"Barbara Ikai" 5

Flowers 2003 March

Watarai gets interested in Ezra. He wonders what Ezra looked like. Momota gives him Ezra's photo, which was taken 47 years ago when Ezra was 23 years of age. Ezra's face reminds Watarai of someone who he's met before. Momota ages Ezra's face on the PC. When the face becomes 50 years old, Watarai remembers it's Sera Johanee. Johanee looks around 50 years old. Watarai isn't sure if Johanee is Ezra, who is 70 years of age. He decides to go to Ise and see Akemi.
When Watarai visits Akemi's family, she is out and her father says she is coming back the next day. Watarai tells him he met Kiriya in Tokyo. Akemi's father and brother mention Kiriya was seriously injured some years ago. Watarai learns he knows very little about Kiriya. Looking at a cherry tree near the house, Watarai recalls seeing Kiriya sleeping under it three years ago. When Watarai visited them three years ago, he never talked with Kiriya. When Kiriya was sleeping under the tree, he didn't wear the Kagura mask, which always hid his face, and Watarai was finally able to watch Kiriya's face as long as he liked. He regrets not having called and spoken to him then.

A girl is bending over and watching Kiriya on the bed. Kiriya wonders if it's a dream. When he wakes up, the door opens and something goes out of it. He chases it and ends up on top of the apartment building. The girl is standing in front of him. He remembers seeing her face in the photo at the airport. "Who are you?" he asks. "AOBA /Ah-Oh-Bah/" she replies, "Tell Watarai not to get into my dream, or not to interfere with me. Tell him to leave me alone." Dolls are falling from the sky. They crash and liquefy on the floor. Aoba continues, "Tell him, or kill him. If you listen to me, I'll let you share my hope. I'll give you back the world that abandoned you." A doll crashes on the floor and Kiriya wakes up on the bed. He knows his dream is always realistic, and full of anxiety. He notices his pyjamas are stained with the liquid of the dolls.

Tamotsu, Akemi's younger brother, phones Watarai and lets him know Akemi has come back home and she's gone to the Ise Shrine to do a volunteer work. Akemi criticises Watarai of showing up after Kiriya has grown up. "You don't get into his dream, do you?" she asks. She complains that her father taught the Kagura dance to Kiriya even though she didn't like Kagura, and she also complaines that Kiriya doesn't listen to her. She says she wishes she had an ordinary child and an ordinary husband. She tells Watarai not to come close to Kiriya since he has a strange job and he's too dangerous to be his father. "Would Sera Johanee be a good father?" says Watarai angrily. Akemi says Johanee is her soul friend. Watarai asks her if she knows Ezra Stradi. She doesn't know him. She says even though she mentally relies on Johanee, both Watarai and Kiriya hate him. She says Johanee is very familiar with the desert because he was born in Johanesburg, and he established a tree-planting campaign called Green Noah Barbara Project. Watarai is surprised to hear the name "Barbara" again. Akemi says Noah and Barbara were Johanee's parents. Akemi encourages Watarai to serve for such a beautiful project rather than a scary job, such as dream probing. She says "You should have hope for the future, Tokio".

When Watarai is on his way back to Hokkaido, Momota gives him a call saying Mejiro, the counselor, was killed in the accident. Momota says Mejiro fell off the verandah because of a tornado. "We had three tornadoes in Tokyo last night. Very unusual." says Momota. Watarai decides to go back to Tokyo. He recalls the word of Mejiro that says "If you get into her dream and destroy the world,..." Watarai receives a call from Kiriya, saying "Tokio, I have something to tell you."

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