– Call Me “Scout Nessa” –
Hideki was out the front of his property when I arrived. It looked like he was heading out, so I couldn’t help but wonder if he’d forgotten, which wouldn’t surprise me really, a complete stranger makes a non-committal statement that they would come and visit, I’d probably make plans too.
“Nessa! So good of you to come. I just need to head to the shops to pick up some food, Maseo ate all the food I’d prepared. Is grilled cheese sammies alright with you?”
“Is it alright? Grilled cheese is my favourite!” I replied with enthusiasm.
“Good! I won’t be long, doors unlocked so just head on in, Maseo should be just inside.”
I felt a bit strange just entering Hideki’s house without knocking first, but he did say to just enter, so…
“Sup,” a male voice called out from the stairs.
“Oh, hey! You must be Maseo, right?”
“Yeah, that’s me. I heard you’re a college footballer from the States, huh?”
“That’s right, I play for the Newcrest University,” I reply as Maseo gestures over to the lounge suite.
“That’s the Kunoichi, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” I replied with a hint of surprise in my voice.
“They used to be a pro-team before being sold back to the University, right?”
“Wow! You really know your stuff!!!”
“Football is my life.”
“Mine too,” I said, “There’s nothing better than running circles around the defence and surprising the keeper with a screamer from outside the box.”
“Or in my case making that perfect save, body in full-flight, fingertips extended and deflecting the ball just enough to miss the goal.”
“Ah, my mortal enemy! We meet at last!” I joked. A quality goalie was a position that the Ninjas’ lacked in, they were always going after the future-star strikers.
We spent the next fifteen minutes showing each other video footage of ourselves, and I had to say, he was really, really, really good. Great even, the Ninjas’ would kill for someone like him.
“I’m back!” Hideki burst through the door with two paper bags and laid them down in the kitchen before sitting down with us.
“Dad, you could’ve told me that it was Nessa Robbins that was visiting us today!”
“Hey, you know I don’t know about these sorts of things, I can’t even understand why they don’t use their hands!” Hideki laughed, guess that Maseo didn’t get his love for football from his dad.
“Wait, you knew who I was all along?”
“Well, yeah. I know all the future superstars, I’ve seen all of your video footage already.”
Sneaky bastard, “Someone has a good Pokerface!” I laughed.
Hideki stood up, “Well son, since you ate all the food before, you get the honour of making lunch. Chop! Chop!”
Maseo jumped up off the couch and strutted to the kitchen, whistling a cheery tune. Hideki sat in the seat that his son had recently vacated.
“Thank you for inviting me Mr…”
“Uehara.” Hideki offered.”Maseo loves his football. I don’t get it, and I also don’t think that Windenburg is too serious about it either. They’re more focused on their intellectual studies.”
“Well,” I whispered so that Maseo couldn’t hear me, “I could pull a few strings with my school. I’m sure that with a bit of time I could convince them to take him on as a foreign student.”
“That sounds expensive,” replied Hideki, a look of both interest and resignation on his face. They weren’t rich, I could tell, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
“Give me some time and I can work out all those details, cost shouldn’t be an issue.”
Hideki just nodded, I knew he wasn’t sure, and telling him that I was a Robbins would mean nothing to him, so we just left it at that.
While Maseo was cooking lunch, I met his cousin, Mako. We hit it off straight away, the first thing she did when she saw me was to show me this hilarious video of a polar bear playing in a kiddie pool of ice.
“Grubs up!” Maseo called out from the kitchen.
We all sat down at the table and I took a bite out of my hot grilled cheese sammie.
“Mmm…. So gooooo!” I said with my mouth full.
“So son, Nessa was talking to me earlier, and she seems to think that she could arrange a transfer to Newcrest University if you are interested?”
“Are you kidding me!?! Of course I would be interested, playing for a team that takes things seriously, and in America no less! I could enter the Draft at the end of the season!”
“Oh my god!” Mako cried out, “Can I go too, Uncle Hideki?”
“I don’t know Mako, Maseo is kind of a special case because of his football.”
“What’s your major Mako?” I asked as I stuffed my face with another mouthful of gooey cheese.
“Medicine, I’m training to be a doctor, I have the second best grades in the school,” Mako replied.
“Well then, that’ll be easy. I’ll frame it as a package deal, no Mako, no Maseo. Once they see what they’ll be getting they’ll be falling out of their chairs to get you. Give me a day and I’ll have an answer for you.”
“Thanks for this Nessa,” Maseo said, “Even if it doesn’t work out, you’ve been a champ!”
“Hey, that’s what friends are for, right?”