In silent evening in January, Tomoya was crying while holding a Hawaiian ocean photograph collection in his hands. He was looking back on his father's fight with AIDS.
Tomoya Ishino lived in Nagoya city with his family: his father, mother and older sister. He went to Junior high school and he was in the first grade. He was an active boy and liked sports. His father was forty and a teacher in elementary school. His name was Yuya. His mother was thirty five and worked at library as part-time job. Her name was Satomi. His old sister was sixteen and student in high school. Her name was Yumi. She was a brilliant and her grade was good. The family looked like a usual happy family. They like traveling and they went to national somewhere every summer vacation. His father liked the sea, so they often go to Minamichita and ate delicious sea food. Tomoya liked his family very much. However, a hateful disease gradually changed the family.
One night in August, Tomoya was called by his mother and she flatly said after she was confused for a minute, "Dad has a bad disease. This is very very BAD disease."
She was serious. She continued, "Do you remember the time he got appendicitis? When he was operated on, he had a blood transfusion. Bud the blood was very dirty, so Dad got a bad disease."
Tomoya was shocked and asked, "What disease?"
His mother answered. "It is heavy incurable disease. Power of immunity is down, so he won't get over even a cold. He will get weaker gradually. I also told that your sister. I'm sorry. I couldn't imagine that I had to say such a thing to you."
Tomoya couldn't believe and felt somewhat out of her words.
Next night, his father asked him to walk to park near their house together. They used to fly their kites there. Though they didn't talk, Tomoya's father opened his mouse when they arrived at the park.
"Did you here about my disease from Mom?"
He did not answer. His father tried to explain. "My disease is heavy and..."
But Tomoya cut in with it. "Your disease is AIDS, isn't it?"
He shouted. He knew about AIDS because he learned from health and physical education class. His answered "Yes." though he looked be surprised.
"How on earth do we become? Why did you do such disease?"
He accused his father. His father was at a loss and said, "I'm sorry, but there was no other way. I didn't want to such disease. The bad one is all the transfused bloods."
Tomoya also couldn't understand. He also knew the possibility that of putting to the transfusion and getting AIDS is extremely few. And then he remembered a sight 3 years ago.
That was on the way in coming buck to the house from the cram school, Tomoya was walking entertainment district in the town. He saw a man and a woman was taking in front of an entertainment establishment. The man said "I'll come soon."
And the woman said "Next Friday."
The woman pressed herself against him. Tomoya was very shocked though he had seen such situations some times. Because the man was his father. His father found Tomoya and pushed her off hastily. Tomoya ran away from there. His father came back to his house after 30 minuets Tomoya came back, bud they did not talk each other. At that time, he was 4th grade in elementary school and just learned about sex at the school. He could imagine what his father and the woman was doing.
Three years had passed since that time, he heard his father's AIDS and he remembered it. He thought that his father and mother told a lie about the cause of getting AIDS. He understood that that woman must have infected his father with her HIV virus. However, he could not say it to his parents because he was afraid to make sure.
His family changed after his father got disease. His sister became to not speak to her father.
Tomoya told his friends that his father had cancer and they pitied him, so he felt very guilty telling a lie. His mother was also irritated. One midnight, he heard his mother's shout, "Do you know what disservice to me and children you did!!!!!"
He covered his ears with his hands in bedclothes.
His father became to catch a cold frequently and he was forced to quit his job. One day in October, his father confessed his family that he wanted to live separately from them. Tomoya was surprised and his sister was pleased. His mother was silent for a minute and she approved.
Next month, he rent small apartment in Ishikawa prefecture and he departed with small bag. Tomoya asked him "What are you going to do a just alone?" when he saw his father off in front of his house.
He answered. "I want to write a novel by myself."
He asked one more "Why Ishikawa prefecture?"
He answered "I want to write a novel about sea, so I want to live near the sea. Moreover there are an old friend in Kanazawa city where is capital city in Ishikawa prefecture."
Tomoya's house became silent since his father left. The time he is thinking about his father was gradually decreasing. But He affected by his friends' encouragements for Tomoya's father because they thought his father is suffering from cancer. Tomoya often went to library and he read same book any days. The book title was about AIDS.
Tomoya and his mother went to meet his father that Christmas. His sister refused to meet him. It took about 4 hours to Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture from Nagoya by bus. They took a local train for 30 minutes from there and they arrived at his father's house. He thought it short distance unexpectedly. He became thin a little but looked good condition. He said "My life in here is satisfactory to me."
The narrow room was tidy and there are not many things, but they can hear the sound of the wave. His father had Christmas meal his mother cooked very well and asked Tomoya about his school life and so on. His family looked usual family. After the dinner, Tomoya and his father went walking on the beach. Tomoya asked his father, "Are you writing your novel smoothly?"
