And so, in March you flew with Haruka to the US, where you enrolled her in an intensive English program, spent some time with your family, and, a few weeks later, returned to Japan alone. You didn’t know, though, just how alone you were going to feel.

Got that right. 

In the pile of mail that had accumulated in your mailbox during your absence there were two letters: one from Kei, and another from a woman who . . .

Claimed my wife was having an affair with her husband.

The woman had discovered a DVD her husband made, showing . . .

The two of them having sex in a hotel suite. 

And included a copy of the DVD with her letter. Did you watch it?

The DVD? Only briefly to confirm that it was indeed Haruka on it.

And what did you see?

Haruka in a bathrobe, holding a glass of champagne. Fast-forwarding the DVD, I watched the man going down on Haruka. That was enough for me.

Were you angry?



How could I have been, what with all my own philandering?

True. So, how did you feel?

Depressed. A friend suggested we have a party and watch the whole thing but I wasn’t the least bit interested. My first inclination was to chuck the DVD into the garbage, but I realized it might come in handy when and if Haruka and I ever started to seriously discuss getting divorced.

Did you ever tell Haruka about the DVD?


Why not?

It wasn’t necessary. Besides, if there’s one thing I cannot stand it’s a hypocrite.

And the letter from Kei?

It was uncharacteristically short for Kei: just a few hurried lines, saying something to the effect that she feared her husband was wising up to our “extracurricular activities” and asked me to refrain from mailing or calling her for the time being.

Welcome back to Japan, Peadar!

Yeah. Well, at least with the start of the school year I was too busy to dwell upon it. As much as I wanted, even needed, to see Kei, I was loath to cause any trouble for her. So, I waited.

And waited and waited and waited and . . .

And before I know it, a month went by and still no word from Kei, and I started to think that something wasn’t right.

Had it ever been?

The first installment/chapter of A Woman's Hand can be found here.

A Woman's Hand and other works are available in e-book form and paperback at Amazon.