My Two Grandfathers and the World War II

Today is August 12th, three more days until the 15th. The thought sometimes occurs to me that I would probably not exist in this world if the war did not end on that day in Japan.

Being married to an American, I always have mixed feelings to talk about the war. His side of the story and my side of the story seem to end up hurting each other. We reluctantly conclude that it was the rough time beyond our imaginations. We have watched Letters from Iwo Jima and Flags of Our Fathers, but it does not mean that we have experienced the war. The truth is that we have no idea what they have been through. When I think that way, my mind automatically shifts to my two grandfathers in Japan who survived the war when they were teenagers.

My paternal grandfather was 14 years old at that time, volunteered to serve as a Kamikaze pilot, waiting for his order to be sent abroad anytime to accomplish his ultimate mission. My maternal grandfather was 18 and supposed to be drafted two weeks later. Both of them had unquestionable faith in our country and were more than prepared to dedicate and sacrifice their own lives for Japan. Then our emperor announced the end of the war, thus their lives were extended by decades.

I remember I was sitting in the passenger seat and randomly brought the topic up during the long drive from New York to Boston exactly 8 years ago just to kill the boredom and because it was the time the war ended years ago. Then, the driver, who happened to be an American writer and a professor, replied, “It’s your perfect topic of your book to write about,” as if he got some kind of epiphany, but I shamelessly argued, “I don’t want any of my works to be categorized as the minor genre of Asian literature.” Then he added that my background could be the variable strength in my writings that no ordinary Americans could have.

I am still skeptical of his comment although the idea stayed in my head ever since then. My ignorance and lack of the actual experience of the war and the fear to face the reactions of the patriotic Americans kept preventing myself from writing about them. However, I started to think recently that it might actually be interesting to write about them not to sell the Asian-ness in me as a writer but to honor the lives of my grandfathers.

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The Magical World

Approximately one more year remains in Germany. Most of the time, I try my very best not to think of the inevitable fact. I just let time pass by, focusing on the daily routines that do not seem to possess that much significance. But some cups of coffee and some train rides and some ordinary conversations later, the feeling of void that resembles heartbreak always ends up coming back. It is like the relationship that you are in that you know it is ending. Please don’t let me leave you.

Life can be funny indeed. I wonder how many of you are actually living the lives you dreamed of when you were ten years old. When I was ten, I was daydreaming that once I stepped out of Japan, the magical world filled with nothing but happiness awaited.

And the reality was dead wrong. To be honest, things could have been much easier if I stayed in Japan although it does not necessarily mean that could make me happier. I have lived in the United States, France and Portugal before my fate sent me to Germany. Five years ago, my life here started with zero German knowledge and zero friend. And five years later, the world became somewhat magical filled with a plenty of happiness. I wonder how the ten year-old me sees me now.

Germany already became my home and a big part of me, but again, I will have to let my fate decide where I am going next. I am not too hopeful because I am not ten anymore, but I have come to learn that it is up to me to make the world magical no matter where that is.

Last Night

What have I done?

She wakes up, feeling the huge pang of regret. This is certainly not about hangover. This is not about one-night stand, either. She wishes things were simpler like that. She has gotten over those sorts of craziness when she was twenty-three. Really.

The dazzling summer sunlight that enters her bedroom window does nothing to uplift her mind. But, maturity she has acquired over the years prevents her from crying. “Tears based on your unstable emotions are the only privilege of a teenager,” she thinks to herself. Negative feelings won’t solve anything.

She drinks a big mug of black coffee, desperately hoping that the act completely changes her mood for the better like a shot of tequila, though she is damn sure that won’t undo what she has done last night.

She brushes her teeth, washes her face, gets dressed, puts her makeup on, ties her hair, a ponytail, to hide the necessity to get a haircut and wears her favorite Pandora bracelet and Tag Heuer watch: her lucky charms. May today be a good day!!!

As she walks to the station, her unconscious thoughts automatically replay last night. Instead, she tries to focus on the beauty of the green leaves of the trees on the streets and watches people walking by and wonders why not many women wear skirts here in Germany when a majority of them seem to have tall amazing figures that fit perfectly in cute summer dresses.

She sits comfortably on S-bahn train and looks at Rhein River from the window, which is the very moment she feels truly grateful for her life in Germany. She loves how the water shines, reflecting the beam of the sun. Positive energy fully charged. It does not mean that she is dying from the terminal stage of cancer like her mother. Maybe, her mother IS the sunshine. So, come on, let it go.

As the train goes underground approaching Frankfurt, she looks at herself through the window. The fingers on her lap are still tightly crossed. Three stops later, she gets up and walks towards the city center with the mass amount of tall people. She voicelessly whispers to herself, I can handle this.

© 2016 Kiara Belle * To subscribe on your Kindle, please click HERE!!!

That Dark Juvenile Time

When I was a teenager, there was the period that I thought it was for the best if I ended my own life. I was afraid of people, responsibilities, future: practically everything. I thought the world would be better off without me. I stopped eating for months and cried endlessly because of my own despair I had created.

