My novel Unforgettable' 40/44
Kei thought it strange than surprising. How come she got to know my parents’ home? I‘ve never talked about it, not even remembered dropping her that kind of thing. For a second, perhaps, Kaori moved. Her voice sounded remote a little and she said quietly.
“Looks like an unmanned station….Your town is here, right?”
“How did you know this place? Rika, again?”
“No.” she said and kept silence. Then Kaori took heart somewhat and opened her mouth.
“I found a direct mail for you father in your sketch put into an album. I wrote down it secretly…I’m very sorry for my rudeness….”
It was a tearful voice. Tears Kaori shed always showed her positive strength, but Kaori, Kei used to know, didn’t come across his mind because the voice heard was feeble and shaking. Kaori’s behavior which slept in Kei’s remembrance awoke quietly and wavered softly.
“Can I stay just one night?”
Kei put on a windbreaker on the chair holding his cellular phone with the other hand.
“Are you calling at a telephone booth in front of the station?”
Kaori said in a small voice, “Yeah.” With the cellular phone in his hand, he visualized the figure of Kaori who nodded shaking and ran down the stairs two at a time.
“I’ll be right there…”
Kaori stood by the telephone booth and idly looked at thin lights falling from the roof of the desolate, solitary station. The figure of Kaori threw a shadow against the strong light of the telephone booth. And it took a while for Kei to notice it was the shadow of Kaori. The shadow became much smaller with the same height as she was. The shade told that she considerably lost weight.
Kaori noticed the shadow of Kei who stopped. Kei heard a familiar voice of Kaori behind the thin shadow, keeping a distance.
When the shadow of Kaori who asked and stepped forward slowly waved, Kei was dismayed. At the moment when Kaori came in a circle of street lamp, Kei gasped.
The appearance of Kaori was far from her image in Kei’s memory. Her soft, round cheeks sank in and threw a shadow like being hollowed deeply. Her roundish eyes sank in and darkened.
Kei was choked and paralyzed. Then Kaori slowly approached Kei. She whispered, “I’m sorry.” looking Kei in the eye. After the silence, there was a flow of tears on her cheeks again. Then Kaori threw herself into Kei’s chest like being pushed by something.
“I was exhausted…”
Kaori really looked exhausted and dropped the knee, shaking in Kei’s chest. Kei hugged Kaori’ shoulders silently. He hugged stronger than ever to call up Kaori’s smile in his memory. While Kei was hugging Kaori’s back which got small and looked fragile, he was crying. He was just crying, keeping silent and shaking.
Kei was hugging Kaori whom he had long wished to see, but he realized that Kaori was not herself as she was. Tears fell fast. Kei said keeping back a sad feeling welled up from his heart unconsciously.
“What happened to you?”
“I’ve gone to bits.”
For five minutes or so while getting to Kei’s room, Kaori walked with Kei, talking vaguely about what happened for these months.
Saki’s gone to Milan and she has lost her best friend whom she can talk without constraint. Rika thought of getting in touch with Kei many times, but she hesitated. She made friends with musicians, and what’s more, she had a chance to go in a studio on recording or on the air. At the weekend, she went drinking with them as well….
Osawa’s existence was seen off and on like waving in all factors of Kaori’s talk, but he didn’t mention it.
While Kaori was talking, her voice sometimes sounded cheerful, but mostly she suddenly stopped like a little girl who didn’t want to go to school and burst into tears.
Kei opened the front door and felt a sign of his father sleeping through the wall. Then he showed Kaori to his room on the 2nd floor. As soon as Kaori got to the dark, gloomy room, she murmured.
“Let me sleep…..I want to sleep soundly…..”
Kaori didn’t settle her eyes on Kei’s house and room. She threw her white jacket and bag on the floor and lay on Kei’s bed at the window right away.
On July 22 2011 364 Views