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Kevin Acres [userpic]

It's a Colorado Christmas

December 23rd, 2012 (06:03 pm)
current location: Colorado

Aside from the expected bit of turbulence, the flights and the layover in Chicago went smoothly. Somehow, traveling with Okashi, just the two of us, made it feel like we were more than just dating. When I awoke in the middle of our first flight, I had looked over to find her sleeping beside me, her head rolled a bit toward me. I watched her for a while, amazed by how such a simple thing as a sleeping woman could make me feel the way I did.

Even though I’d been looking since the moment we exited the arrival, Tyler sees me first and starts to run. I have to grin at this. He may be fourteen, but it doesn’t seem to phase him that running to greet somebody at an airport could be seen as uncool. And of course it isn’t. If it was the other way around, I’d be running to greet him. Or Okashi.

Colorado ChristmasCollapse )

Kevin Acres [userpic]

Here goes...

March 19th, 2012 (08:44 pm)
Tags: ,

current mood: nervous

I agonized for days about what to do tonight. At first, I wanted to take her on a picnic in the park where we met, but I didn't know if that spot would bring her unhappy memories. Then I wanted to cook for her, but all I can manage on a good day is cup ramen and coffee. Then I thought about clearing a room and decorating it with flowers and candles.

All of them just...didn't work. Besides, she would suspect something, and I want this to be a surprise. So I went with the tried and true dinner at a nice restaurant, fancy dress, maybe champagne. It's not original, it's not creative, but it's simple and I always wondered what it would be like, secretly. You know, to be down there on one knee, looking up at her, hoping to see happiness or excitement in her face when you open the ring box and ask her.

So down on one knee in a fancy restaurant filled with strangers it is. Besides, there's something about the traditional method that makes me even more nervous. I guess it brings to home that I'm actually doing this, me, Kevin AcresCollapse )

Kevin Acres [userpic]

Next step: ask the parents

March 3rd, 2012 (10:30 pm)

current mood: nervous

If I'd had a car and a license, I would've worn my yukata, because I want to show Sasahara-sama how serious and respectful I am, but as it is, it's either my moped or my bike. So I dress up in one of my suits, reluctantly slip my leather jacket over my suit jacket (it's going to smell like leather, but there's nothing I can do about that...), stow my bag in the saddlebag, and get on the road.

I wasn't as nervous about talking to Okashi's dad until I talked to my own, and to Shino. I mean, Sasahara-sama already knows I'm planning on marrying Okashi, so why should I be nervous? But if Dad can be intimidated? And if Shino tells me to beware? Well, I sure as hell had better.

I packed a few things to spruce up before I approach the house; a comb, some citrus spray to try to cover up the leather smell, and a lint roller. It's times like these when magic would come in really handy, but I feel lucky just to be in on the secret. I'm content.

Next hurdleCollapse )

Kevin Acres [userpic]

Bros in a bachelor pad

February 28th, 2012 (07:32 pm)

current mood: nervous

When the Sasaharas were all together for the Lunar New Year, I sensed a lot of tension between Shino and his brother and father. I don't know what happened, but I know that whatever it was, it was enough to have Shino staying here for a while. I know that Okashi's really happy that she'll get to spend so much time with him, but I bet it's really hard to see how he and his dad are around each other now.

So I decided that I'd offer him a bit of a getaway. If all goes well, I'll be family anyway, and I need the chance to talk with him alone so that I can move toward that goal. We'll see...and maybe he won't even want to. Well, in any case, I have his cell number.

I unplug my cell from the charger and scroll through it until I come to his name. Then I wait.

“Mut?” I hear after the phone rings a couple times.

"Hi," I answer, "This is Kevin. I call with an offer of santuary."

I hear a snort though the line. “Acres-san? And why do you think I need sanctuary?”

I know he doesn't like bullshit, but this isn't the time to bring up his dad. He probably knows that I know. "An unmarried guy around a marriage-obsessed mom twenty-four, seven? Any guy would need some fresh air. I offer my quiet, mom-free bachelor pad." Now I just hope he doesn't think I mean that I don't like his mom.

“What time do you want me to come over?” He replies after a pause. “And you better not have any wild party planned, you are still dating my sister are you not? I will hurt you if you are not being true to her, wakarimasu ka?”

"Yes onii-san," I tease. "Any time's just fine."

“One moment.” He says then I hear him speak rapid fire Japanese to somebody then the faint sound of a masculine voice giving a short clipped reply. “Hmph, I will be there in an hour or two.”

"Should I put on coffee or tea?" I ask.

“Bah, you can’t make good tea, Acres-san.” He snorts into the phone. “I will bring real Japanese drink for us.”

I have a sneaking suspicion I know what he's bringing. "Alright, no coffee-pot tea. I'll see you in a bit, then."

“Hai, that you will, otōto-san.” He says and I hear him disconnect the call.

Kevin Acres [userpic]


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.

"Wow, I..."

"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.

Kevin Acres [userpic]

Relishing the second chance

September 11th, 2011 (07:08 pm)

current location: Brockley pub
current mood: relieved

Dad called me up last week and told me that he'd be in town today. He wanted to meet for lunch, but I explained that it was Sunday and that Okashi and I would be spending time together over the course of the afternoon. Normally I'd suggest my family meet her, and if Dad were anything like Mom, Greg, and Tyler I would, but the truth is that he's Dad. He's always flirting with pretty girls when I'm around. Not that I think he'd steal Okashi from me, but I just worry that he won't behave with the other girls around her.

