Chapter 30: I Hate What You Represent

TS3W 2015-09-25 18-01-18-47

As he dragged himself from bed at six in the morning, he realized that Tationy had never rejoined him. They exchanged words and then plenty of silence. There came a point when she simply walked away and he laid there a good portion of the night wondering where he went wrong in it all. So much for that happy moment in their new apartment together. He had plenty of waking hours to think about it and a restless night as he tossed and turned wishing and praying she would return to their new bed. In the end, she never did.

Finding his way down the stairs he caught sight of her. Barely dressed and standing near the counter, it was obvious she had been doing some things around the apartment. Most likely a failed attempt at keeping busy because it looked as though she had just moved things from one side of the room to another. With apprehension he took several steps in her direction. Tationy did not even turn to look at him, so it was with some annoyance that he sighed and leaned against the counter. He did not like this feeling.

With her body just inches from his, he thought it would be easier to find the words. It wasn’t. His attention drew toward her as she spoke, “We have some things we should do this morning.” Really? Hiko stared at her. Was this honestly how she wanted to go about this? For a time he just looked at her face until she broke down and asked, “What is it, Hiko?”

He tried to keep his voice flat and devoid of any emotion, “Don’t fucking pretend we did not have that conversation last night.”

“What do you want me to say? I cannot make you do something you do not want to do.”

“So, what is this? Are you just giving up on us?”

“No, never.”

He did not believe her. It was almost like she was admitting defeat. Was this what she looked like when she was surrendering to a future she did not want? He didn’t like that expression or the ominous aura that was surrounding her. “How many…” He paused only a moment, “How many times did you see my death?”

She seemed hesitant to answer his question, but eventually she did respond, “Far more times than our wedding.”

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The life she saw without him, he did not want for her. At the same time, he was not certain how to resolve this conflict. It was not as though his father had ever given him any respect. They could barely say two words to each other without it turning into an argument and the likelihood that was going to change was slim. Hiko pushed himself away from the counter as he directed is attention upon her. His mouth opened, but at first no sound came out of it, “We should probably get dressed if we are going to do those things we need to do so badly.”

“Hiko,” She said his name which drew his attention back to her.

“What is it?”

There was hesitation as she shook her head, “It is nothing.” Even though she had dismissed it, the entire day he could not stop himself from thinking about what it was she wanted to say.

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They did one errand after another, even picked up the table and despite, all that time together it felt as though something was looming over them. Why did he feel like there was more to that conversation the night before then just her seeing his death? When they finally made it home they were still barely speaking so when she said his name he was rather relieved and excited. Turning, his smile faded suddenly, “I see your father is not the only one whose expression changes when I enter a room.”

As Tationy moved to stand at his side, he understood why there was an ominous aura around her earlier that day. “Why are you here?”

“Tadayoshi mentioned you had a girlfriend and you were moving into Sesiago’s old apartment … ”

Hiko interrupted, “Since when do you talk dad?”

She made a subtle sound of hesitation, “Every couple of years he and I speak.”

Annoyance overtook his features, “Really? You can talk on the phone to a man you think is so intolerable, but you cannot pick up the fucking phone and talk to your own son?”

“Hiko, I am not here to …”

He interrupted her again, “Why the fuck are you here?”

“Perhaps, this was a mistake,” His mother said as she turned to leave.

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“Is that how it is Ms. Kari, you are just going to walk away from your son again?”

Tationy’s words had been unexpected and they stalled his mother’s departure. There seemed to be some amount of hesitation as he looked upon the woman that gave him life, “It is Yamada. I don’t go by Kari these days.”

Hiko snorted as he turned away, “Of course you wouldn’t.”

“I did not come here to fight.”

“Why did you come here? What is the fucking point of you standing before me after all of these years?”

Tationy’s voice was forceful. Different from every other time she had spoken, “Hiko, the groceries need put away.” The sigh that left his mouth was filled with all of his anger and annoyance as he moved toward the counter. At first, he figured it was because she did not want the situation to get anymore hostile than it was. As she got his mother a drink she finally spoke, “All this way from Paris, just because the Yamada have called you. Did you intend to see Hiko on this trip or are you here because of Tadayoshi?”

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His body stiffened. Was that it? Did his father push her to come and see him? He waited for some word from his mother, but he could not help noticing how she hesitated in speaking. “I have never stood before one with the eyes of the Tylo. I am overcome by the experience. Tadayoshi said you were remarkable, but his description of you lacked the depth to truly express how dangerous you are. I wondered why he seemed so concerned when we spoke, I understand now. The answer you seek, you already know. I imagine you were not asking for you though, were you Tationy? He looks just like his father, doesn’t he?”

“Avoiding a direct question is not how the Yamada work,” Tationy responded.

“I learned a thing or two while married to Tadayoshi. Some things are better left unsaid.”

“Tadayoshi understands the importance of prudence when dealing with many situations. He is not avoiding, just cautious.”

