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Year of the Dog serial novel, chapter 22

I’m posting a Humorous Christian Romantic Suspense serial novel here on my blog! Year of the Dog is a (second) prequel to my Warubozu Spa Chronicles series. Year of the Dog serial novel by Camy Tang Mari Mutou, a professional dog trainer, is having a bad year. While renovating her new dog kenneling and training facility, she needs to move in with her disapproving family, who have always made her feel inadequate—according to them, a job requiring her to be covered in dog hair and slobber is an embarrassment to the family. She convinces her ex-boyfriend to take her dog for a few months … but discovers that his brother is the irate security expert whose car she accidentally rear-ended a few weeks earlier. Ashwin Keitou has enough problems. His aunt has just shown up on his doorstep, expecting to move in with him, and he can’t say no because he owes her everything—after his mother walked out on them, Auntie Nell took in Ashwin and his brother and raised them in a loving Chri

ひとり寿司第24章パート2




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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。

***


**********


どうして月曜日はもっと早く来ないのだろう。

バイコディンが完全に切れてしまった後、骨にしみる痛みが戻ってきた。最悪の週末だった。

月曜日の朝、ビーナスの運転で医者に行った。レックスは待合室の椅子にゆっくり座った。

隣に座っていた女性は、レックスの顔を見てびっくりした様子だった。二日間シーツを噛み、CPMマシーンの動きとともにズキズキする膝を抱えながら、枕に汗を浸み込ませた後、レックスは電子レンジで温められた死神のように見えたのだろう。

「レックス・坂井さん。こちらへどうぞ」

診察室まで足を引きずった。もう一人の患者——三回目の膝の手術だと言っていた若い赤毛の女の子が過ぎていった。包帯も松葉杖もなく、足の装具だけで歩いていた。手術をした方の膝は少しピンク色に見えたが、いい方の足より少し腫れているだけで、小さく丸いバンドエイドを三つ、つけているだけだった。彼女はレックスに笑いかけ、手を振った。

レックスは、彼女に対してうなり声を出す以上の体力がなかった。

ビーナスに手伝ってもらって診察台に上がった。医者が入ってきて、二人と握手をした。「具合はいかがですか?」

「日焼けみたいに痛いので、CPMマシーンを使うのをやめました」

「それは良くないですね。膝が固まらないように、CPMマシーンは続けて使ってもらわないと。包帯をとって、どうなってるか見てみましょう」

外側のエースの包帯を取ると、アイスマシーンに取り付けられていた平らで水が入ったプラスチック性のパッドが見えた。(ああ、こんな風になってたのか)レックスはただひんやりするのを感じていただけだった。

それから、医師はその下のガーゼとパッドを取り除いた。

(わおっ、ひどい)膝頭全体が水膨れで覆われていた。あの赤毛の女の子の膝と違って、腫れは全くひいてなかった。

「体が分泌物をうまく排出してないみたいですね。皮下に水膨れができてます」

訳が分からない。

「分泌物を抜きますからね」

医師が急に巨大な針を何本も取り出してから、別の針に透明の液体を入れるまで、レックスは、何をされようとしているのかがよく分からなかった。「ちょっと麻酔を入れますね」膝の少し上にその液体を注射した。つねられた感じがしたが、痛みは和らぐように感じられなかった。

そして、医師は太い針をつかんだ。

突然、感じられるのは白熱した痛み、痛み、痛み……診察台をつかんだが、指は紙のカバーと滑らかなビニールの上をこすっているだけだった。(ああっ、助けて!)

医師は、別の水膨れに針先を動かした。レックスは歯ぎしりした。頭の中で罵声が燃え始めた。

悪いことばを、いっさい口から出してはいけません。

(もう、うるさい。神様、私を恨んでるんですね)

神様は返事をしなかった。慰めもひらめきもなかった。レックスは、完全に一人ぼっちだった。

***

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