I Will Love You Forever Pt. 2 Ch. 01bykalamazoo707©
By the end of August 1945, the Potsdam Conference ends, the Soviet Union declares war on Japan, Indonesia declares independence from Japan- General order No. 1 (the surrender of Japan was prepared by the Joint Chief of Staff of the U.S. military forces) was approved by the President of the United States, Emperor Hirohito announces Japan's surrender and General MacArthur takes command of the Japanese government in Tokyo.
August 6, 1945: Enola Gay drops "Little Boy" the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. An estimated 80,000 people were initially killed. By the end of the year that total would rise to between 90-140, 000 due to injury and radiation. Of the city's buildings, 69% were completely destroyed while another 7% were damaged.
August 9, 1945: Bockscar drops the second atomic bomb "Fat Man" on Nagasaki. The initial death count was 73,884 which included 2,000 Korean forced workers, 8 POWs as well as 74,909 injured and several hundred thousand diseased and dying due to the fallout and illnesses caused by radiation.
August 15, 1945: Emperor Hirohito announces the "unconditional" surrender of Japan
August 16, 1945: Emperor Hirohito orders Japanese forces to cease fire.
Kenji and Patricia were making plans for school when they heard the news about Hiroshima, the news rendered them speechless.
"Papa!" Niko called running up to them totally unaware of the somber mood.
"Please Niko, not now." Kenji said softly.
Niko immediately stopped, his papa never turned him away when he needed something and even when he didn't. And then he saw that his papa was crying and so was his mama and he knew that they weren't happy tears. He didn't know what to do so he did what his mama and papa did for him whenever he was sad.
He tugged at Kenji's sleeve until he had his attention.
"I love you papa."
Kenji picked Niko up and sat him in his lap and hugged him.
"I love you too." he said and kissed his head.
Niko climbed from Kenji's lap and went to Patricia and told her that he loved her too. Patricia bent down and hugged him, her tears wetting his head.
"I love you too baby."
Niko hugged Patricia back and for the rest of his life he would never forget that day only because he could never, ever remember seeing his parents in so much pain and sorrow.
"Go check on your sister." Kenji said as he tousled Niko's hair.
As soon as Niko was gone, Kenji took Patricia into his arms and they cried over the loss of life. Both of them prayed that it would be over, that Japan would finally see sense and surrender and if there was one such bomb, there was another.
Nick held Hana as she cried; she had friends and family in Hiroshima and had no way of knowing if they had survived the bombing or not.
"So many dead!" she cried, "many of them did not want this war but had to follow the emperor!"
"I know baby." Nick said as he cradled her. He didn't know what to do for her except to stay with her. He called his office and said that he would be out for the week.
Hiroshi and Dai were horrified when they received the news. Hiroshi cursed Emperor Hirohito for not surrendering, sooner.
"He could have stopped this!" he exclaimed as he paced their small but neat living room, "He has murdered his own people!"
Dai said nothing as Hiroshi ranted and raved; she agreed with him and was glad that his rage wasn't against this country. She was aware as he was that Hirohito had been approached with terms of surrender and had turned it down. They could only hope that he would now accept.
Mitch was physically ill when he heard about the bombing. He begged with tears streaming down his face to call Nagasaki to check on his family but his request fell on deaf ears. He begged every agent who came to his cell until his voice was hoarse.
It wasn't until later in the day that he got a sympathetic ear.
"I can't let you talk to them but I'll call for you." the agent said.
"Thank you! Thank you!" Mitch repeated over and over.
"But I want something in exchange."
"Anything!" Mitch replied not caring that he might be asked to betray what he considered to be his country.
"Who were your contacts here and I don't mean the peons."
Mitch began spilling names as the agent wrote them down.
"Is that all of them?" the agent asked when Mitch stopped talking.
"Yes, now will you call my family?"
"One more question, why isn't Nick Alexander's name on this list?"
"Wh...what? Nick? He wasn't part of it, I set him up." Mitch replied confused.
"You're sure about that?" the agent asked.
"I've already given a written statement saying as much, now will you make that call?"