“I find it curious how you speak of him. It is as though the two of you … ” His mothers words halted suddenly. What was she insinuating? Hiko tried to seem busy, but the truth was, he was just as invested in their conversation as they were.

“If you wish to know the answer to that question, Ms. Yamada, then perhaps you should answer mine.”

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Hiko could hear the soda can being set upon the counter as silence overtook Tationy and his mother. There was a part of him that wanted to turn and see their faces, but he did not dare. Afraid partly of what he would see in the eyes of the woman he was in love with and the mother that abandoned him. “Tadayoshi has been trying to get me to come and see Hiko for many years now. He kept insisting that Hiko needed his mother. Honestly, I am not certain what he expects.”

“Yet, you came anyway.”

“I suppose it was more curiosity than anything else. Even now as I stare at his back, I am reminded that he is just like his father. Even if I stayed, I would not have been able to keep that from happening. Kari boys become Kari men and Yamada women feel like their wings have been clipped.” After his mothers words his heart felt heavy.

“You never call him your son, it is always Hiko this and that. Does distancing yourself make you feel better about leaving him?”

His mother avoided the question, “I answered your question. Are you sleeping with Tadayoshi?”

“It troubles you that the daughter of Chilè Yamada, is sharing a bed with your son. Knowing that Tadayoshi never got over his feelings for the woman that broke his heart, is the reason you are so bitter now. That is the only reason you are asking me that question and it troubles me that you are more concerned with the answer then you are with your sons feelings.”

“Perhaps when you have a Kari child you will understand, until then, you are in no position to judge me.” What was this feeling? Did she hate him because his father was Kari? He didn’t understand and as much as he wanted to snap and ask her to explain herself, he just placed his hands on the counter and prepared for what would come next.

“I am Tylo, Ms. Yamada.” There was a pause as Hiko considered what Tationy meant by this statement, “I have seen many things even experienced my life as I raised a Kari child. Casually tossing such a thing in my face, does not change the fact that I have already raised a Kari boy into a Kari man. I was never more proud of anyone in my life as I was him.”

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Hiko felt a choking feeling in his chest upon hearing Tationy’s words. It took him a moment to collect himself before he turned and faced both women. It was far harder for him to keep the emotion off of his face when he was actually looking at his mother. He just kept asking himself, what would his father say or do in this situation. “So, you came all this way because of family business with the Yamada and I was what exactly a detour? Did you come to confirm you made the right decision or are you feeling guilty?”

“I do not regret my decision Hiko. Your father was…”

“Don’t you dare,” Hiko snapped. “Not once did he ever say anything bad about you. Even when I was treating him like shit and telling him that it was because of him that you left. He never once blamed it on you.” He told himself to just stop talking as he growled in frustration, “All I want to know is why. Explain or get the fuck out.”

His mother took a breath, “I wanted more. When I was a young girl, I thought marrying your father would be so rewarding. He was the head of the Kari Foundation, a well-respected individual in Aslann, but how he is perceived by the public and how he truly is are two very different things. He did not have the time for us. Even if he wanted to, there was too much expectation for him and while he was off making a name for himself I was at home smothered by tradition. Your grandfather would stop by and help me, but he was just there to ensure I raised you as traditionally as some Yamada woman could. It will be the same for Tationy. Hiko, you are going to be the head of the Kari Foundation and she is going to be trapped at home with a child. All those things she wants are just gone instantly and you will never be around.”

Oddly Tationy was silent as his eyes settled on his mother, “Do you hate me?”

“I….” She struggled with the words, “I hate what you represent. The life I wanted was not the one I got at the side of your father. I had to leave for my own sanity and taking you with me was just not an option.”

“Not an option or is it that you just did not want too?” Her silence was not lost on him. He laughed in frustration, “Don’t come back.”

“Hiko….”

He yelled, “I said, don’t fucking come back.”

TS3W 2015-09-26 22-32-33-27

Tationy had showed his mother out, not surprising the words were just not there. He did not know what he expected. Hiko had often wondered what it would be like to see his mother again. Always angry with his father, he realized as he leaned against the railing on the balcony smoking a cigarette that his anger was misdirected. He wasn’t mad at the man that raised him, but instead at the woman that abandoned him. How long had he been standing there? Dazed as his mind wandered to her words and it was only the sound of the door closing that drew his attention back to the present.

Not surprising, there he was. Hiko did not need to ask why he was there because he was certain that Tationy had called him. Even as the rain began to pour down around him, he stood there silently staring up at the sky. He had only given his father a passing glance. Long enough to notice that he was dressed far more casually than he normally was, but not long enough to give much of his emotional state away or at least he thought as much until his father said, “Making Tationy worry is a bad start for your relationship. It is a Kari man’s duty to protect the woman in his life, not the other way around. I could hear the anguish in her voice and it was enough to force me to head straight here.”

“No one asked you to.”

There was a pause that followed that somehow seemed awkward. Hiko did not understand why and as a sigh escaped his father’s lips he responded with, “I’m sorry.”

He tried to hide his surprise, “Kari men do not apologize. Isn’t that what you always taught me?”

