There was more apprehension when September rolled around and the time came to fly out to Xiangtan. It was a change of circumstance, a change of life, in a place I didn’t know and where I had few friends. I still knew people in Changsha, about two hours away, so that was my safety net, even though I was embarrassed to see them again after the whole Diana episode.
I made arrangements to meet Ava the day I arrived. We’d stayed in touch through the summer, and she was keen to continue her role as my unofficial personal assistant. There was a problem with my apartment, so the university put me in a hotel on campus for the first few nights. Ava traveled from Changsha to Xiangtan, and decided to stay the weekend to help me settle in.
In the hotel that first night we ate grapes, played music, and talked. At some point, seemingly out of the blue, she said the words every man loves to hear.
“Let’s make love.”
“Ava, are you sure?”
I’d kinda known she liked me for a while. Some girls find broken-hearted fuck-ups irresistible. They think they can fix you. She’d stayed at my apartment in Changsha a few times before I left. We’d even shared the same bed a couple of times. But, stung by Nina’s rejection and what happened with Cherry Pie, I didn’t make any moves. During our summer-long internet chats, the topic often turned to sex so I knew she was curious, and not a virgin. I just never thought she would be so forward about it.
That night, I needed no second invitation. I took off her clothes and, well, tried my level best to fuck her. But she had the smallest vagina I’ve ever had the good fortune to encounter, and it was impossible to put a fully engorged penis into her. It was like trying to force a finger inside a clenched fist. So we kissed and played for a while, and eventually I succeeded in penetrating her. When I did, it actually hurt me. I was red raw for days. I can only imagine how beaten up and bruised her pussy was.
My new apartment was on the third floor, in a block inhabited mainly by other teachers and foreign students. It was the usual deal; living room, bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and balcony. I got chatting to a French teacher soon after I arrived, who told me that he’d woken up on his first day to find he’d been burgled during the night. Someone had climbed the balconies to his open window, crept in, and cleaned him out while he slept. They took his money, camera, phone, documents, everything. That was a worry, and I made a mental note to never leave the window open at night, which you are tempted to do because it gets so hot in Hunan province during summer. Leaving a window open is much cheaper (and less noisy) than running the air-con all night.
It didn’t matter either way, because I came home from class a couple of days later to find the university had put bars on all my windows and built a huge metal cage around my balcony. From then on, it was like living in a zoo.
Being a comparatively big fish in a smaller pond, Xiangtan University had more resources than HMMC. Therefore, the facilities were much better. That year, instead of using chalkboards I taught in classrooms where every student was hooked up to a computer terminal, with me controlling them from my master dashboard. We used headphones and microphones to communicate. It made teaching easy, and with me taking the time to prepare classes the way I should always have done and focusing on one job instead of five or six, things went smoothly. I tried hard to keep my wandering thoughts on the job, and even succeeded. For a while. Then I met Fan Fan. Or more accurately, then I began to notice Fan Fan.
The first thing that caught my attention was her smile; wide and innocent, but a little wicked. She didn’t have an English name so I gave her one, Ebony (it was during my porn star phase), because she had beautiful, dark skin. After class, I asked her for her QQ number, which she readily gave me. I added her, and one of the first things she said to me via chat was, “Why are you interested in me? I not a good girl.”
If anything is guaranteed to arrest a man’s attention, it’s that. “Because you have a beautiful smile,” I replied. “And besides, who wants a good girl?”
We talked a little via text and QQ, during which she disclosed that she was twenty three years-old, from a small city in Hunan called Shaoyang, liked computer games, and had a boyfriend. Things were ticking along nicely, all things considered, then she stopped coming to class. For a month or more, she didn’t set foot inside my classroom. I remember seeing her around once or twice during this period. I would ask why she’d been absent from my class, and she would just flash me one of those killer smiles and walk off. After a while, she started coming again. Probably because it was nearing exam time.
I took Ebony and a few other students out for meals a couple of times. I just liked having her around. But she generally ignored me and would spend the entire time playing with her phone. If she messaged me at all, it would be late at night. Once or twice, she even called late at night and spoke Chinese at me, knowing I couldn’t understand 90% of what she was saying. She did that partly to be mysterious, I think, and partly because her English was so bad that she had no choice. Those were the first signs that her hard exterior may be cracking.
I didn’t deceive Ava. I thought too much of her to do that. She had been my rock for a long time and helped me out of so many dicey situations. I just didn’t want to rush into another relationship so soon after Diana, and had always made that clear. It wasn’t something I suddenly decided after I’d fucked her a few times. Because she still studied at HMMC in Changsha she wouldn’t be able to live with me, but it did put us in the perfect ‘fuck buddy’ situation. At twenty-two she wasn’t very sexually experienced, and was eager to experiment. She loved cunnilingus. I only had to put my tongue within six inches of her pussy and she would have a screaming, quivering orgasm.
For the rest of the year she would come over one or two weekends a month, and I would pop over to Changsha for a night or two when the mood took me. I didn’t always tell Ava when I was in town. I didn’t feel the need. I went mainly to score dope off Eric the French dealer, but I loved getting drunk with my old friends when I could, and making new ones.
Yellow Fever: Love & Sex in China is OUT NOW on paperback and ebook.