At long last, the final chapter in the War Years Saga is finished. I give you Danny’s chapter.
For all the War Chapters, t...
Alice,
I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but here’s my account of the war. I don’t think it’s very
exciting...
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’ve been in basic training for about a month now, and I’ll be even happier come this fall when it’s all...
Dear Dotty,
If you ever share what I’m about to tell you, I’ll never forgive you.
I got seasick my first time out on the s...
Ensign Daniel Bradford walked into the classroom and surveyed it. There were quite a few other naval
officer candidates, a...
Despite the rigor of the curriculum, with the more traditional academic classes combined with actual officer
training, Dan...
Still, being part of normal society again after the isolation of basic did have its disadvantages. In basic at
least, he’d...
In an attempt to distract himself, Danny took up with one of the girls he’d seen frequently at the dance hall.
She was pre...
Before long, the day he knew would arrive had. He’d gotten his orders, and he would be assigned to a
destroyer tender as a...
A few days before he was due to leave, Danny took Lilah out one last time.
“I’ll write to you, if you’d like that,” she sa...
The next morning, as they said their goodbyes, Lilah gently kissed Danny on the cheek.
“If you make it out of this in one ...
The night before he left, Danny wrote to his parents and in the best way he could with the knowledge of the
censors readin...
Once they were at sea, the days, then the weeks, and then the months began to run together. If not for
holidays like Thank...
The worst part of being on the ship for Danny was feeling so disconnected from everything. He missed
having Howie, Gil, an...
The other thing that really irked Danny about being onboard a ship in the middle of was how hard it was to
find out what w...
It was with a heavy heart that Danny went back into the galley and called his staff together. They were
somber faced as th...
Danny watched as the men got back to work preparing the evening meal, all excepting one.
“What’s wrong, Stark?”
“Nothing, ...
Danny watched as the mess attendant went to his station and began preparing for dinner. It was a shame
in Danny’s eyes tha...
Not long after the found out about the SimEuropean invasion, Danny’s ship went into port to restock its
supplies and give ...
Mostly, it was just boring news from home, but it relieved Danny more than he could say knowing that his
family was “keepi...
Danny folded the letter back up. He should write to his sister, but he had no idea what to say to her. What
did you say in...
After about two weeks, Danny was back on the ship and the ship was back out in the ocean. The
seasickness was back in full...
News was still hard to come by, but occasionally he was called into officer’s lounge where the Captain
would tell them abo...
The first half of 1945 would always remain a blur to Danny. The invasion of Iwo Simwa, and the news that
his childhood fri...
Simpan’s insistence that they would never surrender made Danny very nervous. He didn’t need to see the
directives coming i...
Sure enough, as he was making his way past the bridge on his way to drop off the latest batch of supply
requisition forms,...
When Simpan had made no noises of surrender, Danny wasn’t at all shocked to hear that another atomic
bomb had been dropped...
It took five days after that for Simpan to surrender. Five long days where everyone on Danny’s ship was
tripping over each...
On that fifth day, the phone rang in Danny’s office with the message to go upstairs to the captain’s office.
Upon arrival,...
On September 1, Danny’s ship pulled into the harbor. There were already a multitude of ships crammed
into the harbor, insu...
After the ceremony was complete, everyone returned to their duties. The captain began calling the officers
in one by one, ...
“Lieutenant Bradford,” the captain said. “You’re being reassigned.”
“Sir?”
“Your attention to detail in filling out requis...
Danny looked out the window of his office. Watching the hustle and bustle of the naval station was so
much more exciting t...
Still, he mused, as he turned his attention from the window back to the various forms he needed to fill out in
triplicate,...
“Bradford!”
Danny stiffened at the shouting of his name. He looked up to see two of the lieutenants from one of the
ships ...
The three men, despite the veracity of the words, all began to laugh. “What did you guys want? I do have
to make sure your...
Danny leaned back in his chair a bit. “And you two plan on educating me before you head home?”
“Of course! It’s the least ...
Danny, looking rather sharp in his dress blues, was waiting at the gate to the base promptly at six the next
day. Soon eno...
A few hours later, Danny found that he was in complete agreement with his comrades’ assessment of the
Simshin’an Tea House...
From somewhere, music began and the woman began to dance. Danny had heard that Simpanese dance
was very different from wha...
He exited the teahouse, and paused when he saw a silhouette in the shadows by the fountain. It was a
woman, and the kimono...
“No, thank you. I feel lucky that I was able to see real Simpanese dancing.”
She looked at him, curious. “You not GI. You ...
Sakura haunted Danny’s dreams that night and for the rest of the week. He’d gone to the Simshin’an
Teahouse several times,...
“Hello, Daniel-san. You not come see me dance,” she said, pouting.
“I’ve tried, but you’ve not been at the Simshin’an rece...
Danny frowned, seeing that he had upset Sakura. “You…you are a real geisha. Or you were at least,
before the war. That’s w...
Danny’s heart broke for Sakura. She was clearly young, probably not more than eighteen or so, meaning
she had practically ...
Danny hadn’t realized how much time had passed, and he was due to meet some of his fellow officers for
dinner soon.
“Liste...
And he was, as close to the stage as he could be. After Sakura had performed, she had found him and
slipped her hand into ...
Sakura frowned, and Danny quickly realized what she must be thinking.
“Look, I’ll still pay for your time, no matter what ...
And so Danny fell into another routine. He spent his days working, his evenings sometimes in the
company of other officers...
Another December rolled around, and it was another Christmas spent away from his family. At least this
year, Danny had bee...
When the beginning of 1946 rolled around, Danny began counting the days. The war had ended in
September, meaning that he w...
It was partway through January when everything changed. Danny had gone to the gate of the base as he
usually did, happy th...
Sakura promptly burst into tears, and Danny could only stare at her. He’d never handled crying women
well, especially cons...
“Oh, Daniel-san,” she said again. “I…” She paused as if trying to find the right words. Her look suddenly
became determine...
The first thought that sprung into Danny’s mind was not one that he was proud of. Knowing what Sakura
did for a living, he...
Danny took Sakura’s hands in his. “I’ll take care of you. I promise.”
“Thank you.”
“The only thing is…I’m going home in an...
“You do that for me?”
“I would. I need to talk to some people to find out exactly what I need to do, but I need to know th...
“It may take me a little while to figure out what I need to do to make that happen. I need you to be patient.”
Sakura nodd...
In the days and weeks that followed, Danny began wading through the mountain of paperwork and the sea
of red tape that was...
After several weeks, Danny was no closer to getting permission to marry Sakura then he was when he
started the process. Sa...
His determination ended up taking him all the way to the office of General MacSimthur. The commander
had grilled Danny rel...
He wasn’t able to go see Sakura until the next day. She was sitting on a bench in the park near her
teahouse, and she look...
Danny could practically feel the relief radiation off of Sakura. “Are you alright with the chaplain performing
the wedding...
The next week was extremely busy for Danny. In between doing his regular job, he was making
arrangements for Sakura to ret...
She was there, wearing a beautiful kimono and her hair in an elaborate hairstyle. He took her arm and led
her towards the ...
It was a quick, simple ceremony. After they were pronounced husband and wife, they posed for pictures,
since Danny knew th...
After the visit to the temple, they’d gone to the teahouse for a reception. It also turned into a goodbye party
of sorts f...
A week after their wedding, Danny and Sakura boarded a transport ship bound for Sim Diego Harbor.
Sakura had looked sad as...
Ten days later, they were stepping off the ship and onto Simerican soil. After spending several hours in the
separation ce...
The train trip took three days, with stops along the way to change trains in Simcago and New Sim City. As
much as he would...
So it was with the slightest of hesitations that Danny helped Sakura off the train in Simsfield. A quick scan
of the platf...
