"Barbara Ikai" 4

Flowers 2003 February

Kiriya says, "Everyone has some moments when he or she goes far away. The name "Barbara" means a foreign place, doesn't it? Nobody knows the name of the island since I've never written it in my PC. You can look into my PC, but you can't look into my brain. Why do you ask me about that?"
Watarai can't understand the relationship between Kiriya, Aoba and Barbara. When he is in his room in a hotel, Daikoku gives him a call. Daikoku says he's staying in Urayasu to attend a conference for Extra-Terrestrial life research. Watarai goes to Urayasu to talk with him.

There's a picture of Mars in Daikoku's room. Watarai says the Valles Marineris on Mars looks like stretch mark. "Exactly! The valley was full of living things that Mars gave birth to. In the near future, humans will meet Martians there." says Daikoku, "It was one of the theories that Ezra announced 30 years ago." "Do you mean Ezra Stradi, Nanami's ex-husband? Wasn't he a pharmacologist?" asks Watarai. "He started studying planet biology later." says Daikoku. "Is he going to attend the conference?" asks Watarai. "No, we're just discussing the theory. Ezra's been missing since he announced the theory. The theory was rejected by other researchers those days." says Daikoku.

Watarai apologizes for Kiriya's attacking Daikoku three years ago. "You are going to be killed by Kiriya some day." says Daikoku, "You abandoned Akemi and Kiriya when he was two years old. Then you showed up for the first time in ten years, and abandoned him again. If I were Kiriya, I wouldn't forgive you." "But, but I had dinner with him today." says Watarai. "All right. I told him to meet you. He listens to what I tell him." says Daikoku, "Watarai, I told him to meet you so he can remember who he has killed and what kind of man you are even if he kills you some day."
Daikoku knows Watarai didn't want to part from Akemi and Kiriya when he broke up with Akemi. Watarai and Akemi were students in Frankfurt University when they first met at the age of 19. They got married and had a baby at the age of 20, and got divorced at the age of 22. Akemi left him for Ise with Kiriya because she didn't want her dreams to be looked into by her husband. Watarai wasn't able to stop looking into someone else's dreams until five or six year ago, after he was trained to control his abilily. He hadn't met Kiriya for ten years until Akemi's father gave him a call and told him Akemi was seriously ill. He was shocked to see Kiriya and Akemi in Ise because Kiriya had become a junior high student, and Akemi's arms and legs were paralyzed. Then Daikoku came to Ise. He hypnotized Akemi to make her recall her former-life memory. Akemi recovered after she had learned the cause of the sickness. Watarai wonders why Daikoku, who is a world famous Parkinson's disease' authority, gives such a questionable medical treatment as former-life treatment.
Akemi recalled Sera Johanee was her husband and Watarai was just a baker in the local bakery in her former-life. In the real world, Johanee was a priest in Frankfurt who was twenty years older than Akemi. He came to Ise to see Akemi. Akemi learned it was her mistake that she had married Watarai, and she recovered from the disease. On the other hand, Kiriya wasn't happy.
Daikoku says Kiriya was quietly losing hope for everything then. "I'll make up for my absence." says Watarai. "Good idea. Even though Kiriya attacked me, it was you that he really wanted to kill." says Daikoku.

Kiriya thinks the world has abandoned him. He doesn't think the world loves him. However, he doesn't have any choice other than growing up and going to school in the world. He needs to start working when the time comes. He feels as if his hands, fingers, legs and breath get chilly living in the world.
The Meteorological Agency forecasts yellow sand from China will fall today and tomorrow. Kiriya dreams of the red star again. Whenever he dreams of the star, his room gets sandy even if all the doors and windows are locked.

Watarai and Momota visit Mejiro psychology clinic, where Chana regularly went. Mr. Mejiro as well as Daikoku majored in psychology in Hirosaki University. He had been Chana's counselor for nine years since Aoba was born. He tells them Chana's personality was phlegmatic, she was very smart, and had a strong sense of responsibility. He adds that she suffered from a chronic headache caused by Aoba's allergy. Aoba had had red rash over her body since she was around one year old. Nanami called her "Goldfish girl". Even though Aoba was given a gene treatment, she had egg and flour allergy at the age of three, and fish and meat allergy at the age of five. She had pollen allergy in spring and autumn and sometimes had an asthma attack. So, Chana made an airtight, sound-proof piano room for Aoba to live in.
"However," says Momota, "Aoba has no allergy now." Aoba can swallow any food in a tube. Watarai wonders if her physical constitution has changed. "After she ate THAT?" says Watarai.
Mejiro shows them a picture that Aoba painted when she visited the clinic with her mother. The picture looks like a goldfish. Mejiro says Aoba called it a red moon. Mejiro analyzed the red color represented Aoba's desire for food.
Watarai asks Mejiro why he thinks the incident happened. Mejiro has no idea, but he tells Watarai what Chana said to him. Chana appreciated her mother because she had brought her up by herself after her father left them. She felt guilty towards her mother because she wasn't able to have a healthy child and she wished Aoba would get healthy. On December 20, just before the incident, she visited Mejiro and said Aoba was the hope of every life. Mejiro had no idea about what Chana meant.
Watarai asks Mejiro why Aoba has never had an allergy since she ate the hearts. Mejiro has no idea, but he recalls that the greatest hit of the Jujo phamaceutical company was medicine for rejuvenation called Barbara series, which Ezra developed. "Why Barbara?" yelled Watarai. "I don't know. I'm not the one who gave that name to it." says Mejiro. Momota says it's a name of one of synthetic proteins.
Trying to show Mejiro a scanned image of Aoba's dream, Watarai accidentally shows him a picture of the Mars. "Wait, this is it!" shouts Mejiro, looking at the picture. Mejiro says Aoba's painting must have been Mars even though it has been simplified greatly. After seeing the image of Aoba's dream, Mejiro says, "No wonder she wouldn't wake up. Aoba lives in the dream in peace. She lives with a sweet mother, good friends, goats and birds. She believes she is a daughter of a sea princess. And, the most important thing is, Aoba can eat anything there. Her allergy might have disappeared because of this peaceful dream."
"That's why she wouldn't wake up. Then how can she wake up?" asks Watarai. "There's a way." says Mejiro, "You can get into her dream, can't you? Mr. Watarai, if you can influence the dream, get into the dream and be a bad guy. Destroy the utopia and make Aoba unhappy. Then Barbara will be gone and Aoba will wake up."

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