Oka-san tells me to get water and I grab the bucket and start my walk along the enclosed fence.
“Can I go with you?” My younger sister skips towards me.
“Bug off, what you think this place is? This isn’t one carnival!” Her eyes drop to the ground.
“Don’t be hateful,” She gives that faraway look. “We sisters, if I don’t have you, I die. You said so, you would always take care of me remember you told me? On Halloween night, after I fell and skinned my knee.” Her eyes widen. She reminds me so much of him.
He spent his last R&R trip visiting his girlfriend on the Big Island then came to Oahu to visit us. He made me promise a sacred trust that I would take care of oka-san and that my sister and me had to rely on each other when he was gone. I didn’t know what he meant until Oka-san tearfully accepted his ashes and I read his obituary in the paper.
“I didn’t really understand then, why people hate us.” She lifts her eyes and looks around. “But I understand now,” she whispers.
I’m tired of hearing it, tired of playing host to the rules, their hatred towards us and my grief. I’m tired of her daily sunshine and whimsical stories that try to impenetrate my dreary fog.
But I wasn’t tired of the fresh rain that fell from her eyes.
“I didn’t give a damn how they make you feel, because I didn’t know it bothered you. I don’t like this place too, this terrible internment camp we live in. We have our differences, but I am sorry. An if you get one shakuhachi story, geev um. In fact if you get one story about ANY musical instrument, geev um. Make me smile, sister.”
I grab her hand and she looks up at me.
I see the grey clouds disappear from her eyes and sunshine sparkles through as she sings a story to me while we walk.

Talk story

  1. A. Soyama says:

    aye uh, so shame, i wen just go ovah my story and realize i wen erase one theme word wen i was small kine editing…now the buggah stay in thea!

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