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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2023 6:29 pm 
Power Pro Legend
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Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:43 am
Posts: 6444
Location: Yes
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Wii and DS
Favorite Japanese title: (PS3) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011
December 31, 2036
SKY Waikiki, Honolulu
11:59 PM


The music faded as Kenma and I pushed our way closer to the deck’s railing. The Waikiki Bay’s waters were still, save for one barge floating atop them patiently waiting for the final seconds of 2036 to tick by.

Yuki appeared behind us, Coconut Girl in hand. She passed her to me. We took off our masks and left them on a nearby table.

Though the rum tasted a bit cheap, the first sip was marvelous. I was transported straight to a summer day spent lazing by a lake.

Why? I wasn’t sure. I certainly hadn’t spent any time relaxing by a lake.

But wow. 2036 is in the books… What a weird year this was.

I took my second sip, just as strong as the first

I almost can’t believe it. Everything that’s happened… I never would’ve expected to be here of all places. Well, in Hawaii at a party firstly - absolutely wouldn’t have imagined that happening. But everything else - the new job, the new apartment, sitting in the executive box at Blue Stadium… it’s like every single one of my dreams has come true.

A third sip was --

BOOOOM

January 1, 2037
SKY Waikiki, Honolulu
12:00 AM


“HAAAPPY NEW YEAAAAAR!” The crowd erupted in cheer
Kenma and Miyuki were screaming along with them
“Happy New Year, Ryu.” Miyuki clinked her Coconut Girl with mine
“Happy New Year!”
“HAPPY NEW YEAR!” Kenma downed the remaining half of his Blonde Bikini, or whatever it was called. “Aahhhh… Check it out, man! Look at this!”

He gestured wildly to the fireworks coming from the bay. Each one covering the sky in color and illuminating all below for a fleeting second.

BOOM

Off went another.

Everything I ever wanted. To be in with an NPB team… I made it. I finally made it.

BABOOM

It was all a bit surreal

But why doesn’t it all feel right? What a cliche question that was. Why don’t I feel happy about it?

SZZZZZZzzzz….

A streamer flew across the sky, whistling as it passed. The crowd “ooooh”’d as was mandated.

I guess I’m still just nervous. Or maybe it’s that I feel like I don’t deserve this. Why was I chosen for the Foxes job? I mean, rationally, it doesn’t make sense - an immediate outside hire mid-season? That’s just weird. But, I got it, right? Or was it because of Laisei? Has everything always been because of Lais--

A slap on my back snapped me from my head.
“You’ve got that thinkin’ look on ya.” Kenma’s hand stayed on my back, “Take a *(censored)* break, huh? Tonight of all nights, man. Just look at all of this.”

He again gestured broadly to Waikiki, which now stood so far below us.

I took a breath. And, after looking out to the horizon since stepping on the deck, I finally saw it.

It was beautiful. The Diamond Head Crater looming to our left, the skyline of Honolulu at our feet, the Pacific spread beyond the horizon. Its waters stained a brilliant red or blue or gold for but a moment with each explosion in the sky.

I looked further. Into the windows of the high-rises, where shadows danced behind their shades. To the barge, where specks could be seen flitting to and fro tending to each of the cannons before firing off another flower. To the street, now 60 meters below us, where cars and vans and trucks moved along their paths. To the people walking below, each filled with thoughts and life and hopes and dreams. To the streets themselves, vines across the floor of a concrete jungle.

I looked to the city of Honolulu and saw it. A breathing, beating, living organism. The city was alive. Full of people, of cars, of boats, of fish, of birds, of drinks, of lights. Of everything.

BOOOOM

Another firework.

I know I overthink these things all the time. I can’t help myself… This job is what I’ve always wanted. Or, well, at least always since I realized I’d never make it past high school ball, heheh.

I made it. With the help of so many, and with so many fortunate breaks, I finally made it. It’s not because of Laisei, but thanks to him. And thanks to so so many others, that I was able to grow enough to be ready for this opportunity.

