My mother was out of shape. Perhaps that’s why she looks older than she is. I wondered what she was doing there after all this time, but my father let her come up to the house. I wondered if there was something going on.
“Please come in.”
I prepare a cup of tea, and then I keep quiet.
I looked at my father’s face.
He didn’t smile, but it was his usual face. Either he was being reserved, or he didn’t care that it was over, or he didn’t feel anything anymore in the face of his imminent death.
Besides, I wonder if he has told Mom about his illness. But it’s my dad. Maybe he hasn’t told her.
I’m here not to tell her.
“…… Toki. I’m the one who called her. I asked her to talk to you. …… You’ve probably been in a funk ever since then. Maybe you still are.”
“…..Toki….. I’m sorry I left without saying anything.”
That’s what I thought many times.
It was the beginning of what I am now.
It’s my trauma that has come up again and again, and I’ve gone through it.
I thought about it silently while my mother apologized.
The cause of my mother’s affair and what happened afterwards. How I still think I don’t want to hear or see any of it.
Is the trauma not cured because it was never revealed to me?
I had never delved into this trauma before. I had never put it into clear words.
My mind had refused to see it. I kept a lid on it, trying not to look any further.
I look at my father.
My dad has been trying so hard to cheer me up. Although he was probably the saddest of all, he let it go and said, “I don’t care about such things, as long as I have you”
When I remember that, I can do my best.
Until now, I thought I was a witness but not a party to this. I thought it was only about my father and mother. But maybe I was just making it easier for myself to let it go by giving reasons like that.
Maybe that was wrong.
“…Is that all you came…… for?”
“I’ve been meaning to apologize to Toki for a long time. I didn’t get a chance to say it until now.”
“Don’t need it……”
“I don’t need an apology…..”
As I thought, I don’t want an apology, no matter how many times I think about it. That much is certain.
I don’t want to blame Mom for everything now. Dad may have had his share of faults. Maybe he was as decidedly out of line as Haruka and I. But the trial that followed made it clear that black and white was not the way to go.
But after the trial, the case was definitely settled.
Dad and Mom had a settlement.
So I don’t want an apology.
I don’t want an excuse about the affair.
What I really wanted was.
“What did I do wrong?”
“I thought it was between the two of you. For a long time, I always thought it was between the two of you. But it was not. Up until the moment you cheated on him.”
From that day on, my feet were really wobbly. I didn’t know where I was standing. I couldn’t stand very well without going through the events around me, without pretending to be okay, and without lying.
Once I got used to it, I could no longer see my wobbly feet, and now a mere liar had been born.
That’s right. All I wanted was to know if the time the three of us spent together was a lie or the real thing.
What I felt when I saw the scene of the affair.
Was it the same for Mom whether I was there or not?
I really wanted the answer to that question.
“So tell me. Was I not needed?”
That’s probably where the middle of my trauma lies.