It has been three months since I joined uncle Narimiya’s company.
His company was engaged in a wide range of businesses.
When I was a small child, I believed it was a construction company.
According to uncle, the company changed to a diversified business after the government cut public works spending and collusion came to be vilified.
The collusion was supposed to be a mutual aid to help the community. They say that the word “free competition” was used to misrepresent the role of collusion.
As a result, only companies with capital or political power that are not local can win the bidding process, and money no longer flows into the region.
That is the current decline of the region. Well, there are still other reasons, he said, explaining the outline of his company.
I only understood what I could see.
But it was obvious, says uncle.
Look, this is a shopping street that Toki and I used to go to when you were little. Various things are gone, right? It’s going to get desolate, he said.
I remember being excited with Haruka when we were little. Certainly, it is different from what it used to be, and I feel a sense of loneliness.
Not all of them, but apparently they have saved companies that were in danger of being run down and have grouped them together based on that company.
This is my hometown. I don’t want it to decline like this. That’s why I also want you to stay here, Toki.
That’s what he said.
However, that diversification saved me from having a job that had nothing to do with construction. I was immediately useful to uncle.
The rest of my time was spent with my dad. I didn’t want to think about it too much, but until then, I would work as hard as I could for him.
After that…..I still didn’t want to think about what I would do.
Dad’s illness was slowly progressing. He seemed to hesitate to move his body when his lungs were in pain, and he tried not to show it to me, but I could sense that he was in pain.
He was unable to move his body as he wished because of his illness, and the burden he was under was different from the burden I was carrying.
He smiles at me, as he always does.
“Look, don’t worry about me. You can spend your time on your own. Don’t treat me like an old man.”
I knew that he must have felt his own mortality, but seeing him acting as if he didn’t, I began to think that my worries were nothing to worry about. I started to think so.
Maybe he just doesn’t want me, his son, to worry about him. But I naturally began to think so.
But even if I understood it in my head, it would not be cured immediately. On the contrary, once I realized that I had been lying to my heart, I became a little afraid to look people in the eye.
Was this the price I had to pay for continually lying to my own heart?
I wondered what other people were doing when they became aware that it was their own imagination.
With this thought in mind, I read the letter Haruka had given me again.
After work, I went shopping for dinner and came home to be greeted by
“…You’ve grown up. ……”
It was my mother.
It was the first day of the second semester of my first year of junior high school.
My mother had left home that day.
I had never seen my mother since that day, and seeing her older than I remembered, for some reason the image of a desolate shopping street came to my mind.