Sneak Peek – Look Inside Idolmaker
Thursday, November 14
He picked up the top photo, and disgust with his fellow man welled up inside the priest like a cold winter tide. At least it was a Polaroid, so there were no copies.
Yano rose and surveyed the eight-mat tatami room that had served thirteen generations of head priests before him as living room, dining room and study. The furnishings were spare – a floor lamp with a rice paper shade that had been mended more than once, a stack of well-worn floor cushions, bookshelves stuffed with everything from Basho’s poetry to postcards from Hokkaido. In one corner near the ceiling, an intricately pieced wooden shrine sat on a shelf, festooned with crisp zig-zag paper charms and fresh offerings of sake, salt, and sasaki leaves. A low kotatsu table draped with an indigo-dyed quilt sat before the window, the black cord from its heater snaking over the grass mats to an outlet behind the bookshelves.
The cold tea in the bottom of two cups atop the table had been steaming half an hour ago when Head Priest Yano had sat looking out on the moss garden, listening to his visitor tell him a terrible secret and show him proof of something he’d have been happier not knowing about. The water in the cracked green Oribe teapot had grown cold as together they tried to peer down the many paths that led into the future.
Yano knelt and dealt the stack of Polaroids out onto the table like a game of solitaire. Eleven pictures, eleven lives damaged. He sighed. Where should he hide the dreadful things his visitor had given him for safekeeping? It would be terrible if anyone found them, and Head Priest Yano knew the chances were good that the man they’d been stolen from would come looking.
It would be smart not to keep them all in the same place.
He set aside the one he’d been told would launch the biggest firestorm of scandal if it ever became public, and dropped it into the sleeve of his robe.
Gathering up up the rest of the Polaroids, he slid them into the envelope that had been glued inside his visitor’s photo album. The too-thick packet bulged beneath the back cover, but he pinched it shut as he carried it to the kitchen and hid it in the drawer he’d emptied, arranging a stack of dishtowels on top.
Then he returned to the main room and opened the cupboard where his vestments were kept. Even someone going through his house with a fine-toothed comb would never think to look for an unspeakable Polaroid hidden in the sleeve of the robe a head priest wore only for weddings.
Friday, December 20
Something old: the priceless three-layered wedding kimono that had been worn by six generations of Mitsuyama brides.
Something new: the golden zori sandals that had been custom-made for Yumi Hata’s size 8 feet.
Something borrowed: the elaborate Edo-style wig topped with a white silk hood to cover the horns Japanese woman supposedly grew the moment they became wives.
Something blue… Yumi winced as she stepped up to ring the doorbell at the Mitsuyama family compound in Hiroo. Something black and blue was more like it. She’d ignored the empty seats on the train all the way across town this morning because it hurt too much to sit down.
Why, oh why, had she let herself be talked into going to the Mad Hatter last night? Even though Coco had phrased it tragically as, “your last chance to have fun before your partying days are O-V-E-R,” she should have known that her best friend wouldn’t let her go home before she’d abandoned all her best intentions.
When Yumi finally dragged Coco out of the Hatter at 1:00 a.m. – both of them on the wrong side of too many White Rabbits – they’d been lured into Yoyogi Park by the nearly-full moon and the sound of an all-night Brazilian dance party. But after they sneaked past the gate, they’d stopped in their tracks before they got to the revelers, transfixed by the sight of lights bobbing mid-air between two distant trees. Drawing closer, they discovered that in fact it was two young men in Patagonia parkas, festooned with glow-rings, jumping and pirouetting on a strap stretched taut about two feet off the ground between two trees. Come try it, called the slackliner whose beautiful smile gleamed in the bright light of the full moon, taking a swig of Asahi Super Dry as he strolled nonchalantly above the ground.
It had seemed like a good idea at the time.
Coco’s 8-shot camera burst caught Yumi’s expression mid-jump as it morphed from glee to horror. Her foot had strummed the line like a giant guitar string before she landed bottom-first on a knobby tree root. Coco had helped her hobble back to the Hatter, where the bartender had emptied his freezer to ice the offended region, but sitting down was not something Yumi wanted to do anytime soon.
She hoped Mrs. Mitsuyama wouldn’t insist on serving her tea this morning in the tatami-floored room with the thin floor cushions. She wasn’t sure she could do it without wincing, and it wouldn’t do at all for Ichiro’s family to guess she’d been out until all hours doing things that would be considered most unseemly for the future wife of their eldest son.
