An Island Reemerges

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After three days one would have thought the jet lag had worn off. However, they remained once again inert on top of the mattress, unable to muster the effort to shake the covers off. It was a dry yet warm August day, and Fumiko’s eyes blinked rhythmically in order to ward off the sleep. Her bed was a circular mattress with lavender colors and they were covered in a velvety purple blanket.

“Baby, we eat now?” she asked in her gentle tone to the figure lying prone to her right. The shock of jet black hair moved and Fumiko once again viewed the delicate dark features of Sonya, pencil thin eyebrows, a small nose, lips curved upward in a sleepy smirk, and those pools of dark irises. The two ladies finally rose and Fumiko walked over to the window to open the blinds, oblivious to the fact that she was standing stark naked, her thin wiry frame clearly visible against the now well-lit beige walls.

She and Sonya pulled on their underwear and bras and threw on kimonos. They walked down the hallway of the Shinjiros’ one-level house, one following after the other, and entered the kitchen. There stood Fumiko’s mother, Ai, a shorter woman in her mid-fifties with short hair in a ponytail wearing a button down shirt and suit pants. The older woman was standing over a pan making a fish fry for breakfast.

Fumiko and Sonya had decided to use their spring break period to visit Okinawa Island. Already firmly cemented together in Oklahoma, they were now eagerly exploring the full aspects of eachother’s dimensions. Fumiko had been queasy on the plane thinking about the type of reception she would receive from her family. But those doubts had been dispelled upon Sonya’s charming first encounter with her parents. Although her father had by now become mostly indifferent to Fumiko’s whims, Ai gladly took to her daughter’s companion, amused at how unfamiliar yet curious she was toward Japanese etiquette. She quipped once on the first day that it was like raising a whole new daughter.

“What are you thinking of doing today?” Ai asked her daughter.

“I think that Sonya isn’t adjusted yet to our complete way of life. We might go to the base district and try to enjoy some of their entertainment.” Fumiko was referring to the area of town closest to where Americans were stationed, a recreational district full of soldiers and the Okinawans and Japanese who catered to their off-duty needs.

Ai glanced up. “You want to go there? That seems a bit rowdy. She isn’t at all curious about the north beach?”

Fumiko frowned. Her mother, like many locals, was wary of the excesses of the off-duty Americans, who were known to get hammered in town. Also, even daylight hours weren’t always safer, as servicemen tended to receive round the clock hours for their days of leave. Military cops commonly walked the beat there so as to mop up any sailor, airman, or soldier who was making a fool out of himself and wearing out the welcome among the locals. Nevertheless, every year or so there would be some scandal wherein a service person was arrested by Japanese police for some indiscretion.

“No, mother, I think we’ll be all right. Besides, we’re only going to the Kempei Lounge,” she said reassuringly. This particular bar was less risky than others, because it was favored by higher-end civilian clients as well as commissioned officers and career servicemen. After breakfast, Fumiko and Sonya gathered a backpack that included mp3 players and some magazines they’d both picked for the ride over.

The bus, as usual in this country, arrived at the exact time listed, 11:20 AM, and the girls ascended stairs and sat with their backs to the front. Along the way Fumiko mentioned to Sonya whenever they passed a place of interest. The places they passed included a public park, a luxury hotel, and eventually an industrial district, but finally they alighted in a district with flashing digital signs advertising many tourist products.

Fumiko and Sonya walked hand in hand over to a rather unfurnished building with an extinguished sign that showed a martini glass with an olive placed in a V shape adjacent to a highball glass. In script letters the caption “Kempei Lounge” appeared under the image.

Upon entering they were greeted by a rather subdued scene, although even at this daylight hour the bar was rather well packed with patrons. At one pool table played two airmen dressed in work overalls, probably members of a ground crew, and six of their buddies observed.

Other tables were occupied by diverse groups of Japanese and American personnel. One table even had a group of full-blown Japanese motorcycle punks, “bosozoku” as they are known, whose wheels were parked outside and displayed rising sun flags on their tails.

