Copyright 2015, 2016 Camille Leone

This story is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places and incidents are
invented by the author or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as
real. Any similarity to actual persons or events is purely coincidental.
All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in form or by
any means without the prior written consent of the author.

When Nyesha Adu becomes the nude model for a small circle of Japanese art
students, one man drawing her likeness believes she’s the answer to his prayers.
Takeshi Nishikowa is overworked and underpaid, with no time to socialize or worse
yet, to meet the woman of his dreams. The closest he’s ever gotten to a naked
female is during his weekly art classes.
Despite her reservations, Nyesha’s drawn to Takeshi’s earnest attempts to woo
her. But Nyesha’s struggling to reclaim her sexuality after a traumatic childhood

that included female circumcision. As Nyesha and Takeshi stumble into love, the
secrets they both keep could threaten a promising future together.

He was a quiet man.
They all were. But his solemn face stood out from the others. It was the way he
looked from the head instructor, Mei, to the visitor, then back again after Mei
announced that the woman would be their new model. One man flipped his sketch
pad closed and left. The others seemed stunned into silence by the news.
Mei wrung her hands together, her voice faltering. “I didn’t want to cancel the
class. But Nyesha was kind enough to step in at the last minute. I don’t know what
happened to Ayumi. She’s never missed two classes in a row. I-I am so sorry about
The studious gentleman sitting in front sat up even straighter, pulling his chair
closer to the human subject as if all he wanted to do was get on with the class.
Takeshi Nishikowa didn’t smoke, he didn’t drink, and he rarely went out. So this art
class was his attempt at socializing. Like the other men around him, he wore a bowl
haircut and a plaid shirt. Combined with beige khaki pants, his style of dress
mirrored the man sitting at his right, and the one sitting on his left. For this circle of
art students, each one could be mistaken for a clone of the same shyly hesitant,
close to middle aged male.
There was no formal introduction, no ice breaker for their new model. Nyesha
Adu was just a prop, just someone else for them to draw. She took a deep breath,
relieved that there would be distance between the students and model. She didn’t
need to know who they were. And they didn’t need to know who she was.
As Nyesha slipped off her robe, Takeshi’s expression didn’t change. Using his
pencil, he began by tracing the U shaped swell of her left breast. He imagined its
weight in his palm, guessing it felt much like an appled cheek on a smiling face. His
own face was somberly focused as he studied the regal jut of Nyesha’s jaw and her
full bottom lip. Instead of focusing solely on her body, he stared at her sleepy lidded
eyes. She looked straight ahead, unblinking and stoic, as if she were standing on

the shore, fixated on a boat just off the horizon. Takeshi paused, wishing he knew
what secrets lay behind those luminous, haunted dark eyes.
Kento leaned in close enough to whisper a joke to his friend. “She’s just how I
like my coffee-”
Already knowing the punchline, Takeshi said the words along with him. “-Black
and strong.” Returning to his drawing, he sketched a line that mimicked the left
curve of Nyesha’s waist to her hip, pausing to concentrate on the length and lush
spread of her thighs. Tilting his head, he took special care to add more shading to
the juncture between her legs. Even though she was sitting on her side, his eyes
kept going back to the curly tuff of black hair covering her mound, hair that hid the
secret jewel of her womanhood. The tremors in his hand forced him to back off. He
was thinking much too hard about something he’d only imagined.
“That’s a very good likeness,” Mei said, studying Takeshi’s drawing from over his
shoulder. “You put in a lot of detail.”
And so he had. There were parts of the portrait with dark and light shading, to
signify how the model’s deep brown skin was illuminated. He’d also caught the
delicateness of her jawline, with a near perfect rendition of her full lips as they
curved into a smile.
“Why did you add that?” Mei wondered. “Her mood was serious, not playful.”
“I don’t know. Maybe it’s how I wished her to be.”
“You’re doing it again. You’re projecting.”
He didn’t answer, too busy watching Kento saunter up to the new model, giving
her a bow and trying to converse with the few English words he knew. While she
was courteous, her body language said otherwise. Takeshi asked how to pronounce
her name. “Is it Ni-isha?”
“Yes, that’s right,” Mei said, moving on to critique another student. Most of the
class had already left, but Takeshi stayed because it was something he always
ended up doing. There was nothing particularly thrilling about the small space
where their classes were held. Beige wooden floors, beige modular walls, and metal
chairs with hard plastic seats.

