8.17.2007

I'm Coming to See You Now, Chapter 1

I'm Coming to See You Now, Chapter 1.
from Ichikawa Takuji's Ima, Aini Yukimasu.

-

When Mio died, I thought about it like this:

Did the one who created our star also create another star at the same time somewhere else in the universe?

That's the star where people go when they die.

The name of the star is the Archive star.


"Arvike?" asked Yuuji.

No, it's the Archive star.

"Arvike?"

Archive.

"Ar..." Yuuji thought it over for a second. "...vike?"

Nevermind.

There's a place like a gigantic library there that's very quiet, very clean and very orderly.

It's also very spacious; the hallways that go through the building are virtually endless.

The people that leave our star pass their days peacefully there.

You could say that that star is a lot like our hearts.

"What does that mean?" asked Yuuji.

When Mio passed away, isn't that what those relatives said? Mommy will live on in Yuuji's heart.

"Yep."

So, all the people who exist in the hearts of all the world's people live there together.

As long as someone still remembered a person, that person could continue to live at that star.

"But what if that person's forgotten?"

Yeah, then they'll have to leave that star.

This time it'll really be "goodbye."

On their last night all their friends will get together and throw them a farewell party.

"Will they eat cake?"

Yep, they'll eat cake.

"Will they eat ikura?" [Note: Salmon roe, yum!]

Yes, there'll be ikura too. (Yuuji's favorite was ikura.)

"And then—"

Don't worry, they have everything there.

"Is Jim Button at that star too?"

Why?

"Because I know Jim Button. So isn't he 'in my heart'?"

Yeah. (Last night I read Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver to him.) I think he's probably there too.

"Then, what about Emma? Is Emma there too?"

Emma's not there.

There are only people there.

"Hmmm," answered Yuuji.

Jim Button's there, and Momo too.

So is Little Red Riding Hood and Anne Frank. Hitler and Rudolf Hess are probably there also.

Aristotle's there, and Newton as well.

"What do they all do there?"

They all pass their days peacefully.

"That's all?"

That's all. What do you suppose they all think about?

"What do they think about?"

Some really difficult things, things that'll take a long, long time before they can come up with an answer. So, even though they've gone to that star, they're always going to be thinking about it.

"Mommy too?"

No, Mommy's thinking about Yuuji.

"Really?"

Really.

So, Yuuji can't ever forget about Mommy.

"I'm not going to forget!"

But you're still small. You've only lived with Mommy for five years.

"Yeah."

So there's a lot of stuff I have to tell you.

Like, what kind of a girl Mommy was.

And, how she met Daddy and got married.

And then, how happy she was when Yuuji was born.

"Okay."

Then I want you to remember it always.

When daddy goes to that star to see mommy, you have to remember mommy for me, no matter what.

Understand?

"Huh?"

Well, that's okay.

2 comments:

Andy said...

A blurb for Ima, Aini Yukimasu:

There's a star called the Archive star in some corner of the universe. Those who've left this world and are remembered by someone, live at the Archive star. Mio, whom I loved so deeply, is there now.

When Mio was about to leave me and Yuuji, a week before she set off for the Archive star, she said to me, "When the next rainy season comes, I'll come back and see how you guys are doing." I resolved to make myself stronger before she came back.

On the day when the rainy season was almost here, thick clouds covered the sky and the air smelled like rain. Just like usual, I took Yuuji to the forest that we often visited. When we got there, it finally started to rain, and in the haze I saw someone familiar, someone I remembered sweetly. I approached her slowly as she stood there, and she came gradually into focus.

Is that you, Mio...?

Ajisai said...

I watched the dorama of this story, though I didn't finish watching it.

It surely seems better here, in novel form.

Still too short to decide, but I think I want to read the whole of this story (meaning one vote for this novel?...)

A very well done chapter.