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The gynecologist was a middle-aged German woman. After the exam Michiko met with the doctor in her office.
—Miss Mita may I ask you some confidential questions?
—If it will help, yes.
—How long have you been having sexual intercourse?
—Actually, I was a virgin until a few months ago. I have an intimate relationship with an artist friend.
—Did you have extended intercourse with him recently?
—No, but with another man. I was a little tipsy. We engaged in all forms of sexual activity.
Michiko tried not to blush.
—By all forms, do you me oral, anal and vaginal sex?
—Yes, all that and also with some sex toys.
—Miss Mita, your genitals look as if you have been brutally raped. Were you raped?
—No, I don't think so. I was drunk, but a willing participant.
—I have prepared this booklet for women who have little experience and perhaps no sex education. It is non-judgmental, but a practical guide for guarding your health and enjoying a satisfactory sexual experience, regardless of your sexual preferences or inclinations.
The doctor gave the booklet to Michiko. She also explained the rules for good sexual hygiene and the proper care and maintenance of her reproductive system.
—Miss Mita it is critical to your fertility and health as well as your partner's health and safety that you practice good sexual hygiene. I'm prescribing a strong antibiotic and a medicated douche. You will find relief in this over-the counter hemorrhoid cream. You must take all the antibiotics. If you don't, the infection could return resistant to the antibiotic. You will find sitz baths comforting for the bruising and the tears in your genital and rectal tissue. If you are not improved in a week or become worse, call me at once. And, need I say, no sex of any kind until this clears up.
When Michiko returned home with her prescriptions she tried to practice, but it was too painful to sit at the piano. She couldn't concentrate. It was time wasted.
She wished Frank were with her, but she didn't want Frank to see her like this and worse with a large hickey on her throat. Then she remembered. Maestro Silvestre had given her his $1000 check to give to Frank. She panicked
She searched her handbag, luggage, wallet, and thumbed through all her music she had with her in Chicago. She could not find the check. She called Mikhael's home in Evanston. No answer. She called her hotel in Chicago, but no check had been found in her room or turned into the front desk.
She unleashed a stream of invective rare for her and then burst into tears. She fell asleep across her bed.
She was awakened by the telephone. What if it was Frank? But she had to answer, she'd left a message for Mikhael to call her at the Chicago Symphony offices
—Yes. This is Carlo Silvestre.
—Oh, hello, Maestro. You were wonderful to work with this past week.
—I have some news for you. You had excellent reviews in the Chicago papers. They love you.
—That's a relief. Chicago critics can be brutal.
—This next information is not confirmed and only entre nous. You may be hearing from the Chicago Symphony management soon about a possible recording. I believe they will be contacting your management company.
—That is exciting news.
—The other thing is that the check I gave you to give to Frank Martin was found at the American Airlines counter at O'Hare Airport.
Michiko stopped holding her breath and felt her jaw muscles relax.
—I was in a tizzy trying to get back to New York. It must have fallen from my wallet.
—No harm done. I wanted you to know so you wouldn't go into a panic. I had America Airlines send the check to Angelique Brody.
—I picked up a bug in Chicago and am under the weather. I had completely forgotten about the check.
—Michiko have you performed the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini?
—I played the Rhapsody in London with the LSO as part of my second place winnings for the Tchaikovsky competition. I also played them at the competition. Will you be conducting the orchestra for the recording?
—Yes. They will schedule the Rhapsody in an open slot during the spring schedule and we will record the following week. Is that too soon to prepare?
—I can be ready. I play the Rachmaninoff Second Concerto with the Dallas Symphony in a month, but the remainder of my calendar is chamber music or solo recitals.
After Michiko hung up, she opened a bottle of Champagne. She was curled up under blankets on the sofa in her living room studying the Rachmaninoff Rhapsody when the door buzzer rang.
—Yes? she said into the intercom.
—Miss Mita, there is a Francesco Martinelli here to see you.
Michiko took her finger off the intercom talk button and swore.
—I can't see him now. I will call him this evening.
To be continued.