“Had I been a better husband….”

Hiko quickly interrupted his father, “Please don’t finish that sentence. If you keep taking the blame, then …. then I have to wonder what is going to happen between Tationy and I. As much as I fucking hate it, you and I are just alike. If you screwed up this badly, what the fuck is going to happen to me and her?”

There was a huge amount of silence that followed. Did his father not have any answers for him? “Let us get inside out of this rain,” he finally spoke and it was with some hesitation that Hiko agreed.

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Once they were inside, his father had quickly directed him to get out of the wet clothing he was in. Hiko thought he was avoiding giving him an answer. He could not really blame him, how exactly were you supposed to tell your son that you might have turned him into some insensitive monster that would ultimately destroy any relationship he had particularly with the person that was suppose to be more important than any other. He sighed as he found his way to the bedroom and realized Tationy was sitting upon the bed. She seemed so sad and he knew he could have offered her something by saying anything, but he just kept his mouth shut.

Kicking his shoes off, then pulling off his shirt, he realized her eyes were upon him. He hated that look of sadness that was adorning her lovely features. He bit back the emotion as he stepped toward the bed. Apologizing, asking her if she was alright, both seemed perfectly good options. Instead, he leaned in and kissed her and it made him so happy when she reciprocated. When the kiss broke what he had intended to say was not what came out of his mouth, “It can’t be like this Tationy. What happened last night will never happen again. It does not matter how angry or sad we are with each other. When it is time to be in bed, we are both in it together. Am I clear?”

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As she stared at him he thought perhaps apologizing would have been the better way to go and the longer she took to say anything the more annoyed he got. Using his strength he had her pushed down on the bed, his large frame pinning hers. Holding her securely in place, yet still not even a single sound. Was she that angry at him? “Tationy, you can’t just return my kiss and still be mad at me. Please say something.”

Each second that past only ensured that he was losing his cool which forced an annoyed sigh from his lips. It was about that point that he heard it, a soft barely audible giggle. She was screwing with him. He wanted to be mad, but this was how she was. Sometimes, a mischievously little minks appeared that tantalized his senses and pressed all of those little buttons that got him going in every way imaginable. This time though he was not going to let her get away with it. His body pressed firmly into hers as he whispered teasingly along her neck and ear, “When my father leaves, you are going to beg me not to stop.”

He felt the tension from her body, “What are you going to do to me, Hiko Kari?”

Considering his words he laid a tentative kiss upon her neck, “I think it is time for you to lose control, Tationy.”

TS3W 2015-09-27 23-10-59-11

Even though the moment seemed light and playful, it was far from it. There was still plenty of things left unsaid as he forced her to roll to her back and he hovered over her. She had not said anything, but he had not really expected her to. As he stared down at her, he was sharply reminded that he never wanted to say these words because it was simply not who they were, “I love you. You know that right, Tationy?”

“We don’t say that, Hiko Kari.”

“I know we don’t, but I need you to not doubt how I feel. I need to know that if for some reason I ever end up like … like my father that you will know that I love you.” He could feel her fingers lightly teasing his skin as she stared at him. It was that same look she had given him earlier. Sometimes she was just impossible to read and he could not help wondering if the slow and methodical way she approached answering was because she was looking at their future.

“I don’t think being like your father is such a terrible thing. He is a good man that loves his son greatly.”

His head bowed as he thought of the question his mother had asked her, “Are you sleeping with him? Do you want to be sleeping with him?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. The only man I am interested in is you, if you cannot see that by now Hiko Kari, I doubt I will ever be able to convince you.”

“Then what is it with you two? He is always asking about you and you … ” He was suddenly frustrated again.

Quietly she responded, “I love you Hiko Kari.” His body suddenly stilled, “I want to stay here forever.” She was not talking about the room or the apartment, not even Thacian City or Aslann. Tationy was telling him that wherever he was that is where she wanted to be.

As difficult as it was he forced himself to pull away. Grabbing a shirt he turned to look upon her, still lying in the bed. They had plenty of things that needed to be discussed, but he was acutely aware that they were not alone in the apartment. “Try and get some rest,” he had told her.

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Even as he left the room his mind was still on her words. Well, if he was being brutally honest with himself, not just her words. When he made it down the stairs he caught sight of his father. He could not remember the last time he saw him so relaxed. Scanning the room, Hiko realized his father had finished putting some things away and shuffled other things around to make room on the counter.

He had nearly forgotten that he and Tationy had not gotten a single thing done the day before which only made him inwardly sigh, “It cannot all be your mothers visit.” His father was far too perceptive and Hiko moved toward the counter to grab a beer, certain that he was going to need at least one if he was going to have this talk with his father. “Our conversation yesterday was perhaps a bit rash. I think sometimes we both try so hard to be heard that neither of us listens.”

Rubbing the back of his neck, Hiko responded. “Mikio Ishi can see her. Any action she takes he will be aware of it. I do not like the idea of her eyes being used to begin with, but anything she does to help us puts us directly in their field of view. She even says that his eyes are stronger than hers. I do get why you feel it would be in the companies best interest to use her eyes, but I cannot allow it.”

