Michiko, who lives in Apartment 2d with her family, is a high school history teacher. She’s a slender, dark-haired woman who seems often preoccupied in thought. She wears round glasses and carries herself with a slightly defensive hunch. Her voice is firm, her enunciation precise. She knows Latin and reads avidly.
Her maternal grandparents moved to the US from Japan, and her mother was born in the US. Her father was born in Japan and emigrated to the US as a young adult, where he met her mother. She has a few older brothers and is the only girl and the youngest in her birth family.
She’s married to Mario, the Kilter Street Apartments maintenance worker. They have two kids: Max and Mika. Michiko is sometimes bewildered by her marriage. She feels like she fell into it, without much planning, and that amazingly it’s mostly good. She’s glad she met her husband, who’s a decent man and like a steady, warm furnace that doesn’t swelter or go cold. She sometimes can’t believe that this is her life. And that she’s a mother. Even though she isn’t always a demonstrative person, she can honestly say that her kids take her breath away – in a good way.