Once upon a time in the Minato district of Tokyo, there used to be a store by the name of “Kanaya Glass Shop” in a neighbourhood called Ichinohashi. It was a small, family-owned shop. In addition to the father and son, there was, during this time, one or two young men serving as apprentices there; however, most of the work was still done by the father and son.
In the nearest vicinity, upscale residential condos with names like “Asanuno” and “Shirokana” spread, and it was a place where there were quite a few foreign embassies. Not only was the shop known for having highly skilled workers who met deadlines, but its workers were also known for having a wealth of knowledge when it came to glass, so this shop received patronage from the local wealthy residents, and there was a time when they would work in collaboration with large construction companies.
Shortly after Misao’s older sister Chikako married into the Shimada family, the workers that the Shimada family hired also happened to be from “Kanaya Glass Shop.”
Chikako gave birth to her first child, Mio. It was when Mio had just celebrated her second birthday that Keiichi suggested that they have built a new children’s room. He said that they should renovate the tea room that Keiichi’s mother had used before she passed away, and change it to a children’s room with a light-coloured floor. That was how it came to be that the construction to renovate it into a children’s room began.
Misao had been living with her older sister and her husband during this time, and she remembered it well. It was a period of time when she threw herself into studying so that she could pass the national bar exam.
The construction advanced without problems and in the final stage, two workers from “Kanaya Glass Shop” came to the house. She was immediately able to tell they were father and son from first glance. The father was nearing sixty, and the son looked to be around thirty. They looked alike; however, the son was much more virile and masculine than his father. He had a impressive physique, and the way he moved about his work silently was almost beautiful in a way.
Their work was only to put in the glass as instructed in the sketch, and it was normally something that could be done in a short amount of time, but during their task several accidents popped up. Because of this, they ended up visiting the residential site several days in a row.
Yoshimi, who was the helper of the Shimada family at that time, came into contact with the father and son glass workers when she served them tea, and she quickly became close with the son. Yoshimi was 23 at this time. She was a plump, fair-skinned girl who was of the same age as Misao. It was hard to say whether she was used to being around men— and although she had a side to her that lacked sophistication and gave hint of her countryside roots, but there was no denying the young, healthy allure that seemed to emit from her no matter how much she tried to hide it, and there were times when she would draw the attention of the visitors who came to the Shimada family house.
She was a good girl who tried to make up for her lack of education by putting effort into reading books and newspapers. She called Chikako “my lady” and Mio “miss.” And although they weren’t that far apart in age, she insisted on calling Misao “elder miss.” There were times when Misao chuckled at her saying “You should stop calling us by such strange names.”
It was right around the time the children’s room was completed that Yoshimi began to show a change in her behaviour. She had a day off every Sunday, and she came to leave sometime around the afternoon on Sunday and would not return until late into the night.
“She must’ve found herself someone,” Keiichi said cheerfully. There were even times during dinner that he would jokingly ask Yoshimi, who was serving the dinner: “Did you find yourself a boyfriend?” and Yoshimi, in turn, would turn almost comically red, shaking her head furiously and saying in a slightly angry voice: “That’s not true.”
It was only much later that the Shimada family realized that Yoshimi had gotten herself romantically involved with the son from “Kanaya Glass Shop,” who had a wife and child. Even then though, no one paid any particular attention to her private life. It was Keiichi’s line of thinking that even if she was their employee, when it came to the matters of love, it wasn’t something outsiders like them should try to stick their heads into. And Chikako, being Chikako, showed no interest in someone else’s affairs of the heart.
Before long, the people of the Shimada household forgot about the illicit love affair between Yoshimi and the son from “Kanaya Glass Shop.” And Yoshimi must have also somehow managed to become used to her fragile relationship because she began to act like her usual self again.
It was during this time that the incident occurred. Yoshimi had left the newly-born Masao sleeping in his crib as she slipped out to the nearby park to meet with the son from “Kanaya Glass Shop.”
It had been shortly after the funeral of Chikako, who had passed away from massive internal bleeding from giving birth to Masao. The Shimada family was still engulfed in a deep sadness. Keiichi had left for work, and Mio had been temporarily living with her grandfather in Kamakura. As for Misao, she had stepped out, and there was no one at home.
Yoshimi locked the main entrance from the inside and left through the backdoor. It was later that she would tell police that in her haste to leave, she wasn’t sure if she had locked the back door or not.
