Tom looked out the window from his large and luxurious hotel bed. The Tokyo skyline was strangely eerie. The aircraft warning lights installed on the building rooftops dotted the night sky. Their red lights pulsed alongside each other silently and rhythmically. It was as if they were watching, listening and monitoring the city. Maybe they know.
The oppressive vibe contrasted sharply to the positive and friendly buzz that Tom felt during the day. A few hours earlier, the shops were charming; people were cheerful and the smells of food were appetising. Then there was the delicious meeting with Kana.
Tom spotted her across a crowded room in the Yokohama Museum of Art. They had arranged to meet there. Tom let out the breath that he had been anxiously holding. He pushed pass the crowd to greet her. He grabbed her hands and they hugged.
‘I’ve missed you,’ Tom kissed Kana gently on the lips and brushed the strands of hair on her forehand to the side.
‘Me too,’ Kana smiled brightly at him.
‘It’s been too long. I crave for you everyday.’ Tom looked down at Kana.
‘I can’t believe you’re here.’
‘How much time do we have?’
‘Till six this evening.’
‘Let’s go to a sushi bar and then head back to the hotel.’
Tom flicked through the impressively thick sake menu and made a selection after a couple of minutes of intense study.
‘Why did you choose that one?’ Kana asked knowing that most foreigners don’t know sake very well.
‘It was the first one on the list. Nobody puts anything bad on top of the menu.’
They both laughed.
The crisp white sheet on the hotel bed had become unwieldy and wrinkled with their lovemaking. They sought urgently for each other to obey that urge, to fill that emptiness. Breathing heavily with their perspiring bodies, they kissed once more before Kana hopped out of bed to jump into the shower. When she reappeared, she was fully dressed.
‘I wish you didn’t have to go,’ Tom pleaded.
‘But aren’t you the one who’s leaving tomorrow?’ Kana smiled and winked at Tom before running out.
Tom surveyed the messy room and started to clean up. He opened his emptied suitcase and placed the bag of dirty clothes in. Then he went to the cupboard where all his shopping was kept. The little train models were for his three-year-old son and the funky socks were for his five-year-old daughter. It’s Japanese cookies and snacks for his wife Terri. Tom stared at those beautifully packaged gifts and felt his stomach drop a few inches. Guilt quickly filled his chest with heaviness and nauseousness. He carefully placed the items inside his suitcase. The toiletries would go in last tomorrow.
Lying alone in bed in the dark, he stared at the blinking red lights outside his window.
They look like some nightmare robots scheming, watching, and ready to pounce.
Wait, could someone be watching?
Does Terri know?
Tom felt a tingle down his neck and spine and his heart raced. He sat up quickly to ease his anxiety. Despite feeling faint, he staggered to the window to draw the curtain close.
No, she can’t know about Kana. I’ll deny everything. We were just colleagues working on a project. It’ll be fine.