A Thousand Threads Outside of Eternity
Author: Sarinom

Chapter 2
8:15 at Sumitomo

“Somewhere deep inside of me is a man, just as real as you are, I just can’t find him.”

I said as I approached a well-dressed man sitting on the stairs of a bank, waiting for it to open.

“Excuse me, who are you?” he seemed shocked to see me.

“I was just saying that I admire your genuineness, you just seem like an honest, dutiful being.” I sat to his right. He inched away, leaning against the stone pillar. He always does that. I can never manage to introduce myself in a way that doesn’t startle him, he’s just naturally anxious I suppose.

“What makes you think I won’t report you to the authorities, American?” he rose and started to yell out to a nearby military policeman.

“Sir, please, I’m not American and I mean you no harm. I’m just looking for conversation.” I motioned for him to sit down; he did so, nervously. “You know, it is mornings like these that remind you how beautiful life is. You know what I mean?”

I could hear the leather handle of his old briefcase, squeaking under his tightening grip. “Sir, are you ill?”

“No, just admiring the day, you should try it. You never know when it will all be gone. I never caught your name, what was it?”

 He hesitated before talking, still unsure of my intentions, “My associates call me Tanaka-san, which is what you can call me. As for the day, well it’s only seven-fifty, I’m sure there will be plenty more hours for you to enjoy.” He paused, shielding his eyes as he looked towards the rising sun. “What was your name now?”

“Most people just call me Q. Tell me Tanaka-san, what are you doing here at Sumitomo so early?”

“My daughter just turned seven and I am opening an account for her. I live a couple of miles out, so it takes me a while to get here, I suppose I miscalculated the time It takes to get here.” He always talks so fondly of his daughter. “Do you have any children, Q-san?”

“Please, just Q. Yes, I had a daughter.”

“Had? I am sorry to hear that, it is always hard to lose a child.”

“It’s fine, it was her time.”

“Well I suppose that is the way one must look at things these days, with the war and all.” A couple minutes of silence passed before Tanaka-san looked at his watch, “well it seems the bank is just about to open, I might as well be first in line.”

“What time is it Tanaka-san?”

“It is just about eight-thirteen.”

“So it is. Well, I don’t see anyone else here so when they open the doors, you’ll still be first.”

“Yes,” he sighed, “I suppose you have a point, Q.”

“I really do enjoy your company, why don’t you sit back down and enjoy the rest of the day with me.”

“Sure, Q, I don’t see why not.” He sat back down; he always did, placing his briefcase casually to his side.

“I must admit, I am slightly envious of you, Tanaka-san.”

“Why would that be?”

“What time is it Tanaka-San?”

“Almost eight fifteen, why do you keep asking for the time?”

“It’s the only thing I don’t have, that’s why.” I could hear the Enola Gay now.

“What do you mean; I thought that’s all you had. What happened to enjoying the rest of the day?”

“The day is over Tanaka-San, It’s eight-fifteen.”

“What are you talking about?”

The sirens blared as Enola flew overhead.

“Goodbye my friend.”

“What? I—”

The sky flashed white. Trees and handcarts along the road erupted into the flames and were picked up by the blast and carried off into oblivion. Tanaka-san did not have time to react; he sat in tranquility as his figure was dismantled into grains of carbon and engraved themselves into the steps of the bank.

“That’s why I am envious, Tanaka-san, your story ends here.” I stopped to watch the mushroom cloud dissipate. “I will see you later, friend.”


            This day in Hiroshima is my favorite place in time. It always reminds me of how delicate life is. It reminds me of what it means to be alive.


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