[Repost] Narcissus Memories - [Tomooka Tomo] - 1980

Reprinted from Nanafumi_bot's translation, this game was played during junior high school, and I also read this article at that time. I was deeply moved, so I'm sharing it with everyone now.
Here is the original text:

First, I will quote Mr. Kataoka's original words, as there may be a risk of offending or touching sensitive students.

The original text was written by Kataoka in the staffroom of "Ramune" (http://bgm.tv/subject/2358) and recalls some events that happened around him in 1980. At that time, Kataoka was 13 years old, and the character S-Mi was the prototype of the main character in the game. Also, to clarify for better understanding, Kataoka's full name is Kataoka Tomo, and the change in how S-Mi addresses him from K to T is a way to show their growing closeness. This is a rough translation from three years ago that I suddenly remembered, so please bear with it.



— I —

March. Playing on the mountaintop with friends as usual.

There was a guy among the members whom I had recently met. His name was I.

He was a guy who was almost like a delinquent and loved motorcycles.

One day, a friend S stole an RZ motorcycle that was modified to look like a racing car.

Unlike us who had no interest in motorcycles, I was completely different.

The next day, I kept asking S to borrow the RZ.

Then, two days later, I had an accident on the mountaintop where we usually played. He died.

Only our leader N attended the funeral. We didn't know how to face it, so we didn't go, we couldn't go.

That night, we went to the corner where I had the accident.

There were tire marks on the road caused by the rear wheel locking, the guardrail on the side of the road was dented, and fragments of the direction indicator were scattered on the ground.

We, who usually talked about boring topics, could only remain silent that night.

Even though the corner where the accident happened was right in front of us, no one brought anything like a bouquet.

Finally, S, who originally stole the motorcycle, offered a half-smoked cigarette in front of the guardrail.

Others followed suit.

Since I and the leader N don't smoke, we put down empty PET bottles as a substitute.

The air was very cold, and the breath we exhaled turned into pure white smoke. The constellation Orion was exceptionally beautiful in the night sky.

And so, I disappeared from my story.

...The national highway extended, and roadside gas stations were constantly being built, and words like school violence became popular...

1980, things from my youth.

— S-Mi —

May, M, who had a little acquaintance with me, called me on the phone.

He said he was troubled by something very difficult.

He hadn't come to school for a week, and I was a little worried about him.

M didn't know if I would respond to him, so he decided to try consulting with me first.

"My dad hasn't come back yet."

As soon as he spoke, M said that.

M's family didn't have a mother, and they relied on welfare to make a living.

So M had never relied on his parents.

Among my friends, there were no guys who relied on their parents. Even little kids have to start living independently like little kids.

"...What about your younger sister?"

The next thing he said was about M's younger sister, S-Mi. Although she was a year younger, I was quite familiar with her. She was a cheerful and cute child.

"What happened to S-Mi?"

"Although she is going to be discharged this time..."

I didn't know about it before, but it seems she was hospitalized.

"Is it because there is not enough money for hospitalization?"

M shook his head.

I don't know the details of the situation at that time, but it seems that there was no need to worry about medical expenses.

According to M, the current problem was that their life was in a difficult situation.

"Well, it must be difficult without my dad..."

But when I muttered and asked, M just remained silent.

Now I understand. M must have known since that time.

Three days later, the day of discharge.

First of all, I arranged a vehicle with an acquaintance and brought S-Mi back from a hospital a little far away.

"Thank you, classmate K."

It had been a long time, and S-Mi looked a little thinner.

But her shy smile was as usual.

At that moment, I thought that since she was discharged, S-Mi would recover quickly.

That night, M consulted with me. Their current life was very difficult.

For us who didn't want to ask our parents for money from the beginning, M's words revealed a weak side.

"I don't want to stay at home like this forever."

But after hearing those words, I somewhat understood M's thoughts.

I thought that he didn't want to stay at home because he needed to take care of his sister. She had just been discharged, so I could fully imagine that.

