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Abunai - A Short Story CollectionBY: Stephanie Kjaerbaek | Category: Others | Submitted: 2012-05-30 11:11:39
"I refuse to attend this lecture series, Stellan," Rakel told him over the phone. "The sound of your voice hurts my ear drums. I became incontinent the last time I attended.
Your aural abilities remind me of the sound of flatulence after a stack of buckwheat pancakes. I would rather attend a lavatory cleaning with the bathroom staff."
"I am a talented orator, Rakel. You are my wife. You owe me the benefit of the doubt. This new series is exciting. I promise to take you to that rock concert you wanted to attend," he told her in response, disappointed at her usual rejection.
"I suppose you will say that I have failed to appreciate the law, and that your voice is an instrument for change, Stellan. I have heard the argument before, that you are a talented orator, and that I will adjust to the terminology, but I am not interested," she told him. "The only reason people come when I am there is to look at me, not to listen to you, so you are hardly making a case for your alleged talents."
Rakel knew Stellan was offended by her dismissal of his lecture series, so she told him about the blind date she had set up for her father with a nice Japanese girl by the name of Kimiko. Kimiko was Abunai in disguise, after cosmetic surgery, a change in hairstyle, and weight gain, but nobody knew this except Abunai. She returned from Japan after the end of her eight-year prison sentence, under the guise that she was a mature student out to learn English.
She claimed that a failed engagement after her divorce from her first husband had caused to seek refuge in North America. Upset, she drowned herself in her studies, and had only come up for air recently, to discover rich white men lining up for her.
"I think she could come along to the concert with your father. Does Wilhelm enjoy rock music, Rakel?" Stellan asked her.
"He will go if I ask him to, and I don't care if he enjoys rock music or not. He has to take Kimiko out on a date, since she insists on going out tonight," Rakel told him.
"Well, I look forward to another concert. I hate to skip these concerts, Rakel. I know how much you enjoy accordion music mixed with punk rock," he agreed.
"Okay, I will go, but I will order all the champagne I can get, and will be bringing ear plugs and an MP3 player to this lecture, Stellan," she told him. "I hate to think of the indigestion and earaches you cause your students. Think of the harsh critiques they must give about you outside of college classes."
She said goodbye to her husband of five years, and called up Kimiko. She told her the blind date would take place at the concert on Saturday night. She doubted, initially, that she would enjoy the chaos and music that accompanied these concerts, but Rakel insisted that she would. She reminded her that the beer was cheap and that there was an excellent menu.
"I thrive off the crazy atmosphere, Kimiko. You will love this place. You must attend with me, since I hate to go with Stellan and nobody else," she told her.
"Who is playing? I am not familiar with the group. I forget their name. Can you tell me who it is, Rakel?" Kimiko asked her.
"Calvin and the Pistolheads are playing. This is supposed to be a Sex Pistols cover band from Alberta. I am excited to hear them. Their fans claim to love their music, and point out that they are accomplished in folk, Celtic and punk rock. I checked out their blog online, as well as some fan sites," she said. "His Facebook page has 50,000 friends listed on it, including serial killers, politicians, nuns, and prostitutes."
She called her father to let him know that Kimiko wanted to attend the concert instead of a romantic dinner and drinks at a wine bar. He considered the change of plans, and agreed with hesitation, until she told him about the band.
"Wow. I am nearly sixty and I have a blind date with a Japanese girl by the name of Kimiko. I love Japanese girls. They are so exciting and mysterious. I am sure she will enjoy loud noises in a smoky bar," Wilhelm told her. "I have to go jogging. I will meet you for a green tea at our usual spot later on. This a great favor you have done me, darling."
"Will the accordion be audible? I hope so. I read that the sound system failed to work last time," Wilhelm asked her.
"The reggae and rock sounds failed to come through, but the accordion did. Stellan attended the last concert, while I was on vacation in Jamaica. We no longer go to the Bahamas or Bermuda, owing to the troubles that have occurred. I like living," Rakel told her father.
"I read in an article in the Cherryville Monitor last night that the lead singer, someone by the name of Calvin, likes to wail," Wilhelm noted. "Apparently, this concert is shatterproof, owing to beer bottles thrown by the audience. The newly installed equipment is shatterproof. That is nice, but I am unconcerned about injury to the band and their equipment. I am interested in the quality of the sound, not their wellbeing.
The lead singer claims that the sound quality has exceeded his expectations, but refuses to indicate what his expectations are."
"I look forward to his performance. I hear he has purchased a new accordion, restored from the Middle Ages, and imported from France," Rakel pointed out.
"I will definitely be there. If Kimiko refuses to show up, I would like to call her. Can I have her number, please?" Wilhelm asked her.
"You can call Tiffany's house. That is where she is staying, at a friend of mine's. I know her from tennis and yoga," Rakel told him.
"Ouch! How did you know that my right ankles hurt?" Kimiko yelled with glee at Wilhelm as they joked around. "You must have accessed my website."
"I talked to Tiffany and also obtained pictures from Facebook, so I am a sort of spy, Kimiko. It is like I have met you somewhere before," he told her.
