When it came to love, she always made bad decisions. Foolishly she slept with men in futile attempts for them to love her. Outwardly many men admired and longed for her, but it was the men that didn’t she always seemed to want. Tsubaki had loved Abe since they were children, but Abe was not really the kind of guy that fell in love at least not in any conventional sense of the word. He was just one of many moments of love seeking.
Abe was an aggressive personality which was not to be confused with an assertive one. Guys like Sadamitsu were certainly assertive, but they took no pleasure or enjoyment from hurting people. Abe Sosa was a sadist. He went into every situation looking to hurt people because it made him feel powerful. Still, Tsubaki thought she must be some sort of masochist because even when he was doing terrible things to her she was still begging him to not stop.
She was doing what she could to not focus her attention upon him, though she was certain Abe was acutely aware that she was watching as he powered through a run on the treadmill. Abe never had any intention on asking her to be his girl and she knew that she foolishly would just give in to him even when she desperately wanted to tell him no. Despite their friendship she was nothing more than his ‘side chick’. Finally, Tsubaki braved speaking, “Why didn’t you give her the gift?”
Abe laughed, “After her boyfriend lost his cool, I decided I would wait to give it to her.”
“It will piss that Kari scum off more.”
“So, it didn’t deter you from pursuing her…”
Abe interrupted, “There is no pursuing. I did not give her permission to fuck that Kari and I certainly did not say she could walk away from me.”
“If it means anything, I don’t think they are having sex.” Tsubaki was annoyed with herself for saying it after all she was helping him by sharing that information. What she really wanted was for him to think of her, only her, and not Tationy.
As he stepped off the treadmill his arms crossed as he looked at her, “I am sure she is teasing his cock plenty and telling him that she wants to wait until they are married. She plays innocent really well, but the real her wants him to lose control and rape her.”
“Women want to be ravished not raped.”
“Ravishment is just a politically correct way of saying rape fantasy.”
Tsubaki inwardly sighed, “It is not about being taken it is about being irresistibly attractive to the point that a man cannot control himself.”
“It is an excuse to be a wanton woman without the shame of not saying no. Girls are taught to wait, stay chaste, but the truth is they want to be dirty whores and as much as you keep arguing with me over it, I know you want the same. I could climb on the bed and tell you to ride me and you are going to do it. You won’t tell me no and even if you did, the slutty part of you is going to say it while you are grinding my cock.”
Tsubaki wanted to protest especially after Abe began moving toward the bed and laid himself down upon it. When she turned her body to face him, he had laughed. “Come on Tsubaki, you know you want my cock in you. I will even let you be on top.”
This relationship wasn’t healthy. She knew it and she hated herself as she crawled her way toward Abe and leaned in to kiss him. He didn’t even bother to undress himself or her. Instead, he simply tugged at his sweats and removed her shorts and without even making sure she was ready, forced himself into her. Tsubaki wanted to hate him, but she loved him so much that even the depravity of the moment made her moan. All she was doing was proving him right, “See Tsubaki, even though you hate it you still fuck me. What a little slut you are.”
Slut, whore, filthy bitch; she heard those words from him far more than she cared to admit. Did he call Tationy words like those when they were being intimate? Somehow she doubted it.
It was not about making love. No the moment between her and Abe was always quick and dirty. Within her comfort zone he would hit it and leave, but this time she was in his. Not surprisingly he pulled away from her after and headed toward the bathroom. Even though Tsubaki wanted him to hold her desperately it was no surprise he had no intention on lying with her. She sighed as she pulled herself from his bed and quickly put her shorts back on. Really it was probably better if she left, but part of her wanted to stay and be close to him.
She could hear the muffled sounds of water running as she moved toward her bag and searched for her lipstick. Taking just a moment to fix her make-up and check her messages while she waited for Abe to return.
“Tsubaki, it is unlike you to not answer your phone. Starting to think you are all ignoring me. Tationy has not responded to any of my text about practice. Look, seeing they are MIA, I thought that maybe you and I could do something. I know you said this is just a casual thing, but a girl has to eat right? We could do something for fun. Unless of course you are busy, which you might be seeing you are not answering….”
Playing the next message she chuckled.
“I hate these things. They never allow me to say everything I need to before I get cutoff. It will be fun, I promise. Give me a call back when you get this just to let me know one way or the other. Anyway, see you later.”