He asked, "To write novel is not so easy. I have to use my power more than my imagination. I quitted because I was tired."
Anyway, Tomoya felt happy to talk with his father and he was relieved by his fine figure. Bud he badly remembered that night sight and he could not forgive his father. Moreover, he was afraid what his mother was thinking about his father. Next morning, His mother made a lot of preservation meal for his father and they came back to Nagoya.
After he came back to home, Tomoya asked his sister, "Why do you hate Dad? He looked sad because you didn't want to meet him."
She answered, "Though I think you can't understand………he had an affair with other woman." She continued, "Do you believe that he got a disease by blood transfusion? I can't believe such a thing."
Tomoya bent his head and his sister said, "I mean that our father was infected AIDS by other woman because he had an affair."
She was crying.
"He went to Ishikawa to live with the woman."
Tomoya was surprised. "What!?"
"That is Just my expectation, but I had never hard that there were Dad's old friend in kanazawa.. I think … Kanazawa is the woman's home town."
Her explanation made a sense. "But….Who is the woman?"
"I don't know, but the woman is in adult entertainment establishment. I saw Dad was entering a hotel with the woman. Next day, I found her pink calling card in her suits pocket."
Tomoya remembered the thing 3 years ago. "I can't forgive him. He betrayed Mam and us." Tomoya was stunned and asked her, "Does Mom know that thing?"
She answered, "I don't know. But I think she absolutely can know. " Tomoya and his sister were crying for a long time at the night.
Next day, Tomoya's mother said "Welcome home." at the kitchen when Tomoya came to back from his school. He went straight to his room. That time, a terrible idea floated through his head immediately. He ran to kitchen. His mother was washing vegetables.
Suddenly, He shouted "Are you OK?"
She was surprised. "In short…. Perhaps, do you get disease, too? " He asked such a thing because there are possibility that his mother and father did. His mother gazed his face for a minute , and then came up to him. She said flatly "I am in good."
His family seldom met up because father called and said, "I am busy now because my old friend got a disease and his symptom is bad. I want to be in him, so I can't meet you for a while. " Tomoya thought the friend was the woman and she was suffering from same disease with his father and he was caring for her. He could not understand his father's mind. He wanted to meet him.
Spring passed and Summer passed. In this Autumn September, his family received a letter from his father. He said, "My friend passed away. He looked happy to meet his family and friends when he was ding. And…..my symptom is bad. I have a fever everyday. But don't worry. My friend's mother is caring for me. She thankfully comes and buys a thing I want. Though I am tired everyday, so come here if you all have a time."
Tomoya could not bring himself to go to meet his father His mother didn't meet her husband, too, though she sometimes talked with him by phone. Tomoya received letter from his father twice a month. A letter from him said "Let's go to Hawaii with all family members at next spring vacation. I want to see the beautiful ocean in Hawaii. And I want to go to somewhere with you." Tomoya ignored it.
Christmas eve came. They spent to their home though Tomoya and his mother spent at his father's home in Ishikawa. When he put on star on the top of Christmas tree, He remembered the time he decorated Christmas tree with his father. That is his father's task while his mother cooked Christmas dinner and Tomoya helped that every year when he was a little boy. At that time, Tomoya wanted to put on star on the top of tree, but his arm didn't reach the top because he was small. He thought that his father is cool because he could put it easily. He also remembered figure of his father now, he became to tiny because of disease. Suddenly, he became to want to meet his father. He had never wanted to meet his father since he talked with his sister about their father.
He said to his mother, "I want to meet Dad."
She said while she was baking Christmas cake. "Yes, next week…"
Tomoya said, "No, I want to go tonight."
"But... I don't know time bus time."
"Bus to Kanazawa will depart at 6 in the evening. It's available. May I go?"
She looked surprised and said. "OK. You should do thing you like."
At the time, Tomoya's sister shouted. "No way!! Don't you understand what I said the other day? Moreover you may be infected by daps or towels!!"
"Yumi!!" Their mother shouted.
"Do you believe things what foolish is saying? Do you think that I let Tomoya go to dangerous place?"
Her daughter cried and ran to her room.
Tomoya arrived at nearest station at 10:30 at night. He called his father, but he could not pick up him because his condition was not good. So he walked and arrived at his father's house.
"Then, Haw are you? How are your mother and sister?" Tomoya's father asked.
"You are not concerned with them" He answered dryly.
"Yes..." He said sadly and continued.
"Next morning. Ms. Kato will come to cook our breakfast."
Tomoya was frustrated. "Who is Ms.Kato?"
"So…my friend's mother." He answered while spreading out the futon.
"Did your friend died by AIDS?" Tomoya's father was surprised and answered.
