“Rika, can you go right back?”
Kei said to Rika in a small voice like being drowned out over splash raised by a taxi. The twinkle of street lamps wet the sidewalk in silver straight. The tremble of Rika who nodded communicated itself to Kei’s palm. Rika was still crying. Rika breathed harder after she heard Kei’s gentle voice.
“Kei, what will you do?”
“I want to be alone.”
Rika looked up with an anxious look. Her eyes colored with cold silver were full of the warmth. Rika nodded lightly again trembling as if she persuaded herself. Kei tried to nestle her shoulders for a moment.
Kei stopped when he saw a range of lights under the railroad bridge and said. Rika also stopped next to Kei and gazed at him.
Kei bashfully patted the skirt of dry 501 jeans dyed all in brown. Then he said to Rika again,
Kei once bent his head and smiled, lifting his head.
Rika shut her mouth hard, shook her head in disapproval again and again and went to the station at a quick pace.
Kei saw Rika off firmly, turning him back on roadside trees. On the way, her figure became smaller and smaller, looking back again and again. She gazed at him who would look small as well, keeping sight of him constantly.
Perhaps you can’t understand now…
Kei wiped off the rain gathered on the bench with both hands and sat down. Soon his 501 jeans absorbed the rain and his underwear got damp
It still sprinkled over the circle of light when Kei looked up a mercury lamp. Small raindrops danced with a gentle wind, came down suddenly and disappeared in the dark.
Kei lay down on the bench and closed the eyes. Kaori’s smile blurred and swayed. Kei opened the eyes and gazed at the dark night sky.
The park was surrounded with three buildings. Lights still scattered like dots on each wall of the sheer buildings. While Ken gazed at the lights, he was under a deep illusion that the lights flew down to him and were absorbed into the bottom of dark, damp ground. Kei removed the shiver of legs which cowered for a second and got up. Then he repeated Osawa’s words again.
“Perhaps you can’t understand now…”
A big moth was lying at his feet, just on the right foot of Kei who bent his head. It spread the wings on the dark ground like a white paint spilt. It was rather smaller than Kei’s shoes. When Kei peered into the moth, he found that the right edges of both wings were missing like being chipped off by the asphalt. The white bulged abdomen got several brown lines in ellipse. It was bulging much bigger than a normal bud.
Kei touched it on tiptoe under his breath. The wings wavered as if a big sailboat leaned. The right feeler also broke halfway and turned to the outside.
Kei gave a sigh, waved his right hand and knelt down slowly
Kei’s fingertips shove off the black, damp ground softly. He drew the broken feelers on tiptoe, emphasizing the lines of broken wings a bit and traced the outline of wings and body carefully like giving dark shades.
The result did not satisfy Kei. Kei bit his lips and drew it many times, deleting it and drawing it repeatedly, with five fingers, not only with the forefinger. But each result did not reach what Kei had in his mind.
Kei gave up, lay down on the bench again and closed the eyes hard.
A glow of the heart was absorbed into fine raindrops falling down and faded away to the night sky quietly.
Kei awoke with the heat of morning light. When Kei squint his eyes, a black shadow was waving in the back of clear blue sky above his view. Kei jumped out in his haste. The man took a step back and said, “You drew this?” pointing the ground and making the stubble of his chin wave. Several plastic bags of supermarket were hanging from his fingertips of both hands and the bags made a light sound as often as he moved. The surface of the wet bags shone sharply. Kei answered with a nod squinting at it.
“Straight lines are not bad, but curves are loose.”
“Awful! Just an amateur painting.” the man spat out on the ground and reversed his steps slowly before the elevated railroad. The long dark shadow got longer and covered Kei’s feet.
Kei said that ironically, but it was his real feelings. The man began to walk swaying right and left widely, and then stopped suddenly to look back. The man fixed his eyes on Kei. Kei looked after with a smile, shading his eyes from the light. The man began to walk again, turned to the right and disappeared.
Kei looked at the moth he drew for a while. Then, he came to himself and looked around. Beside the bench there was not the white moth that stayed last evening. Kei stood up and looked about for the moth, but there was not even a sign that looked alike.
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