Part IX: Kyoto, June 11, 2011
Meiko: “Mother, I googled the name Michael Tan last night and I found thirteen of them in America. One of them is a Michael L. Tan. He works for a company called Telligent Inc. in Portland, Oregon. Could that be him?”
Keiko: “Meiko, thank you for doing that, but I don’t think I have the right to ruin his life and his family again, after what I did to him thirty-six years ago. Don’t waste your time on this anymore.”
Meiko went home and thought about it. She just couldn’t get over what her grandparents did to her mother. Mother deserves to know the truth. Michael Tan deserves to know the truth.
Part X: Portland, June 12, 2011
Routinely at work, Michael received many e-mails. They came mainly from the Department of Research and Development about technical matters. Today, out of the blue, the Department of Customer Service forwarded him an e-mail from an “M_Mifune.” The subject line said “Miss Keiko Yamamoto.” All the blood drained from his body.
Dear Mr. Michael Tan,
My name is Meiko Mifune. I am daughter of Miss Keiko Yamamoto. Do you know mother? If you know, please write.
Thank you, Sir!
Michael took a deep breath, and typed:
Yes, Mifune-san, I am Michael Tan, and I am a friend of your mother. We went to school at Portland College 36 years ago. Is Keiko-san okay? Is she safe and healthy? Please write me or call me as soon as you can. My phone number is 988-764-7086,
Thank you, and please, write or call as soon as you can. This is VERY important to me.
After a very long hour, Meiko wrote back.
I am happy to find you. Thank you very much!
Mother is safe and healthy. But mother is sad.
You wrote mother many letters in 1975 June to October. Letters were hidden by grandmother (mother’s mother) and not let mother see them.
Grandmother died January 23 this year. I organised her things and found your letters two days ago. I gave unopened letters to mother. She read them and crying for hours. Mother told me about you. I cried very much with mother too. Mother is very sad. I asked mother to write you. She did not want you know because she afraid it may hurt you and your family. I write you to tell you mother still cares a lot about you.
I know she names me Meiko because you are Michael and mother is Keiko.
I do not know how to tell mother I find you. But I think you should know mother do not forget you. Mother came back Kyoto June 1975. Grandparents made her marry my father, Mr. Yoji Hirokawa in August. Father was fifteen years older than mother and friend of grandfather. I was born ten months later. I am only child to father and mother. When I was little I asked mother why no more brother and sister, mother said one Meiko good enough. I did not understand it that time. I understand now.
My father was good father and husband. We had small store and he made money to take care of me and mother. Father died five years ago. Mother lives by herself since father died.
Grandfather (mother’s father) died about ten years ago. Grandmother died January this year. Mother and I live in close houses in Kyoto. My husband and I have two children. We see mother many times a week. Mother loves my children very much.
I do not know how to tell mother yet. But if you write back and tell me more, I will think a way.
*** To Be Continued ***
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