Close call

Wonder of all wonders, the plane landed on time for a change. Ju was tired and a little grumpy. It’d been a long tour and since it was his first, he really had no idea how much work was involved. It was gonna be a long time before he did another one he thought. He got his bags from the bag check and went outside to wait for Aya to pick him up. He’d been surprised when Toshi had answered the phone but he just left the message and hoped he didn’t mess it up. Since it was early in the day, traffic shouldn’t be bad but Aya was running late. He waited about fifteen minutes and was getting ready to call her when a familiar van pulled up and Toshi got out.

After greeting each other with the man hug Ju asked him why he was there and where Aya was. He spoke as he started putting the luggage into the van. “She’s not coming. She asked me to pick you up.”

“She have to work today or something?” he asked. Toshi finished loading the van then told him to get in. They turned out of the terminal and headed toward a nearby parking area. When they got there, Toshi parked but left the van running. He turned to Ju. “No. She’s not working. She’s at her parents place. She says that she’s not going to be coming home Ju. She said she needs to think and she can’t do that with you around.”

Ju blinked at that. “What? Why…what the hell?!” It was then that Ju noticed his friend was radiating disapproval from his very pores. “Uhm…dude. Why the hell are you pissed? I’m the one that should be pissed. Now that I think about it, why the hell were you answering my house phone while Aya was sleeping? What’s going on?”

Toshi bristled at the suspicion in Ju’s voice. He turned off the van and turned to look at his friend. “You are a first class horse’s ass! I was there holding your wife as she cried her eyes out you dumb fuck! While you were out running around the country entertaining the horde, your wife was suffering! I’m the one that’s been trying to give her some moral support and trying to plead your case. Right now I’m wondering why I bothered.” He took a calming breath. “Look, she’s been lonely Ju. You practically stopped calling and when you did you talked like it was a chore or she was a family member twice removed. She’s not sleeping well or eating much. I’d say she’s lost a good ten pounds at least and she’s so tiny it shows. What’s today’s date?”

Ju was surprised at the venom in Toshi’s voice. He listened with growing horror at his friend’s description of his wife’s condition. When Toshi suddenly changed directions it confused him. “Uhm…the fifteenth I think. Why?” Toshi sighed and asked him again. Ju repeated that it was the fifteenth of May and then cursed as the import finally hit him. If he wasn’t in deep shit before he was buried in it now. He’d missed their anniversary and her birthday. Maybe he could salvage something out of it. “Wait, she didn’t call me either so we’re even on that.”

Toshi shook his head. “She called. Some chick answered and said you were busy and to call back later. She tried calling again. The phone was picked up then hung up without anyone saying a thing.” Ju thought about that. “I check for missed calls every night. Nothing showed up on the twelfth.”

“They weren’t missed calls Ju. Check your call logs. I’ll bet you find a number of calls from Aya that you won’t remember answering. You need to stop leaving your phone sitting around. Who was the woman if you know?” Toshi was giving Ju a disapproving look.

Ju held up his hands. “That was probably one of the backup singers. I’ve talked to her before about answering my phone. She’s about my age, short and wide as this van but she’s got a great set of pipes. She’s also married to the group’s manager. What am I gonna do man? I’m toast. You say Aya’s been depressed and not eating? Why?”

Toshi whapped him gently across his head. “Because she misses you, you dolt. It got to the point where you hardly called. When you did you were distant and unresponsive. You stopped telling her that you missed her or that you loved her and then that thing on your anniversary. What the hell do you think is happening? You F…U…C…K…E…D UP! Big time. To hear her talk you might be looking at a divorce or a long separation.”

Ju let out a pained noise at that but Toshi held up a hand to forestall whatever he was going to say. He continued, lost in thought. “I spent many a night holding my friend’s wife while she spilled her heart out or cried herself to sleep. Ju man, she loves you. She loves you enough to break her own heart and let you go where she thinks you want to be. Dude, she doesn’t think your heart is with her anymore. Oh she knows you love her but she thinks the call of the road and fame is stronger. I think she’d gladly cut out her own heart if it would make you happy and right now she thinks being famous is what will make you happy, at least happier then you are with her. That anniversary thing was just the glue that sealed the package. Now you have to decide what’s more important to you, your marriage or running the road behind twenty somethings playing bass.”

Toshi watched as Ju got paler and paler the more he talked. He put a hand on Ju to steady him when it looked as if he was going to fall out of the van as he tried to get out of his seat. He managed to get out of the van and lean against the door, breath coming in short gasps.

Ju knew he was hyperventilating. Aya, leave him? Just the thought of it made him hurt. He enjoyed what he was doing but it didn’t compare to what he felt when he looked at her. He’d gotten caught up in the fast pace and praises and had forgotten where his heart truly was. Oh god what was he going to do? He had no idea how he was going to make it up to Aya, what to say to her. He put his head in his hands and tried to think of something to save his marriage.

He was startled when Toshi got out of the van and put his suitcase next to him. “So what, you’re leaving me stranded?” Toshi shook his head. “I told Aya you were coming in on the next flight. She should be here in an hour or so. Get your shit together. Get her some flowers from the gift shop. Beg on your hands and knees for forgiveness. Do something if you want to keep the better half of your soul. You mess this up and I’m gonna kick your scrawny ass. You got me?”

He walked back around to the driver’s side mumbling about stupid friends and idiots who don’t know a good thing when they had it. When Ju came around to thank him Toshi just said, “Make this right Ju. Call me later no matter how it turns out and good luck man.” Ju thanked him and stepped back to retrieve his suitcase. He turned and headed back to the terminal and the gift shops. He had things to buy and thoughts to sort out.

Close to an hour later, Ju was in the main concourse waiting impatiently for Aya to arrive. He had a dozen roses in one hand and his suitcase in the other. He took in a deep breath when he spotted her walking toward him. He could tell she’d lost some weight and she just looked tired. He walked up to her and just stood there taking her in, then he pulled her into his arms and held her for a long time, not speaking, just holding her, letting her feel how hard and fast his heart was beating. When he let her go she reached out a hand and wiped away the tears tracking down his face.

She turned her head to side with a puzzled expression on her face. “Why…” was all she got to say before he told her how sorry he was to have missed her birthday and their anniversary and that he was an idiot for not taking care of home and if she could forgive him and give him another chance he wouldn’t let the road hypnotize him again and to please not leave him. Aya looked at him like he’d grown two heads.

“Baby? Where did you get the idea I was leaving? I’m hurt yes but I figured you’d just lost track of the days. I wouldn’t give you up without a hell of a fight first. And if you don’t give me those flowers soon I’m going to have to start wondering about who they are for.” She smiled at the look on his face. He gave her the flowers, face still with a puzzled look then it took on one of understanding. He was so gonna kill Toshi when he saw him again. As if on cue, his phone rang.

“You are a dead man!” Toshi just laughed. “I just wanted to give you a hard kick in the pants to remind you what was important here. I can see it worked. Enjoy your wife man, enjoy all that love. It’s a rare thing and you needed to be reminded of it. I’ll talk to you later.” He hung up. Ju looked at the phone and wondered if he could plead justifiable homicide. He was about to say something to Aya about it when he noticed her smelling the roses and he thought that even tired she was more beautiful then the roses she held. He went over to her and lifted her chin. “I love you more then life woman. Don’t you ever forget it.” Then he kissed her, gave her another rib cracking hug and grabbed his suitcase. They walked hand in hand out the terminal. Ju knew he would still be in the doghouse for a while but at least they’d made a start and he was confident he’d be back in all of her good graces in short order.

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~ by jujuken on May 18, 2013.

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