A year had passed since Xiuying and you had last met and as she stood at the entry of your apartment, looking more gorgeous than ever, you could barely hide your excitement.

I had always been attracted to her, always wondered what would happen if we were ever alone together, and now here we were, just the two of us. I was tempted to pull her right in and start tearing away at her clothes.



My mouth dry, I wheeze for Xiuying to come on in.

As she steps in, she locks the door behind herself. I disappear into the kitchen and make some tea, if anything to hide that divining rod of an erection of mine.

Taking a seat at my dining room table, Xiuying asks how married life is treating me.

“Never better,” I say. It is a lie—Haruka and I just had another epic fight that morning. “And, you?”

She replies that her husband resigned from his company and is going to start an importing business. She sounds excited about it.

By the time the tea is ready, my friend “Paddy” has calmed down enough for me to safely venture out of the kitchen. I sit down across from Xiuying and ask how I can help her.

“I want to study in America . . .”


“What does your husband think about that?”

“I haven’t told him yet,” she says with a titter.

Xiuying goes on, saying she needs to improve her English first so that she can get a good score on the TOEFL and GRE. The usual spiel. I have already helped so many people with similar goals that I have considered starting a consulting business.

She pulls a textbook out of her bag to show me what she has been studying. She is already half way through the thick text and it is obvious that she has been poring over it: pages are dog-eared and highlighted, memos in Chinese and Japanese are written throughout. She says she is going to take the tests in the autumn, so she only has about half a year left to prepare.

“If you keep up the good work, I don’t think there is any reason why you won’t get the score you want.”

“I’m so relieved to hear that,” she says in well-rehearsed, yet faltering English. “But, I need help with my pronunciation.”

It’s true: she won’t be winning any diction contests.

“Tell you what: why don’t we teach each other?” I suggest.

“What do you mean?”



I had been studying Chinese for a few years and needed more practice. I couldn’t think of a more enjoyable way to learn how to get my tongue around Chinese words than over tea with Xiuying.

And so, it was agreed: you would meet every Thursday afternoon, spend forty-five minutes speaking in English, forty-five in Chinese.

Only, it didn’t quite work out as I expected.

To put it mildly.

Once we had taken care of business, I told Xiuying about some CADD[1] software I had bought and asked if she wanted to see it.

Xiuying, though, was more interested in seeing something else first.

Well, Xiuying had never used the Internet before—few people had at the time, come to think of it—and asked to see the Internet, instead. As I was showing her some of the fun stuff you could do online—Mind you, this was a decade before Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube, even before Google . . .



“Can you see . . .,” Xiuying says with a tinge of embarrassment, “pornography?”

“Porn? Why the Internet is virtually powered by porn,” I exclaim.

And with a clickety-click-click, a picture of a naked woman reveals itself, scrolling down one painfully slow line at a time. When the woman’s nipples finally appear, Xiuying squeals with childish delight and squeezes my arm.

“What else can you see,” she asks, barely able to control her excitement.

I open up a new window and, clickety-click-click, a photo of a woman fellating a man starts scrolling down.

More titillated screams explode from Xiuying. She is now clutching onto my arms and squirming beside me. We look at a few more pictures and the next thing I know we are rolling on the floor, kissing like we’re the first couple to discover it. And I’m thinking, “I shouldn’t be doing this, I shouldn’t be doing this, I am a married man, I am a married man, I am a . . .”

But I can’t stop myself. I pull the sweater over her head, undo the bra and bury my face in her gorgeous breasts.



If it weren’t for the doorbell, announcing the arrival of my next student, the two of us would probably have had sex right then and there on my dining room floor.


[1] CADD stands for Computer-Aided Design and Drafting.

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.