Izumi’s naked body lay out before me, her skin pale in the dim light of the silvery moon peering through the window of the apartment. I slipped the tips of my fingers over her nipples, feeling them harden in response. I lowered my head and took one of her cherry-colored buds in my mouth, running my tongue over the peak tantalizingly. My other hand dipped over the smoothness of her belly and through the sparse carefully manicured hair at the apex of her thighs.
I sucked her nipple into my mouth at the same time I brushed against her clit. She jumped slightly in response and whimpered in her throat. I brushed my teeth over her nipple and bit down, causing her to groan in a mix of pain and pleasure. My finger traced its way down her slit before pressing into her hot body insistently.
The feeling of her canal clenching reflexively around my probing fingers fascinated me in an almost clinical way. The way it gripped and pulsed around my fingers. Yielding and welcoming. So similar yet subtly different than my own. Izumi moaned in her throat and her muscles clenched around my invading fingers. I hooked my index and middle fingers and brushed against the top of her vaginal wall, and she surged in response. This act, intimate, yet invasive, both fascinated and intimidated me as well.
What sort of trust was required to allow this sort of exploration? What sort of emotions did someone have to feel to allow this penetrative intrusion into your most intimate and hidden of places? I had fingered myself many times but had never allowed it. Memories threatened to flood my mind and I pushed them down ruthlessly. Now was not the time to resurrect the ghosts of the past.
Repositioning my hand I rubbed the palm of my hand over her clit in small circles, thrusting two fingers in and then nearly back out of her rhythmically. My teeth closed tighter on her nipple and Izumi’s body straightened and quivered as her fifth orgasm of the evening washed over her. She groaned deep in her throat as she ground her hips against my hand, nothing more than animal instinct and need at this point.
Her neck muscles tensed, and she moaned louder than before as yet another orgasm roared through her body, finally exploding in a splash of wetness which coated my fingers and the sheets beneath her. I licked her nipple once before releasing it. I raised myself to a sitting position and glanced down at her breast, my teeth marks angry and dark against her alabaster skin. I leaned back, laying my head back against the wall and sighed.
“That was wonderful, Kasumi,” Izumi murmured drowsily, her forearm still flung over her eyes languidly, body quivering and shaking as the aftershocks of her orgasms continued to race through her.
That sort of compliment always confused me. What should I say? ‘Thank you’ seemed rather arrogant and everything else felt disingenuous. So, lacking a coherent response I was comfortable with, I nodded mutely. I was aware she couldn’t see my nod with her arm over her eyes, but felt I’d at least given a response, so I was in the clear.
I glanced out the window at the moon rising over the roofs and buildings of Tokyo and sighed. I was always drawn to the moon. She seemed lonely as she rode through the starry sky each night. Her face was wasted and pocked by countless asteroids but still she clung to the earth, giving everything she had, and getting nothing in return but endless brutality.
A celestial younger sister doomed to devastation and locked in a one-sided relationship. To my mind she was a sympathetic and somewhat tragic figure, which spoke to me in a primal way. I’d been that way once as well, I supposed, so I knew the feeling.
“What are you thinking about?” Izumi whispered quietly, putting her hand on my thigh. Her palm was hot and sweaty, and I had to force down the urge to remove it. My body was already overheated quite enough without her adding to the discomfort.
“Nothing much,” I lied. Though, really, it was a harmless lie. Who cared about my pseudo-philosophical musings on a dead satellite? I glanced over at the clock on Izumi’s nightstand. Nearly 3 AM. It’ll be yet another in what was quickly becoming an endless series of days staggering through work, I thought with a scowl.
“It’s your turn, now,” Izumi giggled, reaching for me. I stopped her with my hand and shook my head in the wan light of the city streets and silvery moon.
“I’m good,” I told her. A look of pain crossed Izumi’s face and she sat still for a moment before lying back in bed, clutching her hands to her breasts as I released her. She stared at me for a long moment, eyes hooded in the dark.
“You never let me touch you,” she said into the silence which had descended like a veil between us. How many times had I had this conversation? I wondered. How many times had those words been thrown into the darkness at me like a shuriken? I knew where this would lead as I’d been in this place in the dark several times before.
“Is that a problem?” I asked once again. The rooms were different, the moon was higher or lower or not present in the sky, the girls were different, but the conversation was the same.
