Chapter Twenty-Two: Principles of Love:
The sun is out this morning. But thatâ€™s not on my mind right now as Anna-chan sleeps peacefully in my arms. I kiss her on the forehead and sigh. Mornings like this are perfect. My angel with me, this happy feeling, I couldnâ€™t ask for more. Okay, I still have work, but even that canâ€™t bring me down. Six months already, huh? It doesnâ€™t feel like it. I brush my lips against Anna-chanâ€™s forehead again.
â€œI love you,â€ I whisper. She looks up, still partly asleep. I smile at her.
â€œGood morning,â€ I whisper. â€œDid you sleep well?â€
â€œYes,â€ she nods.
I kiss her on the forehead. â€œI love you,â€ I whisper.
â€œI love you too,â€ Anna-chan says back. We share another kiss.
II: Dressing Up
Anna-chan has another interview today. I watch her pick out something to wear.
â€œYouâ€™ll do great!â€ I reassure her, from the comfort of our bed.
â€œThank you,â€ she replies. Anna-chan picks out a black skirt and white blouse. â€œHow does this look?â€
â€œGood,â€ I replied.
Anna-chan glances over at me from the mirror. Somehow, I enjoy watching her getting dressed as much as I do stripping her. The skirt goes on first, then she slides her blouse over her scars.
â€œDonâ€™t you have work today?â€ she asks.
â€œYeah,â€ I say, waving her off.
â€œShouldnâ€™t you get going?â€
â€œI will.â€ I lean forward, smiling. â€œIâ€™ll go after you leave.â€ Anna-chan raises an eyebrow at me.
â€œWhy?â€ she asks.
â€œDoes there have to be a reason?â€ I ask. She buttons up her blouse without a word.
â€œGood luck today,â€ I tell her.
â€œThank you,â€ Anna-chan says, picking up a pair of black stockings. Why is it so sexy for a woman to put on stockings? I quickly shake my head. No, itâ€™s too early for that! Stop it! I happen to look up and see Anna-chan staring at me.
â€œWhat?â€ I ask.
â€œIs something wrong?â€ she asks.
â€œNothing!â€ I lie.
â€œOkayâ€¦â€ she says with an unconvinced tone.
â€œLook, just forget it!â€ I shout red in the face. My wife bursts into laughter.
â€œShut up!â€ I yell. Her laughing grows louder. I lower my head, sighing. Why do I keep walking into these?
Once she calms down, Anna-chan kisses me on the lips. â€œSee you tonight.â€ She leaps off the futon and heads out the door. Afterwards, I go to work as well.
III: Our Lament
Today, I am reminded of one more hitch in our marriage. While out on a case, I take a small break in the local park. As I sit on a bench, a couple walks past me arm in arm. A man and woman in their late twenties to early thirties. Perhaps she's his wife or girlfriend. The woman is seven months pregnant. Her man, despite his many scary-looking tattoos, would stop occasionally to rub on the motherâ€™s belly and talk to their unborn baby.
That will never be Anna-chan and me.
I am dead and Anna-chanâ€™s body is basically sterile. We will never be parents. She wonâ€™t enjoy being a mother and me a father. I sigh and look up at the big blue sky hanging above. Maybe we can adopt? Maybeâ€¦
IV: Fiery Chemistry
I miss our bed again. Anna-chan makes want to teach her new tricks. I find myself wanting to get back to that sex store each day. I almost forgot what they could be like. Love swings, vibrators, lubes, handcuffs, toys, I could go on here. I smile at myself over my paperwork.
Damn, Iâ€™m getting horny again. I draw in a deep breath. Right, work first, sexy time later. I can do this. I smirk as I finish up my paperwork.
V: Tokyo Date
Anna-chan and I decide to go to Chijou Tokyo for our date tonight.
â€œWhere do you want to go?â€ I kiss her on the cheek.
She takes hold of my arm as she sweetly replies â€œAnywhere is fine.â€
â€œLetâ€™s eat first,â€ I whisper.
â€œAlright,â€ she says.
We end up at a new restaurant in a hidden Chinese neighborhood. I spend the whole night thinking about love. Ours is a strange path. Most of it came unplanned. We just kissed, slept together, fell in love, moved in, and got married. Do we regret any of it? No! I would happily do it all again. I know Anna-chan would do the same.
â€œHow is your dinner?â€ I ask.
â€œItâ€™s good,â€ she answers.
â€œI love you,â€ I tell her.
â€œI love you too,â€ she says back. After dinner, I pick up the tab.
We donâ€™t do much for the rest of our date. For the heck of it, Anna-chan and I ride around on a subway for the rest of the evening. There arenâ€™t many people around tonight; it feels perfect like this. My wife lays her head on my shoulder and sighs.
I spot an elderly couple sitting across from us. I can tell they are still in love just by looking at them. Will that be Anna-chan and me in the years to come? The old man looks at me with a rather curious look on his face. I smile and rest my hand on Anna-chanâ€™s knee. He squeezes his wifeâ€™s hand. He and I are no different. We love our wives dearly.
VI: Starts with a Kiss
When we arrive at our front door, Anna-chan kisses me.
â€œWould you like to come in?â€ she asks. I grin at her like a perverted schoolboy as I enjoyed where this latest game was going to head tonight.
â€œSure!â€ I answer.