The agent wrote the number down, Mitch had been his last chance to get something on Nick but a deal was a deal and he would make the call.
"What do you want me to tell them?" Howard Gibbs asked.
Mitch gave Howard a list of requests and then asked that Howard come back with any messages.
"We'll see." Howard said walking away from the cell silently cursing.
Abby and Ralph was as stunned as everyone else about the bombing.
"Maybe it's over." Abby said quietly and hoped that it was so.
Lawrence and his friends smoked a cigarette in honor of the "Enola Gay" the plane that had dropped the bomb on Hiroshima.
"About fuckin' time!" one of them said.
"Watch your language." Lawrence said firmly.
"Sorry boss, I got a little excited." the offender said apologetically.
"We're all excited." Lawrence said with a smile, "Now if we could only do the same with the rest of the impure races all would be well."
The statement was greeted with a round of applause and cheers to which Lawrence took a bow and then smiled. He had also received some good news from his attorney. If he behaved himself, he would be out in three years instead of four. Of course he hadn't told his friends that as most of them were going to be in for much longer than three years and there was no point in upsetting the apple cart so to speak.
He had already singled out who would take his place, a man named Carl Tucker. Lawrence chose him because Carl was a college graduate and he had good leadership skills. The closer the time of his parole came the more responsibility he would give to Carl so that by the time he left, Carl would be able to run things.
When the time was right he would give Carl an address to give to the men as they were released, they were to stay there and wait for further orders. The first thing that he would do when he was released would be to set up base and then head for sunny California. Doc would be taken care of soon but he still needed him for the moment and the prosecuting attorney had already left the state and was headed for California or so he had been told.
Then there was Sally his supposedly loving wife....
"Hey Lawrence!" a voice called, "How about a game of horseshoes?"
"Sure!" Lawrence called back, he would think about her another time.
Everyone walked around in a fog still trying to get over the shock of the bombing when on August 9 a second bomb was dropped this time on Nagasaki. Once again everyone went into stunned disbelief. Patricia and Nick were in the same boat in that they didn't know what to say or how to console Hana and Kenji other than to be there for them.
"What is wrong with the world that there is such hate and destruction?" Kenji asked crying as Patricia held him.
"I wish that I had an answer for you but I don't." she replied as she hugged him tighter.
For the rest of the month there was little talk about anything else but the bombings. Kenji saw the pictures and wept every time appalled by the damage and suffering that the bombs had caused.
"Kirei, these people who survived will suffer." he said sadly "We may not know the full effects of the radiation on the earth and in those affected with the radiation for years."
Patricia was thinking the same thing that he was, "What about the unborn babies?" she asked.
"I do not know Kirei." he replied softly, "But I do not think that anyone thought about the full ramifications of using such a weapon."
Patricia agreed with him and told him so, "And I am so glad that you're here with us." she added.
It had gotten to the point as with the war where neither Kenji nor Patricia could stand to hear about the mounting casualties from the bombings and they could no longer look at the pictures. For Kenji it wasn't just about the suffering, he was afraid that he would see the face of a friend or relative. It was the same for Hana.
Mitch sobbed when he heard about the second bombing. He had no idea if the agent had reached his family or not and for all he knew his wife and son could be ashes blown to parts unknown. Mitch felt a sense of despair so powerful that he forgot his vow to live and to return to Japan. "What Japan?" he sobbed into his hands.
"They got out." Howard said to the sobbing man who hadn't heard him come in.
"I talked to them and told them to get as far away from the city as they could." Howard said, "They were leaving as we spoke."
Mitch let out a sob of relief.
"You're welcome.... And you owe me." Howard said as he walked away.
Mitch had no intentions of paying up, he didn't know what the agent wanted from him but he suspected that it had something to do with Nick. Whatever it was, he wanted absolutely no part of it, he had done enough damage to a man that he had considered a friend and he would do no more.
