A couple of clients have been unusually keen recently, extending their interests in me to outside of work. One is a young man who came to visit us earlier this month with a friend. His friend, Hunter (pseudonym), was a middle-aged factory worker who belied his awkward presentation and otherwise unremarkable appearance as being one of the most forward clients when it comes to engaging the girls on a personal level. Apparently, he practices a routine in which he would invite girls out on dim sum and tennis dates, which always end in lingerie shopping at Victoria’s Secret. A few girls, including the previous mama-san, had already been checked off by him. Hunter also had a penchant for sweet things, and brought with him chocolate pudding rolls to share with the girls and ordered mainly sweet, non-alcoholic drinks. I supposed he came again that day to find a new girl. Mina-san assigned me and Kayo to them, and we split to devote ourselves to one client each.
Unlike Hunter and the other clients, he restricted himself to only Perrier and hardly touched anything else. (I later found out he was on a strictly organic diet and kept himself very well.) He was the first hapa I ever encountered since I started as a midnight lady. Being half-Sri Lankan and half-Cantonese, his complexion was a darkened work that resembled my first him. It might be a bit strange to use effervescent to describe a grown man, but that was how he felt to me. He was prone to exaggerations and would stretch anything I say in an attempt to make me laugh or smile (e.g. “Mmm, you’re like a little robot!” [imitates robot] “You like X and Y?” “Remember to watch [name of show] before you go to bed at night!”). He was also strangely eager to show himself off, and at one point made an excuse to flip up his shirt to surprise me with his six-pack before noting my blush with amusement. I thought him strange, but appreciated his friendliness and personality. His bubbly presentation came across as an act of overcompensation, which inspired my mischievous side; I tried to put in more efforts in getting him to reveal himself a bit more. I stilled myself, cleared my mind and focused. Then, I interjected a question when I caught him at a rare moment of silence to sip his Perrier: “…but you ended up here. So, what are you looking for in life?” He fell silent and stared at me for the longest time. Then, he averted his gaze and told me he was trying to find a girl with whom to share his life. The topic wandered off to his former girlfriend, with whom he was deeply in love and for whom he would “throw [himself] in front of a bus” but had to separate due to a fatal incompatibility. As he talked he initially avoided my eyes, until they met and he could not look away. He started fumbling and became awkward in front of me. “Oh, you are good! No wonder you’re a professional!” He remarked with a silly grin on his face, which made me giggle. It was never my intention to have this effect on him as I simply wanted our exchange to become more genuine, but I admit I was glad to see him don a more serious air. Soon, Mina-san came to reassign me to another client. Before I left him I warned him to stay away from this establishment if he was trying to seek a girl, as he would find no one to suit him here. Piqued, he wanted to know the reasoning behind my warning. I told him to simply forget about me, as I was just one of the many girls at a late-night entertainment establishment, and went to another client. Later, after work, I was surprised to find him downstairs. I thought he had long gone, but there he was by his jeep. He waved me down and followed me across the lot to offer me a ride home. I had never accepted this from any other client before, but I gauged enough from our interaction – however brief – that he had no malicious intentions. If nothing else, he was more like an eager, impulsive child in front of me. It was late and I was not looking forward to the long walk that awaits me after the late-night bus ride. I trusted my judgement and complied. On our way home I estimated that he probably spent 90% of his time staring at me instead of focusing on the road. As he dropped me off, he promised repeatedly and pinky-swore to return next week to see me. I thanked him and braved the last lonely street home.