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Welcome back! I have been sharing scenes from one of my current works-in-progress, a Japanese historical I'm calling The Plum Blossom Covenant. It is the beginning of the twentieth century, and Yasahiro Tanaka has returned to his native Japan after having spent four years in America. His parents have met him at the harbor. And by a twist of fate, a woman who broke his heart is now living in Tokyo. He finally has a chance to speak with her about what happened:
Yasa held back as the women went ahead. He noticed Yumiko doing the same, and took the opportunity to talk to her again.
"Do you plan to work for these ladies? Will you stay with them, or will they return to America?"
Yumi was slow to answer. "I don’t work for them, exactly. I work for the WTCU."
"And after the conference? What will you do then?"
Yasa sighed. "I searched for you, you know. I looked everywhere. No one would tell me where you had gone."
"No one knew."
He stared at her. "You didn’t tell your parents where you went?"
"No. I—couldn't. I didn’t tell anyone."
"It was better that way. I had to get away and I didn’t want you or anyone else to become involved. It’s better this way. I have built a life here. You can move on with yours."
"My life was supposed to include you."
She bowed her head. "I know. I’m—sorry."
They walked in silence for a few minutes, heedless of the excited chatter ahead of them. Suddenly, Yasa stopped.
"I could stay here."
Yumiko stopped, too. Not because he stopped, but because she was so startled her feet refused to move. "No!"
"You don’t want me here?"
"No, it’s not that, but — you would do that for me?"
"I might, if I understood what it is about Furano that keeps you so far away."
Yumi hesitated. Could she tell him? It would be so nice to get this out, to share the burden of her knowledge. But she couldn’t. If he knew, it could hurt him. She had to keep it to herself.
"Were you that impatient? You knew I had only one more term to finish at the college. I promised I would come back to you, and I did — but you were gone," Yasa persisted.
"I—I know. I’m sorry." She knew her apology was so inadequate, but it was all she could do. She walked on, hanging her head in misery.
Yasa’s next words to her made the pain worse. "I am sorry, too. I must have done something, or not been the man you wanted me to be, if you cannot abide even living on the same island as me. There is nothing left for me to do but return to Hokkaido and work with my father." He walked ahead then, joining his family.
If only you knew, she thought. You are everything I ever wanted, but can never have.
Thanks for stopping by! Several other authors are sharing excerpts from their works today, and their links can be found at Sweet Saturday Samples. Be sure to check them out!
If you want to read the story of Yasa's parents, please check out The Samurai's Garden. Only $2.99 at your favorite ebook outlet – Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and others.