“There are benefits to this action. Consider it a game of Bagola. Mikio is so focused on his opponent in this case Tationy that he cannot see what is happening away from the game.”

“So, you wish to use her as a distraction?”

“I think, what I wish is irrelevant in this matter.”

Hiko frowned as he watched his father prep food. He had not asked him too, his father had simply taken it upon himself to do so. Changing the topic, “You don’t have to do that.”

“I am concerned about the two of you.” Despite how surprised he was by his fathers words it was the ones that would follow that would bring tension to him again, “Why are you fighting?”

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As much as he wanted to say, we are not fighting, he knew his father well enough to know that he would be able to spot bullshit a mile away. “She doesn’t like it when you and I fight.” He set his beer on the counter a sigh leaving his lips. He did not really want to have this conversation. It was not as though father and son were exactly good at talking about the stuff they needed to, “Fuck, this is hard.”

“I can count on one hand, how many conversations your grandfather and I had that did not end with me telling him where he could stick it. Growing up with him as a father was different from how it was with you. I did not lose my mother, until much later in my life. It was her gentle hand that kept me grounded, without her, I probably would have been far more difficult than I was.”

Hiko scratched his head as he considered his fathers words, “Why did you ask mom to come and see me?”

The silence that followed his question was not entirely unexpected, but it lingered far too long. “Honestly, I thought it was what you needed. That perhaps if you spent time with her, all of that anger inside of you would be released. I underestimated your mothers feelings for me in this matter. It is because of me that when she looks at you all she sees is the Kari.”

“I am Kari. She would have saw it no matter what.”

His father had not even looked at him as he asked, “Are you alright, Hiko?”

It was the first time his father had ever asked him such a question. The fact that he had was not lost on him and he considered it a moment before responding, “I don’t really know what I expected. Maybe that she would apologize and tell me how much she cared about me. All she seemed to care about was whether or not you and Tationy were sleeping together.” His father noticeably tensed which instantly caught Hiko’s attention, “Do you want to sleep with Tationy?”

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Putting the knife down on the counter, his father turned to face him. Hiko tried to keep his wayward emotions in check as he searched his fathers face for the answer, but if there was one there he could not find it. “Yes,” Tadayoshi finally answered and Hiko felt a pained feeling in his chest as he tried to catch his breath, “Not for the reasons you might think though.”

Did he really want to know the reasons? Even as he asked himself that question he responded, “Explain it to me.”

“There is a rather indecent part of me that sees her mother when I look at her. All of those feelings come rushing back and I think to myself if I could just have that one moment. Capture it again. It would be as it was meant to be, but I am reminded rather sharply that she is not her mother. So, many things I adored about Chilè are the very same things, I adore about her daughter. Even if my son was not involved with her, such a relationship would be nothing more than an old man trying to capture something he lost. Something that never really existed to begin with.”

“Have you ever tried to talk to Tationy’s mother? Try to …. I don’t know, rekindle things or something?”

What was that look upon his fathers face? He felt anxious for the answer as he kneaded his hands together, “Chilè disgraced the Yamada. Eventually to the point of getting herself disowned. When Sesiago died, she became a different person. Pregnant with Tationy, she hoped from one bed to another. Even with a wife and a son, had she came to me at any point I would have helped her. She never did though. Not even once. I wondered for years, why it was that she took comfort in the arms of countless other men, but never found her way to mine. Did I remind her of what she lost? Did she hate me that much? It does not matter because the woman I fell in love with, is not the woman that exist today.”

“What if she does? What if there is a part of her still …. ”

Rather suddenly his father cut him off, “There isn’t. The light that shined so brightly in her eyes dulled long ago. What remains is a woman that will sleep with any man to get what she wants.”

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Had there been any opportunity to say anything to his fathers words he might have tried, but his father just as quickly as the words left his mouth turned back to the counter, speedily finished prepping the food, and grabbed the big stew-pot that Tationy had insisted they get at the store earlier that day.

With the pot on the stove, the ingredients put into place his father spoke as he tenderly handled the sauce, “Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally, turn the heat down, and let it simmer for an hour. Anything left over can be cooled and then stored in the refrigerator. It will be good for a week. The two of you need to take better care of yourselves, so make sure you eat and get some rest. Stop fighting over things that do not matter because one day, you might wake up and realize that you lost sight of what was important.”

“Wait, you are just leaving?”

“Your grandfather is expecting me besides it is the second day in your new apartment, shouldn’t you be doing what young couples do? Makeup with Tationy.” As his father walked toward the apartment exit he did not pause as he added, “Don’t make the same mistakes made by your parents, you will regret them later.”

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When the door closed and his father was no longer within the apartment, Hiko rubbed his face as he groaned in frustration. “I cannot promise you that tomorrow will be a better day,” He heard her say as she walked lightly toward him.

Hiko instinctively rested his hands upon her hips when she came to a sudden stop. He searched her eyes, taking a breath as he asked, “Were you eavesdropping?”

