The Unlikely Chance

A brisk wind blew across my face with the smell of changing weather. My lungs steadily inhale the cold air while walking through the park. The leaves radiated yellow, red and orange as some subtly fell around the ground. I sat on the bench, absorbing the sun’s warmth, finding a couple walking with their hands intertwined. A sigh escaped my breath as I pictured myself with an old flame in a setting such as this.

I remember as if it was yesterday, the loving gazes we shared, the kisses that were sweeter than honeycomb, and the soft expressions of love spoken between us. They forbid it for a black woman to be with an Asian man. In the late 1930s it was taboo, but I guess even love was colorblind. I didn’t see him as anything but a good man who first talked to me in the library. He was so handsome from his muscular body to his short brunette hair, chiseled jawline, soft lips, and gentle eyes. He introduced himself as Akimitsu Takahashi, who was attending school to become a doctor.

I introduced myself as Lorraine Johnson. I had just got into college studying to be a nurse. From when I had entered school, my parents told me the value of schooling and how black folks struggled to receive a strong education. I didn’t want any distractions and focused on making a future for myself, causing no troubles. But this guy pursued me every time I went to the library to study. He was always there. Knowing that I was in college to be a nurse, he offered to help me while I helped him. With suspicion looked into his eyes, but with a nod; I agreed. I never seen a man possessing such a bright smile as if I told him I was rich. We studied together, learning about each other. He was a complete gentleman, intelligent, funny, and so much more than I can imagine.

I never imagined that I would have anything in common with a man like him, but with each day being with Akimitsu, it was a wonderful experience. I fell in love with him but kept it to myself, fearing he would reject it, leaving my heart broken. One fall evening, when there wasn’t anyone around, he confessed his love for me. With tears flowing in my eyes, I received it and returned it. Despite the stares and whispers, we continued our growing relationship. We each had a wall to climb as it became a challenge from late hours of studying to my so-called friends who tried to dissuade me from my relationship with my boyfriend. I learned from Aki it was the same for him.

But banding together, we stood our ground and moved forward. It was difficult, but after graduating from our respective colleges; we married despite his parents’ objection. It was a mercy from God that my folks were loving and gave their blessing. We settled in a modest house near the park where he and I confessed our love. He found work as a doctor in a small hospital in which I worked as a nurse. It was hard as I continued to handle patients, black folks both young and old, and Akimitsu became a well-respected doctor throughout the hospital. Despite our hectic schedules, we still haven’t forgotten to work on our marriage and love. It was our own American Dream until it became a nightmare when Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japan. I could hear the fear of the people as they looked at every Japanese citizen as a suspect, including my husband.

I begged him we needed to leave for not only his safety but the safety of our newborn child. But he refused to leave our home or the patients that needed a doctor now more than ever. I was worried that the patients wouldn’t want anything to do with him and myself after what had transpired, but in a surprising turn of events; they wanted him to stay and treat them. Then one day, soldiers knocked on our door demanding that my husband needed to be taken to what they called an internment camp. I wanted to follow, but my husband softly kissed my lips, told me he loved me and our son, then promised to find us. With tears flowing down, I watched with sorrow as they dragged my love into an army truck with other Japanese families.

My parents caught word of what happened and brought me and my son with them until they released him. I received letters from him telling me how it was in the camp. He used his skills as a doctor to help as many as he could. It was heart wrenching from how the soldiers treated them and fear of how Akimitsu handled these treatments. I prayed for their safety each day in that hellish place. Four years, we sent letters back and forth until one day; I didn’t receive a letter from him. My heart pounded in triple time in fear because in one of those letters, he told me he was going to enlist in the army to treat the soldiers. From what he told me, it was pure hell, from the many patients who were groaning with pain from various injuries. I placed my son in his crib when I heard a knock at my parent’s door. With a shuddered breath, I watched as my father slowly turned the knob before opening the door to a faceless soldier.

Opening my eyes, I remembered where I was, sitting in the park and the sun giving out a golden shine to the sky. With a sigh, I rose from the bench, feeling my bones objecting until hearing a familiar voice.

“Lorraine!”

I turned to find a welcoming sight slowly walking towards me with a limp, “Well hello there,”

“You know it’s getting colder, right?”

“I do, but I love how the leaves change color,”

“I know, all too well,”

“Did my son Hideyoshi get you to come get me?”

“Yes, but I knew where you would be.”

“Ya’ll think ya’ll know me, don’t you?” I said with a chuckle.

“Well, of course, would you do me the honor of walking alongside me?”

“How did you find me, Aki?”

My husband grinned despite his age. “I will always find you,”

Culled from blog.reedsy.com by Raena Scythe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *