Kyuusei Chapter 5: Tekishitsu Part 2
One of the most commonly used Japanese words in foreign countries is the word sensei. Almost everyone knows what it means, and who to address as such.
America? No different.
"Okay!" said the karate teacher in a British accent, observing Makoto and I. Hinoki had stayed home because he had pitched a fit. A huge fit that caused Mom to threaten him with no squishes for a week. He calmed right down, but, a flying foot broke one of Mom's French vases. So no squishes for a month, and Hinoki cannot spend his allowance so that he could cover some of the cost of repairing the vase.
The teacher bowed at us and invited us onto the matted dojo floors. It was a small place, with one side of the building being matted floors and the other side being chairs for observers.
I glanced at Makoto, who was staring at the teacher with hard eyes. He had bowed quite low, which had meant, in Japan customs at least, that we were worthy of more respect that him. I grinned and leaped onto the mats with Makoto. This meant trouble.
"Please bow, and assume guard stance," Sensei Jones said. I am using Sensei lightly here. He hardly looked like a karate teacher. He bore a resemblance to my homeroom teacher in his belly and arm areas. AKA he didn't have any muscles, only fat.
We quickly bowed, but Jones pushed up down to a low bow.
Makoto cracked. The teacher being a "sensei", bowing wrong, and the Chinese and Japanese décor on the walls seemed to have made him lose his temper.
"Listen, sensei," he said with gritted teeth, "you're doing the bows wrong." He could have pointed out so much more. For example, the canvases on the wall that read in Hirgana where mistakenly referred to as Kanji by the so called Asia-expert who sat in the desk when you first entered the dojo. There is an obvious difference between hirgana and kanji.
Jones smiled. "No, no, no," he said.
"No, it's wrong, in our country-" Makoto began.
"But this isn't your country, is it?" inquired Jones.
"Excuse me, in Japan, a deep bow means deep respect-" I started, trying to explain simply.
"Shush," said Jones, "and show me what you two Asian kids can do. Maybe if you do well, I'll rank you at yellow."
Yellow? First there's white, then there's yellow! The dojo teaches Krav Maga, so surely they wouldn't rank us so low! We are at least at brown or red!
"Anyway, proceed." Jones said.
Makoto proceeded into a round kick, and I dodged and weaved in order to make him miss me. He leaped back as I brought an axe kick to his head (boy am I flexible), and then he preformed a tornado kick right to my stomach. It stung greatly, but I managed to dodge of his other attacks. I got a few palm strikes on him though he said afterwards that I actually did not.
"Stop, stop, stop," said Jones. We stopped, and stood there panting a bit.
"What?" hissed Makoto.
"You two can't be taught here, I teach amateurs," he said.
"Excuses," said Makoto. "We want to be taught here. Or are you saying you're not up to the task?"
'No," Jones said, scared, "I am saying you are too dangerous to teach any more moves! Now, go. Find someone else, just don't come back here."
The parents in the chairs, as well as the kids who took class after us, were all staring and gawking.
As we left, we heard him say, "Bloody Asians. The lot of them, all of them! Can't trust a single Korean or he'll beat you up!"
"...I'm not Korean!" I shouted. "Get your bloody facts straight!!!"
"Shut up, Yumeka, you'll get us in trouble," Makoto said, and seized me by the arm. He marched me out of the place and then pushed me over to my bike. "Get on and let's go."
We rode our bikes to the bookstore, which was the halfway point between home and the dojo. I punched in Mom's number on Makoto's small phone to tell her what had happened because, according to Makoto, she was less likely to get mad at me. Frankly, I expected the opposite.
"Hey, akachan," said Mom. I could hear her washing dishes. "How'd it go?" Clank, clank, clank, splash.
"Uh... we got rejected."
"...yeah," I said. Makoto made wild hand motions to me out of the corner of my eye. "The teacher said he couldn't teach us cuz we were too dangerous?"
"Too dangerous?" she said, then swore. Loudly.
"Mommy, don't swear!" Hinoki said in the background.
"Yumeka, lemme talk to your brother. Anyway, don't you have somewhere to be this afternoon?" Mom asked.
"Michael wanted to meet me at the park we went to the other day," I said.
"Okay, just be back by... dinner, okay? Maybe bring him if his parents say okay."
Bring John Michael? Ugh... Mom... "Fine," I said.
I handed the phone to Makoto. "See you," I said, hasty to get away before Mom started yelling so loudly at Makoto that speaker phone would have been useless and the speakers would have gone out. Again. Kid me not, Mom has damaged our phones by screaming, which has earned her the nickname Banshee in our family.
I rode off down the road, arriving at the park. I noticed lots of bikes in the rack: I had trouble finding a space. When I did and ran off to the park to find John Michael, I realized tons of kids were there, lots of them from school.
"Yumeka!" shouted John Michael. I looked around, he had Roxy following him quite closely. So close that if John Michael had stopped, she would have crashed into him.
"Why all these kids?" I asked.
'I invited them to meet ya!!!" said John Michael.
"Oh..." I do not do well in crowds.
Roxy smiled for the first time. "I am from the country of Scotland," she said in a thick accent. Now I know why she only spoke to me once, she didn't want anyone to heard her accent. She must have practiced saying 'My name is Roxy' quite a lot to make it sound American-standard normal.
I smiled slightly. "Cool," I said.
John Michael smiled wider and beckoned some friends over. I hadn't seen the bullies for days now, and I was grateful, until I saw them hanging around the bike rack, hovering over my light green mountain bike.
They had spray cans and markers.
"What are you doing?!" I shouted at them. They scurried off, but I had already jumped the fence and skidded to my bike.
They had scrawled words all over it. "Asian" was one, then 'Korean', along with words I dare not mention in text. Really bad offensive words, along with marker scribbles to create crude drawings. I screamed at them but they had already ran off.
"What is it?" asked John Michael, chasing after me. I pointed and he stared.
"I need to go," I said quickly, tears welling up in my eyes.
"Hey, I'll come with you," he said.
"No," I said, leaping on my bike and speeding off before he could say another word. I coasted down the hill to my house in silence, and stowed my bike away in the garage, thinking about all the humiliation that would happen the next time I rode my bike to school.
I received tons of texts from John Michael that I didn't check.
First the bullies on the first day, the racism of the sensei, and down the bullies again. I know some people go through some much more, but I'm already at the breaking point.
Just give me a solution. An easy fix.
But there are never easy fixes, are there?
Sorry to end this chapter on a depressing note, and sorry it is shorter! I will not be able to write over the weekend, so look forward to Monday! Also, enjoy and I will cont. soon!