Yumi frowned at the doorbell and rang it again. Where wasMrs. Mitsuyama? Hadn’t Ichiro told his mother Yumi would be stopping by this morning to pick up his hanko stamp so she could register their marriage at the Minato-ku Ward Office?
She called her fiancé. No answer. Scrolling to the number below it labeled “Ichiro’s mother,” she hesitated, gathering her courage.
He had asked her to marry him without consulting his parents. Even though they’d approved Ichiro’s suggestion that she be added to the list of potential Mrs. Mitsuyamas and had been perfectly cordial at the matchmaking lunch that kicked off the o-miai process, they hadn’t been happy when he chose her over the fifty-three more socially suitable candidates.
Since then, Mrs. Mitsuyama had been throwing up roadblocks at every stage of the wedding planning, and Yumi wouldn’t have been at all surprised to discover that Ichiro had told her about the hanko, but she’d chosen to not be home, hoping that a miracle would permanently keep Yumi from checking this morning’s chore off her to-do list. Tomorrow’s wedding ceremony at the Tabata Shrine and the lavish reception planned at the Imperial Hotel afterwards were really just window dressing – even without Ichiro’s presence, they’d legally be married the minute their registered hankos were wetted with vermilion ink and stamped on the ward office documents this morning.
The gate behind her squeaked. She turned to see the Mitsuyamas’ driver holding it open for Ichiro’s mother, who was toting two bags of groceries from Meidi-ya, the ultra-premium grocery store where produce bore price tags suggesting it had been hand-tended by members of the imperial family.
“Yumi-san?” Ichiro’s mother said, the gate squeaking again as it closed behind her.
“Let me help you with those,” Yumi offered, meeting her halfway and taking the grocery bags.
“What are you doing all the way over here in Hiroo?” Mrs. Mitsuyama asked, fishing in her purse for her housekeys.
“Didn’t Ichiro tell you? I’m here to pick up his hanko so I can register our marriage at the ward office.”
Mrs. Mitsuyama looked at her, surprised. “You’re doing that this morning? Without him?”
“He had to work, he said.”
Displeasure flickered across her future mother-in-law’s face before she fitted the key in the lock and pushed open the front door. Did she think Yumi was sneaking off to marry him behind his back? But all she said was, “Please come in.”
Yumi exchanged her shoes for slippers and followed her down the hall with the groceries, setting them on the kitchen counter.
“Let me put these things away and we can have some tea before we figure out where Ichiro left his hanko,” Mrs. Mitsuyama suggested.
She bustled around stowing her purchases, then lifted an Imari teapot from a shelf above the stove. After tossing in two generous scoops of loose tea, she filled it from the hot water pot, added two cups, and arranged everything on a black lacquer tray.
“Shall we drink it in the tea room?” she asked.
Yumi managed not to groan as she lowered her bruised bottom onto the thin cushion that was the most luxurious seating tea ceremony participants were allowed. Mrs. Mitsuyama poured, they drank a few sips together and commented upon the final preparations for tomorrow’s ceremony, then Ichiro’s mother excused herself, asking Yumi to wait while she checked something.
Ignoring the scroll in the tokonoma alcove that was brushed with calligraphy so artful she couldn’t read it, Yumi strained her ears to overhear the phone call her future mother-in-law was making in the next room.
“Moshi-moshi, this is Michiko Mitsuyama. I’m sorry to bother you suddenly like this while you’re so busy, but could you tell me if today is a suitable day for my son and his bride to register their marriage? Yes, of course, I’ll hold.” Silence. Then, “Ah. Is that so?” More silence. “No, no, that’s why I called you. It’s better to know. It wouldn’t do at all for them to do something so important on such an unlucky day. Thank you, Lily-san.”
Ichiro’s mother reappeared, apologizing for her absence, and topped up Yumi’s cup.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “But as I suspected, today isbutsumetsu, a very unlucky day for doing something as important as registering your marriage. I think you’d better wait until tomorrow, before the wedding.”
“But…Head Priest Yano wants me to be there at ten to meet the kimono dresser, and the ward office doesn’t open until ten. Do you think Ichiro will be able to take care of it?”
“I’ll call him.”
