Thank you for your letter. It was a pleasure.
I’ve always thought you were a bit old-fashioned, but it’s refreshing to see you like this.
Now that I look at it again, your writing is pretty.
Nowadays, only sick people like me, who have time and money to spare, have the luxury of spelling out their thoughts with their own hands. I should be grateful for my illness.
It’s kind of embarrassing to notice the roundness of my writing when I write like this.
Huh? What? You said you were forced to write this because they wouldn’t let you see me?
Well, this is a hospital deep in the mountains with no signal. That’s what you wrote in your letter, right? You don’t have to tell me that, I know. I don’t mean to make fun of you.
Now, please stop talking in my ear.
It’s not particularly important, but lately, you’ve been ignoring me and talking only about yourself, haven’t you? I’m a little lonely. I hear your voice, but I feel so alone.
Even when I do see you, I can’t tell if it’s a dream or reality.
…No, perhaps it’s the same for both of us now.
I’ve been here so long that I don’t even know what is true and what is false.
Come to think of it, a complete stranger was rude to me the other day.
She said, “You’re out of your mind.”
It was rude to be told that by someone I knew, but I didn’t know that woman, so I couldn’t say anything back.
…Was she even a human? She had a big, long horn in the middle of her forehead.
I thought I was going to get mad at her for saying that, but I just took it in stride. Maybe I’m not myself in my dreams.
Besides, isn’t it a little late to be crazy? Everyone here is crazy. Or rather, how can you be human if you’re not crazy? I wonder if she was not human after all.
Beside her, there was a little girl who had green eyes that were out of this world. Maybe these people were not from this world indeed.
Oh Renko, could you please shut up?
You don’t have to yell, I can hear you.
And then I saw a sister duo. They looked very similar. The older sister was able to read minds, but the younger sister has given up that ability. Big sis was very worried about her sister, but she didn’t care. She can’t read her sister’s mind.
I felt so sad for them. Then the older sister looked at me and said that it was nothing.
I had never seen such sad eyes before, so I just said I was sorry.
After that, I met the Yama. And the ferrywoman of the Sanzu River.
What? Was I already dead?
Stop it, that sounds like something from an old comic book.
Well, isn’t that why I was there?
The Yama was a small, pretty person. She was a woman. Surprising, isn’t it? The ferrywoman of the Sanzu River was the most human person I met there.
She seemed to have taken a nap during her work, and I came across her when she was being blamed by the Yama. She laughed when she saw me, but the Yama gave her a very disapproving look. I said, “Well, here comes the trouble.”
I thought that all these people were so rude, but then I realized it was my fault for walking around for no reason, so I apologized.
And then you already know the rest.
Well, come to think, why are you here if they won’t let me see you? Isn’t that a contradiction?
Did I bring you here from a dream?
There’s no way such a silly fairy tale could be true, right?
Hehehe. That’s so like me.
But I wonder if this letter will ever reach you.
In the first place, was the letter I received really written by Renko?
…I can’t even begin to think about it.
The Renko in front of me is also consoling me.
I don’t think nonsense. What I believe is the truth.
I don’t know why I was admitted here, but maybe it’s because I’m crazy.
I mean, it was just a scratch. It’s weird to be quarantined just for that, isn’t it?
Well, maybe it’s just the way things are in this world. The only thing that science can’t explain nowadays is the human mind.
I’m amazed that I’m standing in line with that. I wonder what kind of crazy people are here.
It’s so frustrating that in my dreams I can go anywhere I want, but in reality I can’t.
I can’t wait to get out of here.
I’m kind of bored, you know? I don’t get any news from outside, and the Renko in front of me doesn’t listen to me.
Aaaaah, I told you to not yell!
I’m going to leave this letter in my dreams because maybe it won’t reach you in reality.
Then maybe it will only reach you in your dreams, but I feel it has a better chance of reaching you than if it gets caught by the Sanatorium’s censors and destroyed.
That’s how you gave me your letter.
Oh yes, they told me I’m almost healed. Please come and get me. I have no relatives.
See you. I’ll write again when I feel like it.
From your best friend, Mariabelina Hearn