In Memory of Mr. Kenji

In Memory of Mr. Kenji

A Story by Ricky
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Another piece i wrote for my short story class, it has been revised from it's original (which is not posted here) And is called a Guilty Elegy

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“And now we’ll here from Sakura Kenji, A dear friend of Gram who was with him to the end.” The crowd remained silent as the older woman stepped up to the podium.
“Gram was a good man, I didn’t think that when I first met him, none of my family did. I remember helping him in his later years plant Sakura trees like the ones that grew near my home. He’d tell me all sorts of stories of his time on the mainland, about how the people were afraid of him like I was when I first met him.  But he had a kind soul and they eventually warmed up to him like I had in my youth.” She smiled staring off into the black mob of mourners.
“He was stationed on my home for years and before he left I wanted to give him a picture of my father. I remember the tears that rolled down his face at the mentioning of my father. My father had rescued from his burning aircraft and with my mother’s helped tended to his wound before he went off to fight. When the battle was over he visited me and my mother repaying the kindness with extra rations and teaching me English.” Sakura took a moment to maintain her composure fighting the knot growing in her throat.
“He told me that my father was a good man, and that had he’d been with me growing up, I’d be greater than I already am. When I grew up, I went to study in New York and that’s when I was reunited with Gram, and I the joy on his face when I saw him is indescribable. He once again started helping me with my English and introduced me to many of you here today.” 
“When we were alone, he would recall our first meeting in such detail, it was like we were there all over again. He could describe how the gowns me and my mother wore were covered in such dirt and mud, and describe how sweet the air smelt next to our sugar cane crops. He’d laugh when I told him that when we’d first spoken to each other I asked if he was going to eat me.” She smiled herself recalling that fond memory.
“I think his time in the war made him appreciate life more than he’d ever had before, after he went home, he told me he joined a project building houses for other veterans. He’d constantly give money to this very parish trying to give more to the community. I wasn’t even the only one he’d give English lessons to, he taught to both the Japanese and Hispanic communities telling me every single person deserves a chance in this nation.”  Sakura’s smile faded as she ended her eulogy.
“The only time I’d ever seen him unhappy was when we spoke about my father. Tears would weld up in his eye and I’d watch a great man breakdown crying, telling me he was sorry. Every time I’d embrace him telling him it’s not his fault and that she held nothing against him. The guilt for killing my father may have haunted him to the end, but I will tell you all as I told him, Gram was a good man and that what happened during the war could never change that.”  

© 2019 Ricky


Author's Note

Ricky
As always critiques are welcome, and I hope that a comment thread starts from this piece that the conversations remain civil.

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Added on December 10, 2019
Last Updated on December 10, 2019
Tags: Drama, Post-WWII

Author

Ricky
Ricky

Seattle, WA



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I am a young ambitious man who has always been fascinated in telling stories. And unlike the rest of my family who can draw very artistically i cannot so writing is as best as i can in displaying what.. more..

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