And staying at home all the time meant that M couldn't earn a living.

M, who had always been self-reliant, was very persuasive on this issue.

The next day, I collected my spare change and prepared 70,000 yen. M was very happy.

June, S-Mi was hospitalized again. I also rode in an ambulance and went with her.

At that time, M told me in detail about S-Mi's condition for the first time.

Actually, S-Mi was not staying in a regular hospital room, but in a hospice. It seemed that it had been like that even when M's father was still alive.

Because of stomach cancer, S-Mi's entire stomach was removed, but the cancer cells eventually spread, and she was told that it was incurable.

So it was not a regular hospital room, but a hospice.

When her condition was stable, she could go home, but when her symptoms worsened, she had to go back to the hospital.

This repeated... not for the purpose of treatment.

"I don't know how many more times I can go home..."

M said that.

"Does S-Mi know about this?"

M didn't answer that question. But later, he added that she should have noticed it herself.

When I visited her, S-Mi was wearing an oxygen mask just like on TV.

She slightly opened her eyes and saw me, and then smiled shyly.

"...Are you okay?"

It was a greeting without any freshness. But at that time, I couldn't say anything other than those words.

The next day.

M and I vowed to work together.

At night, I filled soil at a construction site, and during the day, M worked at a nearby gas station.

Of course, we both hid our ages from our employers.

When we had free time, we would go to the hospital, trying not to leave S-Mi alone.

But even so, I would occasionally go to school, while M never went to school at all.

M's father, who knows where he went, still hadn't returned home.

So, in our free time, M and I took turns appearing in the hospital room.

Every day, facing the white walls, sitting on cramped folding chairs, we would chat about various things with S-Mi.

Although regular hospital rooms had visiting hours, hospices were available anytime.

My favorite time was around 8 o'clock in the morning after the body temperature check.

I liked the refreshing sunlight of June, and her smile that was both happy and shy.

Two weeks later.

S-Mi... no, from now on, she should be called S-Mi--

She was discharged from the hospice for the second time.

When she was admitted, she rode in an ambulance, but there was no such service when she was discharged. We didn't have extra money to take a taxi either.

So we had to ask a friend again and borrowed a beat-up car to go back home.

Then, M and I carefully carried her up to the 4th floor of the residential area where they lived.

S-Mi, who already looked thin, was very light. It was heartbreaking.


That year was also a scorching summer.

Although we could endure with a fan, we were worried that it might affect S-Mi's health.

"Well... it's okay."

S-Mi answered with a smile as usual, but it seemed even sadder to us.

There was no air conditioning. We, still little kids, regretted our powerlessness and wished to become adults as soon as possible.

The next day, I used a screwdriver and a wrench to remove the air conditioner from my room. I had seen it done many times because I often moved.

Then, together with M, we carried the heavy outdoor unit up to the 4th floor and finally installed it in S-Mi's room. Although there were many leaks, the cooling effect was mediocre.

"Wow, it's so cool~"

However, S-Mi said so with a smile. She was very happy.

That night, the three of us celebrated Tanabata in front of this not-so-good air conditioner.

M and I had canned cola, and S-Mi had orange juice. Although there were no bamboo branches or wish cards, it was a pleasant Tanabata.


The third hospitalization. This time, an ambulance was called again, but I wasn't present at that time.

I had a long conversation with M in the waiting room.

M's father was not there, and there were no other relatives. It seemed that the doctor could only convey the situation to M. In any case, it seemed that the hospital did not use powerful anti-cancer drugs.

Perhaps because there were no adults among the relatives, it was difficult for the doctor to determine how to treat her.

"This is probably the last time."

M muttered to himself.

When he said "last," he must have meant that S-Mi no longer had a chance to go home.

If she could go home, she wouldn't come to this hospital again.

White walls, cramped folding chairs. The tall M sat on that chair, hunched over.

