It was a last ditch effort to relive a moment and she knew it was doomed before she got on the flight. Alex had died two weeks before California lockdowned and she'd spent all those long, lonely months trapped with the ghosts of their life. So what had she done as soon as she was free? Booked a flight to the city they'd spent so long exploring together.
But Tokyo is rush and change. Her Japanese was too rusty and her jet lag too intense. Her hotel room too silent. She couldn't sleep and couldn't stand her own company.
So she slipped into a black dress and heels. Took the train to Tochomae and walked past the empty office buildings and the emptier park to the oddly unimpressive ground floor lobby and then ascended to the clouds.
The elevator doors opened and she walked past empty dining rooms, each more ethereal than the last, the windows beyond them framing mist and distant city lights. Empty rooms out of dreams. Statues and perfect floral arrangements. Lit corridors of books behind glass, bamboo growing in the clouds. Her footfalls the only sounds in the quiet.
Another elevator and the doors slide open on an even grander view and a swell of sound. Conversation, clinking glasses, and low jazz filled her even before she turned. The Park Hyatt Hotel Bar. The New York Bar. The Lost In Translation Bar.
They'd been such kids. Damning the cover cost. Laughing. Dressed up and drinking cocktails. Playing grownup on a weekend leave from Yokosuka. Listening to jazz and half expecting to see Bill Murray in the background.
They'd watched the movie their first night in Japan, let lagged and elated to be somewhere so new. They'd watched it again the night before their final flight out of Narita. It'd been a different movie then but still rung true.
She scanned the room - respectfully restrained and appreciating the music, but still lively and crowded. The musicians close against the tables, framed by a tall pyramid of glass window, all Tokyo stretched below and beyond. The always incongruous Tokyo Tower, Effiel's masterpiece translated into red and white, twinkled in the distance. Blade Runner without its dystopian edge.
There were no empty tables. She didn't want to sit at the bar and twist to watch the quartet. One solo man, a fellow Gaijin, unpretentious in a blazer and slacks, caught her eye. His gesture towards his table's empty chair said be my guest. She hesitated a moment then joined him, a smile of thanks and nod as she turned to the music.
She ordered a confection of sake and sakura liquor, pink as a cherry blossom in a martini glass. He channeled his inner Bob Harris and drank neat whiskey. Suntory, naturally.
The dark haired French singer sang of loss and love and she found her eyes were wet. The stranger's hand, large and warm, closed on hers. She sighed. Looked up into his eyes, steady and just as warm. She didn't want to be alone with her ghosts tonight.
His room was in the hotel. His mouth in the elevator held a trace of the whiskey's sweet burn, his lips firm and sure against her own. A fire igniting in her, rekindled after an eternity.
She kicked off her shoes in his cedar scented room, toes digging into the plush grey carpet. He caressed her back and unzipped her dress. She turned in his arms and the dress dropped, pooling at her feet and leaving only bra and panties, black against pale skin. The bra fell and his dark head bent to capture her pink nipple in his mouth, heat and suckling pleasure laving her. She moaned, squirmed. He slid his fingers inside her panties to toy with her slickness, pinching the hood around her clit and rubbing it frictionless against itself. Sliding back to plunge two too thick fingers into her depths. His tongue and fingers shattered her and when it was over he laid her naked on the plush white bed.
He shed his slacks and found a condom. She drew her legs back and held them, inviting him. One slow, firm thrust and he was hilted, his balls against her asshole. His mouth found her ear and sent shivers convulsing her spine, clenching her around him. He drew back and gazed down at her, then began an inexorable in and out, driving them both towards a crescendo that promised, if not peace, at least sleep.