By the end of December 1945, the Japanese armies in Burma surrender, Hong Kong is liberated, the Imperial Japanese Army surrenders to Filipino and American forces in the Northern Philippines, the Japanese instrument of Surrender is signed on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay, 1,400 French Paratroopers are freed from Japanese interment camps around Saigon by the British. The French soldiers go on a rampage killing innocent civilians which included children. The non fraternization directive preventing US troops to speaking to German citizens with the exception of small children was rescinded; the prohibition against marriage between GIs and Austrian women was rescinded and later would include German women as well. Black soldiers would be restricted until 1948 when the restriction again interracial marriage was rescinded and the United States prohibition against food shipments to Germany is lifted however, packages to individuals would remain prohibited until June 1946.
The war was over.
Everyone was trying to go back to living a normal life, Kenji and Patricia had both started school with Patricia taking two classes and Kenji taking a full load plus extra classes to get ahead. Both of them were extremely nervous but Patricia more so than Kenji as she hadn't been in a formal school setting since middle school.
The plan was that Kenji would drive them to school and when Patricia was done with her classes she would wait for him in the library and he would join her for lunch. Patricia shook with excitement as she packed their lunches and made sure to have her pencils and notebook ready to go.
Kenji stopped her and gave her a hug, "You are going to be fine." he whispered as he kissed her. Patricia was nervous for another reason. They had never been away from Niko and Marie for this long, at least not frequently with the last time being months before. She wasn't worried that they wouldn't be cared for, it was what Paul told her was separation anxiety.
"It's going to be good for all of you." he told her.
Patricia wasn't really convinced but if she was going to go to school she had to leave the children. If Kenji was nervous about it he didn't show it instead trying to settle Patricia's nerves.
Today her parents would be watching Niko and Marie.
"Now be good for gramma and grampa." she said hugging them.
"Yes mama." Niko replied holding Marie's hand.
Kenji knelt down in front of Niko, "mind your manners and look after your sister, your mama and I must go for awhile but we will be back."
Niko shook his head but suddenly he was afraid. He had rarely been away from his parents for so long and like then he was afraid that he wouldn't see them again. He fought back tears as he watched Kenji stand up and look down at him, he waited for the admonishment not to cry but it didn't come.
"Niko, come with me." Kenji said holding his hand out.
Niko let go of Marie's hand and took Kenji's who then led him to the library, sat down and lifted Niko into his lap. By now tears were running down Niko's plump cheeks. Kenji wiped the tears away and gave Niko a hug.
"Are you frightened that we will not come back?" he asked.
"Niko shook his head yes which under normal circumstances wasn't permitted but in his fear and anxiety he had already done it more than once. Kenji understood and didn't correct him.
"Your mama and I love both you and your sister very much but sometimes we will have to leave, do you understand?"
"No papa." Niko replied and laid his head on Kenji's chest.
He and Patricia had talked with Niko over the course of several days about their going to school and they thought that he understood but apparently now that time was here and real, he was afraid.
Kenji was glad that he had allowed plenty time before they had to leave. He kissed the top of Niko's head and held him for a moment before speaking.
"Your mama and I want to give you and your sister all of the things that you need and for us to do that we must go to school as you will someday." Kenji explained, "I will learn how to be a doctor and so will your mama, do you think that you can help us by helping to care for your sister?"
"Yes papa." Niko said sniffling.
"Thank you Niko." Kenji said kissing the boy again, "You also know that we love you and Marie and that we would never leave you on purpose."
Niko threw his arms around Kenji's neck and kissed his cheek. He was still afraid; Kenji could feel his little body trembling against his.
Kenji reached for his wallet and took out the handkerchief that Patricia had given him for his twenty-first birthday.
"Your mama made this for me long before you were born." Kenji said, "It is very special to me and I would ask that you keep it safe for me until we come home."
Niko took the handkerchief and held it tightly in his hand.
"We must go now but we will see you in time for dinner."
Niko nodded his head and hugged Kenji again holding the Handkerchief tightly in his fist.
Patricia stood in the doorway holding Marie and crying. She loved how gentle and patient Kenji was with her and their children but she understood Niko's anxiety and went to him. She handed Marie to Kenji and took Niko into her arms and hugged him tight.
"We'll be back, I promise." she whispered in his ear.
Ten minutes later they were in the car and headed for their first day of classes. Kenji found a parking spot that was located between the two buildings that housed the library and where their classes would be. They sat in the car for a few minutes holding hands.