"Yes. Anyway, it's time to go to bad tonight. My condition is not good. My condition is not good. I will be fine more. Good night Tomoya." He lain his bed.
Next morning, Tomoya found the woman who he didn't know in the kitchen when he got up. The woman found him and said. "Good morning. Tomoya. I'm always hearing about you from your father."
She smiled. "Oh, I forgot saying my name. I'm Hiromi Kato. I help daily life of your father."
He finally said. "My father appreciates your kindness."
"Wake up! I arranged for breakfast." She woke Tomoya's father at night. During break fast, two people ware quiet.
Suddenly, his father said, "Did you talk with Mom about traveling to Hawaii? Spring vacation is coming soon. I want to stay for a week. We should reserve the plane."
Tomoya sighed and said "But... Can you go out?"
"I'm good. I will recover soon ever if my condition is bad temporarily."
"Really!? You looked worse than last time we met. That's impossible. "
His father became silent. "You're selfish!! You are thinking just yourself!!"
Tomoya could not stop. "I know why you got disease!! I watched you and the other woman. Yumi said so, too!! You came here because the woman was living. Not just friend!! You are liar!!" His father was expression less.Tomoya ran away to outside. He thought "What a stupid thing I did." After a minnits, his father came to him when Tomoya was on the stairs in the his father's apartment.
I'm sorry, Tomoya." He said.
"I met her in the family restaurant when I was depressed because the relationship with my students was not good. She spoke to me. She listen the reason why I was sad and lent her book she recommended for me." He continued his explain. "She was working at adult entertainment establishment. So I went there some times to meet her because I was attracted to her. I loved you mother, but I called for healing from her. I didn't know she got AIDS. She didn't know she got AIDS, too. Tomoya asked after a minute silent
"Did you say that to Mum?" His father asked him in return.
"I mean…..did you say about the woman?" His father answered.
"Of course. I told her as soon as my disease was found."
Tomoya was shocked. "Why!? Mom would be sad!"
He answered, "If I told a lie, she knew truth at once." He said that and violently coughed.
"Are you OK?" Though Tomoya asked so, his father continued to cough. Tomoya went to kitchen to bring grass of water and passed his father. "You know…..it's absolutely impossible to go traveling. You should not say you want to go Hawaii."
His father said by a hollow voice, "…Yes."
Next day, when Tomoya went to back to Nagoya, his father could not sent his san to the station. In front of his apartment, He said, "Actually, I understood that I could not go traveling." Tomoya was sad. He was thinking that adults can do anything they want to do.
He received a letter from his father on New Year's day. He said that he could not meet up for some time to prepare to meet in spring vacation. His birthday was in March. Tomoya understood that his father never was idling. He became to think after he visited his father by alone. He thought his father was fighting with awful disease. He prepared birthday present for his father. It was the Hawaiian ocean photograph collection. He found it in the library and he got it by asking many times.
Winter vacation finished. One day, I listen his mother was talking someone by telephone when he came back from his school. She hanged up the phone and said to him. "Terrible thing was happened!!! Dad was carried to the hospital in Kanazawa!! Do you know that means? Anyway, we have to go to Kanazawa tonight!!" Tomoya was surprised a little because his mother was panic.
His mother said to her daughter who pretended to not listen that. "You can choose whether you will go with us or not."
They took the bus to Kanazawa. Finally, his sister followed after them. "Tomoya, do you know the woman who name is Kato."
His mother asked him and he answered. "Yes. He has friend who died by AIDS, doesn't he? Ms Kato is his mother."
The half of his word was truth. His mother said. "She called to inform that thankfully."
They arrived at the hospital and listened to the Doctor's speech before they meet up. Doctor said to their mother, "His condition was very dangerous, now. Please stay at here tonight for him." After that, they went to his sickroom. Body of his father was small like a child. Tomoya's mother sighed and his sister cried. Tomoya looked down his father. He was sleeping. But his breath was very irregular. His mother caked her husband's name softly. Tomoya spoke to his father, too.
Then, his eyelash moved slowly and mouth opened a little.
"Hi." He answered. His family all tried to listen to the next voice. However, it was his last voice. They kept their eyes on him. Mother said to Tomoya and his sister. "I'm in here. You should go to town and have dinner."
"I will not." His sister said.
"I bought something to eat" Tomoya said and left from the sickroom. Then, he found Ms. Kato standing.
"Enter the room, please." He said to her, but she said "No. I should not be in his sickroom with your family."
This midnight, Yuya Ishino passed away. His wife said to Tomoya at funeral. "I loved him very much. So, I had no choices but forgive him for betraying us. He is feeling relieved now that a long fight is over. Yes. Shall we go to Hawaii with his bone? "