He had no recollection of how he'd gotten home.
Kanako was lying on the bed. Now and then she regained consciousness, but most of the time her eyes were closed. Her face was a vivid crimson, and her forehead was warm to the touch. Outside the window daylight arrived, and eventually it got dark again.
He touched his chin and felt stubble. He wasn't hungry, wasn't sleepy, hadn't even used the bathroom. All this time he'd been gazing at Kanako's profile.
Kanako came to again. She glanced up at the ceiling with a dubious look in her eye. She had clearly grown weaker since the previous night.
It was something he'd felt he shouldn't say, but it slipped out. Saying he was sorry would only make them both sad, yet somehow he felt it had to be said now.
Kanako looked him in the eye and spoke haltingly, as if biting off each word.
"I wasn't supposed to have a right arm."
Keeping her eyes on Tomoya's puzzled expression, she went on.
"It must be that there just wasn't any part for my right arm in the first place, but even without one I was perfectly cute. I had a good time, considering."
"But if we just had that right arm, you'd be complete . . ."
"Tomoya, let it go."
She sighed, but with a smile.
"I never had a right arm—let's just leave it at that."
Her words had the ring of a prayer.
"But why did you make me look for it?"
She stole a glance at the figurines on one of his shelves and closed her eyes.
"I was just . . . hoping."
A roaring gust of wind beat against the window. Neither of them spoke; a stillness descended.
Copyright (C) Shokichi/Web Japan, English translation (C) John Brennan
Edited by Japan Echo Inc.