Sunday, 12 July 2015

Chapter three (segment two), 2016, August, James

That was an ugly stunt you pulled on them. Nakagawa you arse! James brought another cup of espresso to a waiting suit. The resort lacked a professional barista, and given the latest guests sorely needed one. He had taken it upon himself to help Christina's grandfather make a good impression, and thus it was that he found himself in a white uniform better suited for a high end Tokyo coffee house than this old fashioned holiday resort.

The suit took the coffee without as much as giving him a glance. Gotta love my own place. I can talk with my customers there.

James walked to the bar where he could prepare the next order. All over the dining hall waitresses in faux kimonos served beers and stronger beverages while trying to hide the tired faces that came with waiting on tables for too many years.

The old goat, and in this case it really was an old goat, wasn't traditional enough to force his staff to work in the real deal. A kimono would have been suffocating in August. Thinking of him made James feel like a little kid. He's a hundred, bloody hell! Those were subjective years of course. He looked forty, just like the Wakayama parents he had attended school together with. They were at Himekaizen at the same time I was the first time. But in this world, not the other one where I lived.

James' thoughts were reaching the point where he was about to play the 'what if' game when a young woman strode into the hall. She had the looks of royalty inspecting her subjects, and it took a few seconds before he realised it was Christina who had entered. He heard the collective sigh as faces turned in her direction as if commanded to.

She's out of my league. That's not just ten years more experience of living. Damn, she'll eat the poor bastards alive!

“Gentlemen, I'm here to make certain you've brought your bathing trunks. Tomorrow's sessions will start on the beach.”

Surprised murmurs echoed between the tables until one of the more senior members of the assembly rose to address her. “Young lady, what is the meaning of this?”

She seemed totally unperturbed by his haughty voice and just sent him a condescending glare. “My name is Ageruman Kuritina, and I'm the CEO of Chag, an associate of TAP.”


“Twin Arc Production, management consulting,” she clarified in a voice that clearly told them all what she thought of anyone in such poor contact with reality that he was unaware of the obvious.

James choked down a laugh and looked at where old Nakagawa sat. The old geezer almost spluttered his coffee over the table and looked like he was about to have a heart attack. Suits you! The kids take care of their own, and they're doing a damn good job at it. Hot damn, she's superb!

“If anyone of you have forgot to bring bathing clothes mister Nakagawa,” she shot a look at the principal, “will be more than willing to rectify the mistake.”

James turned to make a cup of espresso no-one had ordered. He shook with laughter and glee. Sucker! She's got you now! He shook his head in amazement. Well, when she's angry enough her Japanese is almost perfect. Good to know.

When he turned to face the dining hall again Nakagawa had regained his composure and had risen to bow affirmatively.

“Session starts after breakfast at nine hundred hours. Any questions?”

I thought that Ulf guy was bad, but damn she's the bakemono! Billion dollar empress, hell yeah! James loaded his cups onto a tray and made his rounds. He made certain to give Nakagawa the first cup, which had cooled down enough to merit being thrown into the sink.

James watched Nakagawa grimace as he took a sip. It was petty, but James felt like being petty. What the old geezer had put the kids through was awful, and that he had the audacity to pull more surprises on them right now was just that more aggravating. It didn't matter that two of the kids were in their fifties subjectively. They still felt and reacted like the teens they looked like.

“Sir, anything else?” he asked as he watched Christina leave the hall. She was up to something, but exactly what James couldn't guess.

When he received an affirmative followed by the tired wave only someone in middle management used he nodded and headed for the counter. I hope you pull it off, whatever it is you're trying to do.

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