Chapter 114:

Interlude: My Parents

The Y-files [GL]

Tory's povBookmark here

Now that Lisa had hired Sam, I finally did not have to feel guilty to work fewer shifts. That had given me more time to practice. After that concert, expectations for me had risen exponentially, so I had to make sure that I could deliver on those.Bookmark here

After Satie, I started practicing Chopin's nocturnes which were incredibly difficult to play with the size of my hands. At the same time, I needed to focus on keeping the locomotive movement going which Chopin is so well known for.Bookmark here

I was finally starting to get into a flow when my phone brought me out of my concentration. I looked happily at the screen, thinking it might be Mari, but the name flashing on the screen was giving me a scare. “Mom”Bookmark here

Why was she calling me? It should be the middle of the night in Japan. Did something happen? I quickly picked up the phone.Bookmark here

“Your dad and I are at the brasserie where you work. Come over will you?” Mom sounded really curt. Why was she here without even telling me something, and why was she with dad? They haven't seen each other in ages.Bookmark here

“I'll come right away.” I wanted to find out more, but mom put down her phone already. I guess it was really expensive to call me with her Japanese phone when she was in Belgium.Bookmark here

What the hell could be going on, in a hurry I put on some clothes, grabbed my handbag, and made my way to Femme Fatale.Bookmark here

When I arrived, I could see my parents sitting together at a table. I went over, and said “What happened? Why did you not call me to say you were coming?”Bookmark here

Dad looked at me and said “Your mom insisted that I come. She said this was an intervention. I still have no idea what this is about though.”Bookmark here

Mom looked angry at me. I saw her gathering her breath. When she was like this, I knew a storm was coming. The only problem was that I had no idea what I did wrong, what was urgent enough to fly over, and force my dad to come all the way from the states too?Bookmark here

“You told us you were here to study. Not to mess around!” Mom was clearly seething with anger.Bookmark here

“What do you mean? I am working really hard for my career!”Bookmark here

Mom whacked a magazine on the table. It was the latest edition of Collegium Musicum. I looked happy at the magazine. So it was out. That must mean Rita's article was in thereBookmark here

It seemed I even made the cover of the international edition. But why was mom angry? This is a huge boost for my career as a professional musician.Bookmark here

I leafed through it to find the article.Bookmark here

There was a picture of Claire and me posing together, with a small sub-article: “Even outside of the music industry, Tory Yaki has famous friends, like the internationally renowned Yuri Jeanne D'Arc, whose name has been mentioned to be nominated as a Nobel prize candidate for her work on LGBTQ+ acceptance everywhere.”Bookmark here

Mom aggressively turned the page and had an outraged look on her face.Bookmark here

It was a large picture of Mari and me. In Thea's outfits.Bookmark here

“Tory Yaki and her girlfriend Mari Nade, after her performance at Bozar dressed by fashion icon Thea Tralic.” That got a smile on my face. Mari was so cute in that picture.Bookmark here

The article pictured me as a hardworking student, an upcoming talented pianist, and a pillar of the lesbian community. It even complimented me on my versatility and the fact that I gave jazz concerts at Femme Fatale every Friday.Bookmark here

Seeing me look happily at the magazine made mom explode.Bookmark here

“You are here to work! Not to publicly shame me and your family by showing off your perversity in an international magazine! I can't believe I had to hear about this from your uncle!”Bookmark here

I could not believe what she just said. She was ashamed of me because of Mari?Bookmark here

“Mom, I love Mari very much, and she supports me while I am working hard. My relationship is not getting in between me and my goals.”Bookmark here

“You are ending this idiocy now, or we are cutting off your funds.”Bookmark here

This was terrible. If she made hard on that argument, I would probably have to move back to Japan after this school year. I would not even be able to afford my apartment, and I needed an apartment where I could practice.Bookmark here

Dad sat there quietly. I remember him always just saying nothing when mom got angry. That didn't seem to have changed. The argument between mom and me escalated, and she started to threaten to force me to go back to Japan.Bookmark here

“Like hell, that I will allow that to happen!” Mari suddenly stood at our table, still in her chef outfit holding a knife. I had not seen her come over.Bookmark here

I started laughing at how this scene must look. I decided to ignore my mom for a second and got up and moved over to Mari's side and said “Mom, Dad, meet my girlfriend. This is Mari.” I quickly whispered to Mari to put the knife away. She looked at her hands and quickly put it down on the table. “Sorry.” She said while turning a little red. God, she was really too cute. Completely irresistible!Bookmark here

Mom was completely flushed. “W-What do you think you are doing! And in public of all places! ”Bookmark here

“I won't break up. I've never been so happy as with Mari by my side. If you take my funding so be it.” I said.Bookmark here

I saw mom wanted to lash out, and I prepared for the worst, but suddenly a fist hammered loud on the table.Bookmark here

The whole establishment was looking at us. Of course, they were. Almost all the customers were lesbian couples, and someone just shouted some of the most homophobic stuff that has been uttered in this place since god knows when.Bookmark here

I looked at where the sound of the fist banging the table had come from. Dad was really seething with anger. I don't think I ever saw him this angry. I expected this to be the end of being supported by my parents to study here, but he said “Don't go make decisions all by yourself. Mari is happy, and this article is a real honor. What more do you want for our daughter?”Bookmark here

Mom was clearly perplexed that dad had taken our side.Bookmark here

“But our family and friends, what will they say?”Bookmark here

“Let them, I feel an obligation to provide my daughter with everything she needs to become happy and face the world. Other people be damned, if they have something against that, I will be sure to give them a piece of my mind. This is about Mari, and not about you.”Bookmark here

Dad was really ranting away. Mom became very small.Bookmark here

He turned toward Mari and said “It's been ages since I saw my daughter smile like that. You better keep that smile on her face, or you will have to deal with me!”Bookmark here

“Dad!”Bookmark here

I was glad that he was supporting us, but this just turned hyper-embarrassing.Bookmark here

“I see” Mother got her things and started to leave. Before she left, she said, “Don't bother coming to visit as long as you are with that blue-haired delinquent.”Bookmark here

“Mari is a chef in her own right and has just gotten a contract to be the boss in her own restaurant. She is not a delinquent but a hardworking member of society.”Bookmark here

“Hmph. Whatever.” Mom just left.Bookmark here

The rejection by my mother really hurt. It reminded me of being rejected by Arisu. When someone close to you does not accept the way you want to live, it really hurts. Why could she not be happy for me?Bookmark here

Mari hugged me and said, “She'll come around. I am sure she will. She was just shocked and acted on impulse. No need to give up yet.”Bookmark here

I looked her in the eyes, and nodded “Mhm, we will make her see.” Mari was being sweet and telling me what I needed to hear at that moment, so I hugged and kissed her.Bookmark here

“Wow, your dad is still here you know!” Dad joked.Bookmark here

The both of us smiled and looked a bit shy at him.Bookmark here

“I suppose your mom will stop paying for her part of your studies and stay here in Belgium.” He then said suddenly in an aggrieved tone.Bookmark here

“I wish I could, but I really can't afford to put you up here by myself.”Bookmark here

I felt down again. This would be the end of my dreams, wouldn't it?Bookmark here

“Then how about if I move into your place? That way we would save a lot wouldn't we? We spend the time at each other's place the entire time anyway.”Bookmark here

I looked at dad to see if he would agree to this. He paid the rent after all. He gently nodded. I gave both of them a big hug.Bookmark here

Mari had saved me, and we would be moving in together. I felt really happy about that, but at the same time I wished that this could have happened under happier circumstances, and I sincerely hoped that my mom would one day accept us.Bookmark here

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