Hair Over Shoulder Shy
Katherine Hana Li spin_kick_snap
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Arms Hotel, Friday Evening
So, when Kathy's dad had called to inform her the family was coming out for Parent's Weekend this year, he'd put her in charge of getting them a room at the hotel. And Kathy, knowing how particular her dad could be about things, had put in a lot of thought about where they should stay and what kind of room it would be best to get them. At first, she'd considered a hotel in Baltimore proper, just to keep them away from anything crazy the island could devise over the weekend. She'd only reluctantly given that idea up when she realized that there was no way they'd be able to get a cab past the Causeway and her parents would not appreciate having to climb all those stairs just to see an on-island hotel they could have stayed in.

Then she thought about getting them a junior suite or something, just to make sure they'd be comfortable, but she knew that her mom would freak out about the price tag. The rooms weren't that expensive, but after three plane tickets, Kathy was just going to err on the side of economical. It seemed smarter. She didn't want her family thinking she didn't appreciate how much it must have cost to fly out here or that she had become careless and extravagant. The cabins had seemed really cute and would be good for privacy, but she didn't want to take one away some someone who needed it. Or have her parents run into the type of people who'd need one. Such a meeting wouldn't end well for anyone.

Instead, she'd finally settled on a basic room, but with a king-size bed instead of two doubles. Sarah could bunk with her in her dorm--which would give them time to catch up by themselves--and they could have a nice hotel room to themselves. Maybe they'd see it as a mini-vacation and her dad would stop grumbling about the expense of flying out here.

"Here's the room," she chirped, opening the door for them. "Oooh, you have a nice view through the window! I'm glad they were able to take care of that." She gave her parents a hesitant smile, it all looked good to her. The room was clean and spacious and the view really was nice. "The bed looks comfortable. I bet you'll sleep really well on it."

[Open, if anyone would have a reason to stop by? Also, tw for emotional manipulation in Kathy's thread with her parents.]

the_family_li

2014-09-27 03:15 am (UTC) (Link)

"Cool!" Sarah said, darting inside to see what cool things could be found in the hotel's drawers. You could find all kinds of things there, or so she'd read on the net. "This room get cable?"

Their parents had followed Sarah insides, but without any of her enthusiasm. Mrs. Li still had the same, pursed expression she'd worn when she'd seen the banner for Polly downstairs.

"This is not the room you sent us in your email," Mr. Li declared.

spin_kick_snap

2014-09-27 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)

"Well, no, that's because I just sent you the picture of the regular rooms off the site," Kathy said, starting to wring her hands without even realizing it. "I did just send a regular room, right? Not, like, a junior suite or something?"

Oh man oh man oh man. Had she sent them the wrong room by accident and gotten them expecting something much more opulent?

the_family_li

2014-09-27 03:24 am (UTC) (Link)

"This room must be a mistake," Mr. Li declared. "There's only one bed in it. How incompetent is the staff here? There are four of us, and only one bed. Where are we all to sleep? Or do they expect us to cram together like sardines?"

Sarah silently shut the drawer she was pawing through, turning slightly to look at her dad. "I could go ask someone?" she volunteered. "There was the lady at the desk--" Mrs. Li hmph'd. "--I could see if there's some kind of mistake?"

spin_kick_snap

2014-09-27 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)

"Whoa! Hey, no!" Kathy said, sliding in front of Sarah before she could make good on her exit. "I mean, no, there's no mistake. I asked for a room with a single king. I thought it would make you and Mom happy. You know, a whole room to yourself. I figured Sarah could crash with me in my dorm and the two of you could have a nice weekend while you're here."

She gave them a hopeful smile. "You know, like a thank you for coming all the way out here for a weekend?"

the_family_li

2014-09-27 03:36 am (UTC) (Link)

"Katherine, that's very sweet of you!" Mrs. Li said, smiling for the first time since they'd entered the lobby. "What a nice thought t--"

"Utter foolishness," Mr. Li declared. "Of course you'll be staying with us, Katherine. The idea of you and your sister sleeping somewhere else is absurd. With all the money we spent coming out here--on top of your tuition, I'll add--you want to just leave us alone? Why, so you can run off with your friends?"

spin_kick_snap

2014-09-27 04:29 am (UTC) (Link)

"No! No, of course not, Dad. I just thought that maybe you and Mom would appreciate some time without us. That's all."

the_family_li

2014-09-27 04:37 am (UTC) (Link)

"Oh, you're not feeling appreciated, are you?" Mr. Li asked, his eyebrow raised. "We send you out here, to a good school, pay for everything you need, but because you want to run off to a party, suddenly you have to make snide comments about your mother and not I appreciating what you do for us."

spin_kick_snap

2014-09-27 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)

"What? No, Dad, that's not what I was saying at all!" She hated when this happened, when she said one thing, but then he took it another and she spent more time trying to justify and explain rather than address whatever had been wrong in the first place. "I honestly meant that I thought you and Mom would like some time by yourselves! That's all! I wasn't trying to make some kind of dig at you!"

the_family_li

2014-09-27 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)

"Now, Kathy, you need to calm down," Mrs. Li said, looking anxiously at her husband. "Your father is already upset with you. You know histrionics only upset him further."

the_family_li

2014-09-27 04:48 am (UTC) (Link)

Sarah, in fine acting tradition, grabbed her phone and exited stage left, into the bathroom. She mouthed 'Sorry' to Kathy on her way; she felt bad for abandoning her sister, but there was absolutely nothing she could do to help.

Kathy was good at calming him down anyway, better than Sarah herself was. She'd had a lot longer to figure out the best techniques.

Ugh, she typed on an anonymous message board. Here only a few hours and he's already throwing a tantrum. Bet sis wasn't thinking of this last time she told me she was homesick.

spin_kick_snap

2014-09-27 08:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Kathy took a few deep breaths, making sure to speak calmly and slowly. She didn't think she was being hysterical, but protesting that would only make things worse. And, who knew? Maybe she had been. It had been so long since anyone had policed her tone, she could have easily slipped into something more strident than she'd intended. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to speak out of turn," she said, contrite. "I just wanted to assure you that I didn't mean to imply anything of the sort. I really appreciate you all coming out here and visiting me. I just thought that it would be nice for you two to some time to yourself. Like a vacation. It's been forever since you took one, since you both have to work so hard to take care of us."

the_family_li

2014-09-27 08:19 am (UTC) (Link)

"I accept your apology, Katherine," Mr. Li said, ever-magnanimous. "Please try to control your emotions better next time so another one won't be necessary."

spin_kick_snap

2014-09-27 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)

"I'll try, Dad," Kathy mumbled, looking at her feet. "So, is it okay then? If Sarah and I sleep in my dorm? I think she'll enjoy the experience..."

the_family_li

2014-09-27 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)

"Well," Mrs. Li said, looking up at her husband. "It's your father's decision, of course, but I think--"

"Absolutely not."

"--I think it would be a bad idea."

spin_kick_snap

2014-09-27 08:28 am (UTC) (Link)

"But Mom..."

Kathy gave that up almost immediately. When her dad spoke, they stood united.

"Dad, please? I haven't seen Sarah in forever, and I'd like to catch up with her."

She was pushing her luck, she knew, but she'd really missed her little sister and wanted to introduce her to all of her friend, out from under the watchful eyes of their parents.

"And you and Mom could have a nice--"

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