Thursday, July 03, 2008

Konbini Love Child

I used to worry that living in a small countryside town would eventually backfire on me, however I've successfully kept it hidden that I have been keeping two girlfriends for just over a year now. Aiko was the first. I met her over a year and a half ago at the funeral of my next door neighbor. Our families had lived beside each other since I was an elementary student. Totsuka-san was a teacher of classic Japanese literature. He became my homeroom teacher when I was a junior in high school. During his funeral procession, I became overwhelmed with a deep nostalgia of how he would joke in class about how I used to ride his young son around in the basket of my bike. It embarrassed me immensely when I was but a 16 year old punk teenager who didn't want anyone to know that I played with children. However, when I glanced at his son, who was now the same age I was when Totsuka was my teacher, leaning his head on his mother's shoulder, hiding his tears, I quietly exited from my seat and went to smoke a cigarette away from the crowd.

My mother later chastised my disrespectful behaviour, however, I only did it because I didn't want to become too overwhelmed. I didn't want to cry. I truly did miss Totsuka-san's late night "tadaima" as I'd spend the summers outside working on my motorcycles.

It was while I was searching my pocket for my lighter, that I first saw Aiko. It wasn't her cherry red lips or her perfectly shaped legs that had caught my attention. I hadn't noticed those things until I later approached to ask if she needed a hankerchief. She was crying. I asked her how she was related to the Totsuka family, but she answered that she was just an ex-student. Later in the conversation, I grew deeply embarrassed that we were actually in the same homeroom, yet couldn't remember her at all. She didn't take offense, she just smiled and said "Well, it is not surprising for I rarely ever made a presence in my classes. Not even Totsuka sensei would remember my name."

Soon afterwards, we began dating. I soon realized why she seemed so familiar. I asked her if anyone has ever told her that she looked like Ayumi Hamasaki. She smiled and said that I compliment freely. It was then that she admitted to styling her hair like Ayu-chan because she thought it would match her face well. Sometimes I got the feeling that it was a little more than the innocent admiration of Ayumi's hair, Aiko also owned every CD she's ever released. She would never agree to sing any of her songs during Karaoke, however. I would have liked to see that.

She was and still is a librarian assistant at a library a few towns away. She often talks about how it was Totsuka sensei who inspired her to appreciate the fine literary works of haiku poets. On my last birthday, she took me to her room inside her parents house and asked me if I would like to have my present. I nodded, and she slowly began to unbutton her blouse, never once looking me in the eye. After a moment's hesitation, she opened her shirt. I was amazed at the beauty of her body.

Earlier that morning, she had carefully written an original haiku that she had composed in front of a mirror. On her belly was written

cherry blossoms fall
someday my bosom will too
but we are here now

I didn't know how to react. I stood there quiet and she then began to button her shirt. My friends were to meet us at a restaurant in a half hour, so I took her queue that we should hurry and make our way.

I often think about that afternoon in her parent's house. I almost cannot believe that Aiko, as shy as she is, gave me such a beautiful birthday present. However, since that day, I grew incredibly impatient. I soon began to wonder when we would eventually come to making love.

We've only made love once. It was a month after I had turned 21. After my birthday, I had grown increasingly obsessed with becoming one with her naked body. But she was shy. I soon began to grow irritated that she gave me such a beautiful birthday present, however never let me touch her when we were alone. She would complain that it made her uncomfortable. Actually, it was never a complaint, just a comment, an explanation. So one night, I grew exceptionally impatient and told her that I wanted to break up. She nodded and asked me to take her home. Silence ensued for the duration of the drive to her house. When we approached, she began to cry. I couldn't bear to look at her, so instead I remained quiet and stared at the road ahead.

Then, she put her hand on mine and asked if I wanted to visit a nearby love hotel that we would often pass on our way back from the local hot spring. I turned the key and we made love that night. Our first and only night.

I met Rina at a movie theatre in the city. My best friend, Kento, and I had no intention of watching a movie that day, however, we were bored and wanted to kill some time before the izakayas opened. When I came out from the bathroom, I saw Kento talking to someone. She wasn't really a beautiful girl, her face was round and her arms were chubby. He was glad to see that I returned and quickly said goodbye to her and we entered the dark room. The movie had already started.

Afterwards, as we were smoking a cigarrette in front of the theatre, Rina had spotted us. She was alone. I mentioned that we were about to go have a few beers at our favorite izakaya, and I immediately felt Kento's angry stare. The three of us walked a couple of blocks and entered the bar, only to find that it was jammed packed. He grew very angry that we couldn't be seated and suggested that we go home. I didn't want to and he excused himself and said that he wanted to meet some friends down the street. I was about to follow him, when Rina grabbed my arm and suggested that we get a few drinks and go into the park to talk. I didn't know how to respond, however, Kento quickly excused himself and before I realized what had happened, I was walking into a Konbini with Rina.

Rina loves sex. Even now, I've never thought that any girl felt the kinds of urges that guys feel. Yet, Kento still tries to convince me that I should not have two girlfriends. I almost took heed of his advice until I caught him trying to seduce her on the balcony at a party. After every night I spend with Rina, she confesses her love and adoration for me, begging me to marry her. When I come to think about the situation honestly, I realize that I prefer the nights with Rina much more than the ones with Aiko.

I have grown comfortable with them both. I love them both, and though my paranoia about the possibility that they may someday find out about each other still lingers, nothing seems finer than how things are at the moment.

However, recently, I have wondered about my latest obsession. I have found that after a night with Rina, spending hours at our favorite bar, dancing to the songs she chooses on the jukebox, arguing about our favorite baseball teams with the bartender, making out in the tiny waiting area outside the bathrooms, I have taken to quite an unusual practice.

After we go back to her apartment above the hairshop she works at, after we tire ourselves out atop of her cool cotton sheets, after she lays her head on my elbow and whispers her goodnight "I love you's" into my cheek, I cannot fall asleep.

I lay there. At first, I used to try to close my eyes and concentrate on her breathing, thinking that the rhythm would lull me to sleep. However, these days, I have found that the only solution is to sneak out of bed, put on my pants and shoes, walk to the Konbini down the corner, and stand in front of the magazine stands. I flip through each one, searching for pictures of Ayumi Hamasaki.

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