Stay by Me


We all went down the stairs in single file. Nobody said a word. I shoved my hands into my pockets. Maybe I couldn’t do anything from the outside. I would have to try and reach out to her. I walked down to find Baby Doll sitting against the wall like I left her. I sat down next to her.

“Sorry about that,” I said. “We just had to find out what’s going on.” Baby Doll didn’t speak. I looked over at her.

“We will try to get you back,” I said. “Just hang on.”


I lifted my head. “Hm?” I looked around the darkened room. Where did that come from?

Masayuki? Masayuki?

That sounded like Baby Doll’s voice. But how? She was still stuck in a catatonic state like that. I didn’t even know if she was still with me anymore. I grabbed onto her other hand.

“I’m right here,” I said. “Can you hear me?”

Can you hear me? Masayuki? Masayuki?

“Yes!” I said. “I can hear you! Can you hear me? Baby Doll? Baby Doll?”

Help… Me… Am… Trapped… Can’t… Move…

“What do you mean?” I asked. “Where are you trapped? What happened to you?”

Help… Me… Masa… yuki… Then she went silent. I shook on her shoulders.

“Baby Doll?” I asked. “Baby Doll? Baby Doll?” I didn’t hear anymore from here. I sat back next to her. At least she wasn’t fully gone yet. I didn’t know how long that would be the case. Where was she? Why was she trapped there? Who trapped her and how? And how was I going to get her back? Maybe I could try…

I leaned in close to Baby Doll’s ear.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “I will get you back. Wait right here.” But first, I knew that I was going to need some help. I didn’t think they would agree to do it but, hell. It’s worth a shot. I stood up and walked out of the room to look for Izumi. If I was going to act on my crazy plan, she would have to be my first shot.

I had no idea that I wasn’t alone.