Why was she smiling? Sadamitsu was such a goofball. He was always about having a good time without all the complications and drama of life. That did not mean he did not want a little conflict, but he was more than willing to go with the flow even at the expense of his feelings. Tsubaki thought herself a terrible woman for toying with his emotions, but it was nice to have someone that desired her. For some women, Sadamitsu was probably even a catch. She jumped at the sound of his voice, “Boyfriend?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. He is just some guy,” She responded as she turned to face him.
Abe had given her a look as he snorted, “Think I am a fool do you? Girl’s don’t laugh like that for just some guy. What happened to the girl that likes to keep things casual?”
“Trust me it is as casual as it gets and it was just a laugh. Stop reading into it.”
“We have known each other forever Tsubaki, if some guy is trying to get his dick wet I think I have the right to know especially seeing you are spreading your legs for me.”
She glared at him, “Since when does who I fuck make one bit of difference to you?” Abe smirked which told her that she did exactly what he wanted her to. Tsubaki turned away frustrated as she added, “What I do is none of your business. What we have is just casual right? When you put a ring on it, then and only then do you have the right to know who I am fucking. Friend or no friend, stay out of my personal life.”
Grabbing up her bag she stopped when he spoke, “If you are fucking some other guy while sleeping with me, it is my business. End it Tsubaki or don’t come back.”
Tsubaki was beyond annoyed as she left Abe’s and refused to call Sadamitsu back. She just wanted to pretend the day was not transpiring the way it was. It was her fault after all, she was the one sleeping with Abe and Sadamitsu. What she needed was some good old fashioned venting to her best girlfriend and she found it at the beauty shop of Nene Saitama. Awkwardly Eri chuckled, “Seems you really stepped in it huh?”
“I don’t understand him. He has never cared what I was doing before.”
“Well this is just a guess, but it probably has nothing to do with you. Abe lost his girlfriend to some other guy and then he finds out that you are hanging out with someone else. It sounds like the world that he created for himself is crumbling around him and he is just reacting. You said he is all about control. A guy like that sees everyone as property and he has not given his property permission to do those things. More importantly, are you really sleeping with Sadamitsu Anami?”
Tsubaki sighed, “He pays attention to me.”
“I cannot imagine any guy not paying attention to you, but he is so….weird.”
“It was a mistake, but I like the attention. I know it is bad.”
“You know what I am going to say.”
“I know, I should not be leading him on.”
Eri teased, “Well some guys need a little leading.”
Tsubaki chuckled, “Speaking of, is Kyo still chasing you around?”
“Ugh. I hate him so much. He tries to act cool, but he is the biggest dork. Of course, after I got stupid drunk at that party and he and I hooked up I cannot get rid of him. He is always trying to talk to me, asking me out, and he has it in his head that now that we had sex he and I are going to get married. Kari guys are so …. ugh. Remind me not to get drunk again.”
“That party was two months ago and he is still following you around like a puppy?”
“Yes. So, take my advice and drop Sadamitsu because you are going to end up with some guy that blurs the lines.” Tsubaki frowned as Eri began working on her hair, “I actually wonder how it is that Tylo girl can stomach being around the Kari. Any time I am near one of them I want to vomit. Misogynist, every last one of them. What am I saying? She probably likes that type of guy. Wants to be his wife and have his children. As if there is nothing better to do, then be at the beck and call of some man.”
It was the start of a feminist rant so Tsubaki changed the topic, “How long are you going to be working at your grandmothers shop?”
“She went on vacation with my grandfather, so I am just covering this week for her.” Eri paused a moment before asking, “What is going on with your hair?”
“I have not had a lot of opportunities to have it done and that camping trip did a number on it. It sucks because I had an audition and my hair looked terrible.”
“Well we are definitely going to fix that.”
Tsubaki waited around for Eri to clean up and take a lunch break after she finished working on her hair. The two moved around Mount Celiabai with some silence at first, but eventually Tsubaki spoke, “I have been thinking about taking off. I went to that audition the other day and when I looked around I thought there was nothing about me that made me special in Aslann. I am just like everyone else. My parents don’t really see fashion as sensible or stable. Sune can do no wrong, but little Tsubaki always has her head in the clouds. We talked about leaving, you and I…”
Eri was being awfully quiet as the two of them walked, “Do you want to leave to escape from this situation you created with Abe and Sadamitsu?”
