Chapter Eighteen: Four in the Morning Doubts:

Chilled through, I wake up
With the first light. Outside my window
A red maple leaf floats silently down.
What am I to believe?
I hate the sight of coming day
Since that morning when
Your insensitive gaze turned me to ice
Like the pale moon in the dawn.

--“LX” from The Love Poems of Marichiko by Kenneth Rexroth 1978

July 5th, 2009.

The rain poured on in the early morning hours. Anna lied awake in the darkness as her old crutch named doubt entered her mind. She and Tsuzuki had been getting close lately; so close that it made her skin crawl. She looked over at Tsuzuki. He was peacefully away in dreamland. An uncomfortable smile came slowly onto her face. He loved her and treated her like a princess. They started opening up to each other. The kisses and caresses felt sacred to her. Their conversations held heavy value to her and the sex… oh, it kept getting better and better.

Anna’s cheeks colored rose red at those last thoughts. Tsuzuki was so gentle yet forceful when the timing called for it. Their relationship seemed to be developing nicely, but her doubts didn’t get the eviction notice.

The woman slowly slipped out of her lover’s arms. Anna made sure that she didn’t wake up Tsuzuki as she climbed out of the futon. Not really necessary; her boyfriend was a heavy sleeper. She got on her feet in the dark and looked for something to cover herself up with. Her black t-shirt caught her eye and slid it down over her head. She walked out of the room and into the bathroom. She didn’t even turn on any lights the whole time.


I should be happy now. I’ve got a good boyfriend. I do love him. But, he told me about his past last night. Anna bit her lip as she looked in the mirror.

That’s not the problem. He’ll want me to tell him more about myself. I haven’t opened up in so long. Can he take even a third of my thoughts? Why, if I even said half of my deepest thoughts, I’d end up scaring off many people! However, Asato-kun keeps trying to break down my box. Something tells me he’s not going to quit either. I don’t even think I even tried to fight him off yet.

It’s so weird. I don’t feel so defensive when Asato-kun and I are intimately close. I almost want to tell him everything about me. But… I can’t. Not just yet anyway. Everything is so good now.

But then, a grim thought crossed her mind.

I told him that I would heal his scars in time. But…

Anna turned sideways and looked at her back. She slowly lifted up the back of her shirt. The scars seemed to scream at her. Only Anna could hear it. She could ever hear her life ticking away at the mere sight of those whip scars.

I can’t complain. I went to Emiko and the demons for help on my own accord. No one forced me to do it. But, I still regret the scars. They remind me I don’t have much time left.

Her face went rather grim.

I know Asato-kun saw the scars already. I just don’t want him to see them again. They might scare him off, but he worried about his own scars and I accepted them with an open heart. He treats the scars on my wrists with great care.

It was then a new realization sent her into alarm and a new level of sex-love driven nirvana. Oh my god; I’m in a serious relationship for real and I love it! It feels good to be so close and open to him. Anna neatly placed her hands of her heart as her cheeks pinkened again.

Wow! This feels… just… amazing! I think I might faint. Anna shut her eyes and took in a slow deep breath. Right, only one thing left to do.

A little smile returned on her face as Anna left the bathroom. Tsuzuki was still asleep in the futon in her bedroom. His girl smiled as she took off her shirt and crawled back in with him. She even slipped his arms back around her body. The woman kissed him on the chest with a tiny butterfly kiss.

“My love…” she whispered before shutting her eyes to sleep the rest of the morning off. The doubts of security and openness were laid to rest for the time being. She would have to wing it for now. As for the scars on her back, she would just have to stay on her back in bed or be on top just like last night.