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E-Books (english-e-reader), The House

The House

Sometimes people's lives go terribly wrong - maybe their marriage breaks down, they lose their job, their house, their friends; they have to live on the street, they drink too much, they don't wash...

Who will give a man like that a second chance? Only a very special kind of person - like Nan, a fruit-seller on the streets of Kingston...

Sonny had a new plan, but he did not know if Nan would agree to it.

He and Jake were building a house, which was big enough for two families. And one day they decided between them that Sonny's ex-wife Tanya and his children should have it.

'Nan,' Sonny said to her quietly, 'I going to let Tanya and the children live in the house.'

'What!' shouted Nan. 'Why?'

'It is good for the children,' said Sonny. 'They will be off the streets, and the boys won't have to hustle like me.'

'But what about me and you? Where we going to live?'

'We will try and build another one,' Sonny said.

Lord, he thought, is she going to leave me now? Maybe this is too much for her. I love her. I hope she understands what I'm trying to do.

'So...' Nan said slowly. 'You tell Tanya already?'

'I said something about it.' Sonny looked away from Nan's eyes. 'She agrees because it would be good for the children. I don't want my daughters living and dying like dogs on the streets of Kingston, and I don't want my boys carrying guns and selling drugs. I want them to have a place to live, Nan, a place where they can study their books and have a better life.'

'It is a hard thing you ask, Sonny,' Nan said quietly.

Sonny was a good man, and Nan trusted him. But she could not understand why he still cared about his ex-wife Tanya. Why can't he have a clean break with this woman, she thought. Tanya ruined his life - she went with other men and she kicked him out on the street. And then she sold all his things.

Nan remembered the day when she first met Sonny - a day that changed her life. He was just a street man, a drunkard, and so dirty. There was hunger in his face, in his eyes, even in the way he walked. She watched him for a while, then called out to him.

'Old man, come here. You hungry?'

'Yes, Ma'am.'

What kind of a street man was this, she thought. Nobody ever called her Ma'am. That wasn't a word people said to women who sold fruit on street corners. They usually called out 'old girl', or something worse like 'dutty sketel'. It felt good, to be called Ma'am.

She took some of her fruit and gave it to him.

'Thank you, Miss,' he said. 'I'm very grateful.'

He came by every day after that, and every day she gave him some fruit. Then one day she took him to the church on Harbour Street, which helped street people with their drink problems. They agreed to help him and took him in.

Two months later a clean, tidy man in a light brown suit stopped by her stall and said, 'How are you, Madam?' He gave a big smile, showing his white teeth. 'Here's something for you,' he said, and held out two 1,000 dollar bills.

'Thank you,' Nan said, 'but why you giving me so much money?'

'You helped me when I needed someone,' he said quietly. 'You brought me back to life.'

Nan stared at him, not understanding.

'I was that old drunkard on the streets,' he explained, 'and you gave me food every day.'

'What!' said Nan. 'I happy to see that you alright now.'

'Yes, thanks to you. I now have a job with the town council, you know. I drive the garbage truck.'

Nan smiled happily. She went on smiling for the next year and a half. She felt young again, and full of hope. At last, she could forget the sad years when she was sixteen, with a baby, and no chance to go to school and get a better life for herself. She and Sonny started living together, and now they were planning to get married and have a home of their own. She decided to give Sonny this one thing, and to give it freely, because she trusted him.

'Okay, go on,' she said to Sonny, 'let them live in the house, and we will work together to build our own.'

Sonny put his long arms around Nan's comfortable body and pulled her close. He understood what she was saying - that she trusted him, that she was strong enough to wait.

He put his mouth close to her ear and whispered, 'Thank you.'

- THE END -


The House

Sometimes people's lives go terribly wrong - maybe their marriage breaks down, they lose their job, their house, their friends; they have to live on the street, they drink too much, they don't wash... 時々人々の生活はひどく悪くなります-多分彼らの結婚は崩壊し、彼らは彼らの仕事、彼らの家、彼らの友人を失います。彼らは通りに住まなければなりません、彼らは飲み過ぎます、彼らは洗わない...

Who will give a man like that a second chance? 誰がそのような男に二度目のチャンスを与えるでしょうか? Only a very special kind of person - like Nan, a fruit-seller on the streets of Kingston... キングストンの路上で果物を売るナンのように、非常に特別な人だけが...

Sonny had a new plan, but he did not know if Nan would agree to it. Sonnyは新しい計画を立てましたが、Nanがそれに同意するかどうかはわかりませんでした。

He and Jake were building a house, which was big enough for two families. 彼とジェイクは2家族に十分な大きさの家を建てていました。 And one day they decided between them that Sonny's ex-wife Tanya and his children should have it. そしてある日、彼らは彼らの間で、ソニーの元妻ターニャと彼の子供たちがそれを持っているべきだと決めました。

'Nan,' Sonny said to her quietly, 'I going to let Tanya and the children live in the house.' 「ナン、」サニーは静かに彼女に言った、「私はターニャと子供たちを家に住まわせるつもりです。」

'What!' '何!' shouted Nan. ナンは叫んだ。 'Why?'

