The entrance examination for high school is right around the corner and everyone won’t let Shoko forget.
At school, the teacher chides her for her slipping grades. And at home, always the same statement from her parents – “you need to get your act together.”
The stress descends upon Shoko like the fog, slowly and steadily until she’s overwhelmed, with numbed senses.
Suddenly, that crush she’s nursing on a fellow student is too much effort. Her little sister notices a difference in her and pulls away. And she even wants to quit her library duties, typically a source of joy given her love for books.
The exam may be coming but she’s going through the biggest test of her life now, with as much grace as she can muster.
‘An Awkward Grace’ was awarded Best Hokkaido Short at the 2013 Sapparo Short Festival. It also won the Grand Prix prize at the Kumakiri Award.