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Happy Girls' Day!

I realize it’s not a traditional hinamatsuri photo, but I couldn’t help it, the cat was so cute! Happy Girls’ Day!

ひとり寿司第22章パート5




「ひとり寿司」をブログに連載します!


ひとり寿司



寿司シリーズの第一作

キャミー・タング

西島美幸 訳

スポーツ狂のレックス・坂井 —— いとこのマリコが数ヶ月後に結婚することにより、「いとこの中で一番年上の独身女性」という内輪の肩書を「勝ち取る」ことについては、あまり気にしていない。コントロールフリークの祖母を無視するのは容易だ —— しかし、祖母は最終通告を出した —— マリコの結婚式までにデート相手を見つけなければ、無慈悲な祖母は、レックスがコーチをしている女子バレーボールチームへの資金供給を切ると言う。

ダグアウトにいる選手全員とデートに出かけるほど絶望的なわけではない。レックスは、バイブルスタディで読んだ「エペソの手紙」をもとに「最高の男性」の条件の厳しいリストを作った。バレーボールではいつも勝つ —— ゲームを有利に進めれば、必ず成功するはずだ。

そのとき兄は、クリスチャンではなく、アスリートでもなく、一見何の魅力もないエイデンを彼女に引き合わせる。

エイデンは、クリスチャンではないという理由で離れていったトリッシュという女の子から受けた痛手から立ち直ろうとしている。そして、レックスが(1)彼に全く興味がないこと、(2)クリスチャンであること、(3)トリッシュのいとこであることを知る。あの狂った家族とまた付き合うのはごめんだ。まして、偽善的なクリスチャンの女の子など、お断り。彼はマゾヒストじゃない。

レックスは時間がなくなってきた。いくら頑張っても、いい人は現れない。それに、どこへ行ってもエイデンに遭遇する。あのリストはどんどん長くなっていくばかり ——

過去に掲載済みのストーリーのリンクはこちらです。

***


「あなたのお父さん、いつボックススプリング(ベッドのばね)とマットレスを持ってくるの?」

「三時まで用事がある、って言ってたから、うちに帰って荷物を取って、四時ごろかな」

「用事って、どんなこと?」

レックスは肩をすくめた。「聞かなかった。話したくないみたいだったし」

ビーナスは腰に手をおいた。

「あなたたち親子って、コミュニケーション不足よね。今までどうやって物事をやり終えてきたんだか」

「ちょっと、ちょっと。兄一人とシングルファーザーの家で育ったのよ。朝起きた時におはよう、って言ってもらえるだけでもラッキーでしょ」

「ハーロウ?」またミセス・チャングの頭が見えた。「持ってきた——」

ビーナスは日本の弓矢のようにビシッと言った。「レックス——」

「ありがとう、ミセス・チャング」レックスは薄茶色の四角い物が入ったプラスチックの容器を受け取った。揚げ豆腐のように見える。

うっ、何のにおいだろう? もしかして、ビーナスが——

ビーナスの口は作り笑いで固まり、レックスにつぶやいた。「開けちゃダメ。ミセス・チャングにはありがとう、とだけ言って」

「何の話?」レックスは容器を引っ張った。彼女は中国の食べ物が大好きだった。ジェニファーのお父さんが作ってくれるものは、英語の名前が分からないものでも何でも食べた。

「ベッドの残りのパーツを取ってくるから」ビーナスは忍者のように消えてしまった。

ミセス・チャングが食べ物を指して、顔を輝かせた。「好き? よかった」

蓋が少し開いた。(プワアアアン)

ここまで腐ったにおいがするものを嗅いだのは、生まれて初めてだった。さっと蓋を元に戻した。目から涙が出てきたが、顔をピシャリと打って、こぼれるような笑顔を浮かべた。「あ、ありがとうございます、ミセス・チャング」

「もっと欲しい、私に言う」彼女は向きを変えて、消えた。

ビーナスがベッドの残りのパーツを持って現れ、部屋に入りながら息を詰まらせている。「バカね、開けちゃダメだって言ったでしょ」

レックスは、何かに突き刺されたような目から溢れる涙を拭いた。「一体、何? あれ」

「臭豆腐。だんだん好きになる味らしいわよ」

「本当に食べられるの?」

「うちの親の猫でも食べないわ」

「ゲゲッ」レックスはその容器をカウンターに投げた。「あなたの言うことを無視して、心から謝るわ」

「謝ってるの? 珍しいこともあるのね」ビーナスが目を大きく開けた。

「ほっといてよ」

ビーナスはクスクス笑いながら、ベッドの枠を組み立て始めた。「ここから会社まで、ちょっと遠いんじゃない?」

「一時的なことだから、いいの」

「休みを取るのは大丈夫なの?」

「うん、ラッセルは大丈夫だって」レックスは、装具についているベルクロのストラップを引っ張った。

「それに、手術の後、六週間ぐらいで復職できるって、ドクターが言ってた。でも、リハビリもあるから、毎週PTのために仕事を抜けなきゃいけないんだ」

「自分で運転できるようになるまで、私がPTに連れて行くことになるのね」

レックスは顔をしかめた。「そうなの? ビーナス、ほんとにありがとう」空中のホコリのために咳が出た。「手術が終わって、階段を昇れるようになったら、タウンハウスの部屋を探すわ」

ビーナスは、アルミニウムの枠をパチっとはめた。何かが目に留まった。何か向こう側の隅にあるものを見て、目を細めている。レックスもチラッと見た。カーペットの上に小さい点がある。

その点が動いた。

「キャアアアッ!」ビーナスは段ボール箱の上にのって膝をついた。レックスは別の箱に座り、足を上げた。

ネズミが走っていった。

***

電子書籍
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日本Kindle
Apple Books
Kobo/Rakuten
Google Play
印刷本
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