فصل 07

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فصل 07

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  • زمان مطالعه 7 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی ساده

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متن انگلیسی فصل

Chapter seven

News from Zambia

It was a windy Sunday afternoon at the end of March. Bernard and Ikuko were sitting in Bernard’s room. Ikuko was reading an English newspaper, sometimes stopping to look words up in her dictionary. Bernard was writing an essay and there were books and papers all over the floor. A CD was playing, the music filling the room and going through the open window into the spring air.

Japan seemed a long way from this room filled with African music. Ikuko had written to Hiroshi to try to explain more about what had happened. After a while she’d received a letter back from him.

I still think of you and hope you won’t get hurt. I wish you’d come back to Japan. Then we could talk about this properly. But in the end you have to decide what you want.

There was a knock on the door. ‘Come in,’ called Bernard. Lucretia put her head round the door. ‘Hello. There’s a fax for you, Bernard. It was at reception. I brought it up. Here.’ She handed him the paper and then left.

Bernard read the few handwritten lines. Then he looked up, his face serious. ‘It’s from Beatrice. My wife has gone back to Lusaka. She’s left Beatrice and Chiole on their own.’

He was silent for a minute, thinking. Then he went on: ‘Ikuko, I have to go back. They’re too young to look after themselves. My mother and father are old and ill. There’s no-one else.’

‘What about your course… and us?’ Ikuko asked.

‘I don’t know. But Ikuko, this can’t be the end for us. We have to see each other again. But I don’t know how.’

Three days later, Ikuko stood with Bernard at Heathrow Airport. Ikuko remembered the last time she had said goodbye in an airport - in Japan. What had happened to the promises she’d made Hiroshi then? She’d meant them at the time. She shivered, feeling suddenly cold. Bernard put his arm round her.

‘I’ll fax you as soon as I arrive in Mungwi,’ he said. ‘The phone’s not so good for international calls. And you’ve got my school address - you can always write to me there. Remember, Ikuko, we’ll be together again soon, somewhere.’ For the last time Ikuko felt Bernard’s arms round her.

‘I’ll see you soon,’ she managed to say. And watched as his red jacket disappeared.


4 May 2000

Just a month since Bernard left. And still no news. Nothing. No letter, no fax, no phone call. I can’t believe that he doesn’t care, that he’s forgotten me. I can’t forget him.

Ikuko sat alone in her room looking out of the window. The trees were green now, not a fresh new green but already looking dark. There was nothing else to write. She’d done nothing special that day. Gone to classes but not learnt anything. She knew her teachers and friends were worried about her. In the last month she’d slept badly. Her face looked thin and even paler than usual. She’d written to Hiroshi - a short letter telling him that Bernard had gone home, but not saying any more than that.

She’d tried to fax Bernard, but the number he’d given her didn’t work. And she’d sent letter after letter, but there was no reply. She lay awake at night for hours thinking the same thoughts over and over again. ‘Was I really stupid? Didn’t I mean anything to him? Maybe he’s back with his wife. Or with someone else. But why hasn’t he told me?’ Then the mobile phone on the desk beside her rang. She picked it up, her heart racing.

‘Ikuko. How are you?’ It was Hiroshi.

‘I’m all right. How are you? Did you get my letter?’

‘Yes.’ He paused. ‘So what are you doing now?’

‘Studying… nothing much,’ Ikuko answered.

‘Are you still planning to stay until July?’ Hiroshi asked.

‘I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it,’ she said.

‘Ikuko - come back to Japan. Come back here. I’ll meet you at the airport. It would be better…’

‘Maybe you’re right. I’ll think about it. Thanks, Hiroshi.’ She put down her phone slowly. It had been good to talk to him, good to talk in her own language to someone who knew the old Ikuko. Maybe he was right. Maybe it was time to go home.

She opened her wardrobe and pulled out the blue suitcase.

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