Nakajima Reika scowled, hearing voices as she crossed the hard-packed sand of her high school athletic ground and approached the school pool. She was captain of the Asahigaoka High swim team, and she looked the part, with sun blackened skin, a muscular frame and short-cropped hair. Under her uniform tan blazer and green plaid skirt, her shirt clung damply to her skin. Only 6:30 AM, the sun had already been up for an hour and the air steamed with the sultry Japanese heat that brings sweaty bodies and sleepless nights.
Probably it was that loser Nishimura and his friends from the soccer team, she guessed, sharing a cigarette behind the pool before their own practice started. Eyes narrowing in anger, she slipped around the white plaster walls to give them hell. Instead, she discovered two second-years making out in the shadow of the wall.
“Gaaah!” She screamed, and the pair jumped apart.
Recovering her poise, Reika stood akimbo and glowered at the pair.
“Sasaki!” She yelled.
“Yes, captain!” The boy jumped to attention, a gangly figure with sundark skin and shaved hair. His partner in crime cowered behind him, peering out at Reika’s angry face and fussing with her blouse.
“Idiot! You think this pool is a love hotel!?” She advanced on the pair, jaw set. Her clenched fists were no idle threat: everyone knew about the time when she was still a first-year and an older boy thought it would be fun to grab her boob from behind. Reika broke two of his ribs with a well-placed elbow.
“No, captain!” He shouted, staring at the wall behind her.
“Why don’t you quit the team, free up time for your little games.” She sneered.
“No, captain!” Sasaki’s eyes widened.
“I know you Daichi Junior High alums. Think you’re too good for the rules.” Reika’s voice dropped to a growl. “You’re not in junior high anymore and I won’t put up with your shit. Clear?”
Reika squinted at the boy, mollified by his rigid posture and respectful attitude. He isn’t a bad sort, she admitted to herself, he comes to practice on time and works hard. He just needs a leader with a firm hand.
“Get the hose.”
“What?!” Her voice rose suddenly.
“Yes, captain!” He snapped back to attention.
“That’s better. I’m going to the pool office. When I come out you’re either cleaning the pool deck or you’re off the team. And you—” She jabbed her finger at the girl and her eyes narrowed to slits, but the girl rabbited before Reika could finish her threat.
“Damn second-years.” Reika spat as she stalked back to the pool gate. Already think they run the place. Making out behind the pool is bad enough, but doing it here when Sasaki knows I don’t have a boyfriend...that impudent little—”
She was still mumbling curses under her breath as she entered the office, a spartan room off the pool deck, with a battered metal desk and one folding chair. Yellowing tape held sheets of paper on the whitewashed cinderblock walls, some with workout plans in Reika’s hasty script and some with brushed slogans: Never Stop! Fight On! Victory! Banzai! What her calligraphy lacked in skill it made up for with enthusiasm.
Officially Teacher Endo was the team’s faculty supervisor, but the older lady couldn’t swim 50 meters to save her life, and she rarely showed her face at practice. Ever since their former coach had left the school under a cloud last year, Reika had been de facto coach as well as captain. With only three weeks until the qualifying meet for the All-Japan Inter-High, that left Reika with the double stress of preparing team workouts and keeping herself in competition form.
She sat at the desk and glared out the large window at Sasaki hosing down the deck. Not that it was dirty, but their old coach had always insisted that work produced discipline, and discipline produced championships. Reika still missed him—screaming, punishment details, and all—and tried to carry on his legacy as best she could.
This year the team had three swimmers with decent shots at the Inter-High: Rieka, her friend Nanami, and a second year boy that Reika already had pegged as next year’s captain. Nanami and Hayakawa were pretty sure qualifiers, but Reika was on the bubble. Going by last year’s results, she was still a couple of seconds off a qualifying pace, even in her best event. No matter how hard she worked, she couldn’t close that gap. She tried to keep her frustration from spilling over onto the team, but it didn’t help when she had to deal with stunts like Sasaki’s.
He was still hosing the deck twenty minutes later when his teammates straggled in for morning practice. At least he can follow directions, Reika thought. And it’s not like he isn’t cute. A rangy teenager, his muscles were filling out in ways that promised good things to come. For a kid, she hastily corrected herself.
“Aaargh...Can’t think about that.” She growled. “Extra laps for Sasaki today. Extra laps for everyone!” Crossing her arms, she stomped out of the office and yelled at the first-years to hurry and get changed. Seeing them scurry into the locker room brought the day’s first smile to her face. She resolved to work extra hard finding faults with them at practice.
