30 August, Mizuki Tsujimura

文字数 4,559文字

The Story Continues Tomorrow


Masaya hasn’t seen Hiroto for over two months.
  He knows that there’s a scary sickness going around, and it’s really, really bad if you catch it. Masaya lives with his grandma and grandpa, so his mom and everybody are always reminding him he has to be extra careful. He wishes they didn’t keep telling him over and over. He knows already.
  His elementary school was shut for ages, but now, even though it’s started again, it’s not back to how it was before. This morning as Masaya was putting his shoes on, his mom said to him,
  It’s a pity you can’t meet Hiroto. I and Y names are separate aren’t they?
  When school had started up again in June, all the classes were split into three, and only one third of the students attended each day. It went by the student roll, which was alphabetical.
  Hiroto Izaki and Masaya Yano. If you had a family name starting with I, you were in Group A, and if it started with Y you were in Group C. So Hiroto wouldn’t be there.
  Masaya shrugged.
  That’s how it goes.
  He’d said it, but inside his chest, his heart felt like it was being squeezed.
  See you later!
  At school, the seats were all spaced out. Everyone had been told not to sit close together or chat with each other, so Masaya ended up hardly talking to any of the other children. And the day was over very quickly.
  As Masaya exited the school gate, and set off in the direction of his house, he suddenly heard a voice.
  Masaya!
  He looked up and caught his breath. There was Hiroto right in front of him! The lower half of his friend’s face was covered by a large mask, and he had his bicycle with him. His face and hair were sparkling with sweat.
  Masaya was so surprised that it took a few moments to find his voice.
  Hiroto!
  He realized that his friend had been waiting for him though it wasn’t even Hiroto’s day to go to school.
  What are you doing here?
  Hiroto looked a little embarrassed. He laughed nervously.
  Nothing special.
  Masaya noticed a book in the basket of Hiroto’s bike.
  Oh! he said. I’ve got that book, too.
  Hiroto picked up the book.
  Seriously?
  Yeah. My grandparents bought it for me so I wouldn’t be bored during the lockdown.
  Awesome! Which bit did you like best? Were you shocked how it ended?
  Yeah, it blew me away. Hey, you read all the way to the end?
  This was big news to Masaya. Hiroto wasn’t normally into reading.
  Yeah, well. . . . Hiroto said, nodding a little shyly, Anyway, I thought if you hadn’t read it, I’d lend it to you.
  Masaya was so happy to hear his friend’s words, that he couldn’t even manage to say thank you. It was the first time in his life his heart had ever felt so full that he couldn’t make words come out.
  Careful to leave a little space between them, the two boys set off towards home. They talked about the book the whole way.
  It was strange to Masaya to think that all the time he and his friend were apart, Hiroto had been in a different place reading the exact same book. And now that they were together in the same place, they could talk about how much they liked it.
  Right before they reached Masaya’s house, Hiroto turned his bike around.
  See you.
  Wait!
  Finally, Masaya found the words he’d been wanting to say.
  Thanks for coming to meet me.
  Hiroto gave the same shy laugh.
  No problem. He turned his masked face in the direction of his house and began to pedal. See you.
  Yeah, see you! Masaya called after him.
  Being outdoors under the bright sun, and being able to tell your friend you’d see them tomorrow felt really, really awesome.


Translated by Louise Heal Kawai / Arranged by TranNet KK

Mizuki Tsujimura
She was born on February 29, 1980. Born in Yamanashi Prefecture, she made her debut in 2004 with

Tsumetai

kōsha

no

toki

wa

tomaru

(Cold schoolhouse time is stop), which won the 31st Mephisto Prize. She won the 32nd Eiji Yoshikawa Literary Newcomer’s Award for

Tsunagu

(Connect), the 147th Naoki Sanjū-go Prize for

Kagi

no

nai

yume

o

miru

(The keyless dream), and the 15th Honya Award for

Kagami

no

kojō

(Solitary castle in the mirror). Other writings include

Surouhaitsu

no

kamisama

(God of slow heights),

Anime

Supremacy!

,

Asagakuru

(The morning comes),

Gōman

to

zenryō

(Arrogance and goodness), and

Shōsetu

eiga

Doraemon:

Nobita

no

getsumen

tansa

ki

(Novel Doraemon the movie: Nobita’s lunar exploration).

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文字サイズ
  • 特大
背景色
  • 生成り
  • 水色
フォント
  • 明朝
  • ゴシック
組み方向
  • 横組み
  • 縦組み