tagRomanceKhoe; A Tale of Sadness & Joy Ch. 04

Khoe; A Tale of Sadness & Joy Ch. 04

byTaLtos6©

***Kerry had a lot of time to regret that Khoe had gone.

He also had a lot of time to regret his actions, deciding that he'd been an idiot.

Ah well ...

This is a short piece even when taken together in its entirety. With that said - it's implausible as hell ,but I liked the notion of it and wrote it to see where it could go as a fairytale type of story.

0_o

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Part Two: Kumiko 久美子 "long time beautiful child"

So, the old lecher was dead, she thought. As far as her feelings on the subject went, he'd lived at least two years too long; that being the length of time that she'd had to spend with him.

But his passing left her with some uncertainty. She doubted that he'd left her anything since he was a mean-spirited old bastard, given to just telling her what she'd do for him. As long as she was expressing her feelings on the subject to herself silently, he'd been a selfish old dried-up dick.

The things that he'd had done to her ...

She could only imagine how much it had cost him to buy the acceptance of what he wanted from her owners.

She thought about that for a moment, deciding that she'd have been happy at the time just to have the money that it must have cost him to fly her to Japan and back, and all for a few tattoos. She'd gotten nothing out of it but the inkwork, and it had been done -- all of it -- in the old traditional way by hand. She 'd had one other done in Toronto by the method practiced by most artists and it had involved a lot less pain and time. Her first had taken a couple of weeks.

She wondered what her next assignment would be as she went home to enjoy a little time off.

As it turned out, she didn't have long to wait.

The next day brought a phone call to tell her of a meeting. Kumiko had a sinking feeling over it for the rest of the day.

The day after that was decidedly unpleasant. She was reminded of her advancing age and the way that her desirability moved in inverse proportion to it. She was told that there were to be no more assignments for her at all.

Basically, she was informed that she was no longer needed and washed up as far as providing personal entertainment and 'comfort' was concerned -- at twenty-eight! She supposed that she could freelance, but that would take her into something in this culture that she wanted no part of, and she had no readily accessible connections in Japan, though it was a possibility that she liked a little better.

"We do have one final assignment for you in a different regard," she was told, "Prepare yourself for a journey and you will be traveling lightly. Your destination is in the mountains to the west. You are not to return here."

She was issued some airline tickets and that was it! The 'traveling lightly' thing was a joke to her. It was what she was told when they sent her to the old man. She only had a few things, so that part was easy and she'd made very good use of her bank and she'd saved every nickel that she could for years now and her investments were at a level where they paid off handsomely.

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As she wandered through the cavernous interior of the airport in Vancouver, she was finally met by a single man who bowed curtly and told her that she was to follow him. He took her to a smaller terminal and they boarded a plane which would, he told her, take them to a smaller airport farther into the interior of British Columbia.

"Can you tell me why I am being sent here?" Kumiko asked and he said, "It's where we catch the helicopter for the last leg. I don't know much of anything about it, but I was told that you have some medical experience. From what I know, you were chosen for this from high up."

Kumiko didn't know what to say at that point. Her total medical experience was from working as a candy-striper years before in the maternity ward of a Toronto hospital.

Three and a half hours later, she was trotting out a little bent over from under the whirling rotors of a Bell helicopter across a mountain meadow. The scenery all around her was spectacular, but she was more confused and struggling with a rising sense of vague upset than ever, still without the knowledge of what she was to do here.

She was led to the only building in sight -- a largish cabin, and ushered inside.

She saw three people waiting for her there; one of them a woman -- her own mother, whom she hadn't seen since she'd been trapped by people who offered to pay for her education and never said what their price might be until it was far too late.

The woman asked the others to leave and then she offered her daughter a cup of tea and indicated a second woman who sat, cast in deep shadow in the corner. Kumiko hadn't even seen her until then.

"I'm afraid that I know nothing of what's going on," she said to her mother, "and I wonder if there's been a mistake somehow."

"There has been no mistake Kumiko-chan," the woman bowed a little before she revealed a slightly pleased look, "I am the not the one who sent for you. My companion chose you personally out of many others. We need your help and perhaps it will earn your freedom as well as your dream at last."

As the woman began to speak, Kumiko's mouth began to fall open at what she heard.

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Kerry went from anguish through despondency and on down until at last he arrived at miserable. He knew that there was a last stop on the ride and he tried to keep himself from growing cold to the world around him, but he knew that he'd get there eventually.

One morning in the late spring, just about at the second anniversary of him having met the woman who'd come into his life, turned it upside down and then disappeared, he walked into the kitchen and made himself a cup of instant coffee.

Kerry sat at the table and noted the improvement in himself. There had been days where he'd done nothing other than sit right here; drinking coffee until at last he'd begun to weep a little. He'd get a handle on it and finally begin his day, looking after his investments and checking the state of the markets.

He thought that it was a pretty shitty existence and he felt like a bit of discarded packaging. He was fairly well-off, but he still felt like an empty chocolate bar wrapper.

He looked up then, seeing a motion out in the garden.

He almost dropped the mug as he stared.