Among the teachers not at early morning practices, though, working hard was the farthest thing from their minds. In the staff room a couple of hours later, most of the teachers clustered around the TV, watching a broadcast of the national high school baseball tournament. The day before, the odds-on favorite had lost to a cinderella school from Fukushima, and everyone had something to say about it.
One teacher, however, shared Reika’s frustration. Teacher Suzuki stood next to her supervisor’s desk, arms folded across her chest.
“Head Teacher Hayashi! I think we have a problem with my substitute.” Her face was set in a stern grimace.
“Teacher Suzuki?” The older man raised his gray head from a sports newspaper. “Shouldn’t you be resting?”
“My leave doesn’t begin until next—”
“Oh, that’s just a formality. Why don’t you go home today? No reason to stay, is there?” He waved one hand expansively at the teachers watching baseball. Personally, Hayashi preferred horse racing, but he didn’t begrudge his teachers their summer relaxation.
“But that man Maeda—”
“Maeda Hiroshi—the man you hired to fill in while I’m away.” She said sharply.
“Ah, yes. Him.” Hayashi nodded, glancing back at the newspaper and hoping she would take the hint.
When it was obvious that he wouldn’t ask, she told him anyway.
“I’ve been trying to explain the lesson plans I’ve prepared for him to use, but he doesn’t seem interested. All he seems to care about is the swim team. He even keeps their student files in a pile on his desk.”
“Swim team? Oh, yes. That’s right, Teacher Endo is happy to have him here, no? Isn’t it great when teachers get involved with student clubs? Very encouraging sign. Very encouraging.” He repeated.
“And that girl, the captain, what’s her—”
“Nakajima.” Suzuki interrupted impatiently.
“Yeah, that’s right. Nakajima Reika. She’s a handful, isn’t she?” He gave a wry grin.
“That’s not the point, Teacher Hayashi. I don’t think he—”
“Teacher Suzuki, his teacher at Tokudai University says he’s brilliant. I’m sure he doesn’t need you to explain every detail of the lessons.” Hayashi interrupted.
Suzuki pursed her lips, debating what to say next.
“He’s...he’s always so...so...” She tried again.
“Shouldn’t you be at home resting?” Hayashi cut her off. “What if something happened to the baby while you were here working, hm? I’m sure Maeda will be fine.” He ended the conversation abruptly, returning to his newspaper.
“I don’t know. There’s something...something suspicious about that man.” Teacher Suzuki muttered as she waddled away in defeat.
The next morning Reika arrived at the pool without seeing either Sasaki or his little tramp, but the pleasure only lasted until she arrived at the gate and found it ajar. From inside came the splashing sound of someone swimming.
“Again?!” She scowled and shook her head. The whole school knew they weren’t allowed inside without supervision. She stomped towards the pool.
Before she could get there, though, the boy in the pool finished a lap and glided to a stop. Reika cocked her head uncertainly, not recognizing him from above. That doesn’t matter, she told herself, no one goes in the pool without my permission. Intending to tell him off, she stepped forward, but as her mouth opened, he levered himself effortlessly out to stand beside her.
“Eep!” Her mouth closed with a little gasp.
He towered over her, easily 180cm of sinewy bone and muscle. Her eyes dropped from the thin necklace of red and gold beads to his chiseled abs to the bulge in his swimsuit that belonged to a grown man, not a teenager.
“Hey, there.” His easy smile lit up his face, the corners of his eyes crinkling as his teeth sparkled in the sunlight. When he stooped to pick up his towel Reika found herself staring at his back, the way it tapered from broad shoulders to narrow waist.
“Good morning.” She said reflexively while her brain whirled with questions. Who was this? How did he get in here?
“Nakajima Reika?” He asked.
“Maeda Hiroshi.” Toweling off with one hand, he jabbed a thumb at his chest with the other. “I’m the team’s new advisor. Teach biology too. Good to meet you.”
“Oh!” Reika suddenly remembered her manners and bowed. “It’s good to meet you too, Teacher.” She said as energetically as her confusion let her.
A new advisor?! This is my team! Who told him he could come in here without—
“You’re here early, no?” He noted, pulling off his swimcap and shaking his tangled mop of hair. The sudden stiffness in Reika’s expression didn’t dim his smile in the slightest.
“I...I come to plan everyone’s workouts. It—” She stopped herself. Why was she answering his questions? She should be—
“That’s great! Why don’t you tell me about the rest of the team?” Hiroshi asked. He pulled on a pair of loose-fitting linen pants and ambled towards the office, leaving Reika to pick up her jaw and follow him.
