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mai penelope saejima
Midnight. The Winter Solstice has begun
The clock had struck midnight, ringing in the 21st of December. In a small hospital room a couple were awaiting the arrival of their child. It had been a long couple of hours but after much waiting their newborn, a healthy baby girl, was brought into the world. This child was christened, named after her grandmothers, Mai Penelope Corvino. Her mother was a Japanese-American working as a seamstress while her father, Italian-American working as a mechanic. They didn't make a ton of money but enough to support their quaint little family. While both were at work Mai would stay would be watched over by her maternal grandmother. She'd come over, watch over baby Mai until her mother returned. Once home she'd start preparing dinner for the family, then tidy up the place. This was how it worked in their household. This was their routine that kept them going.
Over the years, the living room began to fill itself with toys for the young Mai. She began to walk and become more energetic. As she got older she would continue playing with her toys, dolls and tea sets, and then would pick up after herself. She was a clean child, tidying up where she could per the request of her mother. Mai's organization skills carried on when she started school. She was one of the more well behaved children. Raising her hand when appropriate, following directions, even helping out other kids if she could. From school she'd go home to a waiting lunch made by her grandmother. When done she'd gently place her dishes in the sink then off she'd go to play for a few hours until her mother came home. That was when it would be time for homework. Mai loved doing her homework, coloring and practicing her writing. What she looked forward to the most was her father getting home, running into his arms, happy to see him home. They'd sit down for a nice dinner, enjoying each other's company.
I'll tell you when your older
Then one day Mai's parents surprised her with the news that their little family was going to get a little bigger. Her mother was expecting again and Mai couldn't be more excited. She was going to be a big sister, she'd have someone that she could play with and help take care of. She had hoped to have a little sister, someone she could play dolls with and be able to help pick out the pretty dresses she could wear. She was a tad disappointed when they told her that she would in fact be having a little brother. No girly dresses then. Despite that though she promised to be the best big sister ever.
As Mai got older so did her desire to help around the house. There were the usual things she had to take care of like keeping her room clean as well as other things such as dusting and helping with the laundry. She eventually began helping with cooking for the family. When her mother had to work late Mai was able to fill in and make sure there was food for her little brother to eat, and something for her parents when they got home. After school she'd have her brother sit down with her at the table to do their homework, helping him when needed. Mai was like the second mother of the house.
When Mai wasn't playing mother hen in the house she was probably doing so outside. Mai had a few hobbies such as reading and playing the piano. On the weekends if she was free she spend them with her friends. Mai was the sort of leader of her little group, acting as the sort of mother or big sister of the group. The thing she found most joy in was when she got to help her grandmother with her cake decorating. Her grandmother worked at a small bakery and sometimes from home. It was when she was working at home that Mai got to watch her. When Mai was old enough her grandmother started letting her help, teaching her to properly use and style the cakes.
All tales must come to their end
Mai had just finished her first year of college. Things were looking bright.Things were going well. Of course, sometimes life decided to throw a curve when you least expected it and sometimes in the most tragic ways. The summer after her first year it was discovered that Mai's mother had contracted a brain tumor. This news hit the family hard. Despite her parents' initial protest Mai decided to let go of the idea of college, instead choosing to find a job and continue living at home where she could help take care of her mother and keep the house in order. Mai found a job as a secretary, putting her organization skills to good use. The job payed well, allowing her to help with her mother's medical bills. Mai didn't go out as much, mostly spending her time between work and home. When her mother was ill from the chemotherapy, Mai was cooking dinner, putting away the laundry, making sure her brother did his homework and helped with chores as well.
During this time, an uncle of the family had passed away, leaving a few things to them. One of which was the inheritance of a small apartment building to do as they pleased. The building wasn't bad. It was a well kept building. The extra income would be beneficial since Mai's mother wasn't working much do to her sickness. So there was another thing Mai was in charge of helping with. Mai had more people skills, and had more of an ability to keep things in order so she took care of it. The tenants were very gracious. They kept up with their rent, called if there were any issues, and all in all made it rather smooth to run. There were a few occasions where there were a few tenants became a bit of a problem, but Mai's no nonsense attitude helped her when dealing with these issues.
For a long two years it had been a tough battle, but Mai's mother was stubborn woman. It had been a joyous day when the doctors told them that her mother had triumph. It had been a huge eye opener and reminded them that life was not something to take for granted. Each moment was precious and was to be cherished. Mai's mother was able to continue her work as a seamstress and Mai began to fiddle with cake decorating. It had once been just something that she enjoyed doing with her grandmother, but after she passed away Mai sort of gave up on it. Perhaps though it was something she just look into more. Her mother was encouraging of it, feeling guilty that Mai had put her life on hold because of her.