He hugged James when Cindy finally released him, and stood at attention one last time to salute his
brother.
“Don’t expect...
There was a soft cough, and Danny went over and rejoined Sakura.
“Mom, Dad, Nick. This is Sakura, my wife. Sakura, my pare...
Alice, Steven, and Dotty were waiting at the farmhouse, and were just as shocked as the rest of the family
had been when t...
Danny and Sakura stayed at the farmhouse for a few days while he looked for a house to buy. He soon
found one in one of th...
Danny would often come home to find the two of them in the kitchen, Sakura carefully following Dotty’s
direction as she ex...
Dotty and Sakura walked through the front doors of the small grocery store that had just opened in
Simsfield.
“So much foo...
Sakura smiled as she and her sister-in-law made their way up and down the aisles, picking up this and
that. They ignored t...
Sakura began to carefully inspect the produce, making sure she picked only the best to put into the
shopping cart. She smi...
“My people lost many too,” Sakura said softly, but the woman didn’t respond to her near silent reply.
“And poor Gilbert Se...
Both women looked to see Dotty standing there, her arms crossed and her face expressing fury.
“You’re defending her, Dorot...
Dotty took two steps towards Katherine and leaned towards her as she spoke in a voice that was low and
threatening. “You h...
As they paid the cashier, Dotty noticed that Sakura was being unusually quiet. The silence continued as
they put the groce...
When Danny arrived home that day, he knew that something was wrong despite Sakura’s insistence that
she was fine. After di...
“Though I am curious about something,” Dotty continued.
“What’s that?”
“I was just wondering where Sakura fit into your gr...
Danny sat silently, lost in his thoughts. “The first time I saw her dance,” he finally replied.
Dotty smiled. “She loves y...
Dotty got up. “I should go. It’s getting late, I have a drive ahead of me, and you, mister, you need to talk to
your wife....
Danny found Sakura in their bedroom, sitting on the edge of their bed. He sat next to her.
“Dotty told me what happened in...
“Sakura, you listen to me. You do not shame our family. If anything, Mrs. Alcott is the one who should be
ashamed. Attacki...
He cupped her face in his hands. “I know I should probably have said this sooner, but it took my sister
pointing out to me...
Danny had wept the first time he held his daughter in his arms. The little girl had her mother’s hair and
eyes, but her sk...
* * * * *
With that, the War Years Saga concludes. It certainly took a lot longer that I originally thought it would, but
...
With the War Years Saga over, I’ve got a rebuild to do before I can start regular legacy playing again. All
my tots have L...
Credits
Thanks again to my awesome cast of extras! From left to right, top to bottom, I’d like to thank Lauri for
Jason Xe...
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The Bradford Legacy - Chapter 29 Part V

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The Bradford Legacy - Chapter 29 Part V

  1. 1. At long last, the final chapter in the War Years Saga is finished. I give you Danny’s chapter. For all the War Chapters, the warnings are the same: language, subject matter, and character casualties. War is not pretty, so there are parts of these chapters that will deal with difficult subjects. That’s enough of an introduction. Here’s Part Five of Chapter 29: The War Years.
  2. 2. Alice, I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for, but here’s my account of the war. I don’t think it’s very exciting, but I know you wanted to hear more about how Sakura and I met, and how I came to bring her home with me when my time in occupied Simpan ended. Danny PS – If you plan on sharing any of this with Mom, would you mind being judicious about the parts you share with her? It’s one thing to tell some of this to my sister, but another entirely to tell it to my mom. Thanks.
  3. 3. Dear Mom and Dad, I’ve been in basic training for about a month now, and I’ll be even happier come this fall when it’s all over and I finally go to officer training school. Already, they’re trying to teach those of us who have commissions that we need to not mix with the enlisted men. We have our own barracks, our own section of the mess, and our own recreation center (not that we have any time to actually use it). I’m eager to get all my training finished and to start making my contribution to the war effort. I’m sick and tired of hearing about the Marines (though don’t get me wrong; what they’re doing on Guadalsimnal is amazing). I’d like for the Navy to make some headlines too. Danny
  4. 4. Dear Dotty, If you ever share what I’m about to tell you, I’ll never forgive you. I got seasick my first time out on the ship. It’s embarrassing as all hell for a man who was so bent on going into the Navy, I know. But I’ve never been out on a body of water that big before. Hopefully, I’ll get over it pretty quickly. It’s also pretty lonely here too. Aside from being separated from the enlisted men, I’ve noticed that a lot of the guys around here seem more than willing to stab you in the back if it means them getting a leg up on you. How’s college? That is one thing I’m looking forward to about officer training school – actual college classes. Hopefully when this is all over, I’ll be able get a degree myself. Danny
  5. 5. Ensign Daniel Bradford walked into the classroom and surveyed it. There were quite a few other naval officer candidates, as he was, but there were also quite a few pretty young coeds. He smiled. Since basic training had ended, things were certainly looking up. He quickly found a seat and prepared himself to for the lecture. Algebra, never one of his strong suits in high school, but at least the Navy wasn’t forcing him to take something more advanced, like calculus.
  6. 6. Despite the rigor of the curriculum, with the more traditional academic classes combined with actual officer training, Danny found himself enjoying the program. Most of all, he enjoyed the freedom. As long as he was back to his barracks by curfew and kept his nose clean, he could pretty much do what he wanted. And Danny did just that. He got passes as frequently as the rules would allow, and would spend his time at the various dance halls in town. It wasn’t at all hard for a handsome young officer like himself to find someone to pass the time with. The letters home became less and less frequent, though his parents, sister, and even his sister-in-law kept up a steady stream of correspondence. Danny tried to rationalize his unwillingness to write home by thinking that it was easier to not write and risk saying something he shouldn’t have. The real reason was that Danny really didn’t want his family to know what he was up to.
  7. 7. Still, being part of normal society again after the isolation of basic did have its disadvantages. In basic at least, he’d been shielded from the worst of the war news. Now, whenever he passed a newsstand or went to a matinee at the movie theater, he was greeted with grim headlines. It made him worry about his brother, who would soon be somewhere in SimEurope, putting the wounded soldiers back together. It made him worry about his friends Howie and Gilbert. Howie had gone into the Navy and was already on a ship somewhere. And Gilbert had gone and joined the Marines, and was probably already in the middle of the worst of it. The worst news was the reel he’d seen about the sinking of the carrier Simneau, and how five brothers from the same family had been killed when it sank. He tried to put it out of his mind, but the thought of an entire family wiped out like that haunted his dreams.
  8. 8. In an attempt to distract himself, Danny took up with one of the girls he’d seen frequently at the dance hall. She was pretty, being with her made him forget about the war, and she wasn’t like the other girls in that she wasn’t looking for a long-term commitment. And Danny was still holding strong to his promise that he wouldn’t leave himself attached to anyone when it did come time for him to ship out. His life fell into a routine. Classes and trainings during the day, studying on the weeknights, and outings with Lilah on the weekends.
  9. 9. Before long, the day he knew would arrive had. He’d gotten his orders, and he would be assigned to a destroyer tender as a supply officer. He would be in charge of things like food services, and making sure that the ship had what it needed to repair the other ships they were travelling with, because that’s what a destroyer tender’s job was. He’d sunk back onto his bed, neither pleased or upset about his assignment. If he’d been a math wiz like Howie was, he might have been able to worm his way into an intelligence position and be stationed in Simwaii or Ausimtralia. But no, he was going to spend the foreseeable future afloat on a tin can in the middle of the vast Simcific Ocean. Please, don’t let me get too seasick, he thought as he began sorting through his things to decide what to pack and what to send home to his parents. If I puke in front of the sailors I’m in command of, I’ll never hear the end of it.