After practice had ended and the students gone their separate ways, Hiroshi sat at his borrowed desk in the teachers’ room. A casually unbuttoned Aloha shirt belied the deliberate efficiency of his movements and his erect posture. The noise and bustle of the staff room flowed around him like a rock in a stream. Unconcerned with the heat, he sipped from a mug of steaming tea and typed an email.
How’s the Tokyo summer? It’s not as hot here in Kanazawa, but I’d forgotten how loud the cicadas get in the country, especially at night. Settling in at work fine. They seem happy I signed up to supervise the swim team. Something about the captain, but I’m not sure what yet.
To one side sat Nakajima Reika’s student records. Championship swimmer, mixed record in class. Lives in the hills south of Kanazawa; father transferred to Osaka last year. Only child. According to her homeroom teacher, the girl didn’t appear to have a boyfriend—in fact, the boys all seemed scared of her.
Flipping through her records he looked at the family portrait attached to her initial application. Mom was a babe, too. Bleached hair. Ten-to-one she’d been a juvenile delinquent and had Reika just out of high school—if that.
Hopefully I’ll learn more. Remember my proposal to combine yoga and neuro-linguistic programming? The one Dr. Tanaka laughed at me for? I’ve decided to try it out. Worst case, this is a temporary job, no big deal. Best case, I scale up my experiments on other subjects locally.
He looked at the picture again and decided the girl’s mother probably had bigger tits than her daughter’s. Scaling up, indeed, he thought with a smile.
Reika, on the other hand, was not happy. In a flurry of texting after her workout, she arranged to meet her friend Shiho in a department store food court, eating dumplings and ramen while trying to ignore screaming children. Through a mouthful of noodles Reika explained her frustration over Maeda’s sudden appearance.
“What are you going to do?” Okamoto Shiho’s hair hung over the thick black rims of her glasses, almost concealing the eye shadow she wore to make it clear she was breaking the school dress code. Her lips glistened purple. The first time their homeroom teacher told her to take off the makeup she didn’t come back to school for two days. The next time she stayed away for three. Teacher didn’t say anything after that.
The two girls had been classmates in their first year at Asahigaoka and they’d stuck together ever since. To her homeroom teacher’s consternation, Shiho had entered with top scores on the placement exam. Reika’s scores were, well, irrelevant to her swimming scholarship. The two girls made an odd pair, but Shiho helped her friend stay afloat in class, and Reika beat the snot out of anyone that teased Shiho.
“I can’t just tell him to leave.” Reika frowned. “But I’ve got to keep the team on my side, not his.”
“You’re on different sides?” Shiho cocked an eyebrow and peered at Reika over her glasses.
Reika slapped the table hard enough to send broth lapping over the edge of her bowl.
“I made this team a winner, Shiho. We scored more points at meets this season than any team in school—”
“Yeah, yeah.” Shiho, who had heard it all before, waved off her claims, but Reika wouldn’t let go.
“You know how much time I put into the team. I work so hard to help them win.” Reika’s voice sunk and her shoulders sagged. “But they all hate me, you know? Because I yell at them so much.”
Shiho’s face softened.
“No, you know it’s true.” Reika cut her off. “They can’t understand that I have to be like that. I have to force them to win.”
“All of them?”
“Not all, exactly. Not Nanami, of course. And Hayakawa will probably qualify for the Inter-High; he understands. And that 2nd year boy Sasaki pushes himself at practice more than the others. He has potential.” Reika admitted grudgingly.
“But someone has to be in charge.” Her eyes narrowed and the fire returned to her voice. This is my team. I’m in charge. Teacher or no teacher, he better stay out of my way.”
“I heard he’s a hottie.” Shiho abruptly changed the subject.
Reika flushed, caught off guard.
“Huh?! No way, he’s—” She said hurriedly.
“I mean—” Reika’s face contorted, like she’d eaten something bitter. “Okay, he’s not old and fat...or bald...or smelly, I guess.
“I hear he’s more than that.” Shiho pressed.
“Okay, okay! So he’s not ugly. So what?”
“Oh, nothing.” Shiho shrugged, plucking a dumpling from Reika’s plate.
“Hey!” Her friend objected. “He says he teaches biology, you know.”
“Yeah, Nanami already texted me. He has to teach something, I suppose.” Shiho dismissed the thought with a wave of her hand.
“Really?” Reika prodded with a grin. “I guess he’s taking over your advanced biology class this coming term, now that Teacher Suzuki went home pregnant. Lucky for you, huh?”
