Asian American

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The Electrical Field
Excerpt

I happened to be dusting the front window-ledge when I saw her running across the grassy strip of the electrical field. I stepped out onto the porch and called to her. I could tell she heard me because she slowed down a bit, hesitated before turning. I waved.

"Sachi!" I shouted. "What is it?"

She barely paused to check for cars before crossing the concession road in front of my yard; not that many passed since the new highway to the airport had been built. Shyly she edged up my porch steps to where I stood. She was out of breath, her eyes filled with an adult's burden. "I don't know," she said, panting. "Maybe it's nothing."

The sweat glistened on her, sweet, odourless water, and it struck me as odd, her sweating so much -- a girl and a nihonjin at that; we nihonjin, we Japanese, hardly perspire at all, and the late spring air was cool that day. I sat down to signal calm and patted the lawn chair beside me. She sat but kept jiggling one knee. Finally she stood up again. "Yano came and took -- ," she began.

"Mr. Yano," I broke in, though everyone called him Yano, even myself. "He took Tam out of class this morning. Kimi too."

"Tamio," I corrected her, as if I could tell her what to call the boy, her special friend. As if I could tell her anything. "A doctor's appointment, maybe?"

She shook her head as a child does, flinging her hair all about. Though at thirteen going on fourteen, she no longer was a child, I reminded myself.

"Yano looked crazy," she went on. "Like I've never seen him. His hands were like this." She clenched her fists and gritted her brace-clad teeth: a fierce little animal. "He hadn't taken a bath, not for a long time," she said, pinching her flat nose and grimacing. "Worse than usual. Everybody noticed."

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Oracle Bone

Oracle Bone

edition:Paperback
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Scarborough

Scarborough

edition:Paperback
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