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Chapter 2, 'At Five' segment 2 of 2

Updated: May 26, 2018

Later, as dinner was being served, Katsumi, Mizuko’s only brother, strode into the dining room.


“I won!” he shouted.


Kichinosuke beamed at his son and said, “Sit down to eat and you can tell us all about it.”


Katsumi quickly sat down next to his father. His mother Tona, Kyoko obaasan, and his sisters, plus Tomoye’s nanny, Sachiko all looked at him in eager anticipation.


As always, the servers placed food before the father and son first, followed by Kyoko obaasan, the children, then finally, Tona. After the serving process was complete and the servers had stepped back from the table, Kichinosuke said. “Katsumi-kun, please tell us what has happened.”


Katsumi gulped down a mouthful of rice, sat up, than proudly announced, “Yamada sensei told me that I will be representing the dojo in the regional kendo competition this month!”


Kichinosuke smiled. “That is excellent news. You must do your best to represent the dojo -- and the Takahashi name with honor.”


Kichinosuke was not in the least surprised at his son’s announcement. Rather than pursue the scholarly path his father and grandfather had followed, Katsumi reveled in his physicality. At fourteen, he was athletic and tremendously strong. He was also one of the tallest boys in the region, nearly six feet tall and still growing.


As the rest of the family asked questions and heaped congratulations on Katsumi, Mizuko smiled happily. She adored her big brother. He understood and naturally accepted what it meant to stand out. He didn’t let his extraordinary physical attributes hinder him in any way.

She tried to emulate his confidence, but being a tall girl didn’t seem to have the same cachet as being a tall boy. That her brother mostly ignored her wasn’t an issue. After all, he was a boy and she was a girl.


end of Chapter 2

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