Sure, it hasn’t exactly gone to plan--


BAABOOOOOM

--but… if I keep working. Things will work out. They always do.

The stream of fireworks peppering the sky increased in their frequency, eventually reaching a crescendo completely draping the city and all in it in lights and I could finally see it:

Me.

Smiling at the beauty unfolding in front of me. Finally, even if only for a moment, contented and comfortable.

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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2024 6:26 pm 
Power Pro Legend
Power Pro Legend
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:43 am
Posts: 6444
Location: Yes
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Wii and DS
Favorite Japanese title: (PS3) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011
January 1, 2037
SKY Waikiki, Honolulu
12:46 AM


After the climax of the surprisingly long 30-minute fireworks extravaganza, Miyuki, Kenma, and I retreated to the now slightly-less-filled-but-still-just-as-purple lounge. We were lucky enough to find a set of large chairs unoccupied along the side wall and began chatting, an activity that for the three of us was disappointingly rare.

During a lull in the conversation, Miyuki reached over and patted me on the head. She said my name with a soft smile in between sips of her Coconut Girl. “I don’t know if you remember this,” she started, “but when you were probably like, what was it… 7?”
“Aomori?” Kenma cut in, already knowing the direction of Miyuki’s thought. She nodded.
“When you were 7, so this is like 2012, Kenma and I took you to the Nebuta in Aomori during the summer.”

She took another sip of her Coconut Girl.
I did the same.

“It was just a couple weeks before I turned 16, so I managed to talk mother and father into letting me take you and Kenma up to Aomori for a long weekend out. Just the three of us.”

Kenma laughed. Almost an involuntary reflex, “Ahh… yeah. ‘Managed to talk.’ You had to like beg them to let you to take one *(censored)*’ day off.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Miyuki waved him off and turned her attention back to me, “Let’s just say that it took a lot of ‘talking.’”

Kenma’s head fell. “And…..”

“....and a fair bit of crying as well.”

Kenna rolled his eyes.

Miyuki took another sip of her Coconut Girl, now surely nearing its end.

“ANYWAYS. By some stroke of magic (or more likely my otherworldly charm),” she winked, “I managed to get our parents to agree to let me take you and Kenma to Aomori for the Nebuta Festival as an early birthday present to myself.”

“Lord knows they weren’t going to get you anything.” Kenma interjected.

“Oh no, they actually liked me, so…” Miyuki responded.

“Haha.”

“Do you remember any of this, Ryu?” Miyuki pulled out her phone as she asked.

I didn’t remember it at all.

“Uh… Maybe a bit? I dunno…”

“Oh… What a shame.” She flipped her phone around to show me a video. It was a bit grainy. “Before my damn fool self knew about cloud saves, I used to—now this is really stupid—I used to manually record videos I had saved on an old phone whenever I got a new one. Check this one out.”

A splash of orange slowly crept across the top of the screen. The rest filled with backpacks and legs moving about.

“This video was one you took.”
“Yeah?”
“Yeah. 2012, August 5th. It was a Sunday. Even though it’s only of everyone in front of you’s asses, I’ve always loved this video.”

Suddenly, the focus of the video changed - quickly spinning to the right, all a blur, pixel-crushed. The face of a boy wearing a backwards baseball cap could be made out looking down at the phone’s camera. He pointed at it with a wink and a crooked smile.

Even through the compression -- there’s no mistaking Kenma.

Leaning behind him was a girl in a t-shirt. As soon as her eyes caught the camera’s gaze, she closed them tight, smiled as wide as she could, and waved as if her hand was about to pop off.

Yuki…

The camera then whipped back to the left before abruptly cutting off.

“...” I kept looking at the screen, “That’s it?”
“That’s it.” Miyuki took the final sip of her Coconut Girl. I took another long sip of mine in step. She continued, “Just a little vid of Kenma, me, and a whole lotta ass.” She laughed. “I think, though… Or no, actually I know: This was the first time we really, like, ‘hung out.’ Just us three. Certainly the first time you saw fireworks.”