"Those buildings are our future." he said softly as he stroked her knuckles, "are you ready Kirei?"
Patricia swallowed hard, "I... I think so." she replied.
Kenji got out of the car and then helped Patricia out before grabbing their bags and heading toward the building. Kenji walked Patricia to her class which would last two hours and then went to his own which would last just as long. They would have a free hour between classes to talk or study before the next class which ran for an hour and then lunch. Kenji's day wouldn't be complete until four which gave Patricia time to get ahead on her school work so that she could take care of Niko and Marie so Kenji could study.
Both of them were aware of the looks that they generated but they ignored them. Kenji walked Patricia to her classroom, gave her and encouraging smile as he handed her the bag containing her books and their lunch. Since they were early, Patricia had her choice of seats and chose one in the front of the classroom, sat down and waited. She didn't turn around when she heard the first noisy students come in nor did she turn around when they went silent when they noticed her. She braced herself for a comment but it never came because the instructor walked in.
He gave Patricia a look that she couldn't decipher and went back to setting up for class. All was going well for the most part until he did roll call. When he got to her name it was obvious that he was looking for a Japanese woman who had taken an American first name.
"Patricia Takeeda!" He called out and looked around the room.
Patricia bristled but raised her hand, "But the pronunciation is Takayda and not Takeeda." she said politely. The instructor looked at her with a reddened face, his displeasure at being corrected clear.
"Well Miss. Takeeda..."
Patricia didn't correct him, this man was going to cause her grief if she wasn't careful. When he said her last name he said it like he was daring her to object to his pronunciation. Patricia took a deep breath and reminded herself to look at the big picture and that this was only one person.
When the roll call was finished, the instructor- Dr. Hathaway went over what was expected of them as students.
"Under no circumstances will there be any extensions or excuses for why the work isn't done! Is that clear?" he asked looking directly at Patricia who met his gaze with one of her own until he looked away and began teaching the class.
Kenji sat toward the back of the class room because of his height. As he waited for class to begin he thought about Patricia, Niko and Marie. This was for them, so that he could care for them as a husband and father should but it was for him too, after so much pain and heart ache with some joy mixed in, his goal was within reach.
Like Patricia he didn't turn around when the other students started to stream in, unlike the student's in Patricia's class, these ones were quite vocal.
"Look at that!" someone said, "They bomb our country, kill our people and then they get to come to school here."
Kenji ignored the comment and didn't even turn to see who had spoken.
"Doesn't seem right does it?" the speaker asked as he approached Kenji.
"You speakee English?" he asked.
Kenji looked up at the speaker, he was about as tall as Kenji but broader across the chest. His blue eyes were filled with hatred and disgust as they met Kenji's calm, soft brown ones.
"Did you hear me Jap?" he asked, "Do you speakee English?"
"I happen to speak very good English." Kenji replied meeting the other student's gaze, "Do you wish to say something to me?"
"Andrew leave him alone." another student said.
Kenji's eyes never left Andrew's face which angered Andrew even more. He had been expecting Kenji to act subservient and afraid.
"Everyone take your seats!" said a voice that Kenji recognized.
Their eyes met for just a second before Paul looked away.
"My name is Dr. Paul Mynt and I will be your instructor this semester. This is the basic surgery class where you will learn sterile technique and to perform simple procedures. At the end of the semester you must pass every single procedure without fail or you will have to repeat the class. When I call your name please raise your hand.
And so it began.
Kenji listened to each name but the only one that really interested him was the name of the student who tried to insult him earlier.
"Kenjiro Takeda." Paul called out and then nodded when Kenji raised his hand.
"I guess the Jap does speakee English." Andrew said loud enough for Kenji to hear.
Paul heard it too but didn't say anything, the jackass who made the comment wouldn't be the first nor would he be the last to make comments and Kenji needed to figure out how he was going to handle comments and jackasses like Andrew Kelley. As far as Paul could see, Kenji hadn't reacted in anyway but kept looking forward but Paul knew that Kenji was very much alert and aware that Andrew Kelley was going to be trouble.