At the early morning, Tohko had already waked up, but she didn’t want to make any parts of her body move at all.
Because she did not have to go to work anymore at that time, she could sleep until late in the morning.
For some reason or other, Tohko had already waked up that morning.
She heard the sound that somebody was treading the snow hard.
The footstep was so regular like a metronome.
That was a brisk, clean sound, and it was comfortable for her.
She understood that it had snowed this morning while remaining to lie down on her bed.
Except for the footstep, it was so quiet as if the ears became numb.
It was the quietness exceeding everything at the typical snowy morning.
âThis morningâs snow is the first of this seasonâ, Tohko thought.
âIs somebody delivering the newspaper already walking outside at such an early morning? Are those footsteps his? This is not my dream, but the reality.â
She never doubted that the borderline between the reality and the dream was clear in those days.
Furthermore, she had not tried to think about a concept that the boundary of them would become uncertain.
But in those days when she did not have to work, because she slept too long, she had such many experiences: when she woke up suddenly, she often did not know what time it was at all.
For the example, she was often confused whether it was the morning or the afternoon.
Or she could not know how long she had continued sleeping.
She belonged to a sort of the people called an honor student for a long time.
Her life was always busy, because she usually devoted herself to study or club activities in her school days.
And she had lived an ordered life for the job until she was fired from the company.
It was the first experience for her that she allowed herself to sleep anytime.
She felt that even the time to sleep was precious, and she lived making an effort to spend time effectively as much as possible.
Her family understood that she had gotten hurt and were worried about her.
So no one of her family blamed her for sleeping so long.
Every day, she slept long unbelievably.
Later, she recognized that the days, when she slept well, made her recover from various things.
Anyway, she slept well.
It was the next day of Christmas that Tohko completely finished the preparation for the moving from Tokyo to her hometown.
At the final evening in Tokyo for her, after she finished the shipment of the cargo for moving, her close friends splendidly held the farewell party for her.
Her friends reserved a room of the first-class hotel at the center area of Tokyo, and they and Tohko stayed at the hotel in order to have the party after party.
At first, they ordered a bottle of champagne through room service.
She looked at the night view of Tokyo through the light golden bubble in the drinking glass after a toast.
The Tokyo Tower shined with the lovely color like a goldfish.
The next morning, Tohko climbed into a taxi while her friends unwilling to part from her in front of the hotel, and started for Haneda airport.
She was standing on the near-futuristic, mechanical-matter-like moving sidewalk, which went along the concourse of the airport.
Last night she did not drink so much, so she did not have a hangover.Simply, she was vague because of the lack of sleep.
Therefore,she felt as if she was transported to an another dimension by the moving sidewalk.
Her hometown was countryside which did not have many population, so the boarding gate for her hometown was usually located at the bottom of the concourse.
She guessed that the people who always boarded the airplane connecting between the big cities: Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, might not know the fact that there was bottom of bottom on the concourse.
In the worst case, when she finally arrived the bottom of the concourse, she noticed that she had to go outside from the exit of the concourse, and she was brought to the airplane by the bus running on the flying field.
It was the evidence that there were not many passengers on the airplane flying to Tohko’s hometown.
When she was very busy with her work, she felt that it was inconvenience that the boarding gate was so far.
Later, they would have been forwarded to parentâs house.
She used to wear contact lenses when she lived in Tokyo, but this custom became extinct as soon as she moved to her hometown.
After then she wore glasses every day.
She had a lot of clothes if she untied the cargo which she brought from Tokyo, but she wore the old housedress which she had had since her high school days.
It was old-fashioned thing, but she did not mind.
She did not miss the life in Tokyo, and did not have some deep emotion in the life in the hometown either.
She had the feeling that every switch was turned off.
Tohko was living so slowly in those days.
The sound, which somebody was treading the snow, reached her ears clearly.
Though the snow was originally made from water, the sound was so dry.
It was also a thick, firm sound.
She heard the sound many times during the winter.
Usually, at the early morning when she was in the equivocal situation whether she still slept or she already waked up, she continued listening to it as long as she wanted to listen while feeling comfortable.
And she had started to have a complicated dream which threeâdimensional things would intersect many times.
She wondered, “Because my dream is so long recently, does it often become light?”
It was the first time for her to have so many dreams.
The dream was a thing which appeared only for an instant till then.
Now, her dream was influenced her own daily life.
Later, she thought that reality and dream might be exchanged each other completely someday.
She thought so caused by her experiences in those days.
In those days, because the dreams were so realistic, she took a note of them so that she would not forget.
Gradually, she noticed that there was scenery having in common among her dreams.
“Where is the stage of this dream?”, she told to herself.
She searched some common keywords of her dreams on the internet.
After she saw the results in visual, she found that they might point a certain land.
In addition, while she was searching repeatedly, she found that the result might include a certain blog.
It was the blog which a certain man uploaded his essay describing his impression.
“Why would I arrive at this blog when I continue searching the keyword associated with my dream?”
The place where the man lived was the very land where the keywords pointed. She tried to read the articles of that blog and found that it was very interested for her.
She also had been writing a blog since a long time ago. So she wrote an article describing that she was wondering why her dream connected with a certain blog, and she shared a link with the certain blog for the trackback.
Naturally the person, who wrote the articles on that blog, would get the information that her blog linked his blog.
He might read Tohko’s article, too.
It was what she expected.
After all she would meet “That man” by such a way.