“Oh please.” Shiho mocked her. “You know how I feel about the boys on the swim team—they’re all a bunch of squares. And he’s a swimmer and a teacher. That’s two strikes against—.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Reika laughed through a mouth full of ramen.
I’m supposed to be working on some coding for Tanaka, but it’s too hot to do anything here but lay in bed. So what are you going to try with your programming? Or is that “who?” Is she hot? (^_—)
Determined to stake out her territory by arriving at the pool before Teacher Maeda did, Reika made it in before six the next morning, only to find him already beginning his workout.
Unsure how to react, she stood alongside the pool, trying not to admire the way his muscles rippled as he crossed the pool with powerful strokes. Water sparkled as it flowed down his back, and her eyes followed it to where his tight buns flexed as he kicked. Then he snapped through a flip turn and was underwater, pushing off on another lap.
“Gaaah!” She turned away and squeezed her fists, digging her fingernails into her palms. Fight! Don’t give in! She told herself, trying to ignore the part of her that had gone soft and gooey. reika@ to shiho@ : Maeda’s here shiho@ to reika@ : it’s only 6 reika@ to shiho@ : what if he tries to take over shiho@ to reika@ : ask me later reika@ to shiho@ : i’m serious shiho@ to reika@ : me too
“I’d like to start practices with a new yoga program.” Finished with his training, Hiroshi pulled a deck chair into the office and watched her gnaw on her pencil as she planned the day’s workout.
Reika turned and looked at him in shock, the pencil still hanging from her mouth. Here we go, she thought. Trying to take over the team. Be strong! No Surrender! She told herself.
“Yoga, right? Sound like superstitious nonsense, doesn’t it.” He spread his hands with a depreciating smile. “I learned it as an exchange student in India during college. When I came back my 800 Free time was 13 seconds faster. Yep, thirteen. You do short distance breaststroke, right? Wouldn’t be 13, but you’d notice something.”
Reika’s mouth opened and closed without a sound. It sounds stupid, she thought. It sounds really stupid. But…but what if it’s true? All I need is a couple of seconds, the competitive part of her pleaded. I’d stand my head and quack like a duck if it gets me two seconds.
Maeda watched her mouth twitch as thoughts chased each other across her head, keeping his face carefully neutral.
Only eighteen days left until the qualifiers, and Reika still wavered. Eighteen days until the biggest meet of my life. And I’ve done everything else I can think of.
Reika’s eyes narrowed. Think! She told herself. Probably he was lying to impress her. But then again, if she agreed to try his yoga herself, she could divert his attention away from the team. The trick would be to stay in control while letting him think he was. If it worked like he said than she would bring it to the team herself; if it didn’t, she’d have a weapon she could use every time he tried to interfere with her plans. Either way I win, she concluded.
“Okay, I’ll try it. First just me.” She pronounced. Be firm! Make sure he understands I’m in charge! “If it works for me...then I’ll take it to the team afterward.”
“Absolutely. Come at six again tomorrow and we’ll start.” He nodded agreeably.
“Six?” She protested automatically, but Hiroshi was already walking away, as if everything had been decided the moment he pronounced it.
Yeah, she’s hot. (^_^) Not cooperative, though, too possessive of the team. She’ll be a good test subject—if I can change that I’ll know it works. And that’s not the only thing I’m going to try. (^_—)
The next morning he was waiting for her in the pool office, wearing only a pair of baggy shorts. A laptop computer sat on the desk and a foam mat on the floor.
“Morning.” He greeted her with the same broad smile as before.
“Good morning, teacher.” Habit made her bow, but she kept it to a quick nod of the head. Hiroshi let the disrespect go without comment.
They began with breathing exercises and simple stretching after she changed into her suit. Once that was finished, he began to demonstrate the poses he wanted her to assume. Downward Dog?! Reika mocked him silently, How stupid is that! Maybe I should have brought the team in on this right away so they could see what a moron he is, she thought.
Hiroshi noted the grimace on her face as just one more data point, caring much more about the way the Downward Dog stretched her legs and raised her ass for his inspection.
I could stare at that all day, he thought. Flowing curves formed twin globes, just big enough to cup in his hands, and just wide enough to separate her thighs when she stood. One suit edge had shifted to expose sharp tan lines and the pale skin underneath. Tits are nice, but ass is where it’s at, he thought to himself, and that is one fine piece. Maeda forced himself through a set of breathing exercises to calm his rampant erection.
To her surprise, Reika felt her muscles trembling as she tried to match his lead through a series of poses. She’d never realized it could be so hard to hold a single position. Try as she might, she couldn’t help but be impressed with his strength and flexibility.
