Farewell 26

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April 1st 2016  |  3  |  Category: Drama , Fiction , Romantic Love  |  Author:  |  781 views

Kamakura was an important place for Tohko because a memory of her was so unforgettable. It was an ancient town located at a coastal area included in Tokyo Metropolitan area.

On a beautiful fine day of consecutive holidays of May, she dated with “That man”, who was a boyfriend of her in those days, riding bicycle for sightseeing at Kamakura.
However, Tohko had not been able to go near Kamakura since she had parted from him, because it was too painful for her that she was jilted by him.

When she had a relationship with “That man”, she lived in her home town far from Tokyo.
But, Tohko started living in Tokyo again because she married another man whom she met after having parted from “That man”.

She moved to Tokyo for marriage with her new boyfriend, but of course, she could not but be aware that Tokyo was close to Kamakura.

Tohko had lived in an area of Tokyo, which was close to and almost Kanagawa prefecture, until she went away from Tokyo for refuge right after the nuclear power plant disaster happened.

Kamakura was one of the cities of Kanagawa prefecture and was a little far from Tokyo. Of course, it took only less than an hour by train from Tokyo to Kamakura.
Still, Tohko could ignore the existence of it as long as she lived in Tokyo in her lifestyle at that time.

Tohko gave birth to a child soon after having married.
Therefore, most of Tohko’s daily life was occupied by caring for her child in those days.
She sometimes went so far as to Yokohama to go shopping or eat out. But she hesitated to go beyond Yokohama towards Kamakura. She never had a strong feeling against going to Kamakura and was afraid of even having such a feeling. It was more negative attitude: she would like to keep aloof from Kamakura as if without awareness.

One distant day, “That man” brought up the subject about breaking up the relationship between Tohko and him, but she could not accept it.
She insisted that she was completely unable to part from him. On top of that she made difficulties again and again.

Tohko lived at far place from him in those days and attempted to keep contacting with him, trying every means though he refused such her acts.
At last, she became too stubborn. Which made him into a wreck, and he complained of his mental agony. As a result, Tohko despaired more and more and didn’t know what she should do.
Still, she continued following him around persistently and came to do what would make him hate her.

She did not know whether she had done such a behavior intentionally or not now, but she remembered that she had certainly done such things.
Around the end of the period when she had the relationship with him, she did everything she could do.

It was not until she did so that she could give up keeping the relationship with him.
She couldn’t accept the reality because she still liked him very much.
Tohko tried to think it was just an everyday affair. In fact, she had experienced such a broken heart several times before.

However, it was the first time for her to behave in such manner: she went on crying, while clinging on to him for dear life no matter how crazy she looked.
When she recovered from confusion with great difficulty, she could start to write a novel which she would submit to an online prize of literature.

Writing the novel became a sort of healing for her.
Still, she didn’t write about a series of her own behavior that had made him distressed because it was still too painful for her.
She was getting to go to the point where she began to escape from the reality more and more and seemed to have a distorted view of the reality.

The man she adored came to hate her.
It was too painful for her to face the reality of what had actually happened.
She was ashamed that he might think of her as lacking self-control or as a failure.
While she had the relationship with him, she didn’t have any jobs, withdrawing from society.

She guessed that he might think she had been fired from her work because she was devoid of sense and tended to go mad like she behaved in their talk about their parting.
In any case, she couldn’t help thinking that such her own character might be the reason he hated her.

After having married, while she had been busy, caring for her child, she came to think that all of her memories related with him were only her imagination.
When Tohko came to the point where she could forget her detestable memories of the period that was just after their parting, she could taste only good parts of her memories.
She enjoyed them in a way that she thought of them as only fictional stories.
However, they were only something like nostalgia that rarely appeared for her.
Tohko was living, feeling happy and calm because she was satisfied with her own life in those days.

But after a while, Tohko moved to a city located at western Japan from Tokyo with her little son Kotaro in order to avoid radiation exposure after the disaster happened.
Her ex-husband, who thought that Tokyo’s radioactive contamination was not dangerous for people’s health, wanted her to divorce and she admitted it.

While she was working at a small cake shop as a single mother, the existence of ‘That man’ was getting to come to her mind little by little.
At first, he appeared in her mind as a character of her stories.
But approving that her memories about him had really happened was the same thing that she must accept that she had certainly behaved towards him outrageously when they were about to part. As a result, she noticed that there was a sad fact solitarily on an extensive space of her memory. It was the fact that he had hated her very much. She felt as if standing on a chilly place alone.

