I really never had particularly liked wearing women's clothing. It was simply a means to an end for me. Most of the criminals that I needed to interview for my novels were male, and looking like a woman made them more likely to help me.
I never thought that this habit would have any other benefit to it, until I met Kira.
That day, I was in Japan. I had decided that I wanted to write a novel about the yakuza so I decided to just stay at the apartments with my brothers and conduct my research.
I had gone out to a shopping center, and I had seen a man who looked like he might be connected, though it was so obvious that I assumed that it might not give me a lot of information. Oh well, waste not, want not.
After we had been talking for a while, I knew that I was right and I wouldn't be getting much information out of him. But this guy just wouldn't let go. I was starting to think that I would need to fight him, until a girl's voice called out and said, "It's really bad manners to grab a woman like that."
I thought that she was insane, until she threw her soda at the man's face and grabbed me. She made me run with her for a few blocks until we reached a park.
As soon as we did, she let me go and started laughing.
"That was the scariest thing I've done in a long time. Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. But if you're so scared, why are you laughing?"
"Because it's insane. But, life is usually insane. And I actually like that. So I'm laughing at myself. That being said, it's really not safe for a woman to be talking to a man like that."
Of course, she thought that she was protecting an innocent woman. I considered shattering her illusion, but she seemed rather interesting. So I decided to continue with the charade until it got boring.
"Yes, I'm aware, but I thought that I shouldn't judge him based solely off his looks."
A phrase like that normally got girls to swoon. That's what I was expecting, and then I would let her know that I was a man because she wouldn't be as interesting anymore.
Instead, she snorted. "Then you're an idiot. Look, it's a good thing when you don't judge a book by their cover, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be careful. What would you have done if he didn't take no for an answer? Then all your 'treat everyone equal' crap would have gotten you hurt or even killed."
After this, I stared at her for a few moments after her statement. She took it the wrong way and blushed before explaining.
"Ah, I'm sorry. My friends tend to take a lot of stupid risks and I'm always the one who has to help them out of their messes, so it kind of came out like that. Anyway, why don't we start over? I'm Kira Brown. If you're wondering about the last name, it's because my father is an American. And you are?"
"I'm Hikaru Asahina. I suppose that I should thank you for the help earlier."
After saying this, I took her surprise as a chance to take a closer look at her. I could see what she meant about her father being a gaijin. She looked completely Japanese with her short stature, black hair and facial features. But her eyes were green and her chest was better filled out than most Asians ever get. She was cute, but she still kept staring at me.
"Why do you keep looking at me like that?"
"Ah, it's just that you have a Japanese name, but you don't look particularly Asian. Not that I really have the right to talk about that."
"My mother isn't Japanese."
After this matter was settled, the two of us talked. I found out that she was a college student, and wanted to be a teacher. I told her that I was an author, but refused to tell her my penname, no matter how much she asked. After all, if she knew that, then my secret could be exposed, and I had no desire for anyone outside of my family to find out that I crossdressed.
I expected our interactions to end after that day, but I kept going back to that park daily, and she would often meet me there. It was like I was drawn there.
We would spend hours talking everyday, but I never got bored of it. I didn't even think about why that could be until she asked me a very important question.
"Hey, Hikaru-san, would you like to go out on a date with me?"
Obviously, she saw my surprise at this question and misinterpreted it.
"Ah, sorry. I guess I never told you that I like women. Sorry for surprising you like that. I didn't mean to worry you. Don't worry about it though, it's no big deal."
After she said this, the joy I had felt at the idea that I would be able to date this girl was crushed. I would finally be able to put a name as to why I always wanted to meet her, and I had a chance at her agreeing with that reason.
But, she thought I was a woman. It was my fault. I had been so careful to ensure that she never found out the truth, so of course she would think that. But, after she found out, I doubt that she would still date me. After all, as she had said, she was gay.
"Wait, Kira-chan. Why don't we go out for lunch this weekend."
She looked delighted at this prospect and quickly agreed. I had chosen the weekend for several reasons. One was that I had a manuscript that was due on Friday, so I knew that I would have the weekend free. Also, it would give me time to come to grips with the thought that I wouldn't be seeing Kira-chan in the foreseeable future. After all, I had been lying to her for months, and after she found out, she wouldn't be as attracted to me.
I could have told her at the park, but I wanted to go out on a date first. That way, I would at least have a taste of what could have been. How silly, but I still wanted to know what it would be like to date her, even if it was only for a short while. If I had known that it would turn out like this, I never would have started this strange relationship in the first place. But it's too late now.
That Saturday, I met up with Kira-chan at the park for what I knew was going to be the last time.