“If I was, what would you say?”

“I would ask, what is the point of eavesdropping when you can see the future?

When her lips parted, he focused in on them. What would she say to him? “Things always seem darkest when confronted with emotions we have been burying. Even I have things I do not wish to address. It is human nature that some things no matter how much we wish them to just fade away linger within our hearts. I am sorry, I did not tell you she was coming.”

“Is this another one of those, it was necessary. It needed to happen confrontations like the one yesterday with my father?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“The reason you hold on so tightly is because of fear.” She paused a moment before adding, “Hiko, you need to confront these things holding you back. Head on like a bull. These moments are important for your growth. No matter how unpleasant they are. Empowering yourself is a process that takes years, but you will never get to the man you need to be if you avoid the things and people that bring trepidation to your heart. I see a future where you can command the world. Hiko Kari, powerful and dangerous. Respected across the planet, but that man will never come to fruition if he cannot command himself.”

“Will you be at my side when I become this man?”

“I suppose that depends….”

He interrupted her, “On what exactly?”

She laughed softly as she pulled away, “Whether or not you are strong enough to hold on for the ride.”

To Be Continued

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16 comments

  1. Don’t like his mother much, what was her name? Ako right? If she were different, she were there for him, Hiko might be different too. But who knows. Hiko defended Tadayoshi. Nice. It’s a rare thing to see. hehe.

    Oh the thrill of waiting for the future Hiko. Geeee I can’t wait. Seriously.

    • Yes, her name is Ako. It is quite possible that Hiko would be a different man if his mother had not abandoned him when he was small.

      Ako and Tadayoshi have always had the same relationship, long before Hiko was even conceived though and it is a huge reason Hiko is the way he is. Sadly without her being unlikable, the Hiko we know would definitely be a lot different. HAHA.

      HAHA! Well we will see future Hiko come about at some point, we might even see the Kari Commander in the college years. ^_^

  2. So Hiko’s mother, she reminds me of an older version of Eri. Ako was disappointed because what she thought Tadayoshi was didn’t match who he actually was, so she became resentful and eventually took off to lead her own selfish life. I’m starting to understand why Semei’s father in chapter 31 refused to enter into any marriage contract with the Yamada. Ako has no patience for a man like Tadayoshi, I’m guessing?

    It was good for Hiko to see his mother like this. Funny, it never occurred to me that the reason why he lashes out at his father is because he hated his mother for leaving him. Perhaps Hiko will learn to see his father in a different light. Given that he defends Tadayoshi against his mother, and then berates his father for the “if only” statement, I think there is hope for that relationship yet.

    Oh Tationy, you little minx. I think she gets worked up over seeing Hiko get emotional – in this case, frustrated and angry. Seems like Hiko is starting to get this, huh? So long as Hiko remembers that holding on to the relationship, and working through their issues, he and Tationy will be okay. I hope.

    I kinda think their relationship is in for some bumpy rides!

    • In a lot of ways Eri becomes Ako. Eri, Ako, and Chile are all very selfish women in very different ways. Ako runs off to do her own thing because she finds Tadayoshi so intolerable and being married to a Kari restrictive. Chile lost the “love of her life” and it forever changed her. Now she just jumps from one bed to another. Eri who is just 18 wants to be a leader for young women and she feels she cannot be that if she is tied down to some man with a bunch of kids. Though Ako is hardly a feminist, she just wants to do her own thing.

      Tadayoshi was running a company, dividing his time between Aslann and America (where he was attending Harvard). When he was home, he was working. It was a trying time for him and Ako didn’t understand that. She thought they would be going to parties, living the high life with him as the head of the Kari Foundation and they were not doing any of those things that she thought would come from being the wife of this famous business man. Emotionally, Tadayoshi was quite cold to her. It was not that he did not give her anything she wanted, he did. Unfortunately he loved Chile, and his love was just one thing he could not give Ako because he had already given it to another. Yes, Ako has no patience for a man like Tadayoshi.

      Semei’s father was quite fearful, but them being Yamada and the history of what has transpired between the Kari and Yamada unions was only a small part of why he got them out of there so quickly. We will definitely learn why in the college years because as we saw in the chapter that featured Semei’s father, he did not even show a single hint that he knew Tationy. This was very important, because as we see in this chapter he was aware of her.

      It is often the case when a parent leaves. My poor mother often got the brunt of such verbal outburst even though during my younger years I was mad at my dad. Sometimes it is just easier to take it out on the person that is closest to us because we do not have access to the person that is really the issue, which is the case with Hiko lashing out at his father all the time. As we learn in Tationy’s journal, she felt the entire time that it had more to do with his mother than it did his father. Which is why she did not warn him she was coming. It was hard for him to defend Tadayoshi because he knows his father screwed up just as much as his mother did, but he was not about to let his mother talk down about his father who raised him. It was not a perfect life, but he “was there for him”. Though Hiko will argue that point to some degree. HAHA, yeah he did berate him didn’t he? It really worries him that he will screw up like his father did.