Ichiro didn’t pick up his mother’s call either.
“That’s okay,” Yumi said, finishing her tea and shouldering her bag. “He must be in that meeting he told me about. I’ll stop by his office on the way home and catch him when they break for lunch.”
Twenty minutes later, Yumi rang the call button outside Mitsuyama Corporate Headquarters offices in Akasaka. The receptionist buzzed her in.
“Oh, hello again,” she said with a friendly smile. Then she peered at Yumi, confused. “Wait…perhaps I’m…did you just get your hair cut?”
Now it was Yumi’s turn to be puzzled. “A week ago. Why?”
The receptionist colored. “Oh, I’m so sorry. You’re not…” The receptionist colored. “You’re Mitsuyama-san’s fiancé, aren’t you? Forgive me – there was a woman here earlier who…”
And suddenly Yumi knew who Ichiro was having his “important meeting” with. With a small forced laugh she said, “Don’t worry – it happens a lot. There’s a woman who works at…wait, you know, the meeting Ichiro had this morning…?”
“The Asia Development Bank?” the receptionist supplied helpfully.
“That’s right,” Yumi said. “The Asia Development Bank.”
Just as she feared. Why hadn’t Ichiro told her his ex-girlfriend was in Tokyo?
She’d met Ami Watanabe just once, but that was all it took to discover that Ichiro’s ex- looked so much like Yumi, they could be sisters. Ichiro’s parents had forbidden him to marry the business school girlfriend who looked Japanese but had been born and raised in America and couldn’t speak Japanese well enough to order sushi, let alone move in the rarified heights of Tokyo society that being a Mitsuyama wife required.
Ichiro had insisted he’d accepted their decision and had pursued Yumi as if he’d met her at a party instead of across the table at the o-miai luncheon. He’d convinced her that she was the one he’d set his heart on marrying.
But a month ago, Yumi had spotted him with Ami at a café on Omotesando Boulevard. When they met later at the wedding planner’s office, he’d avoided mentioning who he’d spent the afternoon with, even though she’d asked who had helped him pick out the stylish new shirts in the fistful of shopping bags he’d been carrying. She told him she’d seen him with Ami, and he’d become angry, demanding to know what she was accusing him of. He hoped she wasn’t the kind of pathetic, insecure woman who got jealous every time he had coffee with an old friend.
Since then, she’d been watching for signs he was cheating on her, that he was having second thoughts about getting married. But in the month since she’d spotted them together…nothing.
And now it was too late. Even if her suspicions were confirmed before their hankos were stamped on the registration form tomorrow, it would be impossible to stop this wedding without causing a train wreck that would leave her father’s career and her family’s social position in ruins.
Saturday, December 21
Saturday morning dawned clear and cold. Even at midday, the shadows outside were still white with frost.
Yumi shivered as she took her place before the altar. The three layers of gold-embroidered silk weren’t doing much to battle the chill in the Tabata Shrine sanctuary. Her fiancé adjusted the fan in the waistband of his formal silk hakama.
Is Ichiro wishing it were Ami standing next to him, wearing the kimono embroidered in symbols of everlasting faithfulness,Yumi wondered.
One of the altar candles fizzled and sent a string of sparks toward the impressive brass chandeliers that hung from the cedar beams overhead. On the altar, a length of willow-green brocade glinted with threads of pure gold, a subtle reminder that the gods of this shrine were known to favor weavers and dyers. Merchants and craftsmen – chief among them, the Tokyo branch of the Mitsuyama family – had been leaving offerings of costly fabric as well as cash for hundreds of years, keeping the shrine’s gold leaf bright and the hereditary priest’s family well fed.
Ichiro checked his watch and frowned, then looked back toward the sanctuary entrance.
Where was Head Priest Yano? His younger brother, Assistant Head Priest Makoto, stood near the door in green brocade vestments, head bent in urgent conversation with one of the shrine maidens. The girl slipped out in a swirl of white and scarlet robes.
The altar candles guttered as the door closed and Makoto turned toward the wedding party, hooded eyes dark above cheekbones smoothed by the candlelight, making him look younger than his 40-something years. Approaching Ichiro’s father, he bowed deeply and said. “On behalf of my brother, my humblest apologies for the delay. With your permission, I’ll go find out what’s keeping him.”
Ichiro’s father’s frown deepened as he nodded.
