Ch 19 S.O.S.
Before Hanako sent the S.O.S., she wasn’t sure how people might feel upon receiving it. Annoyed? Eager for the chance to help? Unhappy to be one of the recipients of a group text- especially a group text with a cry for help over something as trivial as hers was?
But the response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Immediate. Message after message rolled-in with solutions. With tips. With emojis. It seemed everyone wanted to get their two cents in.
What followed were helpful Kanji to English translations. A couple people had been inspired to look-up diagrams online for Hanako. One woman had called just to see if her suggestions had worked. Another offered to stop by Hanako’s new house after she finished what she was doing and see to the problem herself. “What station are you near?”
Hanako now stood in the kitchen, a look of wonder on her face, a pan of raw dough forgotten beside her as she continued to scroll through the messages, feeling as though she might cry.
Why was she getting so emotional over an S.O.S. about how to use one of her Japanese appliances?
“Help,” she had written just minutes ago. “I want to bake bread in my microwave but I can’t get the oven function to work!”
And then, as though her lump of dough had sprouted legs and walked itself into a perfectly pre-heated oven all on its own, Hanako’s face went alight. She smiled. She threw her sticky doughy hands into the air and did one of those altogether cheesy fist pumps.
“I have friends?” she said, incredulous.
A bigger smile, a sure one, a sense that she had really and truly arrived. “I. Have. Friends! I HAVE REAL FRIENDS IN JAPAN!” She yelled. “I have lots of friends,” she whispered.
Because who else would respond with that level of care, but people who knew that they might one day become the recipient of said, baked goods? Friends, Hanako thinks. My friends.