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Chapter Nine
Joy in the Morning

"Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense."
~ Song of Solomon 4:6 ~

Izumi slowly navigated herself through the hallway, checking each room as she went. At the end of the hall, lay a pile of suitcases, stacked against the right side of a closed door. Izumi turned the handle, and found it had been locked. Her mother was in there, she was sure. The night before, Izumi remembered that Anna said it was the room she had had as a girl. Her hurt voice broke the silence.

"Please let me in." The only reply to her plea, were the sounds of the waves on the beach. Loneliness filled her being, and echoed through every nerve of her body, making Izumi feel sick inside. Holding her stomach, she ran to the front door, and lost what little food she had, to the bush beside the steps.

Anna had heard her daughter standing in the hall, but said nothing. Hatred had grown inside of her heart as a tall tree, rooted in bitterness. She cast off her daughter's love as a dirty rag, as something to be despised. This had been the upbringing that Izumi's parents had given her. Surely, the poet David, had someone like Izumi Mizukiyo in mind when he wrote these inspired words:

"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.
I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest."
~ Psalm 55:6-8 ~

Anna's hate drove Izumi into the night. She wandered onto the beach, rigidly staring at the waves. The thought crossed her mind to end it all, here and now. No more trouble, no more pain. "No one cares whether I live or die," she thought. Izumi slowly approached the water.

Suddenly, Izumi was aware that she was not alone. She saw someone standing beside her, looking down into her face. She turned to leave, but a familiar voice halted her retreat.

"What on earth were you trying to do?" Izumi looked up to see the young man who introduced himself as John Johannes on the bus. Izumi's mind and heart were numb. Silence was the easiest reply.

"Answer me!" John was becoming more alarmed by the moment. She hung her head. By this action, John knew he had guessed right.

Partly out of relief that he had been there to stop her, and partly out of anger for what she had just tried to do, he began to quickly pace up and down the beach. "Why is it, that every time I run into you, I have my heart broken?" His pace became slower, however, for Izumi began to cry. She sank to the sand, burying her head in her knees.

With a deep groan, John sat down beside her. "Don't cry. God hasn't forgotten you, even though it feels like it right now." John looked at the hidden head, still crying into her lap.

"Don't believe me? Let me tell you something. I was fast asleep, minding my own business, when a strange feeling woke me up. Do you know what it was?" John asked her, hoping to make her respond. The crying became quieter. Content that his distraction was working, he continued.

"I had the most acute attack of loneliness that I have ever experienced. The feeling was so strong, that I almost couldn't breath. (glancing at Izumi) I went for a walk to get some air, and found you here." Izumi had stopped crying and was listening to what he said, though her head was still hidden. "And glad I am, that I found you when I did. The world would have been a sadder place, if you were no longer in it."

continued on next page...
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