The door closed behind the priest and they were left alone with the two shrine maidens. Yumi’s mother put on a nervous smile and whispered, “Now don’t you worry, Yumi-chan. I’m sure Yano-kannushi be here shortly.”
But the way she smoothed the chignon that didn’t need smoothing and straightened the front of her kimono that didn’t need straightening told Yumi that she was the one doing the worrying. Today she was clad in elegant black and gold with the crest of the Hata family freshly embroidered onto the silk in five places. The invitation to choose a kimono from the Mitsuyama Department Store’s fabled collection had come from Ichiro’s family. It was a gift of great generosity wrapped around a desire to minimize the vast social gulf between the Hatas and themselves. Tongues would wag in the upper reaches of Tokyo society if the bride’s mother showed up wearing one of the fusty, unfashionable kimonos that had belonged to her husband’s grandmother.
But Mrs. Hata wouldn’t relax until the three cups of saké were safely drunk all around and the marriage registration stamped. She’d spent the better part of her married life fretting about her husband’s stalled academic career and her daughter’s regrettable attraction to foreign boyfriends, and was sure that defeat could be snatched from the jaws of victory even as they stood at the altar.
The fact that Yumi and Ichiro’s marriage still hadn’t been registered at the Ward Office wasn’t helping. Ichiro had returned her call yesterday while Yumi was on her way home, apologizing for his mother’s superstitious ways and promising to take care of the registration before the wedding. But when he’d called her at 9:30 this morning asking where her hanko was, she realized she’d forgotten to leave it with Mrs. Mitsuyama yesterday.
Yumi stole a glance at her fiancé, standing beside her in his stiff silk hakama and tasseled haori jacket with its five Mitsuyama crests. Ichiro wasn’t tall or especially good looking, but he was so confident of his place in the world that scores of women from very respectable families had been disappointed when his engagement to Yumi had been announced. Today his mind was elsewhere, a pensive look on his face. He caught her watching him and put on a smile.
Then…he lurched at her and together they tumbled to the floor in the first shock of an earthquake. Yumi clung to Ichiro as the heavy lamps hanging from the rafters swayed overhead. Thumps of shrine furnishings overturning were overlaid by the sound of splintering glass. The rumbling continued, as a sharp jolt toppled the salt and saké offerings from the altar, spilling them across the floor. Yumi hid her face as another big shock was followed by a bang loud enough to be an explosion.
Ancient beams shrieked in protest as the quake went on and on, raining splinters and dirt on the wedding party, the altar, thekami-sama’s wooden house.
Then, with a final jolt, it was over. In the sudden stillness, dust swam in the air.
Yumi let go of her fiancé and cautiously raised her head. Ichiro’s formalwear and her kimono were now covered in dust. Was it really over? Or was there more to come?
She looked around. The sanctuary was in shambles, debris was everywhere. How could so much be destroyed in such a short time?
“Are you all right?” Ichiro asked her, offering his hand as the two mothers and Yumi’s father began to cautiously climb to their feet and brush the debris from their clothing.
“Just dirty,” she said, looking down in dismay at the gold embroidered silk, now dulled with dust. “I’m afraid we’ll have to––“
A shrieking sound from above interrupted her as the bolts pinning the light fixture to the heavy wooden beams overhead began to give way.
Mrs. Mitsuyama screamed.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Kenji Nakamura crammed his hands into the pockets of his winter coat and hunched his shoulders against the biting December wind. Slouched on a bench across from the sanctuary at the Komagome Shrine, he regarded the thick white rope hanging over the offering box. It swayed slightly, shaken by the wind’s ghostly hand, but the bell at the top remained silent. The kami-samas’attention wouldn’t be attracted until there was a clink of a coin in the offering box and a firm tug from petitioners begging for success with exams, their job hunts, finding the girl of their dreams.
Not that these lazy excuses for gods paid attention if they didn’t feel like it, Kenji thought bitterly. Despite the fact that he’d tossed a coin and rung the bell every time he passed, thekami-sama at the Komagome Shrine had ignored his pleas. Yumi Hata was getting married today. To someone else.
