I: Kei:


My father and I don�t mesh. I think it�s a personality clash thing. He�s more type A while I, as my older sister, Kiko, puts it, am more relaxed and lazy. I don�t know why dad gets stressed with me at times. I�m not a perfect little doll! I don�t want to follow his standards of Japanese morale. I want my own path. I want to be my own woman. I want to be� me.

Dad can�t see that however. He wants me to be the ideal traditional Japanese beauty. I don�t want that! So we keep on fighting. The distance between us makes things better.

II: Lunch Prostitute:

I sat in Keiko�s Diner one Saturday afternoon days before my trip to California. I had just texted Simon and Conrad to meet me for lunch. They better not bail on me today! They didn�t, good thing. I looked up when I heard the bell ring. My boys walked in and looked around. I waved them over. Conrad spotted me and dragged Simon right over. I waited for them, smiling.

�You�re late,� I said.

�We would have been here sooner, but Conrad had to stop and talk to some boys from his school,� Simon explained.

�They were some old pals,� Conrad reasoned. I only shrugged at them.

�So,� I said. �How is everyone?� My boys didn�t speak at first. I waited for a moment.

�Good,� they mumbled at last. I smiled at their replied.

�Good,� I spoke. � I have a little news myself.� Conrad and Simon looked at me for a moment.

�What is it?� Simon asked. I was about to speak when a waitress came over to out booth. She took our orders and left. I turned back to the boys.

�I�m going to California for five days,� I announced. My friends looked at me confused for a moment.

�Why?� Conrad asked. I shrugged at him.

�Don�t know,� I said. �My father has some friends there and wants me to spend time with them. Or something like that, I can�t fully remember.� Simon and Conrad still stared at me. I sighed at them.

�I�ll be fine, trust me! I have been on many plane trips before. This�ll be no biggie!� I brushed off. Simon didn�t seem to believe me.

�But these are your dad�s friends.� I nodded at him.


�Don�t think he�s up to something by sending you to California like this?� I didn�t blink.

�Ah.� I told my friends countless stories about my father. They knew all about our many battles. My boys also knew about his various attempts to �civilize� me. Easy to understand the concerns of my friends. I shrugged again.

�I�ll keep on my guard then!� I summed up. My friends were uneasy, but said nothing. By that time, our food arrived. We ate in silence. But not for long.

I happen to look up and see a woman walk into Keiko�s Diner. I studied her for a while. This lady looked rather fancy. She had on a short, denim mini-dress. The only thing that it covered was her bottom and crotch. Her chest looked to be  ready to spill out at any second. The tiny white buttons on the front were there for show. Her skin looked a cool white. She had her long, silky, black hair out today. This woman clutched a small black purse to her side. Only thing she was missing was some make-up. The woman sat at a table near the big window. The waitress saw to her right away. I smirked as I watched her the whole time. Simon noticed my face.

�What is it, Kei?� he asked. I grinned at my boys as I leaned forward.

:I think that lady that just came in is a prostitute,� I whispered with mischief. The boys looked at me confused.

�Where?� Conrad whispered.

�There,� I said softly as I gently pointed to the window. The boys slowly turned to look. I looked on with them. The woman sat at her table looking at her watch. My friends turned back to me with odd looks on their faces.

�How can you tell?� Conrad mouthed at me.

�Look at her,� I mouthed back. He and Simone turned back to the working girl. The waitress returned with her spring rolls and steaming tea. We watched as the hooker ate her meal, which didn�t take long at all. When she was finished, the woman paid for her meal and left a tip. She exited out of the diner. We all turned back to each other.

�After her!� I said quickly. �We have to follow!� The boys looked at me confused at first.

�Why?� Simon asked.

�Don�t ask questions! Just do it!� I commanded. We all nodded and hurried up from the table. (I paid for everything, of course.) We were able to catch the hooker just in time. She stood at the light, waiting to cross.

�There she is,� I whispered. When, we got closer, we noticed a peculiar thing about her. The hooker reached down to what looked like a garter belt on her thigh and opened up the pouch. She drew out a pink cell phone and began talking on it. I couldn�t help but to giggle at it.

�Look!� I said. �She�s got garter belt phone holder.� The boys stared on curious. I thought it looked ridiculous. The light changed green when she ended her call. The woman quickly crossed the street.

�After her!� I said again.

�Right!� my boys agreed. We hurried after the woman in a good distance. We all had a fun trip of trailing the hooker. Damn, this girl seemed to be touring all of Simple Tokyo in leisurely stroll. It took so much for us to keep up with this lady. We almost lost her a couple of times. Unfortunately, we lost her in a worn-down neighborhood.

�She�s gone,� Simon said.

�Now what?� Conrad asked. I shrugged at them.

�Get out of here,� I said. We did so�rather quickly.

III: Yamaguchi-san:


I just don�t know what to do with that girl. Kei-chan has turned wild and just wants to do her thing. Has she no regard for tradition? I don�t understand what happened. She used to be the perfect daughter. But ever since last year, it�s turned into one fight after another. Kei-chan acts worse than some of the divas in my record company, 9. I can�t discipline them, but I can surely deal with my own daughter!

She wanted to go away for school this year. I said no. We fought for days on this issue until I finally said yes just to shut her up. Now, it�s been much quieter lately. But, my worried has grown even more for her. Plus, this school is a co-ed school with dorms? No way! I put a stop to that by buying her an apartment. That really didn�t do much for me. Kei-chan and still fight and she still wants to do her own thing. *Sighs* Why did my Mayumi have to die shortly after Kei-chan�s three birthday? Why can�t Kei-chan be more like Kiko-chan? In fact, why couldn�t I have sons instead of daughters?

IV: Princess Crush:

Psst! Don�t tell anybody tell, but I have a crush on someone. Who? Conrad Bridges. Yes, I said that and you read right. I have a crush on my close guy friend. I want to ask him out on a date, but we have a couple of little problems that stand in the way of that: backgrounds and his friends.

I am pretty rich. My dad is the founder and president of the booming records company, 9. Many hot artists bring the family tones of money. We are pretty *loaded*, my friend! Conrad on the other hand, is from a poorer family. His mom is in prison for drug possession and attempted murder. So, he lives with his aunt and pregnant cousin. They are all barely struggling to pay for their bills. My dad, who is plotting to marry me off one day, would not approve of a relationship with Conrad. He would want me married off to a rich Japanese man. I don�t want one. I just want my pal. But, there is the other problem.

Conrad�s school friends always have me worried. They always look rather scary and thuggish. (Okay, Conrad himself, but he looks a little more friendly than they do.) They always show up when Simon and I are just hanging around the city. They and Conrad talk for a short moment and the friends gave him money and leave. Simon and I don�t know what to think of it. I�ve heard that Conrad is an underground pot dealer. I hope that this is just a rumor�

If I can get through these obstacles, I think Conrad and I could have sweet-beautiful relationship together. I hope� *Fingers crossed*

Ebony Princess