“You were so scared, dude.” Kenma added with a laugh of his own, “Crushing my hand like a *(censored)* vice.”
“I was?”
“Oh yeah. Shaking, sniffing, crying, hahaha”

“You were pretty scared, Ryu.” Miyuki put her phone back in her clutch. “But still… It was a great night.” She sighed, “I feel like I didn’t even really know you. Back then, mother and father always kept you so separate from Kenma and I.”
“Didn’t want to *(censored)* up their perfect child with you and didn’t want to *(censored)* Ryu up with me. Probably.” Kenma said without looking at either of us. His relationship with our parents was, in all likelihood, unmendable.
“Probably.” Miyuki, surprisingly, agreed.

Then again, despite the music blaring, there was quiet.

“It must’ve been great.” I endeavored to break it. “I’m sorry I don’t remember…”
“Hmh, me too.” Miyuki said with a sad smile. “Kenma - you remember that tiny hotel we stayed at? What was it called? Something like… Style… Uh…”
“OH! I do. It was uh… ‘Smile Hotel,’ I think. Ryu and I had to share that bed. Felt like I could palm both walls if I spread my arms all the way out hahahah. They did have that buffet though.”
“Oh yeah! They did, didn’t they? Hmm... That was so long ago now… Feel like that trip and the Knights game you scored free tickets to were the only times we were with each other when we were young.” Miyuki’s stare was vacant. “It sucks.”
“Yeah.” Kenma continued to avert his gaze, “It does suck.”

What sucks even more is that I don’t remember this Aomori trip at all. This seems to have been a formative memory for both Yuki and Kenma, and yet… I don’t remember it at all. But I was there. There’s even a video to prove it.

I took another sip of my Coconut Girl, the final sip, savoring every moment of it.

And yet. As hard as I may try, I’ve got nothing. It makes me wonder, really, how much I’ve forgotten. I really don’t remember all that much from when I was younger. Just an image of a cold, empty house here and there. Miyuki studying away in her room and Kenma off with his “friends.” Mother and father never really said all that much to us either, other than a scolding. I don’t know if they even said all that much to each other, now that I think about it. I wonder if they even liked each other… What was I thinking about when I took that video? What was I looking forward to? Nervous about? I have no idea. Without that video, or without Yuki and Kenma remembering, it’s like all of that never even happened. I wonder, are we who we are because of our memories? If I forgot everything I ever did one morning, would I be the same person from then on? Would I act the same? Like the same things? Wou--

“Yo, Ryu.” Kenma slapped me on the shoulder and gave me a knowing look.
“Yeah… I just went ‘thinko mode.’”
Kenma laughed, “Come on man,” He got to his feet, pulled up his pants, exclaimed: “let’s go drinko mode!” and sauntered over to the bar.

After my… I think 5 piña coladas, I had been in drinko mode for enough of the night. Kenma was alone on his voyage to the bar.

I looked at Miyuki, my wonderful sister, who I didn’t even really know until she was already in her 30s, as she laughed at our brother’s silly walk up to the bar for his, assuredly, 80th beer of the night. I looked too and couldn’t help but laugh.

It may have taken a long time, most of our lives it seems, but I could not be more fortunate to have these two as my family.

--bzzbzz--

“Hmm?”

_________________
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Money can't buy life


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 Post subject: Re: The New Knights | The Osaka Foxes
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2024 5:52 pm 
Power Pro Legend
Power Pro Legend
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:43 am
Posts: 6444
Location: Yes
Favorite Team: Red Sox
Console '07: Nintendo Wii
Console '08: Wii and DS
Favorite Japanese title: (PS3) Jikkyou Powerful Pro Yakyuu 2011
January 1, 2037
SKY Waikiki, Honolulu
1:00 AM


--bzzbzz--

“Hmm?” I felt my phone buzzing in my pocket. A text message

塚田綴美 [Tsuzumi Tsukada]
1:00
[Aloha! Happy Hawaii New Year, Ryu! ٩( ᐛ )و]

It was Tsuzumi! Wishing me a happy new year… Well, almost. She was a little late.

