Unlike Xiuying, when you first met Kei, she was still single, wasn’t she?
Yes. She was about six months away from getting married to her boyfriend of some seven years.
A nurse, she certainly lived up to the fantasies lascivious men have of women in that profession, didn’t she?
I’ve never gotten that.
The nurse fetish. Whenever Ithink of nurses, my head is overwhelmed by images of bedpans, needles, Nurse Mildred Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. . .
But Kei was different.
Very much so. For starters, Kei was extraordinarily pretty . . .
And nurses are ugly?
In my experience, nurses in Japan have all the charm of nightclub bouncers. Kei, however, was rather girlish. She had long light brown hair that was thick with curls. More than her looks, though, the thing that I really fell for was how cheerful and carefree she was, her upper lip curling up like a duck’s beak whenever she laughed.
Kei was full of life when you were feeling sapped of it.
Exactly. It still amazes me today that Kei could have had such a sunny disposition at the time when she was working in the ER, dealing on a daily basis with death—traffic accidents and messy suicide attempts, that sort of thing. Had I been in her line of work, I probably would have become suicidal myself.
You would end up having a relationship with Kei that would continue past her own wedding and right up to your divorce from Haruka.
More or less. And, it all started one night when Kei and I happened to be alone. She had many questions, and doubts, about marriage.
“Have you ever been unfaithful?” she asks, a playfully devious look in her eyes.
“Have you ever cheated on Haruka?”
“Me? Cheat? On Haruka? No, no, no, no . . . I’m a happily married man.”
“I don’t believe it.”
“Why do you ask?”
And then she confesses:“Ever since the engagement, I’ve been terribly attracted to men.”
“Is that . . . normal?”
With an opening like that, how could you not let yourself in?
It’s funny, but I wasn’t all that captivated by Kei at first—I’ve never been into the cute, girlish type—but then she goes and tells me how horny she’s been lately, and Bingo!
Oh, it isn’t that odd, Peadar. One of the things males find most irresistible in females is something that is remarkably basic.
Availability. As much as you boys like to think differently, you are the weaker sex.
Oh, I know. Good God, how I know.
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.