He swatted away the memory of how it felt to have her in his arms and pulled his phone from his pocket. 1:16. The Shinto ceremony attended only by immediate family was short. Was she already drinking the saké that would make her Mrs. Heir-To-The-Mitsuyama-Empire? Bitterness lodged in his throat. He wished he hadn’t known the date and time, but Yumi’s friend Coco had texted him, flirtatiously asking if he’d be at the reception later. Needless to say, he’d disappointed her.
He’d never throw a coin to these lazy gods again.
Suddenly the white rope above the offering box began to sway violently, shaken by a ghostly hand, the bell at the top clanging. Guiltily, he looked around. Had the powers-that-be been eavesdropping on his ungrateful thoughts?
Then he realized his bench was trembling. It wasn’t thekami-sama, it was an earthquake.
A distant clap of thunder split the air, but it hadn’t come from the sky. Somewhere nearby, glass shattered and Kenji felt a prickling of alarm as another big jolt rocked his bench and a flock of crows swirled into the sky, cawing, shocked from their roosts.
This one was bigger than usual.
Kenji glanced up, but only bare branches shivered overhead. Outside he was safe, but all around him as the shaking continued, he heard buildings groaning, alarms sounding, people shouting as they urged others to safety.
It was lasting a long time. Long enough to do real damage.
And then with a final shock, it stopped. There was a moment of silence, followed by the sound of a distant siren. Then another. And another.
Was it over? Kenji cautiously rose to his feet and pulled out his phone. In the aftermath of a quake he’d be needed, even though it was his day off.
As he strode through the shrine gate, he called his father to make sure he was okay. The conversation lasted less than a minute – as commanding officer at the Tabata neighborhood police box, Sergeant Nakamura already had his hands full with earthquake emergencies big and small.
Kenji scrolled to the Komagome Police Station number. Busy, already. Dropping his phone back in his pocket, he set off at a trot, becoming more alarmed as he saw how much broken glass was now littering the street. He detoured around clusters of residents, wary of going back into their buildings. Aftershocks were sure to come.
He slowed to a fast walk and pulled out his phone again, trying to get an internet connection to see how big the quake had been, but all he got was an endlessly circling “loading” icon. He tried the Komagome Station number again. No luck.
Crunching over broken glass and weaving between knots of worried citizens, he flattened himself against a cracked stucco wall as an ambulance crept past on the narrow street, its siren blaring. When it had passed, Kenji sped up, leaping the pile of broken teapots that had fallen from a display outside the gift store, dodging a Norfolk terrier sniffing the air for its owner, past the shop filled with hand-dyed indigo goods owned by his third grade teacher and her husband.
He resumed his trot toward the Komagome Police Station, and a few minutes later pushed open the door from the stairwell to the third floor squad room, making his way to Section Chief Tanaka’s desk. Today Tanaka was clad in bright purple golf pants and a Pebble Beach hat, no longer on his way to a tee time that the earthquake had cancelled for him.
The chief ended his call and said, “Ah, Nakamura-san, good timing. That was Tabata Station. They’re short of manpower and are asking us to send someone to see about a casualty at the Tabata Shrine.”
A casualty at the Tabata Shrine? Wasn’t that where…?
No. Please no. Not that.
He didn’t wait for the elevator.
Yumi checked her phone for the time. 2:00. The shrine maidens had escorted them to relative safety in the new administration building next door to the sanctuary after the light fixture fell, narrowly missing the wedding party.
Built to the most modern earthquake standards, the admin building could have been the headquarters of any successful business. Gray industrial carpet, fluorescent lights, a thriving plant atop the glass-topped coffee table. The seating was stylish but not comfortable, designed for people who wouldn’t be using it for more than five minutes while waiting to do business with shrine management.
They were still waiting for the priests to return. And Ichiro’s father. After the dust had settled, they’d hurried outside before the aftershocks began to hit. But a woman with bleached, teased hair, dressed all in red, had intercepted them. She had appeared from the nearby garden, and run straight to Ichiro’s father. His face had hardened into a mask of displeasure, and he excused himself to herd the unsuitable person away from his family.
But not before Yumi recognized her: Mami, the number one hostess at the Queen of Hearts, the club where Coco moonlighted. Why was Mami waiting outside the sanctuary for Mr. Mitsuyama on the day of his son’s wedding?
The door opened and Ichiro’s father reappeared, talking urgently on his cellphone. He strode across the room, giving no openings for awkward questions.
