I decided to move closer, saying “What’s wrong?” as if I had just been present by chance. The man standing by her side was trying to figure our my identity. He was staring me up and down.
“Mr Chiba, please save me” she got up, and tried to grab hold of my arm. I was not wearing gloves, so I avoided it.
“Has something happened?” It was a pain to ask as though I had no idea about something I already half understood.
“This man, umm, I said before” her speech was broken, so I made a good ‘guess’.
“The man on the phone?”
“Who are you?” the man appeared to have more gumption now than he had from afar. It is just, he did not have the countenance of a well-mannered company employee. He had a sharp look, and being stared at made me uncomfortable. The shoulders of his black jacket were being wet by the rain, but he did not appear concerned.
“I am just an acquaintance.” When I said it, Fujiki Ichikei looked sad and removed her gaze. “And you are?” I asked.
“I have business with her” I held back from saying; so you have no intention of talking honestly then?
At this point, Fujiki Ichikei began running rapidly. Even though she, who had been standing like a withered plant, gave no warning of moving, she suddenly fled. It was not me, but him who let out a gasp of “Ah!”
Her form was terrible, but the way she ran conveyed her desperation. As she ran her hands swung wildly, her head slanted and she looked likely to drop her bag. “Mr Chiba, I’m sorry, see you again” I heard her cry from a distance. Her loud voice echoed about the street; it had a good sound.
“Don’t get in my way” the man advanced on me. He was probably more excited than he realised; he lent forward and flew at me with force. The same instant that I thought “Scary!” He lost his balance and fell.
There was a smack. I fell to the ground with him in my arms. Under my bottom was a manhole cover, on which rain water had collected. This wet the trousers I was wearing, and I felt the cold on my skin. Then I realised, I was touching him bare-handed. Why do humans have such a taste for causing problems? For a tired moment, I stared at his profile.