Wearing something similar to an oxygen mask, S-Mi occasionally noticed me and smiled with narrowed eyes.

2 days later.

Under the scorching sun and the sound of cicadas.

The road to the hospital shimmered with heat waves on the asphalt.

I sat on a folding chair and talked to S-Mi.

"Hey, classmate T..."

S-Mi suddenly showed a lonely expression.

"I can't go on anymore."

S-Mi herself must have been well aware of it, and it was the last thing I wanted to hear.

But I didn't want to respond, afraid that I wouldn't know how to answer.

Actually, I wanted to say, "That's not true," "You'll get better soon," and completely deny S-Mi's thoughts. But I wasn't that strong.

In the end, I couldn't say anything other than silently nodding my head.

The scorching sunlight pouring in from the window made the pure white hospital room even more dazzling.

S-Mi let out a small cry. Perhaps, I myself wanted to cry too.


In the lingering summer heat, S-Mi was discharged from the hospital for the third time.

We were all happy. We were worried that she might not be discharged again.

But it seemed that she would never be able to return to the hospital. M said so. I also had the same feeling.

Once again, we borrowed a beat-up car from an acquaintance and brought her back home. Then, the two of us carried S-Mi up to the 4th floor, and I noticed that she had become a little lighter than last time, and I felt sad again.

During this time, teachers from school, volunteers, and people who came to help would occasionally visit us. It made me feel a little better, knowing that there were kind-hearted adults.

One night, sitting in front of the not-so-good air conditioner, the three of us made a plan.

Although we talked for a long time, we finally decided to go to the places S-Mi wanted to go and do the things she wanted to do.

Just such a "plan." It really sounded like something little kids would come up with.

At the end of the month, I borrowed a car from the same acquaintance and this time there was no driver, just the beat-up car.

Naturally, I drove without a license. After all, I wasn't old enough to get a driver's license.

S-Mi and M got in. I operated the unfamiliar clutch and drove at night.

The destination was N Beach, not far away. It was about a 15-minute drive.

And there, we set off fireworks on the deserted beach.

We lit the rockets and sparklers piled up like a small mountain as if they were a bonfire.

We also played on the octopus-shaped slide. M and I shot fireworks at each other. Our hands smelled of gunpowder, and S-Mi smiled happily.

Finally, the three of us sat on the beach and drank our beverages. M and I had canned cola, and S-Mi had orange juice.

The sound of the waves, the damp breeze. Looking up at the night sky, the summer constellations were shining brightly.

The white foam at the edge of the waves left winding traces everywhere.

We didn't say a word, the three of us just kept gazing.

-Tuesday, 2 a.m.-

That day, we stayed at M's house together.

M was lying in his room. He had been taking care of S-Mi with all his might and hadn't had a proper rest, so now it was my turn to stay awake.

Thinking that S-Mi might be thirsty, I handed her some ice.

Then, she kept calling my name. She slightly opened her eyes and called out to me in a weak voice.

"Classmate T..."

Call my name again. Just for a moment, really just for a moment...

She showed that usual shy smile.

So I tightly held S-Mi's hand. I don't know why, but I wanted to hold it tightly. I felt that I absolutely couldn't let go.

For a moment. When I realized it, S-Mi had already stopped breathing.

And then I knew that S-Mi had passed away.

She called my name. Her hand was so warm. She liked drinking orange juice. And she smiled at me in the end.

And like that, S-Mi disappeared, but she left a mark in my story.

...The national highway extended, and roadside gas stations were constantly being built, and words like school violence became popular...

1980, things from my youth.

Boring, ambiguous, calm, heartless reality.

It won't be as dramatic as a TV drama or a movie, and changes are often unnoticed, every day is monotonous and uninteresting.

Even though there is nothing to look forward to, we count the days until the weekend.

Disregarding the boring daily life, seeking imaginary excitement; searching for a place to belong, establishing our own values, everyone only cares about whether they are in a safe world.

...But it is also a world that cannot be abandoned yet.

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