  10. 10. A few days before he was due to leave, Danny took Lilah out one last time. “I’ll write to you, if you’d like that,” she said. Danny shrugged. “If you want, you can. I knew going into this that it wasn’t going to be something long- term.” Lilah nodded, and they didn’t discuss the topic again. Actually, those were the last words the two of them spoke that night.
  11. 11. The next morning, as they said their goodbyes, Lilah gently kissed Danny on the cheek. “If you make it out of this in one piece, you can look me up, if you want.” “Lilah,” he sighed, “That’s not what this was about, and you know it.” “I know. Just…look me up if you have the chance.”
  12. 12. The night before he left, Danny wrote to his parents and in the best way he could with the knowledge of the censors reading all mail going to and from military personnel, he let them know that he was heading out, that he would be careful, and that he loved them all very much. While he couldn’t tell his parents exactly what kind of ship he was going to be on, he did let them know that they shouldn’t worry about him too much. Even though he knew that his mother would be in a state until he was back home safe in Massimchusetts. The next morning at a ridiculously early hour, he boarded the ship that would be home for the duration, unless something drastic happened. It looked pretty substantial sitting there at the docks, but he knew that once it got outside the bounds of Sim Diego Harbor, it would be tossed around on the vast ocean. He stomach lurched at the thought, and he was still on the gangplank.
  13. 13. Once they were at sea, the days, then the weeks, and then the months began to run together. If not for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas and their special menus, Danny would probably have lost all track of time. The monotony took some getting used to, as did the constant smell of oil that seemed to permeate all parts of the ship below decks. The odor made Danny feel as though he constantly had a headache, which really didn’t help with the nausea that the tilting and rocking of the ship brought on. If he hadn’t been so determined not to seem weak, he would probably have taken up residence in the office of the ship’s doctor. But Danny had survived training, and he was determined to survive this assignment. When it came time for his next assignment, he wanted to make sure he had a spotless record, because he knew a spotless record increased his chances of a cushier assignment.
  14. 14. The worst part of being on the ship for Danny was feeling so disconnected from everything. He missed having Howie, Gil, and Freddy to pal around with, as well as tormenting his sister. He got letters from his family, of course, and they helped, but sometimes it took the mail an awful long time to make it halfway around the world. The worst had been when he’d gotten a letter from his brother, asking him what he thought of Dotty having a boyfriend. Moments later, he’d opened a letter from his mother, letting him know that Dotty and “her Edward” were married, because he was heading to SimEurope. “Way to make a fellow feel like he’s missing everything,” he muttered, as he dashed off a quick note of congratulations to his twin.
  15. 15. The other thing that really irked Danny about being onboard a ship in the middle of was how hard it was to find out what was actually going on, because unless his ship was directly involved in it, it was almost as if it didn’t happen. And even onboard the ship, things were such that it was rare that he could get a straight answer about what their group of ships had just engaged in. The only time that he’d gotten direct information was when the ship’s captain had called all the officers together to inform them that the Allies had begun the invasion of SimEurope, and asked that they pass the news along to the men in their command.
  16. 16. It was with a heavy heart that Danny went back into the galley and called his staff together. They were somber faced as they listened to Danny report what was going on half a world away. A few of them had pressed for more information, which Danny didn’t have. He reluctantly told them the best thing to do would be to write home for more information, even though everyone knew that the censors would likely not let specifics through. “If I get more information that I’m authorized to share, I will. Until then, back to work.”
  17. 17. Danny watched as the men got back to work preparing the evening meal, all excepting one. “What’s wrong, Stark?” “Nothing, sir. I just…well, you looked a little worried when you were telling us about the invasion, and I was wondering if you were okay?” Danny ran his hand through his cropped hair. “You’re far too perceptive for your own good sometimes, Stark. My brother’s a doctor, and he’s probably trying to piece back together some of the casualties from the invasion. Plus, my twin sister just got married because her Army lieutenant was getting shipped out, and my gut is telling me his unit was one of the ones that stormed the beaches today. Add that to the fact that I know the censors won’t let any useful details through so I won’t know what’s happened for at least a few months…” “I understand, sir. If you don’t mind, I’ll add your family to my prayers.” “Thank you, Stark. Now, back to work with you. We’ll have a mutiny on our hands if dinner’s not ready in time.” “Yes, sir.”
  18. 18. Danny watched as the mess attendant went to his station and began preparing for dinner. It was a shame in Danny’s eyes that a fine man such as Stark was relegated to mess duties simply because of the color of his skin. Stark was just as capable of commanding a group of men as Danny was, provided he had the proper training. Danny had thought that after Plumbbob Harbor and what the mess attendant whose name was escaping him at the moment had done with taking over the anti-aircraft gun and earning the Navy Cross for his actions that things would change. It looked like the Navy, and all of the Simerican military for that matter, still had a long way to go.
  19. 19. Not long after the found out about the SimEuropean invasion, Danny’s ship went into port to restock its supplies and give its sailors a brief opportunity to become reacquainted with dry land. Danny had mixed feelings about the ship’s docking. He knew they needed supplies, and that the shore leave would help boost the morale of the other sailors, but he knew that his seasickness would come back in full force once they headed out to sea again. One of the first supply items that they took onboard were several sacks full of mail; Danny thought it looked as though they’d held up mail delivery knowing that the ship was going in. Once he’d set the mess attendants to putting away the provisions, he ducked into the closet they called his office to read them.
  20. 20. Mostly, it was just boring news from home, but it relieved Danny more than he could say knowing that his family was “keeping calm and carrying on,” to steal a phrase from the Simlish. He chuckled over the picture of his nephew, covered in cake from what looked to be a birthday party. He was amazed at how much Steven looked like his brother. Still, there was one letter that caused him to sigh. It was in Alice’s hand, and it was very brief. I’m sorry to have to tell you that Lt. Haywood did not survive D Day. Poor Dotty’s heartbroken, as you can imagine. I know how busy you are, but I’m sure she’d appreciate hearing from you, no matter the length of the letter.
  21. 21. Danny folded the letter back up. He should write to his sister, but he had no idea what to say to her. What did you say in a situation like that? Sorry for your loss didn’t seem to come anywhere close to cutting it. Dotty’s last letter had been so joyful, despite her thinly veiled worry over her husband. He couldn’t remember the last time his sister had been so excited about anything, especially since her plans to tour SimEurope post-graduation had been dashed. He poked his head through the office door, making sure that the mess attendants were still doing their jobs. He needn’t have worried, because they were still busy arranging the various cans and sacks on their appropriate shelves. Satisfied, he went back into the office and pulled a V-mail slip out of the desk. He wouldn’t be able to write all he wanted it, but at least it would get to Dotty a little faster than regular mail. And Alice was right; she would appreciate hearing from him.
  22. 22. After about two weeks, Danny was back on the ship and the ship was back out in the ocean. The seasickness was back in full force, and for a time he again existed on dry toast alone. Eventually his sea legs came back, but it seemed as if that happened just before they pulled into port again. The pattern repeated itself several times over the next six months or so. They’d be at sea for a few weeks before pulling into port to resupply. Each time, the port was different, so Danny knew that the Allies were making progress and slowly advancing towards the Simpanese mainland. That knowledge was enough to make him smile. The closer they got to Simpan, the closer they were to the war being over and him being able to go home.
