Hi everybodeeee! (sorry, too much Sesame Street, I'm starting to channel Grover)
First of all, let me tell you, I REALLY MISS CREATIVE WRITING!!! Hahaha! been AWOL for ages because I've had to take care of P-chan and the newest addition to the family, I-chan.
I've been working on a couple of other titles, some as a follow up to Ana and Ken's story, as well as a host of others. Gads, I really need to finish one soon. Hahaha! I'm hoping that I'll get back into the groove in the next few months as I'm hoping I'll be able to do NaNoWriMo again in November *fingers crossed*
Anyway, to whet your appetites, here's an excerpt from Tessa's story. Enjoy!
I'm in love with Who?
I have a secret.
And not just any secret; it was a secret so big that I hadn’t told anyone. Ever. Not a single soul. I kid you not, it’s the kind of secret that could turn my whole world upside down. It’s the kind of secret that needed to be suppressed.
I was in love with one of my best friends.
Okay, okay, I do have a flair for drama. Sure, lots of people fall in love with their best friends. Sometimes they get together, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they remain friends, and sometimes, they never speak to each other again. But those other girls usually had a fair fighting chance of turning that friendship into something else.
I had none. Nada. Zip.
It would’ve been better if he was married, had a girlfriend, or was in love with an older woman. But no, he wasn’t.
Sadly, he usually fell in and out of love with men.
So it wasn’t at all surprising that I almost had a heart attack when Jon asked me to be his girlfriend.
“What? You’re asking me to do what?!” I had spluttered when he had asked. Unfortunately, I had just been taking a sip of my morning coffee.
“I need you to be my girlfriend, at least for a week or so.”
“Why the sudden need for a significant other?” Obviously, it wasn’t because he had fallen madly in love with me.
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “My brother is coming over to Tokyo on business and he might tell.” And obviously, Jon’s family didn’t know that their oldest son batted for a different team. Jon hardly ever talked about his family.
“Jon, does it really matter? You’re an adult. You’re successful and accomplished. They’d be proud of you.” Jon was pushing 36 this year, but he didn’t look his age at all. He was tall, urbane, and handsome in a mestizo fashion. He was a good dresser, had a good education, and an impressive portfolio. In fact he was the perfect guy—a guy you’d be proud to take home to meet your parents—except maybe for the fact that he was gay.
“Ugh. It’s just that I’ve never really talked to them about it…I seriously wouldn't know how.”
“But why me?”
“Well, I’ve sort of told them that we live together.”
That brought on another round of coughing. Yes, Jon and I actually lived together. More on that later.
He turned his pleading eyes on me. “Please Tessa, say you’ll do it. I’ll do anything.”
Anything? Hmmm… Oh all right, I thought as I shunted an x-rated thought aside. As if!
“Ok, no need to grovel, I’ll do it.” I could never say no to him and he knew it.
Plus, I believe in the power of positive-thinking; there was always a chance that he might decide he liked women after all and fall in love with me. I’d almost given up hope, but this girlfriend ruse might be just the thing.
Cross your fingers. You just never knew, right?
Okay, so let’s backtrack a bit, shall we?
My name is Tessa. Aside from the fact that I’m 27, single, and in love with my best friend, I’m also an English teacher and am currently based in Tokyo.
I arrived in the big daikon about five years ago. In a nutshell, the cover story is that I came to Tokyo to broaden my perspective, learn to be independent, earn a decent living, and all that poetic stuff, yadda, yadda. But seriously, all I wanted was to get as far away from my brothers as I possibly could.
Don't get me wrong, I love my kuyas to bits, but sometimes, just thinking about them makes me want to break out in hives.
Since our parents died years ago, kuya Tony and kuya Andy have perfected the art of micro-managing my life. They've taken really good care of me, so I feel a bit guilty about complaining, but sometimes a girl has got to learn from her own mistakes, not just from the mistakes of others. And by others, I mean every girl my kuyas have ever heard of who have either: (a) fallen in love with the wrong guy; (b) had her heart broken; (c) had an illegitimate child; and/or (d) completely ruined her life. Oh, and did I mention that my kuyas can sometimes be as melodramatic as I am?
I know they just don't want me to get hurt, but I’m of the opinion that people are not meant to go through life smothered in bubble-wrap.
So okay, to cut to the chase, I managed to convince them to let me try and work abroad (I meant it when I said I wanted to get far, far, faaaar away). Kuya Tony suggested Japan, since he and kuya Andy knew someone who worked at the Tokyo branch of an international headhunting firm. Kaye had gone to school with them and had even served on the student council with kuya Tony. They never said, but I knew that my brothers secretly hoped that some of Kaye’s diligence, focus, and sense of responsibility would rub off on me.
Ha! If they only knew.
My kuyas were right; Kaye as just as responsible as they were. But what my kuyas didn't know was that Kaye believed in living life. She worked hard, but she played even harder. Her idea of mid-week de-stressing was drink-all-you-can ladies night at bars in Roppongi (half price for ladies). She was one of the only people I knew who could binge on sake (Eeeew!) and not feel hung over the next day. Plus, she had actually encouraged me to date different guys every month. Collect and select, she used to say—that is, before she got married. How’s that for influence?
I actually hadn’t planned on staying in Tokyo very long, but that all changed when I met Jon.
I still vividly remember when Kaye had introduced us. “You’ll like Jon,” she said, “He hangs out with us a lot.” By us, she meant her roommate, Ana Madrigal (now Nakamura). I’d been staying at Ana and Kaye’s place while looking for something of my own, and Kaye kept introducing me to men she thought I’d hit it off with. She was sweet like that. She told me that I hadn’t met Jon yet because he had been in the US for an extended business trip these past months and had just gotten back to Tokyo.
We met Jon at Yoyogi Park after hearing mass at Yotsuya, where the St. Iganatius church was located. We took a short train ride to Yoyogi and walked the short distance to the park. It was a sunny day in early April and the sakura trees were shedding petals all over the place (just like in the animes!). It looked like a pink snowstorm had hit. It was just magical.
Just beyond the canopy of trees was a bench where a man was reading the Wall Street Times. There was a break in the trees above and rays of afternoon sun filtered in to lovingly caress the planes of his face and cast a reddish glow upon his dark brown hair.
Holy kangkong, he was hot.
As in potres-artista-ba-yan-hot. So there.
Seriously, I felt like God had turned a spotlight upon him and a choir of angels started singing (all complemented by the falling sakura). As we walked towards him, I started chanting in my head, please let him be Jon, please let him be Jon.
So when we finally reached him and Kaye introduced us, I almost fell to my knees in gratitude.
Oh wait, that’s not technically true. I almost fell over when Jon stood up, raked his hair off his forehead, and smiled at me.
That’s when I knew I’d be staying in Tokyo indefinitely.
And oh yes, currently Jon and I happily lived together in an apartment in Akasaka Mitsuke, which was right smack in the middle of Tokyo’s central business district. The area abounded with offices, posh apartments, embassies, restaurants, and a convenience store at almost every corner.
Jon’s flat was partly subsidized by his company, so I paid peppercorn rent for a luxuriously appointed flat. I used to live with Ana and Kaye, but they moved out when they got married. All the flats I had looked at with my meager budget in mind were all so crappy that Jon took pity on me and asked me if I wanted to move in with him. I didn’t need to be asked twice. I packed my things and moved in the next day.
That was about a year ago. I was still waiting for a miracle to happen.
But hey, now I get to be Jon’s girlfriend for a couple of weeks. Stranger things have happened.