previous: Run it ch 15
Back at the dorms, I reunited with Gigi, Moma, and Prayikina. It had taken me longer than anticipated to walk back so everyone else was settled in with cigarettes, snacks, and loud music. Jamie had collapsed from exhaustion and was nursing a can of coke while I relayed the remarkable story.
I told them about leaving the competition arena with Principal Sam, running into Slate and Jamie. And, of course, Jamie’s attempt at a make out session.
“Wow,” Moma said, “I’m so glad I’m headed to New York next semester.”
Prayikina giggled. “Yeah, because everyone in New York is a fine upstanding individual with no drama what so ever.”
Moma took a sip of her drink. “I’m not stupid. If there’s drama there’s drama, but at least I’ll be half a world away from my dad and all this bizzarro spiritual world crap.”
“I think it’s sweet, Elena,” Gigi replied while offering me a soda. “Your father is watching over you. That’s’ really amazing.”
“Seriously,” Jamie groaned, eyes closed. “I almost died!”
“Yeah, seriously,” Gigi replied, making the sign of the cross. “If Principal Sam had been fully overtaken by the soul of Elena’s dead father, he would have reenacted Remy Moceanu’s eel technique on a certain body part.”
I laughed so hard soda went up my nose. “Ew!” My father had garnered some fame during his time at the school for performing a live eel butchering during one of his finals. The process consisted of grasping the long, thin (phallic) sea creature, driving a nail through its head before skinning it alive. I had witnessed it only a few times and, in truth, the final product always reminded me of a flailing, dying penis.
“Oh, screw you Gi,” Jamie finished his coke, tossing the can at the trash receptacle behind Gigi. (This gave the illusion of him throwing the object at her head.) “Does your dad know you’re dating Kyle?
“Yes, he does. He thinks Kyle is sweet and before you ask Kyle’s mother absolutely loves me.”
“The meat industry heiress approves of her son’s vegan supermodel girlfriend? Yeah, right. How’d you pull that off?”
“With calmness, intelligence and maturity,” Gigi said as she picked up the can (since Jamie’s aim was crap.) “I explained that I’d already made the decision that if and when I have a family, I will give my child the choice if he or she wants to be vegan. “
Jamie scoffed. “Yeah, because that’s going to happen.”
“Screw you!” Gigi took a seat on a table towering over Jamie.
My boyfriend sat up, unwilling to let the topic go. “Seriously, I can see it now, you give birth to a perfect little blonde baby girl who looks like your exact clone and on her first birthday she asks for chicken nuggets and beef-tallow fries.”
Prayikina took a seat next to me, kicking her legs up on my lap. “Back to the issue at hand.”
“Issue at hand?” I asked.
“Yeah, do you think Principal Sam will be bringing up the ghostly make out incident to your mom?”
“My mom?” I had not even thought about that. “She’s probably back at the hotel or going to lunch with my grandma.” Yes, that sounded logical. I was about to lay back and relax when suddenly all hell broke loose.
“Yo Jamie, I know you’re here somewhere!” James Sakaki shouted giving a spot-on impression of Principal Sam. To me, it was clear this was just the boys playing a prank but for whatever reason Jamie took off running.
“No, seriously,” Kyle added, “Jamie’s not here and he’s certainly not hiding in the ceiling!”
There was a rather fun series of ventilation tunnels that crisscrossed the ceiling. I’d climbed through them on more then one occasion since they act as a secret shortcut between student rooms. It was easy enough to enter through any number of partial ladders, book shelves, etc but There was no way he could have gotten up there in the few seconds I took my eyes off him.
Someone shut off the music, allowing everyone to focus on the vent tunnels. We all could hear Jamie’s movements; a scampering like a massive bear caught in a trap.
“Fan out,” said another male student. “Jamie is 6’2, 250 pounds, he is going to fall through the ceiling it’s only a matter of where.”
After only a few minutes of loudly searching rooms, a crash could be heard. The noise echoed through the halls, followed by roars of laughter. Prayikina and I ran to the source of the sound, just as Kyle opened the door.
Jamie was on his knees praying. “Please, Principal Sam don’t kill me! I’ll never touch Elena again, I swear!”
Kyle’s group was laughing hysterically. “Elena, we found him!”
Jamie looked up to see Kyle’s crew. “You f-“
I ran in and threw my arms around Jamie. “There you are, I was so worried! I love you so much, Baby.” I was pretending to make out with him and possibly have sex in front of all our friends. When suddenly there was a knock at the door.
I paused, listening as Gigi left to answer. “Oh, cra- I mean good afternoon Mrs. Nakiri.” She said the last part extra loud for my benefit.
“Of course,” I sighed, knowing I had to make my way to the door ASAP.
I could hear my mother’s voice from all the way down the hall. And she sounded pissed. “Giovanna, just fetch my daughter.”
“Elena!” Gigi shouted. “Your mom is here!”
“Thank you!” I shouted back. The rest of the kids left to go about their business (or perhaps they were getting a good seat for the upcoming carnage). I kissed Jamie one last time. “Pray for me.”
