Mitsuhide hated working long hours. It was something he
rarely had to do anymore as every one helped out because he had Sakura. He was
sitting in the meeting which had now become a one up feast for every one there.
As he listened to the rest of the bicker about the petty things about their
jobs and how they would rather be at home with their girlfriends or in a few
cases their wives. He thought it was an ironic twist of fate that he was the
only one with a child. This was not how he had pictured his life.
After the meeting every one including those that had completely
scoffed at the idea of being at work late decided to head to the local bar to
grab a drink. “Come on.” One of his co-workers said.
“Thank you but no.” he replied though he could use a drink after
the day he had. “I have to get home.”
“And how many times do you have a sitter?” the guy
countered, “Or when was the last time you had a date?”
“The sitter is from Sakura’s day care and as for a date. I am
not like the rest of you.” He said and even to his own ears it sounded pathetic.
“Look I have a kid that changes things slightly.”
“Well if it means you sit alone in a house with a three year
old as your company then I will have to take a hard pass.” The guy said as he
looked at Mitsuhide.
Mitsuhdie had thought of that himself. It was about time for
him to find someone or something to relieve this ache he had for the small
woman who worked at the daycare. After his disastrous phone call earlier he was
dreading going home to relieve her from watching Sakura. The fact he wanted the
small woman in ways he could not remember wanting anything before made him
completely tongue tied when she was around. His legendary way with words flew
out the window and he was a stammering mess.
He tried to plan out the conversation when he got out of the
car when he pulled into his driveway. He saw the car out front and his heart
began to race. He just knew he was going to look even more stupid with anything
he planned to do. He got out of the car and up to the door. He could see a
faint light from where the television was on. He looked down at his phone and
he hoped that Sakura had not refused to go to sleep for Kristy.
When he opened the door and shut it behind him he made his
way down the hall to the main room of the house. Kristy and Sakura were on the
couch both passed out with the television on as background noise. He just stood
there looking at the two of them. His heart was still doing triple time in his
chest just at the sight.
Kristy blinked her eyes open. “Oh your home.”
Her voice laced with tiredness.
“I just walked in.” he said softly as he went over and
picked up his daughter off of her. He turned and brought Sakura upstairs to her
room and laid her down gently. He tucked her in. He blew out a breath and went
back down stairs to face the woman who had given up her night so he could work.
“Did you have a nice meeting, Mr. Akechi?” Kristy said.
“Why do you call the other parents by their name but me by
Mr.?” he asked as he looked at her.
“I don’t know.” Kristy said with a smile.
“Please call me Mitsuhide.” He said.
“Alright.” She said as she looked up at him.
“How was she?” he asked.
“Sakura is a wonderful child.” She said. “We watched a movie
and I cooked her dinner. Nothing fancy but I made some for you too.”
“You did?” he asked. She waved to the table and he saw the
plate that was there waiting for him. he hadn’t even realized he was hungry
until he saw it.
“Did you get everything done in your meetings?” she asked.
“No.” he replied, “unfortunately not many people were ready
for them. We have to redo our yearly budget and the reports were due last week
but no one went over them like they should have. It might take all week. I don’t
have to go to all of the meetings though if I can’t find someone to watch her. I
happen to be the only single parent who works in the building.”
“I can watch her when ever mister” she started to say and
then a smile broke out, “Mitsuhide. I mean if you being there can help the meetings
or your department it is no trouble. Like I said Sakura is a delight.”
“Are we talking about the same child?” he asked. “Mine is a
horned little monster.”
“She is not.” Kristy said as she laughed. “Actually I was
wondering if we could talk about her for a minute.”
“Sure.” He said as he looked at the food, “Do you mind if I eat
while we talk?”
“No please, eat.” She said as she moved to the chair and sat
down next to him as he sat at the table. “Sakura is beyond bright and she can
read people better than most adults but a piece of her is not as developed.”
“What do you mean?” he asked now slightly concerned.
