The other children in the orphanage had never liked Noll. He suspected—-no, knew—- that it was because he and Gene were very close, because they were brothers, and most of all, because he and Gene spoke Japanese with each other. The children thought the twins were talking about them, and did not like it. Of course, Noll and Gene were talking about them, that is, whenever Gene could get a conversation out of his younger brother. Noll preferred his books and solitude, while Gene liked talking and playing. So it was only natural that most of the children preferred Eugene to Oliver.
There were a few of the older kids who disliked both the twins, and made no effort to hide it. Noll and Gene were often shoved around, picked last for games, and generally bullied. They’d been singled out from the start because they looked Japanese, but the real bullying had started when Noll had shown up for breakfast one morning with bruises on his wrists. It was shortl