She was wearing a skirt for once, and low heels. It surprised me because she had always worn jeans and sneakers for as long as I had known her. But I suppose that everyone dresses up for a date. Even me.
"Hikaru-san, I'm glad that you could make it. Did you get your manuscript turned in on time?"
"Yes, it wasn't a problem. I even managed to get it turned in without my editor coming to my apartment to get it from me."
"That's good. Oh yeah, I never did find out where you lived, Hikaru-san."
Of course not, I couldn't risk my brothers seeing you and telling you everything.
"Oh, I live nearby. Anyway, the restaurant that I picked for us to have lunch is in the next town over. I was thinking about taking the train if that is alright with you?"
I had asked her to let me plan our date. After all, if this was going to be our only date, I wanted it to be a good one.
But once we got to the train station, I immediately saw a problem with this plan. It turned out that the train would be delayed by about an hour. I turned to Kira-chan to apologize, but she just pointed at an arcade inside of the station and said, "I really want to see that restaurant that you were telling me about earlier Hikaru-san. If you don't mind, why don't we wait in there?"
It had been years since I was last in an arcade, but I couldn't turn down her offer when she was trying to salvage our relationship.
At one point, Kira-chan won a bracelet made of string at a claw machine and tied it around my wrist.
"Pretty childish, right? But I thought that it might help you relax Hikaru-san. You always make it seem as though you don't have a care in the world, but you're actually really serious. Try not to worry so much."
Hearing those honest words shocked me. Even my brothers had never accused me of being serious. She was the only one who had ever seen through my carefully sculpted facade. It was just another reason why I had agreed to this date.
Soon after, our train finally arrived and as we began to board, someone shoved Kira-chan into my chest. After I caught her, she stared at me for several minutes before she got an amused smile on her face.
Then she grabbed my hand and said, "There's no reason to be so nervous. I'm sure that our date will be perfect."
And it was. We were able to eat a good lunch and talk. After that, we went for a walk in our park and it was wonderful.
Until Kira-chan asked me if we could go on another date.
I had intended to tell her the truth as soon as we had finished eating, but I had put it off for hours. And now I had to tell her and let our relationship completely crumble.
I couldn't take it, so instead I said, "I'm sorry."
I ran away as fast as I could.
I didn't see Kira-chan for a month after that. It was on the day of a book signing for my latest novel, that I couldn't resist passing by the park where we had used to meet on my way there.
Of course she wasn't there. Why would she be, after I had left her like that?
No, our relationship was over.
The book signing was uneventful, but as I signed the autographs, I couldn't help but look at the bracelet that Kira-chan had given me. It probably looked strange since I was dressed as a man that day, but I couldn't bring myself to get rid of my only memento of her.
I didn't even have her phone number or a picture.
Then, a girl gave me her book. I didn't even look at her, just took the book and started to sign it. Then, I heard a familiar voice say, "Hikaru-san!"
It was Kira-chan, and she was staring at the bracelet. I couldn't believe it.
I had managed to end our relationship without her ever learning the truth, but now, here she was. I was exposed.
Instead of screaming at me like I had expected her to, she pushed the book closer and told me, "You can give me back my book at the park."
The idea both delighted me and scared me. I would get to see Kira-chan again, but how would she react. Was she simply asking me to meet her there so that she could yell at me without an audience?
At least she had been kind enough to not yell my secret to everyone in the room.
After Kira-chan left, I put her book under the table and finished the signing in a daze. I should have spoken with the store's manager after, but I told him that I had some business.
Then, I ran to the park where we had always met. For a brief moment, I considered going to my apartment to change, but I knew that it was ridiculous. She had already seen me. She knew.
As soon as I found Kira-chan, I instantly began apologizing for not telling her that I was a man. I told her everything that I had thought before and after our date.
After I was done, she once again shocked me by laughing. When her fit had mostly ended, she told me, "Hikaru-san, I already knew that you were a man. Remember when I was pushed on the train, how I fell into your chest. I could tell that you didn't have breasts. You didn't have to hide it. I'm bisexual, so I didn't really care one way or the other."
I was so relieved to hear those words that I didn't even know where to start. Until she continued, "But I am pissed off that you ran away from me because of it. I think I deserve a better date to make up for it."
My heart nearly stopped before I heard her last sentence, but I quickly asked her to go on a date with me again.
She agreed, and I began to plan how to give her an even better date.
As she walked away, she turned back to me and said, "But I think that it would be better if you dressed like a man. After all, I wouldn't want anyone to think that I'm cheating on both a man and a woman, right?"