When Mai's mother was back to good health Mai finally took the step to starting college, choosing to go to culinary school. With the help of various scholarships Mai was able to graduate two years later at the age of 23. Once again though this family was to be tested. Five years after her first battle, Mai's mother had a relapse. Mai had been working as a pastry chef in a small restaurant when she discovered the news. As before Mai moved back into her family's home and finding a new job that would keep her closer to home in case of an emergency. It was second nature to her, keeping the house tidy, keeping her brother in line, making sure there was a good meal on the table and helping take care of her mother. It was tough on the young woman, sometimes both emotionally and physically draining. The idea of losing her mother was not one that was easy to bare. She fought on though. Wanting her strength to be useful to her mother, be able to support her completely. It was a strange thing though. During times where Mai felt herself almost on the point of breaking from the troubles and stress her family was facing a strange figure would appear on wrist. It look to her like a small teapot. Then, she'd be touched with the aroma of what smelled like sweet tea. She never told her family this, they'd probably think she was crazy, but strangely enough, when the aroma hit her it had an odd calming effect. As if it was giving her new strength to fight on.
Unfortunately for this family, this battle wouldn't end as happily as it did the first time. One year later, a couple days after her birthday, Mai's mother went peacefully in her sleep. It was a tough time for the family afterwards but they strive through. Mai stayed living with father and brother, making sure that the house didn't fall apart. She didn't do all the work, making her brother help her at times, just as her mother would have. Mai used the seamstress skills she had gained from her mother for a while, taking up some jobs here and there. Eventually she found her way back to cake decorating when she took up a job at Gateu for a young man named Remington Lafleur. He was an interesting boss, sometimes rather childlike. He definitely caused her mother hen side to appear on occasion, but she loved her job, loved being able to decorate cakes with various colors and designs. It was where her heart was.
There maybe something there that wasn't there before
In Mai's life there has been many factors that she had not accounted for. One being the idea of love. She had seen it on tv and movies, she had read about it in plenty of books, she saw it in the relationship between her parents. She had seen love but never found herself experiencing it for hand. It wasn't that she never found another boy attractive, it was simply that she never allowed herself the time for it. She had school, she had her responsibilities at home, her priorities had been set. Mai never realized that that fact had changed without her knowing.
In the house next door lived a family with a young son, around the same age as Mai named Kai. The two grew up together, talking on occasion, going to school together. They were never extremely close, just knowing each other for the mere fact that they lived near each other. He wasn't exactly eye candy growing up, he was rather awkward looking, then again a lot of people were during their puberty years. He could also come off as rather cold. which clashed with Mai's more cheerful personality.
During the time of Mai's mother's first battle with cancer Kai's family were very supporting. There would be times where Kai's mother would offer to help with the cooking or cleaning of the house, just to help relieve Mai of some of the burden for once. Mai appreciated it and found it humorous when she'd see Kai having to help because his mother told him. This was when Kai began to surprise her some. While he could still come off as cold he also showed her a more kinder side, Mai believing it was due to what her family was going through at the time.
Eventually Kai moved out of his parents' home. Mai found herself actually missing him for a while. It would be years later that she would see him again. It was around the end of her mother's life that he returned to her life. He had grown into a fine looking man, still could come off as harsh but he tend to show a kinder side towards her. He was a great comfort to her after the death of her mother. When Mai was trying to remain strong at the funeral, she had a momentary lapse in that strength where she found herself breaking down in her room at the funeral reception. Kai found her and simply held her as she cried. He allowed her that moment to herself where she could release her sadness but away from her father and brother. It was also in that moment that they shared her first kiss. As to when Mai first developed feelings for Kai she doesn't know, but she couldn't deny them.
Kai was patient with Mai. He didn't ask her out on their first date until she had enough time to grieve. The two dated for two years before Kai proposed to her and have now been married for two years. They moved into the apartment building that her family owned, making it easier for Mai to deal with the tenants by being closer. She splits the money between a bit for herself and good chunk for her father and some for her brother's education. Life has been rough for Mai, but she has grown from it and continues to strive.
era ● 22 ● pacific
© darren criss
because you are awesome
Era. Where do I even begin with you? I must say I think Mai's application here has been my favorite out of your kiddos yet to read! I loved every word of it! From her early childhood to when her mother was found to have the brain tumor, it was a very different story for a character that you've brought us in her. She's got a survival instinct reminiscent of Mrs. Potts and she seems like the sort who is hard to slip anything by. I also liked this sort of happy ending to an extent that you've given her in comparison to some of your other characters. She's happily married and we know how I'm a sucker for seeing characters develop from their relationships with others. I'm sure she'll have a great deal of fun on Fantasies. Please don't forget those claims and welcome! <3