What a sharp peal of thunder!
Because thunder continued too successively, Tohko felt like that the magnetic field around her was going to be crazy, and this phase was going to slip out of place.
It used to thunder like this at Tohko‚Äôs hometown in the beginning of winter.
Tohko had lived in only 2 cities until having moved to here: It was her hometown and Tokyo.
She had lived in her hometown until she was 18 years old. When she entered the University, she started living in Tokyo, and she had continued living for about 10 years.
After having been fired from her job, she went back to her hometown, she spent there for 2 years, and came back to Tokyo again in order to get married.
After that, she had a baby. When her son was a kindergarten child, the nuclear disaster happened. Tohko and her son evacuated from Tokyo.
Just after having evacuated, Tohko lived in her parent’s house for a while.¬†Because the area around her hometown was not contaminated severely.
But she moved to more western area in Japan for some reasons.¬†Because, she wanted to part from the nuclear facilities as far as possible.
Then, she started living at this town, where was neither her hometown nor Tokyo. She was a complete stranger to here.¬†Although her ex-husband was paying child support to Tohko every month, she got by on working at the patisserie.
She was working from the morning to the evening, 5 days a week.¬†Though she was a part time worker, she exhausted all her energies because she had to do her housekeeping. She had to wake up in the early morning in order to make the lunch box for her son. Because she was worried about the radioactive contamination of the food, she could not buy the ready-made food at the delicatessen or supermarket.
She was surprised that she never got lazy with cooking the meals.¬†Tohko thought, ‚ÄúIf we don’t want to lose our lives, we would be able to do anything.
If anything, I have been a serious honor student type. But most of my friends who should also have been honor student type don’t mind radioactive contamination at all. It is strange for me.‚ÄĚ
When Tohko found a spare time during such days, she sat in front of the PC in this way.
She was writing what she should write.
It was a story coming out of her delusion.¬†She did not write just a reality.¬†However, her reality would be written being reflected somewhere in it.¬†There was a technique called autofiction writing to mix a fiction with the reality.¬†But she did not make the reality interweave with a fiction very much.
It was impossible to distinguish the novel from herself, she felt.¬†She was not going to subscribing it for some literary prize.¬†She continued uploading the parts of what she was writing as they had just been written on her blog which she used for long time.¬†There were some readers who had continued reading Tohko‚Äôs blog since Tohko started the blog.
There were some people who were so eager for Tohko’s blog before, but they left it because Tohko had evacuated in order to avoid the radiation and began to often argue about the crisis of the radiation.¬†On the other hand, the people having the same thought about the radiation as Tohko became her new readers.
In the SNS which enabled the users to send and read short 140-character messages, Tohko collected the information about the radiation, and was making effort to make them spread widely.¬†Tohko was originally good at writing, and she was a real woman who actually took refuge to Western Japan with her child.¬†Many users of the SNS were interested in Tohko and she had many opportunities to communicate with such users.¬†But Tohko did not think that many people demanded something like novel which were necessary to read slow and carefully in such the times in this country after the catastrophe.¬†In fact, recently Tohko read books far less frequently than she used to because of not having the time to spare.¬†So, though she wanted many people to read her works, she was just writing them because she was driven by an impulse that she could not help writing.¬†Suddenly, lightning flashed, and it thundered again.¬†Tohko heard the sound as if beating the earth loudly and a big trunk of a tree seemed to be broken.
‚ÄúThe lighting might have stricken near.‚ÄĚ, Tohko thought.¬†Spring was in full of bloom, and it was serene weather today, but after night fell, it suddenly started raining so hard.¬†Tohko‚Äôs son had already slept.¬†When she began to face the screen of the PC, the storm began. Tohko had an access to the SNS having the distinction which made various news of the world spread quickly and widely.¬†The storm seemed to be coming all over Western Japan.
The information about the shelter for avoiding the flooding of the river caused by the storm had been already spread on the timeline at the SNS.¬†Surely enough, she saw such a post.: “It was fine during the daytime, but it dramatically changed. I saw a lot of chem trail today. I am afraid that today‚Äôs storm caused by the man-made weather.”
Tohko knew that there was a opinion called “conspirasy theory” in the world.¬†In other words, it was said that there was a possibility that some existences controlling the world behind the scenes planned and carried out the terrible crimes in order to monopolize the wealth.¬†It was said that they did the unbelievable things exceeding SF stories in order to deceive the common people and exploit them. For example, there was the terrorism that the airplanes were flown into the high-rise building of a big country.¬†But those “conspiracy theories” told that this terrorism was a self-writing, self-playing fake. Because some existences wanted to make the war to get money, they made up a story for the war. However, when she read such an opinion for the first time, she felt that it was just something like urban legend. No matter how she read or watched the articles explaining about such opinions, she could not prove it. So she was not able to no longer think seriously anymore. The opinion was getting so suspicious for her, and she could not distinguish it from the doubtful information about an alien or ghost.
To begin with, Tohko wrote the novel, which “That man” appeared, and submitted it to the online prize of the literature before.¬†Which became the opportunity to know the word called “conspiracy theory” for her.¬†She dramatized a fact in various ways and wrote the story, because if she would write the memory with “That man” without exaggeration, it would not be interesting.
