Miss. Shay’s Class
Mei was sitting with his sister as they both worked on the drawing Miss. Shay had asked the entire class to work on. Today, they were working on drawing their family. They had a big family. There was Baba and Jiji that lived in Japan with Oba Mari. Then there was Dyadya Yuri and Beka. Then Dedushaka Yakov and Babushka Lilia. Lung Phichi and Oncle Chris. And then there was Mama.
The young boy smiled as he drew a big circle. On top of the circle, he drew himself and his sister. He grabbed the blue crayon and pressed very hard three dots, two for his eyes and one for his sister. He then grabbed a brown crayon for his sister’s other eye. He scribbled black on his stick figure while he got a gray for his sister’s hair. With everybody in his family, he drew them smiling. Until he got to his mom. He frowned. Mama was always sad. Even when he was smiling, mama would cry a lot.
He drew a frown with blue tears over his mama’s face. It looked just like him. He smiled as he showed Yui. She giggled as she showed her brother the drawing she made. They were in a box, Mei figured was home. Inside the box were three figures with four sticks sticking out. Two of the blobs were small, while the other was larger. The larger blob had brown eyes and black hair. All three of them had frowning faces.
“Why didn’t you draw Jiji and Baba and Dedushaka and Babushka?”
“Because they live far away,” Yui frowned.
“I drew them, and Dyadya Yuri and Beka and Lung Phichi and Oncle Chris,” Mei smiled.
“I should draw Uncki Yuri and Beka too because they live close.”
“Why aren’t you drawing your daddy?” one of the boys asked the twins.
“Because we don’t have a papa,” Mei smiled.
“Liar, everybody has a daddy,” one of the girls said.
Yui looked at the other kids nervously before whispering, “but we really don’t. It’s just us and mama.”
“Are you going to cry Yui?” one of the boys asked jeeringly.
“No,” she was trying to hold in her tears.
“Aaron, knock it off or I’ll push you off the swing when it’s recess,” Mei warned the boy.
The boy looked at Yui and Mei and scoffed. When everybody went back to their drawings, the brown-haired boy named Aaron pulled on Yui’s hair. Her hair was done in pigtails, something that earlier in the morning their uncle had spent time on. Their uncle even put the hair ties with big red plastic balls. She let out a gasp and looked around for whoever grabbed at her locks. She went back to drawing and soon after, Aaron convinces one of the other boys to pull on one of the silver tails.
“Stop,” Yui was trying not to cry, as she turned around to try and see who was pulling at her hair.
“Nobody’s bothering you, ugly,” Aaron laughed.
“I’m not ugly. My mommy says I’m pretty,” Yui started to cry.
“Yeah, pretty ugly,” one of the boys behind Yui laughed.
“Jordan, I am going to hit you if you keep messing with her,” Mei warned the blonde boy.
“Alright, class, everybody line up at the door. We’re going to go to lunch,” Miss. Shay called out to her students.
Yui stood up as she cleared her tears with her sleeve, her brother held out his hand for hers. Mei hated it when the other kids would pick on her. He didn’t like seeing her cry like that. She had, what mama said, a glass heart. Just like his. She was sensitive. Seeing her upset bothered him because even though she was annoying, she was not a bad sister.
“If any of the other kids bother you, let me know,” Mei whispered to his sister in their twin language.
Yui nodded softly as she put her thumb in her mouth. She walked with Mei to the line, some of the kids up front trying to get him to ditch his sister and go to the front with them. He shook his head as he stayed with Yui. They walked to the back of the line, Yui in front of Mei as he watched over her. He didn’t know why all the other kids liked him. He knew that he was mean. His sister was a lot nicer to everybody but seemed to be getting picked on by a lot of the kids in class. He knew that if she was alone, it would have been much worse. His sister was a giant cry baby. It wasn’t hard to make her cry. Even though it was fun for him to make her cry, he didn’t like seeing the other kids do it. Yui was his sister. And for him, the only one who was allowed to hurt her feelings was him. He knew her well enough that at the end of the day, they still cared for each other.
Once they made their way to the cafeteria, they started talking about how they couldn’t wait to see mom. He was supposed to be done playing, as Dyadya Yuri had put it. Mei wanted to play with his mom, but Dyadya stated that it was a grown-up game that only mommies and daddies could play. But one day, he would be able to if he became an Alpha or Omega. Mei let it go as his uncles got him and his sister ready for school that day. Today, though, they were going to see their mom again and they would be going to the rink.
Once they got their tray of food, they went to a table and sat down across from each other. Mei ignored the other kids that were trying to get him to sit with them. He told them multiple times that he and his sister were a package deal. If they didn’t want her to sit with them then he didn’t want to sit with them.
“Everybody likes you more, Mei. You should just forget about me.”
“Na,” Mei smirked, “I’m not leaving you alone to deal with these jerks.”
“Yeah. I’m the only one that can make you cry like a loser,” Mei muttered.
“You’re so mean,” Yui started crying.
