Kei looked at Osawa’s back. When Osawa spread his arms wide, the arms and the back of his white shirt looked clear against the dark window. The lizard leather shoes shone matching the outworn, wrinkled black pants. There was something confident, invisible about Osawa’s widely-spread arms, which Kei would never get. Osawa talked gently.
“It’s jealousy. My own jealousy for you. That’s it….”
“I’ve heard about you from her. She was quite familiar with music, so I asked why. I’ve seen girls who knew names of studio musicians in New York, but I’ve never seen a girl who told names of studios as well….
Kei looked backed to Kaori. She was stared at Kei with eyes which were clearer than a little girl’s. Kaori’s early childhood which Kei had no recollection flittered through his mind. There was a sweet landscape of snowfield. Kaori with red cheeks appeared through the white of new snow that breathed stillness and the clouds in gray. Rika’s voice drowned out their words as if she sensed that Kei was deeply distressed to Kaori‘s look.
“That makes sense. You planned to catch her attention, inflaming jealousy and making her mix up in that way. It’s really easy to understand.”
Osawa who understood situations of three people said, with a calm expression, like talking to himself to Rika’s defiant attitude.
“I don’t want you to comment from your point of view.”
Rika’s fingertips holding her bag in the chest hardened suddenly and whitened.
Osawa rubbed the corner of the eyes lightly with both hands, and then cast Kei a glance and continued to talk.
“You talk her about many things and look forward to her answer…..then she will hug you.”
Kei looked away from Osawa’s profile. Then he looked back to Kaori slowly. It seemed to Kei that her white cheeks were dyed in red lightly. Rika kept her mouth shut tight and tears ran down her cheeks.
“Perhaps you don’t know about what she told me a little while ago.”
“Stop it! Please!”
Kaori’s body froze. Her heel tapped the marble floor and made a light sound. Kaori took a step forward and implored in a feeble voice as if she threw herself on him.
It was first time Kei looked at Kaori’s face distorted by dismay.
“No. It’s for his sake. I had better say that.”
“ 《I ‘ve involved him in trouble. Could you hire him if he failed to go on to college?》”
Kei forgot himself and looked at Kaori. Her hair drooped over the face and her chin trembling feebly peeped. Rika took out a handkerchief and wiped her cheeks, staring at Osawa. Kei heard Rika’s stuffy small voice behind.
“Kei, let’s get back. It’s all right. We managed to come here. Actually I don’t know well, but we did it anyway. We did our best. Let’s have a drink somewhere and go back.”
Kei moved Rika aside and said to Osawa. It was his desperate question.
“You have a wife and a child; still, you need Kaori?”
Osawa made a faint smile through sunglasses and rested his gaze on the door of the hall which opened. The cheerful laughter rippled suddenly. On the end of laughter, the artist who Kaori had been longing for beckoned Osawa nearer smiling at girls surrounding the artist. Kei’s legs stiffened with the tremor for a minute; on the other hand, Osawa waved back with a gentle smile and told that he would be right back. Then the artist seemed to feel an awkward silence inside. He looked over Kei and the other slowly and closed the door soundlessly. Osawa turned his back on Kei, and then his eyes fell on the night view again. Osawa’s eyes looked more glacial through the lenses.
“I think I told you I need her. It was a long time ago.”
“Don’t worry about her. I will see her home. I never intend to touch her hand. So take it easy. “ Osawa left the message to Kei, not looking at him. Then Osawa passed by Kaori standing and disappeared over the door. A dry sound of Osawa’s shoes remained long in Kei’s ears.
“Kei, I’ve not changed my mind at all. Really….”
The words Kaori uttered spread over the wet marble with a thin light. The cold floor echoed the small murmur quietly. Kaori looked smaller than usual for Kei. Kaori’s cheeks trembled feebly, got wet in white and shone clearly. Kei wiped away the tearful eyes and the sweat as well with the back of his hand, thinking that her words are maybe right. The hesitant, hollow feeling welled up in him and he couldn’t control them. Osawa’s existence exactly overwhelmed Kei
Kei stared at Kaori’s wet eyes and said, dusting mud on T-shirt that was dry.
“If you think so, why not told that before he left?”
Kei took the hand of Rika who kept silent, walked to the elevator and got down, hearing a sob of Kaori who couldn’t repress herself
On November 30 2010 720 Views