By noon even the most die-hard party-goers from the night before had woken up. A few nurtured a serious hangover, but youngsters these days normally didn't have to be told to avoid alcohol. For them that was the drink of old people, which made parenthood a lot easier.
Noriko's oldest, however had chosen to make an exception to that rule and apparently stole a bottle of strong liquor sometime during the night.
Christina watched him receive a verbal lashing of an epic scale from his mother. He deserved it, and it had to hurt twice as bad given his headache.
James, keep your kids in check! Because the real perpetrator had to be one of James' two kids. Around twenty both of them but with the sensibilities of high schoolers. Mix with an easygoing aura and it made for a bad combination.
Noriko, my friend, we grew apart in the end, didn't we? And yet Christina still considered Noriko one of her best friends. Throughout these last twenty five years they'd shared the most important moments, not all of them good, but important nonetheless. For very different reasons both were relatively young mothers, which was a mixed blessing to those kids.
Smiling Christina looked at the main reason why Noriko's son had chosen to drink himself into a stupor. Her daughter who stood on the hilltop looking down.
Sorry kiddo. I know you have a crush on her, but she's in love with someone else.
Noriko's son accepted the last of her scolding and threw Christina's daughter a sullen look. Then his face twisted into rage and when Christina turned she saw her daughter's boyfriend climbing up the hill.
It hurts, I know it does, but at least you have the blessing of your parents to love and hurt for all you're worth. Savour that freedom!