Sleeping in water (2)

Looks like Takumi knows about Junichi’s circumstances. Let’s ask him tomorrow, together with the issue of Shizuka.

He had to put up with the cold attitude of his childhood friend, but he snapped out of it and decides to head to Sarasa’s house next.

She is probably at home. He can’t imagine her going out and play during the weekends. He thought she would be studying, preparing for entrance examinations.

This time he went past the front of the elementary school that he attended. Sarasa’s house is just right beside it. When he was a child, he was jealous of her because she could sleep until the very last minute and won’t be late for school.

He stood in front of Irifine’s house. He didn’t feel that much in the past. One of the things he has learned over the years growing up is the circumstances in Sarasa’s home.

Her household aren’t exactly rich. Her father runs a small factory in town. In the past, the economy was better but it seems to be tight when Keito and the others are in middle school. Her house is a compact single-storied house which has a feeling of relief when he played inside of the house. He remembered the electrical appliances gave off a stale impression.

The manga that he read numerous times at her house have became ragged. Is her father’s company still running? How about the Irifune’s financial state? He has no way of knowing but as long as he is looking from the outside like this, it doesn’t seem to change much.

Sarasa who was once animated had a change of personality probably due to her family circumstances.

After he rang the door bell a short time had passed, a female voice responds directly through the door instead of the intercom. Probably her mother.

“I go to same school as Sarasa, my name is Aikawa. Is she home?”

The door suddenly opened without any answer.

“Aikawa?”

The one standing there was Sarasa herself. He wasn’t mentally prepared for her so he was taken aback unconsciously.

The petite Sarasa was scowling at him through her glasses without concealing her doubt.

“What do you want?”

“Ah, err……..I have something to ask you, Irifune-senpai.”

“What? I am busy studying.”

“It will be done immediately. It is about Shizuka. Takamori Shizuka.”

“Shizuka………….What about her?”

Shizuka’s cheeks have a twitch.

“You are close with Shizuka right, senpai? Even in middle school, both of you used to talk a lot. So do you know the whereabouts of her parents and the location of her grave?”

“………Oh that. There are no bones in the first place so I don’t think there is a grave. Or have you found her corpse?”

“No.”

“So there isn’t one, as expected. I haven’t contacted ever since that incident. It is true that we were on good terms, but that was the past. Why are you asking me this after all this time?”

She questioned him, just like Junichi.

“Because I thought of sorting out within myself.”

There was a subtle change in his answer.

“Are you still not organized? One of our friend had died. Sure, it was painful but two years have passed. I am not a kid anymore, it is ridiculous to be dragging on for two years.

People cannot live on unless they look forward. I can’t afford to look back. I have sorted out a long time ago. I don’t know anything so can you go home?”

“Sorry for bothering you when you are busy. But………”

Sarasa might know something. Even on the night of the accident, the last one who met Shizuka, excluding Keito, must be Sarasa.

He suddenly remembered the last conversation he had with Shizuka. It is not like he had forgotten. He just tried not to remebered.

“Shizuka……..Shizuka said before that she wanted to be a fish and sleep at the bottom of the ocean and wished I would be the gale to come and pick her up. Do you know what that means, Sarasa-chan?”

“………..Tsk. Isn’t it rude to call your senpai with a ‘chan’ ?”

“I am doing it on purpose.”

Even if you call me that, I won’t feel nostalgic about past. As I said before, I am busy. I can’t afford to be trapped in the past and it is not necessary. I have forgotten about Shizuka. After graduating from middle school, you won’t be able to get in touch with most of your classmates anymore. Is the same as that. If you really have something you want to know, you will have to ask Shizuka.”

“If I could, I would have already do so.”

“…….No way I can do that. How stupid.”

He couldn’t say that if I met Shizuka’s lost words.

“Forget about it. It would be easier if you just forget it, like I did. Goodbye, Keito-kun.”

This time, the door was really shut. The sound of the door slamming remained in Keito’s ear for a while.

In the end, two of his childhood friend who he met after a long time gave him the cold shoulder and he gain nothing.

This is the result for not telling them about lost words. If he have said there is a possibility of Shizuka’s ghost-ish appearing, they would probably not listen and turned away.

Evening approached without achieving nothing. He thought it would be good to visit Takumi’s house but Keito can meet him tomorrow. He was mentally tired.

Keito visited to Utaha while feeling disappointed.

Towards Keito’s announcement of the outcome, Utaha questioned.

“Do you dreams of Shizuka, Aikawa-san?”

“Dream of her…….? Let’s see, yes I do.”

“Dreaming of Shizuka. For example, he dreamt of the time just before that incident happened. That will always accompanied with a heavy ache.

Just the other day, he dreamt of her been in an aquarium that is no longer there. He also dreamt of two Shizuka standing in the dark.

It is already too late to distinguish how far was that in the past or it was just an illusion in his head.

However, the fact that he had that dream and woken up in the morning with the dream remained in his heart.

“Do you remember you saying that you dreamt about Seiko’s mother, Haruko-san?”

“Yes.”

It is true that he said that. It was a heart-wrenching pain, just like Keito.

“Misora-san also had a number of dreams about Sasami-san as well.”

“……….That is true.”

Just like himself, Misora also have lost her friend in that accident. She also continued to lament about not able to save her friend.

“The living world is a dream. The nocturnal dream is reality.” *

Keito unconsciously remembered about the past as Utaha continued like  there was no context. Utaha assembled those words just like Shizuka who said it someday, as if to reflect what Shizuka had once said.

“Dreams and the present world are two sides of the coin. It was being said that in the Heian period, when a loved one appeared in your dreams, it was thought that person would visit you in your dream because the other party was thinking about oneself.

It could be possible that Haruko-san, Sasami-san and Shizuka-san’s lost words have appeared in dreams searching for the person they are looking for.”

“In other words……….”

Utaha’s conversation has clearly pointed to the answer.

“Do you have an idea?”

“Yes.”

Keito reassuringly nodded and stood up.

“See you later.”

Utaha muttered to herself behind Keito’s back.

“I……still have not seen my mother in my dream.”

Her voice had no inflection but that is why it sounded despondent.


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TL: 「現世は夢、夜の夢こそ真実」is a quote by Taro Hirai, better known by the pseudonym Edogawa Ranpo (江戸川 乱歩), also romanized as Edogawa Ram, was a Japanese author and critic who played a major role in the development of Japanese mystery fiction. (Yeah, that detective was based on this guy)