  23. 23. News was still hard to come by, but occasionally he was called into officer’s lounge where the Captain would tell them about the latest advance of the Allies. It was here that Danny learned that the Simericans were bombarding Oksimnawa and Iwo Simwa in preparation for landings as they prepared for yet another Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home. Just after the New Year, they’d gotten word that General MacSimthur had been placed in command of all the ground forces in the Pacific, and Admiral Simitz in charge of all the naval forces as the Allies began their preparations for assaults against various targets held by the Simpanese. Danny had retired to his quarters after the meeting, deciding with the upcoming push it would be prudent to write home while things were still slow. He chose his words carefully as he wrote that things were about to get busy and that he wouldn’t be able to write much. He didn’t want them to worry that they weren’t hearing from him, but he knew if he said too much the censors wouldn’t let it through.
  24. 24. The first half of 1945 would always remain a blur to Danny. The invasion of Iwo Simwa, and the news that his childhood friend Gil had perished on the black sand beaches of the island. News that Simkyo had been fire bombed, destroying fifteen square miles of the city. The invasion of Oksimnawa. Word that President Roosimvelt had died. Simmany surrendering, ending the war in SimEurope. Simpan announcing that they would fight to the death rather than accepting unconditional surrender.
  25. 25. Simpan’s insistence that they would never surrender made Danny very nervous. He didn’t need to see the directives coming in from headquarters to know that Simerica and the Allies were preparing for an invasion of the Simpanese mainland. Whenever he passed the navigation room and the door was left ajar, he could see that their group was inching closer and closer to Simpan, and the dots indicating other ships were increasing dramatically. That coupled with the increasing number of drills made Danny certain that something big was about to happen.
  26. 26. Sure enough, as he was making his way past the bridge on his way to drop off the latest batch of supply requisition forms, Danny heard the whooping and shouting of some sort of celebration. He paused and was soon dragged inside where he learned that earlier that morning a new kind of bomb, a very powerful kind of bomb at that, had been dropped on the city of Simiroshima. Reconnaissance had yet to come back, but all indicators suggested that the bomb had dealt a serious blow to the city. Danny had mixed feelings about the news. He hated the idea that civilians were getting caught in the middle of the war, but he also realized that something big had to be done to ensure that the invasion, when and if it came, would be successful. Simiroshima was a military city, and taking it out would greatly help the Allies.
  27. 27. When Simpan had made no noises of surrender, Danny wasn’t at all shocked to hear that another atomic bomb had been dropped, this one on the city of Nagasimki. This time, Danny was more apprehensive about the move because he’d inadvertently overheard some of the intelligence reports detailing the destruction of the first atomic bomb. While he understood that the bombs would likely get Simpan to surrender and thus save many lives, he wasn’t comfortable with the fact that innocent people had to suffer.
  28. 28. It took five days after that for Simpan to surrender. Five long days where everyone on Danny’s ship was tripping over each other, trying to get as close as they could to the communications room without looking suspicious. The captain, frustrated himself with the lack of response from Simpan, took it out on the crew by assigning KP duty as punishment, which kept Danny busy supervising all the new men in the kitchen.
  29. 29. On that fifth day, the phone rang in Danny’s office with the message to go upstairs to the captain’s office. Upon arrival, he saw the captain standing behind his desk, a huge smile on his face. When he announced that Simpan was surrendering, the entire room erupted in cheers. “We’re setting a course for Simkyo Harbor. General MacSimthur wants as many Allied ships there when the official surrender agreement is signed in a few weeks. From there, I imagine it’ll be Sim Diego for us again, and then home for all of you.” Danny thought it was the best news he’d heard in years.
  30. 30. On September 1, Danny’s ship pulled into the harbor. There were already a multitude of ships crammed into the harbor, insuring that the general had the showing that he had wanted. The next morning, Danny donned his dress blues, and made his way to the deck with the rest of the officers. The Simsouri was too far away for Danny to see much more than a sea of uniforms, but he knew that the general and representatives from the Simpanese government and military were signing the official surrender document. He did his best to remain still, but it was hard. The captain had gotten a sackfull of official paperwork earlier that day, and he eager to learn whether or not it contained their orders to return to Simerica.
  31. 31. After the ceremony was complete, everyone returned to their duties. The captain began calling the officers in one by one, starting with the more senior ranking men. That meant Danny had a long time to wait before his name was called, but thankfully he was the first of the lieutenants summoned. When he got to the office, the captain gestured for him to sit down. Danny did as he was bid, and it took all of his energy not to fidget while the captain rearranged papers on his desk looking for the ones pertinent to Danny.
  32. 32. “Lieutenant Bradford,” the captain said. “You’re being reassigned.” “Sir?” “Your attention to detail in filling out requisition forms hasn’t gone unnoticed, by me or the Navy, and you’re being reassigned. You’ll be stationed here, at the Yokosimka base, helping to resupply the ships that are heading home.” Danny clenched his jaw, fighting to keep his from saying what was on his mind. “I thought you’d be happy to have a land-based assignment, considering how often you were seasick.” “I am happy, sir. I was hoping that I’d be doing it stateside though.” “Your time will come soon enough. Now, go get your things together and say goodbye to your men. Your transport will be here at 1700 hours.”
  33. 33. Danny looked out the window of his office. Watching the hustle and bustle of the naval station was so much more exciting than the ledger book that he’d been staring at for the past hour or so. As grateful as he was to be off a ship in the middle of the Simcific, he’d hoped that there would at least been a little variety to his days. Now, he awoke, had his breakfast in the officer’s mess on base, and then spent eight or more (usually more) in his office, working on supply orders and requisitions. At least on the ship the scenery had changed a bit from day to day. It was even harder for him, now that the surrender had been signed and most of the ships he was compiling orders for were bound for Simerica, with their occupants headed for happy homecomings. Danny wanted nothing more than to be one of them; life in the Navy had not been all that he’d thought it was and he just wanted to go home and get on with his life. But it was not to be, at least for a few more months. He’d signed on for the duration plus six months, and the Navy seemed very determined to keep him for that full six months.
  34. 34. Still, he mused, as he turned his attention from the window back to the various forms he needed to fill out in triplicate, being stationed at Yokosimka had its advantages. It was right outside of the city of Simkyo, Simpan’s largest city. Danny was often able to get a pass so that he could wander around aimlessly. He was fascinated by the Simpanese traditions, and did his best to learn as much about it as he could. After hearing the horrors of how the Simpanese soldiers had fought, he was shocked to see how pleasant and polite the people of the island nation were. They too seemed surprised at how kindly their Simerican occupiers treated them as well. Danny learned quickly that it was unwise to leave the base without filling his pockets with sweets for the children he encountered in the streets. He remembered to bow to the merchants in the marketplace where he bought trinkets to send home to his family. He even tried to learn a bit of the language, but other than a word or two it seemed to be beyond his grasp.
  35. 35. “Bradford!” Danny stiffened at the shouting of his name. He looked up to see two of the lieutenants from one of the ships that was in for repairs standing at his door. “What do you guys want?” he asked. “I have work to get done, some of which includes making sure your boat has its provisions for your trip home next week.” “Our boat? Damn, Bradford, I thought you knew better than to call a majestic vessel like an aircraft carrier a boat.” “Oh, stuff it, Tudor. Not all of us were lucky enough to have been on a ship during the war like you and Surilie were.” The dark haired man Danny had referred to as Surilie smirked. “Yeah, some of us did get stuck on a boat like a destroyer tender.” “Hey, someone had to save your asses when you went and let your ships get blown up.”
  36. 36. The three men, despite the veracity of the words, all began to laugh. “What did you guys want? I do have to make sure your ship has all it needs before you pull anchor next week.” “Can you get a pass for tomorrow night? It’s coming up on our last days here in ole Simpan, and we want to live it up some.” Danny nodded. “I should be able to. What did you have in mind?” The other two men smirked. “Geisha girls.” “Geisha girls?” “Seriously, Bradford? You’ve been stationed in Simpan for a month and you don’t know about the wonders of geisha girls?” “You have no idea what you’re missing.”
