I'll have a more poignant post about the journey writing all seven books in this series up sometime next week. For now, please enjoy!
"People say that we change as we get older. My biggest fear was that I would wake up one day and no longer be in love with Reina. Instead I woke up one day with urges that took me to the very kind of people she couldn't even think about."
Aiko almost has the perfect life. A strong marriage, a fun part-time job teaching English, and a healthy social life that keeps her stimulated in more ways than one. But she's changing. For the first time in years, there is someone she is falling for... and it's not someone her spouse would approve of.
How can she truly be happy if she's repressing a part of what makes her tick?
"I haven't changed in over twenty-five years. This includes most of my opinions. Except I don't have popular opinions about anything. Take gender for example. I know I'm messed up, but it could be worse. I could really hate my body to the point I can't live in it anymore. Not even my wife understands that. But somebody else does."
Reina has come far in her therapy, but nothing can change the fact sometimes she can't face the way the world treats her because of her body. When she searches for someone who understands her, she meets another woman dealing with gender dysphoria. A woman whose dysphoria has taken her to a place Reina is still afraid to traverse.
It's taken twenty years for Reina and Aiko to seal their relationship. Now the years have caught up to them and they must decide what their "ikigai," or their reason for living is. Friends come and go; lovers can be finicky; family is what they make of it.
Their final hurdle in life, love, and sexuality will determine now and forever who they will spend the rest of their lives with. And they want so badly for it to be each other.
"IKIGAI." takes place from October, 2014 - February, 2015