Farewell 28

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July 4th 2016  |  3  |  Category: Drama , Fiction , Romantic Love  |  Author:  |  584 views

They seemed to be catfishes, but might be completely different creatures.
In any case, there were some kind of beings that were not able to be distinguished between fishes and amphibious animals in a red, flat tub whose material looked flimsy and cheap. Mitsuru wondered whether those creatures were alive or not because they never budged.
There were also many large shellfishes like a pond snail heaped up in a plastic bucket next to the red tub.
And some kinds of bird remaining covered with feather were hung from the ceiling after their necks had been wrung.
Many small, red lasted crabs on skewers were sold at street stalls here and there.
Mitsuru saw a local young man biting those crabs off with his yellowish canine teeth and chewing them. The smell of those aquatic animals and water, which didn’t cycle, hung in the air, and a muddy odor was added to it.
And the fragrance of ginger, garlic, Chinese anise, and fennel were also drifting there.
Mitsuru felt like that all of them were shut up by large film made from iridescent oil seeping out of the road here and there.
Then, she noticed a somber timbre of a Chinese stringed instrument called “Niko” resounding from anywhere.
Another sound played by a Chinese bamboo flute sometimes accompanied it. It vanished suddenly and appeared again erratically.
Something, which Mitsuru didn’t know whether rain or fog, stroked her cheeks chillingly.
The area of Shanghai Mitsuru was walking now was a kind of place that tourists rarely visited.
Of course, Mitsuru wasn’t also a local person, but was living in Shanghai now.
Still, it was no doubt that not only Mitsuru but also other her co-workers, who were living in Shanghai for their business, seldom came this area.
During the days that this year was about to take the place of the previous one, such an accident happened: the airplane on which Akihiko had boarded disappeared and was found 3 days later.
Right after that, Akihiko was ordered to go to somewhere on business and suddenly left Shanghai.
Takanobu said to Mitsuru that this trip was to be longer than usual, nevertheless it would be only 2 or 3 months.
Takanobu felt easy, thinking that Akihiko would come back to Shanghai after finishing the job. But Mitsuru couldn’t think the same as Takanobu.
It was over in the blink of an eye that Akihiko left Shanghai after his assignment had been decided.
Therefore, Mitsuru, Takanobu, and Yumiko could not have enough time to say good bye to Akihiko.
On top of that, all of TV news and newspapers had stopped telling about the missing airplane as the same as other similar accidents.
Although this case had an additional, abnormal mystery that all passengers and crew members had been found, there was no information reported by big media even in Japan.
“There is no way!” Mitsuru thought.
Takanobu said to her, “In the first place, it’s common to often go on business trip for the post Akihiko was assigned, and it isn’t rare to stay abroad for a long time for the job.
He has accidentally spent quiet life in this Shanghai. But he got it after a long absence, I heard. Still he went to somewhere on business at least once a month, don’t you remember? So, it isn’t strange that Akihiko suddenly left. Don’t worry and take it easy.”
Today, Mitsuru was walking around this area in order to see a famous oneiromancer that was a kind of fortuneteller, who divined by dissecting dreams.
Mitsuru had still continued to have a series of dream whose stories were linked each other.
It was a hot-spring resort village in Japan that she was always in the dreams.
There were glimmering lanterns made of Japanese paper on both side of the main street of the village.
The name of each Japanese style inn appeared on those paper lanterns obscurely.
Mitsuru knew that this street was up-slope and there was a public bathhouse at the dead end.
Recently, Mitsuru was walking on this slope toward the bathhouse whenever she had this kind of dream.
In the dream, people had to pay entrance fee by buying tickets from a vending machine at the entrance of the bathhouse, but she always noticed that she didn’t have any coins of Japanese yen. And she always woke up at that point of the dream.
There were only a few centime pieces, which used to exist when she was younger, in her pocket.
She might have such an experience in the dream because she had been raised in France.
If Akihiko appeared in this dream, he should have had Japanese yen.
Mitsuru woke up this morning, tasting such a feeling again: “If I can borrow Japanese yen from Akihiko, I must have been able to enter this bathhouse! Simply because I don’t have Japanese yen, I can’t enter it. How unfair! These dreams were so weird that I can’t explain clearly.”
As a result, she found that there was a famous fortuneteller reading dreams in Shanghai when she searched on the internet again and again.
There were not any e-mail addresses on the fortuneteller’s website.
But she found a telephone number and called it up soon.
A woman speaking Chinese answered the phone. Mitsuru fearfully asked, “May I speak in English?” and the woman said, “No problem.”
So, Mitsuru inquired of the woman some matters with which Mitsuru was concerned.
The woman said to Mitsuru, “You can always come here even though you would like to come today”. Mitsuru rapidly replied, “I’d like to go right now”.
After having hung up the telephone, Mitsuru noticed that she did not know even whether this woman was the oneiromancer or just a receptionist.
Still, she started to go toward this fortuneteller’s office, relying on the address put on the website.
Then, she arrived this dubious area of Shanghai.
Mitsuru perceived that street numbers the map indicated did not coincide with actual place. Therefore Mitsuru hailed a Chinese woman on the street.
Although Mitsuru thought that this Chinese woman was alone, when the woman looked back, Mitsuru saw a baby held in her arms.
On top of that, she was giving the breast to the baby, baring her chest.
Mitsuru thought that this woman came from a minority ethnic group, judging from her face appearance and the bangle, which was embroidered characteristically and was twined around her wrist.
Mitsuru tried to talk with her, but she seemed not to be able to speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. And she began to speak in a language Mitsuru heard for the first time.
Honestly, Mitsuru didn’t know that such a place had been remaining in Shanghai till then.

