She had just finished her last class of the day and was headed to the library to meet her best friend Jesse when the dean walked up to her with another person.
Mike." She smiled.
"I'm glad I caught you before you left."
"Why, is something wrong?" She looked between the two men.
"No, everything is fine. I want to introduce you to Chan Lee Yang, the dean of Konan University." Mike looked at the man next to him. They both bowed politely to each other.
"It is an honor to have you here in the states." She replied in Japanese. Mr. Yang's eyes widened.
"You speak Japanese?" He asked in English.
She nodded and smiled slightly, "I'm half Japanese."
"That's a surprise. Mike didn't tell me that. It's a delight to meet you."
Karin felt a chill go down her spine. "Um, not to be rude but why is he here?" Jesse asked from behind Karin. She held her hand over her chest as she almost jumped out of her skin.
"Jeez Jesse. You scared me." Karin said.
"Sorry." Jesse gave her an apologetic smile.
"Mr. Yang, this is Jesse Ledger, our other Mythology teacher. Jesse, this is Mr. Yang from Konan University, Japan." Mike said. Jesse bowed in respect and Mr. Yang did the same.
"It's a pleasure to meet you." Jesse said.
"The pleasure is all mine. It's wonderful to know people here in America who speak Japanese. This just might work out." Mr. Yang said with a smile.
"What exactly are you talking about?" Jesse asked.
"We're wanting to open up a couple of mythology classes at Konan but since we don't have any teachers that are qualified in that department, we have to recruit those teachers outside of Japan." Karin sighed as she realized where this was going.
"In other words, you want to experiment with us to see if it's going to be a success." Mr. Yang nodded, "For how long?"
"A month. If it succeeds, then we keep the program."
"And if it doesn't?" Jesse asked.
"Then we send you guys back here."
"Wait. Mr. Yang, you're not saying you want both girls, are you?" Mike asked.
"Yes, if they accept."
Karin really didn't want to go back to Japan, but as she looked at Jesse and seen her hazel eyes literally glow with excitement, she knew she didn't have a choice. She clenched her fists as she glanced at Mr.Yang.
"When would we leave?"
"Tomorrow afternoon." he said calmly.
"What?!" Jesse looked shocked .
"I know it's sudden but..."
"Mr. Yang, please." Karin interrupted him, "We understand how happy you are about this, but if we do leave tomorrow, that doesn't give us enough time to prepare for the trip." Karin could see the battle in his eyes before he made his decision.
"How long would you need?" he asked.
"If you gave us tomorrow to pack, we would be able to leave Sunday evening."
Mike jumped in "Karin, you can't be serious."
"The decision is ours." Jesse said.
"If you think about it, this is a good opportunity to train the new mythology teachers." Karin smiled slightly.
"That's not the point."
"Look, you can hire subs while you finish training the teachers. Plus, you have our notes."
“Can I take that as a yes?" Mr. Yang asked.
"Do you agree to our conditions?" Karin asked. Mr. Yang nodded, "Then we'll see you Monday evening."
Mr. Yang smiled "Excellent. This is going to be a wonderful experience." Mr. Yang bowed to the girls then turned towards Mike, "Mike, if you don't mind showing me around, I would love to see the rest on the school." Mike nodded, looking like he had been defeated and led Mr. Yang away. Karin looked at Jesse, who was smiling ear from ear.
"You look like a mischievous cat rather than a wolf." Karin laughed lightly as they headed to the parking lot.
"Oh, come on. You can't tell me you're not excited about the trip."
"I'm just glad we talked him into giving us more time to pack."
"No kidding. Do you think Mike will be okay?"
"Yes, he just doesn't want his two best teachers to leave." She said as they got into Karin's Chevy pickup. Jesse turned on the radio and they drove out of Blue Star University's parking lot. As she drove them home, Karin thought back to the last time she had lived in Japan when she was four. Her grandfather had taken care of her when her parents died in a car accident, but if she had to be honest, he came pretty close to a dad. That is, until he died.
She pulled in the driveway, right next to Jesse's Monte Carlo, and put it in park.
"Yeah?" She faced her best friend and smiled.
"I'm going to see my parents tonight. I'm going to let them know about the trip and I'll be back tomorrow to pack,okay?" She smiled.
"That's fine. Tell them I said hi."
Karin watched as Jesse got in her car and drove off then sighed. She knew there was no going back now that she gave into her so Karin went in the house and before she could sit down the phone rang.
"Karin, it's Mike." she sighed.
"Look, I know this is fast moving but are you sure you want to do this? Go to Japan and everything?" Hell no she didn't want to go but she already said yes and she was one of those people that never went back on their word.
"Yes, I'm sure."
"I see. Well, since I know there is no changing your mind then let me just say that I'm putting you down as a leave of absence and if this looks more permanent then you call me and let me know, okay? I'd really hate to let you and Jesse go. You are my two best Mythology teachers I have."
She rolled her eyes, "Mike, we're the only Mythology teachers. But I understand and we will let you know if anything changes. Alright?" There was a brief pause, almost as if he was afraid to breathe.
"Yeah, okay. Well, I guess I'll talk to you later then. Have fun in Japan." He hung up before she she could say bye.
"Yeah, fun." She mumbled to herself.
Karin put the phone back on the hanger and went into the kitchen to make herself something to eat only to pull out of a tub of ice cream from the freezer. As she put a spoonful into her mouth, Karin couldn't help but think about the last time she lived in Japan. It wasn't a very fond memory, in fact she had nightmares for years about it until it was replaced with a new one that happened in the very house she lived in now. Karin stopped eating and looked around the kitchen. You wouldn't have thought that there was ever a fire, but there was. She remembered that night so well that she shivered just at the thought of it. She shook her head. Karin couldn't, no, wouldn't think about the past, at least not right now. She put everything away then took a shower and got dressed for bed when her cell phone rang. Karin looked at the caller i.d. and smiled.
Jesse giggled, "I didn't think you'd look at the caller i.d."
"I do every now and then, especially when it's my cell phone."
"That's true." Jesse chuckled. There was something a little off about Jesse since Karin knew Jesse was the one who would make a quick joke that made everyone laugh.
"Jess, what's wrong?"
"Nothing." too quick of an answer, Karin thought.
"Just tell me. You know I won't get mad."
"I know. I'm just thinking that maybe we should pack tonight and leave tomorrow early in the morning. It'll give us most of Sunday to unpack and settle in."
"I haven't paid for our tickets yet, Jess."
"Mom and Dad said they'll pay for our tickets and a hotel." Karin sighed and smiled at the perkiness of her best friend's voice.
"We won't need the hotel. My grandfather left me his house."
"Oh yeah." they both giggled, "Jeez Karin, I think I'm coming down with Blonde disease."
"That's mean, you red head." Karin made her voice crack.
"Shit! Karin, I'm Sorry! Please, don't start crying!" Jesse begged and Karin couldn't help but Laugh, "Oh, you bitch!"
"I love you too, Jess."
He awoke drenched in sweat and panting. Running a hand over his face, he focused on slowing his breathing as he tried to recall what had just happened. He dreamt of her. Well, not exactly her but, of her green eyes, blonde hair and her laughter. He had to admit, although the visions weren't clear, the old geezers weren't far off the mark. She was finally coming.
"It's about time." He laid back down and fell asleep, only to dream of her again.