“Now we’re ready to move to the next phase.” Finally he stepped forward and activated the laptop display, revealing a shifting mandala of purple and yellow, like a retro 70s video.
Reika collapsed limply into her chair, drenched in sweat.
“We’re not done yet.” He chided her. “Now I want you to sit cross-legged facing the screen and raise your hands over your head, with your palms together.”
“What?” She looked skeptical, but returned to the mat and sat the way he wanted.
“Hold that position and watch the screen.” At the touch of another button on the laptop, lines appeared amidst the shifting purple and yellow, like someone was writing on the screen with a black marker. Curves and angles descended from a horizontal line flowing from left to right.
“What’s that?” Reika asked skeptically as the completed image disappeared, then started over.
“An old form of Sanskrit.” He replied. “Just relax and follow the strokes with your eyes.”
“What’s Sanskrit? It looks like an Indian restaurant sign.”
“Yes, I suppose it does.” Hiroshi suppressed a laugh. “Just think of it as a yoga posture for your eyes. Move then with the pattern on the screen.”
“Um...is there a point to all this...teacher?” The honorific came late, like a reluctant afterthought.
“You know that the nerve cable running from eye to brain is the largest in your body?” Hiroshi asked.
Yes, Reika thought she remembered learning that. Shiho would know more. With nothing else to look at, the girl followed instructions and traced the Sanskrit letters with her eyes.
“That allows us to use eye movements to relax your mind just like physical yoga relaxes your body.” He explained.
Huh? Reika thought. What a bunch of garbage. She should just stop now. She should—
Well, maybe not yet. It was still early in the morning, and it did feel good to just sit here.
Her eyes moved through the pattern again and again. The urge to move faded with each repetition. In fact, the urge to do to anything at all disappeared. Her world closed down to the computer screen: the shifting patterns of color and the scrolling pattern, like her whole body was moving through the characters. Time and emotion dropped away.
“Are you centered and calm?” His voice broke into her reverie, and she watched each word sink into the depths of her subconscious.
Her mind’s eye watched curiously as her own thoughts floated to the surface like bubbles of air. Calm? She wasn’t anything, was she? Was that calm? Maybe it was.
Her head bobbed slowly.
“Today we are going to begin your new life.”
New life? Part of her thought that seemed odd, but thinking was so much work that she stopped.
“You are calm. You are open. You ready for your new life.”
“Open your mouth.”
Reika obeyed automatically.
“My voice enters your mouth and travels down to the center of your body. You do not think, only listen.”
Hiroshi stopped, making sure he had the sequence of commands memorized. Reika’s mouth hung open absently as she waited. For here there was only the eternal Now.
“You have three eyes. Two on the outside and one inside.” He began.
Oh. His words sunk in, unquestioned.
“Open your inner eye.” He commanded, and she did, waiting to be told what to see. “Now look downward, inside your own body, below your stomach.
A tiny part of her mind protested that this was silly—and gross, too—but its voice was too small to reach her consciousness, floating serenely high above.
“You see a fountain of energy there.”
Yes, she did. Sparkling in a rainbow of colors.
“But it is surrounded by walls of heavy stone.”
The light faded, replaced by a dim glow coming from the cracks between rocks.
“That energy gives you power, but you dam its flow with walls.”
Reika’s hands grew heavy and her breathing became labored.
“I will help you tear down those walls.”
Joy floated to the surface, and her consciousness skimmed the wave tops, inhaling the sweet scent it released at it popped.
“Repeat after me.” He commanded.
“I am a being of spirit.”
“I am a being of spirit.” She echoed.
“Energy flows within me.”
“Energy flows within me.” The words hit her twice: first as his slid into her mouth, thick and powerful, the second time as her own floated to the surface and caressed her consciousness on their way out.
“Energy flows out from the center of my body.”
“Walls imprison my energy.”
“Teacher Maeda will teach me to tear down the walls around my spirit.”
“I will obey his guidance.”
“I will obey him.”
“I will obey him.” Hiroshi repeated, and she obeyed.
“Stop repeating and look at the walls with your inner eye. The first wall is Ignorance. Today you took the first step towards understanding and you see how a stone in the wall is missing now.”
It was! Red starbursts streamed through the gap like roman candles and filled the darkness in her center.
“You feel the energy.”
It coursed through her like water through a dry creek bed after a hard rain. Her arms grew strong again, and she breathed deeply.
“That is your lesson for today.” He said. “Now close your inner eye.”
She obeyed, and felt a sudden chill as the fireworks disappeared.
“Watch the screen with your outer eyes.” He said, pressing another button.