'It is good for the children,' said Sonny. 'They will be off the streets, and the boys won't have to hustle like me.' 「彼らは通りを離れ、男の子たちは私のように喧嘩する必要はありません。」

'But what about me and you? 「しかし、私とあなたはどうですか? Where we going to live?' どこに住むの?」

'We will try and build another one,' Sonny said. 「私たちは別のものを作ろうとします」とSonnyは言いました。

Lord, he thought, is she going to leave me now? 主よ、彼は思った、彼女は今私を去るつもりですか? Maybe this is too much for her. 多分これは彼女にとって多すぎる。 I love her. 私は彼女を愛している。 I hope she understands what I'm trying to do.

'So...' Nan said slowly. 「だから...」ナンはゆっくりと言った。 'You tell Tanya already?' 「あなたはすでにターニャに話しますか?」

'I said something about it.' Sonny looked away from Nan's eyes. ソニーはナンの目から目をそらした。 'She agrees because it would be good for the children. 「それは子供たちにとって良いことになるので、彼女は同意します。 I don't want my daughters living and dying like dogs on the streets of Kingston, and I don't want my boys carrying guns and selling drugs. I want them to have a place to live, Nan, a place where they can study their books and have a better life.'

'It is a hard thing you ask, Sonny,' Nan said quietly.

Sonny was a good man, and Nan trusted him. ソニーはいい人で、ナンは彼を信頼していました。 But she could not understand why he still cared about his ex-wife Tanya. しかし、彼女は彼がまだ彼の元妻ターニャを気にかけている理由を理解できませんでした。 Why can't he have a clean break with this woman, she thought. なぜ彼はこの女性ときれいな休憩をとることができないのかと彼女は思った。 Tanya ruined his life - she went with other men and she kicked him out on the street. And then she sold all his things.

Nan remembered the day when she first met Sonny - a day that changed her life. He was just a street man, a drunkard, and so dirty. There was hunger in his face, in his eyes, even in the way he walked. 彼の顔、目、歩き方にも空腹があった。 She watched him for a while, then called out to him.

'Old man, come here. You hungry?'

'Yes, Ma'am.'

What kind of a street man was this, she thought. これはどんな通りの男だったのかと彼女は思った。 Nobody ever called her Ma'am. 誰も彼女を奥様と呼んだことはありません。 That wasn't a word people said to women who sold fruit on street corners. それは、街角で果物を売っている女性に人々が言った言葉ではありませんでした。 They usually called out 'old girl', or something worse like 'dutty sketel'. 彼らは通常、「老婆」、または「ダッティ・スケテル」のようなもっと悪いことを呼びました。 It felt good, to be called Ma'am. 奥様と呼ばれて良かったです。

She took some of her fruit and gave it to him. 彼女は果物の一部を取り、それを彼に与えました。

'Thank you, Miss,' he said. 'I'm very grateful.'

He came by every day after that, and every day she gave him some fruit. 彼はその後毎日やって来て、毎日彼女は彼に果物を与えました。 Then one day she took him to the church on Harbour Street, which helped street people with their drink problems. They agreed to help him and took him in.

Two months later a clean, tidy man in a light brown suit stopped by her stall and said, 'How are you, Madam?' He gave a big smile, showing his white teeth. 'Here's something for you,' he said, and held out two 1,000 dollar bills. 「これがあなたのための何かです」と彼は言い、2枚の1,000ドル札を差し出しました。

'Thank you,' Nan said, 'but why you giving me so much money?'

'You helped me when I needed someone,' he said quietly. 'You brought me back to life.'

Nan stared at him, not understanding. ナンは理解せずに彼を見つめた。

'I was that old drunkard on the streets,' he explained, 'and you gave me food every day.'

'What!' said Nan. 'I happy to see that you alright now.' 「あなたが今大丈夫だと見てうれしいです。」

'Yes, thanks to you. I now have a job with the town council, you know. 私は今、市会で仕事をしています。 I drive the garbage truck.'

Nan smiled happily. She went on smiling for the next year and a half. 彼女は翌年半の間笑顔を続けた。 She felt young again, and full of hope. 彼女は再び若く感じ、希望に満ちていた。 At last, she could forget the sad years when she was sixteen, with a baby, and no chance to go to school and get a better life for herself. ついに、彼女は16歳のとき、赤ちゃんと一緒に悲しい年を忘れることができ、学校に行って自分自身のためにより良い生活を送る機会がありませんでした。 She and Sonny started living together, and now they were planning to get married and have a home of their own. She decided to give Sonny this one thing, and to give it freely, because she trusted him.

'Okay, go on,' she said to Sonny, 'let them live in the house, and we will work together to build our own.'

Sonny put his long arms around Nan's comfortable body and pulled her close. ソニーは長い腕をナンの快適な体の周りに置き、彼女を引き寄せた。 He understood what she was saying - that she trusted him, that she was strong enough to wait. 彼は彼女が言っていることを理解しました-彼女は彼を信頼し、彼女は待つのに十分強いと。

He put his mouth close to her ear and whispered, 'Thank you.' 彼は口を彼女の耳に近づけて、「ありがとう」とささやいた。

- THE END -