30 April, Kanae Minato

文字数 3,569文字

After Rebirth


Fukase paused in the doorway of Clover Coffee, checking for customers. Satisfied there weren’t any, he made his way inside.
  Oh, Fukase-san!
  The owner was clearly surprised to see Fukase for the second day in a row. Clover Coffee had temporarily closed its coffee corner, and restricted itself to sales of beans.
  I’ve got four orders today, to be delivered, please.
  Yesterday was the first time in three weeks that he’d brewed himself a cup of coffee with beans from this store. Because of shortened business hours, he hadn’t been able to drop by until the previous day, the beginning of the Golden Week holidays.
  Fukase had recently confessed his crime to his circle of friends. As a result, some had distanced themselves from him, others had accepted him, and now he was learning to live with this new reality. With a sip of coffee, the tension in his body had melted away, and right away into his mind floated the faces of people who deserved their own share of comfort.
  Which kind of beans would you like?
  For Asami, some of the Kenyan—those bitter ones.
  When the coffee beans arrived at the high school where Asami worked, the gates would be closed, but she’d be fully occupied printing out teaching materials, and preparing for online classes.
  For Tanihara, the high-acidity Colombian.
  According to Asami, the trading company where Tanihara worked had sent him back to Japan from his post in Shanghai, and now people around him were giving him the cold shoulder.
  Murai’ll have the Vietnamese—the extra full-bodied ones.
  Fukase had gotten a text message from Murai, lamenting how he’d had to cancel all his holiday plans and would be stuck cleaning his house over Golden Week instead.
  And for the Hirosawas, those really earthy Indonesian beans.
  Perhaps they despised him now, but just the other day, he’d received a gift from the Hirosawa family vegetable plot, along with the message make sure you’re eating properly.
  Is that all? You know she’d finally opened her dream bakery, but it looks like she’s struggling. I’ve got her home address if you want it.
  She was talking about Mihoko. He hadn’t seen her since he’d confessed his crime. She hadn’t showered him with abuse or anything like that, but they’d parted in silence.
  No, I’d think I’d better get—
  You know, Fukase-san, these days coronavirus has filled the world with voices of despair. I’d love it to be responsible for something good happening.
  Over her mask, the shopkeeper’s eyes were filled with compassion.
  Whose was the first face that came to mind?
  I’ll take some of your Clover Blend. It goes really well with her bread.
A warm breeze stirred the air. May had arrived a day early.


Translated by Louise Heal Kawai/Arranged by TranNet KK

Kanae Minato
Born in Hiroshima Prefecture, 1973. Won the 35th Radio Drama Composition Prize in 2007 for

Kotae

wa

,

hiruma

no

tsuki

(The answer is the daytime moon). Made her literary debut in the same year with

Seishokusha

(The saint), for which she won the 29th Mystery Novel New Face Award. Other awards she has received are the 6th Japan Booksellers’ Award in 2009 for

Confessions

, the 65th Mystery Writers of Japan Award for Best Short Story in 2012 for

Bōkyō,

Umi

no

Hoshi

(Nostalgia, sea of stars), and the 29th Yamamoto Shūgorō Prize in 2016 for

Yūtopia

(Utopia). Her works have also gained acclaim overseas, with

Penance

being selected as a nominee for the 2018 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original.

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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