11 June, Magi Inoue

文字数 3,811文字

She’s Not Going to Remember Anyway


She’s not going to remember anyway.
  Ichika told herself so repeatedly on the way home from high school.
  The she in question was the housekeeper in Ichika’s employ. Her name was Hashida. After Ichika’s mother had died, her workaholic father had brought Hashida home one day, and now that her father, too, had passed, she was the only one Ichika could call family (though the relationship was strictly a professional one between employer and employee).
  At that first meeting, Hashida had a mean look in her eyes, which had rendered Ichika, who was young then, too afraid to talk to her. The anniversary of the unforgettable day when the wall between them had come crumbling down was today—June 11.
  Hashida had eaten a cake from a certain store and smiled.
  The cake was a present from Ichika’s father, which Hashida had eaten with such a stone-faced expression that Ichika had to ask, Is it good? Then, in the next instant, a definite smile had floated across her face.
  Oh, so she smiles. That was when Ichika had felt relieved, and from then on, she was able to carry on a normal conversation with the housekeeper. That was why Ichika had secretly named the day, Hashida’s Smile Anniversary. She had planned to have a surprise celebration—it’s the job of an employer, after all, to reward an employee for her services—but she wasn’t able to buy the cake. The store was closed due to the situation of late.
  Oh, well, Ichika thought. She isn’t going to remember an incident so small anyway.

  Oh, hello, miss.
  When I arrived home, there was a figure standing in front of the entrance. Hair pulled back into a simple bun, white blouse, ankle-length skirt. It was Hashida. She was returning from shopping.
  Hi, Hashida. What’s for din—
  Ichika got out before catching her breath.
  Hashida . . . that’s. . . .
  Oh, this.
  Hashida lifted up the box in her hand slightly.
  To celebrate the day. It’s the one from the cake shop you so like. They aren’t selling over the counter right now, but by order only. Thank goodness I ordered it last month.
  Ichika’s head was a jumble of confusion. How? How did she. . . ?
  How . . . did you know? That I was planning on celebrating with the cake?
  What?
  Hashida cocked her head to the side.
  What about you, miss? I wouldn’t have expected you to remember the day you spoke to me for the first time. Imagine my shock then. At first, you had stubbornly kept your silence, but the moment I took a bite of the cake, you asked, Is it good? with such a sparkle in your eyes. You were so curious about how it tasted, I suppose, that the question came out naturally. You’ve always been a glutton.
  Ichika opened her mouth wide and looked at Hashida.
  Hashida glanced to the side, with a collected expression. But as Ichika studied her profile, the woman’s ear began to turn an unseasonable shade of cherry blossom.
  Goodness . . . it isn’t easy keeping one’s employer happy.


Translated by Takami Nieda/Arranged by TranNet KK

Magi Inoue
Born in Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from the University of Tokyo. Won the 51st Mephisto Prize for

Koi

to

kinki

no

prediketto

(Predicate logic of love and taboo). Received critical acclaim from the world of mystery literature with

Sono

kanōsei

wa

sudeni

kangaeta

(I have already considered that possibility) and

Seijo

no

dokuhai:

Sono

kanōsei

wa

sudeni

kangaeta

(I have already considered that possibility: The saint’s poisoned chalice), sweeping many mystery literature rankings. Their

Tantei

ga

hayasugiru

(The detective is too fast) was adapted for television and manga to critical acclaim. Their most recent work is

Bēshikku

inkamu

(Basic income).

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