Excerpt from Chapter 1:
How many of
us notice the instant our lives change? The moment we step out of ‘what
has been’ and into ‘what is to come’? I didn’t. But looking back,
unraveling all that had happened before and everything that happened
after, I think I can pinpoint the exact moment. Surprisingly, it had
nothing to do with Eric’s coming and nothing to do with Gina’s leaving.
It had everything to do with me.
slumping into a chair and nibbling on a cookie I was pretty sure hadn’t
gone bad while I’d been on vacation. I knew I’d probably regret it. But
after a ten-hour plane ride, a three-hour commute into Tokyo, and
sixteen hours of jet lag, my stomach wasn’t listening to me anymore.
I’d gone home
to Oregon for vacation to celebrate my birthday and attend my sister’s
wedding. My little sister’s wedding. After having celebrated both
another birthday and the happiest day of my sister’s life, my thoughts
were anything but joyous. They were waspish thoughts that buzzed around
the question, What about me?
literally and figuratively.
My sister had
embarked on a life that I would soon have no claim to…although I fully
intended to insert myself into it from time to time. Being sad for me
and happy for her was making a see-saw of my emotions. Facing my return
to life as a journalist in Tokyo hadn’t made it any easier. And the fact
that I’d have to deal with Neil made it even worse.
should have started dating Neil. I worked with him. He was a
nice-looking guy. And I had total respect for him as a writer. Thought
he was the best one at the paper. Several months before, I had gotten to
the point in my life where I just wanted to be with someone, and he was
the most obvious candidate. But every time we’d gone out, our dates had
degenerated into bull sessions about work or about our careers in
general. It was like talking to a brother.
then one night, we’d kissed.
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