The booths in the bar were elevated blue velour lounge seats. In an isolated booth sat a black woman, probably also American, in a blue blazer with skirt to match. Sonya’s glance lingered on this lone customer. Her presence seemed completely out güvenilir canlı bahis siteleri of place, yet she could have been waiting for someone. Nevertheless, although she had caught Sonya’s eye, she could have been a regular based on the lack of interest from other patrons. Fumiko led Sonya by hand away from that end of the bar once she recognized a couple of familiar faces of people she’d contacted.

The two who greeted them were a couple, Yoshiro, an islander, and Keiko, the daughter of mainlanders. Fumiko explained to Sonya that they’d grown up and spent many days on the sunny beaches together.

“Oh, so y’all are a bunch of beach bums, huh?” commented Sonya.

Fumiko widened her eyes at the unfamiliar expression, and Sonya had to explain to her what it meant, which also was repeated to Keiko and Yoshiro.

The three Japanese spoke in excited tones for a while, reviewing old times and catching up on lost ones. Sonya found herself growing bored and feeling left out. It was naturally refreshing to be able to order alcohol in a bar, whereas in Oklahoma she would’ve had to wait another fifteen months. Even though she felt it would appear pretentious, she amused herself by asking the cocktail waitress to bring her certain mixed drinks she’d heard about but never had a chance to try, such as a Pimm’s Cup.

The alcohol helped her space out and ignore the incessant Japanese chatter going on around her. At one point however, she began to notice that the bosozoku gang had moved a few tables over and was now playing pool at a much nearer table, while others were amuzing themselves on a pachinko machine.

Fumiko and her friends remained oblivious to everything, as they cheerfully talked about a topic that was totally obscure to Sonya. Occasionally, they would address a question to Sonya in halting English, and this was far less intelligible than Fumiko’s. However, the rowdy behavior of the bosozuku was beginning to truly distract Sonya. They were shouting at each other, and it didn’t take someone with a working knowledge of Japanese to know that most of it was vulgarisms.

At one point Sonya glanced up from her drink, and to her consternation realized that the group of motorcycle punks was throwing casual glances their way. She furrowed her brow, and decided to continue ignoring their irritating behavior. But this was of no relevance; finally one of the group sauntered towards them and sized up each one. Although of above normal height for a Japanese, Sonya estimated him to be of only about five feet nine inches. He wore a leather jacket emblazoned with all manner of gang symbols, and his hair was smooth and at lower neck length with blond highlights. The punk spoke slow and taunting spouts of Japanese, apparently toward Yoshiro. Fumiko, and Keiko stared back and forth between the two men, and Sonya had a helpless look on her face, completely unaware of what was going on.

Yoshiro sputtered a series of curses back at the punk and motioned for him to leave, but by then the rest of the bosozoku, four in all now towered over their table. They beckoned Yoshiro to stand up and confront them. “Sonya, there is a problem,” commented Fumiko, as if there was any need. “We must run if we get a chance.” But before they knew it Yoshiro had leaped up and was charging at the lead motorcycle punk. The two grappled on the floor. The lanky and passive Yoshiro clearly had no prospect of winning, even against the first man he had attacked. Yet he was still able to get his hits in, and even succeeded in stunning the first man with a haymaker while they grappled on the floor. However, the other three were able to grab him, and they dragged him crudely toward double doors that lead to a restroom.

The three girls jumped to their feet and scurried after the thugs, Keiko screaming after them to release their friend. They rounded a corner and were in time to see the bosozoku slamming Yoshiro up against a profile mirror, hitting it at an odd angle. The mirror fractured with an ugly and ungraceful crunch, and a piece cascaded to the floor, while a spiderweb pattern developed on another part where Yoshiro’s elbow had hit.

While one of the hoodlums held him at bay holding a straight razor against his neck (handguns are rare in Japan, a result of relentless police scrutiny), the other three turned around and began to creep up toward the girls. The narrow corridor now afforded the attackers with an opportunity to corner at least one of the girls, and that’s exactly what happened:

Keiko, who was on the extreme left of the three, stuttered the words, “run, run! Get moving Fumiko!” But her friend was frozen in place, only turning when it was too late, and then buckling when Keiko ran straight into her.

Ironically, it was Sonya, who didn’t understand Keiko’s plea, who was able to sprint off and return to the main barroom. She glanced from side to side, and realized that she offered very little help to her companions. güvenilir illegal bahis siteleri Even if she could find a cop, she would have no capability of conveying the urgency of her predicament to them. She glanced in the direction of the dwindling crowd of American military men on leave, and she felt a glimmer of hope. But before she could call any of them, a blur of black and blue stepped in front of her. On the face of this person was a determined glare.