So anyways, we arranged to meet at a pub near Brockley and hang out. I realized why he decided on today as I was marking it down in my calendar. I'm not sure if he means it for my benefit or his, but there's no denying that the date was intentional.

As I wait for him to show up, I sip at the heavy stout and think about the scare two years ago. I was lucky in that my family was safe. Hundreds of people were killed, leaving their families grieving and scared. Every now and then I realize how close I was to being like them, suddenly missing a part of them, even though my part was a part I hardly knew. In the hours I'd waited for word, I'd felt so much regret about not having known him.

I wonder how many people who lost their families in the attack felt regret. How many didn't really know the people they lost? Wishing for the second chance my dad and I were given.

I jump when the glass in my hand is jostled and look up. Dad's grinning down at me with a draft in his hand and a smile on his face.

"Hi Kid, how're you doing?"

I smile, trying to shake my somber thoughts. "Hi Dad."

He sits down and then looks me right in the eyes as if to say, I'm still here.

"You look like you're doing well," he says aloud.

"Yeah, I am. How was your flight?"

"Smoothe and easy," he tells me.

"Dad, what were you thinking two years ago when you were trying to get through?" I ask, leaning back in my chair.

He looks uncomfortable and shifts in his seat a bit before he answers. "I was thinking...well, that I hoped you'd hear from me before you heard about the crashes. I know it was stupid."

"No, it's not stupid. Unrealistic, but not stupid."

He chuckles and stares at his beer. "What were you thinking all those hours you were waiting for me to call?"

"I don't really remember a lot of it, but you know, mostly regretting that you and I didn't really know each other and that we might never after all."

"I'm sorry."

"Nah. We're lucky. We get the chance to try again." I take my stout in my hand and lift it just a little bit to feel the weight. "There are all those people who won't get the chance." I take a swig and stare at the beer in his hand. "When I heard about the planes, all I could think about was you. I was terrified that you'd been killed."

"I'm sorry," he says again.

"There's no reason for you to be sorry. You're alive and you're sitting right here. I'm glad. It just made me realize how much I really want you around, what little of that I can get."

He nods, looking down at his hands. "I'm trying."

"I know you are, Dad. Thanks. And I know Aunt Linda's glad about it, too."

Dad drinks his beer down a ways before he speaks again, and though he's not meeting my eyes, it's probably the best thing he's said tonight.

"We'll have to do this every year."

Kevin Acres [userpic]

Home alone

February 16th, 2011 (09:59 pm)

current location: Home
current mood: nostalgic

I took a little walk after work, wishing for snow. Tyler told me they got a freak storm that closed the entire cities of Loveland and Fort Collins for three days. Meanwhile, it’s the same foggy, drizzly London here. I can’t help being jealous—it’s been so long since I’ve had an entire winter of snow. I wonder if magic people have winter sports…

When I get home, dinner has already been cooked and both roommates gone. It’s not uncommon, really. Harry’s not social and Ron’s gone so much. In a way, it reminds me of the first month living here. It was like I lived on my own. The only difference between then and now is that there’s actual, edible food being cooked.

I wash all the dishes and head into my room. My suit’s still hanging up outside the armoire from Valentines. It was a nice night, quiet and private. I wish I could say intimate, given that by the exact definition of the word it was, but the popular recognition of the word…it wasn’t and I never expected it to be. It did get a bit heady from making out, but we held back. God it was hard. It’s been getting harder and harder. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the shower and sneaking a few chapters of my hidden novels every now and then.

I walk over to the suit and slip my fingers under the lapel. I wish dates didn’t have to end, going home from Okashi, away from her arms and her lips and her cute, sweet laugh. I come home to an empty apartment, pretty much. I’d love to be able to come home to her. How long do I have to wait?

My gaze trails down the suit and stops at the sleeve. There’s a small hole in it I hadn’t noticed before. I cringe and lift up the sleeve, looking closer at it. Neddy is going to kill me. I guess I should take it over to him so he can fix it.

I think the thought before I even realize, before I remember when I stopped by Blaise’s house months ago.

Kevin Acres [userpic]

A Private Talk

January 27th, 2011 (10:38 pm)

current location: Okashi's Family Home
current mood: nervous

A Private TalkCollapse )

Kevin Acres [userpic]

Trip to Tokyo

November 9th, 2010 (02:01 am)
Tags: ,

current location: Tokyo, Japan
current mood: excited

Trip to TokyoCollapse )

Kevin Acres [userpic]

Birthday biscuits...um, I mean cookies

October 11th, 2010 (02:24 am)
Tags: ,

"Happy Birthday."

I settled down on the couch in front of the huge care package Tyler, Mom, and Greg had sent me. I'd put off opening it until I got a call from any one of them. Talking to them while opening things, I get the hometown-sickness over with in one shot. I miss seeing them and talking to them all the time, but if I'm not looking at something from them or hearing their voices over the phone, I don't really notice it.

Birthday chatCollapse )

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