Though it was delightful for her that those memories were not her imagination but a reality, she remembered that he had hated her so far as to be irremediable.
She thought that if he had lost her trust completely like that, it would have been better for her to not have gotten to know each other.
Anyway, although she knew the news that the airplane, which “That man” had boarded, had disappeared, she wasn’t able to be absorb in checking more information anymore as long as she was making a journey with her son now.

When she browsed some news websites for a while after coming back to the villa from the bathhouse, she didn’t find more information than she had already gotten from the TV coverage.

Next morning on Saturday, Tohko had to cheer herself up with a great difficulty. She made lunch boxes for themselves to go trek at small mountains around the hot-spring resort. After enjoying it with Kotaro, she had to start preparing dinner. They had a barbecue for dinner, using a lot of locally made meat and vegetables. Next, they again went to the public bathhouse having beautiful stained glass windows and took a long, relaxing bath.
Kotaro fell asleep and began to breathe healthily as soon as they went back to the villa because he had frolicked all day long and was so tired.
Then, she could finally sit down in front of her PC on a desk in order to look for the continued reports about the disappearance of the airplane.
Such strange accidents of airplane had happened several times in rapid succession here and there in the world recently.

In cyberspace, there were a lot of conjectures including a kind of conspiracy theory.
“Akihiko Waki. It’s certainly his name.” Tohko told herself.
“And the airplane was about to come from Shanghai, and he might have been living in Shanghai. But it might be my groundless imagination.” She continued.
There was the name of “Akihiko Waki” on the passenger list of the airplane.
But she couldn’t know whether it was the name of “That man” or not.
It might be only chance.
In other words, the name happened to be the same as “That man”.

A while ago, she found a user account whose name was the same as “That man” on a large social networking service that was one of the most popular in the world.
But this user didn’t show his personal information on the SNS very much.
Living in Shanghai now seemed to be the only information that the user had released to the public.

Recently, we were being warned that it was dangerous to expose our own personal information too much online.
When she searched for his name online, she noticed that there were some other guys who had the same name with “That man”.
They seemed not to expose their personal information very much, too.
Still, she guessed that the user living in Shanghai might be “That man”. This user, which was supposed to be “That man”, did not use his photograph for the profile.

She judged from some photographs used for the header and the profile of the SNS though they were not ones of his face.
There was no reason. She was only feeling so.
In any case, she didn’t have any means to distinguish between “That man” and other persons.

That night, she opened a file of her PC by chance.
All of the digital data related with him had been saved in a memory stick carefully.
She had forgotten it for a long time. On the contrary, she had believed that they must have been deleted.
But after having taken refuge, she gradually remembered that those data had existed.
She would like to reread them. So she copied them on the drive of her laptop computer recently.
But, whenever she tried to start reading them, she could not help stopping it because of too much strain.

There was a whole bunch of e-mails from him that had been saved in it.
When Tohko had relationship with him, living far apart from him, Tohko and he talked using Skype and they didn’t send e-mails each other so frequently.
Of course, they had written many e-mails to each other until they met actually, but after having a relationship offline they preferred to talk online.

Still, there were more than 100 e-mails that Tohko got from him during those days.
It had been painful for her to face up to how awful he hated her.
Therefore she could not open even the e-mails that she got when their relationship was better.

However she could read those e-mails that night for the first time little by little, while sitting on a chair in the villa.
The room was warm, white steam was drifting from a cup of hot chocolate on the table, and she was so calm.
She felt that she will be able to read them right now, but, she got tense very much.
The feelings, which she had during her most passionate days, came back to her as though they were happening just now.
She could still hear her own desperate voice abusing him in her ears.
“I still like you.
Why do I have to part from you?
Why won’t I be able to get in touch with you anymore?
Why? Why? Why?”
Endless, meaningless jeremiads against him were vented from Tohko’s mouth in interval of sobbing.

Tohko hadn’t recognized herself to be so persistent till that time.
She felt that if a day passed without hearing his voice she would go mad, feeling a pain severely as though her very soul was being torn off from her body.
However, she gradually regained her presence of mind while reading them.
She certainly lost her self-control and was confused when she was going about with him, but she was surprised that she had not read the e-mails so far.

She’d had the impression that he hated her thoroughly at the end, but she found that even the e-mail which she got last from him was filled with only tender words and his warmth.

Until dawn, she continued reading them one by one.
He wrote on last e-mail, “Once I have promised to part from you, I have to stop keeping touch with you. If we will continue to contact each other, our relationship will get complicated more and more. But, I’m going to read what you’ll write online to know you will be doing well.”

