Like a centipede on drugs scaling the uneven surface of a LEGO cityscape, the Yamanote line carriage is whisking Tomoko through the dark maze of illuminated high-rise office blocks. While struggling to maintain her balance on her high heels in the moving train carriage, Tomoko is smoothing out the wrinkles in her dress and trying to ignore a balding, middle-aged office worker ogling at her over the top of his newspaper. She is in transit for Shinagawa Station, but her mind is stuck elsewhere, grappling with the implications of what just happened. Not an hour has passed since she left the room in that love hotel near Gotanda Station and thinking about it still makes her pulse quicken. How unreal that she went ahead and did this! A few days after creating her profile on the dating site, scores of male users had already contacted her. Ryo was one of them, and they had agreed to meet up by the western exit of the station. The secret rendezvous had taken place early in the evening, so that she could make it back home in time before her husband. Tomoko had described her looks and her outfit to allow Ryo to easily recognize her.

There she is, standing outside a Lawson convenience store with a pounding heart, scouting the streets for a young guy in his mid-twenties wearing sunglasses and a khaki-colored shirt. Suddenly, he turns the corner right in front of her with a mischievous smile on his lips and his hands in his pockets. “Tomoko-san?” She nods and starts giggling like a teenage girl.

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