"Dear Diary,

Today is my first day in Tokyo. I don't know where anything is and I got completely lost today. Good thing Dad managed to communicate with a Japanese man well enough to find out which subway we needed to take in order to get home.

Our house is rather big, much bigger than our American home, but it was located in a nice neighborhood. The street is quiet, except for the occasional passerby.

On the main floor we have a kitchen and eating space, I guess it doesn't really constitute as a "dining" room. Down the hall are a bathroom and then a living room, which is separated into another room by a glass sliding door.

This part of the house reminds me so much of that one movie, The Grudge. The upstairs, thankfully is WAY different, otherwise I wouldn't be setting foot in it. My bedroom is the second door on the right, with my younger sister's being the first, and Dad at the end.

My school is really quite adorable, and I can just imagine two young students in love kissing under the Sakura tree while the blossoms fall around them. But enough of my overly romanticized babbling.

There is still the matter of me not being able to speak a word of Japaneseā€¦."


Amber toppled over onto her brand new bed in her newly furnished bedroom. Her posters of art shows and concerts hung lopsidedly on the walls to give the nostalgic feeling of being back home in Minnesota, USA.

She missed the clubs she'd frequent with her friends, sneaking out to drink and party, and just plain being a little hellion!

The wooden ceiling above her creaked and she had horrid images of a white-faced Japanese woman crawling in the attic. She gave a slight shudder and scolded herself for being so childish.

It wasn't as if the last owners had been murdered or anything. In fact, they'd been a very kind old couple that simply wanted a smaller home. The man was nice and gave her little sister some candy when they'd met.

"Amber!" Speaking of little sister. The young girl with bouncy red hair and blue eyes burst into the bedroom and leapt onto her older sister.

The two girls were nearly identical, save for the eight-year difference between them. Both had the wavy/curly red hair, pale skin, and slender figures. The only difference was that Amber had green eyes and no freckles, whereas her sister had many.

"Missy," Amber groaned, using Melissa's nickname. "How was your first day of school?"

The girl sat daintily on the edge of the bed. "Well, everyone was real nice and helpful, and I had a man there to translate what was being said. The teacher promised to help me with learning numbers and simple phrases."

"Sounds good," Amber mumbled. She'd had to spend the day with her little handheld translator device at her every beck and call. If only she'd had another English speakerā€¦

"What time is Dad going to be home from work?" Missy asked, sliding her butt off the bed and doing a little jump on the wooden floor. "I'm hungry."

"I could make you something," Amber offered. Anything to get downstairs where it felt a little safer.

"Ok!" The young girl bounded down the stairs in front of Amber and the older girl rolled her eyes.

If I could just borrow some of that energy, she thought ruefully. Missy sat down at the table and looked expectantly at her older sister.

Seeing that she'd literally have to wait on her sibling, Amber began digging around for a saucepan and a can of soup. They'd brought some Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup with because Japan just didn't have the same canned soup.

They sat down with their bowls and were slurping up noodles when their father walked in.

"Konnichiwa!" He called jokingly.

"Konbanwa," Amber replied lately. "It's nearly night now, so use the right expression."

Richard Holtz laughed at his daughter's glumness. "Have a bad day at school?"

Amber stood up and took her father's briefcase, setting it on the table and watching while he struggled with his shoes.

"What I'm not understanding," she began. "Is how I'm supposed to do well in school here if I can't understand the lessons at all?"

"We're getting a tutor," Richard said simply. Both girl's gaped at him.

"Who?" Missy piped up. "Who is it going to be? Not another one of those nerdy exchange students. That's what you made us do when we spent a year in Italy."

"No," Richard laughed. "Not an American. A local."