25 July, Haruna Terachi

文字数 3,619文字

Do you want ice cream, Kurumi?
  I hear her voice from behind the door. Do I want ice cream? When Hana asks me this, it usually means that


wants ice cream. Not really, I tell her. She barges into my room.
  Not stones again, she says disapprovingly, looking into my hands as I polish my stones.
  Picking random stones and polishing them up isn’t a healthy hobby for a high school girl, she rolls her eyes. A person’s hobby isn’t determined by their age or sex, I think to myself.
  Don’t you think so too, Yadoko?
  Is she really talking to the tank? Yadoko is my pet hermit crab. I keep it in my room. It’s easily spooked and hides inside its shell as soon as someone approaches the tank.
  Come on, Kurumi. Ice cream! Ice cream!
  To stop her tantrum, I head to the convenience store with her. Hana is my father’s younger—much younger—sister; she’s been staying with us for the past six months.
  Hana pulls the hood of her sweater over her head; she does this every time she walks around the neighborhood. It’s nighttime, but still, she must be boiling. She’s wearing a mask too, so you can’t see much of her face.
  I feel like the people I see outside are criticizing me, she says. That’s why she hides her face, just like Yadoko. I don’t think any of the neighbors care that she, at 30 years old, has been fired by her company and got kicked out of her apartment after arguing with her landlord about the unpaid rent. She’s overreacting, all on her own. She is what you’d call an adult who hasn’t finished growing up. Yes, my aunt is that person.
  She’s exploring the possibilities of her life, my father once said to me, defending her.
  Still, she’s too immature, I told him; she’s just so loud and selfish, and she cries easily.
  You’re a smart girl, my father laughed.
  Smart. Ever since I was a small child, everyone—teachers, relatives—has been telling me that I’m smart.
  We’ll get one Papico and share it, okay? she confirms with me, clutching her wallet. Her finances must be getting really tight.
  Together, we sit on a bench in a park, and eat the ice cream.
  When my father told me, You’re a smart girl, and laughed, he continued, but, you know . . . .
  To have the world all figured out—or to think that you have—is a childish smartness. To bump into something, and to stand still, is a difficult thing to do. It’s not cool to struggle, either. But Hana, who can do such an uncool thing, will eventually get somewhere. Probably to a place much further along than those who follow a straight path without ever getting lost.
  I don’t understand—I don’t want to understand my father’s words. What I do know is that ice cream tastes better outside, on a hot summer night. And one more thing.
  I don’t not like you, Hana.
  I’m sure of this. Hana looks at me in surprise, then takes her hood off. A lukewarm breeze blows the strands of hair off Hana’s pale forehead.

Translated by Yuka Maeno/Arranged by TranNet KK

Haruna Terachi
Born in Saga Prefecture, 1977. Made her debut in 2014 with


(Violeta), for which she won the Poplar Literary Prize for New Writers. Her works include






(I thought that adults never cried),






(The night isn’t always dark),




(The whereabouts of hope), and




(Sewing the water), among others. Her most recent work is





(On top of the soft sand).




  • 特大
  • 生成り
  • 水色
  • 明朝
  • ゴシック
  • 横組み
  • 縦組み