During break time, Mr Asano told me about his 25+ years friend, Takashi, who was a carpenter. Takashi was the one who built the house that we were clearing out today. He also helped Mr Asano to fix his house, store, and storage house in previous earthquakes. Just that this time, Takashi won't be here to help anymore. He escaped the tsunami when it hit, but went back for his dog even though his wife pleaded with him not to. This time, the wave took him. Mr Asano's eyes were misted with tears as he stared into space, and wiped his eyes when the silence fell. He quietly said that if Takashi is still alive, perhaps he can fix this house.
You must be sad and lonely, I said.
He nodded and said, yes, sad and lonely. And wiped more tears away.
My heart breaks as I listened to his story. There must be many stories like Mr Asano's in the area. How I wish I can listen to all of them, and wish they know that there are people who care to come.