Summary: Chapter 10
Doc Hata drives through downtown Bedley Run on a Saturday morning and admires “the prosperity and subtle industry of its citizens.” He sees a for sale sign in the window of his old store and notes that the windows in the upstairs apartments are dark. He wonders how Patrick is doing and thinks again about what awful accident will have to befall another child in order for Patrick to get the heart he needs. The sale of the store perturbs Doc Hata. He wanted to make a lasting mark on Bedley Run, but now that his legacy is for sale, he feels like he himself is disappearing.
Ever since he returned from the hospital, Liv has arranged to send him curated meals from restaurants around town. He enjoys the meals, and he thinks about how much he had shut himself off from others after Sunny left.
One evening, Renny came by to check in and encourage Doc Hata to get back to his old routines as soon as possible. Doc Hata knew that he hadn’t been going on his usual daily walks and swims, and he wondered what Renny must think about the various messes around the house. He reflected that he’s always been active and vigilant such that he’s never needed help maintaining his home, but at that point, he understood how quickly everyday messes can accumulate. Before he left, Renny helped Doc Hata sort through his pile of mail, which included several cards from community members.
Back in the present, Doc Hata drives to the Ebbington Center Mall, where Sunny works. The parking lot is deserted, both because of the time of day and because the mall itself is failing. In contrast to Bedley Run and its prosperious commercial atmosphere, the mall feels leaden and stagnant, a place “where people wait and linger under the fluorescent lights and kill time in any way they can.”
Doc Hata recalls that when Sally Como had mentioned seeing Sunny, his mind had flashed to an image of Sunny when she first arrived in the United States. He remembers feeling disappointed because, though he’d been promised a girl from a Korean family, Sunny’s hair and skin color indicated that she had other ancestry mixed into her family tree. He wonders if their difficult relationship stemmed from this first meeting when Sunny may have sensed his hesitance.
Doc Hata approaches the clothing store where Sunny works, and he approves of its tidiness. He doesn’t see Sunny at first, so he approaches a cashier, who tells him she’s due to arrive soon.