A Warriors Tale
Harry N Down
Koryuki is the only one not to reply to my email. With only a couple of days, before we leave I am not worried. Koryuki often does not answer emails until a day or two later. So no problem. She will let me know if there is anything wrong. She normally will SMS me if she cannot get on line so I am not concerned. She is probably working.
Sleep does not come easy when one is about to travel. Excitement, anticipation, expectation and hope abound and keep the mind and one’s brain ticking over.
Constantly looking at the clock does not help you sleep. Especially when you are watching it.
Tossing and turning, also adds to the lack of sleep.
First stop is Japan, Adelaide to Melbourne, then Melbourne to Narita. Narita to and Shiba Minato-ku Celestine Hotel Tokyo.
We arrive early evening Japanese time and at the hotel, we just crash. Sleeping at least for a couple of hours, before getting up and having showered and shaved decide to try the local cuisine. I take to the local noodles, Kev settles for the sushi. “Beautiful, Ashai beer.” I say soaking in the place as if it were home.
We take the train in the morning to Utsunomiya and book into the Chisun Hotel.
Kev and I relax and take time to adjust to the time change and the country.
“Bloody hell mate, we really need to find something to eat that is decent.” Kev says rubbing his stomach.
“Let’s try the place down stairs,” I mention with some trepidation. “Ok, I am Hungry mate.”
“You are always hungry Spud”
We find the restaurant and enjoy the meal. Oddly enough, we chose to retire early and then make plans to catch up with Koryuki.
Sleep comes quickly and easily and we both wake fully rested.
“You going to ring her?” Kev inquires over breakfast. “Yeah I will do.” I say with less conviction than I let on. “Later on this afternoon. She works odd hours”
“Hmm Yeah sure mate.” Kev just shakes his head.
For the most part of the morning, Kev and I remain in our room. “You going to ring or are we just here for the fun of it” He has the look that could kill.
“Ok, Ok, I will ring.”
I pick up the phone and dial the number.
“Err is Koryuki there?”
There is a silence. “Steve san?”
“Steve san, I am Koryuki’s mother, Dozo English is Ok”
“I was after Koryuki.”
Once again, there is silence.
“Doze comes to our home this afternoon.”
“What time Mama san,”
“Watashi wa, itsu de mo.”
“Hai, arigato gozaimas.”
“What the hell you crapping on about Steve.” Kev seems somewhat bewildered by what has transpired.
“We had better pick up some drink mate. Something is not quite right here.” I reply.
“You are frigging telling me pal. You are way too serious about all this crap.”
“Her mum was trembling on the phone mate. Something just does not feel right. Better get me a beer before we head off.”
Down stairs in the foyer, we order a cab. We are told it will take awhile, so we head to the bar. There we have a drink. I look at the gifts we have brought for Koryuki and her mum. “What the hell is up with you mate?” Kev asks.
“Mate, something is just not right. It all seems a tad weird. Her mum never has spoken with me before now.”
“Maybe she is checking out her new son in-law?” Kev laughs that laugh of a Santa Claus at Christmas.
I laugh to, it seems funny, it is funny, but there is some doubt in my mind, in my head. Something is amiss.
“Mr. Boddey san, your Taxi is here.”
I bow. Kev and I get in the Cab and head off to Koryuki’s home.
We arrive at Koryuki’s home and I knock on the door.
Koryuki’s mother answers the door.
“Hai, arigato gozaimas.”
“Kimas, Sumimasen, I should speak English”
There are tears in her eyes yet she does not cry.
Kev and I enter the home. It is small but very comfortable. Kev holds up the beer we have brought and Koryuki’s mum shows him the fridge. She has a smile that shades her tears.
Kev brings over a couple of beers. He looks at Koryuki’s mum; she reaches for one and starts crying.
“What’s wrong Mama san?” I ask.
“Koryuki” She looks at me with tears in her eyes “Is DEAD!”
Kev and I both look at one another staring in disbelief.
“WHAT!” I half shout.
Koryuki’s mother hands me an envelope taking a big swig from the bottle of beer.
“Dozo, yurushimas.” She leans forward, bowing to me.
“What is there to forgive okasan?”
“Steve, what is going on?” Kev asks with great concern.
“How did she shinimas?”
She had been excited about our visit and had been working when on the way home she was involved in a car accident.
At the hospital, she asked her mother to give me her letter just before she passed away.
“Sumimasen” I hug her mother.
Tears rolling down my cheeks. Anger enraged me. Hurt engulfed me. Sorrow surrounded me. The tears kept coming, never ending. I watched her mother trying to hold back emotions. I looked at Kev for some support. He to was caught in the gut retching reality of it all. I opened the letter and it read.
To be continued ...........................here