A week before you were to meet Akané, that “private physician” of yours e-mailed you.
Come to think about it, that’s right, she did.
Had you forgotten?
About that night? No, no, no, no. I’ll never forget thatnight. It’s the timing I wasconfused about. See, whenever I think about Satomi, our relationship, the core of what I remember are things that occurred much later.
It had been almost six months since you last heard from her, hadn’t it?
Yeah, I suppose it had been that long.
I called Satomi back and, right off the bat, she apologized to me for having been such a stranger. She had been busy with her experiments, she explained. She had been practicing domino liver transplants on mice, of all things. It’s quite alright, I assured her. After all, how could I complain? I’d been busy myself . . .
Self-absorbed is more like it.
Perhaps . . . But, now she was telling me she had some free time that evening.
“I’m sorry, it’s so sudden, but . . .”
“No, no. Tonight’s fine. I’d love to see you.”
And, so you met.
Even though Satomi was dressed casually in jeans and a simple white blouse and her make-up was done ever so subtly, good God, was she ever beautiful. But, no matter how attracted I was to her—and I could have eaten her up right then and there—I didn’t want to start a relationship with her until she could understand, andaccept, my situation. The last thing I wanted to do was ruin it before it even began.
That hadn’t stopped you before.
No, I must admit it hadn’t.
Why do you think you were so . . . shall we say circumspect . . . when dealing with Satomi, then?
Because she was . . . special.
Special? Aren’t all women special in some way or another?
Satomi was The Complete Package.
The Complete Package?
A real catch. She was beautiful, tall, and just exuded femininity. And in spite of that, she didn’t have the attitude that many beautiful, confident women tend to have. Now, if that was all there was to her, if her charms had only been skin-deep, I probably would have already sealed the deal, so to speak. But, no, in addition to her looks, she was exceptionally bright. A surgeon, no less! And yet, she was approachable, personable, fun to be with. She was, in short, The Complete Package. I mean, what more could a man ask for?
I take it her coming from a family with money didn’t hurt, either.
No, I will admit that it didn’t. But, then, I’ve never been a gold digger. Why if I were, I would have skipped with alacrity down the aisle with skinny ol’ Tatami years earlier.
After dinner at a small Italian place near your apartment, Satomi had a favor to ask of you.
She did, indeed. Satomi confessed that she had been so busy with her work and experiments that she had completely forgotten to pay her electricity bill . . .
And then she asked if she could spend the night.
“It’s embarrassing,” she says. “I’ve got no lights and no air conditioning. I couldn’t bear to sleep in this heat . . .”
I am taking a large sip of grappa when she says this and swallow hard.
“Sure,” I say, sputtering. “Mi casa es su casa.”
“Is that Italian?”
“No, it’s Spanish. It means, ‘My home is your home.’”
“Oh, thank you, Peadar!”
Later, while Satomi is taking a shower, I’m waiting in my futonwith an erection you could crack walnuts with. When she comes into the bedroom, she’s wearing nothing but a towel, wrapped loosely around her. Standing at the foot of my futon, she lets the towel drop and in the dim light of the paper lantern I can finally see what I always suspected: Satomi has all the curves of a real heartbreaker.
Satomi crawls under the sheets and as she snuggles up against me she can feel my excitement.
“Yes, well . . .”
Satomi nimbly undoes the button on my boxer shorts and, pulling Paddy out, exclaims: “How odd! Were you circumcised?”
“I was, yes. It’s an American thing, I’m afraid.”
“I’ve never seen one before. Mind if I look?”
Before I can reply, she pulls the sheets back and starts inspecting my penis as an appraiser might assess an heirloom.
“I like it,” she says, giving Paddy a peck, and without further ado takes him into her mouth.
“S-s-satomi, th-there’s s-something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”
With my cock still in her mouth, she mumbles, “You’re not gay, are you?”
“Me gay? Hah! No, I’m not gay. Last thing I am is gay. It’s something else, something that you deserve to know, and wouldn’t be fair to not tell you.”
“So, tell me now,” she says, looking up at me, cock still in her mouth.
“I want to, but I would much rather tell you afterit’s no longer an issue. The thing is, Satomi, I’m crazy about you. I have longedto be with you.”
“I know, and I couldn’t be happier about that.”
“I can tell,” she says, and returns to fellating me.
“P-p-please, Satomi, s-s-stop.”
“You don’t like it?”
“I love it. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since we first met . . .”
“But now that I’m here, you don’t want me?”
“I do. I dowant you. Can’t you feel that?”
“Then let me help you with it.”
“Lord knows I want you to. But, don’t. Please don’t. I need more time. That’s all I ask for. Just a little time, a month perhaps, and everythingwill be different. This is important to me. I want little more of this world than to make love to you right now, but I want it to be . . . perfect. Without . . . complications. Please.”
How chivalrous of you, Peador.
Selfish is more like it. Had I told the woman in whose mouth my cock now was that I was married, why, she probably would have bolted out of the apartment.
Naked, with your penis in her mouth?
After removing my cock and getting dressed, of course.
You could have lied.
I know. I could have told Satomi any number of things: “I’m ‘kinda seeing’ someone, but the relationship is on the rocks.” That sort of thing. But suppose we did start dating, and after a while began to think about marriage, well then, she would eventually learn about Haruka. And, she would discover that I hadn’t always been telling her the complete truth. And that’s the thing, when it came to Satomi, I had always gone out of my way not to lie to her. That’s how seriously I had been thinking about her. I didn’t want the relationship to be damaged by half-truths from the get-go.
Not an unreasonable hope, I suppose.
I also didn’t want the relationship to be infected by the malaise . . .
Yes, malaise. That emotional paralysis I mentioned earlier. Little seemed to affect me or move me anymore. I may have cried the night Kei and I broke up, but now that she was gone . . . Why, the sloughed off skin of a snake had more sensation than I did.
Speaking of snakes, what happened after that?
I took the rest of my clothes off and we lay together in each other’s arms as naked as Adam and Eve and just as innocent, kissing, kissing, kissing . . .
Do you ever regret not . . .?
Not even a . . .?
No. Considering what would happen to Satomi a few years later, I think that night couldn’t have ended any better than it did.
And the night with Akané? How would you say that ended?
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.