Mei laughed as he patted his sister on the head. They finished up their meal around the time that a good amount of the kids had finished theirs. They went out to recess to play. Mei got distracted as he started playing on the swings. Yui went to the jungle gym drawing on the dirt. She pretended that her fingers were a figure skater, dancing on the ice. She really wanted to go to the rink today. Uncle Yuri had promised to teach her how to do jumps, while her mom was teaching her how to do figures. She felt like she was pretty good at those so far but was too nervous to ask if she was doing well by her mom and uncles.
“Hey ugly,” Yui heard one of the boys calling out at her.
“Leave me alone,” Yui told Aaron.
“And what if we don’t?” Jordan asked.
“Then I’ll tell one of the teachers on you,” Yui was trying to sound brave, but only sounded like a mouse.
“What was that? Are you crying already, crybaby?”
“Finn, you’re my brother’s friend, he’s going to be mad at you.”
“He’s not here,” the curly-haired boy laughed
Yui was trying her hardest not to cry as she spoke, “why are you all so mean to me? I didn’t do anything to you.”
“Because you’re a girl.”
“But there are other girls in the school and you’re always mean to me,” Yui burst into tears.
“We’ll give you a head start. Run. If we catch you, we’ll make you eat a worm,” Finn smiled devilishly.
Yui instantly started running. She let her little legs carry her as soon she heard the other boys chasing after her. She could feel her heart racing in fear at the very thought of them grabbing her. She didn’t want to eat a worm and the very thought of it made her sick. She was screaming for her brother to help her. And then she fell. She tumbled to the ground violently and the boys' faces turned white before the ran off. Mei heard his sister, rushing towards her. He saw Aaron running off with some of the other boys from class. He saw that his sister hurt her knee. It was cut up with gravel. She was crying harder.
“What did they do?” Mei asked.
“They chased me because they were trying to make me eat a worm,” Yui was sobbing uncontrollably.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of them for you.”
Mei went after the boys that made his sister get hurt. He was the fastest kid in class. It didn’t take long for him to catch Aaron before he tackled him to the ground. Aaron let out a cry of surprise before he tried to kick Mei. Mei punched Aaron below the belt before straddling him and punching him a few times.
“Tell her you’re sorry,” Mei yelled at him.
Aaron was crying as Mei got up from him. The other two boys scared at what they saw.
“If you tell the teachers what I did, I will punch you both in the face,” Mei warned them, “and if you ever hurt my sister, I will punch you both in the face.”
“Mei come over here this instant!” Mei heard one of the teachers yelling at him.
He made his way to the teacher, smiling. The teacher had a serious look on their face.
“What were you doing with Aaron?”
“We were just playing,” Mei smiled.
They looked at him unsure if they believed him, “will he say that if I ask him.”
The teacher barked for Aaron and the boys to come over, asking them what was going on. Mei gave them a dangerous look as they told the teacher that they were playing tag and just got a little rough. The teacher looked at all of the boys as they told them to be more careful next time. Mei smiled, pleased that they didn’t tell the truth to the teacher.
“You all follow me. You’re going to say that you’re sorry for being mean to Yui.”
In front of School
Yui and Mei spotted their mom and smiled. Both of them attempted to run to their mom, but Miss. Shay stopped Mei, pinning a note to his shirt. He looked at the note uncaring. He was more than happy for this note. He only wished that he had punched the girl in class that was being mean to his sister. He was getting really tired of the kids in their class being mean to her. They needed to learn that the only person who could be a jerk to her was him. She was his sister, not theirs.
“Only your mom or uncles can take that note off you. I’ll see you tomorrow, and I hope that I get that note back with it signed.”
“Yes, Miss. Shay,” Mei spoke.
“Mei, you can’t be saying those words, they are very naughty words.”
“But Luna-” Miss. Shay cut Mei off.
“I don’t care if she started it or not. You were just as much in the wrong for saying that word. If you said that word in front of your mom, what would he have done?”
“I’d get in big trouble,” Mei muttered.
Miss. Shay was right. Either his mom would have him take a spoonful of something extremely spicy or bitter, which he has done before because he said things that were bad, or mom would give him this look in which made Mei wish his mom would do something to him because he just felt so bad. His mom stopped lecturing him about it months ago because he had been saying bad words for a long while now. He didn’t remember when it started.
Mei rushed over to his mom hugging him tightly as he took a deep breath in. He nearly coughed when he realized his mom didn’t smell like he normally did. Mei didn’t like it and stepped away.
“Mama, you smell weird.”
“Oh, it’s because I have a new friend and they scented me. It’s alright.”
“Why though? You smell better than them,” Yui cried out.
“Yeah, they smell gross.”
Yuuri chuckled as he looked at his kids, “Alright, I’ll take a bath later on today, okay?”
“Yup, if you want, I can scent both of you. You’ll smell like me.”
“The you right now? No thank you,” Mei pouted.
“No,” Yuuri laughed, “you’ll smell like the normal me.”
“Okay,” they both smiled.