  37. 37. Danny leaned back in his chair a bit. “And you two plan on educating me before you head home?” “Of course! It’s the least we can do, from one officer to another.” “Okay. I’ll get permission to head off base. Now get out of here; if I’ve got any hope of stocking your ship in time, I need to concentrate on this.” “Sir, yes sir!” they both said, giving Danny a mock salute. “Meet you at the gates tomorrow at six.”
  38. 38. Danny, looking rather sharp in his dress blues, was waiting at the gate to the base promptly at six the next day. Soon enough, the other two lieutenants joined him, and they made their way into the center of Simkyo. “Where are we going?” Danny asked as the followed Tristan and William through the winding streets of the city. “The Simshin’an Tea House. It’s just a little ways further down this way. Trust me, you’ll love it.”
  39. 39. A few hours later, Danny found that he was in complete agreement with his comrades’ assessment of the Simshin’an Tea House. The sake was the best he’d had, and he was surrounded by lovely Simpanese women in colorful kimonos. Tristan and William had long since vanished, each with one of the ladies on their arm. Danny had been tempted, but he was rather enjoying himself as he sipped his sake, and watched the various patrons interact with each other and the women. An older woman stepped onto the stage, and announced in broken Simlish that “Sakura will dance now.” Danny shifted his position to better see the stage area, and watched as a petite woman made her way to the center and bowed to her audience before taking what he presumed to be the starting position for her dance.
  40. 40. From somewhere, music began and the woman began to dance. Danny had heard that Simpanese dance was very different from what he was used to, but he wasn’t prepared for what he watched that night. Sakura moved around the stage slowly and gracefully, and Danny was mesmerized by her. Everything else in the room seemed to fade away as he watched her, and he barely noticed when the dance had ended. He clapped along with the other patrons as Sakura bowed slightly and made her way off the stage. He scanned the floor of the teahouse, hoping to see Sakura mingle in with the other ladies, but she did not. He frowned, and that frown deepened when he saw the clock on the wall. It was late, and he needed to start thinking about heading back to base.
  41. 41. He exited the teahouse, and paused when he saw a silhouette in the shadows by the fountain. It was a woman, and the kimono she wore was eerily similar to the one Sakura had worn. He straightened his tie, and made his way towards her. “Excuse me, miss? Were you the one who was dancing earlier?” She looked at him and nodded. “I’ve never seen anything like that before. It was very beautiful.” Her face remained a mask of indifference, but she did reply. “Thank you,” she said in the softest of voices.
  42. 42. “No, thank you. I feel lucky that I was able to see real Simpanese dancing.” She looked at him, curious. “You not GI. You officer?” “Yes, I’m a lieutenant in the Navy, stationed at Yokosimka. Are you originally from Simkyo?” She ignored his question. “Does Navy lieutenant have name?” “Daniel Bradford, miss. My friends call me Danny.” “Daniel-san, nice to meet you. I must go now. Time dance more.” “Can…may I see you again?” “You come see me dance anytime,” she said. And then she was gone.
  43. 43. Sakura haunted Danny’s dreams that night and for the rest of the week. He’d gone to the Simshin’an Teahouse several times, but had not seen Sakura since. He’d begun to think that he had merely imagined the woman, and his lack of knowledge of the Simpanese language made it challenging to make inquiries about her. On a Sunday afternoon, he found himself wandering through Simkyo. He heard the giggles that he’d come to associate with geisha girls, and his stride broke when he saw that Sakura was the source of the giggles. She was dressed in full regalia again, posing for pictures with various soldiers. When the crowd around her dispersed, he made his way over to her.
  44. 44. “Hello, Daniel-san. You not come see me dance,” she said, pouting. “I’ve tried, but you’ve not been at the Simshin’an recently.” “Maybe you just not see me,” she teased. “I think I’d remember seeing you dance again. You stand out more than the other geishas.” A dark look crossed her face. “They not geishas.” “They’re not? I thought…” “Hardly any geishas left, since war.” “But all those women…” Sakura spoke slowly and deliberately, as if she were talking to a small child. “They not geisha. True geisha train many years. Them, they look like geisha, but they not geisha.”
  45. 45. Danny frowned, seeing that he had upset Sakura. “You…you are a real geisha. Or you were at least, before the war. That’s why it’s upset you so much.” “Was going to be geisha. I train many years, since I small. Then war come, and geisha districts close before I have debut.” “Well, why can’t you be a geisha now?” “I try. Too hard when no one knows difference. Easier just to be geisha girl like others. Need money to live; being geisha girl means I earn money.”
  46. 46. Danny’s heart broke for Sakura. She was clearly young, probably not more than eighteen or so, meaning she had practically been a child when all this started. “What about your family? Your parents?” “Gone. Family die in war. Okiya where I live hit by bombs. Gone too.” “So you do what you must to survive.” “Yes.”
  47. 47. Danny hadn’t realized how much time had passed, and he was due to meet some of his fellow officers for dinner soon. “Listen, Sakura, I have to go, because I need to meet some people for dinner. When can I see you again?” “I dance tonight. Not at Simshin’an. At Simiyaki Teahouse. You come?” “I’ll be there.”
  48. 48. And he was, as close to the stage as he could be. After Sakura had performed, she had found him and slipped her hand into his as she led him away from the crowd who were all vying for her attention. She pulled him along a hallway and up a winding set of stairs to another hallway dotted with numerous doors. She took him through one of the doors into a dimly lit room that contained only a bedroll on the tatami floor. When Danny’s step faltered, Sakura looked at him. “I thought you want this.” “I do! I mean…it’s just, I’m used to knowing a little bit more about a girl before…this.”
  49. 49. Sakura frowned, and Danny quickly realized what she must be thinking. “Look, I’ll still pay for your time, no matter what happens. But maybe, we could, you know, talk for a while?” Sakura looked confused, but then smiled. “Okay, Daniel-san. What we talk about?”
  50. 50. And so Danny fell into another routine. He spent his days working, his evenings sometimes in the company of other officers at the Simiyaki Teahouse or another location, then he and Sakura would find each other. For the first few weeks, they had just talked. Despite her limited Simlish, Sakura seemed to understand Danny better than anyone he’d ever known. Eventually, he’d been comfortable enough to make their relationship more intimate. While he knew that their relationship was strictly business on Sakura’s part, he still found that he didn’t like it when he arrived at the teahouse and she was with the other patrons, laughing and entertaining them. She always left them as soon as she saw that Danny had arrived, but he still got a funny feeling in his gut when he saw her with another man.
  51. 51. Another December rolled around, and it was another Christmas spent away from his family. At least this year, Danny had been able to shop for presents to send home to his family. It also helped that he knew that this Christmas would be the last one that he would spend away from Simsfield. Still, it had been fun explaining Christmas and all its traditions to Sakura. She’d laughed and smiled at the presents he’d bought her, and seemed confused when he told her about Santa Claus going down the chimney. “How can large man go down small chimney?” she asked. Danny had shrugged. “He’s Santa. He can do anything.”
  52. 52. When the beginning of 1946 rolled around, Danny began counting the days. The war had ended in September, meaning that he would be eligible for discharge in March. With any luck, he’d be home in time to celebrate Easter with his family. Either way, he had the annual Fourth of July cookout to look forward to, complete with his mother’s fried chicken and cherry pie. Even though he was looking forward to going home, something was nagging at him. He found that he really enjoyed being in Simpan, and that he was extremely grateful that he’d been reassigned to the base. He couldn’t figure out why, though, since all he’d thought about since getting on the ship was how much longer he had to go before he would be able to go home.
