Akira came directly, breaking all tradition. Was that it? Had he followed form, had he asked his mother to speak to his father to approach a go-between would Chie have been more receptive? He came on a winters eve.
He pounded on the door while a cold rain beat on the shuttered veranda, so at first Chie thought him only the wind. The maid knew better. Chie heard her soft scuttling footsteps, the creak of the door. Then the maid brought a calling card to the drawing room, for Chie.
Chie was reluctant to go to her guest; perhaps she was feeling too cozy. She and Naomi were reading at a low table set atop a charcoal brazier. A thick quilt spread over the sides of the table so their legs were tucked inside with the heat.
"Who is it at this hour, in this weather?" Chie questioned as she picked the name card off the maid's lacquer tray.
"Shinoda, Akira. Kobe Dental College," she read.
Naomi recognized the name. Chie heard a soft intake of air.
"I think you should go," said Naomi.
Akira was waiting in the entry. He was in his early twenties, slim and serious, wearing the black military-style uniform of a student. As he bowed his hands hanging straight down, black cap in one, a yellow oil-paper umbrella in the other--Chie glanced beyond him. In the glistening surface of the courtyards rain-drenched paving stones, she saw his reflection like a dark double.
"Madame," said Akira, "forgive my disruption, but I come with a matter of urgency."
His voice was soft, refined. He straightened and stole a deferential peek at her face.
In the dim light, his eyes shone with sincerity. Chie felt herself starting to like him.
"Come inside, get out of this nasty night. Surely your business can wait for a moment or two."
"I don't want to trouble you. Normally I would approach you more properly but I've received word of a position. I have an opportunity to go to America, as a dentist for Seattle's Japanese community." "Congratulations," Chie said with amusement. "That is an opportunity, I'm sure. But how am I involved?"
Even noting Naomi's breathless reaction to the name card, Chie had no idea. Akira's message, delivered like a formal speech, filled her with maternal amusement. You know how children speak so earnestly, so hurriedly, so endearingly about things that have no importance in an adults mind? That's how she viewed him, as a child.
Asked in: English - Writing
1 Verified Answer | Published on 07th 09, 2020