Tohko had never known such a thing was written on the e-mail till now. Indeed, she had not known it for more than 10 years.
At that time, she assumed that it was natural to certainly read them and actually read them. But in fact, she couldn’t understand them at all.

“Hey, you did wrote that you would read my compositions I would write online, didn’t you?”
Tohko muttered to herself as if her way of speaking went back to what she used to when she was a girlfriend of him.

She had been distressed by her own subjective impression that he’d hated her completely. And she had guessed that he must not have read her work on the internet at all so far. Still, she never stopped writing, wishing that he would read her compositions someday.
It had been just a pure wish of her even though it would not come true.

“Oh, he wrote that he was going to read what I would write certainly.”
She had not known this fact though she had read e-mails from him.
“How stupid I’ve been. Why didn’t I notice his warmth in those days?” Tohko said.
“Of course, many years have passed since then, so he might have his own family and must be living happily. And he might barely remember me now. Still, he certainly said that he intended to read my work at that time. Perhaps, there might be a chance that he remembers me at least once a year.”

She felt like that she was dispossessed of an evil spirit.
“Right after parting from him, I wrote a novel based on the memory of our relationship at first. I wrote it with all my energy in order to let him read it as he’d said in his last e-mail.
And I wanted him to continue reading all my work forever even though he would not contact with me any longer…, yes, forever!
But, I couldn’t gradually endure to expect that he would read them though I couldn’t see him actually and couldn’t hear his voice at all.
Well, just after we’d said good-bye, I wrote many things and uploaded them online, clinging to my last hope that he might still read what I wrote.
But I felt that it was getting harder and harder to expect it.
Because when I felt he was reading my compositions, I could not help expecting that he would contact with me again someday.
In other words, I expected that he might send e-mails or something to tell me how he felt about my work like before.

But, I also knew that such a thing would never happen. As a result, I started to delete my memories related with him, otherwise, it was hard for me to keep calm.
I intentionally put an idea that he’d hated me seriously into my mind in order to accept the fact our relationship had ended. It was not right means, but I could not but do so. I didn’t know how I could do other than it. In those days, I followed him around persistently and it caused him pain.

I didn’t wanted to trouble him anymore, I had to do so as soon as possible. Then, I did it and could forget him.
Although I’ve distorted and invented my own memories, I’ve continued to write something to convey to him.
I’ve been able to write such things by making him a fictional person.
Therefore, I’ve been able to continue thinking of him because I’ve recognized him as a character of my story even since I was married.
I guess that I intended to save my memories by almost deleting them.”

This fact, which she’d never noticed till now, shocked her very much.
Of course, it was also a fact that she was dumped because he couldn’t have a feeling of love towards her enough to maintain their relationship.
Still she thought, “If he knows that I’ve not been able to read the e-mails, which he wrote wholeheartedly to me even when we were to part, enough to understand and I’ve misunderstood him for a long time, he must be disappointed.
Well, but it may be only a past, worthless thing for him. Oops, I did it again. I’ve given relief to myself by ignoring his conscience. But is it not a betrayal to him? If I am thankful to him even just a little bit, I should not underestimate his considerable acts I haven’t noticed so far. Of course, I don’t think that he still likes me as a girlfriend. However, he thinks of me as important in some ways, I guess.
He was faithful person.”

Tohko was writing about her thoughts on a word processing software of her PC. And she felt somewhat mystified.
“I don’t know whether he’s still reading what I am writing online now. Even though he doesn’t read at all now, I will write and upload them online. I’m wondering whether I’d like to attract his affection by doing it. No, my intention exceeds such a thing.
Although it is no doubt that the reason for continuing to write includes my heart towards him, I can’t stop writing for completely different reason.”

Then, Tohko noticed that it’d gotten bright slightly outside the window.
“I’ll correct missing in the text I’ve just written and upload it. And I’ll go to bed because I’ll have to check out of this villa as soon as I’ll wake up”, she thought.

After doing them, She went to the public bathhouse with her son and soaked in the hot spring again. After shopping at the shop selling various local foods in this village, they left the hot spring resort and went home by bus.
The cake shop at which Tohko worked would be closed for several days during the year end and new-year holidays, but Tohko would have to work for 2 days afterwards within the year.


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3 Responses to Farewell 26

  1. Pingback: 小説「Ferewell」目次ページ(日本語&英語バージョン) | 4:AM MAGAGINE

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