Kento finally returned to pack up his things. “No love hotel tonight,” he said,
sounding disappointed. “But I will try again.”
“Ayumi may be back next week.”
“No, Nyesha says she doesn’t expect to see Ayumi for our next class. That’s
what she came to tell Mei tonight. Did you know Nyesha and Ayumi were
“You got all that even though you can’t speak English?”
He laughed. “Ha! I had you going, didn’t I? I overheard Mei talking with her
before class. Nyesha spoke in Japanese.”
That revelation only made her more intriguing. Takeshi tracked her movements,
watching as she hurriedly put on her trench coat, yanking at the belt around her
waist. She kept going back to that belt, twisting and pulling on it as she spoke with
Mei. Something was wrong. He could tell by the way her eyes flashed and the rapid
way her mouth moved as she spoke.
“We’ll need to hurry to catch the next train, unless you’re spending the night in
the city,” Kento told him.
“You go ahead. I may spend the night.”
Kento noticed where Takeshi focused his attention. “Maybe you’ll have better
luck with her than I did.”

Shit. Shit! Shit! Shit! Nyesha angrily stamped out her cigarette. What the hell,
Ayumi? 20,000 yen was nothing. How the hell was she able to come up with her half
of the rent each month by being a nude model for a bunch of oyaji? And for just 196
dollars a session?
Standing outside of the center, Nyesha wasn’t sure what to do next. The rain
was finally letting up, but the streets were still slick with puddles. Some miso soup
right about now would work, especially since her stomach wouldn’t stop growling.
Because she couldn’t just stand there, frustration and the chill of the night had her

heading for the train station. Footsteps coming from behind made her step it up, so
she walked briskly, in no mood to converse with someone who simply wanted to
practice their English on her. She kept her head down and didn’t respond when a
man catcalled “Beyoncé!” from afar. Nyesha was at least two shades darker than
the popular American entertainer, but that didn’t stop some Japanese from using
the name on her. No different from the ones who’d call any black male “Bobby!” as
in Bobby Ologon, a Nigerian countryman of hers who’d gained fame and popularity,
first by being an MMA fighter, and now a TV personality who’d lapse into stereotype.
Nyesha was dead broke and in need of a benefactor. She contemplated trekking
over to Okinawa, where the US Navy was stationed. But there were quite a few
service members who were already looking for her, after she’d made off with their
credit cards. Luckily for her, most of them didn’t bother to report it for fear of having
to spill the beans on their own dereliction of duty. During the down times like these
Nyesha envied people who worked for a paycheck and a pension, since her dream
of living like a regular person had been a bust. She wasn’t cut out for the kind of life
that required allegiance to a desk job with endless hours of overtime, because she
was anything but the typical foreigner in Japan. She was a kokujin, a person of
African origin, and she was a high functioning illiterate, a world traveler who now
called Tokyo, Japan her home. Though she was Nigerian born, Americans fascinated
her so she told everyone she was from the USA. A statuesque beauty who wouldn’t
reveal her age, Nyesha was a survivor. She had to be, otherwise the life she’d led
would’ve broken her. Some would say she was fortunate to leave Nigeria, especially
before the Ebola virus hit and Boko Haram’s reign of terror. But she still had fond
memories of her small village of Gida. Over time she’d forgotten most of the Hausa
she’d learned to speak as a child. But she’d never forget having a large family, one
filled with warmth and love before her world became a nightmare.
He came bearing gifts and telling stories that enthralled her village. A prodigal
son who’d returned a wealthy man, Goodwin Ikoku was gregarious in nature and
free with his money. Even Nyesha’s usually stoic parents agreed that it would be to
their fourth daughter’s benefit to attend his school.
“An education is worth its weight in gold!” her mother exclaimed, her eyes
brightening by the minute at the sight of the small cast iron stove that had been
given to her by Goodwin. This was only the first such gift that would be earned by
her daughter.

According to Goodwin, he was the newly appointed Women’s Education
Outreach Minister of Nigeria. It was not only his duty to round up the most
promising and brightest female children, but a lifelong dream. The only problem
was, there was no such cabinet position. Goodwin was a pimp, a sex trafficker. He’d
returned to prey on his old village simply to replenish his staple of sex slaves.
It was hard to reconcile the unimposing little man who swore to treat each girl
as if he were their father, with the monster who then became their rapist and jailer.
No pleas for mercy or tearful cries to be released would sway Goodwin. He told
each girl that they were now his property, and they would never see their parents
“Even if you somehow escaped and went back, they would never accept you,”
he warned. “Who would marry you? No one devoted to Allah would want a
prostitute for a daughter-in-law. Your father or brothers will be forced to kill you, as
you would bring dishonor on your family.”
Those who did escape, like Nyesha, never went back home. Some committed
suicide. Others inexplicably became Madams, continuing the cycle of abuse with
newer and younger victims. For Nyesha, hakuri, the Hausa word for patience
became her salvation. She started out studying others on the sly, learning what
made them tick. Sex not only became her way out, but her way in. The horrors
she’d experienced as a child victim of sex trafficking hardened her, but it also made
her even more determined to break free. Making a powerful, ruthless man her ally
was the first step. Fully breaking free from that same man would mean not just
much hakuri, but a masterful take on life, the biggest fucking chess game there


