Susie arrived in Hiroshima from Kyoto on the Hikari. The train snaked off behind her, gathering in speed and pitch as it moved. She wheeled her bag along the platform, which followed her obediently. The day was grey and clouds hung low like a smoke haze. The heat rose up from beneath the city, expelled from the vents like an animal breathing.
She walked to her hotel unnoticed, as she often was in Japan. Here she was different, and avoided for that reason; it reversed the way she had lived most of her life. In this country, the way she had always felt on the inside, and the way she was seen by others, felt suddenly aligned.
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