Yuki Kajiura’s short stories » The Echo of Instruments

Yuki’s old website has been found to contain a collection of stories written by Yuki, under the name “Deco” (all stories: here ). Haneoto has translated one of them to chinese, and this is translation of that to English.

Original: here

English translation by Kerahna

The Echo of Instruments

A beautiful percussion-like sound.
Yuuri plays a tune on Hideji’s scapula.
At this time, Yuuri would not make a sound. With white fingertips, she taps Hideji’s spine.
His spine emits an unexpectedly alluring sound. The body has become a musical instrument. Hideji falls into a trance.

Yuuri takes violin lessons, which gives her excellent grip strength. A tight bottle cap that gives Hideji trouble, would always open easily in Yuuri’s hands. Such small insignificant reliances on her, but Hideji has not a single complaint. “Thank you,” he says, as Yuuri replies with a surprised smile, “Losing a strength competition to a girl, don’t you find that frustrating?”
“Not really,” he replies. Yuuri is older by four years, and is better than him at pretty much everything. There is not much meaning in a competition for strength.

He had once attended a solo performance by Yuuri.
In a purple dress, she plays on the stage. Countless shadows shift back and forth under the dim lighting, and shadows in all directions sway with the rhythm of the music. Originally with no interest in classical music, he finds through her performance more and more attraction for the genre.

Yuuri’s fingertips touch the violin. From the tea-colored ancient wooden frame comes waves of melody. The surrounding air resonates with the sound and turns into mist, then floats away.
Like a magic spell.
Hideji falls into a trance.

He had once followed Yuuri on a shopping trip for a new violin.
Though each instrument has its unique features and prices, Hideji can not find a single distinguishing feature between the different models, in appearance or sound. This is because any instrument in Yuuri’s hand could produce music of the utmost beauty. Hideji feels strong admiration, yet Yuuri tilts her head in thought at each one. After trying more than 10 violins, she decides to give up for the day.
“Choosing an instrument is really difficult, isn’t it?” says Hideji.
“That’s right, after all, it’s choosing the representation of the other half of my worth”, came the somber reply.

“He has a girlfriend who’s a violinist” – as this news spread in university, Hideji slowly attracted the attention of his peers. Wearing a unique outfit chosen lovingly by Yuuri, he endlessly receives compliments. “You’ve changed since you’ve started going out with her,” they would say. The change is real, and Hideji felt it himself.

Yuuri enjoys Italian cuisine, and often takes Hideji to small half-hidden restaurants, that only regulars would know about. She is also responsible for choosing wine. The formidable way in which she speaks with the bartender, Hideji watches with admiration.

Because of Yuuri, Hideji began to pick up knowledge here and there, about wine, and would often take wine to parties with friends. He would always receive compliments on his choice. “It tastes great, doesn’t it?” Hideji says with pride. Yuuri is truly amazing.

Yuuri doesn’t drive, so taking her to violin lessons is Hideji’s job. Because she returns slightly late, Hideji is also responsible for cooking dinner. “Thank you,” Yuuri smiles. These words alone leave Hideji full of joy.
He watches in fascination as her fingers wrap around the wine glass stem.
The same fingers that Yuuri uses to play the violin. Even the sound made by her finger tapping the glass is with such elegance.
“What are you looking at?” Yuuri asks.
“You,” he replies.
“Oh, stop it”, Yuuri laughs.
Hideji falls into a trance.

“I’m sorry”. When Yuuri says this, the entranced Hideji doesn’t hear a thing. Yuuri’s voice is so beautiful, like music. It’s as if everything belonging to her was music. To hear that voice while deep in enchantment, it wasn’t until a long time after, that he finally fully understood the meaning of that phrase.
“I’m sorry”.

Yuuri searches for an instrument. Searching for something she can play to her desires, and produce a sound to match her hopes and dreams. An instrument unable to do that has no value to her. A musician feels no hesitation when discarding an instrument. Test playing, giving up, this is how Yuuri works. Yuuri is constantly in search of a better sound.

“I’m sorry”.

Even like this, Hideji remains entranced by the reverberation of sound.
Yuuri’s fingers continued to softly play on his back.
Hearing his own body. Yuuri’s voice, the remaining echoes of her music, are they still hiding somewhere to be found?
Unfortunately, there is no sound to be heard. He stare blankly at himself deep in thought, his transparent self.
Perhaps he will only be an instrument, for the rest of his life.
Even then, it’s alright.
I will wait for someone’s fingers to discover me.
Kind hands that will play me. They must be out there somewhere.