Jacquette looked cautiously around as she walked down the road to her best friend Castor’s house. It was dark in America, March 10, 1945, since the lights were turned off so that the Germans and Japanese couldn’t see civilians and such. Her mother would never permit her to leave, but Jacquette was busy almost all day in school and after school activities, and since Castor was in high school and Jacquette in middle school, they never got to see each other in class.
As Jacquette got nearer to the house, she whistled like a bird. That was the signal. Castor would be out any minute. She waited patiently in a bright yellow shirt so that cars could see her walking around in the dark. California was always on high alert for a Japanese attack. Two years before, Santa Barbra had been naval attacked by the Japanese. It had scared many Californian who were always on alert. Finally Castor walked out. Jacquette smiled and ran to him. Her smile vanished as she saw his eyes, obviously hit. “What on earth happened?” She exclaimed.
“Some boys thought I was a Jap.” He said angrily.
“Didn’t you wear the pin to say your Chinese?”
“Forgot to put it on.” He grumbled.
“If you keep forgetting, it might cost you more than two black eyes.” She warned, almost sounding like a mother.
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore.” He said, both eyebrows furrowed fiercely together. He began walking off, Jacquette following meekly behind.
“Hey!” A little voice squealed. Jacquette and Castor both turned around to see Castor’s little sister. Her eyebrows were as furrowed as her big brothers, having that same stubbornness that Jacquette sometimes hated.
“Where do you two think you’re going without me?” Little Genevieve, or Vivi, asked with an eyebrow raised.
“Uhh, hi Vivi! I didn’t realize you were awake…” Jacquette stuttered.
“Likely story,” Vivi said, coolly. “Anyways, I know you two lovebirds want to be alone but I’m going with you.”
“WE AREN’T LOVEBIRDS!” Castor yelled, or at least softly yelled as to not wake up anyone. Jacquette laughed and blushed. “Alright, I’d love to have you along Vivi.”
“Good, because if you think about ditching me I’ll tell Mom what you two are up to.” Vivi warned, but then smiled and ran to Jacquette. “Can we go to the hills and see the stars like we did last week?”
Jacquette smiled and nodded. “Of course!”
In Arcadia, California, they had beautiful mountains and hills. Jacquette, Castor, and little Vivi all walked up on a little hill, and sat down at the top. Vivi soon got up, and began exploring a little area of the hill.
“What are you doing?” Castor asked.
“Looking at this balloon.” Vivi answered.
“A balloon?” Jacquette questioned. “Up here?”
Castor and Jacquette got up to look at it. Jacquette frowned. “Is that a balloon?”
Castor’s eyes widened.
“It kind of looks like a box.” Jacquette said, reaching to grab it.
“NO!” Castor yelled, grabbing Jacquette’s hand.
“Why?” Jacquette asked as she put her hands down.
“I think it’s a Fu-Go…”
“What’s a Fu-Go?” Vivi asked.
“It’s a Japanese bomb…” Castor answered.
Jacquette and Vivi gasped.
“I’ve never heard of that!” Jacquette exclaimed.
“My friend told me about it… I’m not really supposed to know about it.”
Jacquette began shaking in fear. “I didn’t know the Japs were really trying to attack us…”
“Don’t be stupid, why do you think we’re in this war?” Castor asked.
“Well… I mean I didn’t know they were attacking civilians.”
“Those dirty Japs will do anything to win that war.” Castor clenched his fists. Jacquette looked down. Castor and Vivi walked Jacquette to her house, but they all walked in silence. Jacquette waved goodbye to them with many thoughts on her mind. But the top one was, were the American-Japanese really evil?
The next day, at school, Jacquette bravely walked up to a Japanese girl named Ahnna during lunch.
“Hi, my name is Jacquette Hill. What’s your name?”
Jacquette could sense that Ahnna was slightly confused and scared, but she meekly answered. “Ahnna Mori.”
Jacquette began talking to Ahnna. She seemed very nice, but was definitely shy and scared.
During recess, Jacquette began walking to Ahnna, but her other friends cut her off.
“Jacquette, what are you doing?” Her friend, Linda asked.
“I’m going to talk to Ahnna.” Jacquette answered. ”But she’s a J-”
“I know. I just want to see what they’re like.”
“I think you’re making a mistake.” Linda warned.
“I don’t think so.” Jacquette answered firmly.
Linda shrugged. “Well, live dangerously if you want to.”
Jacquette rolled her eyes and continued walking.
During those next weeks, Jacquette kept hanging out with Ahnna, but was too afraid to tell Castor. However, the truth was bound to get out in such a small town.
The three weeks later, Jacquette went to get some ice cream for her and Ahnna, since Ahnna was too scared to get her own ice cream.
“I’m really happy school’s out, aren’t you?” Jacquette asked.
“I suppose. It’s nice to not have to see other people.” Then Ahnna laughed. “Well, I do miss seeing you everyday.”
“Hey Jack!” Castor called.
Jacquette panicked. Hopefully he won’t notice she’s Japanese.
Vivi tailed her brother faithfully and waved when she saw Jacquette.
“Who are they?” Ahnna asked.
“Just a few friends of mine.” Jacquette said.
“Would you like me to leave?” Ahnna asked.
“No! Stay here with me.” Jacquette said.
“Hey, you went and got ice cream with me?” Castor asked.
“Sorry,” Jacquette laughed. “Meet my friend, Ahnna Mori.”
Castor’s face quickly turned to a frown. “Mori?”
Jacquette’s heart began racing. What if Ahnna had an older sister or brother who went to high school with Castor?
“Is your sister Sen Mori?” Castor asked.
Ahnna shyly nodded.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING HANGING OUT WITH A JAP?” Castor demanded.
“She’s a human too!” Jacquette yelled back. “And you know what Castor, I have as much a right to hang out with her as I do with you! People mistake you for something you aren’t all the time, what if the same is happening to Ahnna?”
“She’s a Jap! Even she would admit that!”
“BUT IS SHE EVIL JUST BECAUSE SHE’S JAPANESE?” Jacquette argued.
Castor backed off. “You’re right.” He admitted. “You have the right to hang out with anyone you want. And I have the right to stay away from Jap-lovers.”
Jacquette felt stung. Her best friend since pre-school had just walked away from her, and it hurt. Vivi looked into Jacquette’s face.
“C’mon, Vivi.” Castor ordered.
“You’re not the boss of me!” Vivi said, firmly.
Castor rolled his eyes and walked off.
“Jacquette, are you ok?” Ahnna asked, feeling sorry that she had caused something between the two.
“I’m fine.” Jacquette said, regaining her composure. “I don’t need a friend like him anyways.” But deep down, Jacquette knew she would miss Castor more than she cared to admit.
Weeks later, Jacquette got ready for bed. She heard a familiar whistle, so she looked out of her window. Standing there was Castor and Vivi. Vivi excitedly waved for Jacquette to come down. Jacquette looked at her PJs, but hurriedly took them off and put on a little yellow dress. She crept downstairs, trying not to wake up her mom, which wasn’t really a problem since her mother was a deep sleeper.
“Hey Vivi… and Castor…” Jacquette said, trying not to sound too excited or unexcited.
Vivi jumped up and down in excitement. “Castor…”
“Look, Jack… I’m sorry. You’ve been my best friend for a long time, and I really don’t want it to end because you’re hanging out with a…”
Jacquette smiled. “A Japanese.”
“Y-yeah, that. So, uh, do you both want to go to the hills, without touching any ‘balloons’?”
“Yeah, as soon as you give her a hug!” Vivi giggled, pushing Jacquette into Castor. Castor quickly caught Jacquette and pulled her back while Vivi giggled.