Out there, just closing the gate was a woman in a dark cloak. It was a cold day and it was a little unusual in that respect. But he didn't care as he looked at the familiar form, watching for a moment as she turned to walk toward the house a little slowly carrying something as well as struggling with a piece of luggage.

Kerry jumped up and ran to the door. He couldn't seem to find his sneakers or his workboots or any form of footwear, cursing himself a little as he remembered that he'd done the housework the evening before and had put everything away in the closet. As well and perhaps worst of all, he knew that the stones of the walk would rip the soles of his bare feet open if he moved at more than a snail's pace.

He almost ran right out the door anyway until he remembered that he wasn't wearing anything.

He muttered to himself even more as he ran upstairs and finally managed to pull on a pair of jeans. He ran back downstairs and yanked the door open just as the woman was about to knock.

He was looking at a stunningly beautiful oriental woman with an uncertain expression whom he did not know.

"Good morning, Mr. Browne," she said softly, "My name is Kumiko. May I come in? I have walked a long way."

He looked bewildered for a moment. She had to have walked a long way if she'd come from town. It was a 20 minute drive. He looked down, suddenly noticing that what she held was a sort of sling which she wore. There was an infant sleeping against her chest in it.

"I didn't walk all the way from town," she smiled a little uncomfortably; "I was dropped off about halfway from town. I've come here from Vancouver.

This is your son, Ciarraighe. May we talk?"

You could have knocked him over with a feather, but the hair that he saw on that little sleeping head, ...

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He sat back, scratching his head and feeling rather uncomfortable as he looked at the paperwork that she'd brought along. Kumiko sat quietly for the most part, looking around herself and marveling at the inside of the house. There were modern and very western elements, such as the kitchen, but she also saw purely Japanese elements as well; rooms with sliding wooden panels for their entrances and the décor in the one room that she could see was absolutely perfect and correct -- for the home of a wealthy man who had rather pure tastes in a style of Japanese home that was largely not constructed anymore even in Japan.

"You have a fine home," she said very quietly, "I was surprised to see the outside of it and the garden there. What I can see of the interior surprises me even more -- since it is the home of a man from a different culture."

"Yeah well, you might say that I had a lot of help," Kerry said, not looking up as he read over the papers which lay before him on the table. Without meaning to at all -- given that he sat there with a stranger and a sleeping baby -- he finished the bitter thought, more for himself than his presently unwelcome guest.

"It was a dream once, when I had a woman in my life who actually wanted to love me for the rest of our lives. Most of the restoration was handled by a woman who knew and understood the esthetics and the art of what was here. She just didn't love me enough to stay."

He finished his examination of the papers and pushed them away toward Kumiko as he looked up, his blue eyes looking very coldly at her.

"So I'm supposed to just accept that you're ... "

He exhaled then, "Lady, I don't freaking believe this. I think I'll just call the cops."

She shook her head, "I do not want any money from you. This is not extortion. I have more to tell, Kerry, but I will only say it once and then never again. Are you prepared to listen?"

"Yeah," he said, "whatever."

She looked a little upset at that, but she took a breath and began.

"The woman that you knew was not named Khoe. It was only a name which she took for herself a lot of the time. She did not plan what happened between you; but you should know that her leaving you was not her free choice to make. She has value to some rather powerful people in Asia. She must go when she is called."

"Value for what?" he asked, regretting his hard tone and yet not at the same time.

"Her skill," the woman shrugged, "I will not make it clear beyond saying only that you should think on why it is that a woman of today knows how to finish an impromptu kendo match in seconds, over and over; no matter what you thought to do in how you approached it.

May I continue? Or will you now ask me something foolish about her value as a kendo competitor -- and she has never competed anywhere with wooden swords, if you catch my meaning. You might imagine what she could do with a pair of live blades instead of only wooden ones and she has far more skills, abilities, and value than only that. I hope that you can imagine what she might be able to do with firearms or explosives, since those are the tools that she works with far more often than with swords.

I know that she has killed a man with a long thin stainless steel rod before."

Kerry looked over at that as his mouth opened a little.

The woman nodded, "One end ground to a thin point and inserted into the heart from under the left arm in bed. Done correctly, I am told that there is no sound and the victim cannot move. The rod is withdrawn afterwards and discarded later on, far from the scene."

You were making love with a weapon every night, Kerry. I cannot say it any more strongly than that."

He nodded, able to at least know when it was best that he kept his mouth shut.

"I never met her other than only once for a period of about three months and I last saw her a month ago," the woman said, "It was when she gave this boy to me to raise with you. She said that she loved you as she has never loved anyone but that she was not allowed to stay any longer.

If it matters to you, I will say only that she is now in Russia. I believe that she will be sent elsewhere soon, and anyway, you would not ever be able to find her."

He set down his mug, "Raise him with, ... me? You're supposed to raise this boy -- and I'm not even about to just blindly accept that this child is even mine -- with me?"

He sat back again, "Just what the fuck are you trying to do here?"

"This child," she said, "is yours. You can insist on DNA testing if you wish. You impregnated her and she left before it became obvious. She told of it to her handlers and they came up with this solution. His birth in a remote cabin in the interior of this province is documented and you are listed as the estranged father. I registered the birth myself and I am listed as the mother. No one even asked me for a blood sample. He has no value to the clan that your 'Khoe' works for. I would not recommend that you refuse to care for him, for his sake. These people, ..."

