Just Another Day 3: The Gathering [WIP!]

Just Another Day 3: The Gathering is a story set prior to, during and following Just Another Day 2: Perchance to Dream. As always, it is meant to inspire. It is, after all, a work of fiction. If you should find a few truths along the way, that is okay.

YouTube Playlist:

Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Le Médaillon (The Locket)
-- Part 1: Pour Toi, Mon Amour (For You, My Love)
-- Part 2: Violettes Sont Bleues (Violets Are Blue)
-- Part 3: Est Ce Juste Fantasme? (Is This Just Fantasy?)
-- Part 4: Notre Jour Spécial (Our Special Day)
-- Part 5: Un Nouveau Monde Réveille (A New World Awakens)
- Chapter 2: Grand-père (Grandfather)
-- Part 1: 私たちは家族です (We Are Family)
-- Part 2: ウィーバー (The Weaver)
-- Part 3: ザ・ギャザリング、パート I (The Gathering, Part I)
-- Part 4: 部屋の象 (Elephant in the Room)
-- Part 5: 祖父と私 (Grandfather and I)
- Chapter 3: Bon Voyage
-- Part 1: Through the Years
-- Part 2: The Gathering, Part II
-- Part 3: Alka-Seltzer
-- Part 4: Love. Only Love
- Chapter 0: The Sea Before Me
-- Part 1: From Henry to Martha
-- Part 2: Better Call Paul
-- Part 3: Bob
-- Part 4: The Gathering, Part III

Chapter 1: Le Médaillon (The Locket)
Now with more charm than Prince Charming!

Part 1: Pour Toi, Mon Amour (For You, My Love)

My grandmother was a heartfelt kind of soul. She always knew just how to make a girl feel special. Goosebumps form in the core of my being while recounting fond afternoons in her company. When I felt down, she knew just the right thing to say. As my grandmother would often say, "You can be anything you wish to be, darling. Once you set your heart on something, the world is your oyster. Never let anyone crush your spirit." Of course, there is one day in particular I will never forget. The day I found my grandmother's secret locket.

On that fateful day, I came to my grandmother and said, "Why is the attic door always locked?" She replied in a playful manner, "There are things up there you wouldn't understand, Ami. Maybe when you're older." It would seem I was old enough, because that just happened to be the day I found the key to my grandmother's attic in her study. As I turned the door handle, I felt a shiver down the back of my spine. It may not seem so now, but at the time, the room was a spectacle to behold. A splendid ray of sunlight shimmered down from an above window. The room was filled with treasures my young eyes had never seen before. Regal dresses my grandmother had worn in the prime of her life, various family heirlooms, and at the center of it all, an old rusty locked chest. I wondered if my grandmother's attic key would work. It was worth a shot. I heard a rather distinctive click. Carefully, I lifted the lid of the chest, revealing the delicate contents within. Scattered about were an assortment of family photographs, handmade jewelry, and one especially eye catching item. An old silver locket. I reached out for the locket and held it in my hands for a moment. I then proceeded to open it. There were two photographs inside. One of them was a picture of my grandmother, but I did not recognize the other.

It would be several days before I worked up the courage to ask my grandmother about the locket's meaning. With a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, I approached her slowly with the locket in hand. She was sitting quietly on the porch of our house. I said with intense curiosity, "Who is the man in this picture, gram gram's?" She replied with a shocked expression, "Wherever did you find that locket?" I said again with even deeper curiosity, "Who is he?" My grandmother said with loving eyes, "Please sit down, Ami." She took a very deep breath as I made myself comfortable. She took the locket from my hands and held it tight. With tears in her eyes, she said, "There are things up there you wouldn't understand, Ami. The man in this photograph is your grandfather. Your true grandfather." My grandmother paused for a moment, weary from her moment of recollection. She continued with a heavy heart, "Your grandfather died in the war. Do you yet know what death means?" I said with a certain degree of confidence, "People leave and they don't come back." My grandmother collected herself and said, "I don't know if I've ever heard it put so simply, but you're right." She then placed the locket back in my hands. She said with kindness of heart, "You found this. Take good care of it." From that day forward, the locket was entrusted into my special care...


Just Another Day Postmortem

Just Another Day was a work of semi-fiction. Actual events blended with fiction. If you should find a few truths along the way, that is okay.

Just what the hell happened in Just Another Day's final chapter?

I get asked this question a lot. Like, three whole people already! Just Another Day came about in the aftermath of two sudden losses. My uncle and aunt passed away just a week apart in the spring of 2014. Not very long after which, a rather severe debate engulfed much of the family on Facebook. I eventually took it upon myself to quit the service. I would come to find solace in creative writing. I have always admired the serenity of Japanese culture and wanted to tell a story that began there. As the story came into fruition, it became clear that I myself was Aratana Hajimari - I myself would die that day. Nobody wants to picture their own death, but it presented me with an interesting writing challenge. Just how would I process everything in my final hours on Earth? And what ultimately caused my fatal heart attack? It led to a somewhat horrific third chapter. I knew that I would have to deal with something difficult. More difficult than my own death. The story sadly dictated the revelation that my eldest brother, Patrick, had passed away a year earlier. Having lived in Japan for twenty-something years, I had naturally lost touch with the family. It weakened my heart enough to become the catalyst for my own death later in that chapter. Foreshadowing can sometimes be a bitch.