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MEMORY DI VERGE CONVERGE A VISUAL COLOR FIELD OF COLLAGED PASSAGES

1Q84 HA R U K I M U RA K A M I A NOVE L


MEMORY I still remember when you squeezed

But if, by chance, we were to come face-to-face and were

my hand in that classroom. After that,

fortunate enough to recognize each other, I would probably

I wanted to be your friend. I wanted

open up and tell her everything honestly. We’d go ino some

to get to know you better. But I just

nearby cafe and sit across from each other, drining some-

couldn’t do it. There were lots of rea-

thing, while I told her everything. There were so many things

sons for that, but the main problem was

he wanted to tell her! Why has that skinny little ten-year-

that I was a coward.

old girl stayed in my heart all these years? She came over to me after class and squeezed my hand without saying a word. That was all. But in that time, Aomame seemed to have taken part of him with her—part of his heart or body. And in its place, she had left part of her heart or body inside him. This important exchange had taken place in a matter of seconds.


I did have one person I fell in love with, it happened when

My life actually started when I was ten.

I was ten. I held his hand.We were in the same third- and

Everything before that was some kind of

fourth-grade classes, but I moved and I never saw him again,

a miserable dream.

never heard anything about him. What I want is for the two of us to meet somewhere by chance one day, like passing on the street or getting on the same bus. I always pay attention when I walk down the street.


DIVERGE What reminded him of Aomame was

I wish I could meet Aomame right now, Tengo started think-

buying edamame in the supermarket. He

ing again. Even is she turned out to be disappointed in him

was choosing among the branches of fresh

or he was a little disappointed in her, he didn’t care. He want-

edamame in the refridgerator case when

ed to see her in any case. All he wanted was to find out what

the thought of Aomame came to him

kind of life she had led since then, what kind of place she

quite naturally. Before he knew it, he

was in now, what kind of things gave her joy, and what kinds

was standing there, lost in a daydream.

of things made her sad. No matter how much the two of them had changed, or whether all possibility of their getting together had already been lost, this is no way altered the fact that they had exchanged something important in that empty elementary school classroom so long ago.


EGREVID Tengo’s memory will stay with me, of course. The touch of

If you can love someone with your whole

his hand will stay. Even if I become a completely diffferent

heart, even one person, then there’s salva-

person, my love for Tengo can never be taken from me. At

tion in life. Even if you can’t get together

my core, there is not nothing. Neither is it a parched waste-

with that person.

land. At my core, there is love. I’ll go on loving that ten-yearold boy named Tengo forever—his strength, his intelligence, his kindness. He does not exist here, with me, but flesh that does not exist will never die, and promises unmade are never broken. She wanted to spend time alone with Tengo in the calm, quiet world that came to her...just the two of them together, undisturbed. Surely that was what Aomame wanted.


CONVERGE Once again they were a ten-yearold boy and girl. A lonely boy, and a lonely girl. A classroom, just after school let out, at the beginning of winter. They had neither the power nor the knowledge to know what they should offer to each other, what they should be seeking. They had never, ever, been truely loved, or truely loved someone else. They had never held anyone, never been held.

“Tengo,” Aomame whispered, a voice neither low or high--a voice holding out a promise. “ Open your eyes.”


EGREVNOC Aomame. But he didn’t say it aloud. He didn’t open his eyes. He just squeezed her hand in return. He remembered this hand. Never once in twenty years had he forgotten this feeling.

Tengo opened his eyes



Memory, Diverge, Converge