  53. 53. It was partway through January when everything changed. Danny had gone to the gate of the base as he usually did, happy that he was going to see Sakura. He was shocked when he saw her, pacing just beyond the gates off to the side of the road. Her pacing stopped when she saw him, and he hurried over to meet her. “What’s wrong?” “Oh, Daniel-san, I need help.” “What? What is it?”
  54. 54. Sakura promptly burst into tears, and Danny could only stare at her. He’d never handled crying women well, especially considering that Dotty and his mother were not criers. Danny timidly took her hand and led her away from the gate area, hoping that he would be able to find out what was wrong away from prying eyes. Eventually, they found a bench beneath a tree where Danny gently guided Sakura to sit upon. He gave her a moment to compose herself, and asked again what was wrong.
  55. 55. “Oh, Daniel-san,” she said again. “I…” She paused as if trying to find the right words. Her look suddenly became determined. “Osanago.” Danny raised his eyebrow. “I don’t know that word, Sakura.” She grabbed his hand and pressed it to her lower abdomen. “Osanago,” she repeated, more emphatically than the first time. Danny’s eyes went wide. “Baby? You’re going to have a baby?” Sakura nodded. “Baby. We have osango.”
  56. 56. The first thought that sprung into Danny’s mind was not one that he was proud of. Knowing what Sakura did for a living, he wondered how likely it was that the baby she was going to have was really his. As soon as he thought it, he could hear the voice of his mother, screaming in his head. “Daniel Bradford! How could you think such a thing? Even if it’s not your baby, and you know that there’s a chance that it is, young man, she’s picked you to be the father. She obviously trusts you. The only question is whether or not you’re going to do the right thing. So, Daniel, are you going to do the right thing?”
  57. 57. Danny took Sakura’s hands in his. “I’ll take care of you. I promise.” “Thank you.” “The only thing is…I’m going home in another two months.” Sakura’s face fell, but Danny kept talking. “But, if you want, I can arrange it so you can come with me. Would you like that?” “I go Simerica with you? How?” “Well…I need to check some things first, but I’m pretty sure if we were married, you could leave Simpan with me.”
  58. 58. “You do that for me?” “I would. I need to talk to some people to find out exactly what I need to do, but I need to know that this is what you want.” Sakura scanned the landscape, a sad smile on her face. “This my home for so long,” she sighed. “But war change so much. Nothing here for me anymore.” She looked at Danny. “I go with you.” Danny smiled. “Okay. So we’re getting married.” “Yes. Get married. Then we live in Simerica.”
  59. 59. “It may take me a little while to figure out what I need to do to make that happen. I need you to be patient.” Sakura nodded. “I wait.” “And,” he hesitated, not sure how to say what he was going to say, “I don’t want you working anymore.” “No?” “No. If we’re getting married, it’s my job to take care of you.” Sakura nodded. “No more dancing.” “Well, dancing is okay. As long as it’s just dancing.” “Just dancing,” she agreed.
  60. 60. In the days and weeks that followed, Danny began wading through the mountain of paperwork and the sea of red tape that was involved in getting permission to marry Sakura. Even taking into account the fact that Danny basically filled out forms for a living, he found himself growing increasingly frustrated with the volume of paperwork there was simply to secure a marriage license. When he wasn’t up to his neck in forms in triplicate, he was busy making sure that Sakura was taken care of. A quick conversation with the mistress of the teahouse had taken care of several things, and the older woman seemed pleased that someone was looking after Sakura. He’d also purchased an engagement ring for her, a pretty one set with pearls that he’d thought she’d like.
  61. 61. After several weeks, Danny was no closer to getting permission to marry Sakura then he was when he started the process. Sakura didn’t say it, but Danny could tell she was getting worried. He’d promised that he’d take care of her and the baby, no matter what happened, but that wasn’t enough for Sakura somehow. He could understand why. Everyone important in her life had been taken away, and she was afraid of the same thing happening with him. When he had just two weeks left before he returned home, he’d had enough. He gathered up the stack of paperwork he needed approved, dressed in his uniform, and begun marching around Simkyo to the various military headquarters, gathering the signatures he needed in person.
  62. 62. His determination ended up taking him all the way to the office of General MacSimthur. The commander had grilled Danny relentlessly, but he held his ground. Just when Danny thought his cause was lost, the general had signed the paperwork, and wished Danny luck. “Thank you, sir,” he replied, and as soon as he was dismissed he hurried out of the office. As much as he wanted to find Sakura and share the good news, he knew that it was more important to get the paperwork filed first. He returned to his base, presented the forms to his commander, and after hearing the grunt of consent from the man, Danny had run off in search of the chaplain to arrange a ceremony.
  63. 63. He wasn’t able to go see Sakura until the next day. She was sitting on a bench in the park near her teahouse, and she looked up when she saw him. “I have good news. The paperwork’s all done. We can get married.” Sakura rose. “All done?” “All done. I had to go see MacSimthur myself, but everything’s in order. I talked to the base chaplain, and he’s agreed to do the ceremony.” “When?” “The end of the week, if that’s alright with you.” “Yes. Then we go to Simerica?” “Yes. We get married, and then a week later we go to Simerica.”
  64. 64. Danny could practically feel the relief radiation off of Sakura. “Are you alright with the chaplain performing the wedding?” “Yes.” “Do you want to buy a new dress for it?” “No, I wear kimono. What color for wedding?” “Well, brides usually wear white.” She smiled. “I have very nice white kimono I will wear.” “That sounds great. But before we leave, or at least when we get to Sim Diego, I want to get you some Western clothing. Your kimonos are lovely, but I don’t know how practical they’ll be in Simerica.” “I like that too.”
  65. 65. The next week was extremely busy for Danny. In between doing his regular job, he was making arrangements for Sakura to return home with him in addition to packing himself up for the trip home. He’d accumulated quite a bit of stuff during his months in Simpan, and he’d also arranged for a bunch of furniture to be shipped home as well, wanting to make Simsfield a little more like home for Sakura. The morning of his wedding arrived, and Danny put on his dress blues. He choked a little when he initially did his tie just a little too tight, but quickly adjusted it. Once everything was in place, he grabbed his hat off the bed and went towards the gate where he would meet Sakura.
  66. 66. She was there, wearing a beautiful kimono and her hair in an elaborate hairstyle. He took her arm and led her towards the chapel on the base, ignoring the looks of the other sailors. His decision to marry Sakura had not been a popular one, but he didn’t care. He knew it was the right thing to do, and wasn’t about to let the opinions of others deter him. As if Sakura could sense his thoughts, she squeezed his arm gently. He smiled at her, and covered her hand with his. “Ready?” he asked. “Ready,” she replied.
  67. 67. It was a quick, simple ceremony. After they were pronounced husband and wife, they posed for pictures, since Danny knew that his mother would have kittens if she wasn’t able to see photographic evidence of her youngest’s wedding. After the wedding, Sakura brought Danny to one of the few temples that had survived the bombing. There, they’d done what Danny could only guess was a Simpanese version of a wedding. It was even simpler than their ceremony on the base; they’d simply drunk sips of sake and then clapped at the end. Still, he knew it was important to Sakura so he’d not objected.
  68. 68. After the visit to the temple, they’d gone to the teahouse for a reception. It also turned into a goodbye party of sorts for Sakura. The teahouse mistress had fussed over the newlyweds, bringing them food and making sure they wanted for nothing. As the party broke up, Danny and Sakura made their way upstairs. Since they only had a week left in Simpan, Danny hadn’t bothered to make arrangements for Sakura to live with him on the base. It would be much simpler for them to spend a few days apart; the stack of paperwork simply wasn’t worth it.
  69. 69. A week after their wedding, Danny and Sakura boarded a transport ship bound for Sim Diego Harbor. Sakura had looked sad as she watched the shores of Simpan vanish into the horizon. Danny wrapped his arm around her shoulder. “Someday, I’ll bring you back,” he promised.
