My eyes followed her as she stepped lightly from the room. Her skirt ballooned out gently behind her, the delicate white lace of the slip she wore beneath it showing, a pleasant lingering vision that I quickly shook from my head. "Seriously," I thought, "she's doing that on purpose." I knew that all eyes followed her as she left the room, she was the most desired girl in our class and strangely enough she chose to spend time with me of all people. I still don't believe it myself. I turned to face the podium as she closed the door behind her, the soft sound of the panel sliding over its track nearly silent while the teacher cleared his throat to bring the classes' attention back to him. I hid my smile, knowing that I held her note in my pocket, our secret plans for the evening hidden away in the pleats of my skirt.
I followed her instructions after school, catching the train leading the opposite way from my home, deeper into the heart of the city. I gazed about, thanking god that I found a seat and did not have to guard against the unwanted attention of the salarymen and teenagers who filled the car. One stop, two stops and a third took me to my destination, a shopping district that had seen better days, but not quite seedy just a touch less shiny than the ones further out of the city center. I reread her directions and then stepped into traffic, walking with the crowd into the streets to find the teahouse that she'd arranged for us to meet in.
I pull on the handle of the door leading into the chosen rendezvous point for our meeting, a rush of cool air greets me as the air conditioning escapes into the hot summer afternoon. I gaze about as I step inside and see her waiting for me, a smile on her face as she recognizes me. I stand still inside the doorway, just looking at her sitting there looking back at me. Her eyes shine in the flourescent lights, speckles of light dancing on the deep brown circles of her irises. I grin at her as I step towards the table. Two cups have been placed about a cast iron pot, one on each side. I sit facing her and pour the tea, she greets me and says that she hopes I don't mind her choice in tea. I smile back and alleviate her fear. I can sense the tension from her, our meeting here sort of awkward, sort of exciting. I smile at her as I lift my cup to my lips, slightly burning them with the hot, smoky liquid that I sip into my mouth. I swallow the cooling liquid and smile at her. "Interesting," I comment, idly licking my lips where a bit of tea lingers. I feel her eyes follow my tongue as it sneaks out. I know what she's thinking and blush, realizing that I am not the only one attracted to the girl sitting across the table. I try to make small talk and we hold a short conversation, sipping at tea and fumbling over words. As the pot empties, she pays the check and holds out a hand to me, motioning with it to follow her.
Stepping out of the teashop, the hot air strikes like a wave against my skin. I follow her through the streets as she leads me around the shopping district. "Would you like to sing? Or perhaps..." she blushes but makes me aware of the sign for the hotel at the end of the street she's led us down. I gulp. She giggles. "Thought so..." she says, snagging my hand and leading me past the karaoke joint. We walk in together and the man sitting behind the counter scowls at us. I cringe, but she pumps my hand as she requests a room from the menu. We fumble in our wallets to scrape the rent for the room together, the man still scowling at us, but taking the bills as we hand them to him. He states the room number and tosses a key across the counter. "Enjoy." he says, leering at us. I beging to panic, but again, she grabs my hand and leads me towards the elevator.
The wait for the car at the elevator seems to take forever, but simply being with her makes me feel more at ease. The bell rings and the doors open, allowing us to begin our ascent to the third floor room we've been assigned. I notice her shift her weight, realizing that as nervous as I am, so is she. But soon enough the doors open and we walk to our room. She turns the key and holds it open for me, following behind me as I step into the room.
"It's nice." I say, looking around the room.
"Yeah," she replies.
"Have you ever?" I ask.
"No..." she replies.
"Me either." I admit.
An awkward silence descends upon the room, until she steps up and hugs me. I hold her in my arms and she lifts her head to kiss my lips. I'm stunned by the softness of her lips and find myself giggling into her, the nerves finally catching up to me. We part slightly, then she places her head against me, her arms holding onto me as we wordlessly hug in the rented room. We shift nervously together, sort of half dancing as we hold onto each other. She kisses me again, and I kiss back, the nerves melting away as I become accustomed to her. She runs her fingers through my hair, I slide my hands over her back. We silently discover each other in the room, our breathing becoming deafening as the two of us learn to love the other between the slightly coarse hotel sheets. She whispers my name in my ear as her body arches beneath me, her voice strained strangely as she hugs me to her. "Aishiteru, Tama-chan." she whispers the waves pass through her. I cuddle her in my arms, my tears landing on her shoulder. "I love you too, Kozue." Her fingers again play in my hair as lies in the warmth of the sheets with me. I feel the heat of her body against mine and realize this isn't a dream, it's better.