“That is just a small part of it. My parents refuse to pay for schooling. If Sofore doesn’t close I will simply be sent back there, but if it does my parents expect me to get a job and earn my way to college. They will never be accepting of design school. My father wants me to go to the Anami Seminary and my mother says she just wants me to be happy. Then, goes out of her way to agree and support everything my father says. If I am going to work, I might as well be doing it in a country where there are opportunities. Fashion is not really a big thing here in Aslann. I would be better off in New York, California, Milan, Paris, there are so many opportunities just waiting for me. With my look and my accent, I would stand out, don’t you think?”
“I know you do not think you are beautiful, but really you are. Women are always envious of you Tsubaki and no matter the country you will have doors held open for you, but I do agree that perhaps your look and accent might come off as exotic to other nations. With that said, don’t you think it might be too soon to make such a decision? The situation at Sofore has not even been resolved and it feels more like you want to separate yourself from Sadamitsu without hurting his feelings.” Eri sighed, “I am probably not the best person to give advice though seeing I run around avoiding Kyo.”
“What is that about exactly? You are always saying how much you hate him and how the two of you hooked up when you were drunk, but it just seems like there is something else.”
Eri wrinkled her nose, “It was so dumb. I was dating Agito Tylo at the time and we split up. Well be broke up with me and really did not give me a reason. I did not even plan on going to that party, but some of the girls on the squad thought it would be fun. Why not right? When I saw him I thought, why is that loser here? Then, I realized, I was the loser. I was the one standing in the corner all by myself. Ugh, irritates me so much that he took pity on me and came over to chat. He is so boring, but I did not want to tell him to leave because if he did I would be standing there alone again. So, I just kept drinking. Eventually even he looked good. When I woke up, he was coming out of the shower and he seemed so happy which only served to irritate me more.”
“Have the two of you talked about what happened?”
“He tried to and I told him nothing happened and to not bring it up again. Which he has done for the most part, but he is always lingering about. Wants to walk me to class or chat with me about something or other. As if I would get involved with that tall and goofy Kari.”
The girls found a small table in the park to sit, “Eri, you really do not think he is a little cute? I have barely said two words to him, but I hear he is really smart as well.”
Eri laughed, “I like my guys big all over. Kyo Kari does nothing for me. Sure he is smart and some girls probably would even find him attractive, but he is not my type. When he opens his mouth to talk in my head I roll my eyes. He is just not an interesting guy and he is Kari. They have all of these traditional rules they follow. What woman wants to be at home, making cake and babies all day?”
Tsubaki laughed, “Apparently Tationy seeing her and Hiko appear to be pretty serious.”
“Ugh, that whole situation is such a joke. When I first saw her I thought, here is someone that understands the strength of being a woman. She should have fit right in with us, but she is the same as all of the other cows. She just wants a man to treat her like property and she will get down on all fours for him. I hate girls like that and I am really annoyed with you that you continue to fall into the Abe trap. Just screw him and move on already. Guys like that can’t love and even if they could, they do not love girls that won’t put up with their crap. You are my best friend so I am going to tell you like it is, forget that jerk and think about yourself.”
With a sigh Tsubaki responded, “I keep telling myself to do that, but then I just find myself back at his side again. Leaving would probably be for the best. I only have a little money saved, so wherever I go it is not like I would be coming back. It might be the only way for me to break away from Abe. Don’t suppose you would come with me?”
“I would love to. I want to see America so badly, but until my grandparents get back I am stuck here a bit. I am really surprised your mother is not more supportive of your desire to be in fashion. A famous actress like her, one would think she would encourage her children to explore the arts.”
“Sometimes I think she wants to and yet she just continues to echo my father. Sune seems to think it is because I am a woman of the Zenaku and our current matriarch is not getting any younger. There are opportunities for me to lead my family, but I am not looking to be the matriarch.” Tsubaki sighed, “Let’s discuss something else. This conversation just makes me want to drop everything and leave Aslann right now.”
“Then do it. It is better to leave on your terms then to have your hand forced by someone else. If you really think your parents are not going to accept your decisions, then you either except that and do as they wish or you take a giant leap toward the future you want. Trust me if I could go with you, I would head home right now and pack a bag.”
“Do you really think I should?”