“And who might that be texting you at this hour, Mr. Azuma?” Miyuki stuck her nose out in my direction, trying to sneak a peek at my screen.

“Ohoho… Tsukada? …How would you read that first name?”
“Tsuzumi.”
“Tsuzumiiii.” A wry smile snuck its way onto her face. “And who is this Tsuzumi?”
“She’s uh… friend. Met her when I was with the Knights.”
“A friend. Hmm, okay.”

Kenma came back with another Bikini Blonde in hand. In one fluid motion, he took a swig and fell into his seat.

“Ahhhhh, man! This some good stuff.” He looked to Miyuki and I, both of our attention on my screen. “Everything all right over there?”

“Oh, yes.” Miyuki said, finger tapping her cheek, “Ryu just got a text.”
“Uh… Okay.” Kenma took another sip of his flaxen beer. “Who from?”
Miyuki looked at me.

“...Tsuzumi?” I said, not really thinking this was worth the conversation.
“Tsuzumi?” Kenma raised an eyebrow, “Who’s that?”
“She’s a friend.” Miyuki replied with a smile
“A friend.” Kenma took another sip. “Well, well…” He chuckled beneath his breath
“...What?” I was a bit tired of the run around. (And honestly a bit tired, period. It was way past my bedtime). Why are they so worked up about this?

“Dude.” Kenma took a swig as if it was his job, “Duuuuhhhde…”
“Huh?” I said without thinking
Miyuki nodded. “Oh wow! Look at all these text bubbles!” She snatched my phone and turned it to Kenma.
“Hey!”
“Hey, yeah!” Kenma started swiping through. “Good shit, man.” He laughed

Miyuki turned my phone back to me.
“Well.” She spun her hands, “say it back.”
“Oh, right.”

東龍 [Ryu Azuma]
1:06
[Happy New Year!]

塚田綴美 [Tsuzumi Tsukada]
1:07
[Hope you’re enjoying your Hawaiian expedition! ☺️]

東龍 [Ryu Azuma]
1:08
[it’s great over here! i’ll send over some pics once i get back home. dont want to blow up my data lol]

塚田綴美 [Tsuzumi Tsukada]
1:10
[oooh, I can’t wait to see! always have wanted to visit there]

“Yooooo, send her the pic I took of you in DA BLASTZONE” Kenma piped up
Preferring to retain at least a bit of decorum, I chose to ignore him

東龍 [Ryu Azuma]
1:10
[it’s a blast]
[you should def head over]

塚田綴美 [Tsuzumi Tsukada]
1:11
[maybe someday lol]
[have fuuuuun!!]

“Ryu.” Miyuki took her head from its position peering over my shoulder, “That’s a lot of ‘u’s”
“What are you, like, 15?”
“Come on now. Kenma,” Miyuki turned to our brother, his eyes heavy and stomach heavier considering the amount of Bikini Blondes he’d downed

“Huh?”
“Back me up here.”
“Ryu. Man. She’s down. Make the puuuulll” Kenma leaned back further in his chair, closing his eyes. Lights out…

“Come on, you guys don’t even kno--”
“Ryu.” Miyuki cut me off.
“Well, I don’t know if it’s all th--”
Miyuki gave me a look over the bridge of her nose.
“...Well, uhh…”
“Ryu, look. I’m sorry to be so… intrusive. Honestly, though I dunno. Could be something more there, yeah?”

I was surprised. Where would she have gotten this from? “Something more…” What does that mean? …



…is there?


No, no. There wasn’t. Of course there wasn’t

But is there?

“Come on.” Miyuki stood up with a huff, “Ooohhh… I’m tired as hell and Kenma’s asleep. Let’s get back to the hotel.”

Miyuki and I peeled Kenma off of his chair and called a taxi to take us back to the hotel.

It pulled up and pulled us back to our rooms

What a day. What a trip! Man, I cannot wait to get some sleep… Oh, and I need to set a reminder to send Tsuzu some pictures

…Tsuzumi, I mean.

_________________
My lovely YouTube

Money can't buy life


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