Thursday, November 11, 2021

Leaving Her (short story) by Leanne Dyck

Writing this short story helped me come to terms with a piece of island history. The protagonist is Japanese, but he's also an islander; he's a Canadian. We share a commonality. I'm outraged that a Mayne Islander had to endure what he had to endure. My intention is to pay tribute to his courage.

photo by ldyck

Thank you for helping me take ownership of this story. Your support is appreciated.

Leaving Her

He looked across the bed to where his strawberry blonde beauty slept. Her chest rose and fell with each breath. He lay there wanting to stay, knowing he had to go.

Fighting his desires, he eased back the quilt. He dressed quickly, but quietly ensuring not to wake her, and as if on cat paws he hurried into the kitchen. Ladling water into the basin, he washed his face. The cold water enlivened him. He looked up, through the kitchen window. 

Two solid beams of light cut through the darkness. 

Returning to the bedroom, he retrieved his suitcase from under the bed, lay it on the chair, and unfastened the leather straps. He grabbed underwear, shirts, pants and slipped them inside.

Being unable to resist her magnetic pull, he walked over to her side of the bed. His heart longed for her. He bent down and kissed her cheek. "I will always love you," he whispered. 

Boot heels struck the porch floorboards. That was his signal. Suitcase in hand, he rushed out of the bedroom, through the kitchen to the door. He pulled it open before they knocked. Wordlessly, he followed them. 

Entrance to the gardens
photo by ldyck

In 1942, bowing to public pressure, the Canadian government began interning Japanese nationals and Japanese-Canadians citizens. Nationals and citizens were stripped of their rights, homes, possessions, and way of life. In 1944, Japanese Canadians were ordered to leave BC or face deportation to Japan. It was not until 1988 that Japanese-Canadians received compensation for the wrongs done to them during the Second World War. 

On Mayne Island, a Japanese garden grows as a living tribute to the Japanese-Canadian islanders who were forced to leave.

photo by ldyck

photo by ldyck

photo by ldyck

Further reading...

Book Review:  All We Left Behind by Danielle R Graham

On This Blog in November

photo by ldyck

Sunday, November 14
Short Story
Visiting the Neighbours
Leanne Dyck

Wednesday, November 17
Podcast Author Reading

Sunday, November 21
Book Review
Cedar Bowers
long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
and my winner

Wednesday, November 24
Podcast Author Reading

Sunday, November 28
Short Story
by Leanne Dyck