      HAHA! Tationy is quite the minx huh? She does like getting him worked up. I have said it plenty of times, but people really do not believe me; Tationy is far more dangerous than Hiko is. In a lot of ways she is molding him…but that is kind of a spoiler, we will learn the whats, whys, and all of that in the college years. He does realize it to a degree that she seems almost giddy when he is like this…but there is a fine line. As we have seen when his frustration is because of his lack of confidence we see a very different Tationy who is quite somber. It is not a perfect relationship where everything goes well for them so there will be plenty of bumpy rides for them.

      • I sense I am missing something with Tadayoshi and Chile’s relationship. I’m guessing you have addressed their story in one of your previous stories? Why did Tadayoshi and Chile not marry? It is clear they loved each other, and if Tadayoshi had already given his love to another, why be forced to marry Ako? Or had this been an arranged marriage from the beginning, and his falling in love with Chile royally screwed up everything? In a sense, I pity Ako because she did not get the marriage she wanted. However, that is still no excuse for what she chose to do, abandon her son.

        Sorry, I get a little worked up over parents who abandon their children, be it physically or emotionally. My parents were both present in my childhood, but my father emotionally abandoned me and two or my brothers. He only bothered with my oldest brother because he was the eldest son. Took me a long time to stop hating my dad. I feel Hiko’s pain on a certain level. Not having that important parental figure in your life, it screws things up in so many ways.

        My worry for Hiko is, that in trying so hard NOT to become his father, he will embody all those things he hates about his father…essentially becoming the worst part of his father. I suspect Tationy worries about that, too, hence her comment about whether he has the strength to move through the trials to become the man she wants him to be. (Oh yeah, she’s totally molding him.)

        It seems the Kari men, in general, need understanding women by their sides. Too bad there aren’t more Tationys roaming around in your story lol. This was a good chapter, by the way. I like the conversation between father and son. It is good to see Tadayoshi being honest with Hiko about his feelings for Tationy and her mother (mostly her mother), and that he cares about both of their well-beings. Here’s hoping Hiko comes to appreciate that, as well.

      • Tadayoshi and Chile’s history has not been fully explored only mentioned here and there in passing or vaguely by other characters like Miroku and Azu. Tadayoshi very rarely speaks on it. It was a crippling blow to his pride The short of it was that early in their younger years Tadayoshi met Chile and he fell in love with her. Much like most Kari men he fell quickly and hard, this tends to be a trait for them seeing Kazuma “built” only one woman for each of them or that is how they see it, so no other woman will even be a consideration.

        Among the Kari they only marry once, it is for life. Divorce is taboo and practically unheard of. When a divorce does happen, as in the case of Tadayoshi and Ako, it taints the person. He was to be the Elder of the Kari and replace Tatsuya, but because of his divorce he was unable to seize such a position of power. Traditional Kari seem him as tainted and talk about him behind his back. There are plenty of other little rules about unions. Arranged marriages are actually common among the Kari. Certainly they want you to find love, but they understand that in Kazuma’s grand design you might never find that one person that was made for you, so when a Kari reaches a certain age and arranged marriage is done. In the case of Tadayoshi, his father Azu felt he was getting too old and as the future head of the Kari both for the Kari Foundation and as the Elder, he needed to have3 a wife.

        A union with the Yamada was formed and Tadayoshi instantly fell for Chile the first moment he saw her. She was full of life and spirit and we would definitely see a very different Tadayoshi if she loved him as well. As the plans for their wedding were being made Chile was introduced to Tadayoshi’s family and met his younger brother Sesiago (Kyo was not born yet). Chile and Sesiago instantly fell in love with each other, she was head over heals in love with him, so much so that as the Yamada gathering where her marriage was to be officially announced she made her own announcement….she was not marrying Tadayoshi and she was in love with Sesiago.

        This was scandalous. Not only did it cause a rift between Tadadyoshi and his brother Sesiago, but Sesiago was considered oissorti, because he stole the woman of his brother and affairs just…do not happen among the Kari. They are handled swiftly and in some cases quite severely. Chile on the other hand found disfavor from her mother, though at that point Miso Yamada tried to fix things and offered up and alternative union with Ako Yamada to make amends for what her daughter did and she refused to allow Sesiago and Chile to marry.

        Sesiago did try to change Miso’s mothers mind, but failed at doing so and he left the Yamada state and was killed in a car accident. This destroyed Chile and in a lot of ways even Tadayoshi because he left things with his brother on harsh terms. Chile adored Tadayoshi, but she was young and did not know what love really was until she met Sesiago. She could never explain why she chose one Kari over another and because she had hurt Tadayoshi when she was at her lowest point she could not bring herself to disrupt his life with Ako even though she had hit rock-bottom and ultimately ended up sleeping with Miroku.

