When something bothered me, I didn’t talk with anyone about it. I thought it over all by myself, came to a conclusion, and took action alone. Not that I really felt lonely. I thought that’s just the way things are. Human beings, in the final analysis, have to survive on their own.
Don’t you think it would be wonderful to get rid of everything and everybody and just go somewhere where you don’t know a soul? Sometimes I feel like doing that. I really, really want to do it sometimes.
I could hardly hear what people said to me, and they had just as much trouble catching anything I had to say. My whole body felt enveloped in some kind of membrane, cutting off any direct contact between me and the outside world. I couldn’t touch “them”, and “they” couldn’t touch me. I was utterly helpless, and as long as I remained in that state, “they” were unable to reach out to me.
Yeah," Mari says. "But it’s possible for people to draw closer to each other while they keep a reasonable distance between them."
“Of course it’s possible,” Takahashi says. “But what seems like a reasonable distance to one person might feel too far to somebody else.
Let me throw those memories away somewhere. But try as she might, her heart was constantly being drawn back into that nightmarish world. It seemed to her that almost everything she possessed had its roots sunk in that dark soil and was deriving its nourishment from it. No matter how far away I try to go, I always have to come back here…
Kumiko and I felt something for each other from the beginning. It was not one of those strong, impulsive feelings that can hit two people like an electric shock when they first meet, but something quieter and gentler, like two tiny lights traveling in tandem through a vast darkness and drawing imperceptibly closer to each other as they go. As our meetings grew more frequent, I felt not so much that I had met someone new as that I had chanced upon a dear old friend.