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Izumi was now certain someone was talking to her. Slowly, she tore her eyes from the linoleum square she had been focusing on, and lifted her head cautiously to see who was speaking to her. Her eyes looked directly into the face of a grinning, young man. Upon seeing her blue eyes he let out a surprised gasp. They were the most beautiful pair of blue eyes he had ever seen! He couldn't help comparing them to fountains of deep blue water. She had obviously been crying, which was the reason he had spoken to her in the first place.

He had watched a girl in a school uniform, approach the benches, struggling to carry two, heavy suitcases. He noticed the way she kept her head bowed, and had witnessed the solitary tear that told him she was crying. Feeling sorry for her, he decided to try and cheer her up. He was unprepared, however, for the look in Izumi's face. Feeling embarrassed, he repeated the question for a third time. But, before he had the words out of his mouth, a tall, blonde headed woman sat down next to the short, black haired girl. "Surely, that isn't her mother," he thought to himself. Anna's abrupt coming silenced him, for the young man decided it was time to end the one-sided "conversation." He prayed the girl would not get in trouble for anything her mother thought he might have said, for Anna's face betrayed that she was not happy. "Please God, don't let the little girl get in trouble for something I did. And please, help me keep my mouth shut!"

God answered before he asked, for Anna had not noticed him. Her mind was brooding upon the fact that Yoichi had left her. ("He loves me," she would argue. "After all, we have been through a lot, and he has never left me. He would have left me if he didn't love me. That proves it!") Those words echoed in her ears.

Izumi was left in solitude to wonder about the grinning American. She felt like laughing, every time she thought of him turning red with embarrassment. For the first time that day, she almost felt happy.

Mother and daughter sat there for several hours, waiting for their airplane, occupied with their own thoughts. No signs of affection or concern came from Izumi's mother, a fact that did not escape the young man.

"The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but [she] that is cruel troubleth [her] own flesh."
~ Proverbs 11:17 ~

end of chapter
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