The scrolling characters changed, her eyes tracked them automatically. With each repetition of the pattern, her consciousness drifted higher in the air, made lighter as short-term memories slipped away. She would not need to remember what she had been told—his words had sunk to the bottom of her brain, too deep to read, but from whence they could seep upwards, permeating her thoughts.
When he felt she had lost enough, he changed the characters again. This pattern pulled her consciousness down into her body again, as feeling returned to her arms and legs. With a start, she awoke from the trance, looking around at the office. The laptop screen had gone dark and Teacher Maeda sat looking at her from across the room.
“How do you feel, Nakajima?” He asked.
She felt...good. Buoyant and full of energy. She also felt a warmth in the pit of her stomach that she couldn’t explain, like a banked fire that grew hotter when she looked at the way his shorts rode low on his hips, not quite covering wisps of hair from below.
No! She cursed silently. He’s the enemy! Fight! Be strong! Never surrender! Forcing her face into a sneer she didn’t feel she said:
“Eh, whatever. I need to finish today’s workout schedules...teacher.” She said, hoping he would take the hint and leave. Once again, the honorific came only as a distant afterthought.
“Of course. See you tomorrow at six.” He reminded her, collecting his laptop and leaving.
Later that morning Reika and her teammate Nanami were eating sushi when Shiho arrived. The girls had arranged to meet at Omicho, the port city’s massive fish market, and through the plate glass window they could see the rows of fishmonger stalls, piled high with massive slabs of tuna, ice tubs full of tentacled creatures, piles of dried minnow, and things that even they could not identify.
“Don’t your moms feed you?” Shiho said, eying the stacks of plates in front of each girl.
“Maybe if you left the library sometimes you’d have an appetite.” Nanami replied placidly, reaching to take another plate off the conveyor belt that ran around the restaurant. She had little interested in studying; like Reika, her college entrance exam would be qualifying for the Inter-High. The two swimmers looked similar, but Nanami’s body was thicker, carrying enough fat over her muscle to shape her body into voluptuous curves.
“So.” Shiho said, sliding into the bench and surveying the plates of sushi coming down the belt. “What’s up?”
The girls chatted: about the sweltering heat, speculations about what their classmates were doing and with whom they were doing it, the rumors that another member of the girl band AK49 was going into the adult film industry. Hearing the other girls gossip about what the singer might have done made Reika fall silent, biting her lip.
“What’s wrong, Reika. Can’t stop thinking about Teacher Maeda?” Shiho taunted.
“Oh, yeah? So why get all thoughtful all of a sudden?”
“Oh, just...nothing...” Reika temporized. “Hey, could you hand me that—”
She tried to distract them, pointing at a plate of clam sushi coming down the belt.
“Oh, no. You don’t get off like that.” Shiho said, ignoring her request.
“Yeah, spill it, girl.” Nanami joined in.
“Alright, it’s just...last night my mom was...you know.” Reika said in a small voice.
“No, what?” Shiho cocked her head.
“You know…I can’t say it here!” She finished in an urgent whisper.
“You mean...?” Nanami’s voice trailed off.
“Yeah, that.” Reika scowled. “Lately she’s just, well, you know.”
“Didn’t your dad come back from Osaka for the weekend last week?” Shiho asked.
“Yeah, I guess. These days they’re not...you know.” Reika shrugged glumly.
Nanami nodded sympathetically, understanding how it felt when her own parents fought. Shiho’s dad had died when she was still in elementary school.
“Last night she was...really loud. Just when I was trying to go to sleep, and she starts with that “oooh, oooh.” Reika shook her head. “You know what our house is like. Her room is right there.”
“This morning I went into her room to tell her I was leaving early, and she was still asleep. You know what I saw?” She bent her head low over the table, and the other two did likewise. “She left a drawer open, and there was this...this plastic...” She had trouble continuing.
“A plastic dick?” Nanami finished eagerly.
“Shhh!” Reika flushed.
“How big was it?” Nanami asked, eyes wide.
“Nanami! Gross! What is your problem!?” I didn’t look that closely.”
Laughing, the other swimmer stood up to get water from the self-serve. After she left, Reika leaned over the table towards Shiho and spoke softly.
“While she’s gone, I wanted to tell you something. Maeda wants us to do yoga.” She said with a grimace.
“Yoga?” Shiho asked.
“Yeah. Sounds stupid, but he says he has a new technique that’ll shave seconds off my time.”
“What are you going to do?”
