December 10th, 1948.


I was becoming a man and my mother kept reminding me of this.

�You are so handsome, Iwao-kun,� she told me as she worked with her dried irises. I took it all with a smile.

�Yes, Mother,� I said.

�I wonder when you�ll get married,� she said.

�Say what?� I asked as I pretended not to hear her ramblings.

�I want to be a grandmother soon,� she said. �I�ll have to start arranging your marriage soon.�

�But, I�m only fourteen years old,� I said.

�Even more so to find you a wife!� she said.

�Where?� I asked.

�I�ll find you wife,� Mother said.

�But, I�m going to be a priest.� I looked around when I heard her laughing. Just by her tone I could tell that she was smiling at me.

�What?� I asked. She turned around with the smile that I predicted she would have.

�Don�t be silly, my son!� she said. �Priests can get married in the Shinto religion. After all, your father married me.� I don�t know what I found creepier�her tone or her smiling the whole time. I slowly backed into the hallway.

�I�ll be in my room if you need me,� I said.

�Okay,� my mother replied. I ran down the hall. I think I liked her better when she was more of a zombie.