She nodded. "She burns everything. And the food the lab computers make is kinda salty sometimes. But it makes good cookies!"
Priestly scowled and held out a slice of potato to her. "Your mom should bring you to visit me more often. It may be diner food, but it's better than computer food."
"I've never been to visit you. She doesn't like coming to the island." Boaz munched on the potato happily. "Maybe that's why?"
"She can call me and we can meet back in Santa Cruz, then." He waved the spatula at her. "You tell her that."
Boaz bounced eagerly. "I've been there! That's where grandmother-Naomi lives!"
Priestly looked a bit startled. "Who?"
"Grandmother-Naomi! She's my mom's friend!" Boaz grinned. "She taught me how to make paper airplanes!"
Priestly looked over at her. "How come you've met my mom, but not me?"
"She's not your mom. Grandmother-Naomi doesn't have any kids anymore."
"He died. He was my mom's friend." Boaz pulled herself up onto the counter and reached over to take the spatula from him.
Priestly resisted a moment, then gave it to her so she could stir the skillet contents. Using both hands, like a good five year old. Another world where I died, he thought. Aloud, "It's nice that your mom takes you to visit, then."
"My name is Boaz Akatsutsumi. I'll be seven years old this December. I have red hair just like my mom and blue eyes. My mom works for the National Science Laboratory, here in Tokyo City. I don't really have a dad, but that's okay, cause my mom loves me doubles since she adopted me. I don't know where I was born, but mom says she found me in a place called Fandom Island in America when I was really little, but I don't remember that. I look Japanese but not all the way. Mom says it doesn't make a difference and no one teases me about it anymore, so I don't mind."
"I like living in Japan a lot. And living at the Lab is fun. I get to help sometimes with some of Professor Ken's inventions if I promise not to tell Mom. I'm supposed to not bother the Professor when he's working, but he says he likes having me around to talk to because he is lonely sometimes when my Aunt Kuriko is away. She works for the police so sometimes she works a lot."
"Mom and I go visiting to other places a lot, too. Like sometimes we go to America to visit her friends from when she lived there. We don't go to Fandom Island too much because Mom says it makes her sad to think of all the bad things that happened there, even if the best thing ever happened there too. That's when she found me. I like visiting New Gotham the best because I can play in the Clocktower all day where Mom's friend lives. Mom says there's no way I can get into trouble there, so she doesn't worry too much. I don't get into trouble on purpose. Sometimes it's just right there and I don't even know it! Aunt Kuriko and the Professor say I'm a lot like Mom for someone who was adopted so it must have been fate that she found me."
"I am named after my Mom's friend who died when she lived on Fandom Island. That was one of the bad things that happened. They were going to get married but he died so they couldn't. She says the name is very old and means I am strong. It's true. I can already do stuff that middle school kids can do in gym, like lifting things. But I like gymnastics best. And art but I don't draw on the walls anymore."
... Boaz finished reading her essay, smooshing her chin into Mister Bear as she did, wondering if she needed to add anything more. It was so long already!
Nah. It was done. She got up and ran from the room. "Mooooom! I'm done with homework now! Can you check it so I can have seconds on dessert, pleeeeease?"