“What sorta trouble you in, sugar?” inquired the woman in the blue blazer.

Sonya’s visceral reaction to this question was one of irritation. Who was this bitch and why was she even interested in what was happening. But her gut quickly digested a hunch that this woman could be exactly who she needed to extract her and her friends from this predicament.

“You gotta follow me back. Lord knows what they’re up to over there.” The blazer lady followed her walking with confidence the heels of her shoes thumping on the floor with great resonance.They bounded with purpose back down the narrow hallway in time to see the punks drag Keiko back past the bathroom door.

The blue blazer lady appeared to remove something for the matching blue purse on her arm and charged in. Sonya, on her heels, saw a brief flash, and then one of the bosozuku, tall, skinny, and emo with the look of one of those cartoon characters that made up the Gorilla fall to the pound writhing in pain while screaming. The punk holding Yoshiro to the mirror now widened his eyes and bellowed at his companions to corner the interloping woman. Sonya glanced at the woman’s right hand and saw a crackling electrical device that she now saw was a taser. In her left hand, she held an open wallet.

“Y’all see this?” she called out at the attackers. Sonya craned her neck to see what was in the woman’s hand. It was a badge with a military police insignia on it. “It means you’ve two minutes to bounce until your own cops get here. I’ve already told a bartender to phone them.”

The punk with the blond highlights continued to sneer defiantly at her. One of his companions, with long spikes in his hair and a tight leather jacket, turned back and stuttered a rough translation of the cop’s warning. Enraged, the blond punk flung Yoshiro off the wall towards Fumiko and Keiko, who were huddled in a corner, and charged the cop bowling into her and shoving her down. Although stunned and falling over, she was able to deliver a well-placed kick to the back of his knee, buckling him and allowing her to get to her feet before his friends could gang up on her.

It was at this point that the blond highlight punk yelled a rash of obscenities, and the three of them scattered out of the bathroom, while their tasered friend remained prone on the bathroom floor. The policewoman and the four victims now were giving chase, not wanting them to escape before the police could show up. But the scene outside dispelled their fears. Two squad cars, Hondas, were parked out front at strategic positions, and the bosozoku had their hands raised above their heads. A policeman was entering the bar, and the bartender directed him toward the bathroom, saying that the remaining suspect could still be there.

Sonya turned toward the policewoman, a look of relief obvious on her face. “Wow, I don’t wanna think what woulda gone down if you weren’t here,” she stammered.

The female cop turned toward her, grinning in excitement. “Truthfully, I was kinda surprised myself. The usual troublemakers here are drunken boys from the base.” Yoshiro was leaning heavily on Keiko, and Fumiko was haltingly translating their statements of thanks. They all limped over to a booth near where the group had sat before.

The next hour and a half were a long drawn-out conversation between the Japanese cops and the victims, so it was all a meaningless frenzied blur for Sonya. Once the series of inquiries had ended, Fumiko finally stared fully at Sonya. She had obviously been crying before, as her eyes were red and puffy. “I promise . . . I would never have brought you here if I had seen this before.” Sonya’s lip quivered as she tried to find the words to reassure Fumiko that she understood it, that it wasn’t even a mistake in the true sense of the word, but she couldn’t emit anything. Instead her hand reached out and she took Fumiko in a one-armed embrace. They stood there locked together, with Sonya furtively caressing Fumiko’s back and staring toward the entrance where squad cars remained parked.

The two were shaken out of their reverie by the sound of a throat clearing. Sonya made a whole revolution on her feet to face the source of the interruption. It was the black female cop. And she was obviously not a local one. “Oh, I’m sorry, I guess I haven’t thanked you. And come to think of it you haven’t introduced yourself.”

The cop’s lips upturned in a dismissive smile. “I’m Sergeant Nikki Baker, Air Force MP. I was here to keep tabs on any güvenilir bahis şirketleri rowdy American servicemen. Instead I found an American victim; pretty uncommon in my experience.”

Sonya sputtered a reply. “Well what I’m asking is what are the chances some locals would mess with us in a bar full of soldiers.”