“Mitsuhide you have been a wonderful father to her. That shows
in everything she does. She needs more female exposure though.” Kristy said. “She
wore herself out by watching princess movies and playing dress up because as
she said she never did before.”
“I never thought of that.” He said as he thought about what
she was saying.
“I know you took her on because of the situation you were
placed in and no one else, not even my aunt, knows the extent of that. You didn’t
plan for this but you made the best of it. I want to help, if I can. I like
Sakura a lot. She reminds me of me when I was that age. I can help with all the
girl stuff but only if it is okay with you, of course.” Kristy said as she met
his eyes as he thought about what she had just said.
“You will help with her?” he asked.
“I would like too.” Kristy said.
“Can I ask why you want to?” he asked.
“Like I said Sakura reminds me of me. I was three when we
moved from Brazil to here. Though both of my parents were Americans I didn’t speak
a lick of English. My nannies were all Brazilian so I didn’t have anyone when I
came here. My brothers and sisters all spoke different languages as well. My
father worked all the time and my mother was to self absorbed to notice that
her kids were even there. I didn’t have anyone until Ruth came along.” Kristy
said, “I understand what it is like to be different from everyone else. I might
as well not had a mother either. I want to make sure Sakura doesn’t have to go
through the weird stages of life without someone other than you to talk too. Does
that make sense?”
“Yes it does.” He replied. “I would be grateful for the help.”
“Good. I think that watching her a day or two a week would
be a good start and then you can have some free time as well. Who knows you
could find someone and then well you wouldn’t need me anymore.” She said though
she was still smiling it seemed to fade as she said that.
“Kristy?” he asked very softly.
“Yes?” she replied.
“Would you like to go out to dinner with me and Sakura on Friday?”
he asked. She looked at him with wide eyes and then her smile grew.
“I would like that.” She said.
“Just so we are clear on what it is.” He started. “I am
asking you out on a date.”
“I know that Mitsuhide.” Kristy said with a grin.
“I just wanted to be clear.” He said as he chuckled. “I
haven’t asked anyone out in a very long time.”
“oh really? Like three years?” Kristy volunteered.
“More like five or six.” He said. He let out a breath and tried
to school his features to not show his excitement for the end of the week.
“I have no idea why.” Kristy replied.
“I am sure you want to get home.” He said softly.
“Actually I hate going to my townhouse.” She said. “But I am
sure that you have things to do.”
“Would you like to stay and watch something?” he asked. It wasn’t
completely late. He knew he had a late start in the morning anyway because of
the meetings running late.
“Sure.” She said. They both got up and walked the ten feet
to the main area and they both sat on the couch. They flipped for a few minutes
through the channels and soon found some cooking show that she seemed to be
interested in. she was talking about trying something when he noticed she was quiet
for a few minutes. He also felt the weight on his shoulder. He looked down and
saw she was asleep again and this time she fell asleep on him. he slid his arm
around her to make her more comfortable and about a half an hour she woke up again
and looked up to him. “Sorry about that.”
She tried to sit up without his arm around her but he kept
it right there. “There is nothing to be sorry about. Sakura tells me all the
time I am the best pillow.” He chuckled.
“I just meant.” She said and he turned his golden eagle eyes
“Shhh. Kristy it is fine.” He said. “If you want to go back
“I should be going.” She said as she stood up.
“I will see you in a few hours then.” He said as he walked
her to her car. “Thank you again for watching her.”
“Anytime.” She said with her trademarked smile. He watched
her drive off and thought to himself this wasn’t the worst night like he
thought it would be. He even somehow managed to ask her out. He was on cloud
nine as he walked back into the house and went to go get ready for bed. He was
happy for the idea he finally did it and asked someone out again. He made him
even happier that the woman he couldn’t get out of his head had said yes. The fact
she also cared for his daughter was the biggest bonus to him. he found sleep
easy enough as he let everything float away from the day. He had four days to
plan a night to remember.