Because of the tragedy of Chikako’s sudden death that fell upon the Shimada family, Yoshimi had spent many days unable to meet Kanaya. On that day, they had contacted each other on the phone and made plans to meet in the neighbouring park, if only for a short while.
Yoshimi’s carelessness at leaving the door unlocked as she went off to see her lover was something that could be held in suspicions. If someone were to say it was a common place thing, that would be true, but it couldn’t be helped that the police suspected Yoshimi and Kanaya of having been involved in the incident until the very end.
Be that as it may, Yoshimi wasn’t responsible for what had happened. She was a victim of the kidnapping of Masao. And it could also be said that it was likewise for the son of “Kanaya Glass Shop.”
The family of Kanaya Glass were subject to intrusive interrogations that bordered on a violation of human rights. And above all, Kanaya’s wife found out about her husband’s infidelity because of the kidnapping incident, so it wouldn’t be a stretch by any means to say that Kanaya himself was a victim as well.
Misao thought that there was a need for her to go see Kanaya– that this was the time to see him. It may just be that the answers to the incident were much more simple than anyone had ever expected. It wasn’t just the police who were oblivious to it— it was also those closest to the family; that’s how she felt.
However, a thin needle-like something continued to prick her feelings. Although on one hand she felt the need to see Kanaya, she also realized early on how much she was hesitating to do so.
Was it really okay for her to go see him about it after all this time? Was what she was trying to do the equivalent of rubbing salt into an old wound?
Masao’s father, Keiichi, passed away, and his mother, Chikako took her last breath on the surgery bed without having ever known whether the child she had just given birth to was a boy or a girl. Although it is unfathomable the depth of Mio’s suffering that she endured at that time, the current Mio wasn’t particularly affected by the events of the past. Not only that, but the young man thought to be Masao had grown into an adult and was living happily.
Their individual lives had settled down in their individual ways, and time had passed as eventually the terrible memories of the past faded.
So what right did she have to dare to disturb the peace once again? Everyone has experienced once what it’s like for a truth to be buried in darkness and fade into eternity. It can’t be said that there is a need for every single truth to be brought to light. As a lawyer, Misao should’ve known this more than anyone.
But— Misao thought: Mio’s biological brother had been alive and well. Not only that but he had grown into a handsome, intelligent young man who was a mirror image of his father… How could she close her eyes and turn away from such a fact?
She wanted to prove that this young man named Iwasaki Shougo was Shimada Masao at all costs. She couldn’t forgive the fact that her life might draw to a close without having ripped off the mask of person B who was actually person A.
Humans have this thing called “dignity.” A person without dignity; a person who didn’t value dignity– there was not one person in the world out there like this; Misao told herself. She fervently told herself that this was the right thing to do.
Her line of work as a lawyer played a central part in her justifying her actions. It was her duty to tell the other that you are not A, but rather B; she truly believed this.
And this was how Misao, went to see Kanaya on a hot summer day.
“Kanaya Glass Shop” that had been located in the Ichinohashi of Minato district had gone out of business several years earlier, and the only thing left was a shabby looking building with the name plate “Kanaya Koukichi.” It was a pity that this shop, which had single-handedly taken on jobs in this area during the time it was in business had not even a trace of the prosperity of its past days surrounded by newly build apartments on both sides.
Misao had with her a package of sweetened adzuki beans as a gift. She rounded the building that used to be the front of the glass shop to the back door and rang an old-fashioned doorbell.
The woman who answered looked as if she couldn’t be bothered to greet this stranger of a woman who had suddenly come calling. Although this was a season when just standing still was enough to cause sweat to ooze out of one’s pores, the woman was wearing a slightly dirty pair of ash-colored socks along with a thin white cardigan. Her face had not a trace of makeup, and the white hair which had long lost its lustre hung limply on her shoulders. The way she flipped back a lock of hair that would brush her cheek in annoyance with the tips of her fingers gave Misao the impression that she was prone to hysterics.
Misao wondered whether the “Kanaya Kouichi” written on the name plate was this woman’s husband…in other words, Kanaya’s son, or whether it was the father. If it was Kanaya’s son’s wife, then she would probably be around fifty. No matter how she looked at it, the woman standing in front of her looked much older than that– however; she looked much too young to be the husband of the father, who, if he was alive and well, would be over eighty now.