She made the situation of the novel set: “That man” said “Good bye” to me, because he was rolled up in some national plots.¬†If it was unavoidable to part from me for him, she was saved from her sadness.¬†She changed the fact that “That man”‘s love feelings to her was not enough, and he dumped her.¬†To tell the truth, he undertook the national plot.
But she searched on the internet to look for reference materials for what she wrote while she was writing it.¬†She ended up knowing there were a lot of the opinions doubting such a plot in the world.¬†The most famous one was about that passenger planes crushed into the buildings of the big country.¬†And the other one said that there were some complicated factors lying behind the accident of Japanese passenger plane.¬†In addition, a great amount of the supposition about various phenomena was swirling on the apace of the internet.
Because she was interested in it, she carefully read those information at that time.
However, there was not the means to prove them even if she read and read such information.¬†Then she forgot the things called ‚Äúconspiracy theory‚ÄĚ gradually while being busy for child care.¬†However, in those days, writing the novel made her refresh very much.¬†Her work missed the grand prix at the online prize, but, it won through up to the last selection. Which made her be resigned to missing “That man”.¬†She got to know her ex-husband after she had recovered.¬†As soon as they met, she was proposed to by him.
Because she felt that she completely loved him at that time, she decided to marry.
“It was a good memory that I went about with ‚ÄėThat man‚Äô.”, Tohko told to herself.
“I got to know him in the unbelievable situation and had an unbelievable relationship.”
So Tohko ended up thinking that it was just a pleasant memory.¬†She was getting to not be able to distinguish whether it was only the fantasy or it was real memory.
“No, in fact, it might be just a fantasy.”, she said.She did not yet have confidence about her own memory.In those days, she lived in her parent’s house and did not work at all.
She quitted every her friendship; she usually had no communication with her friends living in Tokyo, and she did not restart to communicate with her old friends in her hometown.
Because she was cracking up, she almost kept herself indoors for those two years.
The relationship between Tohko and “That man” did not result in only on the internet, but they started to meet actually.
However, she remembered that when she met him, they were always just the two of them.
None of her acquaintance knew the relationship between Tohko and “That man”.¬†Therefore there were not any persons who proved that the relations really existed.¬†It was not secret love, and she did not intend to avoid being seen.¬†By chance, this was because it was such a time that she got to know him.¬†However, it might be said that she was able to get to know him at such a time.¬†For example, she remembered the day when she met him actually for the first time.¬†Although she was apt to keep herself indoors in her parent’s house, one spring day she told her parents that she was going to go to Tokyo in order to meet her friends after a long absence, and she went out.
It was not a lie.¬†Tohko boarded the express train “Hakutaka” at the deserted station of her hometown, and changed to the Joetsu Shinkansen at Echigoyuzawa station.
She arrived to Tokyo after more than 4 hours she had departed.¬†At the day, she promised to be lodged in the apartment of her college friend.¬†They ordered several wine with a bottle and drank a lot in spite of the daytime, and they ate and talked a lot, too.
At that time, she got an email on her mobile phone suddenly.¬†The email asked her, “How tall are you?”.¬†It was the email from “That man”.¬†Tohko was wondering, “Why he asked how tall I am?”¬†The reason was not written on the e-mail at all.
It was mystery.¬†So Tohko confided that she was going to meet “That man”, who was just going back to Japan, tomorrow to her three friends.¬†”I can’t believe! It’s crazy! Are you going to meet somebody you met only on the internet?¬†You’d never met him!” One of her friends said.¬†Unlike Tohko who was eager in the internet, and often joined the off-line meeting, three of her friend had not gotten close to the internet very much.¬†Therefore, speaking of the Internet, they had an image that young women were murdered by somebody who got to know in a dating site.¬†She felt that the existing mainstream media wanted to protect their right by looking down on the existence of the internet.¬†Because she was used to such a reaction from her friends, she was not hurt.¬†She even enjoyed that she was made fun like that by her friends.¬†”I guess that it is the reason why he asked your height that he would prepare a sexy costume for sadomasochism. He might take you into the hotel, make you do the strange play, and afterwards, make you go down to the bottom of Tokyo bay.‚ÄĚ¬†Because every Tohko‚Äôs friend got drunk, they spoke to Tohko such a thing humorously.¬†Tohko did not become uneasy because of her friend’s jokes.
However, even if she would explain the relationship with him, she no longer thought that her friends could understand it.¬†Therefore she broke off the topic about “That man”.
And Tohko was lodged in the apartment of one of her friends on that day.
The next early morning, she was going to go to the wait place with “That man”.¬†”Are you going to meet the man? Really?”¬†The friend still looked worried about Tohko.
However, because Tohko made her up carefully, arranged her hair, and checked her own appearance eagerly, so the friend made a gesture which mean she was disgusted.
When Tohko arrived Kamakura station where she and he promised to meet, he was standing there with 2 bicycles.¬†He rented those 2 bicycles to guide his hometown Kamakura by bicycle.¬†Therefore it was necessary to ask her height before.
So he sent the email to her yesterday.¬†It was returning home to Japan after a long absence for him.¬†Tohko was rather than guided on that day, she had something like a hard exercise while riding the bicycle, and was tired out.¬†Near the end of the day, she had a pain in her bottom because she rode the bicycle too long.¬†Although she wanted to cry because of the pain, she could not believe that such a wonderful encounter would happen in her life.
In one day that Tohko spent with “That man”, she was completely in love with him.