Speak to Me

Shoji stared into Sakura’s pretty amber eyes. This would be the first time he told his story to anyone. But it had to come out and now was right.

“The girl you saw,” Shoji began. “Used to work here.” Sakura kept watching her boss. “Go on.” said she. Shoji breathed in deep. Can’t stop now. Must keep going.

“Last year,” he began. “Molly, the girl you saw, got a job here. Always brought joy to the kids. They loved her back.”

Shoji paused and took a breath. Just keep going.

“I noticed however,” the doctor went on. “She was always blushing around me. Concerned, I called her to the front. ‘Molly,’ I said. ‘What’s wrong? Why do you always blush around me?’

“Molly looked away blushing. I was confused. Then, I heard giggling. ‘What’s funny?’ Then, Molly turned back to me smiling and said: ‘I love you.’

“I froze hard. A fourteen-year girl just told me she loved me. Strangely, I felt the same for her. But could never say so. Until that very moment.

“ ‘I love you too.’ I admitted as well. Her eyes grew big. ‘You do?’ asked she. ‘Yes’ I said. She rushed forward and hugged me tight. I felt myself turn red.

“ ‘But,’ I spoke up. ‘Can it work?’ Molly let go of me and stared. ‘What do you mean?’ she asked. I swallowed hard. ‘I’m too old for you, for starters,’ I began. ‘And… I’m not pure…’ Molly stared at blankly. ‘Are you divorced?’ she asked me. I felt sick. ‘She passed away.’ I answered. Molly felt sympathy. ‘I’m sorry…’ she said. Then, she reached out and touched my hand.

“I talked more about my wife. That was my mistake. I told her everything. I wasn’t paying any attention to her face. But then, I saw Molly crying. ‘Molly,’ I said. ‘What’s wrong?’ She didn’t say anything. Molly just ran away. I didn’t understand why. I just stood still.

“And she never came back.” Shoji sighed. That was the hardest thing to say. But the doctor now had absolution.

Sakura reached out and touched Shoji’s hand. “I forgive you.” she said. Shoji eyed the fine nurse. “Arigato.” he murmured. Then, tears fell down his cheeks.

You are Forgiven