Misao apologized for intruding without notice and explained who she was. She told the woman that she had been living in an apartment complex in this very neighbourhood and she had used this glass shop’s services a number of times before. She then went on to say that she just happened to pass by this place and got nostalgic and so she decided to drop in… as she said this, she offered the packaged sweets. Although the woman looked unconvinced, she thanked her for the present and accepted it.
The woman told her that her father-in-law had passed on ten years earlier and her husband had taken ill and was in and out of the hospital and he had only just recently been hospitalized yet once again. The woman said this with a voice interwoven with the stress of her life, and Misao was at a loss for what to say in response.
She had no intention of revealing that she was a lawyer, so it goes without saying that she had no plans to say anything that would remind this woman of what had happened twenty four years earlier. She thought it would be no easy task to find out the name of the hospital where Kanaya was currently hospitalized, but the woman said to her as if she couldn’t be bothered to chit chat with her any longer: “If you have some business with my husband, would you mind going directly to the hospital? He’s currently staying in the hospital, but it’s not as if he’s on the brink of death. He is, now anyway, still right of mind, and he’s still capable of talking. What happened to him is something he did to himself, what with all his drinking. I always told him to not drink so much, but did he ever listen to me?”
Kanaya’s wife said this as if she was spitting out the words. She then told her of the hospital where her husband was currently staying, and she then turned to the package in her hand as if she was seeing it for the first time. “Is it really okay for me to accept such an extravagant gift?”
Misao smiled and nodded, telling her: “Please enjoy it.” Kanaya’s wife brought her dry lips into a tight smile, and replied: “Well then, I will. Thank you.”
The hospital where Kanaya had been admitted was a private hospital in the Shinjuku district. The day she visited him was the heat peak of the afternoon.
At the nurse’s station that was severely lacking in air conditioning, Misao wiped away her sweat as she asked for visiting rights using her real name. The busy looking nurses informed her as to his hospital room without so much as a glance.
His hospital room was a six-person room. Kanaya Kouichi’s bed was located next to the window, and when Misao entered the room, the five other patients aside from Kouichi all focused their gazes on her. Their gazes were not one of curiosity, but rather the weary gazes of those who had become used to training their eyes to moving objects.
Kanaya was lying down on the bed, but he wasn’t asleep. His face was darkened, but it was clear that it was not due to the sun, but rather the effects of someone who was battling a serious illness. Although he was supposed to be yet 55 or 56 in age, she could only see the apathetic figure of a man eaten away by illness, and there was not a trace of the spiritedness he had when he was coming and going out of the Shimada house.
Misao introduced herself: “My name is Honda— I’m sure you probably don’t remember, but I’m someone who lived in the house located in Shirakane of the Shimada family. I’m the sister of Shimada Keiichi’s wife. At that time, I was still in my twenties.”
At hearing the name “Shimada,” Kanaya suddenly turned his head in her direction. The faded blue hospital gown was slightly open, and she could see the raised ribs of his body which was darker in color than his face.
“I’m sorry to come here out of the blue,” she continued. “Your wife told me that you were staying here.”
“Shimada-san…you mean, that….”
Although she was afraid of him raising his guards, she replied “yes” with a smile as she nodded. “So you remember?”
“Remember? How could I forget…” He said this with a voice thick with phlegm, and with a swiftness that was unthinkable for someone who was so ill, he got up and kneeled on the bed, adjusting the front of his sleeping gown closed.
“Please, you don’t have to get up on my account.”
“No, I’m fine. I’m lying down for practically the entire day, so it’s good for my body to move around from time to time…”
“Do you have time to talk right now? If you are not feeling well today, I can come back another day…”
When Misao said this, Kanaya suddenly looked up at Misao with a strange expression on his face. It wasn’t an expression of suspicion or weariness— it was an expression as if he already sensed why she was here, and he was quietly trying to accept the situation… this was the feeling that she got.
Kanaya explained that he was only receiving treatment for his liver, so it wasn’t as if he was an invalid. “Outside this room, if you go down the hallway and turn left, there is a lobby. It isn’t much and they certainly don’t do anything like serve tea, but if you would be willing to wait a few minutes, I’ll get ready and I will meet you there.”
As he said this, he rolled the sleeves of his sleeping gown up and stood up from the bed.
