A/N Words in Italics are spoken in Japanese



Chou
"Do I have to go?" I whined to my mother.
"Yes dear, you have to go now, or you will be late." My mother said.
I didn't want to go, but the first day of school is always important. Going to a public school will probably be hard, because I am Japanese, but there aren't any other choices for me. We have just moved from Japan that summer, so I didn't have any friends yet. It wasn't likely that I will though, after the Bombing of Pearl Harbor.
I don't want to be Japanese. I don't want to be shunned. Nobody understood how I felt, or how mad I was because it was the Japanese that attacked the United States. In Japan, all the other kids were nice to me, and we lived in a big house with a maid and chef, so we could have sushi anytime we wanted it. My mother would give me some Yen and sent me out to buy a new dress every other week. My father, Mamoru was a businesses man, and provided much money for us, but he did not like his job. Japan did not need his help many other places, so he decided that he would find a good job in America, the land of freedom.
My father originally wanted to open a book shop named Mamoru's Hon Ya Kami, which mean "books and paper". But nobody sold him a lot.
I'm only in second grade, so the other kids won't understand why they hate me, they just will. I was deep in thought walking to the bus stop, where hopefully I could meet someone that helps, and I ran into someone.
"Soy!" I said, trying to apologize in English. It isn't very good.
They boy looked up and yelled for me to get away before running off, leaving me standing there, feeling bad.
I walked the rest of the way to the bus stop with my hat on, trying to cover my face. When the big yellow bus pulled up, I looked up at the man that was driving and smiled. He looked at me in surprise and closed the door. So I ran three miles to school, and that was how I started my new life here in New York.
The teachers never called on me. I sat alone at lunch. Nobody volunteered to be my partner in and classes. I was just alone. I missed Japan, where I had lots of friends, and everybody wanted to be my partner. But all that is gone. I know that we had been planning on moving a for a long time, and we bought the house and everything we needed, so we decided to wait a while before moving here after the bombing, to wait for things to cool down. I guess we didn't wait long enough.
I just don't get it.





Mamoru
I looked at the sign. Help wanted. I walked into the grocery store that sign was in front of. I asked to talk to the manager. Due to my bad English, she must have misunderstood me and screamed at me to get out. A sadness filled my heart as I walked shamefully out of the store. How was I supposed to provide for my family if no one wanted me? I thought that moving to America would help me find a job, but now, I do not think so. We had been planning on moving since long before the attack of Pearl Harbor, but it was to late to change plans.
I walked around the town, looking for hiring stores. I saw a few, but everyone inside would glare at me and turn their backs.
That night, after a long day of nothing, I went out and bought myself a thick directory and spent the next week calling buisnesses, asking for work. No one wanted me. The only thing that I could do was keep looking. And that is what I did.
Chou
It seemed liked forever until I met Anna Smith because nobody at school talked to me, so the days would drag on slowly, and I would wait for a friend, but nobody would come. She went to a private school with her four sisters. It was clear that her family was rich. She had new fancy clothes and always had money on hand. If made me kind of jealous, but I liked her. Her Dad owned a big company with well paid workers. We were barely scraping by, and I wanted so bad for my dad to work there, but whenever Anna asked, her dad would say, "No, we cannot trust him. He is Japanese." Anna and I would play on the weekends, and she would teach me English.
I was happy to finally have a friend. We like playing tricks on her sister, and playing tag with the neighborhood boys. And that gave me an idea. A big trick, a really big, really good trick. We could trick her daddy into hiring my daddy!
"That's a great idea!" Anna said. We thought about how we might go about this. We finally concluded a phone call from our shiny new American phone, using someone else's voice.
Mr. Eyst, our only friendly agreed to help us. The day came and the phone rang, and Mr. Eyst picked up the phone. He greeted Mr. Smith who asked Mr. Eyst some questions, which my father would whisper the answers to. Anna's daddy seemed to like him. We all smiled and cheered after he told us Daddy was hired and hung up. Father was to start on Monday, at 8:00 am sharp. Our life as Americans was finally starting to work out.



Mamoru
"Hello, I am Mr. Ito." I said proudly on Monday morning.
Mr. Smith looked surprised and made an "O" with his mouth.
"But-but, you are Japanese. I talked to an American man. I do not know you."
"But you hired the same man.." I tried to explain that he hired the same man, but it came out wrong.
What? he asked.
You hired the same man that was on the phone. I said in English. He paced for a few minutes while I stood waiting.
"I will hire you, I have decided. But on one condition. You must work on your English. It is horrible. I expect that you work hard and efficiently."
"Oh, thak you!" I said, greatly appreciating his generosity. And things only went uphill from there.

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