“I didn’t know that Luxembourg had established itself as a great jazz nation,” Mother said and sent a both piercing, yet already knowing look in Shiori’s direction. Next to her, Father took another picture of the Grand Ducal Palace through his lens and with his heavy, half-professional and thoroughly expensive camera hanging in a strap around his neck. In every possible way he looked like the classic, Japanese tourist as the Europeans thought they knew them best. He showed no interest in their conversation.
“It hasn’t,” Shiori answered, because there was no reason to lie or come up with even just the quarter of a truth around her mother.
Meanwhile, Father had spotted the chocolate café on the other side of the square and turned towards it enthusiastically in order to snap another row of photos that he’d be able to proudly present to his friends over their after-work beers back home. My daughter performs in Luxembourg, this is Luxembourg City, it’s very old and everybody there has such a sense of style, it’s the perfect place for her.
She could almost hear him. Almost. Such a long time had passed now.
“What are you really doing here, Shiori?”
Mother never sounded angry or frustrated or irritated, even when it was obvious that she’d have to be somewhere on that emotional spectrum. Shiori bit her lip, tried not to think of Michelle who had lounged up her back that same morning with her big, soft breasts pressing against her shoulder blades, because Shiori was petite and Michelle was grander than life itself. Greater than any inspiration, greater than any muse Shiori had ever had before.
“There’s a market here, for a niche,” she replied. Instead. Spoke directly to Mother’s business sense, besides - it wasn’t exactly a lie.
The most important thing was naturally that she’d never, ever lied to her parents. No matter how angry Michelle got, because Shiori wouldn’t let her meet them now when they were finally visiting. Shiori’s new harbour, her new home, another one in the lineup. She had never told them anything untrue.
“As my talented daughter would know, of course,” Mother commented and that was the end of the discussion. Only then did Father return, turning away from the old fronts, leaving the camera to hang down his chest as he moved over to slip an arm around Shiori’s shoulders, squeezed her lightly. My big girl, she could almost hear him say. Almost.
As such, so many things remained unsaid.