room was silent apart from Eisuke’s ragged breathing.
“Why are you here?”
“I came to pick up Hiro after he called me.”
“But the contact was labelled 'mum’.”
“Because I am his mum, Eisuke.” He couldn’t process anything that was being said to him and neither could I.
“Why did you leave?”
“After what you said at the restaurant, Eisuke.”
“What did I say?”
“You don’t remember? 'There’s no way I would ever have a child. What a burden’.” He said that? Mum’s voice became cold and firm while Eisuke’s became pleading and pathetic.
“Who took you from me? You left with no explanation and now you have a son-” Realisation started to kick in for both me and Eisuke. He’s my father. He stood up and approached me examining me for an answer. We were almost identical. Confirming our predictions, mum spoke again.
“I thought the family restaurant would make you happy with families around you. It turns out it didn’t. I was terrified telling you but part of me thought we had a future with a family. Then to hear those words leave your mouth, while I was holding onto my positive pregnancy test. I wanted a family Eisuke. It was clear you didn’t so I raised Hiro by myself.” I can’t believe this.
“Excuse me, I think we should get going.” Mum took my hand and lead me to the car and we made our way home.
In the car, it was quiet. Not uncomfortable but not relaxing.
“Mum, I’m sorry.”
“… For what?”
“Lying to you. Going to the casino.”
“Honey, it’s fine.”
“No it’s not. Now I’ve make things complicated.”
“It’s not your fault, sweetie. Not in my eyes. I’m sorry for not telling you more about your dad.” The conversation is serious but she’s speaking with an almost non existent smile.
“You didn’t have to. You wouldn’t have to if it wasn’t for tonight.”
“Just the irony. The one time you lie to me and go to a casino, it’s the one I didn’t want you going to. If you said you were going to a casino, I would have limited the money you had so you couldn’t get addicted or lose all of your money.”
“Haha… Yeah. Gambling is in your blood, Hiro. After all you are Eisuke’s child.”
“Ha…I played against him tonight.”
“How did it go?”
“Good until the end. The deal was I had to tell you that I lied if I lost.”
“How did you end up going out with a guy like him?”
“A LONG story. I used to work at the hotel. One thing lead to another and the next, I fell in love with him.”
“Right… Mum, do you still love him?”
“…there’s still something there.”
When we get home, mum goes straight to her bedroom and as to be expected, I can hear gentle sobbing behind the door. I can’t stand this. I knew Eisuke had more to say, he was just shocked from the news. I went to my room and grabbed my laptop. I searched for the Tres Spades Hotel website hoping there will be a contact number. After finding one, I grabbed my cell and called.
“Hello. Tres Spades Hotel and Casino. How may I help you?”
“Hello? I need to speak to Eisuke Ichinomiya regarding Jessica Knight.”
“May I have your name?”
“Hiro Knight.” After a few moments, an icy cold voice I recognise growls down the line.
“Why are you calling me, Hiro.”
“My mum still loves you and I’m almost certain you love her too.” I gave Eisuke our address and mum’s phone number. Once the call ended, I passed out straight into bed.
I was woken by soft music coming from the kitchen, something mum usually does when she makes breakfast. I recognised the tune immediately as 'Darling I Do’. Not sure who it’s by, all I know is it was off a shrek film once. I reach the bottom of the banister when I look into the kitchen and find Eisuke with his arms wrapped securely around mum. He doesn’t leave a hair fraction of space between them. One of his hands holding mum’s head to his chest and the other wrapped around her waist. Mum’s hands grip onto Eisuke’s shoulders tightly like she’s scared he’ll disappear. They rock to the music silently. I hear mum sniffling and Eisuke looks so happy, so content. I make my presence more obvious by coughing and entering the kitchen. Eisuke looks at me and pulls away from mum enough for her to see me. Despite the tears in her eyes, her smile says it all.
“Hiro. Eisuke and I worked things out yesterday and we reached a conclusion. We’ll live with Eisuke. I want us to carry on our family together. Are you alright with that?”
“Of course.” Eisuke huffs in embarrassment and opens out his arms to me. If he thought that was embarrassing.
“Daddy!” In exaggeration I leap into his arms. He chuckles at my stupidity and whispers into my ear,
“Thank you, Hiro.”
“I should be thanking you for coming.” Our hug tightens and mum joins in with us.
“You know, Hiro. You’re just as affectionate as your mother.”
“You love it really.” We both said in unison.
“Well before me and Hiro start packing, how about something to eat?”
“What did you have in mind?”
“Hmm… Pea soup?” Again in unison.
A couple of you asked where my Beetlejuice blazer is from. The answer is eBay UK, and the brand was Ben Sherman. I have discovered that eBay UK is where aaaaaalll the striped blazers live, so go forth and browse!
As to the ankh dagger pendant that I gleefully squee’d about yesterday: That, my loves, was a lucky find on Etsy. Yes, I periodically browse keywords such as “silver ankh” in the hopes that I will get very lucky, and yesterday I did! I don’t know of anyone that is making replicas of the ankh from the Hunger anymore. Alchemy Gothic makes an “Ankh of the Dead”, which is similar but not quite the same. My original sterling silver one (that I’m wearing right now, thankyouverymuch!) was made by an artisan in Seattle, back in the early 90s, and I doubt he’s manufacturing them anymore. (But I should track him down again and ask.)
Writing motivation. (It doesn’t matter that I don’t have it right now, I’m going to write anyway.)
More coffee (which will happen soon), and a cupcake. Preferably delivered by Phantasmagoria-era Dave Vanian or Revenge-era Gerard Way, but just coffee and a cupcake would be good.
and of course, the usual things I want. To visit the Haunted Mansion, to see a bunch of my friends who don’t live near me, financial security, extra sleep, to just ascend already and take my throne as Vampire Witch Queen …