When she went there, the lobby he had been referring to truly was a lobby in name only. It was no more than a wide-spaced corner where patients had lined up potted plans which had wilted on the window sill. There was an uncomfortable looking L-shaped vinyl sofa that surrounded an old TV. The TV, which had been left on, had on a rerun of a historical drama, but there was not one patient who was there to watch it.
A short time later, Kanaya came to the lobby. He had thrown on top of his sleeping gown a faded brown gown, and it seemed as if he had shaved the sparse beard because he was clean shaven.
For a second, she thought it was cruel to bring up the past for a man such as him who was battling an illness, but she had already made her decision long before arriving here, so there was no turning back.
She told him the truth that she was currently working as a lawyer and as a result of one case, she had come to know a young man who introduced himself as Iwasaki Shougo. She also explained that he had told her that the maiden name of his mother who had recently passed away was “Kanaya” and that his mother had an older brother who ran a glass shop in Ichinohashi. She added that when it came to glass shops in Ichinobashi, the “Kanaya Glass Shop” was famous around that part of town and that the Shimada household has used their services in the past to set up a children’s room. She finished by explaining that hearing all this made her begin to think that this young man named Iwasaki Shougo might have some deep connection to the young boy who had been kidnapped from the Shimada house so long ago.
Kanaya listened to what she said without so much as blinking. His mouth dropped open slightly, and he began to breathe heavily.
Misao guessed that she would either be yelled at or told “leave,” but Kanaya remained silent. He didn’t move a muscle.
From time to time, nurses and patients walked quietly past the nearby hallway. Blinds were lowered and the mid-summer sun which had begun to fall cast a long white shadow through the blinds.
“I’m sorry if I’m completely off base,” Misao said this in as calm of a voice as she could muster. “I came here because I thought you might know something important…”
“Why…” Kanaya began to speak in a hoarse voice. “Why….do you think that has anything to do with the kidnapping incident? It’s true that Iwasaki Shougo is my nephew, but why would that have anything to do with….”
“That very nephew told me himself that his mother may not be his biological mother.”
“How ridiculous! It must’ve been some joke on his part.”
“I heard from him that his mother…in other words, your sister, opened up to him about the truth shortly before her death. Apparently, she told him that she wasn’t his real mother. She apologized to him and said she wasn’t the one who gave birth to him. Ever since, Shougo hasn’t been able to stop thinking about her last words…”
Kanaya gazed at her with a blank, hollow look in his eyes, shortly followed by a look of such pure panic and confusion that she couldn’t help but feel pity for him. “So what if she said that? After all this time… are you trying to dredge up the past? Please stop. You came all the way here to… when will you just stop…”
“Please don’t take it the wrong way,” she told him. “I have no intention of dredging up the past. After all, the statute of limitations for the incident has long since passed. What’s past is past. As you probably know, Masao’s mother Chikako passed away immediately after giving birth to him, and Shimada Keiichi also passed away some time later in a car accident. There’s not one person who is trying to dig up the past. I just… want to tell Mio…that’s my niece, that her biological younger brother is alive and well. I want to be able to reunite them…that’s all.”
“What kind of proof do you have that Shougo’s the baby that was kidnapped? Huh? Nothing, right? DNA…was it? Do you plan on doing that sort of test? Do you plan on disturbing a grave and scraping a sample from old bones? What utter foolishness! I’ve never heard of anything more ridiculous.”
“I have no desire to find solid proof,” she quietly said. “That never even crossed my mind. The police have long since closed this case, and everyone’s feelings regarding this matter have also settled down. Proof isn’t…”
“Then let me ask you this. What is it that made you think that Shougo is the baby who was kidnapped so long ago? What ever gave you the notion that…”
“Kanaya-san, please listen to me,” Misao gently touched his arm, and when she saw that he didn’t pull back, she slightly increased the pressure on her hold.
“When I met this young man named Shougo-kun for the first time, I was taken aback. I was so surprised that I was at a loss of words. Do you know why? It’s because he was the very image of his father when he was younger.”
“It must just be a coincidence.” Kanaya said this in a low voice, and he turned to his side as if he was trying to escape from her. She could see that his upper lip was slightly shaking. “Is that it? That is the only thing that made you think…”
His voice trailed off and silence stretched out in front of them. It was a strange silence. He remained mute and stared at a point on the floor. He didn’t move a muscle, as if he had suddenly become made of stone.
