Kenny’s Story

Last week Kenny wrote me a story, and with his permission, I’m sharing it below. He claims it’s all true, but I think he may have embellished it a tad. Either way, I thought it was super sweet.

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Ichinomiya Junior High School

Each day I clean up leaves around the teacher’s parking lot, near the front of the school. With Fall in full swing, many of the leaves have already fallen and been swept up by myself and the other students who belong to the Brotherhood of Leaves, with our bamboo brooms and green dustbins. As the other students have dispersed further out into the courtyard to seek the remaining leaves, I have remained in my personal domain. Only two students clean this area with me now, Konata and Miyuki*.

Konata and Miyuki are very energetic First Years, and often spend more time cracking jokes than actually cleaning up. Miyuki loves to scold Konata for how Otoko-zuki (男好き), or Boy Crazy, she is. Konata enjoys spinning fabulous yarns about her classmates. Both of them are prone to random bits of English exclamation.

Today after I had swept up the meager amount of leaves left on my turf, I started to mill around to kill time. Wandering to behind the teacher’s cars in search of dried persimmon stems, I found Konata and Miyuki on weed duty. That is, Konata was equipped with a miniature scythe-like tool common in Japan, and Miyuki was sitting next to her holding a bamboo broom. They were talking about something non-specific until M spotted me.

Konata turned to Miyuki and said in Japanese, “Oh! I saw Mr. Ken’s wife! She’s so beautiful!”

Miyuki responded, “What! When did you see her? She’s beautiful?!”

“Yeah! So gorgeous!” She added in a bit of English flair.

“Where did you see her?” Miyuki asked.

“I saw her yesterday when I was leaving school. She was standing outside the gate,” Konata crossed her arms and tilted her head back, “and she was standing like this. With her head back and her arms crossed like this.”

“Eh!” exclaimed Miyuki.

“As I approached her, an aura of blinding light was radiating from her! I could barely look at her, she was so be-u-tea-ful,” Konata extended out her arm and held her hand out as if she was blocking the sun from her eyes. “As I got closer and closer, sparks were flying and she had a halo of beauty!”

Miyuki seemed like she was going to faint. “Did you scream out, ‘You are soooo be-u-tea-ful!’?” Miyuki posed like a Shakespearean actor delivering a proclamation of love.

At this point I simply bowed to them slightly and said, “Dômo.” Taking my broom and dustbin with me, I left the girls as they continued to discuss how beautiful you were. As I moved on to sweep up sand I could hear them discussing your hair and face for the remaining 10 minutes of cleaning time.

*Names changed to protect privacy.

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