February 20th, 2012 (02:51 am)
current mood: accomplished
I walk out of the transportations office, fingering my new temporary license and feeling a grin threaten to break out. It wasn't that I didn't want to let people know I was excited that I had could finally ride the moped, but I guess it was more that I didn't want to tempt fate.
"Hey kid, you thought you could escape, huh?" I hear a familiar voice of mixed accents behind me. I turn around. Dad's leaning against the front of the building, looking incredibly cool and suave with his leather jacket, crooked grin, and wavy blond hair.
"Ah nuts, it didn't work," I tease, stopping so he can join me. He pushes off the wall, a move that makes him look even cooler, and walks down the steps. "So, how'd you find me?"
"Linda told me you'd come to pick up your moped that she's been harboring. How'd you do?"
I hold up the slip of paper and let the grin out. "Passed with flying colors," I tell him and then look down. "Well, green and blue, at least."
"Fantastic," he grins back. "Come on down. I've got something for you."
Dad starts down the stairs and I follow along behind. I notice his much cooler motorcycle next to my moped. He must've arrived after I'd taken my riding test, since I didn't see him when I got back.
"First, here," he says, handing me a flat box I recognize as a garment gift box, from my days in the clothes retail industry.
I slip off the thick twine holding it shut and slip off the top. Inside is a brand new leather jacket with a red stripe down each sleeve; I can still smell the leather polish. I set the box aside and lift it out. On the back is sewn in red the words Flying Acres. I recognize the word play from Flying Ace, from the WWII bombers.
"Slip it on," he urges me. "You're going to be wearing it home anyways. Better start breaking it in now so it doesn't chafe on the ride."
"I don't know, maybe I'll wait," I say, not sure I could really pull off the look.
"It's not just to look cool," he says, as if he can read my mind. "Leather's really important when you're riding free. It cuts the wind and it's like a pliable helmet for your body. The cool's just a bonus. Come on, slip it on."
I comply, shaking it out and then sliding into it. The smell of the leather envelops me. It's a bit unpleasant, how strong it is, and I wonder how long it will take to fade or if I'll get used to it.
"It looks good," Dad comments, stepping back and taking me in. "If I were a girl, I'd definitely buy you a drink."
"Uh...yeah, that won't be happening," I say, tempted to take the jacket off, but I resist. "The only girl's attention I want to attract is Okashi."
"Mm, the mystery girl. When am I going to get to meet her?"
"Hopefully soon," I say, though I've been putting it off for a reason. Dad doesn't go after girls that are married or engaged, so I want to wait until I've at least proposed before I let him see her. It's not that I don't trust her, but I don't want him making her uncomfortable.
"You two've been together a while, haven't you?" he asks.
"Two and a half years," I provide. "I'm going to propose."
His eyes go wide with shock. "Wow."
I chuckle. "Come on, Dad, you knew I was that kind of guy. I want a wife and kids and a house with a yard. The same one for as long as I'm alive."
"Well that's...great. Really great, kid. When are you going to ask her?"
"As soon as I've asked her brother and her dad," I say, picking up my helmet. It's nothing elaborate, just a little plastic shell that'll do the job for a low-speed mechanical bike.
"You're asking her brother and dad?"
"She's Japanese," I explain, "and her dad's really traditional. And her brother...well, he's a bit more crazy-protective of her than I am about Tyler. So...yeah, I'm asking them. This week, I hope. I don't know; we'll see."
"Yeah...yeah, I know a few of those really traditional Japanese businessmen type. They can be pretty scary when they're not treated properly. One of them scared me so bad, I took a three-month course in business Japanese just so I wouldn't fuck up again."
"Ah...great, thanks, that makes me feel better," I grimace. "But the dad already knows I'm planning on marrying her someday, so I think I'm good."
"Well, I'm proud of you." He reaches out and gives me a hug. "Tell me how it turns out, will you?"
"Say, why don't I take you out for a few pints to celebrate? My next flight's not 'til next morning."
"That sounds great," I agree, returning my bag to its rightful place and making to get on my moped.
Dad puts his hand on my chest. "Woah, woah, what're you doing?"
"Um...getting ready to ride to a pub?"
"Not like that!" He hands me a second package, this one pretty oddly-shaped. "Here."
I rip off the paper and place it in the gift box. Inside is a leather bag with straps and buckles. "What's this?"
"Your saddle bag," he tells me. "Buckle it securely onto that rack behind your seat. You shouldn't ride around with things hanging loosely off you, so put 'em in this. It'll keep you safer. And when you take your girl for a spin, she can sit on it. They're pretty comfortable."
I shrug and turn it over until I figure out which end is the bottom. After strapping it on and having Dad check it over, I stow my bag and sit down.
"Alright, let's ride," I say, buckling on my helmet.