“You don’t have to face her alone.” Jamie was about to follow when Moma grabbed his arm. I hadn’t even noticed her following us
Moma looked like an angry, goth anime character. “As a second year, what do you know about my brother Kintaro?”
The statement was so abrupt I couldn’t help but stop in my tracks. “What are you talking about?”
Jamie shrugged. “I know he’s on the student council, current valedictorian and he lives off-campus, other than that we’re not really close.”
“Yes,” Moma said as she rolled her eyes. “That’s an understatement.”
That got Jamie’s full attention. “What did the arrogant prick say about me?”
“He warned me about you. You claim to have been with dozens of girls out in California. And not just hook-ups, you claimed all manner of nastiness. I didn’t believe him right away but then I saw for myself how you flirted with all the first-year girls.”
I facepalmed. Was this really happening?
Jamie seemed genuinely perplexed. “Moma, I thought we were friends?”
“We are, but I’ve been friends with Elena for a lot longer, she’s like a sister to me. And now that her dad’s gone, I feel even more protective of her kind heart. So, if you ever cheat on her or force her to do something she doesn’t want to do, I will fly back to Japan and remove your dick with my own knives.”
Her words were just strange, kind of creepy, even for Moma. But my attention was elsewhere. Jamie had run out of the room, straight into my mother who had simply walked in through the open door.
“Elena, Jamie, we need to talk,” my mother said in a professional tone.
“Ok, sure, Mom. Is the rec-room a good place?” I really didn’t want her in my room: If she was going to kill me, I wanted witnesses.
“That will be fine, I’ll meet you on the sofa.”
Jamie squeezed my hand as we made our way to the sofa of doom. My mother had pulled up a folding chair next to the sofa. There was no doubt, this was going to be a lecture. Jamie and I took a seat, making sure to stay a decent distance apart. We couldn’t hold hands but I could still feel the roughness of his fingertips.
“Elena, Jamie,” my mother paused, sucking in her cheek. “I am disappointed in you two, but I’m not surprised.”
“I’m sorry, Mom,” I said in a whisper. My body sank into the couch in shame.
Jamie opened his mouth to speak. I assumed he was going to apologize as well, but that was not the case. “We were just messing around. I wasn’t about to go down on your daughter in a dirty alleyway. I’ve got more class than that.”
I could hear a chorus of giggles. We had a well-hidden audience watching from all around.
My mother sighed. “I know I cannot control your hormones from Denmark. I don’t expect you to live like a bunch of catholic priests. All I can ask is that you both act in a way that would not disappoint your families.”
“I understand, Mom.”
“And one other thing, Elena, please do not do anything that would cause Principal Sam to get thrown into prison.”
“He was really that upset?” I asked. I felt a lump in my throat, that was the last thing I wanted.
“He’s known you since you were a baby, and Moma is the same age as you.”
“I know.” I know Principal Sam saw me as his own daughter, that was pretty obvious.
“And before he passed on, your father’s dying wish was for Sam to watch over you.” My mother pursed her lips, pausing for an awkward amount of time. “Have you and Jamie…?”
“No!” I sat straight up, as if someone had just shot me with a cattle prod. “We haven’t! I swear!” I wiped tears from my eyes. I didn’t know what to feel. On one hand, I had assured my father I was not having sex (which I wasn’t.) I wanted to be a virgin on my wedding day. On the other hand, I didn’t even know why I cared. Everyone was having sex; it wasn’t even a big deal. I had done things for Jamie, and let him do things to me; things we could brag about to our peers, things that would make my daddy ashamed.
My mother stood up, handing me a single tissue. “I just meant I need you to behave like a mature adult. Focus on your goals, your dreams. But above all else focus on graduating. I love you, Elena.”
“I love you too, Mom.”
“And Jamie,” my mother said calmly. “I also wish for you to behave like a mature adult. But if you break my daughter’s heart, I will gut you.”
Jamie threw up his hands, “I get it.” He stomped off to his room, shouting all along the way. “Elena is classy, Elena is perfect, Elena is an angel sent from heaven! I know!”
My mom left without another word, knowing that I needed to check on my boyfriend. “Jamie?” I tapped on the door before poking it open. He was lying in bed, with headphones on. So, I took it upon myself to crawl into bed, snuggling in his arms.
Jamie took off his headphones and laughed. “I hope you locked the door, or this is going to look really bad.”
I laughed through my tears. “Do you really feel like I’m out of your league?”
“I thought that was kind of obvious,” Jamie said with a sigh.
I walked my fingers down his chest. “Do you remember the day we met?”
“Last year, when you moved from the junior high to the dorms.”
“That was one hell of a night.” I remembered the moment like it was yesterday. Prayikina and Giovanna skipped to the dorm pulling their rolling suitcases.
“This is so awesome!” Prayikina shouted at the night sky. It was a cold night, so both girls wore hooded sweatshirts and jeans.