“For now, I’m doing it myself, just the two of us. Right now, I’ll do anything that might lower my time, but I don’t like the way he’s messing with the team schedule. It’s like he thinks he’s in charge or something.” Reika set her mouth in firm line.
“Why don’t you just skip tomorrow? Tell him you slept through your alarm.” Shiho shrugged. “Show him that it’s your choice, not his.”
“Hm.” Reika nodded. “Smart.”
“Hey, hey, what’s all this whispering?” Nanami asked as she arrived.
“Oh, we’re just talking about the crush you have on Coach Maeda.” Shiho said, thinking quickly.
“Me?” Nanami protested.
“Teacher Maeda, not Coach.” Reika insisted.
“Yeah, whatever.” The other two girls looked at each other and smiled at Reika’s obstinacy.
The next morning, when Reika’s alarm rang at 5:20, she intended to turn it off and go back to sleep. As she lay there with the dawn’s light streaming through the curtains, though, she found herself unable to sleep. No matter what position she lay in, it became uncomfortable within seconds.
Teacher Maeda told me to be there at six o’clock. She remembered. So?! A part of her rebelled. I have to obey Teacher Maeda, she thought groggily. No! He’s a teacher...and a wierdo, too. The rebel replied. Yes, but I have to obey, she answered the voice. Not quite sure why, she and prepared to leave for practice. Scared of what she might find, she left her mother’s door closed.
When she arrived he was waiting for her, like the day before.
And like the day before, he let her linger in the Downward Dog, tracing the curves of her thighs and ass with his eyes. When he activated the computer she slipped into trance more easily than she had before. His commands felt natural and she obeyed.
“The first wall is Ignorance. You see that we have opened a hole in that wall.”
Yes. The fountain of color warmed her belly.
“In time we will tear down that wall, but today we open a hole in the second wall—Anxiety. Repeat after me.”
“Anxiety is difficult to overcome.”
“Teacher Maeda will help me overcome Anxiety.”
“My body is natural.”
“Clothing interferes with the natural flow of my energy.”
“Clothing binds my hands as I reach for stones in the wall of Anxiety.”
“It is natural to remove my clothing as Teacher Maeda helps me.”
“It is natural to be naked with Teacher Maeda.
“It is natural for Teacher Maeda to see my breasts.”
“I will not feel anxiety about Teacher Maeda seeing my body.”
“I will not feel anxiety about Teacher Maeda seeing my breasts.”
“I will feel no anxiety about Teacher Maeda seeing any part of my body.”
Here comes the moment of truth, thought Hiroshi.
“I will not wear clothing while I practice yoga with Teacher Maeda.”
He fell silent, letting the words percolate through her mind.
Reika had no idea how long she stood there, but from one moment to the next, she became aware she was wearing clothes. They were dragging her down, like a lead weight attached to a balloon. The wave tops grew closer, wetting her in their cold spray as she struggled to skim above them.
“Take off your clothes.” His words arrived as with a flourish of trumpets. Yes! A smile spread across her unseeing face. That was the answer! A fountain of energy rose from below, waiting to lift her spirit as soon as the weights were removed. Taking a strap in each hand, she pulled her suit down over her torso.
Her breasts were beautiful. Not large, but perfectly delectable. The skin of her chest sloped smoothly to each nipples, just high enough for a nice cup underneath. The aureole were their most striking feature, more than just differently colored, the dark brown cones made her breasts into layer cakes, waiting to be tasted.
In the same smooth motion she bent her knees and pulled the suit down over her rear, letting it drop around her feet. When she stood it was if pulled by a puppeteer. She rose on her tiptoes unconsciously, as if she found it difficult to stay tethered to the earth.
Maeda held his breath, hesitant to believe that this was actually happening. He’d gone this far with experimental subjects while studying in India, but none with bodies like Reika’s. One hand slipped inside his trunks, and he stared at her unmoving body and stroked himself.
The ticking of the wall clock reminded him that the others would come soon, though, and he regretfully pulled his hand away. Soon, he told himself. Leaving Reika in position he pulled his cell phone out of his bag and captured her nakedness from every angle. When he was done, he calmed his arousal and returned to her programming.
“See the wall of Anxiety.” He commanded in the same placid voice. “It is higher than the wall of Ignorance.
Just as he said, it towered before her.
“But today we have pulled out one stone in that wall.”
He was right! More fireworks poured from the gap, sparks of orange joining the red starbursts, like a bonfire in her spirit.
His command to close her inner eye pulled her away from the warmth and back to cold reality. No! She wanted to protest, but she knew she must obey.
It took a minute for her conscious mind to realize that she was naked. What the!? Before she could move a soothing voice replied.
