Epilogue – The King Has Donkey Ears -Part II– Poplar Publishing
2011/3/8 Today’s Events Shinokawa Ayaka
We had stewed hamburger for dinner tonight. I thought it was pretty good, but it could have used a little more mushrooms. That’s how I’d prefer it, anyway.
Shioriko didn’t eat that much, but Goura on the other hand ate like a wolf. Guys really do have amazing appetites.
Goura and Shioriko closed the store for the day and went somewhere together this morning. The second they got back, the two of them started turning Dad’s room upside down looking for something.
Do you think they found out about it?
Shioriko probably doesn’t know, but I think Goura must suspect something. He’ll probably tell Shioriko to ask me about it.
But how could he have found out? Is it because of what I’ve been writing here? If that really were the reason, then it would be just like in that story. I wrote about it a while ago, but I’m talking about The King Has Donkey Ears.
The hairdresser knew the King’s secret that he had donkey ears and was dying to tell someone, so he talked about the secret into a hole in the ground near the riverbank. But there were reeds (I’ve never seen grass like that before) growing near the hole, and every time the wind blew, they repeated what the hairdresser said.
The secret got out in the end and the king became unable to hide his ears…meaning that they never went back to normal, I guess. I bet that was just the worst for the king. But I think the hairdresser who went out of his way to talk about the secret where those strange reeds lived was also really suspicious.
But what if what he really wanted was for someone to listen to him? In in that case I can understand his feelings.
I think I’ll have to stop writing if Shioriko really did find out about this. I’ve been writing to you ever since the year after Dad died, but you never replied even once. It’s like I only write about recent events these days.
I recently reread everything recently, and this began looking more and more like a diary since Autumn last year. Since this will be the final one, I think it’s time to write you a proper letter.
How are you, mom?
Me and Shioriko are both fine. I’m trying my best in school and housework, and Shioriko is working hard to manage the store with Goura.
I really only have a single request for you.
Please say something Shioriko. By email or phone or postcard…it doesn’t matter how.
I know she misses you even more than I do. I’m sure there’s a lot of things about the shop she wants to talk to you about.
Shioriko is starting to look more and more like you did when you were young. Lately, it’s been hard to tell her apart from the painting on the second floor.
I don’t really know about now, but in the past, I don’t think she would have been happy to hear that she looked like you.
You know how Shioriko didn’t used to wear glasses in middle school? She started wearing them again after you left. She did that for my sake. She’d definitely deny it if I said that to her, but I know.
I used to cry in kindergarten and at home every day after you left, and one day, Shioriko started to wear glasses just like yours. I think she wanted to take your place so I wouldn’t become lonely.
She did that even though she was extremely angry at the time and didn’t want to see your face at all…I love that part about her.
It’s fine even if you come home without calling or anything. Shioriko might get mad, but I’ll do something about it somehow. I’ll even make food for everyone…my cooking’s pretty good, you know.
I don’t know if this letter will reach you at all.
I’ve already given up on getting a reply now, but mom, I’d be happy just knowing you read my messages.
Shouting into a hole like this is so lonely.
I need go to bed now since I have practice early in the morning, so good night.
I hope you stay well no matter what happens.
Ayaka stopped just before clicking the send button. As always, she was worried that her message wouldn’t reach its destination. Ayaka had a ritual for whenever she felt like this. She pulled open the desk drawer and pulled out the single book inside.
Sakaguchi Michiyo’s Cra Cra Diary, the book that her late father had entrusted directly to her.
The book she was trusted to give to Shioriko when the opportunity arose.
She took the book out of its slip cover and opened it to the last page, where a single line was written in ballpoint pen.
No matter how many times she compared them, the address in the book perfectly matched the email address on the screen.
Ayaka sighed and closed the book.
And after that, she clicked the send button.