Excerpt of Honolulu by Alan Brennert
(Page 9 of 9)
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It was our last hope, cruelly dashed.
I blamed not Congress but myself: If only I had thought to do this a year
agoeven six months ago! I wept bitterly, feeling the greatest loss and grief
since the death of my first child; and in a way, this was a kind of death, the
death of a dream long held. Jae-sun tried to comfort me, but I would not be
consoled. During the day, with Harold and Grace at school and Jae-sun at
work, I would look at the daybed we had bought for my little sister and
would burst into tearsalarming Charlie, who hardly understood grief
and would never know what he was missing by Blossoms absence in our
Just as I was beginning to reconcile myself to a life without her, I received
another letter from Joyful Daythis one informing me that Blossom
had once again run away. But this time she had done so bearing an Imperial
Japanese passport. She could not travel to the United States with this document, but she might have been able to use it to escape to Japan or China. Despite
their best attempts, my family was unable to locate her.
Blossom was gone, and my clan had only fifty dollars in earnest money
to show for it. Father had reason a new to hate me.
With my husbands agreement I wired them the balance of the money
owed them: they had, after all, lived up to their part of the bargain.
And now, in addition to my grief that my little sister-in-law would not be
joining me in Hawai'i, I worried for her safety. The life of a runaway did not
usually end well, and I fretted about where she was, whether she had money
for food or a roof over her head. All I could do was pray for her safety and
My only consolationa faint onewas the knowledge that Blossom
would not, after all, become a daughter-in-law flower growing in my familys
bitter garden. At least I had helped, in some way, to assist in her escaping
this fate; and wherever she was, wherever she came to rest, I prayed for
her safety and eventual happiness, and hoped she would not forget me . . .
even as I would never, could never, forget the first real sister I had ever had.
Excerpted from Honolulu
by Alan Brennert, Copyright © 2009 by Alan Brennert. Excerpted by
permission of St. Martin's Press, a division of Macmillan, Inc. All rights
reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted
without permission in writing from the publisher.