It is right to be naked doing yoga with Teacher Maeda.
But yoga is finished!
I do not feel anxiety about Teacher Maeda seeing my body. Replied the same calm voice.
He can see my boobs! She protested, but the response came before she could lift her hands.
It is natural for Teacher Maeda to see my breasts.
She struggled to understand where the voice came from, but the words compelled reassurance, and her hands stayed on her lap.
“You are doing very well, Reika.” Hiroshi said.
It took all of his concentration to maintain a veneer of calmness to match his normal appearance. The process was working! This girl (this total babe!) was standing there naked for him like it was perfectly natural. He kept his hands discreetly over his crotch so she wouldn’t see his erection.
“Teacher?” The girl asked hesitantly.
“I still don’t understand how this is going to help me swim faster.”
“Your energy is trapped in your spirit and can’t get out.” He explained.
Energy. The word brought back vague memories of light and warmth. It made her feel good. A special kind of good that she felt sometimes when the boys changed clothes on the pool deck and their towels rose high enough to see what was underneath.
“We have to let it out slowly. This is part of letting out your energy.”
She nodded. Energy was good.
“When your energy flows freely it will fill your body and give you strength. Trust me.”
Reika nodded. She would trust him.
I will obey his guidance. The voice in her head spoke with authority, and Reika submitted.
“I think you should put your suit on now and prepare for practice.”
“Yes, teacher.” This time the honorific rolled smoothly off her tongue.
“I’ll just be outside, then.” Maeda said, packing away his computer and strolling out to the pool deck.
Once dressed, Reika raised the shades and took her seat at the desk, turning to the chore of writing workouts for the team. A glance at the clock showed that it was almost seven. How could that be? She out the window at Teacher Maeda, his bent double in a lingering stretch that Reika couldn’t do even on her best day. Her brows knit in concentration. Where had all the time gone? No time for that! She told herself, putting the question aside. Hurry! Fight!
shiho@ to reika@ Maeda angry you skipped?reika@ to shiho@ : I didn’t.shiho@ to reika@ : :0reika@ to shiho@ : Lunch tomorrow?shiho@ to reika@ (^_^)
That night Maeda sat on the floor of his apartment, with his phone and computer on a low table. The room was small, two tatami mats wide and three deep. The entry hall fronted a sink and range, and a cramped bathroom completed the apartment. Kanazawa wasn’t as expensive as Tokyo, but it wasn’t cheap, either. A closet along one wall held his futon and his few possessions. A nightstand in the corner held a clock and a weathered stone statue he brought back from India, of a large-breasted woman with eight arms wearing nothing more than a crown and strings of beads. A guitar stood propped in the other.
The young man wore another from his collection of aloha shirts, bright patterns of yellow and blue, but no pants. His dick was already hard, and he idly rubbed it as he downloaded the day’s pictures to his computer. When they were finished he put aside the cup of tea he’d been drinking and opened the files.
Check this picture out. Is she hot or what? And she has no idea what’s happening, ha,ha. It works, damnit, it works! And when I prove it Dr. Tanaka is going to have egg all over his shrunken old face.
Maeda’s eyes traced the sinuous curves of her legs, the patch of dark hair concealing her pussy, the slight swell of her abdomen, to her breasts. His hand moved more urgently now, feeling the tightness in his crotch as he flicked through picture after picture of her body. Oh, that ass! He imagined it bent over in front of him, cheeks slightly apart as he penetrated her from behind.
Oddly enough, his eyes kept returning to the picture of her face. Eyes wide and alight, lips parted slightly, and not a single line of worry. Seeing that joyful expression and knowing she was totally naked was too much for him. He barely had time to grab a handful of tissues before he came, seeing stars as jolts of pleasure made his hips spasm.
Once he’d finished, a look of chagrin crossed his face. Succumbing so quickly like that, what happened to his self-discipline? This girl was special, that her picture affected him that strongly. Waiting for the programming to take its course was going to—
Damn! He’d leaked cum on his shirt, too. Hiroshi sighed and headed for the shower.
The next morning was Saturday, but skipping yoga didn’t occur to Reika. Instead, she showed up promptly at six o’clock, bowing to greet Teacher Maeda. The office curtains were closed.
“Good morning, Reika. Are you ready?” He asked.
“Yes.” She replied, standing on the mat and rolling her neck in warm-up stretches.
“Aren’t you forgetting something? We are going to practice yoga.” He stressed the last two words.
No duh. She thought. Then she heard her own voice say:
“I will not wear clothing while I practice yoga with Teacher Maeda.”