“Oh totally,” Giovanna added, “My parents wanted me to live off-campus but I refused, it has always been my dream to live here.”
I had been walking a few feet behind, with my earbuds in. The music was just loud enough to groove to, while not losing sight of my friends. I even remember the song, ‘Lying Is the Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off,’ by Panic! At the Disco. It was one of many songs on my playlist, as I walked across campus under the light of the moon.
From a distance, I saw a tall boy with an athletic build. He had the door propped open awaiting the hot freshman girls. “Hey, ladies need help with your bags?”
Prayikina gave him a look, the kind you give to a construction worker who just whistled at you from across the street. “Nah, we’re good.”
I snuck a closer look, staying just out of the light of the doorway. The tall muscular boy wore his hair in cornrows. “Don’t you know who I am?”
“Nope,” Praykina replied, smacking her lips.
I honestly didn’t know either, but I liked his sense of style. From what I could see he was Asian, with long braided hair and a black leather jacket, like a rap artist from a time long past (80’s, 90’s, maybe early 2000’s.)
“Jamie Mimasaka,” he said as he confidently held out his hand for a handshake. “I’m kind of a big deal.”
Prayikina laughed. “Really?”
“My father is Slate Mimasaka, a celebrity chef out in California.”
Prayikina shook her head, and poked her finger to his chest. “My mom is Erica Nakari: as in the daughter of the founder of this school. And my father is Professor Hayama of the Shiomi Seminar.” She took off her hood revealing her long white-blonde hair. “A department which was named after my grandmother June Shiomi. That would make me a very big deal. And you, are the equivalent of a piece of dog poop that I will try my best not to step on.”
I fully expected the large boy to take a step back or even verbally attack her. To my surprise he cupped his mouth, like a mega fan. “Kiki Hayama!” Jamie quickly reverted back to his sexy voice. “How about we go back to my room, I can show you what I can really do.” It was not a question. Had he attempted to touch her I have no doubt she would have slapped him.
“Ew!” Prayikina quickly walked away, her suitcase trailing at her feet.
Jamie turned his attention to Giovanna. “How about you sexy?” He looked at her luggage tag. “Giovanna, is that Italian?”
“The name is Giovanna Aldini. And I know full well who you are,” she growled. “Your father was a bully who stole my father’s mezzaluna. He terrorized this school until he finally left to start his career on the other side of the world. I feel sorry for his employees.”
Moma entered behind them (appearing out of nowhere.) “Don’t even talk to me, creep.”
I felt truly bad for the guy. Now it was my turn to make a first impression. A gust of wind blew through the door. I let my long dark hair fall over my eyes as I entered. I was dancing, letting the music guide me as I twirled around like a happy little toddler.
But that wasn’t what Jamie saw. As he liked to describe it; my hips swayed like a dancer, like something out of a fairytale. With my hair all over my face, he couldn’t make out my eyes (making me look even more ethereal.) For the first few seconds, he wasn’t even sure I was real. (Apparently, he had been standing by the door for a few hours and was possibly hallucinating due to lack of food and water.)
He said the way my body moved was the sexiest thing he had ever seen. I remember him attempting to get in front of me. “Hey did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”
I knew what he said, but it was so cheesy I wanted to laugh. I remember brushing the hair from my face, just enough to be able to see his eyes.
His face was frozen in stoic silence. The tall, sexy boy bit his lower lip before speaking again. “Did it hurt when you fell from heaven? You know, because you’re an angel.”
I locked eyes with him, as I made of show of removing my earbuds. “Sorry, did you say something?” I wanted to see him blush.
“Wow, um…” Jamie could barely speak. “Welcome to Polar Star Dorms.” He held out his hand. “I’m Jamie Mimasaka.”
“Nice to meet you.” I smiled, taking a bow like a regal princess before shaking the boy’s hand. “I’m Elena Rose.” I didn’t bother to give my last name. (At the time it might have been a little confusing since he’d just met my cousin.) Unlike Prayikina and Gi, I was not a brand name. I was just Elena Rose.
That was the moment I knew I met my other half. Jamie was shy, sweet, and his cocky overconfidence was simply the result of bad advice from his father. (A rather typical macho idea that if he could hit on the younger girls, he would have a better chance at a girlfriend.) That part wasn’t so stupid. After all, Jamie did find a girlfriend.
Back in Jamie’s bed. I cuddled close, resting my head on my boyfriend’s chest. I could feel his heart beat; a truly wonderful, beautiful sound. “Jamie?”
“When you met me, were you surprised that I didn’t have a famous family name?”
“A rose by any other name….” Jamie laughed. “I actually don’t know that quote. It’s a quote from something, right?”
“A quote from ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ the greatest love story of all time.”
“Nah you’re wrong.”
“What?” I sat up looking him in the eyes. “Pretty sure I’m not.”
“You and me, we’re the greatest love story of all time.”
That was deserving of at least a kiss. Falling asleep in my boyfriend’s arms, it didn’t matter what anyone thought of us. What we had, our sweet puppy love, was for us alone.
next: Run it! ch17