i just finished reading this book this weekend. it’s a book about love lost then found then lost again. the story is told by Hajime. he tells of his first friend and first love, Shimamoto. of how innocent and pure their relationship was when they were younger. they drift apart and start living different lives. and Hajime then tells of the other women in his life, some of which he did love, the others he did not. but then he finally tells of the woman eventually to become his wife, Yukiko.

one part reminded me so much of dead stars, the first short story written in english by a filipino (Pas Marquez Benitez)…

Sometimes when I look at you, I feel I’m gazing at a distant star. It’s dazzling, but the light is from tens of thousands of years ago. Maybe the star doens’t even exist anymore. Yet sometimes that light seems more real to me than anything.

the difference here is that when Hajime meets Shimamoto again, he still feels the same way about her. at first, he resists his attraction to her. but he falls for her more and more as the story progresses. and they eventually consummate their love.

one other thing that struck me while reading this book is that some stories are one-sided. we learn of Shimamoto from Hajime. so those times when Shimamoto disappears, we also have no idea where she disappears to. and she remains a mystery to us readers as she was a mystery to Hajime also.

overall this is a beautifully written book about first love, rekindled passion and the devastation one feels when it is lost. ;P