Yumi turned to her mother and squeezed her cold hand. Yumi’s father sat on her other side, a small smile on his face as he stared into the distance. Trivial matters like earthquakes and weddings couldn’t command his attention for long. He was probably composing his next lecture on the history of Japanese trade, oblivious to the fact that his rank as full professor at Toda University had been bestowed as a favor to Ichiro’s influential father, not because of his years of patient scholarship.
Across the room, Mr. Mitsuyama and his son were pacing back and forth, fielding calls from Mitsuyama Department Store management and suppliers as aftershocks made the overhead lights flicker. Ichiro’s mother was sitting by herself, her face closed. She’d barely uttered a word since the quake.
Ichiro’s pacing paused as he drew another phone from his sleeve and checked the display. The older model was his personal phone, not the one he’d been using for Mitsuyama business.
Who was sending him a post-earthquake message that was so important he was answering it immediately, ignoring the business phone in his other hand as it began to ring again?
Her own phone chimed from somewhere inside the duffel bag that held the street clothes she’d worn to the shrine that morning. She pulled it out.
Text from Coco. Are you OK? Are you Mrs. Mitsuyama yet or not? What about the reception & afterparty?
Yumi answered. Not married. Everything postponed.
Postponed, she thought. For how long? The triple lucky date chosen by Mrs. Mitsuyama’s astrologer had turn out to be triple unlucky, but that didn’t mean Ichiro’s mother wouldn’t insist on consulting the stars again before rescheduling. A new auspicious day would be chosen, the hotel re-booked, invitations reprinted. Who would pay for it all? Ichiro’s family had generously offered to split the cost of the wedding, but Yumi’s family had still gone into debt to pay for their half of the extravaganza demanded by the Mitsuyamas’ social position. Even with the sympathy discounts that would surely be granted, where would the money come from?
She looked at the phone in her hand. How big had that quake been? Would the lives of everyone in Tokyo be back to normal tomorrow, or upended for months? Navigating to her favorite news bookmark, she frowned at the “loading” icon, then gave up and dropped the phone back in her bag.
Ichiro and his father were now engaged in an intense private discussion. She wished one of the priests would return so they could go home.
Ichiro approached, phone still in hand. “Yumi, could you take care of your parents and see my mother home safely? My father and I need to get ourselves to the Nihonbashi store, and if the roads are blocked and the trains aren’t running, it’ll take us two hours to walk from here. Please give Yano-kannushi our regrets, and tell him we’ll be in touch to reschedule.”
“No!” Mrs. Mitsuyama leapt to her feet.
Yumi sat there, stunned. Was Mrs. Mitsuyama objecting to rescheduling the wedding? Was she finally saying out loud what she’d been thinking since her son had announced that they were engaged?
Ichiro hurried to his mother’s side. “Mother, what are you saying?” He put on a tolerant smile. “I know earthquakes upset you, but it’s over now. Let’s not discuss this until everyone’s had a chance to…” Then he looked up, realizing his mother’s outburst had put them on center stage.
“Sumimasen,” he apologized to the Hatas, bowing and tossing them a sympathetic grimace. He steered his motherto the seating area on the far side of the waiting room and began speaking to her in a low voice. Her shoulders hunched, shaking.
“Excuse me,” came a voice from the doorway. “Did someone here call 110?”
Yumi turned, and her hand flew to her mouth. What was Kenji Nakamura doing here?
“Yumi?” he cried, belatedly recognizing her in the old-fashioned Edo-style wig. “Thank God, it’s not you!”
“The casualty. Someone from this shrine called 110.”
His words ricocheted around the room. A call to 110 rather than 119 meant there had been a crime on the grounds.
“Excuse me, are you with the police?” Assistant Head Priest Makoto appeared in the doorway, breathing heavily as if he’d been running, his face ashen.
“I’m Detective Kenji Nakamura from Komagome Station. There’s been a casualty?”
Makoto opened his mouth to reply, then stopped himself not wanting to say so in front of the wedding party
“Do we need an ambulance?” Kenji persisted, unaware of shrine protocol.
Makoto gave an almost imperceptable shake of his head and motioned for Kenji to retreat into the privacy of the hall.
But it was too late. Everyone in the room knew what a casualty that didn’t require an ambulance meant.
Mrs. Mitsuyama grabbed her son’s arm and cried, “What more will it take to convince you?”
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