Just north of Yasukuni-dori Avenue, Shibuya’s Kabukichō was a red light district
made up of maze like streets crammed with all sorts of adult entertainment. Neon lit
candy colored shop fronts beckoned like Venus Fly traps. There were any number of
sex shops, massage parlors, host and hostess clubs, love hotels, and places to eat,
sleep and shop. It was a seedy fantasy land with Lego like buildings stacked one on
top of another, buildings that seemed to be there to simply house ads and jumbotron screens. Androgynous pretty boys and anime cartoon character females
enticed visitors to come on in. Towering over it all was the iconic monster Godzilla,
with his gleaming, demon orange eyes, illuminated talons and mouth widened in a
fang filled roar. The streets were overcrowded, noisy and energized with gawkers
and the adventurous. Every few steps a pushy Nigerian lad would try to get males
to frequent his host club. This area was like home to Nyesha. It infused her with life
and renewed her spirits. With so many attractions packed together the whole place
was akin to being inside a life-sized pinball machine, where she was the ball.
People got around on foot, scooters and bicycles. Many of the streets weren’t
large enough for two cars, but there was always a stretch limo slowly cruising by. In
the daytime Kabukicho was a dreary place, like a vampire confined to his coffin until
the night sets him free. While police would sweep through the area in their black
and red vests, the Yakuza ran Kabukicho.
Ojiro Mori, aka Mr. O stood by his Ferrari 458 Speciale convertible, his eyes
shielded by sunglasses, his skin reddened instead of tanned. In the passenger side
of his white sports car was a stunning black girl wearing a floral headscarf. Nyesha
guessed the girl’s age to be less than 21, but over 12.
“Ojiro,” Nyesha said, one of the only people who dared to call him by his first
Instead of speaking he simply nodded. The girl in the car caught his cue,
lowering her head.
Nyesha fought against the revulsion and anger threatening her disaffected
exterior. What she couldn’t control were the images of the past that came roaring
into her mind. “Kimochii” was a word she’d have to whisper in a childish, high
pitched squeal to let the client know what he was doing felt good. Even when it
“What can I do for you, pretty lady? Ojiro said. “You looking for work?”

Nyesha bristled at his suggestion, choosing to ignore it. “Ayumi’s missing. Do
you know anything?”
Ojiro gave a grunt of a laugh, buffing his manicured fingernails against a shirt
pocket. “That bitch? She still owes me money.”
“You were paid, and then some.”
“For you, not for her.”
“That’s not how I remember it. I recall you got paid enough for the both of us.”
Her feistiness made him laugh louder. Out the corner of her eye Nyesha caught
the young girl flinching. She knew the feeling. Ojiro was a man whose bark and his
bite were equally bad. And if she didn’t need him right now then she wouldn’t be
anywhere near her former employer. “If you hear anything-”
“If I do, it better be that Ayumi’s dead.”
“Is that any way to talk about the woman you claimed to love?”
Ojiro’s eyes flashed, his body coiling like a cobra ready to strike. Old habits die
hard. Instead of covering up or showing fear, Nyesha didn’t move. Ojiro came close,
sniffing at her like a lion ready to feast on a dead carcass. But instead of lashing out
he stopped himself. In fact, his face had become ashen as if he’d seen a ghost.
Confused at this turn of events, Nyesha took a quick glance over her shoulder,
wondering what he’d seen. There was nothing but the night life regulars; gaijin
groupies, soapland seekers, drunk office workers passed out on the sidewalk,
female hostesses gamely keeping up the same smiles they’d worn when the night
was young. Sensing she’d just dodged a bullet, this was her cue to leave.
“Don’t come back here unless you’re ready to go back to work,” Ojiro said,
continuing to taunt the further she walked. “I caught your show. I should be getting
a cut of your money. You wouldn’t know shit if it wasn’t for me.”
She knew better than to respond. Always let him have the last word, it was safer
that way. As she retreaded, Ojiro hopped into the driver’s seat of his car, muttering
to the girl at his side. “You can lift your head now.”
The young woman did as she was told.
“That was your predecessor.” Sounding like a proud father, he kept talking, as if
they were having a two sided chat. “Watch how she moves, like her pussy is made
of gold. She was my top bitch for a long time. Nyesha’s smart and ambitious. She
wasn’t just a hostess, she was royalty around here. She could get men and women
to do shit . . .” his voice trailed off, and just as quickly he became resentful. “Yeah,

she was like a sponge, soaking up English and learning how to con like a
muddafuckah.” Ojiro took off his sunglasses so he could see Nyesha better, even as
she disappeared into the crowd. “I won’t make that mistake again.” He waved two
men over. The younger one sprinted. The older one calmly strolled, leaning close to
hear Ojiro’s orders.
“Follow her.”
They both answered in unison. “Yes, boss.”

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