The shock wave that knocks Mitsuo unconscious collapses the wooden buildings around the concrete warehouse. There are people injured and dead inside those buildings. Mitsuo helps as best he can, but then is told to go home.
It is ghostly quiet everywhere. The only people Mitsuo passes are a young woman with a child. The woman's clothes are in shreds. The child has an ugly wound in her cheek. Neither makes a sound. Mitsuo is frightened. Where is everyone? Are they all dead, except for himself and this woman and child?
Joyfully, Mitsuo finds his mother waiting for him at home. Though the roof of their house is practically gone and the walls are damaged, the frame is standing. They are both alive and they still have a house. Mitsuo and his mother are truly among the fortunate ones.
As the day goes on, the quiet ends. There is a hospital near Mitsuo's house. Soon the neighborhood is filled with cries of agony as the injured are brought in. Mitsuo and his mother volunteer at the hospital. There, Mitsuo discovers a good friend. He is so badly burned, Mitsuo only recognizes him by his voice. The military has taken most medicines to care for wounded soldiers, so the hospital has only homemade ointment to soothe the burn victims. It does little good. Mitsuo's friend, and thousands and thousands of others, die from radiation exposure and other injuries.
Unable to sleep that night, Mitsuo climbs to the top of a milk factory across the street from his home. From there, he can look out over Hiroshima. In the dark, he sees fires raging. The next morning, he again climbs to the top of the factory. Now, in the light of day, Mitsuo scarcely believes his eyes. What the bomb didn't flatten, fire has destroyed. Except for a few shells of concrete buildings, there is nothing left of Hiroshima.
Mitsuo is an American citizen living in Japan the country of his parents' birth. How might he feel about his native country bringing death and destruction to his friends and family in Hiroshima? What might he be thinking? What might he be feeling?
Read facts about the damage done to Hiroshima by the Atomic Bomb.