“Everyone’s died…” Kanaya muttered as if he was talking to himself. “Yoshimi…. My sister….”
He rubbed his head and then his face. He had an expression as if he was close to bursting in tears.
“My sister’s name was Tomoko. She was always desperate to hold onto her husband, Iwasaki,’s feelings. He was someone who was always with one woman or another, and even after marrying her, he continued to be unfaithful to her. That very husband was transferred overseas. Tomoko insisted that she would go with him to New York, but he fended her off saying he was going alone. Tomoko had it in her mind that he was going to New York with another woman.”
“And was there someone like that in his life at that time?”
“I guess you could say that. But it wasn’t as if he had someone he was particularly in a deep relationship with. It was easy for a man to see that it was a fling. Just an extramarital affair. But Tomoko couldn’t forgive him for it.”
“Even if it was an affair, there are few women who would turn a blind eye to it.”
“I guess you’re right,” Kanaya replied as he showed a bitter smile before his expression once again stiffened into a mask. “She thought that if she became pregnant, he would come back to her. She truly believed that if she hade a baby, he would never again stray from her. That’s why she decided to call up her husband who had transferred to New York and told him a lie. A complete and utter lie that she was pregnant with his child.”
Misao remained silent. She didn’t try to nod or ask any questions. She just silently waited for him to continue.
“She was a fool, that’s what she was. Well, she was never the brightest thing to start off with, but it might just be me who made her into a hopeless fool. I never imagined she would ever do anything like she ended up doing…” He said this as he closed his eyes. “I heard quite a bit about the Shimada family from Yoshimi-san, who I was seeing at that time. I knew from early on that Shimada-san’s wife was pregnant, and that she had died from giving birth to their child. At that time, Tomoko pretended to be pregnant and even went so far as to wrap a towel around her waist and wear maternity clothes. Even my wife and I were convinced that she was pregnant and we didn’t suspect a thing.”
“It’s a wonder she was able to remain so calm during such a time. I wonder what she planned on doing?” Misao asked. “Did she plan from the very beginning to kidnap someone else’s child?”
“I don’t know the answer to that. I tried to get her to tell me the truth many times, but she never once gave me a straight answer. What she did was truly a frightening thing. She kidnapped Masao-chan and began to live in the house on her mother’s side. She even went so far as to forge a birth certificate. She told me later that she had submitted a notice of birth to the city hall. She also called her husband in New York, and told him that she had safely given birth to their child and it was a son…”
“Was her mother living in that house at that time?”
“No, she had passed on a long time ago. It was only her grand daughter and cousins that were still living there. That’s probably why she decided to start living in Toyama. She told us though that she moved there because she was feeling lonely, what with her husband living overseas. She also said that since it was her first child, she was worried about raising him on her own. At that time, we were all in a celebratory mood. Now that I think back to it, it was all an act on her part…”
“Didn’t her husband sense something was amiss?”
“He was a busy man at any rate. During his post in New York, he never once came back to Japan, and he had already called me and other relatives in advance saying that he would probably not be able to be there for the birth. He was an utter fool, that one. He thought of a child who wasn’t even his as his very own. If it were him, if a woman he slept with became pregnant and the thing it gave birth to was a kitten, he would probably accept it saying ‘Oh, so this is my child.’ She made the right decision divorcing a dense man like him.”
Misao remained silent, and Kanaya turned to her with red-rimmed eyes. “I always thought something wasn’t right— we were close siblings, even as children. Of course, I didn’t suspect a thing when she first told me she was pregnant, but I sensed right away that she was acting strangely after she had supposedly given birth. She was in strangely high spirits. Anyone would think something was amiss— she refused to tell me which hospital she had given birth at. She just kept on insisting that it was a safe delivery, and that was the end of that. She gave birth without informing anyone. Something so unusual would never happen if it were a real birth.”
“When did she open up to you about the truth?”
