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Farewell 27

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May 18th 2016  |  2  |  Category: Drama , Fiction , Romantic Love  |  Author:  |  640 views

“Why do we always have to go through such strange security checks before boarding our flights?”
Standing at the security gate, Akihiko noticed himself grumbling again while staring at his loose socks. His socks were about to fall off because passengers had to take their shoes off there.
Nowadays, even if we had a seat on first class, we couldn’t avoid only this vexatious security check. While Akihiko was living in that country before, two airplanes crushed into two multistory buildings one September morning.
After that, this kind of inspection came to be conducted more severely.
On top of that, various kinds of rule about carry-on baggage were established: all passengers had to put all liquids into a transparent, re-sealable plastic bag which the maximum capacity was limited.

When Akihiko boarded airplane, he always rather wore glasses instead of contact lenses than carrying some bottles of eye lotion and so on because it was so troublesome.
Now, a tray, on which there were some Akihiko’s valuable items, was about to go out of the X ray scanning machine, following his baggage.
He put his laptop computer, cell phone, and wallet back in his pocket or bag and had an inevitable anxiety: he felt that he must have forgotten some of his stuff whenever he went through the security check.
“Even though the safety of airline may be protected, there is no other place that we have to make all our personal belongings come under other people’s observation than this place. I don’t like this system very much”, he murmured and seemed quite morose.
In addition, he couldn’t help but feel that there was no guarantee that the items which had already been passed through the machine were the same as the ones that had not yet done.
“Anyway, I’m going to board the airplane that links Shanghai with Q prefecture. However, there are not also any guarantees that ‘That woman’ is certainly living there. It’s nothing but my assumption that she might be living there. But what am I doing now? Do I intend to see her actually? What am I going to say to her now? And what’s purpose of this journey?” He asked himself.
“Or do I intend to look at her secretly without talking to her like always only reading what she is writing? And if I will accost her, what can I say?”
Then, he got fed up with wondering himself and moved to the waiting area near the boarding gate for his own flight.
Still, he also felt that he knew the answer to those questions, and was going to get on the airplane in order to confirm it.

The boarding announcement resounding through the terminal told passengers various cities and countries of the world one after another.
“What a lot of countries this airport links!”
He muttered to himself.
After having noticed that “That woman” might be living in Q prefecture, Akihiko searched the route to go there from Shanghai several times on the internet.
At first, he thought that he had to fly to one of the big airports near Q prefecture located at western Japan. But one day, he found that there was a direct flight to Q prefecture from Shanghai.
Once he noticed it, he couldn’t help but be interested in it.
He checked everything about this route throughly: How many flights does it have a week? How much is its cost?
Then, at last he bought a guide book for Q prefecture.
Of course, he didn’t mean to go there actually.

It had been a mere armchair theory until Akihiko got a notice from a friend of him. He only imagined such a plane to go to Q prefecture. As originally planned, Akihiko intended to stay at this friend’s home, going to the USA during this vacation, but the friend told Akihiko that this friend’s grandmother had fallen into critical condition right before Akihiko’s vacation would start. The plan that Akihiko would go to Q prefecture had been never-possible thing, but this was especially why he had constructed it eagerly by only his imagination.

The sky of Shanghai was hazy with smog as usual.
There were not many passengers at the departure lounge because it was the flight to the small local city of Q prefecture.
Many passengers waiting for their boarding were Chinese and half the number of Chinese were Japanese.

Strange to say, the number of foreign people visiting Japan for sightseeing seemed to have increased despite such a terrible nuclear disaster in Japan. Akihiko remembered that “That woman” had written on the internet that it was the result of manipulation tactic to preserve the image that Japan was safe, which was carried out by the atomic industry.
Akihiko stared at a guide book that a Chinese woman was holding in her hands and reading.
A piece of photograph of Kaminarimon that was a famous gate of Sensoji temple in Tokyo was used for the cover of the guide book.
He also took his own guide book that was written about Q prefecture out of his bag, but was choked with embarrassment soon. So he put it back to his bag without reading.
There was an airplane, on which Akihiko would board, outside of the window. It was the small one not having both first and business class. Having gotten many mileage forcibly on his business trip, Akihiko could have chosen another way to use other airlines having business class which linked another airport near Q prefecture, using the mileage, and would have been able to do business-class trip more comfortably. But, after having found this nonstop flight to Q prefecture, he couldn’t think to use other routes. Of course, he had never thought that he would put this plan into practice actually until this time.