She looked down for a moment, "These people are not known to be this understanding or charitable and I can tell you this from personal experience. The only reason that I was chosen for this was that I am of no further use to them, and the woman who you knew selected me because of the similarities in our appearances.

I am here to raise him with you as our son. I carry enough documentation to prove to anyone here that I am Khoe Nakatami and I have the same blood type as she does by some coincidence, though that is not an indicator in most cases of maternity.

You and I do not even know each other, but to me, this is likely the only chance that I will ever have at a normal life. If you would allow it and trust me only a little, I would be happy to do whatever I must to become Khoe for you. I understand that you will probably be reluctant at first, but I only ask for a chance. If it is up to me, you will never regret accepting this choice. I studied hard to get to know who you are from her notes.

I am offering myself to be your woman. It is nothing that I do lightly. You might hold the thought of it in your mind, but I am not deranged or insane."

Kerry couldn't help it - he just stared at her over that remark until, ...

Something came to him then from his time as a policeman. He suddenly realized that if this were a scam of any kind, this woman was likely not acting out of her own free will. He was wrong in at least one aspect. This was no scam, and she was acting on her own as far as playing her part in this. Kerry just couldn't see the way that she hid her hopefulness.

He looked over as the thought took hold in him, "What happens to you if I refuse? You can't just walk away, can you? One phone call and --"

She shook her head sadly, at least a little certain that this was impossible now, "I told you. I am of no further use to ...

Please Mr. Browne. I was an orphan, not that it matters much. I was bought, raised and trained when I was old enough to please a man. That and some skill at bookkeeping are all that I have -- other than my certification as an accountant. But I never worked at it beyond keeping some shady internal books for the clan here. What I have in this is a chance to live a real life for once; being a man's wife and the mother of his son. I have two birth certificates for him. On the perfect forgery, his mother is listed as Khoe. I had this done on the chance that you might want to live believing that she never left you.

The other birth certificate -- the one which is the one sent to me by the authorities -- shows that his mother is me. It is the one that I wish and hope that you might prefer."

She sat back a little and gently adjusted the way that the infant was against her chest, "I am not here asking for your support. I have my own means to live and take care of him. I am quite prepared to do that if you wish, and you will never be bothered by me -- or Carraighe-chan ever again. I would raise him so that he would never know of you. But it would likely happen that he and I would both be dealt with as part of what would be seen as a necessary cleanup in a little time. This way, I have assurances that he and I would be forgotten.

If you were able to have the police here soon enough to catch me -- and even if they did not, it would only be the same as killing me yourself and for certain, this boy would not live past the next two weeks at the outside. They are very thorough when they look for a loose end and that is what we are to them now; a pair of loose ends. The only reason that you met his mother at all was the unforeseen circumstance of your uncle's passing and your desire to close off his affairs. Other than that, she herself was very thorough in what she was sent here to do -- and I do not know what that was, since it didn't concern me.

What is being offered to you and I is not being done as a kindness to either of us. It is being done as a reward to her for her faithful and long service to them because she loved you and she cannot keep and raise your son. Her occupation precludes it and it would only leave her and him vulnerable in a world where no government -- no law enforcement agency anywhere could ever protect them. She has breached the best defenses that they can erect herself more than once when she needed to."

They sat in silence for several minutes. Kerry said, "Look, I used to be a cop and - "

I know this," she nodded.

"Yeah well anyway," he said, "I could probably put you in touch with somebody who could help you in your circumstances."

"No one could protect us for very long," she said simply, "and it would not be what I would want."

Kerry looked at the infant for a moment and then he looked up, "You don't have much to look after him with, do you?"

She shook her head, "Only a few clothes and some disposable diapers."

He sighed, "Is that the only thing that you have to carry him in?"

When she nodded, he said, "Wait here. I'll need to put on a shirt, and then we'll go into town. I wouldn`t even let you walk away from here like that."

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He thought it was absurd. All told, he drove clean past the police station, the women's shelter and a church -- all of them places where he could have done the right thing. He looked over and saw the woman and the protective way that she held the infant as he drove very slowly and carefully.

He wondered how much of the story had been bullshit up to that point, but what he saw in her concern for the child was something then that overrode some of that. He still wondered ...

But then he remembered the times when he'd been a cop and there had been bodies found in unlikely places and in pieces with as many means of positive identification absent as possible.

It caused him to wonder if driving past had been the right thing to do after all.

"What was your name again?" he asked and he heard only "Khoe,"

"That's not what you told me at first," he said.

"What I told you was my real first name," she said, "From now on, I am Khoe."

Kerry wondered if she was nuts, or whether he was, given what he saw himself doing.

"Look, uh, Khoe," he said, "I'm having a ton of trouble here. You said that you'd raise him with me. What do you get out of it from your side again?"

Her reply shocked him at first when she said, "He gets his father to know and love him, a home and a family to grow up in and he knows me. I love him as my own. I have been in his short life from the beginning. I was the first person to see him. I assisted at his birth."

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