Lights do not shine
During the three days of the New Year, Yutaro stayed at home, like a well-ordered householder. Indeed, he always had guests – guests from the Medical Association, guests on the City Council, colleagues. Yutaro offered wine to every guest, so he didn’t have time to be bored. But anyway, he hardly left the house – if not to mention the visit to the Temple of Medidzidzingu which was an indispensable duty and a few visits to the homes of some powerful figures in the City Council and in the Medical Association.
It wasn’t until the fourth day of January that his lips escaped, after telling Ritsuko that he wanted to visit the hospital to see how things were going.
Oriental Hospital has returned to work on a regular schedule, although not everyone has returned to the hospital: those on New Year’s Eve are off until the 7th of January.
After making sure that everything was going well and that the patients who had gone home for the New Year had all returned to the hospital, Yutaro prepared to get in the car to go somewhere else.
“Going home…” Nomura asked.
Yutaro thought for a moment and then said:
– Let’s go over there a little bit.
Both of them understand. “Over there” means the area of Ebisu. About twenty minutes later the car was parked in front of Mayumi’s house.
– Thank you. – Getting out of the car, Yutaro as usual handed Nomura a thousand yen bill. This is not a small amount, the taxi fares are much less, but Yutaro pays this to buy silence. He feared his wife more than anything in the world.
“Pick me up at five o’clock,” said Yutaro, glancing at his watch.
Mayumi is sitting at home. The cafe-coffee shop she works for has been open since May 5. But it wasn’t until the seventh day that the waitresses as well as the regular customers arrived, and the shop returned to its usual bustle.
Mayumi spent New Year’s Eve with her mother in Tachikawa, but returned home on the third of January. Of course, you should also visit your parents from time to time, but you can only endure it for two days, and by the third day, it’s boring to the core.
– Papa! I want papa so much.
Before Yutaro could close the door, Mayumi sang on his neck.
– But what else! I haven’t seen my face for ten days!
The pleasures of love soon exhausted Yutaro.
– Hey, papa, wake up, sleep forever! Mayumi called out in a startled voice. – Playing with papa is boring…
Yutaro lazily got up and sat on the couch.
The sky is beautiful. Bright sunlight poured into the balcony.
Yes, I have something to ask you. Yutaro took a cigarette. – Have you met Mikiko…
– And I thought that I didn’t know what papa would say. Mayumi giggled.
– There’s nothing to laugh about. What did she do when she met her…
– So Mikiko hasn’t told papa yet… – As if nothing happened, Mayumi took a piece of chocolate from the table and put it in her mouth to chew. – It has nothing to do with papa.
– Why “not involved”…! My daughter met you again… I almost fainted when I heard about it.
“Why, Mrs. Ritsuko also knows…
– Are not. Luckily she wasn’t home at the time, but I was crazy!
“So what does Mikiko say…” Mayumi eagerly inched closer to Yutaro.
He raised the cigarette to his mouth, waited for someone to light a match for him to finish, then said:
– On the thirtieth of December I called him into the office. I started talking seriously with her about husband and children. But it’s just silent.
Everyone has the right to keep his or her private life private.
– I just scolded him: “The years go by and you don’t know what to worry about. What are you thinking about…” Then he retorted: “So what did you think when you were dating Miss Mayumi…”
– Die laughing!
– I don’t have the stomach to laugh! My throat choked and I couldn’t speak. Thanks to you all… Now I can’t even talk to my own son anymore.
Unable to hold back, Mayumi burst out laughing, her bare feet fluttering wildly.
– No, you have to answer me, what do you need to see him for…
We talked about Dr. Naoe.
– What – eh… – Yutaro squirmed. – Why is Naoe even here…
– If papa doesn’t know, I will tell.
– Come on, say it!
– Papa’s daughter is in love with him.
– Is that Mikiko…
– Papa is too slow to understand. I told papa a long time ago: something is wrong here.
But Naoah was twenty years older than him.
– So what… I am here, for example, I also like men around Naoe’s age.
“You must have fallen in love with him, right?”
“Most likely…” Mayumi pulled out a cigarette from Yutaro’s mouth, took a breath, and exhaled the smoke in a circle.
– Okay… But why did she conclude that Mikiko loved Naoe…
– She told me herself.
– He doesn’t know me.
– So what’s up…
– Did it come here…
– Are not. Not yet. Well, tell me more…
– Don’t be greedy anymore.
– Did papa buy it…
– “What do you want to buy…
– M – m – m… Silk shirt.
– Okay – okay, I will buy it. Come on, say it or not, say…!
Yutaro had the air of a hunted animal. He pulled out another cigarette and lit it again.
Mayumi looked at him slyly.
– One day I saw Naoe going out with a girl. That day, I thought to myself: what a beautiful couple! They match so well… I guessed it was Mikiko right away. Really, it doesn’t look like papa at all, it’s more like mama, exactly like that. My brother also told me a few things. Papa, I’m like that, but I know everything… So I immediately called Naoe – just for fun. I just asked: “Is the girl you hang out with the chief doctor’s daughter…” So he told me everything. I think Mikiko even went to his house,” Mayumi added, directing the conversation toward the target she had aimed for. – You said that the nurse talked to each other like that.
