“Kuru-min! Could you come here for a second?”
I could hear Mrs. Kurosawa calling me from the upstairs bathroom. But, isn’t she taking a bath though? What could she possibly need me for? I folded the corner of my page and put the book on the couch, “Coming.”
I put my slippers on and took my time heading through the living room and up the stairs to the second floor. When I reach the top step there was a vanishing trail of steam leading me to the bathroom as if I didn’t know where it was. Right around the corner of the stairs I could see the hazy light of the bathroom peering through the cracked door.
I knocked on the door but didn’t enter yet, “Mrs. Kurosawa, did you need something?”
Swishing water sounds as Mrs. Kurosawa answered, “Yes. I forgot to get my towel from the bedroom. Would you mind going in and getting it for me?”
“Sure. Which color is it?”
I walk past the bathroom door and head to the last door straight down the hallway. I gently pushed the door open, the aged latches squeaking. This was easily the largest room in the entire house, aside from the living room area. There was a king-sized bed at one end of the room, three mahogany dressers placed in different spots, and a small work desk right next to an open window. There were clothes scattered around on different pieces of furniture, which was the only thing that made the room look just a bit untidy.
It’s actually a bit funny—I’ve always saw Mrs. Kurosawa as a neat freak. She would always have her things in neat detail. She would eat carefully, making sure nothing felt from her plate and onto her clothes. There were times where I would walk in on her reorganizing her entire closet just because she bought something new and it threw off her current organized pattern.
But there’s a pair of jeans on the back of a chair, a mismatched sock or two thrown here and there, and a balled up pajama top left next to the bed. And while I was noticing every piece of clothing lying around, I saw the green towel draped over her television. I grabbed it and left the room, heading back to the bathroom door. I knocked on it again, letting her know I have it. She told me to come into the bathroom with it and close the door.
When I opened the door, a small cloud of steam quickly escapes past me, emptying the entire room of any fogginess. Straight ahead was the large bathtub, filled with water practically at the brim, but not spilling out onto the floor. And inside the tub was Mrs. Kurosawa, in her naked glory.
I couldn’t tell if it was the heat floating around in the air or if something was wrong with me, but I felt my cheeks igniting right on the spot.
“Where do you want me to put the towel?” I asked.
She had her head resting back against a small bath pillow, her hair wrapped up in a small cloth to keep from getting in the water. She turned to look at me with a smile and said, “You can leave it right on the edge of the sink. I won’t be in here long.”
“Okay. Do you need anything else while I’m still here?”
She thought for a moment, but shook her head. I nodded and turned to walk back out the bathroom. Before I could even reach out to the door knob, Mrs. Kurosawa called out my name again and I stopped
“Kurumi, can I ask you a personal question?”