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Black Clouds

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Dear Kaoru,

It’s the morning after dinner at Hiro’s. The food was good. It was kind of awkward at first, honestly, but I did learn a lot.

The baby’s name is Aly. She seems to like me, she kept reaching for me, even when Hiro was holding her. I didn’t mind that much, really. Babies aren’t as bad as adults can be, even if they puke on you a lot more. To be fair, I’ve puked on you enough times that if I get puked on, it’s probably payback for that.

The brat’s name is Quinn. He apologized for the crayon thing. I didn’t really want to apologize for screaming back, because I’m a stubborn little shit, but Hiro kicked me really fuckin’ hard. I think I’ve got a massive bruise on my calf. Apparently not apologizing to five year olds when they try to be nice is a dick thing to do. He still clearly doesn’t like me. He would scowl every time Aly grabbed at my face or my hair, which she did a lot. He almost cried when she fell asleep in my lap. It was kinda cute.

Hiro’s a high school teacher. English lit. He’s got books all over the house, and not for decoration, either. Some are obviously Quinn’s but there’s a ton of mysteries and fantasies and sci-fis and books of all kinds scattered all over the place. The most active he got all night was when he was talking about books, although Quinn started bragging about how jealous his friends are that his dad helps him with reading homework and the conversation turned to that.

American schools are weird. Like, really weird.

Hiro told me after the kids went to bed that they’re not his biologically, but their mom was one of his closest friends and he took them in after she died a year ago. It explains a lot, actually―Hiro’s at least part Japanese and the kids are clearly not. Aly’s got blue eyes, and she doesn’t have much hair, but Quinn’s definitely blonde. They’re as white as you can get. Is that racist of me to say? I dunno. Don’t really care, either, since nobody’s gonna read this.

I asked how Haruhi knew him, too. They’re related on her mom’s side, so they didn’t talk much after Kotoko died, but they reconnected or whatever when we all came to Boston in high school. She complained about my drunk calls and he offered to give me a ride, and he has been ever since.

He’s pretty low-key. Not like Mori-senpai, because he’s not as quiet, but he’s got that same air of comfort around him. Like, I was expecting tonight to be super awkward, but it was actually kinda fun. Different from what I was used to. I didn’t have to wear the mask, if you know what I mean. I didn’t have to think about my reputation, or sucking up to people to win clients, or wonder how many people were whispering about us behind my back.

Honestly? I’d go back another night if I could. Talking with no strings, no baggage like the two of us have, it was liberating. If that’s the right word for it. Does anything I said make sense?