        The reason he was “forced” to marry is because it is what is expected of the Kari. Very few Kari stay single. Most of them are married fairly young and if they are not, the Elder of the Kari arranges a union for them. Some Kari even choose to have a union over finding love. This is quite normal for them. By the age of 25 in Hiko’s generation, most of them are expected to be married. As we learn in TEPR, when Tatsuya finds out that Tationy has a child, but no husband he informs her that because she is a considered a “woman of the Kari” that if he was Elder he would rectify the situation and she would have a husband and Kazuma a father.

        When someone dies and the surviving spouse is left alone, the Elder does handle this. He finds an appropriate mate if the husband or wife has not already chosen someone. In some cases the couple will make arrangements for their death, so that the surviving spouse is taken care of in a new union. Very normal for them. If Kat and Kyo married, he would have someone picked out for her to take care of her if he died. HAHA, not sure how she would feel about that, but this is how they wor5k and survive as a clan.

        I agree. I feel the same way about Ako. Even though she is a character you are meant to sympathize with in a lot of ways, I do not like her because I have had a parent walk out on the family. It is something that you move pasted, but never really get over. It effects your relationships for years after, whether you think it does or not. Hiko especially really needed his mother. He loved her so much and everyday he waited for her. Mommy will be home soon he would tell Tadayoshi, but she never made it back. We get to see the loss of a parent in Kazuma’s life a little bit with Hiko’s death in TEPR, but I did not get to explore it nearly as much as I wanted to, so in the prequel with Hiko we are seeing the end result. If I do the prequel of the prequel, we would see how he was as a kid after his mother left.

        You got to read TEPR, there is a line in TEPR where Tadayoshi is talking to Tationy:

        “I do not wish for you to misunderstand.” He could see it out of the corner of his eye a quizzical look upon her face. Opting not to speak on it further, he continued talking about the trials. “The father is not the only man to assist in guidance. Son’s learn their bad habits from their fathers. The past overshadows them and the father cannot be an effective teacher and the son an attentive student. It can be problematic.”

        Later in a conversation with Miroku he says this:

        “I won’t judge. If we are being frank, I am probably the reason Hiko became that monster. Sons learn their bad habits from their fathers. I was not exactly the best role-model on how to treat people.”

        And to put it with some zing….BINGO! His is very much trying not to become his father and as we see in TEPR he ends up becoming worse than Tadayoshi. He did end up embody the worst traits not just of his father, but other Kari men like his uncle Katsu. This is always a possibility with this character and as we learn fro Azu, his grandfather, Tationy has a lot of control whether or not he becomes that monster. Which is why she handles him with such a gentle hand is because she more than anyone is acutely aware of the monster he can become. HAHA, yes she is completely molding him, we do learn why in the college years.

        The Kari men do need understanding women and in some cases men. Not all Kari are straight, which we do learn in TEPR as well. There have been a few. Pai Pai who is the mother of Semei is quite gentle and is very good with Kazuki and Semei bother. She manages both father and son with no issues and we will see her eventually. Maori who is Hiko’s grandmother, sadly died, but she was another woman that could handle a Kari man. She dealt with Azu of all people and…Azu, Tadayoshi, and Hiko are all pretty much reflections of each other. Their bad habits they learned from their fathers. So a lot of the bad traits we see from Hiko were also bad traits shared by Azu and Tadayoshi. Azu had far more restraint, than Tadayoshi and Hiko.

        So there have been plenty of strong women among the Kari, but mostly older characters that I created. Nothing more recently has stuck so well. ^_^ Not sure why. Which is why I was glad you offered up Kat, because I have quite failed (as you saw with Eri and even Suemeli if we go by TEPR), at making a woman that could stand with a Kari. Using existing females I have has not worked out well. They work better with other characters. Suemeli and Soti are a great pair and Eri….well she might find someone someday. ^_^ Her Bill Clinton is out there.

        Thank you. I am glad you like them and that was very hard for Tadayoshi. Him being there has a lot to do with the anguish he heard in Tationy’s voice so we have her to thank for father and son talking. Ahh, you noticed that Tadayoshi did not talk to Hiko about Ako much huh? This is meant to show Tadayoshi’s understand of what Hiko needs. While his son has often thought that he does not understand and Tadadayoshi has not handled Hiko well, he is not blind to Hiko’s plight. The pain is too recent to talk about Ako and Tadayoshi understands that, which is why he avoided the topic for the most part as you saw Hiko was not going out of his way to talk about it either, though he will with Tationy…during the collapse chapter. We will get to see Tadayoshi again and hyow much he cares for both Hiko and Tationy in that chapter as well. We will have to wait and see though on whether or not he grows to appreciate anything. HAHA!

      • Poor Tadayoshi. Talk about falling in love with someone who can’t love you back. 😦 It’s no wonder he comes across as being cold and standoffish. Experiencing that kind of heart crushing has to change you. I don’t know if I want to know the whole story behind that drama, reading the summary seems hard enough. I will definitely look at Tadayoshi differently now.

        Huh, so the Kari are really all about tradition. Interesting that Hiko seems to want to pick and choose which traditions he will and won’t follow. No wonder Semei gets on to him about that in the next chapter. To be Kari, you need to be all in…or go home.

