He was used to seeing some unusual things in his travels. Different cultures, different ways of doing things. However, the day he was walking in the park and saw a woman hanging by a strip of fabric upside down in a tree, he was sure he had entered another dimension and not just another continent. He approached her slowly, as she swung and stretched. He didn't wish to alarm her. Finally, she turned her eyes towards him and smiled. He almost took a step back. Her eyes were grey, like the stormiest night he had ever seen. This was very different than the way it was in Japan.
"I beg your pardon, but what are you doing?" he asked her, his accent heavy but his words clear. She tilted her head, as though she didn't understand. Or perhaps she didn't understand why he was asking.
"Dancing." She replied, gracefully untangling herself from the fabric and landing softly on her very small feet. He raised his eyebrows, his eyes hidden behind a slight glare on his eyeglasses. That was unlike any sort of dancing he had ever seen before. But again, different country, different way to do things. It took all of himself not to take a step back when she asked him in fluent Japanese if he was Mr. Otsuka. He cleared his throat and nodded his head. She carried on in Japanese, as though it was second nature to her.
"I'm Alex. Alexandria Flores." Ah. So she was the one he was needing to meet with. He had unwittingly assumed that Alex Flores was a male. He was definitely out of his comfort zone. Now looking at the slip of a woman that stood before him, in a tank top and sweatpants with her feet bare, he wished he could have been right about his assumptions. He held up his briefcase.
"You're the investor?"
"I am." She had switched back to English, which he assumed was more comfortable for her. That was fine. Since he knew she could understand him, he would carry on in his native tongue. Especially since she already made him feel so uncomfortable.
"Before I sign the document, can you just tell me why you bought out my partner?"
"I can." She answered, maintaining a strong amount of eye contact. "After you sign the papers."
"Fine." He didn't truly care why she bought him out. Tanaka was a horrid man, played dirty and made his clients miserable. He was only partner because of how much financially he put into the company. No matter what the reasoning it was a blessing that he was gone.
She made her way over to a bench and sat down, gesturing for him to take a seat next to her. He did so. She wordlessly waited patiently while he pulled paperwork out of his briefcase, handing her the documents that he needed her to sign. She pulled her pen out of some pocket, though he couldn't have been sure which one, and signed the documents he handed her. He was sure she was at least partially crazy. He could be stealing her shares of the company and she wouldn't have even been partially aware with how little she was reading the documents. He was grateful for her sake he was an honest man. She handed him back the last document and he skimmed through them, nodding his head. Finally, he put them back in the briefcase.
"That's all, then. Congratulations."
"Actually, there's one more document that needs attention." She told him, standing to her feet. He looked about her, but couldn't see or even think of anywhere she could be keeping any sort of file. He was shocked when she took a running start at that tree, leaping into the air and clinging to that ribbon. He watched in a combination of shock and awe as she climbed her way to the top of the ribbon, pulling a file out from a hiding spot among a tangle of branches. He almost barked out a laugh. Such a strange little woman. He did step forward against his own accord when she wrapped herself up in that ribbon and let go, tumbling in an almost graceful manner down to the ground, landing on her feet. He let out a breath he didn't even know he was holding as she stepped forward and handed him the file. He took it, skimming through it as quickly as he could. It was a bill of sale. For her shares of his company. And the selling price was…this couldn't be right. He scanned it again, then scanned the accompanying page which was written in Japanese. Sure enough. It was being given to him. She was charging him no fees, nothing. It was even signed by her. All he had to do was sign it.
"Why?" he finally managed to choke out the question, so many emotions getting the better of him.
"Because I don't need it." She answered with a casual shrug.
"Then you could simply give me power of attorney. I don't accept that answer. Tell me the truth." He began speaking to her in harsh English, hoping it would jar her enough to give him a truthful answer. With another casual shrug, she tried again.
"Someone told me you needed your company back."
"Back? Someone? You're making no sense." He answered, his heartbeat sounding in his ears. She smiled, and in a gesture that made his spine stiffen she reached out and wrapped her arms around him in a friendly hug.
"You have friends looking out for you, Mr. Otsuka." She said, waiting until he reached up and started returning her hug before she pulled back, the file still in his hands. He closed his eyes, putting his emotions back in check. "Don't be afraid any longer." He opened his eyes to ask her what she meant, but she was gone. And that ribbon that she was dancing from was blowing in the wind. She was gone. Later that week, as he walked back into his office in Japan he would search for her contact information again, finding nothing but dead ends. She entered his life as a mystery. And left just as much of an enigma as she came. But if he said nothing else about the woman, he would forever say this: he never forgot her.