A Strange (and Annoying) Gift [Solo] Oct 30, 2018 1:29:05 GMT
Post by Maria Wellington on Oct 30, 2018 1:29:05 GMT
Dinner was quiet that night. Of course, Maria had grown used to that. Her parents were usually too busy working to have dinner with their only daughter, leaving Maria to sit at the big table alone, picking at her food (thankfully, they still ate actual American food in the house) while Annabelle and Geoffrey stood off to the side, picking up used plates and refilling Maria’s water without even being asked. It was like clockwork, only instead of ticking, it was silverware clinking against fine china and glasses tapping against the table.
Tonight should have been different, though. Tonight, both of her parents were actually home, sharing a meal with their daughter for the first time in who knew how long. But it wasn’t different. It was still too quiet; her mom and dad both looked like they were zoning out as they ate. Part of Maria wanted to say something, break the awkward silence and make everything go back to normal. The rest of her didn’t think her parents deserved to be talked to.
Three weeks hadn’t been enough time for Maria to stop being upset over the move to Japan. It hadn’t been fair. One day, she’d been at her home in America, where she belonged, enjoying life, going to school and hanging out with her friends, actually being in a familiar environment… and then the next day, her family had packed up and shipped off to Japan, leaving Maria in a strange new world, separated from her friends by an entire ocean and separated from her new classmates and, heck, everyone around her by an entirely new language that she still didn’t get. Okay, maybe it was more fair to say that she didn’t want to get the new language. Why did she have to learn Japanese? That’s what translators were for. Besides, she wouldn’t even be worrying about Japanese if her parents had just stayed in America like they should have.
Stupid. It was all stupid, but there wasn’t any point in saying that out loud. She’d just hear the same lectures again—assuming her parents even cared enough to give her one.
She almost didn’t notice her dad speak up: “So, Maria. How’s school been?”
“Fine,” was Maria’s automatic answer, said without looking up from her plate. No one replied at first. Maria thought that was the end of it, but then her mother spoke up:
“You know, if you’re having trouble, we can always hire you a tutor. I know it must be hard adjusting to your new school and all, but you’re a smart girl—I know you’ll do wonderfully once you set your mind to it.”
“I don’t need a tutor.”
More silence, this time broken by her father clearing his throat. “Maria, there’s no need to be embarrassed if you’re not doing well. You just need some time to get used to things. Is Japanese still giving you trouble?”
Maria would have been fine if this silence had stayed—she was starting to prefer it to this terrible conversation—but she knew it wouldn’t. She could just feel her parents digging for something to say. And with a sigh, her mom was the one who pulled something up:
“Maria, please talk to us. You know you can.”
“It’s hard to talk when you’re never home anymore.” The words came out without Maria bidding them to, but the heck with it. It needed to be said.
“Oh, sweetheart… I know it’s hard now, but before you know it, everything will be back to normal, and this place will feel just like home.”
“No it won’t!” Maria slammed her fork onto the table; that word—“home”—made something in her snap. “This stupid place will never be my home! None of my friends are here, I can’t understand what anyone is saying, I hate going to school here—!”
“Maria, please, calm down,” her dad said. She knew she should have calmed down. She was too good to be raising her voice like this, like some little brat, but she couldn’t stop herself. She’d never been this upset about anything in her entire life, and—
“I wouldn’t have to calm down if you hadn’t made me move here!”
She stood, knocking her chair back with the backs of her legs, and spun around, taking long, quick steps toward the stairs.
“Maria—!” her dad called after her, but she didn’t stop. She didn’t want to hear anything he had to say.