  70. 70. Ten days later, they were stepping off the ship and onto Simerican soil. After spending several hours in the separation center, Danny officially received his discharge papers. He was finally free, though he did decide to wear his uniform on the journey home. They quickly made their way to the train station, and Danny purchased two tickets to Simsfield. Once on the train, they dropped their things in their compartment of the Pullman car before making their way to the dining car for dinner.
  71. 71. The train trip took three days, with stops along the way to change trains in Simcago and New Sim City. As much as he would have liked to stop and explore the cities as a sort of honeymoon, he was eager to get home. Sakura didn’t object, and he realized that she was probably tired from a combination of the travel and her now obvious condition. When they’d arrived in Sim Diego, Danny had sent a telegram home letting them know of his impending arrival. He’d mentioned that he had a surprise for his family, but hadn’t specifically mentioned Sakura. To be honest, he was a little nervous about what his family’s reaction to his Simpanese war bride would be, but he knew when they saw her, specifically her now clearly pregnant stomach, they wouldn’t make too much of a fuss. In public at least.
  72. 72. So it was with the slightest of hesitations that Danny helped Sakura off the train in Simsfield. A quick scan of the platform revealed that his parents and Nick were there to meet him. Danny smiled. It had been four years or so since Danny had seen any of them, and he hurried along to meet them. “Danny! Oh, Danny,” Cindy cried as she flung her arms around him. “Hi, Mom,” he laughed, hugging her back.
  73. 73. He hugged James when Cindy finally released him, and stood at attention one last time to salute his brother. “Don’t expect that to happen again,” Danny smirked, hugging his brother. “Once is enough for me,” Nick replied, a bright smile on his face.
  74. 74. There was a soft cough, and Danny went over and rejoined Sakura. “Mom, Dad, Nick. This is Sakura, my wife. Sakura, my parents and my big brother.” Sakura took a small step forward and bowed. “It is honor to meet you.” Nick looked slightly puzzled, as did James, but Cindy merely raised her eyebrow ever so slightly at her youngest. “You are far too like your cousin, Danny. Howie brought himself home a war bride too, though his wife is from Ausimtralia. Welcome to the family, dear.”
  75. 75. Alice, Steven, and Dotty were waiting at the farmhouse, and were just as shocked as the rest of the family had been when they saw Danny’s “surprise.” Danny had been most worried about Dotty’s reaction, but his twin had shocked him when her face broke out into a wide grin. “So, you’re the one who managed to snag my brother? You must be something special.” Sakura had smiled politely, but everyone could see that she didn’t quite understand what was going on. “Don’t you worry, Sakura,” Dotty said, guiding her to sit down on one of the sofas. “Between Mom, Alice, and I, we’ll have you speaking Simlish like a native in no time.” Sakura bowed again from where she sat. “Thank you very much.”
  76. 76. Danny and Sakura stayed at the farmhouse for a few days while he looked for a house to buy. He soon found one in one of the new subdivisions that had sprung up in his absence. He let his wife, mother, and sister take care of furnishing it, and soon they settled into their new home. Danny had decided to take advantage of the GI Bill and finish his college degree, which meant long days for him between work and classes. He worried about leaving Sakura alone so much, but he needn’t have worried. Every day, his mother or Alice stopped by to visit, and Dotty spent the bulk of her days that weren’t spent at her nursing job with her new sister-in-law.
  77. 77. Danny would often come home to find the two of them in the kitchen, Sakura carefully following Dotty’s direction as she explained how to make some of Danny’s favorite foods. He was grateful to see that the two of them had become so close. With what had happened to Dotty’s husband, he’d been uncertain about how she would receive Sakura. It made him unspeakably happy to see the two of them giggling like sisters. It also gave Danny a sense of security knowing that his family was keeping an eye on his wife. There was still a bit of time before the baby was due, but he wanted her to be comfortable enough with them to be able to trust them to help her when the time came, in case it took him longer to get to her than he wanted.
  78. 78. Dotty and Sakura walked through the front doors of the small grocery store that had just opened in Simsfield. “So much food,” Sakura muttered softly. Dotty suppressed the urge to chuckle. “Well, you are married to my brother, so you must know just how much food he can eat. Now, let’s get started.”
  79. 79. Sakura smiled as she and her sister-in-law made their way up and down the aisles, picking up this and that. They ignored the meat counter, as Dotty had insisted that the local butcher had a much better selection, and Sakura had turned her nose up at the fish counter and made a face at the display. “I guess you’re used to seafood that’s a lot fresher. I can take you down to the wharfs later today and see if there’s anything fresh off a boat that strikes your fancy,” Dotty relented. “I like that very much, Dotty-san.” They made their way to the produce section, and Dotty scowled when she realized that she’d left the recipe for the spaghetti sauce she was going to teach Sakura to make in the car. “I’ll be right back, Sakura. I know we need tomatoes, just not how many, so why don’t you start picking a few out.” Sakura bowed slightly, and Dotty hurried back out of the store.
  80. 80. Sakura began to carefully inspect the produce, making sure she picked only the best to put into the shopping cart. She smiled to herself as she did so. Spaghetti and meatballs was one of Danny’s favorite means, and she was very much looking forward to learning how to make it for him. The sound of someone “hmphing” loudly made her look up. Standing a few feet away was an older woman, and she had a sour expression on her face. “They’ll let just anyone in here nowadays,” she said, her tone one of disgust. “I am sorry,” Sakura said, confused. “You should be,” the woman replied. “It’s your people’s fault that we got dragged in to the war. If not for you people, thousands of lives wouldn’t have been lost.”
  81. 81. “My people lost many too,” Sakura said softly, but the woman didn’t respond to her near silent reply. “And poor Gilbert Seiff. You’ve heard of him, haven’t you? He’s your husband’s cousin, or he was, until he was killed on Iwo Simwa. He and Daniel were such good friends. I don’t see how he can stand to be with you, knowing the role your people played in his best friend’s death.” “That’s enough, Mrs. Alcott.”
  82. 82. Both women looked to see Dotty standing there, her arms crossed and her face expressing fury. “You’re defending her, Dorothy? I never thought I would see the day.” “She’s family now, and my family takes care of our own,” the redhead said, clenching her fists at her sides as she tried to contain the rage inside her that was threatening to boil over. Katherine Alcott sneered. “Of course. Tell me, was it easy for you to accept your brother’s wife into the family, knowing how she was involved in the death of your own husband?” It took everything Dotty had not to grab the nearest piece of produce and hurl it at the insufferable woman’s head. “Your knowledge of the war seems to be a bit lacking; my husband died at the hands of the Simmans, not the Simpanese. Now, I suggest you leave Sakura and I in peace to finish our shopping.” “Or what? Someone needs to make sure that this town and its residents remain respectable.”
  83. 83. Dotty took two steps towards Katherine and leaned towards her as she spoke in a voice that was low and threatening. “You have some nerve, taking about behaving respectably when it’s a well-known fact that your husband bribed a doctor so your son could avoid military service.” The words had their desired effect, and Katherine recoiled as she gasped. “You wouldn’t!” “I would. Now leave us alone, and if I get wind that you’ve bothered Sakura again, so help me, I will not be such a lady.” Katherine gave the two women one last glare, before turning on her heal and leaving. Dotty let out a sigh of relief. “Are you alright?” Sakura nodded, keeping her head and eyes cast down. Dotty sighed again. “Let’s pay for this and I’ll take you home. We can go to the wharfs another day.”