Kimiko felt drunk with delight. Abunai knew her plan would work, and she would get the money she had waited for. She encouraged him to come onto her and batted her heavily-lashed eyes at him.
"I don't think so, though you may have met someone like me, a long time ago," she joked with him. "People tell me that I remind them of someone all the time."
"How do you like this concert? Do you want to move closer to the large amps so that we can hear the accordion and wailing?" Wilhelm asked her.
"No, that's okay. I think our food is coming, and I look forward to our plate of sushi nachos. The combination of raw fish and ground beef thrills me senses," she told him.
They met again the next day for drinks, and Wilhelm took time from his busy schedule of business consultations and golfing to confirm their plans. Kimiko hung up the phone and headed for the kitchen, to fix herself a light snack before her next class in Canadian history. She made herself a cup of espresso and sat down in her favorite chair, frustrated at the lack of sugar in the household. She thought of her ex-husband. Back home in Tokyo, there was a man by the name of Seisho Hirohito, who had married her while she was in jail.
After her release, they met for the first time in an empty restaurant with candles and seafood. He worked long hours and had to schedule the meeting late at night. Their alcohol-fueled romance died out that night, but the drinking kept their marriage going for three years, until he sued for divorce, and wrote her two years of alimony on one check.
She never heard from him again, to her feelings of relief and disappointment.
She became engaged to a server a year later, but he realized that class would define their marriage and decided to end the engagement, since he didn't want to embarrass her and knew her dedication to her promising career in banking, after she received her pardon. During her tenure in jail, she had obtained a Ph.D. in business administration.
Crushed like a grape under a man's foot, she had registered as a foreign exchange student. She wanted to escape the city and his presence there bothered her, since he seemed to work at every major social event she attended. Thrilled as she was to spend a year in Canada again, she sometimes missed her family, who had forgiven her actions after several years of silence and backlash Her uncle had moved to Canada, and she visited him for a few days in the Vancouver suburbs.
Tiffany had helped to arrange travel plans and had handled all the paperwork before her arrival. She had wanted to learn Japanese and enjoyed time with foreigners, so Kimiko's presence in the household was welcome. Tiffany had spent two years in a number of different countries overseas, including New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. Photography and travel journalism had appealed to her. She had wanted a degree in journalism, before the birth of her twins and her status as a single mother.
They had left for college, and she had free time on her hands.
Kimiko described to Tiffany her plans. She decided to take Wilhelm to another of the band's shows, and wanted to impress him with a nice meal beforehand. She wanted more than just free beer, loud music, and entertaining drunks at the bar.
As they sat at the kitchen table, they sipped on green tea. Kimiko was familiar with a Western kitchen, but she wanted to make sushi and sukiyaki and the setup was wrong.
She had forgotten to pick up some Japanese cooking instruments and accessories, so she made him a roast chicken and potatoes. Wilhelm, fresh from a business meeting and drinking session, awaited the arrival of his driver. He had yet to arrive at 6:30 p.m., and was an hour late for their dinner. Tiffany had a shift at the restaurant where she worked, since the other manager had called in sick, and she had to cover for him.
She had started dinner too early. She was hungry and wanted Wilhelm to show up quickly. She thought of her joy of getting her hands on his money, and how she would retire to a distant Polynesian island. She wanted him to go down or die in the process.
Her ego refused to accept defeat and rejection, and determination took over her survival instincts.
"Do you really want to go to another rock concert, Kimiko?" Wilhelm asked her. "We could have dinner at Tiffany's place, and then go out on my boat."
"I don't know. That is what I want, I suppose. Sometimes, I have trouble making decisions, Wilhelm," she told him. "Let's go to a wine bar or restaurant."
"That is a more suitable place than a rock concert. The driver is here. Keep the dinner warm, and I will be along in thirty minutes," he told her.
"You are mine. Anyone who gets in my way ends up in jail," Kimiko told her new lover in bed, as she removed his shirt buttons with her teeth. "I am the ultimate lover. You will come back again and again."
Kimiko told him that she carried snake anti-venom on her, because her bites were lethal. Wilhelm smiled and sipped on his martini, excited by the prospects of death at her hands. He noticed that wine made Kimiko frisky, and the next day, he ordered a case of Cabernet Sauvignon from France.
Calvin had ten dollars on him. He felt relieved by the success of his concert. The free beer had taken the edge off. The loud screaming had impressed the audience. He had agreed to another concert on Friday of next week, one day up from his usual date. He walked around the townsite, and spent his evenings at a café with the newspaper. He carefully made his plans for revenge and theft.
Rakel had a meeting with the former manager of Donutland, to go over some discrepancies in the tax information he had given her from seven years ago. The government had decided to audit her, and she had to obtain a backlog of information.
He waited for her at the ballpark on Wednesday night, she quickly came and left, so he hardly had a chance to see her.
"Let's go to another concert that this one, Stellan," she told him on her cell phone. "There is a wonderful group called the Rats. It is a reggae group."
"I think you should go. I have some work to catch up on. You can take Tiffany and that Japanese girl if you like," he told her.