“It was about a year after it happened. Her husband, Iwasaki, had come back to Japan and Tomoko and the child moved back in with her husband to the apartment in Tokyo where they had lived before. Anyone would have thought they were just your average family. But one day, she said she had something to tell me… She probably couldn’t bear the weight of her sin any longer. She asked me what she should do with tears in her eyes, so I told her that she should turn herself in. I asked her if she truly planned on living her life as if nothing had happened after committing such a serious crime. There was no way that a person should be allowed to live their life pretending to be the mother of a child who wasn’t truly hers. I tried to convince her and get herself to turn herself in, but it was no use. It’s partly my fault. At that time, Yoshimi had committed suicide, and I was depressed…. I wasn’t in any position to think of others. I couldn’t open up to my wife about my problems, and of course, it goes without saying that I couldn’t to any of my relatives. It was a kind of hell…”
“I understand,” she said. On the surface, she maintained her composure, but her heart was beating wildly inside her chest. She felt as if she would let out a scream if she heard something move near her.
Kanaya continued: “But it really is amazing what time does. It has more effect than any expensive drug or the prayers of any high-level Buddhist monk. And the uproar in the community also began to die down… I know I shouldn’t say this, but to save myself, I began to think like this: this child’s true mother has already died, so it would be better if he had a mother, even if it wasn’t his biological one.”
As he said this, he turned his clean-shaven face her way. “Do you have a cigarette on you?”
“Cigarettes? I’m sorry, I don’t.”
“Talking about something like this gives me a craving for a smoke, you know? Since I can’t drink, the least I could have is a cigarette…”
She bit back the urge to ask him if he wanted her to go and buy a pack, and she instead nodded silently.
“Shougo,” Kanaya said. “He calls me ‘uncle.’ Well, I shouldn’t be surprised, should I? Since I am his uncle on paper. He truly is an honest child. He’s intelligent, and as you probably know, he’s quite the looker. He’s a nephew to be proud of. But every time he called me ‘uncle,’ a part of me would go cold. That hasn’t changed even now.”
In the distance, the siren of an ambulance could be heard, and it got progressively louder as it neared the hospital. It suddenly stopped as it reached its destination. The warmth of the sun that shined through the blinds felt unbearably hot, and the room was filled with a stagnant atmosphere.
“Is that right…so Tomoko, in her dying moments ran her mouth off like that?” He said this as if he was talking to himself, and he trained his gaze absentmindedly to the TV screen. The historical drama had ended, and a commercial for baby diapers was airing. The screen changed to a close-up of the changing of a baby’s diaper by a mother wearing a white apron, who was played by a young actress who had recently married a big-time singer.
“She probably wanted to atone for her sins.” He whispered in a hoarse voice. “It had probably been weighing on her mind for years and years, sometimes to the point that she felt as if she was going to lose her mind. I know saying this may make it sound as if I’m defending her, but she truly was a good mother to Shougo. Her love ran deeper than even a biological parent’s. Although she divorced her husband, because Shougo no longer had a father, she put even more effort into being a good mother to him. If she hadn’t been like that, I don’t think I would have been able to bear it for as long as I had.”
With that, he turned his body so he was fully facing her, and he gazed at her with slightly yellow, muddy eyes.
“That is all I have to offer. But please, if I may ask one question. What do you plan on doing shining a light on something like this after such a long time? I can’t say my body’s strong anymore. Whether you have me arrested or have me thrown in jail, I have nothing to fear anymore.”
“I have no intention of doing any of those things,” Misao spoke softly. “I only wanted to know the truth, for the sake of my niece, Mio. I want them to meet, since they are biological siblings, after all.”
He had an expression on his face as if he was deep in thought, but he didn’t say anything more.
“Are you feeling all right?”
Kanaya didn’t answer her question. Instead, he said: “Did you know, that for humans, what you see on the outside is only a fraction of that person? The tip of the iceberg. There is no one who can reveal all of a person, and there is no need to. There are things that we are better off not knowing— no, it would be more correct to say we must not know. …Don’t you agree?”
Misao thought that it may just be as he said, but she held back from nodding in agreement.
An elderly couple walked into the lobby. The man looked as if he had just recently undergone major surgery recently because he looked haggardly. The woman had to help him just to sit down on the sofa.
The wife laid out a purple handkerchief on her lap, took out a large peach from her bag and began to peel it with her fingers. The nectar dripped down onto the fabric as she brought the freshly peeled peach to her husband’s lips.
The husband turned away from her as if he had no strength to even bite into the soft peach. The wife didn’t seem particularly disappointed by this. She simply clucked her tongue and brought the peach to her mouth and began to eat it, proclaiming in a loud voice that echoed in the halls, “How delicious!”
TO BE CONTINUED…
[UP NEXT: Chapter 4 – 68-88]