Then, some ground staffs assigned to here started to lead passengers to the boarding gate.
“What a lot of times I’ve boarded airplane in my life!” Akihiko said to himself before he knew.
Although he could usually use business class nowadays, he couldn’t help but feel disgust and breathe a sigh whenever he was about to ride it because he had a little bit of claustrophobia.
“But, there should be ‘That woman’ at my destination this time.” He said.
“That woman” seemed not to conceal where she was living now by all possible means, but seemed not to write it overtly on the SNS and so on.
“Still, if somebody carefully read what she’s writing online every day, he/she will be able to know where she lives. No, probably only I can know it? I sometimes feel that her writing give a hint that only I can notice.
I feel that she writes such hints which are like almost allusion but are not like it, while coming and going around such a borderline.
Is she saying to me, ‘I’m living in Q prefecture. If it’s you, you can know where I am living now judging from what I’ve written, can’t you? Hey, Akihiko…’?”
Akihiko felt like that he was called out by that voice.
She started to call out Akihiko by his first name unashamedly at the end of the day when they met for the first time.
In Japan, people didn’t usually call out anybody by their first name without an honorfic title so long as they were not so familiar with each other.
“In other words, we had gotten such an intimate relationship so far as to call out by our first name each other that day.”
Akihiko thought so and stopped looking back on those memories immediately because he was blushed.

Feeling like that he was floating in the air, he noticed that the airplane had just taken off. He realized that it was not the first time that he boarded an airplane to see her. Which let him feel nostalgic about those memories that he’d travelled for her.
“I am here only for tasting this nostalgia?
I know such selfish, a little sweet personal circumstances, and I certainly had such a period when I could call such a situation ‘falling in love.’ Well, was I in love with her in those days?”

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

“The airplane has been found out? Really?”
Yumiko and Takanobu peered into Mitsuru’s iPhone in alarm hurriedly.
“Where has it been found out?”
Yumiko shouted and noticed that all the three of them couldn’t see this small display at the same time.

She took her own iPhone out of her bag and tried to look for the related news.
“I read that all the passengers and crew are safe!”
Mitsuru read aloud and Yumiko and Takanobu shouted their pleasure loudly. Other customers being at this coffee house looked at the three of them, and seemed to be wondering what was going on.
Mitsuru put her iPhone down on the table weakly, covered her face with her hands, and started to cry soundlessly.
Takanobu and Yumiko almost embraced each other because of gladness, but soon noticed that Mitsuru was crying.
Yumiko put her hand on Mitsuru’s shoulder softly and said, “You rushed away to come here because you’ve been worried about Akihiko very much.”
Mitsuru continued crying without replying. Takanobu also took his own iPhone out to check the news by himself and said, “The airplane seems to have been led to make a landing at Haneda airport instead of Q prefecture that is its original destination.”
Yumiko declared in a high-toned voice, “So we have to go to Haneda airport to pick up Akihiko!”
“OK. But anyway, what is going on? Certainly, there were such strange accidents of airplane several times recently. But how could it get over the difficulty this time?”
Takanobu noticed the awkwardness of the accident while murmuring, but he couldn’t help returning his cell phone back to his pocket because Yumiko hurried him up and said, “Let’s go!”
Then, Takanobu, Yumiko, and Mitsuru who was walking supported by the two of them went out from the coffee house toward the parking.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

On a January evening just after the new year’s vacation of Tohko’s work place had ended, she was washing dishes after supper as usual. Suddenly, her son Kotaro said to her loudly, “Hey, Mom! The missing airplane has been found out!”
Tohko looked at Kotaro in surprise, holding a washing sponge filled with foam in her hand.
“Mam, you’ve seemed strange since you watched the news of the missing airplane. So, I’ve continued to check the information about it.”

Recently, Kotaro started to research by using online computer when he had some questions and wanted to search them. But Tohko was surprised that he had followed it up by himself.
And she anew noticed that she had lost her self-control to the degree that Kotaro noticed it.
“Has it been found out? Really?”
Tohko said.
“I can’t understand all of the news because I have a lot of unknown Chinese characters. But I guess that it has been certainly found out! I saw many online news reporting that the missing airplane is safe have just been released.”
Tohko hurriedly washed out her hands, wiped them with a towel, and looked into the display of the laptop, coming next to Kotaro.
Then, she had access to the SNS, which its users could upload within 140 characters, instead of other big media’s news.

 

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2 Responses to Farewell 27

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

  2. Pingback: “Farewell” written in English.  | 4:AM MAGAGINE

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