What saved me from the dismal selfish period was keeping journals. I turned to the healing ability of words. I felt as though I made the ultimate beauty when I described every negative sad emotion of mine on a paper. Thinking back, I was too ignorant to appreciate how fortunate I had been that I had my own bedroom and food to eat. The spoiled brat, who did not know anything about the reality of living, best described who I really was.

Now I have a job that demands the skills to face people. I am responsible for many things and I have the future I want to live. I eat a lot and I don’t cry anymore. And I learned to be grateful for everything and everybody around me. I did grow up, just like everybody else. But, almost two decades later, I still recall that era at times. Its memory deeply haunts me still and I keep on questioning myself why.

The Road Not Taken

Today is one of the rare days I don’t have to work. I slowly sip a big mug of coffee for breakfast, reading random newspaper articles on the Internet in Japanese. I clean the bathroom, take some bio trash out and walk to the station to mail some documents off to my tax accountant’s office in northern Germany. I buy an amazing sandwich at the bakery of the station- the French bread filled with fresh Parmesan and rucola. I walk back home and start to cook some decent supper- homemade patty from scratch with the sauteed mushroom sauce, hoping it turns out to be so good and my husband loves it. I exercise for an hour in the backroom then plan what to teach tomorrow while I wait for him to come home from work. Does anything I do today somewhat make me be a good housewife? Or does he feel that way? Am I still a big part of his happiness? 

And at the same time, I wonder why I am not in New York City right now, pursuing my MFA degree or working as a professional interpreter or something like that. And then again I think to myself how happy I am here in Germany. I wonder if I ever had different paths to take. 

I Can’t Write.

Here I confess: I can’t write.
For a long time, I do suffer.
Two mugs of coffee later, still a blank page on my iPad screen.
In my head, dead boring words.
Frustration growing- this ain’t me.
Work and responsibilities- emotions blocked by rationality.
Me- 31 years old.
Innocence reduced- so darn stable.
The background song: Ellie Goulding
Intuition, here I follow.
Still I confess: I can’t write.

It’s Already 2016!!!

I simply feel terrible. I launched this website last September with the countless amount of positive energy. I was so motivated to write. And I accomplished nothing I wanted last year. I was completely tied up with work and studying German and failed to invest time in this website.

However, despite all of those huge regrets, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of the readers who devoted your precious time to read my works. It required me to have lots of courage to expose my writings to the eyes of the public, and your positive reactions certainly meant a lot to me.

Last year, I was too focused on the thought that I HAD TO write something creative all the time. But this year, I will treat this website more as the tool of communication, which is like the journals composed of random thoughts, addressed to be read by people. And, I may also post poems and short stories when I feel like doing so.

Hope you still stick around. Please feel free to talk to me through comments.

Again, thank you so much for reading.

The Tokyo Subway Story

It was 8:32 am, just on time. The silver subway packed with numbers of people arrived at the station with the aggressive loud sound. As soon as the doors were opened, tons of people went out and came in. It was the usual chaos and the flooding of ants.

The fact that this was the busiest moment excused their rudeness and violence. The well-known Japanese politeness was no longer there. It was like some kind of war. I became the ant and joined the war, and I stepped into the subway. Yes baby, it was my showtime.

As soon as I got on the subway, I kept on moving my eyes. I was starving for this. Then, the word echoed in my head, “backpack”. In a few seconds, I found the backpack. You became my today’s target.

It was neither you nor your suit nor your tie that was wrong. The whole fault was your huge black backpack that was accidentally in my sight. I could not resist. I slowly walked within the crowd and stood right behind you. As you seemed busy reading the newspapers, I soundlessly unzipped your backpack and put my right hand inside. The familiar touch of the leather immediately satisfied my right hand. No hesitation necessary. Within a second, I took it out and it became totally mine, no longer yours.

As soon as the subway reached the next station and the doors were open, I got out with the other bunch of ants. I could not help smiling at the Louis Vuitton wallet in my hand.

I checked your ugly face on your company ID and 70,000 yen in the wallet. More than what I got from you, I had to laugh at how stupid you were. Maybe, you learned a lesson, and you’d better thank me before you blame me.

© 2015 Kiara Belle * To subscribe on your Kindle, please click HERE!!!

The Twelve-hour Sleep

It is the escape from your reality,
It is the cure of your mind,
It is the reward addressed to you
Until the short hand of the clock makes a circle.

No need to drink, No need to eat,
No talk, No argument, Just-
Let your eyes closed,
Let your mouth breathe,
Let your heart beat,
Let your body live in the dream,
Let your idleness be the luxury
For the twelve hours.

Nothing more is necessary,
For after the twelve hours,
When your eyes are opened again,
It is going to be the time
To go back to your reality where
You are forced to
Face the hours,
Face the people,
For this is where you belong to.

© 2015 Kiara Belle * To subscribe on your Kindle, please click HERE!!!

The Orange from Ehime

The circular sunrise
raised by the golden wind of Ehime.

The customary desert of the elementary school
now placed as a treasure
on the cold table of Tokyo.

Gently and carefully,
the sunrise bloomed
with the petals like the sunlight
just like the day I left my hometown.

One by one,
I smell and taste
my hometown
where I no longer belong to.

But the sourness of the sunrise,
still gently welcomes my return.

© 2015 Kiara Belle * To subscribe on your Kindle, please click HERE!!!