HISTORICAL FICTION By Michael G. Malaghan

Chapter 102

Unconsciously, Haru rubbed her swelling belly, which soon would be noticeable, even under a loose-fitting yukata. She looked at the calendar: Dec. 1. She had put off visiting the Christian Community Center, always finding one reason or another to postpone a visit: like registering the children for school, meeting the new parishioners or chairing the ladies’ auxiliary meetings . . . there was always some reason. And, yet, almost every day, her errands, usually done on her bike, took her past Okumura’s center. She noticed that their facility sported a half-court outdoor basketball tarmac. A neatly framed signboard near the edge of the dirt road promoted classes in sewing, bookkeeping, English and carpentry. She thought of Yoshi. Haru prayed that a little goodwill diplomacy with Okumura would ease some of the tension.

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