Saturday, 7 May 2011

Chapter 4 : 17 Years Old [ "I can't even sing anymore . . ." X ]


Congratulations to Ako and Hiroki for graduating from junior high school. Now you have to face the high school entrance exams. Good luck!

Feeling like going out into the fields
To pick the fertile horsetail shoots.

The spring rain silently drizzles down.

This spring brings only loneliness.

I'm really concerned about my future. I've already turned my back on my life without being aware of it. What's happened to my hopes for the future? I can no longer think seriously about what I want to be in the future. Let it be. The waves of my fate have washed me away. I don't even know what kind of occupations left for me.
"There'll be another year," says Mom.
"I only have one year," I think.
I don't know how to bridge this gap in our way of thinking anymore.

The students who come to school every day from Aoi Tori Gakuen Medical Welfare Center - and those who have been living in the dormitory since they were young - are different to me. They don't have any hesitations and they seem to live their lives very smoothly.
"We don't mind a cheat, but at least be punctual!"
Because I'm always slow and late, R-sensei and the head matron tell me the same thing. But take the cleaning, for example: I'm slow, but I still want to do the cleaning properly. I can't cheat like that . . .

Matron I is very kind. She envelops me in a mother-like love. I like her very much because she makes me feel relaxed. She says she can't sleep well at night, so I think I'll give her a stuffed animal. Matron Y is the one who always hurries me along, repeating that I'm slow. But she watched me quietly the other day for about 10 minutes when I was crossing the 3-meter-wide corridor at the dormitory. Their kindness differs in quality.

I overheard mom talking to one of the matrons:
"I'll Aya with me when I die."
I didn't know she was thinking that deeply. I realized that was a mother's love.

I forgot to push button to start charging the Machine (my electric wheelchair), so it ceased to be a machine. I was in trouble. I pushed it up the slope with all my energy. I had a pain around my lower back. I took a brief break on the connecting corridor on the second floor. I could see something small moving on the hillside when I looked down at the ground. It was a puppy. It looked lonely.

Just then a teacher passed by. "Ah, dogs like nice scenery, too!"

It struck me then that the feelings you have toward something that doesn't speak vary depending on the person or your mood at that time.

What should I do after graduation? In the past two years, my disease has become much worse. mom says I should concentrate on getting thorough treatment by consulting Dr. Yamamoto. It's no longer a matter of whether I can motivate myself or not. It's not a time for expecting encouragement, either. I just have to carry on.

I put my feet under the kotatsu heated table and ate some snacks. Ako had left for me. "Keep it up, Aya!" she said to me.

Recently I've been feeling something strange. Sometimes my vision gets blurry and my brain starts to reel. The shape of my right foot has also changed. The joint of my big toe is protruding and the other toes are kind of flat. I feel disgusted thinking that this is my foot. Now I'm 149 centimeters tall and weigh 36 kilograms. I hope my foot won;t lose the strength to support my body.
Do you hear me, ugly foot?
"I'm getting worse and I can't walk any more," I said to matron G when she was helping me charge my wheel-chair. "There was a time when my disease was at a mild stage and I could walk. In that state, I could have taken care of the others at the dormitory. But I came here after I'd become quite helpless, and now other people have to help me. I really feel sorry about that . . ."

Toward the end, it was difficult to get the words out properly, but I managed not to cry.

Mom was crying.
"It was your fate that you got ill, and it was also our fate as parents to have a child like you. Aya, I'm sure you are having a hard time, but we're having an even harder time. So don't get sloppy about trivial things. You must live strongly!"

When I was going back to the dormitory to change my clothes and get ready for the PE lesson, some phlegm got stuck in my throat. I almost choked to death. I can't get any abdominal pressure and I don;t have much lung capacity, so I couldn't get rid of it. It was very painful. I definitely feel I'll die one day because of some trifling little thing like that.

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