Chapter Eleven: Down Slow:


I: Escaping

I decide to leave the apartment today. It’s too boring these days and I’m running out of topics I want to research on laptop. Maybe a trip around the city will help.

I raise myself from the futon, stretching my arms overhead as I stand. For some reason I feel the need to have a look outside, so I trudge over to the window to take a peek. I look around my neighborhood. Strangely, it appears virtually empty like in a horror film. Wishing now that I hadn't, because the weather seems to be mocking me today.

The air is thick and still. It's just there, seeping into my veins, invading my headspace. Worst of all, judging by the grey clouds in the sky, looks like it’s going to rain. Maybe I’ll make it back before then. However, I brush the thought aside in favor of my first day out of the apartment. Now what to do first?

II: Job Offer

My first stop takes me back to the unemployment center. Full of hope, I stride up to the board outside. Hmm… There doesn’t seem to be much available today. My shoulders droop as I slink away in despair. Even with that in mind, I still look through the different job postings today.

“Oh, wait…. what’s this?” I wonder as I pull down a fresh ad.

“Grief counselor needed,” I read. “Must be patient and understanding.” I think about this opportunity as I read over the ad. I can do this. I can actually do this job with my powers. Full of purpose, I walk up to the front desk, ad in hand.

“Excuse me, I’d like to find out more about this posting.” I slide the ad across the desk of an employment coach, and she raises a curious brow at me.

“Sure… One second, please.”

I bite on my lower lip. Looks like I’m going to have a complication. You see, I am dead, but I’m not dead. Tokyo in Chijou registers me as dead, but my core and the Mother keep me alive. In short, I am between the living and the dead, in a limbo. Because of this, I can’t become a shinigami or get most of the jobs of Meifu. Please let get this one! Please let get me this one! Please let me get this one!

The lady smiles at me as she hands me a ticket. “Take this to the respective building,” she says.\

“Thank you, ma’am,” I say, bowing my head. I wait until I get outside the cheer to myself.

III: Raining

As I head over to the counseling building, a drop of rain lands on my cheek.

“Oh,” I mutter. I pull out my red umbrella and open it over my head just as it begins to rain. I hope Asato-kun didn’t forget his umbrella today. He can be such ditz at times. I giggle at how he almost walked out the apartment with mismatched socks this morning. I nearly had to chase him down.

To the casual passerby, I must look like a madwoman as I stand on the sidewalk, laughing.   I can hear whispering behind me. I glance over my shoulder to find a mom and her child staring at me. She’s probably thinking, lock up this crazy half-gaijin. I wave at her and cross the street. Somehow, I don’t care.

IV: Shopping

The job registry only takes about five minutes to complete. Seems I’m a good match, but I have to wait and see what will happen next. I'm told they will call back in three days’ time. My stomach turns thinking about it. I shake my head, waiting to cross the street. No, no. I can’t focus on that now. I have to distract myself somehow. It’s then I notice that I am in a shopping district. I glance around at the stores around me. Hm, why not? Since I’m here…

I stroll up to the first store I see. The frilly pink and white decorations on the outside make me laugh. I look up at the sign and scoff at the name: Kitten’s? Really? I shrug and roll my eyes, but I go inside anyway. The inside of the shop is quite lovely, and looks a little less kitschy than its exterior. Kitten’s has mostly frilly second-hand vintage clothes. Come on, it’s not like I’m going to buy anything, right? These clothes aren’t really my style. I’m a causal girl with a side of sexy only Asato-kun gets to see. The super-cute and overkill of pink doesn’t suit me at all. Maybe I should leave…

However, as I turn and leave, I spot her.

This sundress hangs on a dummy near the exit. The cool white silk looks modest compared to the flashy cuteness around the shop. I actually like the simple floral pattern. I let my fingers ran along the hem of the skirt. PERFECT!! The tag says it’s my size! And the discount price doesn’t hurt at all.

“Excuse me!” I shout with my hand in the air. “I would like to buy this!”

“Alright, one moment, please,” the clerk says. No sooner did that exchange occur, then I see another cute outfit I want. The short black kimono on this dummy is rather, oh what’s the word? Risqué. The pink trim and matching lotus pattern makes me snicker. No way. There’s no way I’d ever wear something like that—ever! Nevertheless, I walk out with both the dress and kimono.

V: Back Home Again

By three, I’m home again. It’s really coming down now. I strip off all but my panties, dry my hair, and get some pineapple milk from the fridge. I don’t care about my attire right now. It’s too muggy in the apartment to wear clothes and I’m home alone right now. I make my way to the living room, and turn on the television. As the images on the screen flash before my eyes, my mind wanders back to Asato-kun.

VI: Orange Valentine

That man can be such big kid at times. He’s supposed to be older than me, but his behavior could’ve fooled me. Still, I love the big softie. Asato-kun’s kind, funny, and loyal. He's also quite the looker, and pretty amazing in bed. I giggle and squeal to myself at the last part of that thought. I settle in, and watch TV with my legs crossed for most of the time.