My Novel Unforgettable' 7/44
All Translated by Yumi Ikeda .
Kei twisted half the body from the bed, and stretched the arm to the foot of the table. Joints of the body were heavy. He pulled out his cellular phone from the back of 501 jeans rolled down the floor untidily, and turned on the power. Then he kept half an eye on the time and the date. After that, he called up the calendar to confirm the colored days. It’s certain that he has spent with Kaori whole week.
Kei opened e-mail. Among advertisements of goods and spam subjects, there were some mails in different colors, which seemed to be sent from Rika, a friend at a prep school. Kei was lost in thought for a while, wondering when Rika had stolen his address from Kei’s cellular phone. But he did not recall anything as a point of contact with Rika, except for school hours when he was asleep.
?You’ve been absent for five days. A cold? Or a girl??
Kei looked at the ceiling for a while after shaking the head from side to side lightly, and then massaged the corners of the eyes with the tip of a finger. Kei felt listless, heavy and a kind of feverish around temples. Kei did not answer her mail and deleted all the mails at once after checking them. Then he threw the phone away to a blanket at his feet.
Heat hung in the air on the road. Kei fixed his eyes on range of buildings beyond a billboard which shows a word “loan” in red. As for a group of low buildings at the east exit in Shinjuku, the outline was always vague. Kei thought that low buildings standing in an orderly line at the east exit always looked fumigated, compared with those at the west exit towering strongly to the clear blue sky. It did not come from heat haze at midsummer. The breath exhaled from people passing by, gets tangled slowly and rubs each other, becomes invisible dirt from the hands and makes a drift all over the place
Kei felt that he was inhaling the powdered heat parched by asphalt every time he walked. Kei felt a shiver go down his spine, thinking that he also will become a part of their lump some day in spending days repeatedly.
Kei unconsciously hid the breath. He shut the mouth tight like putting the flushing body under water. Then he found his way out of some horns disregarding a signal. At the moment he got to a median, his cellular phone vibrated in the back pocket of 501. He looked at the unregistered numbers for a while without opening the phone. The letter “M” on the monitor is blinking. Kei opened it in silence.
"Watch out!?Let’s go across a crosswalk by following rules."
It was Rika’s voice. Kei got sick of her innocent voice. The heat over the asphalt suddenly increased. Rika jumping up and waving hands, behind the crowd flowing without a break in his back, caught Kei's eye when Kei looked about him.
Kei said to Rika who looked high-spirited on the display.
"When did you steal my number?"
"You know, you are always sleeping.”
Kei was disgusted at her and said like spitting it out.
“Delete it without fail.”
Kei talked to Rika on the phone. Then the figure, “3” began to light on the display of the phone. Rika said in fluster, “Key, I’ll introduce my friend. She is cute. I’ll connect her with us. Hold on!”
Kei talked to Rika’s smiling face on the display while crossing the road diagonally.
"It's none of your business!"
Kei shut the phone. From the bustle at the back, Rika’s voice gradually became loud to stop Kei and approached.
Rika has been following Kei about since the class in April started. A prep school was almost near a boys' school, and girls in such an atmosphere were like precious ceramics. Some boys seemed to make advances to an active, cheerful girl, Rika, but she was not interested in them and kept sitting next to Kei single mindedly. There was a reason for that, but actually it meant nothing to Kei.
It was the time when he was not able to become familiar with a new classroom yet, and sat on the window seat for the time being. Most of the seats in the classroom were already occupied. Rika entered the classroom late and happened to seat next to Kei.
Rika looked into Kei’s sketch selfishly by way of a greeting. The back of a pigeon raising its head outside of the window was drawn on the sketch. Rika asked Kei who she had met the first time to draw her without the slightest hesitation. Somehow Kei made his automatic pencil run because her attitude was too natural and uncontrived. Rika lost the word for a while looking at the picture finished up within a minute.
Then she dropped a word.
“It’s me? So beautiful....”
Rika deliberately patted the line of a finished picture by the tip of a finger. The glance that she had dropped had the warmth of a little girl. But at the next moment Kei was disgusted at her words.
“Won’t you draw much better? Give color to it.”
On December 01 2009 585 Views