  84. 84. As they paid the cashier, Dotty noticed that Sakura was being unusually quiet. The silence continued as they put the groceries into Dotty’s car and drove to Danny’s and Sakura’s house. Once the bags were in the house and being unloaded into the cabinets, Dotty spoke. “Don’t let her do that to you, Sakura.” Sakura said nothing, but her shoulders seemed to slump a little as if she were defeated. “I mean it. Unless you let her get to you, her words mean nothing.” “Her words have some truth. My people have caused yours great amounts of pain.” “That may be the case, but you are not responsible for that. And enough of this ‘your people’ and ‘my people’ nonsense. You became ‘my people’ when you married my brother.” Sakura’s face turned into a slow smile. “It does not bother you?” Dotty looked uncomfortable. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive when Danny brought you home. But that was before I got to know you. You’re a good person, Sakura, and anyone who thinks otherwise simply because of where you were born will have to deal with me. Now, if Mrs. Alcott or anyone else gives you trouble, you let me know and I’ll fix them right up.”
  85. 85. When Danny arrived home that day, he knew that something was wrong despite Sakura’s insistence that she was fine. After dinner had been cleared, she excused herself, leaving Danny and Dotty sitting at the kitchen table. “What happened today?” Dotty huffed. “Katherine Alcott happened. We ran into her at the grocery store, and I don’t know what she said to Sakura before I got there, but it couldn’t have been pretty.” Danny made a noise that sounded like a growl, causing Dotty to chuckle. “Don’t worry; I had words with her, and I don’t think she’ll be bothering any of us again.” “Good.”
  86. 86. “Though I am curious about something,” Dotty continued. “What’s that?” “I was just wondering where Sakura fit into your grand plans you once had for your life.” Danny gaped at her, causing her to chuckle again. “That’s what I thought. Now, tell me this: when did you fall in love with her?” “It’s not like that Dotty.” “Like hell it’s not. I’ve seen how you look at her, and it’s the same way Dad looks at Mom. Plus, just now, when you heard that she was upset just now, you growled. It’s the same thing Dad does when he’s in the same situation. I get that circumstances around you getting married weren’t ideal, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t end up loving your wife. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
  87. 87. Danny sat silently, lost in his thoughts. “The first time I saw her dance,” he finally replied. Dotty smiled. “She loves you too, you know. She’s always talking about you, wanting to learn more about you. You two could have something real special, you know. If you weren’t my brother and I wasn’t so grateful to have you home, I’d be jealous.” Danny smirked. “You’ve always been jealous of me, and you know it.” “Oh, of course. You and your schedules and plans are exactly what I’ve always wanted.” Danny reached over and shoved her gently. “Don’t’ you forget it.”
  88. 88. Dotty got up. “I should go. It’s getting late, I have a drive ahead of me, and you, mister, you need to talk to your wife.” “Yes, ma’am. Are you sure you don’t want to stay? We have the room, and I don’t like you driving so far so late.” “I’ve done it before,” she replied. “Besides, I’m thinking of using my widow’s pension to buy a house nearby, considering I start work at the hospital here soon.” Danny nodded. “See you tomorrow?” “You know it. The lesson plan for tomorrow includes chocolate cake.”
  89. 89. Danny found Sakura in their bedroom, sitting on the edge of their bed. He sat next to her. “Dotty told me what happened in the store today.” Sakura sighed. “I am sorry.” “For what? You weren’t the one spewing horrible things in the middle of a public place.” “I should not have come.” “Why not?” “I bring shame to your family.”
  90. 90. “Sakura, you listen to me. You do not shame our family. If anything, Mrs. Alcott is the one who should be ashamed. Attacking you like that, knowing very well what her husband did.” “Still, I see how I am looked at. People do not like me.” “So what? My family likes you. I like you. I want you here.” “You do?” “Very much so. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, since I’m gone so much, but that’s just because of school and work. Once I’m done with school, I’ll have a lot more free time for you. I promise.”
  91. 91. He cupped her face in his hands. “I know I should probably have said this sooner, but it took my sister pointing out to me to realize it. I love you, Sakura. I have for a long time. I was just too stupid to realize it.” Sakura blinked back tears. “Oh, Danny.” He kissed her gently. “When did you know?” he asked her. “When you said you would take care of me and our osango. I knew then that I loved you. But I thought you offered from duty, so I said nothing.” Danny laughed. “Aren’t we a couple of idiots?” “Not anymore.”
  92. 92. Danny had wept the first time he held his daughter in his arms. The little girl had her mother’s hair and eyes, but her skin was the same golden hue that Danny bore, and that had been enough for Danny. Sakura had insisted on giving the baby a Simerican name, though Danny had assured her that he would have been fine if she wanted one more Simpanese in nature. “No. Susan is Simerican, and she should have a Simerican name.” The happy little family settled into life in the small Massimchusetts town. Danny finished school, found a job in town teaching at the new high school, and coaching basketball. Dotty fiercely protected her sister-in- law, and the town soon learned that anyone who upset Sakura would have to face her wrath. With the last of the Bradfords home from war at last, life could finally start returning to normal.
  93. 93. * * * * * With that, the War Years Saga concludes. It certainly took a lot longer that I originally thought it would, but I’m glad overall that I took the time to do these war chapter. Not only did I get to cover a lot more history than I ordinarily would have, but I also got a chance to really get to know some of the key players in generation 7. While it’s been fun, I’m really looking forward to doing “regular” legacy chapters again. I took quite a few liberties with the history in this chapter, mostly related to Danny and Sakura’s marriage and return to the US. First, it should be noted that it was illegal for war brides from Asia to immigrate to America; the law that reversed that didn’t pass until 1947. War brides from Europe and Australia didn’t face the same barriers, but there was still a lot of red tape to cut through in order for them to join their husbands. War brides from Japan unfortunately faced a lot of prejudice when they arrived in America, which is why Sakura got harassed by Katherine Alcott. It’s not something that was fun to write about, but since it did happen I felt it was something important to cover. When trying to come up with Sakura’s speech pattern, I did my best to mimic someone who isn’t a native speaker of English. If I’ve offended anyone, I apologize. Her Simlish will get better as time goes on. The ship that Danny refers is the carrier Juneau, where the five Sullivan brothers perished when the ship sank. It led to changes in how siblings were assigned, so that an entire family wouldn’t be wiped out in one swipe.
  94. 94. With the War Years Saga over, I’ve got a rebuild to do before I can start regular legacy playing again. All my tots have LTW (hurray), and the games is doing other wonky stuff so I have a plan. First, I extract all sims, package lots I need, and then I reinstall. I’m going to customize my townies this time around, so I get a better variety. In fact, I’ve already got a spreadsheet going with names, stats, genetics, and other things that I randomized. With a blank version of the ‘hood from my last rebuild, I’m hoping that it goes pretty quickly. When the legacy picks up again, there’s going to be a time jump of roughly 5 years. Yes, I’m anxious to get to the 1950s, but I also just want to be able to play again without having to worry about writing it up. I’ll probably do some picspamy things, and the next chapter will start off with a recap of what’s happened.
  95. 95. Credits Thanks again to my awesome cast of extras! From left to right, top to bottom, I’d like to thank Lauri for Jason Xenobia, Lily for Will Stark, Rose for Lilah Wheedon, Di for George Legacy, Fuzzy for Olivet O’Leary, Lark for William Tudor, and Cait for Tristan Surilie. Ignore the Geisha girl that William and Tristan are infatuated with; she’s just one of the custom Far East Locals that my game spawned. As you can she, she’s not too impressed with either of them. But I did promise Lark and Cait that those two could chase after Geisha girls, though I never promised that they would ever actually catch one. :P You can leave comments on the Bradford Legacy thread at Boolprop, on my Live Journal, or on my Dreamwidth, whichever you prefer. Until next time!
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