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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Noboko and Andrew: Pants On Fire

Here's another story about my relationship with Noboko, my new Japanese girlfriend - new as of 1993, as this is, indeed, a story of my past.

So… as mentioned many a blog ago, Noboko is a pretty, young woman 27 years of age, to my 28. She is a Japanese teacher of English at one of the junior high schools I teach at in Ohtawara-shi, Tochigi-ken. In 1993, I was in my third and final year as an AET (assistant English teacher) on the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme.

Noboko was only fairly recently aboard at this school, and I fell immediately in love with her when I first laid eyes upon her—do you believe in love at first sight? yes, I believe it happens all the time—and wrote a love haiku immediately after being introduced to her and the rest was they say was apathy… on her part.

It took the combined efforts of myself at my best behavior and my students at her school telling her what a nice guy I was. I never asked to them do such shameful things on my behalf, but I appreciated it, nonetheless.

We finally got together and were fairly hot and heavy, but a wedge was nearly driven between us as she feared a relationship with me because she had heard I had got some other Japanese woman pregnant and then ignored her.

Apparently all of us foreigners in Ohtawara-shi look alike. It wasn't me (or Matthew), but someone else—and to be honest, I never found out who.

Once I was able to convince Noboko that I was innocent - of that fact - and to have her check her facts with her girlfriend who convinced her I was an ass, all was good. Great even.

We were a couple. Boyfriend-girlfriend. Mano e womano. She was coming over every evening. Dropping clothing as fast as she could remove her shoes… it was awesome. She even brought dinner or the ingredients to cook me dinner. It was what I hoped married life could be if one was truly happy. It should be like that. I'm a guy... woman... food... sex... holy crap, she didn't even mind me watching sumo or baseball on television. Hey... I'm good, but sometimes a man needs more than ice cream and orange juice to replenish himself.

Here I was… an okay-looking guy from Toronto with one of the most beautiful women in the world throwing herself at me with almost reckless abandon. I love Japan. It was Disneyland for adults. Lucky adults. (Remember, ESID - every situation is different - and mine was... well... :) very, effing good.)

There was nothing I wouldn't do for Noboko and almost nothing she wouldn't do for me.

Yes… almost nothing.

Because this is Japan, and apparently everyone is watching everyone do everything, Noboko was reluctant to have the world (Ohtawara-shi or her mom and dad) find out that we two were anything more than friends.

Are you serious? I was walking around with a hard-on all day and every day just because I couldn't get the smell of her apple blossom shampoo out of my head.

Everyone knew I was more chipper than usual… which is cool, because I'm usually always in a good mood (even if I wasn't) for everyone to see…

I agreed to her request though, because, why blab about a relationship to everyone if no one knows it will last beyond a week or two? So, I kept it quiet. So did she… I only told Matthew, my best bud there in Japan, a fellow AET originally from upstate New York, and regular reader of this blog.

Anyhow… so… what do you do when you are dating one of the most spectacular creatures on the planet, you can't believe it, and you bet no one else can… and you can't brag about it...

Sometimes life's not fair.

Well, sometimes it IS more than fair, because she and I are together, but not being allowed to shout it from the low rooftops of Ohtawara? Sucks.

The only worse thing I could think of—being a rather dark and vindictive sort of fellow—was that my ex and first ever girlfriend Ashley wasn't still in Japan to see this. She should have seen me in all my glory.

I'm such a petty man—still am, I suppose, despite me expressing my foibles to the world—that I wanted Ashley to see that I am sooooo over her.

In retrospect, having such a thought would imply that I wasn't completely over Ashley.

So… as luck would have it, after Noboko laid our arms to rest after yet another heavy petting session—I love pets!—the next day I was scheduled to visit her school and team-teach with her and one other teacher, her English department boss.

Nozaki Chu Gakko (Nozaki Junior High School) was a strange school in only one regard—the student's classes, whether they had seen me 20 times or more always used to fight to have me come and eat lunch with them. And it wasn't just to watch me spill something on myself with my awkward chopstick grip. They liked me and enjoyed my company, and I, theirs.

Walking in to school that brisk Monday morning after a 10 kilometer bicycle ride, I spy Noboko sitting in the teacher's office head bent down pouring over something. It had been about nine hours since I had last tasted her lips and I probably still had her scent emanating from upon my skin. Dirty boy.

She glanced up, looked quickly around—we were pretty much alone—smiled and bowed and then got up to get me a cup of o-cha (green tea), leaning over and onto my left shoulder… pressing her small breasts against me… her crimped, wavy black hair wafting against my face like there was some magic breeze blowing all around her.

"I want to kiss you right here, right now," I whispered to her as the side of her face nearly brushed against my left cheek flush with pounding blood.

This school had very good students, and it's teachers all had a decent semblance of English comprehension skills…so even talking in English was risky.

She scrunched up her eyes and giggled lightly as she lithely backed away from whence she came.

"I'm going to need more o-cha in about 20 seconds," I said still sitting in my chair, turning back to her and bowing and smiling.

I put the cup to my lips and pulled it away twice as fast.

"Hot!! Atsui!!," I yelled. "Better make it one minute later."

She laughed again because she knew I was badly burned, because she could, and she liked that.

As luck would have it, Noboko and I had the first-period class together.