Sgt. Baker shook her head. “That’s a pretty big illusion. With all of the incidents that have happened over sixty years of our work here, we’ve put all of the effort into encouraging our boys not to get involved in local affairs. Not that they were paying attention anyhow.” Her expression seemed to soften to a degree when she took in the somber looks of the four victims. Although as a military cop she was used to seeing all manner of complicated situations, she still could have some sympathy for four youngsters whose day on the town had been ruined.

“I’ll tell ya what,” she said. “I’m not on call this evening, so I guess if y’all are up for it we could do something to make up for this tragic mess.”

The proposal was unexpected coming from someone who until then seemed to be all business. But Fumiko’s face seemed to brighten after a second, and then Sonya smiled as if it had reflected off of her own face. “What do you say, girl? Are you up for it?” she asked Fumiko. Her friend nodded in return.

“We’ll talk to you sergeant,” answered Sonya.

“Hey, I’m Nikki when I talk to civilians”, she replied. Since discovering Sgt. Baker’s job, Sonya had somewhat suppressed her first impression of her when she’d walked into the bar. Although very professional looking, Sgt. Baker had a very nice figure, rising to five feet nine inches, maybe a breath shorter than Sonya, and packing an athletic figure with a firm bust.

The group exchanged numbers, and then the three girls aided Yoshiro as he walked to a park bench outside of the bar. There they waited until an old brown Nissan station wagon arrived driven by his older cousin, whom they had contacted while the cops had been taking their testimony. Once Keiko and Yoshiro had boarded the car, Fumiko and Sonya walked to a bus station to wait for their own transportation, which was in a totally different direction.

=======

Sonya stared out of the bus window for maybe the first five minutes of the trip back. “Lovegirl?

This was how most of Fumiko’s questions to Sonya started, but when it came out Sonya was startled. They had both acted since the incident like they were stuck in their own little bubbles.

“Yeah, baby?” She turned to face Fumiko who had a perplexed look on her face.

“You really want to go meet up with Sgt. Baker tonight?”

Sonya did a double take. “Yeah, I . . . um … think so. Why not?”

Her lover blinked lightly at her question being answered by another question. “Well, maybe we spend that time with each other instead.” She put her hand over Sonya’s knee. It was good bait.

But Sonya didn’t want just bait. They’d been more or less confined to Fumiko’s residence since their arrival, and Sonya wanted to see more of this isle. “You should show me more of your hometown, girl. I thought we were here so you could do that. Now I’m sure we can go somewhere where we can have our thing and also see other things.”

Fumiko looked ahead for a second. “There is a place, lovergirl. I’ve always felt like it’s my place . . . in our sense. But I don’t know if she would like it.” She whispered a couple of sentences into Sonya’s ear. Sonya smiled in appreciation.

“Oh, she better start liking it, because I know that’s where I’d want to go”. The two discussed the time they would like to go and what they would wear. They also agreed that they would only go there if only Sgt. Baker was coming with them. It was obvious to them that Keiko and Yoshiro would not add anything to the mix, so if they insisted on going out they needed an alternative place to go.

Upon alighting from the bus it was almost 6:30, Fumiko and Sonya trotted with anticipation back to Fumiko’s house and shut themselves in her room in order to prepare for the night. Twenty minutes after their return Fumiko’s phone rang and Keiko informed her that she and her beau were in no mood to go out again that night. This threw half of the plan into the swing, since both Fumiko and Sonya were resolute that now, no matter if the sergeant was coming or not, they would follow through on this.

They then took a nap for about an hour and a half, as Sonya fought off the urge to have a nice preview session with Fumiko. The whole time they lay there she was passing images through her mind of Nikki Baker. Sonya had some hang-ups since entering a relationship with Fumiko. To begin with, she had found herself stuck in the role of the more dominant partner, and this was something she didn’t gel with. Sonya was happy with her orientation, but she was resolutely more comfortable behaving in a more traditional, feminine way and dressing up. But Fumiko’s passive and submissive behavior totally threw her off balance, and made her feel at times out of her normal role.

Nikki Baker, on the other hand, may have been just what both of them needed. Although not a complete bulldyke (they didn’t even know if she was in their corner to begin with), Nikki seemed very assertive.

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