One morning, Mitsuru received a parcel which her parents had sent from Paris.
It was filled with many things which she requested her parents to send.
Some bottled foods, some canned foods, some cakes, and some seasoning, which were wrapped by the beautiful packages, were taken out from the box, and were displayed in front of Mitsuru onto the table.
When she served herself a cup of Chinese tea named “The secret of Tibet” made in the tea maker at Paris, and drank it at her office, Akihiko mockingly said to her,
“Why do you take the trouble to order the fake from other country, and drink it although you are living in the best place for the Chinese tea?”
However because Mitsuru spent much time of her youth in Paris, there were a lot of things which must be the thing of Paris.
In that parcel, there was also a package of Japanese green tea that her parents always chose only this, because they thought that the one made in Japan was most delicious.
Mitsuru remembered that Akihiko found fault with the package of Japanese green tea which was sent from her parents before, when he came to Mitsuru’s office.
Suddenly, Akihiko looked serious, and said to her, “You’d better not drink it.”
Furthermore, he was going to even throw the package of Japanese green tea in the trash box.
No matter how much she loved him, she was surprised and said to him while preventing his action, “You are too exaggerated!”
Mitsuru tried to make the difference of the opinion between Akihiko and her clear at this chance, and said “You are worried about the radioactive contamination in the food, aren’t you?”
Akihiko’s expression became more severe.
‚ÄúTakanobu said to me that you are sensitive with the radioactive contamination. But I know that the foods imported from Japan are perfectly checked about radiation.”
Suddenly, Akihiko made his severe face relax.
Rather than, his face became like a blank.
Mitsuru got the impression that Akihiko made himself become nothing as if he was empty.
Akihiko returned the package of Japanese green tea to the basket, in which there were Mitsuru’s private things, in silently and not in an abrupt manner.
Then he turned around his back and left the coffee room of the office.
Mitsuru was left alone there. She was afraid that she might hurt his feeling, and ran after him in a fluster.
After having returned to the office, Akihiko was already talking with Takanobu as if nothing had happened.
She considered that it was not serious for him so much, and felt relieved.
Unlike Mitsuru whose all members of family were living abroad, it was said that both Akihiko’s parents and his brother were living in Japan. In addition, because he had lived in Japan until he was a high school student, he seemed to have many friends who were still living in Japan.
Therefore, Mitsuru should have known that Akihiko was too nervous about that nuclear accident and the radioactive contamination caused by the accident.
“Still his imperative behavior when he caught hold of the package of Japanese green tea a while ago was scary.”, Mitsuru thought.
Which made her feel that she wanted to give ugly-face to him.
Mitsuru remembered the day when she said to herself getting sulky and perverse,
‚ÄúHe should not have needed to make his expression angry so much.‚ÄĚ, while looking at the package of Japanese green tea.
‚ÄúTakanobu had lived in Tokyo until he moved to Shanghai for his new post. But he is not worried about the radioactive contamination at all anymore.
His wife Yumiko often goes back to Japan, but she is never worried about the radioactive contamination anymore, too.‚ÄĚ, she thought.
Yumiko had bought Japanese sweets of old-established shop in Ginza for the souvenir to Mitsuru recently.
Mitsuru considered that Akihiko, who was not in Japan when that accident happened, might not know the circumstances compared with Mr. and Mrs. Takanobu who were in Japan at that time
Mitsuru was afraid that Akihiko, who had to be worried about his family from abroad, might have read or watch only prejudiced information which told him that radiation was too dangerous.
“It must be a reason that he truly loved his family”,
Mitsuru tried to make herself persuade.
“I guess that he must have thought that it was bad for my health if I would drink it, so he had such a scary expression when he found that I had Japanese green tea.”, she said.
Still she somehow stopped putting the Japanese green tea in her office anymore thereafter.
Mitsuru came up with the idea that if she rather gave Japanese green tea to Mrs. Takanobu, Mrs. Takanobu would be pleased with it more.
Mitsuru finished taking everything from the box.
She made the things, which she was going to give Takanobu’s wife and Akihiko, leave the place from other things.
Because she was not going to give them to every member of the office, she wondered where she should hand it to Akihiko, and she hit upon an idea suddenly.
“Today is Saturday, so we have no work.
I wonder that I will go to the place near Akihiko’s apartment, and call him. Will it go all right?‚ÄĚ
She never thought to enter his apartment. She just intended to make him come to some caf√© around there.
A friend of her lived in his neighborhood, so she could make an excuse that she was just going to stop by to her friend’s apartment.
No, it was O.K. that she would say to him that she came to meet him without such an excuse.
She tidied herself up quickly.
As soon as she went out, she could take a passing taxi.
And the taxi arrived at the destination in no time.
She got out of the taxi at the business area, where was being developed recently, near Akihiko’s apartment.
Indeed, the traditional cityscape was left in many places around there, but the signboard of global chain coffee shop, Japanese brand “MUJI”, and some fast fashion shops of various countries stood side by side. These shops were full of many people who were the tourists, or the local young people.
Mitsuru called Akihiko without being able to restrain herself as soon as she took her cellular phone out.
Akihiko unexpectedly answered the phone immediately.
So, because suddenly she got embarrassed, she ended up hesitating to say.
Akihiko said to her that he was not at his apartment now, and he was doing shopping at the grocery store around there.
He asked her where she was and said that he would go to her in 5 minutes, and the phone was hung up.
Immediately, Mitsuru looked at herself on the mirror which was hung on the wall of the general shop in front of her.
Suddenly, she was afraid that she, who was wearing a white linen dress, looked so childish. She wanted to look in the mirror more carefully to check whether her make-up would come off or not.
However, she did not want Akihiko to see such her behavior, so she could not go near the mirror.
She fell into a panic because she did not know what to do.
Except for the case that she went to drink with him after the work the other day, it was the first time for her to meet him alone at the place except for the office on a holiday.
After a while, Akihiko showed up.
‚ÄúHi!‚ÄĚ, he said to her.
She felt, ‚ÄúHe usually looks very smart wearing a formal suit at the office. But how perfect he is in such a casual cloth today!‚ÄĚ
Mitsuru afresh felt that she loved him so much while looking at Akihiko from close up.
The very man whom she loved was there.
When he answered the phone from her, he did not any suspicious glance to her at all. And he did not look suspicious now, too.
She saw him smiling cheerfully as usual, so she was relieved and thought that it was good to come here boldly.
“I was going to cook breakfast using these foods from now on, and shall we eat together?”
Akihiko held the paper sack of the glossary store out to Mitsuru so that she could see the contents of it.