On the way to class up the stairs, I walked a step behind her so I could watch her hips sashay gently—left-right-left-right-left-right-oh my—brushing the light fabric of her too-long-a-dress-for-my-liking, but short compared to any other dress I had ever seen a Japanese teacher wear. This one was about five centimeters (two inches) below the knee! Scandalous. Ha-ha.

I tried to picture my bite mark there, but it wasn't anything more than a love bite. It was long gone, except in memory.

In class (which apparently is the only time I had class in this story), the students were smiling and awake and either happy to see me, or happy to see both Noboko and I walk in.

"Hmm, Andrew-kun, sensei," Noboko corrected herself quickly, "the students seem quite happy to see you."

("kun" is a pet-term a Japanese woman can use for a boyfriend, or a term to denote a young boy... while "chan" denotes a young girl. When Noboko and I were feeling nauseatingly silly, I would call her Noboko-chan, and she would call me Andryu-kun.)

"I am always happy to be here in No-chu to see all my friends," I say bowing to the class. "Shhh… it's my favorite school."

"So… does anyone have any questions for An-do-ryu-sensei—in English, kudasai (please)," asks Noboko with a smattering of Japanese. I notice that this time she said my name with a heavy katakana accent and less an English one.

Twenty hands shot up.

Holy crap! I've never seen that before. I don't think any teacher has ever seen that before.

"Kawasaki-san," picks Noboko.

Standing up is a cute, pig-tailed young girl of maybe 14. Reading from a prepared sheet, she says: "Thank-you for coming to our school, Andoryu-sensei, ah, Mister Andoryu-teacher."

A nice respectful bow from her (which I return!). Then without looking at anything but me, she continues: "Do you have a garufriend (girlfriend)?"

Hmm… straight and to the point.

Out of the corner of my eye I look over at Noboko who is staring at something in the back of the classroom that is not on this plane of reality.

I figure, what the hell, and answer: "Tabun. Maybe. I met someone that I like a lot, but I don't know if she likes me."

It was a half truth. I know Noboko liked, or rather loved me. But what could I do? Tell the truth to some nosy teenaged girl who probably helped me get Noboko in the first place, or shut the eff up and keep Noboko's trust?

Since I really enjoyed the heat Noboko and I could generate naked - despite the additional time and effort required to clean my bed sheets - I chose lying.

Lying to the student. Lying for Noboko. Lying to my heart that wanted to tell the world. All so I could continue to lie with the woman I loved.

You should have seen the face of everyone in that class deflate.

"Does anyone else have a question for Andoryu sensei?"

It was like everyone had been vaporized by an atomic blast... mere shadowy outlines where there had moments earlier been vibrant, alive young Japanese students.

Then, one brave soul, a boy with a buzz cut, stood up and bowed to both myself and Noboko, but turned directly towards my pretty girlfriend and asked in English: "Do you have a boyfriendo?"

Now… maybe it's because I'm an experienced lie-er and liar, but you can't fool a bullish!tter, because Noboko's answer didn't fool anyone:

"Maybe. I met someone that I like a lot, but I don't know if he likes me."

Almost the exact same thing I said moments earlier.

Calls of Eiiiiiiiiiiiii (Ehhhhhhh) filled the air, as no one was fooled.

I glanced at Noboko, in complete shock.

"It's a joke," she adds looking serious. "Jodan!"

Ehhhhhhhhhhh's again.

"I do not have a boyfriend."

"What about Andryu-sensei?" asked several girls in desperate ejaculation.

"He has a girlfriend."

Damn. She's good.

"What if he has no girlfriend?"

"But he does."

Then the students all looked at me like I had just kicked them all in the collective nuts. Even the girls. They looked upset with me… that I had let them down by not trying hard enough to win Noboko.

To save face, I added as I bowed towards Noboko. "I do think she is very pretty."

With that, Noboko frowned at me and her class and said 'let's get to work', before turning her back on them to look at me and smile wickedly.

Now… I still wasn't convinced that we had fooled anyone here at this school. It was just a couple of weeks earlier (before the pregnant woman story had been dropped on me like a wayward anvil on a coyote) that we had been spotted by a group of Nozaki students while walking about the Tochigi capital city of Utsunomiya.

While were weren't holding hands at that moment of bad timing, we were able to turn that whole scene into one friendly Japanese person showing the dumb gaijin around town.

Not a date, just someone being nice and Japanese.

None of the other four classes that day seemed very happy, as I suppose news of my failure to launch with Noboko had made the rounds. It was difficult to discern if they were pissed off at her for not giving a gaijin a break, or pissed off at me for being a horny gaijin jumping at whatever woman got in his way.

They didn't even care to ask if I was dating another gaijin or a Japanese woman. They didn't care. It wasn't the one they wanted. The one they wanted for me... for themselves. They really wanted the two of us to be happy together. I kind of felt bad. I felt... dirty.

Of course, neither was true, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor and the continuance of getting laid.

When school ended, I rode my bicycle home the 10 kilometers, hopped in the shower and was joined a few minutes later by my nice Japanese friend who had driven over by herself nearly 30 minutes after I had left..

She didn't have a key to my apartment, just my heart, so I had to leave the door to my home unlocked. I really should give her a spare key.

Andrew Joseph
PS: the title refers to the kid's tattle: "Liar, liar pants on fire." Oww! My pants are too hot! I better take them off!

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