“Or this is the continuation of my own dream?” Mitsuru thought and felt a kind of dizziness.
Suddenly, another Chinese woman halted walking and called out in English to Mitsuru because she seemed to think of Mitsuru as a foreigner, “What’s the matter?”
She was carrying a wooden tub filled with water. There seemed to be a heap of shellfishes in that tub.
She seemed to be the friend of the woman holding the baby, and was like a Japanese traditional, beautiful woman because her face was oval and fair-skinned.
Mitsuru took her own iPhone out instantly to show this woman the address of the oneiromancer’s office and said, “I’d like to go to this office.”
The woman said, “Hum, it’s Ryang’s house. Why are you going to go there?”

Mitsuru was at a loss for an answer and wondered, “Speaking of Mr. Ryang, isn’t he famous as a fortuneteller reading dreams among the neighbors?”
Still, Mitsuru answered, “I’d like to consult him about my dream.”
“Dream? What kind of dream?”
The woman asked Mitsuru and started to walk after making a gesture that meant “Follow me.”
Mitsuru tried to catch up with the woman, running at a trot.
“I’d like to get to know the meaning of my dream because I often have dreams of the same scene.”
“So often? What is the same scene you have in the dreams?”
“It is a hot-spring resort I’m always in those dreams. Japanese hot-spring.”
Mitsuru was taken aback because the woman mentioned such a proper noun unexpectedly.
Yufuin was surely a famous hot-spring resort Mitsuru also knew well, but she could hardly fathom the word’s true intention the woman said: it was really meaningful for the woman, or she only happened to cite one of the names of hot-spring resort that she’d known.
While Mitsuru hesitated to reply, the woman was going ahead more and more.
Something like mist was still drifting in the air, the feeling of getting wet made Mitsuru feel forlorn.
The shellfishes in her arms, which were very big those like a clam, seemed still alive. Mitsuru felt the sign that they were living. Their meat had a voluptuous atmosphere strangely. Which made her feel restless.
“Well, it isn’t Yufuin, but the same hot-spring resort appears again and again in my dream. And I am always there while dreaming.”
The woman seemed to solemnly listen to what Mitsuru was saying, but suddenly stopped walking.
“Here is Ryang’s house.”
She said, hoisting her chin in the direction of the house before two of them.
Mitsuru said, “Thank you very much,” and the woman answered, “You’re welcome.”
The woman turned and was about to go away from Mitsuru in a cool manner.
She appeared to think that the topic about which she and Mitsuru had been talking until just before was no big deal.
It was a little house and didn’t look like an office but looked like a private house.
Its wall was covered with plaster and there were not any signboards and nameplates on it.
But, Mitsuru found a bell push button near the green wooden door and rang it.
There were not any answers from the house at first, she pushed it several times again.
Then, the door opened and a woman who seemed to have talked with Mitsuru over the telephone some time ago appeared and invited Mitsuru into the house.
The inside of the house also looked like a common private house.
Mitsuru was shown into the drawing room and sat down on a sofa.
The woman carried a cup of coffee, put it on a table, and said, “Mr. Ryang has a session for another client now. Just a moment please.”
Mitsuru waited while sipping the coffee, which was a little bitter.
But after she finished the coffee, nobody still came for her.
There seemed to be the room that Mr. Ryang would see his clients at 2nd floor. Mitsuru couldn’t hear any sounds from the 2nd floor.
Mitsuru thought that this building had not been soundproofed sufficiently, but she didn’t hear any sounds of outside.
All was so quiet. There were a big display shelf and some bookshelves other than the sofa and the table in the room.
And there were ceramic jars, ornamental plates, bamboo works, and sand paintings, all of which didn’t look like antique, on the shelves without unity. Besides, there was even a Limoges porcelain cup there.
Then, though Mitsuru’s turn had not come yet, she heard a sound that a next client had just arrived.
On top of that, Mitsuru was very shocked because the next visitor was Mr. Qui whom she met in the airplane the other day. He was the elite-like business man who had happened to sit on the next seat of Mitsuru’s.
Mitsuru had doubt that she was in her own dream now and felt like that heavy something like slime was crawling inside of her head.
On the other hand, Qui seemed to be pleased and was flushed with excitement.
“Fancy meeting you here!” he said and extended his hand to Mitsuru.
“Is this a reality?” Mitsuru wondered.
Although it was fun that Mitsuru talked with him in the business class at that time, she felt uneasy very much now.
Mitsuru replied in a quiet voice, feeling that her own mouth was dry as a bone.
“This is the real world? I got up this morning, but in fact I was still sleeping and dreaming now? So, when did the dream start?”
Mitsuru shut her eyes and opened them again slowly, expecting that the world that was not dream but real would appear and if possible Akihiko would appear instead of Qui.
“Where has Akihiko gone off to? How strange even Takanobu doesn’t know.
Is it possible that no one was informed about Akihiko’s whereabouts? It should have been just a business trip. How can he do such a thing as if he is a spy?
And why have I met Mr. Qui here again? I feel like everything is dream.”
Mitsuru thought.
“I am so glad to meet you again. It’s like a quirk of fate.”
Qui said, staring at Mitsuru intensely.
“Hey, Akihiko. Where are you now, even though I’ve gotten lost my way and am at such a place?
I guess that you’ve noticed I like you. Then, I often have strange dreams and I am involved in them. Which have happened because I am concerned about you? And I can’t help but think that one of the causes of my recent strange experience is ‘That woman’, who is your ex-girlfriend.
Akihiko, please help me. Find me out and come to meet.”
Mitsuru hoped strongly.


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3 Responses to Farewell 28

  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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