There are good things about having a wife, you think, as you take off your fedora and she hangs it on the coat tree. For one, Hachi always seems to have dinner on the table waiting for you, always hot and always from scratch. The table is set so precisely that you wonder if she has a diagram somewhere that she follows. This evening, it's Western style, complete with soup spoons and salad forks, with only the strawberry glasses filled with red wine (for you) and lemonade (for her) to break protocol. You know she wants a formal dinner tonight, but she smiles sympathetically when you loosen your tie and unbutton the top collar of your dress shirt.
Hachi is dolled up tonight, even by Hachi standards. She wears the dress you bought her for her birthday, pink with tiny white polka-dots all over. Personally, you would never wear it, too fussy, but Hachi looks right at home in it, especially accessorized with pearls, a white headband, and kitten heels. You can tell she feels beautiful, the way she preens with her head held high, and you love that warm smile she gives when she catches you staring.
She makes no comment, though later you imagine she will solicit your opinion on her dress. "How was your day?"
You sigh. "Work. The usual. They've offered me a role in a drama."
"Isn't that a good thing?"
"I'd rather spend my time singing than acting."
"It's a good opportunity."
You know. You've thought about turning down the offer in order to concentrate more on your solo work, but with a kid on the way, it's not like you can be picky about the jobs you take. A drama will expose your work to a wider audience, and they've already agreed to let you sing the theme, and you could always negotiate for more opportunities to perform before the final contract is signed.
As usual, the food is good. Hachi has an instinct for the alchemy of home-cooking, and the aesthetics of presenting a meal. Once the novelty of having Hachi and her home all to yourself wears off, you'd think that an old-fashioned dinner party sounds like just the thing. You can just picture her wearing her apron and showing off her skills.
After dinner, she opens a beer for you, as you sit back on the couch and watch TV, while she rinses the dishes and puts them away. Actually, you're only vaguely watching the detective drama that's on, and admiring the way that she seems to just hum to herself. Then she takes off her heels and curls into your body. And then, heaven help you, she gets out yarn and starts to knit, of all things. Okay, she tries. The yarn slips from the needles and the thing at the end doesn't quite look like something that anyone could wear. But it's Hachi, and the closeness of her and the aesthetics of the act are justification enough.
Even the pregnancy seems to add to the appeal. Admittedly, you're still not 100% happy with the arrival, especially if the baby ends up having half its genes supplied by Takumi, and you still don't have any maternal instincts at all, but more and more you don't think you'd mind being a daddy. You're not sure that you'd want two of her exactly, but the image of Hachi making sweets with a daughter helping her out makes you smile.
And if it's a boy, you could always play catch with him and teach him how to play guitar.
You even sleep in the same bed now, as Hachi has turned one of the bedrooms into a nursery, all full of frills and pinkness. If your understanding of her is correct, the drawers are already filled with toys, blankets, and of course, clothes.
"What if it's a boy?" you once asked. She seems so sure that she's going to have a daughter, that she's taken aback at the question.
Hachi's response is authoritative. "If it's a boy, he'll just have to learn to like pink until we can redo it."
That seems to be Hachi's motto, you think, as you climb into bed with her.
"What did you think of my dress tonight?"
You kiss her on the forehead. "It's a little fussy."
"I liked it though."
She kisses you, just on the chin. "Good."
You move to turn off the light and ignore the fact that there are other benefits to having a wife, but when the morning comes and if things go as usual, you'll eat the omlette with the smiley face drawn in ketchup and then you'll go to Ren's—you know, your boyfriend's—place and sublimate your desires for Hachi into sex with him. You won't think about packing or wearing a strap-on and performing your conjugal duties with Hachi, or fantasize about having a honeymoon with her and seeing her in lingerie. The ideas will be there, in the back of your mind, and they'll make the sex more intense—Ren notices the change in behavior, even if he remains happily ignorant to the cause.
You want Ren, love him even, but Hachi is everything you've never wanted to be and just...perfect in a way that makes you ache to be the best husband she could ever have.
"Good night. Sleep well."
"Good night, Hachiko."