A cold, bone-chilling wind was blowing.
Tomoya loaded the limp Kanako into his backpack, got on his bike, and pedaled as fast as he could. His heart was pounding harder than it ever had before.
Finally, the familiar silhouette of Nakano Broadway rose up ahead of him. He got off the bike, tossed it aside as though abandoning it, and ran toward the entrance. It was after midnight; the shutter would be down. He'd pry it open if he had to—he was going inside.
But in front of the building he slowed and then stopped. Ena was standing at the entrance.
"Never got an answer to my e-mail. Might have come over here, I thought."
She seemed to be talking to herself, making excuses, but her eyes were fixed on Tomoya and his backpack.
For a moment he was dumbstruck. It was unbelievable: she'd been waiting for him out here in the middle of the night, not even knowing if he'd be coming or not.
"Sorry, I have to hurry."
He had no time for Ena now. He had to find that arm right away. He walked past her, but after a moment he realized she'd been holding something in her hand.
"Looking for this?"
With a wan smile, Ena waggled the item in her hand. Once it was attached, it would fit Kanako's arm perfectly. It was her missing right arm.
"How did you . . . ?
"I just happened to find it."
As if drawn to the piece, Tomoya was unconsciously moving closer to Ena.
Copyright (C) Shokichi/Web Japan, English translation (C) John Brennan
Edited by Japan Echo Inc.