Yuuri kneeled down to both of his children and rubbed his wrists on them, both smelling heavily of vanilla. Yuuri noticed the note pinned to Mei’s shirt and took it. He read over it quickly and frowned.
“How many times have I told you about using those words?”
“That girl deserved it,” Mei muttered.
“She made Yui cry.”
“Those were still nasty words to say to anybody,” Yuuri spoke sternly, “even if you said it to protect your sister.”
Mei nodded at his mother, feeling the tears begin to threaten their escape. He really hated making his mom upset for things that he could control. He hugged his mom again, this time pressing his face to his scent gland on his mom’s neck. Mei could faintly smell the vanilla of his mother and let out a few tears.
“I’m sorry mama,” he whispered.
“It’s alright, baby.”
Yuuri could see that the four days were hard on the twins. The three of them started to walk home together while Yuuri made a call to Celestino, letting him know that he wouldn’t be able to coach today. He needed to be there for his children. They needed their mother more than ever and he needed to step up and be there for them.
As soon as they got home, Yuuri placed the twins' bookbags away along with their shoes and had them go play for a bit while he set up the family nest in the living room. Mei and Yui went into their mom’s room. Yui was jumping on the bed, something that she knew her mom would be mad if she saw. Mei was looking for something to play with that their mom wouldn’t notice. That was until he found something interesting.
“Yui, look at this,” he called his sister to show what he found.
In the closet was an old pair of skates. The blades, a tarnished gold, were warped and bent, almost as if they were run over. On the damaged skates, Mei pressed little fingers over the three colors that were on the sides of the skate’s heels. White on top, blue in the middle, and red underneath the blue. He was just staring at the skates intently. They must have been beautiful when they weren’t trashed. But why would their mom still have them? Mei just looked confused at the skates while his sister was digging through the closet.
“You know, mama is going to be really mad if he sees us in here,” Yui told Mei.
“Yeah, but mama is making a nest in the living room, so it’ll be a while,” Mei flashed a devilish smile.
Mei put the skates back in the closet when something caught his eye. A small red box caught his interest, pulling it out with him. He and his sister opened the small box, placing the top to the side. Tons of pictures were in there. The twins' eyes sparkled as they looked through it. Many of the pictures were of a man they had never seen, but he looked so familiar. He looked strong and handsome. Bright beautiful blue eyes and silver hair. Some of the pictures were of him skating, some of them were him laying on a coach.
“He looks like you but with two blue eyes instead of one,” Mei commented to his sister.
“Yeah, he does. Oh, look at this one, it has mama in it,” she chirped at the last remark as she grabbed the picture.
It looked like it was taken in Japan, maybe Hasetsu? Mama had an ice cream with the other man, both of them smiling and laughing. Mama had put the ice cream on the man’s cheek while the other man put his on their mama’s nose. They both looked happy. Really happy. They had never seen their mama like that before. Yes, they had seen their mama happy, but it always had sadness. This picture, none of the sadness was in their smile. Just happy. And love.
“I’m keeping it. I want to know who he is. Maybe we can find him and mama won’t be sad anymore,” Yui smiled.
“Yeah,” Mei agreed, “Yui, let’s put these back before mama sees.”
Yui nodded as she and her brother put the things back, although she still kept the photo of their mom and the man eating ice cream. As soon as they put the box in the closet, Yui made her way to their room. Mei was humming as he made his way to his mom. He was busy at work with the nest, masterfully lacing and folding blankets and pillows together. Mei loved watching his mom doing this. It was so interesting. His mom looked relaxed as he was making the last finishing touches of the nest.
“Mama,” Mei spoke.
“Yes, my Life?”
“Do Yui and I have a dad?”
“No, why do you ask?” his mother tensed up suddenly.
“We were drawing our families today and everybody had a mama and a papa,” Mei started, “except for us.”
“Our family is a little different. We don’t need a papa.”
“We just don’t.”
“But why?” Mei asked, “everybody in class has one. Why don’t sis and I?”
Mei watched his mother shaking. His fist clenched to some of the sheets that made the nest. His mother’s breathing was slightly labored as he seemed to look off into the distance. Mei realized that he made a mistake.
“I’m sorry mama, I’ll be good,” Mei whispered.
His mom looked at him suddenly, shock painted his face, as Yuuri reached for his child, “Mei, you have nothing to apologize for.”
“I do. I make you sad because I act bad in school. I say bad words. Today, I also punched one of the boys in my class and told them that if they tattled, I’d hurt them.”
“Why would you do that?”
“Because they were being mean to Yui, and I was angry because at the swings, they... The other kids said our family isn’t real because we don’t have a dad.”
“Mei, I’m both mom and dad. Our family is real, never forget that,” Yuuri held in his tears as he hugged his now crying son.
Children were truly cruel. Yuuri had forgotten how terrible school was for him growing up. He was in Yui's position most of the time. His heart was breaking as he held his sobbing five-year-old son. Trying to find the right words to comfort him. This family was real. Broken... But it was just as real as any other family.