On the morning of 9 December 2015, I came over to the hotel room next door; it was chilly cold inside even with thick clothes donned in Tokyo, Japan. A frail little girl of ten, looking wan in her little dainty frame, could barely beam any tinge of beatification — a merciless breakout of red dappled spots smothered her face and body — a heartrending sight of my little princess. In the innermost recesses of my heart, tears bled like a knife being stabbed into its core, and any withdrawal from its incision could engender me in hyperventilation for desperate gasps of breath. Many who saw her suspected chicken pox as their visual prognosis — and I thought likewise in quiescence — though I spoke dismissively it wasn’t so. The look of her eyes, her anguish of pain, revealed her fear of the truth heard — yet not a word came from my lips to corroborate their prognosis. Take action! Help my girl! reverberated in my head in throbbing loudness. To the streets I went, with the smattering Japanese I knew, I seized every opportunity to intercept every person met to inquire about the clinic I could get her to. A short distance from view stood a lady in headscarf diametrically across the road, huckstering some stuff at the foot traffic. Attention was drawn to her when I heard a uttering of some familiar Chinese words. Yes! She’s the one I’m looking for I reckoned. I accosted her for help on directions to the clinic. Amazingly kind she was, I was accompanied to a clinic nearby to secure a queue number for my girl to see the doctor. Though the doctor couldn’t see my girl due to the clinic’s closing for lunch, he graciously referred me to another clinic. Had it not been the translation rendered by Ms Chen, a Taiwanese, I could never have had that conversation with him made a cinch. Well, the rest was history. My princess received the medical treatment needed; my heart was set at ease alas. What a samaritan encounter!
© Derrick Lim