“It makes me feel like you don’t want me to touch you,” Izumi said quietly into the darkness, following the script almost perfectly. The inflection was different. The words in a different order, perhaps, the way her voice began strongly before ending in a near whisper were more dramatic, but the gist was the same. Always the same.
“I was up front with you in advance that I didn’t care to be touched,” I pointed out once again for the first time to Izumi.
“It’s almost our 100 days, you know,” Izumi replied haltingly, her voice catching in her throat.
“Yes,” I nodded. “On the 15th of January,”
“Don’t you think it’s high time you opened up to me a little?” Izumi asked, clearly impressed that I remembered and momentarily taken aback. “You won’t let me touch you. You won’t let me pleasure you. Hell, I’ve never even been into your apartment! Where do you even live? All I know about you is your name and where you work. Who are you? Do you have any siblings? What did you want to be when you were a little girl? What…” Her voice trailed off and her eyes found mine, sparkling in the silvery moonlight. Here, I thought, was when I blew it all up, I sighed quietly to myself.
“I like to give you pleasure, and I’m not sure what seeing my apartment or any of that other stuff has to do with us as a couple,” I answered woodenly, my lines in the script becoming old hat by now. The first time I’d played my role in the tragedy had been much better. I had more energy and indignation than I could muster now.
“It makes me think you don’t love me,” Izumi said after a moment. “It makes me think I don’t even really know you. Who are you? What are you?”
“You know who I am,” I replied.
“Do I?” Izumi’s voice broke as she fought back tears.
“I think so, yes,” I said dutifully.
“Do you love me, Kasumi?” I forced down a sigh. I had done that once and been slapped for the error and was not going to make the same mistake again. Rather than sigh, I simply remained silent, watching her form in the low light. She waited a long time before shifting slightly on the bed, I knew what was coming next, of course. The same words that always tumbled out. “What are we?”
“I don’t know what you mean,” I lied. I’d not gotten any better at lying, but as it was my first inclination, I decided to go with it.
“Plainly we’re not a couple,” Izumi’s indignation cut through the air like a scythe. “Fuck buddies? Friends with benefits? What the hell are we?”
A good question, I thought. One I’d yet to come up with a good answer for, no matter how many times I was asked. What were we? Warm bodies in search of companionship in the cold Tokyo winter? Were we friends who connected on a slightly deeper level I was incapable of going any deeper with? Maybe we were, after all, simply fuck buddies. Who knew? Certainly not me.
Maybe we were, after all stripped bare and left exposed, simply two people engaging in a primitive dance searching for some spark to light the dark and keep the monsters of loneliness at bay for a few moments more. Perhaps all coupling, uncoupling and renewed searching was simply that and nothing more.
“I guess I should go,” I murmured, standing, and retrieving my clothes from the floor as Izumi sagged against the wall.
“Is there someone else?” Izumi asked quietly.
“No,” I said, not technically a lie, I mused. But not entirely the truth, either I supposed. I couldn’t explain to her what I was looking for. I couldn’t explain I was searching for an exorcist to banish the demons I’d thought I’d left behind in Tottori. I couldn’t explain how I was searching for an absolution for sins I couldn’t put names to in any way which made sense. Since all of these thoughts were ridiculous to even voice, I decided it was best in the end to keep things simple.
“For the record,” Izumi whispered, tears choking her throat in the darkness,” I broke up with you. Let me have that.”
“Ok,” I nodded, pulling my jacket on, and stepping toward the door. Everyone needed closure in some way or other, I guessed. This was Izumi’s way of finding hers.
“I hope you find what you’re looking for, Kasumi,” Izumi hadn’t moved but I could feel her heart breaking from the door.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered, the first thing I’d said I could legitimately claim was not a lie or obfuscation. I was sorry. Sorry for the person I was. Sorry for the things I did and said and thought which had brought me to this point once again. Sorry, most of all, for dragging Izumi with me.
“Not as sorry as I am,” Izumi sobbed.
“I doubt it,” I managed, opening the door, and stepping onto the balcony. I closed the door behind me. Fingers which had been inside Izumi a few minutes earlier now dove into the pockets of my jacket for warmth in the cold night. The moon and scant lighting along the balconies showed me the way and I soon found myself on the street. I turned right and headed toward the main roads where I could take a taxi back home, feeling bereft once more but with no one to blame but myself.