Chapter Twenty: Lotus Pillow:
The disorder of my hairIs due to my lonely sleepless pillow.My hollow eyes and gaunt cheeksAre your fault.
-"XLIV" from The Love Poems of Marichiko by Kenneth Rexroth 1978
Rain poured on in the night. Anna and Tsuzuki lied awake in bed together.
"Hey Asato-kun," Anna whispered as she looked up at her boyfriend.
"Hm?" he asked.
"Do you think I'm flawed? Tell me honestly."
"Yes, just like me, but, that's what makes you more attractive."
She gave him a puzzled look. "Do you really think so?"
"Yes," He looked over at her as she took that thought to heart.
"We've had so much rain over these past few days," he spoke out of the blue.
"Yeah," she replied.
"Kind of wish it would stop."
She shook her head against his chest. "I don't know. It seems nice; gives us the excuse to be together like this."
He smiled and nodded at that thought. "That's true." She kissed him on the lips and he kissed back. She snuggled up close to him under the sheets.
"It's been five days since this relationship started," she pointed out. He glanced down at with an eyebrow raised.
"You've been counting?" he asked.
"I have to, remember?" she pointed out.
"No… Oh yeah, that…"
He held her hand tightly under the sheets. "Want to talk about something else?"
She gripped his hand as well, "Yeah."
"Saw your pictures again. Some of them have you with short hair. What happened there and when was that?"
She tried not to laugh at that question, "Ah, poor judgment at seventeen years old. Got a haircut that summer in San Diego; big mistake! I hated it. I just didn't look right with short hair." She shook her head for a moment. "I vowed never to cut my hair again."
"Awww, but it looked so cute short."
She smirked at him when he said that, "You're lying."
"No, I'm not."
"You really mean it?"
He gave her a huge grin, "Yes."
"Oh, wow… That's just…"
"I still have that picture you gave me."
Her eyes widened with such surprise, "You do?"
He nodded at her. "Yep, it's in my coat." He licked along her neck, "You look just as great as you did in high school."
"Ooo," she cooed as she trembled, "Got a taste for jailbait?"
"No!" he blurted out. She laughed at his tone.
"Dirty old man!" she said.
"I am not!" he yelped. She only laughed at him. His cheeks flushed a desperate red.
"I'm not!" he cried again. She laughed until breathless before leaning forward and kissing him on the tip of his nose.
"I love you, though," she murmured as she stroked lightly on his chest. He kissed her wrist with a tiny kiss. His earlier, idea popped up in his head.
"Hey Anna-chan," he spoke up.
"I noticed that you don't have any new pictures of your life now."
She lowered her eyelids, "I'm working on it; don't worry."
"Well, I was thinking…" He paused for a moment before speaking. His hand tightened around hers, "Could we get some pictures together, just you and I?" She smiled with her eyes closed.
"Sure," she said. He smiled as he shut his eyes as well.
"We are damaged."
"But, I love you."
"I love you too."
The rain just carried them off to sleep for the night.