– But Nao… already has a lover, Simura.
– Nothing strange. A man like that, even many lovers have.
– Stop gossiping. You don’t really believe what I say.
– It’s OK if you do not believe. But Dr. Naoe was a well-known official. It is said that there is something going on between him and Dzyunko Hanadzyo.
– It’s not.
– Right. If there is a deaf papa, yes!
Yutaro looked as if someone had poured cold water on him.
– Now, papa understands why papa’s daughter shies away from the meeting… She just won’t listen to anyone else!
“Well… That makes sense,” Yutaro finally admitted grudgingly.
– But what else! Once Mikiko herself had said…
– Yeah – yeah – yeah… I don’t know how far…
– I do not know either. As far as I know, they have not had any children together.
– HEY! Quit that joke right now! Yutaro’s tiny eyes seemed to be about to pop out.
– Papa do you remember one day Mikiko didn’t come home… Maybe he was at Naoe’s that day.
– That night…
– But why…
– That’s what it says…
“No, don’t say it, but it can’t be hidden from you.”
Yutaro was really alarmed. Mayumi won.
“I think it’s pretty serious between you two,” she concluded, her voice gloating.
– Don’t believe it if you don’t want to believe it.
If he could not believe it, Yutaro would be delighted, but Mayumi’s tone confused him.
“Anyway, I don’t understand what he’s telling you…
Mayumi boiled water to make coffee.
– You have to watch out for that… ah, that Noriko… She can get jealous.
“But you didn’t hear anything.” Not even Ritsuko said anything to me,” Yutaro groaned.
– Being a parent without knowing how children live.
– Sigh, “don’t know” and “don’t know”. Even if you ask them, they will lie.
– In papa’s house, no one talks to anyone much.
– He should have told the truth: “I love Naoe…”
– Just imagine how papa would respond at that time.
– Why… Naoah was a good doctor and a good person.
“Yeah, let’s say that,” said Mayumi, shrugging. – Let’s just let them la6’y each other.. Simura is still young. As long as papa wants…
– No, that can’t be.
– The only girl who has a crush on him…
– First you have to talk to Mikiko.
“But don’t let it show that I said it.” Otherwise she will hate me.
– I don’t worry. He’s not that stupid.
– Behold, papa… And if Mikiko doesn’t want to marry him, let me get it.
– I… Marry someone…
– Marry Naoe but no one else.
– I’m so clumsy! Yutaro chuckled. – It’s not over: he knows that you’re my girlfriend.
– So what… He flirted with me forever.
– Oh come on, don’t make up!
– Why, papa doesn’t believe it… He’s all about him.
Yutaro still hadn’t stopped laughing.
“And by the way,” continued Mayumi, “he also has intentions for someone’s wife.
– Whose wife…
– Papa’s wife but who else! That lady Ritsuko.
– Enough is enough!
At this point, Yutaro couldn’t take it anymore. His face was as red as a boiled crab, and his eyes scowled at Mayumi. Mayumi still calmly continued:
– Hey, why should papa be so angry… Naoh wants so many women but doesn’t have… After all, if papa’s wife condescends to let him catch his eye, there’s nothing to blame.
Mayumi put a piece of sugar in the bowl and slowly stirred it.
Yes, Yutaro had reason to be angry: he remembered that recently, as soon as someone mentioned Naoe, Ritsuko’s eyes lit up and she became so excited that she was unrecognizable.
– How strange he is. – Finished coffee – Mayumi lit a cigarette, – He studied his spine…
– For what…
– Why, I don’t even know about papa’s hatching… He gives X-rays a few times a month.
– How do I know that…
– I said.
“If it’s what Sawada said, then it must be true…” – Yutaro thought to himself and said:
– It’s the first time you hear it.
– There’s this again.
– What else is…
– He invites women to his house… to inject drugs.
“Hmm…” Yutaro recalled that a fortnight ago the head nurse had met with him and complained that Dr. Naoe was taking too many drugs.
– I saw it myself…
– No… But recently I went to see him for medical examination, he looked very scared: his eyes were cloudy, blank. – Mayumi avoided a dangerous topic.
– At what time… During the day…
– Of course. I go to the hospital only during the day, but when can I come…
“Can’t see Sekiguchi talking about this. But what if Mayumi is right and Naoe is really addicted to drugs… – Yutaro panicked. “If that’s the case, then there must be a way: this is a criminal matter…”
– I don’t know why he traded the university for some stupid private hospital…
– What is “Stupid private hospital”…
– Why… He could have chosen a more decent place.
In fact, Yutaro himself found it strange. But now there’s more news like that…
“If I were in papa’s position, I would have watched him more closely,” Mayumi advised.
– At university, people appreciate Naoah’s dignity very highly.
– Then why did he leave the university and go…
– I accepted him on the recommendation of Dr. Iidzilo – a friend of mine on the board of the Medical Association.
– So papa try asking his friend.
– He left the university, why should I know the reason! As long as he’s in my hospital he’s doing fine. He is a superb doctor.
Yutaro said confidently, even though doubt had crept into his heart: “It is necessary to watch Naoah more closely.”
List of stories The Light Doesn’t Shine:
- Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5,
- Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10,
- Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15,
- Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19, Chapter 20, Chapter 21