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Dedicated to Love
Submitted by Michaelkate
hot Japanese sun shone through the white curtains of Izumi Mizukiyo's bedroom. She turned over in bed, ignoring the sun's call to wake up. Not to be ignored, it shone into a mirror
Izumi Mizukiyo is pronounced
'E - zoo - me Me - zoo - ke - o'.
standing on the right side of Izumi's futon, reflecting a bright glare onto her sleepy eyes.
"Okay, I'm awake," she said groggily, sitting up. Satisfied with her acknowledgement of the new day, the sun dispersed it's reflection, leaving Izumi to rub her stunned eyes. Though she wanted to move the mirror, the glare served as a useful alarm clock. Sitting up in bed, she began brushing her black hair in the small mirror, talking to the reflection as to a familiar friend. "Did you enjoy my graduation?" Not waiting for a reply, she continued, "I'm so glad you could come! My parents meant to be there, but something came up. I'm sure they would have come, if they could." Her face fell a little, but brightened upon the next thought, "Mrs. Tanaka, our teacher, called us 'young women' at the ceremony yesterday. She never called us that before," Izumi added quickly, as if Mrs. Tanaka's address to her students was proof enough of her womanhood. Izumi picked up her diploma, and read it again, savoring every word.
The Tanaka Young Ladies School hereby certifies that Izumi Mizukiyo has fulfilled the requirements needed to graduate. Izumi has honored her teacher, Mrs. Natsumi Tanaka, by finishing first in her class.
She ran her finger along it's edges lovingly, for this small piece of paper represented long hours of tedious work. A satisfied smile parted her lips. "They will be proud of me now."
Izumi's bedroom was not actually a room at all. Wooden partitions fenced off a small square of space from a larger room, making up three of her walls. The bedroom was just big enough to comfortably accommodate a futon and a small mirror given to her by Mrs. Tanaka. The partitions stood up against the wall, encircling the only window in the small apartment. Izumi loved to set her room up around this window, for at night, she would stare dreamily out and imagine herself strolling through a Japanese garden, inhaling the fragrant honey of the nearby flowers. She would keep this picture in her heart as she slept, and would dream of it as a baby craving for it's mother. A peaceful smile would often creep across Izumi's face, making her look beautiful and serene. What a pity that her parents never noticed this nightly transformation!
Izumi carefully folded up her partitions, taking care to do it quietly. Her parents slept in a partitioned room against the opposite wall.
Quietly, she put away the futon and placed her mirror on the window's ledge. Izumi tiptoed to the kitchen, and knelt next to a small stove with one burner. It stood solemnly beside a tiny refrigerator that sat on the tatami floor. Unstacking some containers in the corner, she pulled out a bag of rice. Izumi measured portions of the white grain into a pan, carefully rinsing it in the kitchen sink. She quietly set the pan on the burner, and turned on the fire. She then went to the closet, and slid open the thin wooden door. Behind the clothes, Izumi pulled out a small table, about a foot tall. Placing it in the middle of the room, she arranged the bowls and tea things on it.