The champagne is steadily flowing. The DJ is dancing along with her vinyls. The crowd is beautiful. The venue trendy.
In any other city this would be a typical Friday night but it’s only Monday. In Tokyo, grown-ups can play any time, any day. It’s easy to see why there are many Peter Pans stuck in a Never Never (grow up) Land.
I am with four girl friends. We, too, are dressed to the nine. Champagne flutes in one hand. Cigarettes in the other. It’s the pre-opening party of the newest bar in the playground for foreigners: Roppongi.
As the reception draws to a close, we are told the after party is around the corner at their sister bar. The champagne takes over better judgment and I too, head to the next stop.
The night continues with more champagne, good music. Dancing is my activity of choice. It’s much more fun than talking to another Roppongi guy, whose objective is bedding volumes of women. I am having fun, possibly too much, as the champagne keeps coming.
Our eyes meet by accident. He is in a sharp suit. Even in the dark, I can tell it is exquisitely tailored. He is watching me, as he navigates through the crowd waiting their turns to greet him. He is generous with his attention. Shaking people’s hands. Kissing women on both cheeks. Getting hugged by men and women. Who is this man? He waits until my glass is empty, walks over and signals the bartender to refill my flute. Oh no, more champagne…
”Hello” he says with a smile. He is so charismatic I can’t breathe. I keep my cool, flash a smile and thank him for the refill. ”I saw you at the other bar” he says. ”Oh yeah?” I respond, my body is still moving with the rhythm of the music. I can sense his eyes on me. I turn back towards him and reciprocate his interest with my full attention. We introduce each other and the bartender hands him two new chilled flutes. ”Sit down.” he says, and smoothly replaces my old glass with the new. He pulls a bar stool out. I don’t resist. I sit.
We spend the rest of the evening talking. I am charmed with his existence. The champagne keeps coming, I’m no longer tracking time. Like clockwork, he pulls me towards him and whispers: let’s go, it’s World Cup time. I shake my head more so with exasperation than defiance. ”You are so sure I am going with you.” I say. ”Why wouldn’t you?” he says. Why? There are so many reasons. Way more than I want to think about. But the number one reason is because he owns some of the hottest clubs, bars and restaurants in the trendiest parts of Tokyo. What would someone like him want from me? My gut is telling me to RUN. But I suppress those inner voices and along with my girlfriend, head to the next place with him. Even on the street, he is the man. People call out from all directions to greet him. Jesus. What have I gotten myself into…
Fast forward a couple hours, it is now an indecent time when ‘normal’ people head to work. My girlfriend leaves and it’s just him, me and a few of his staff watching the game. I am sleepy and he notices. He escorts me out into a cab, pays the driver and sends me off with a kiss on the cheek. ”I’ll call you tomorrow.” he says, and closes the cab door.
I wasn’t expecting to hear from him but he calls and asks to see me again. Every fiber of my being is saying NO NO NO, red flag, red flag, red flag! but my will power is gone, thrown out the window with responsibility and good judgment the minute I chose to spend time with him. I agree and see him again at another one of his establishments. It is a busy Friday night. He is in his element. He is the center of attention but his attention is with me. Of course I am enjoying it. He invites me to the private room and we indulge in more conversation, champagne.
I don’t know what I’m doing with this man who I know is bad news. Roppongi is like Vegas, Miami and Beirut times ten. Here he is, this man who is the King of Fantasy Land, and I know I shouldn’t be there. We drink champagne until it is light out again, and he invites me for a dinner date. Everything in me is saying NO but I can’t help but do whatever this man asks. I know it won’t last. But every second I am with him, I feel like a princess.
I wake up to a text with the address of where he is taking me for dinner. I am still undecided but it’s him. I just can’t say no…
To be cont… Maybe.
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