It was the first time she’d seen him since he died.
Crossing Broadway and 72nd, Satomi was stopped in her tracks. Confusion numbed her to the throng of commuters knocking her to and fro around the bustling intersection like a pinball. As flashes of jackets and sweaters zigzagged past their unbroken gaze, the guilt washed over her.
She had never even shed a tear.
The angry horns of yellow cabs barely registered through the ticking. She knew it was the time bomb her family and friends spoke of when they thought she was out of ear shot. Her breathing grew shallow in anticipation of its detonation.
Heat, from deep within, rose to the surface in opposition to the crisp fall air. As her skin tingled, she had no doubt the time had come. A moment that should have happened months ago in the loving arms of her family, instead played out amongst the loud ringtones and honking horns of strangers.
Cutting through it all was his smile. It wasn’t until she tasted the salt in her tears that Satomi realized she was smiling, too.
It was the first time she’d seen her father since he died and her smile grew, knowing it wouldn’t be the last.