Eleven o'clock. In the room where one person and one figure now resided, an uneasy silence prevailed.
<<Are you free tomorrow? I want to go shopping.>>
<<What time should we go?>>
As he conversed with Ena by e-mail on his cellphone, he gazed out the window. Clouds were sweeping across the sky; it was expected to snow late that night.
Another day of fruitless searching. When they got home Tomoya had gone straight to his desk and started trimming a half-finished capsule figure. Kanako wasn't really doing anything, just sitting in a corner staring off into space.
He spoke to her over his shoulder
"Can I ask you one thing?"
"What's going to happen after we find your arm?"
"What do you want to happen?"
That was the worst possible reply. He pretended to be searching his mind, but she pressed him for an answer.
Tomoya considered the prospect of living with Kanako for the rest of his life. He wondered if she even had a life, a life span. Eventually he'd get a job, get married, grow old, and die. When he was an old man, Kanako would still be just as she was now. She'd probably be there at this side, weeping, when her master breathed his last.
For some reason Ena's face popped into his head.
"Let me guess what you're thinking."
Her voice took on a sadistic edge.
"If only she'd been an ordinary figure."
Unconsciously, he clenched his fist around the utility knife he was using. If she saw the look on his face right now, some of his furnishings were bound to be destroyed.
Stifling his emotions, he tried to seem calm and in control.
"Oh really? So if Ena asks, ‘Who's more important, me or the doll,' you'll say ‘The doll'?"
Kanako was turning on him in a very nasty way. He understood she was impatient to find her arm, and he felt guilty about spending time with Ena, but Kanako had no right to speak to him this way.
"Why do you have to bring up Ena?"
The blade of the utility knife snapped in two. He tried taking deep breaths to calm himself down, but his breathing was shaky. Just then his phone started vibrating—an e-mail.
<<Is Kanako coming along again tomorrow?>>
That was it. If he stayed here with Kanako another minute he'd lose all control and say something disastrous. He'd have to make up an excuse and leave. He stood up.
Copyright (C) Shokichi/Web Japan, English translation (C) John Brennan
Edited by Japan Echo Inc.