They all went out on Thursday night, at the newly-renovated bar, Rocks Off. The music was terrible, and the drinks were expensive. I suppose I should have gone to the other concert, Rakel thought. Now my friends will dislike me and refuse to go out again.
She looked over at Kimiko and wondered what she was thinking. "I want a third date with your father, but he refuses to call me back. Is he seeing someone else, Rakel?" she asked her. "I want him to see me, and only me."
"I think he is busy. He will call when he wants to see you again. If he wants to see you again, I am certain that he will," Rakel told her. "We should have gone to the other concert."
"I can pick up three tickets for next week and reserve a table," Tiffany interjected. "I think two tables, one for us, and one for Kimiko and her date, would be the best option."
"Yes, there is nothing like a table for myself and my lover," Kimiko mused. "I want one far in the back, away from everything."
The next Thursday, Kimiko sat in the back with Wilhelm, and Tiffany sat with Stellan and Rakel. They wondered why Kimiko and Wilhelm sat in the back by themselves, since they enjoyed their company. Kimiko wanted to play hacky-sack, her own twisted version. They had sex in the men's washroom, on the urinal. This time, the bad was terrible, and Rakel dismissed their new music as rubbish.
Kimiko demanded that Wilhelm stop concentrating on his career as a business consultant and spend more time with her. His two-week break disappointed her. Frustrated, she left the concert early and took a cab back to Tiffany's place. They argued online and on her cell phone the next day, met for sex, and then went back to his place to sleep.
Thrilled by her screaming, nail-digging, and stripping, he kept coming back each night for more and more, since she insisted on staying at Tiffany's place.
Upset, Kimiko grew impatient with Wilhelm. She found him at a business meeting, and threw a hamburger in his direction. He grabbed the burger, chucked the meat back at her, and enjoyed the ensuing food fight, with ketchup, vinegar, salt, lime, and sugar flying. The hamburger hit the floor. Ketchup decorated the wall. Everyone watched as a bottle of tequila, stolen from the bar, ricocheted against the wall, and slammed into the bartender. Blood droplets had splattered everywhere.
Her white silk dress rubbed blood against the wall. A scarlet stain covered her back. A bun, covered with mayonnaise and mustard, scraped the side of Wilhelm's head and landed in his business associate's lap. Some of the mayonnaise splattered against his face, but Kimiko remained untouched. She left with Wilhelm, and they went to another bar for a round of drinks. The effects of the music and alcohol led to bathroom sex, which subdued her appetite for a day or two, until they went at it again.
Rakel removed her ear plugs after Stellan's last speech of the school year. He had rehashed all his old speeches, all thirty-six of them, to her frustration. Only three students showed up, and two of them did because of Rakel's presence. Frustrated,
Stellan felt disappointed by the college's refusal to renew his contract, and Rakel suggest pro bono work for less fortunate residents in town. He agreed to try work for legal aid for a year. He felt that true career success alluded him. Wilhelm decided to marry
Abunai and leave his entire fortune to her, and after he signed the will, they took a honeymoon in the Caribbean. He told Rakel about his decision while on his honeymoon. She screamed and shaved Stellan's head.
Rakel hung up without saying goodbye. She sipped on a instant decaffeinated coffee from a fast food restaurant. Disappointed by the cheap mix, she let it cool. She had cursed the cashier after she took a taste, but kept the coffee. The cashier offered to make another cup, but she simply complained and left.
A fresh cup of coffee comforted Rakel in the afternoon, as she planned her trip to Nassau. The light bounced off the side of the metallic silver coat on her car as the sun drifted above the late afternoon horizon. Frustrated, she searched for inspiration for her photography, but felt sad inside. She realized the documentary faced release soon, and debated the benefits and downside of its release. She questioned the intentions of the film director, who made money off of tragedy. She hoped to recover her losses from a lawsuit against Calvin's estate.
Annoyed by Kimiko's lack of consideration, he vowed to call her up and give her a piece of his mind, which usually led to arguing, sex, and more arguing. He left a message for her on her answering machine, since she had installed a landline telephone in her new apartment, after moving out of Tiffany's house, now a shrine to Calvin. She sipped on her cold coffee and repeatedly played the message, and then deleted it. She refused to speak to him or meet up with him, but wanted to have sex, so she stalked him out after his golf game on Sunday afternoon.
Kimiko had figured there was something blatantly chemical between the two of them. She was uncertain about the nature of their relationship, but she enjoyed the sexual conquest. She planned an outing at a bathroom in a donut shop, a back alley, and the hot tub of an expensive local hotel. She had checked out the bathroom of donut shops along the way, decided against the post office, and considered purchasing a Lexus at an upscale auto dealership.
Wilhelm leaned back in the passenger seat and waited while Kimiko sucked him off. She took a moment for herself, and covered herself in baby powder and oil. She put her sweater back on and threw her skirt in his face. Both of them had forgotten to put coins in the parking meter. A cop came by and issued an expensive ticket. He removed his seatbelt and unlocked the door, grimaced at the expensive fine, and plunked three coins into the parking meter, and they went at another round.
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