The Princess of Kawara (Postcard Shorts)

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To get to Kawara I had to take the bus forty minutes south, passing through Sanwa on the way. I had been to many small fishing towns in the past few days, looking for the young princess who was said to have drowned many years ago.

In Kawara, I swam in the little bay area where the fishermen docked their boats. All I had was my goggles. I dove down into the water half expecting to see her there. Instead, I saw a school of fish swimming together, each no bigger than my pointer finger.

I grabbed onto a rock at the bottom and stayed there as long as I could.

I was a foreigner living in Japan. Soon my visa would expire and the immigration bureaucrats would come to find me. I was sure that as long as I stayed underwater, I would be safe from them. I stayed down for fifty-two seconds. My absolute limit. That's when I saw a man in a black suit swimming toward me.

I let go of the rock and drifted up to the surface, taking in air with heavy breaths.

I couldn't run forever. Soon, I would have to face my problems. Why not now? Why not here? I caught my breath and went back down to face the immigration bureaucrat. But when I reached the bottom, he wasn't there.

Instead, there was a girl. She smiled at me.

"You don't want to see my passport, do you?"

"No, I came to see you."

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