Chapter Twenty-Six: Wet Reeds:
The night is too long to the sleepless.The road is too long to the footsore.Life is too long to a womanMade foolish by passion.Why did I find a crooked guideOn the twisted paths of love?
-"LV" from The Love Poems of Marichiko by Kenneth Rexroth 1978
That evening, Tsuzuki knocked on Anna's door. He waited before let him into the house. They went into her bedroom. Anna sat on her futon and Tsuzuki joined his beloved.
"We have to talk," he broke the silence with. Anna pressed her lips together as she nodded.
"Yes," she said. Tsuzuki looked out into the darkness.
"They know everything now," he said.
"Hm," she replied.
Tsuzuki shifted in place beside her, "We have three days to break up."
"So you've said," she said.
He clenched his fists and gritted his teeth, "I'm not letting you go."
She leaned her head against his shoulder, "Neither am I." Tsuzuki kept his eyes to the pitch black.
"So what do we do?" he asked. Anna closed her eyes.
"Fight it, I guess," she said.
"How?" he asked. She opened her eyes and shrugged.
"Just…" she said, "Any way possible; I guess…"
"We're lost, aren't we?" he asked. She pressed her lips together and nodded.
"Pretty much…" she said. Tsuzuki placed his hand on the futon.
"Hisoka has fallen in love with me," he said. Anna glanced at him.
"What will you do?" she asked.
Her boyfriend shook his head, "I don't know. I'll have to let him down."
Anna looked him in the eye, "Please don't hurt him; do it gently."
Tsuzuki softly caressed her cheek, "I will."
"I don't want to ruin things between you," she admitted.
"You won't," he told her in a low voice. Anna breathed in the dark.
"I can understand how he feels," she said, "You are so good to him and me."
"Because I love you," he said.
"Hm," she said nodding.
"I mean that; I really love you," he said. She closed her eyes and smiled.
"So together we stay?" Anna asked. Tsuzuki smiled back at her as he gently held her hand.
"Looks that way," he whispered. Anna held his hand as well.
"We'll have to face Tatsumi," she said.
"I'm not leaving you," he whispered.
"I could end up in Meifu forever," his woman suggested.
"I'm willing to take that chance," he retorted. They covered all of the bases; however she still had one more question on her mind.
"What will we do until then?" Anna asked. Tsuzuki moved in closer to his beloved.
"Spend what little time is left together," he said softly, "Any more questions?" Anna smiled and shook her head.
"No," she said, "We covered everything now."
"Good to know," Tsuzuki said with a smile.
"Mmm," she replied. They shared another kiss as the rain poured on through the night.