Cherry Blossom on the War Zone

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

I sat on my rocking chair, humming a lullaby. The one my older sister... once sang during the war. During World War 2 before my world shattered with deaths.

It's been over half a century. Kids playing outside. The wind waving hello at their faces in the spring evening. I sat down, drinking my fresh brewed mocha tea. The joy of the cherry blossoms blooming. The short-lived awe on the mesmerizing flower. For once in a year, it blooms. For once in a lifetime, you'll live.

 Onee-chan, are you seeing the happiness your bringing? To couples and kids, while I'm not the little chatterbox anymore but an old wrinkly woman. If only you were here, it wouldn't be lonely. I hum the lullaby you once sang. Remember when I was scared to fall asleep with the sounds outside. Guns firing, commands of persuing generals, and...

The explosion.

~

"Onee-chan?"

"Hai."

"When is mom coming back?"

 

You, Sakura, stopped cutting the vegetables. Your mind lingered on what could have happened. I was too young to understand. To young understand that she was most likely dead. Attacked on the road, for finding food. 

 

"She's gonna make her yummy bamboo rice cakes, right?! Sumie likes ma's rice cakes. When will mama come back from her shopping?"

"Sumie...S-she'll come back. You'll see her when you are older."

"Sumie wants to know why."

"Because she is making lots of cakes!"

"Sumie will wait then! Sumie likes onee-chan's cooking too!"

 

I remember your forced smile. Acting everything was alright. You never knew your life would have ended in a few minutes. Water is now spilling out of my eyes. The wooden floor is dampened with tears. I always cry silently when recollecting the memories of that nightmare.

 

"And pa? When is he coming home?"

"...." 

 

Father was a soldier and died during the war. World War Two. I did not know about that either.

 

"He's resting."

"Lazy dad." I giggled. 

*boom*

"Kyaa! The fireworks are super loud!"

"Hai. Do you want me to sing you a lullaby?"

"Hai! Sumie wants to sleep, please!"

 

You started humming the tune. 

"Onee-chan! Do you like Yoshio?"

"W-what do you mean?" You giggled nervously with a hue of pink.

"You both act weird."

"Onee-chan will look pretty will kimono! But no kissing! Sumie thinks it's gross."

You smiled and responded. "He is on the..war zone Sumie..."

 

Your smile was fading. Now I know why. The thought of him dead was dreadful to you. I didn't realize back then you didn't want him to go.

 

"Wha? Sumie still thinks you will both wear kimonos. You are very, very, pretty Sakura!"

 

It was true. You were a fair maiden. Every male that passed wanted your hand in marriage. But, we both knew Yoshio was your soulmate. He was your childhood friend, after all.

 

"Okay. Now let's go to sle-"

 

*BOOM*

 

"Onee-chan!"

 

You shield me with your body. The house was collapsing...on top of you.

 

"ONEE-CHAN!!"

 

Blood. You were coughing blood. Crimson red was covering your clothes. Your body was cold and frigid. Your eyes were glassy.

 

You smiled at me with hope. Your voice was hoarse and you croaked... 

 

"S-sayonara Sumie. Ma and pa....would be proud of you. S-stay stron-"

 

Then everything collapsed. I was alive. With only scratches. And you...

 

You were dead.

 

Days felt like years, but your corpse was carried away to be buried.

"ONEE-CHAN!! LEAVE HER ALONE!"

 

"Girl. She's already dead.

Dead and gone."

 

'Dead'

'Dead'

'Gone'

'Onee-chan is gone...'

Those words ringed in my head. Haunting me.

 

"NO!"

"You are going to the orphanage. Your family is dead."

 

 

Dad, ma, and onee-chan are gone...

My world then shattered at age five. I refused to believe it. I refused to believe the truth. I wish it were a lie, but it wasn't.

 

You were a cherry blossom and still are. History may be forgotten, but you aren't. Your life was short but longlived with joy. You smiled at your last breath, just like a cherry blossom.

It is a mini alter. I planted it and named it after you, Sakura. My older sister.

.

.

.

You inspired me to live my life to the fullest. Now it's my turn to leave with a smile. My eyes are closing. My breath is decreasing. The world turns dark, but I waited my turn.

 

"Sayonara, world...

Konichiwa, onee-chan."

 

~Glossary~

Onee-chan means older sister in an informal way.

Hai means yes.

Sakura means Cherry Blossom.

Konichiwa means hello.

Sayonara means goodbye.


Submitted: February 01, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Zumi. All rights reserved.

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