“I think you have already made the decision in your heart, but it is your head screaming at you.”
Their talk was cut short because Eri had to head back to work. Her friend was right though. The moment the announcement came about Sofore Academy she thought that it was her opportunity to break away from her family and get out of Aslann. She wanted to see the world and enjoy what it had to offer. Of course, she always found herself thinking about Abe and then she foolishly allowed herself to be pulled into a relationship all-be-it a casual one with Sadamitsu.
She knew where she was heading. Sadamitsu had left ten messages looking for her and the more messages that came the more worried he sounded. When she finally reached Sadamitu’s house she could hear voices, muffled at first, but there were definitely two people speaking. With each step the voices became clearer and she realized that Sadamitsu was talking to a girl. Tsubaki ducked behind a wall and waited. She didn’t want to interrupt, “Are you going to be there Sadamitsu?”
“Tempted to see you girls play, but I am kind of waiting for someone.”
Definition: Partut – Slang that is generally used as a derogatory word for those of elite status. In modern day Aslann, the word is more often used to describe upper class girls rather than boys, but prior generations use the word for both genders.
“Is it that partut I have been seeing you with lately?”
Sadamitsu laughed, “Didn’t realize you were watching so closely.”
“I always pay attention to people that interest me.”
Tsubaki peeked around the corner her eyes settling upon the girl. If Sadamitsu had a type, Tsubaki figured this girl was it. She was covered in tattoos and piercings and dressed scantily. From her general look the girl appeared to be Saitama and Anami, just like Sadamitsu. Was this conversation flirtatious in nature? Was there something going on? There was a long moment of silence before Sadamitsu said, “Actually, seeing my plans for today didn’t go as I intended I will come see the show, but I am telling you right now you and your girlfriends better give me a special gift for giving up a sure thing.”
Sure thing? Tsubaki’s lips pursed was that what he thought of her?
The girl laughed which annoyed Tsubaki, “If you buy the rounds after the show, we will give you the night of your life.”
Before she could stop herself, she came out of her hiding spot and began walking toward them. She glared at the girl as she directed her attention upon Sadamitsu, “Hey, I have been trying to get a hold of you.”
The catty part of her came out even though she tried to hide it, “I can see that.”
Sadamitsu tried to be casual, “This is…”
Tsubaki interrupted him, “I don’t care who she is. I actually just stopped by to say something.”
The girl must have sensed the tension because she spoke as she wandered off, “See you later Sadamitsu.”
Despite the girl saying goodbye, Sadamitu’s attention never left Tsubaki, “Why are you being rude?”
“Rude? This is who I am. You did not seem to have an issue with it when we were talking behind your friend’s backs, but if I hurt some low-bloods feelings you call me rude.”
“What is going on?”
“It was fun Sadamitsu, but I am done playing with you. Don’t call me. Don’t text me. Don’t stop by to see me. Are we clear?”
His eyes were locked on her face, “What is this about?”
“Look, Sadamitsu, I am trying to be nice about this. Don’t turn it into something it isn’t. We had fun, we were casual, now we are over.”
“Why though? Is it because of that chick? I can explain that.”
“It has nothing to do with her.”
“Aren’t you going to give me some sort of explanation instead of just saying it is over?”
Tsubaki stared at him trying to decide what it was she should say, but really the best way to end this quickly would be to hit him where it would hurt the most. “I was just sleeping with you to make Abe jealous. This morning I went over to his house and I fucked him. Here is your explanation. I would rather have Abe fuck me senseless then spend another moment pretending to like your music, your friends, your style, and your face.”
She expected to see hurt, but instead it was anger, “Walk away then.” That was it? No begging for her to stay. No asking her again why or insisting that she was lying. Tsubaki wasn’t certain why it made her so angry, but when she turned to leave he said the most hurtful thing any man had ever said to her before, “I feel sorry for you.”
Snapping she turned to face him, “I don’t need your pity.”
“Hooking back up with Abe when he does not give a shit about you shows how insecure, immature, and selfish you are. I thought you were smarter. Guess I was wrong. You are just another partut slumming with a low-blood. Get off my families property.”
“How dare you….”
Sadamitsu quickly cut her off as he snapped, “Leave.”
