In the future, Akihito dumps Asami to travel the world. They start a conversation by email that makes them both think. Started as a sad drabble, after which I promised people a fun romance to get...
Dear Person Who Made My Life a Living Hell,
Delete delete delete.
Dear Sexy Bastard,
No, that would only give him a swelled head.
He stared at the blank page. What the hell was he supposed to write to the man?
Dear Person who Stopped to Bargain when my Life was in Danger Thank You Very Much:
That one had a certain ring to it. He left it.
Here's your email. I have no idea what you want to hear about. The weather is nice, wish you were here. Not.
The weather sucks. What do you expect from the North African desert? It's incredibly hot, and to make things worse, these Berbers think it's obscene for men to show any part of their bodies, so we're swathed in dark robes. And people think Japanese baths are hot. I'd give anything to be naked in a cool swimming pool.
He stared at that last. He didn't want to give anyone any ideas.
DON'T GET ANY IDEAS FROM THAT!!!
The walls seemed to lean forward in disbelief. Their owner was sitting back at his desk and softly laughing, a sound rarely heard in their confines. The aforesaid man bent again toward his computer screen and continued reading.
The people here are nice. Actually, they've been pretty nice wherever we've gone. Unlike certain clubs in Tokyo. Most people are a little shy or distrustful at first, and these are no exception. But when we explain what we're doing, they all want to be a part of it. They're so poor Ryuichi. It's painful to see people living on so little. And yet they're so willing to share it, and they're so happy. I've seen it time and again.
It makes me wonder, sometimes, about where happiness comes from. Doesn't it seem like some people carry it around inside them? What do you think they know that we don't? I mean, look at you. You have everything you've ever wanted to achieve, right? But I've never seen a genuine smile on your face. Lots of smirks, sure. But never a sign that you were happy.
I keep taking pictures, thinking that the secret might be revealed someday. If it is, I'll let you in on it. For all your assholiness, you have saved me several times, and if I could repay it with anything, happiness would be my choice. Maybe then at least you'd understand why I wanted it for us so badly.
Damn, that's getting mushy. Ah well, I'll leave it in. Maybe it will give you something to think about.
OK, enough about that. I ask myself, what would Asami Ryuichi like to hear about the Berbers? They have no money so they can't buy his guns and drugs. But they might be a source of loyal thugs if he gave them some money. The government here is totally corrupt. I'm betting you know people in it already, and so don't need any other contacts in this country.
Speaking of contacts, who are you talking to about me anyway btw? How did you know where I was? That's annoying. Don't you have any concept of privacy? You'd better not be bugging my friends. Are you?
I've attached some pictures from my Adventure with the Lion. I thought you might like to see the sharp pointy teeth you helped save me from. And yes, she was really that close.
Thank you, Ryuichi. Really. You know, what I said a few months ago, when we last saw one another... Sometimes its good too when things don't change. I may not like why you have saved me in the past. And sometimes I didn't like how you did it. And I sure didn't like that you had to in the first place. But I'm always grateful you took the time to do it. You've always been someone I could count on. And that's one thing I hope never changes about you.
Aw crap, why does letter writing make me sappy? And with you of all people. I must be getting tired of having no one to talk to. Dad's been pretty busy lately, and there's only one other person around who knows Japanese. So don't think it's anything personal! You're just coming in handy.
That's all for now. I'm hungry. I hope they aren't serving boiled goat again. Nothing sucks more than that, except those damned candies you hand out at Sion.
Some travelogue. Well I suppose if you don't like it I'll hear about it.
I'll send another in a few days.
Not yours, truly,
Thank you so much for your very intriguing description of North African life. All I can say is that you won't be getting airtime on the Travel Channel anytime soon.
In response to your oh so polite inquiries:
1. Happiness comes from getting what you want. Ergo, I am happy. One doesn't have to smile like a drunken loon on New Year's Eve to prove it. Those people you are with who are happy, they just have what they want. They probably don't care about the same things we do. That's why you don't understand them, and you don't understand me. If you want to be happy, Akihito, figure out what it is that you want.
2. Yes, I have contacts in that government. If you need any assistance, you can have it. Did you hear the "for a price" following that statement? I'm sure you did. You're so very intuitive.
3. I couldn't care less about your friends. I simply follow your money. That tells me exactly what I need to know. May I ask why you were purchasing so much vaseline three weeks ago? I understand wanting some for recreational purposes, but a gallon of it seems excessive. Do remember not to use that with the latex style dildos.
4. You're welcome.
I can't wait to see what you have planned for the next installment. Really, I mean that.
Your only reader, and that's likely to remain unchanged for years to come,
Any time. Make sure you have a towel handy for when I do.
Akihito sat alone on his cot in the light of a Coleman lantern and laughed. He shut down his laptop and put it away. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Maybe he could get to know Asami as a friend, something he hadn't been allowed before. That might be something he'd enjoy. Maybe that was what he wanted.
As he lay back on his cot and switched off the light, he thought about what Asami had written. Eight months ago he would have said he knew what he wanted. When he walked away, he thought it was toward that. He had been happy on this trip with his father. It was a chance he'd always dreamed of, traveling, visiting all these places, and using his skills to capture all of it in his pictures. But he'd been lonely, in a way that his father and his friends couldn't help.
He didn't want to get back into it with Asami. The pain wasn't fresh any more, but he still remembered it. He wasn't going to fall into that trap again.
But it felt so good to be talking to him.
He rolled onto his side with a sigh and hugged his pillow.
Asami was right. He had to figure out what he wanted.