Chapters 25–26 Summary

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Chapter 25

When the door opens, Joji at first does not recognize the young Western woman who enters the house. However, after hearing her speak and looking more carefully at her face, he realizes that it is actually Naomi. Her skin appears much whiter, and the angles of her face have changed to appear more distinctively Western in nature. Joji attributes the facial changes to a new haircut and some tricks involving makeup, but he marvels at how her skin could possibly look so luminously white without powder. He briefly speculates that perhaps this is not actually Naomi but instead some spiritual representation of perfect beauty.

He asks Naomi how she got back into the house when he made her leave her key behind the last time, and she cheekily admits that she had several keys to the house made. Joji tells her that he does not want her coming and going so freely, and she breezily promises that once she has collected all of her things, he will never have to see her again.

Despite his stoic outward appearance, Joji is utterly captivated by Naomi’s new appearance. Whereas before he had begun to view her as damaged and unworthy of his attention, he is now in awe of her beauty to the point of being intimidated by it.

Chapter 26

Despite Joji’s‘s protests, Naomi begins visiting frequently. She normally only takes one or two small items, promising to come back for the rest another time. Eventually, she begins staying for tea. One day, Naomi asks Joji if they can be friends. Joji meekly protests at first, but he ultimately agrees. Seeing her so often has reignited his feelings for her, but he knows that if he asks her to be his wife again directly, she will likely say no. Instead, he hopes that their relationship will become romantic again over the course of their new friendship.

After agreeing to be friends, Naomi begins visiting Joji daily. She even starts sleeping over on some nights, although she stays in the spare bedroom rather than sleeping in Joji‘s room. Their relationship grows steadily more flirtatious in nature, but Naomi is careful to never allow Joji to actually touch her. Joji becomes increasingly frustrated, overcome by his unfulfilled desire for her. He begs her for physical affection, but she continues to deny him.

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Chapters 23–24 Summary

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Chapters 27–28 Summary