There was plenty of time to think about what had happened and how it turned out on the ride home. In the world of the wealthy families of Aslann, news traveled fast. Tsubaki would not know how fast until she arrived at her parents estate. Their eyes fell upon her the moment she entered the house, “Shin Anami called,” Her father Ritsu spoke. “He said he witnessed an argument between you and his son.”
“Don’t make excuses or try to explain things away. Were you sleeping with his son?”
She took a breath as she responded, “Yes, sir.”
Her father gave her a disappointed look as her mother spoke softly, “What were you thinking?”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
“Do you like this boy Tsubaki?”
Tsubaki looked away from her parents. How was she suppose to tell them that she liked how he made her feel? With Sadamitsu she felt important, but the man she liked and loved was Abe. She never had that feeling of being special accept in the arms of men. Her parents always talked up Sune. He was going to do great and amazing things someday, but she was little Tsubaki always needing a helping hand because her feet were never firmly planted upon the ground. Even now the way they looked at her was as though she was a little girl who had stripped out of her party dress and ran through the house when her parents were entertaining.
Definition: Arsibi of the Zenaku – Is the voice of the Zenaku that ensures any decisions made by the matriarch benefit the Zenaku as a clan. The position also ensures that the matriarch is in touch with the collective needs of the two Zenaku tribes, Cartosta and Bretroah.
Definition: Bretroah – Zenaku tribe known for their exotic look. They generally have dark hair and eyes and skin ranging from medium tan to dark.
Definition: Cartosta – Zenaku tribe which tends to have skin in the lighter tone ranges. They are most known for removing the eyes of those that develop the Zenaku clairvoyance ability.
“Are you going to just stand there or answer your mother’s question?” Her father was not a man prone to emotional outburst. Within Aslann, Ritsu Zenaku was highly respected and the worlds foremost authority on the historical clans of Aslann. Among the Zenaku he held the position of Arsibi. His duty as such, was to hold seat at the yearly summit to keep the matriarch of the Zenaku in touch with the collective needs of the two tribes, Cartosta and Bretroah as well as being their voice to ensure that all decisions would ultimately benefit the Zenaku as a whole.
She braved looking at her parents, “It was just sex.”
“Tsubaki,” Her mother Jila spoke her name. She thought if anyone might understand some it would be her mother. An American actress of Spanish, African American, and German descent that spent the majority of her formative years in Hollywood and even starred on a widely acclaimed television show called Hollywood Sex, but the look Jila gave Tsubaki told her that she was way off. “Why would you sleep with someone you don’t like?”
“You really want to know why? Sure, I will tell you. He makes me feel special, while you make me feel like I am nothing. Sune can do everything and anything and ohh, there is little Tsubaki. Well she looks pretty in a dress. There is only so much a girl can take. So, yeah mom and dad. Surprise, I slept with him and you know what he was not the first.”
The hard sting of her mothers hand upon her face stilled her body. It was the first time Jila ever hit her. Quickly her mother kneaded her hands, “Sorry, I …. excuse me.” Tsubaki had never seen such an expression upon her mothers face before. She was the one that got slapped and yet her mother was the one crying. Had she really hurt her feelings? She stared at the doorway, hoping she might return.
“As a member of the Zenaku you were taught to value others and yourself and give your body only to the man you choose as your mate,” Ritsu paused a moment, “Shin Anami is not happy that his son has been soiled. His future was with the Anami Seminary. It is clear you thought only to fulfill your wanton desires. This situation has damaged the relationship between the Anami and the Zenaku, one that will be difficult for our matriarch to repair. I am ashamed to call you my blood. You seduced a chaste Anami…” Tsubaki wanted to interrupted her father and tell him that Sadamitsu was far from chaste, but she was certain that would only make the situation worse, “You laid with him. I asked Shin Anami if a union between the two of you could make this right and he refused. The cost of what you took from that boy is worth a small fortune. If the matriarch refuses to give me permission to pay the price for your sin, then you will no longer be Zenaku. I suggest you go to your room and think about what you have done.”
This was officially the worst day of her life. She knew she did this. She went to Abe. She listened to Eri. She hurt Sadamitsu. For what? She didn’t really understand. Tsubaki could not even bring herself to look at her father as she moved toward her room. When she woke up that morning she told herself to pack her bags and leave for America, but seeing Abe was more important. Everything he touched became tainted and she was no different. When did she become a mean girl?
To Be Continued