        Don’t you be all “if Kat and Kyo married”, Michelle. THAT’S PAINFUL TO MY HEART because…*coughs*…I’d like to see that happen…*coughs* Would Kat like having a backup husband chosen for her? No, I think she would struggle with that. LOL But if it meant being with the one she loved, she would learn to deal, I think. Her inner romantic would tell her to suck it up and deal.

        To be honest, I like strong women characters and am getting better at making them. I like the idea of a strong woman being with a strong man. Makes for interesting drama, conflict, and making up (my favorite part, ha). And hey, if you are in need of other strong female characters, I am more than happy to help you out. Seems the woman must have some extra special sass to stand beside a Kari. I am most curious to see if Kat has what it takes to befriend Kyo (or more, whatever is in the cards).

      • Yes, Hiko has always been a character that spits on tradition even in his past lives this is a trend the stays true to. Semei is just the opposite of him. Despite being similar they both have different struggles.

        I want to see that happen as well, but I did not ask you a bunch of questions about marriage, kids, moving, etc etc. So, before I said…yes they are getting married, I wanted to double check Kat’s stance on those things, especially seeing the Kari are very traditional. As they say often “We are Kari, some things just are and there is no changing them.”

        That is good information to know that she would not be happy about it. There is always those jokes in moves and shows, If I died, who would you pick for me to carry on with? Morbid, but The Kari see it as protecting the sanctity of the clan, the family unit, and the spouse left behind. They consider it a very bad thing for a child to not have a mother and a father. If you read TEPR, you will see this when Tatsuya come into the story later on and even other Kari including Zen and Kin step up with Kazuma.

        “Women of the Kari” Which is any Kari Female or woman that has married into the clan that has been accepted as Kari (even if her blood is not), has to be very strong. There is so much expected of her and it is just as hard for her as it is for any Kari man, sometimes even harder for those marrying into the relationship.

        I am sure Kat will do fine, her biggest obstacle will be Kyo’s father, Azu and Tadayoshi his brother. Being a foreigner, she is automatically considered not of pure blood regardless of her upbringing. Going outside the clan is pretty taboo, but not unheard of, so there will be some challenges.

    • He let his hair down. ^_^ Hiko noticed how relaxed and casual his father seemed. That was done on purpose. Seeing he is no longer the head of the Kari Foundation with Zen in control he is able to relax more. He is a lot less stressed…well minus his son drama that is. ^_^

      • I suspect the drama with his son is considerably less stressful than running a major corporation. Just sayin’. 😉 Hopefully we will see more relaxed Tadayoshi, I could get used to seeing that!

      • One would think. HAHA. Sometimes with Hiko it might actually be worse. We will see more relaxed Tadayoshi, though not as much if we would if things were in “perfect working order”.

  3. It was interesting to see Hiko’s mother. Won’t say I’m that fond of her, but seeing her was surely good for Hiko. Confronting the past and understanding the choices your parents made is always a huge realisation in one’s life.
    Surely loved the reveal about Tadayoshi and Chile (yep, I always read your replies to old comments too xD) You know I like her character a lot. It’s always love and loss that shape a woman into the kind of woman she is. I can vouch for that. xD
    Did Tationy stopped taking her medication or takes less of it? Because it seems like she’s more distant and seeing more with Tylo eyes as well. I assume she could do it to protect Hiko?
    It’s unusual to see them fight, but that moment somehow exposed that there’s much more bitterness in their relationship, perhaps bitterness that Hiko himself does not see yet. It’s like Tationy already lived through this relationship many times and he’s doing it for the first time. I guess it always will be bittersweet for her, because in a way she’s making it happen, so how much of it real and how much of it just her doing? Since she could never even meet Hiko if she didn’t let Abe do the things he did to her and drop out of schools and such.

    • HAHA, yeah I am not fond of Ako either. It was important for him though to see her, so he can stop blaming his father for her leaving.

      I know you do quite love Chile. Her and Tadayoshi had a very unique relationship, though very one sided.

      The loss of Sesiago definitely shaped her more then any other event that happened in her life.

      Tationy did not. Some things she has already seen millions of times and other things, not so much. So there are points where she seems like she is at her peek, but she has simply already see these events play out.

      She is distant for another reason that is never quite addressed in the story because we have no character that this point that is truly close to her.

      She could stop taking the medicine for Hiko, but his pride will not allow it to happen even though he says he would understand.

      Tationy and Hiko actually fight quite a bit. They seem perfect to people looking in, but they are by far not perfect at all. There is quite a bit of bitterness, what Tationy gave up is ultimately what causes that.

      There is a line in a future chapter about Tationy living through the relationship already. It is said by Semei to Hiko. You will see it eventually and get Semei and Hiko’s take on it.

      In a lot of ways yes, she set this in motion. Had she not purposely forced distance between her and Abe, things would not had transpired as they had. She and Abe would have eventually mutually have agreed to break up due to where they were in their lives, but both would have remained at Aslann High School instead of eventually ending up at Sofore Academy.

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