The image is that of an dragonfly.
A butterfly came to follow, but my speed does not go down.
The butterfly eventually could not keep up and fell as it was about to go out of my vision.
It falls making an arch. The falling motion like that of a snake looked like a broken lily.
The image is a really sad one.
Even though we cannot go together, I should have at least stayed by its side a bit longer.
But that is impossible. Because as I do not have my feet on the ground, I do not even have the freedom to stand and stop.
Since I could hear someone talking, I decide to get up.
… My eyelids are pretty heavy. This is proof that I still need two more hours of sleep.
As I think to myself that I am petty for still trying to wake up in that state, my will has won over my sleepiness.
… Really, I’m troubled at how simple I am.
I think I finished up writing the drawing plan after working on it all night, and went to sleep in Tohko-san’s room.
When I raise myself from the sofa, I am indeed in the office. In the summer sunlight, Shiki and Tohko-san seem to be talking about something.
Shiki is leaning on a wall while standing up, and Tohko-san is sitting on a pipe chair crosslegged.
The look on Tohko-san’s face which is more like a glare is only normal. … Seeing that she has her glasses off, I guess she was talking with Shiki about “those” kinds of things.
On the note of normal, she is dressed like normally as well.
With her hair short and her neck showing, Tohko-san looks like a secretary. But since her glare looks so scary, I bet she won’t ever get that kind of a position.
The black thin pants and the seemingly new white shirt suits her.
“Sorry, I guess I fell asleep.”
I try to make up an excuse.
“Don’t explain the obvious. I can tell.”
Cutting me off like that, she takes her cigarette to her mouth.
“If you’re awake, go make something to drink. It should be a good rehabilitation.”
She must mean reformation when she says rehabilitation.
I don’t know why she would say that to me, but since Tohko-san is always like that, I decide not to question her.
“Do you want anything, Shiki?”
“I’m fine. I’m going to bed soon.”
Saying so, Shiki does indeed seem to be lacking sleep.
Maybe she took a walk last night after I left.
Next to the room which is both Tohko-san’s room and the office is a room like a kitchen.
Maybe it was an lab or something before, but the sink has three faucets in a row. Two of those have metal wires wrapped around it and are not for use. The reason for that is unknown to me. But if you look at it, it will let you know a bit how boxers feel when they are trying to lose weight. But you don’t get much thankful because you start feeling violent.
Well. I turn the coffee maker on to make coffee for the two of us. I do so very efficiently. I’m already a master at brewing coffee. But it’s not like I’m working here to make tea or coffee…
It’s been half a year since I got employed here.
No, the word employ is not right. Because this place is not even a functional workplace.
I came here in spite of that, probably because I fell in love with that person’s work.
After Shiki stopped time at the age of seventeen, I graduated high school and entered college without a purpose.
It was a promise made with Shiki to enter that college.
Even if Shiki had little hope of recovery, I still wanted to keep that promise.
But nothing was there for me after that. After I became a college student, I just lived through the days.
While I was living aimlessly like that, I went to an exhibit I was invited to, and ended up finding a doll.
It was a doll made so delicate, it seemed to be at the limits of a man’s skills. It was like a frozen human, yet I think it expressed that it’s just a thing with human shape which will never move.
But it was just too beautiful…
It’s a human about to start moving any second now. But it’s a doll which does not have any life to begin with. A place where only things with life can reach, yet a place where no human can reach…
I fell in love with that ambivalence.
Probably because everything about its existance was exactly like Shiki back then.
It was unknown where the doll came from.
The pamphlet did not even show of its existance.
When I desperately looked for the source, I found out that it was made by a volunteer and the crafter was one with a strange rumor in that industry.
The crafter, whose name is Aozaki Tohko, is a hermit to put it simply. I guess her true job is doll-making, but it seems she designs buildings as well.
She does anything that involves making something, but she never accepts any requests. She always goes to someone and shows them what she will make, and starts making it once she receives the payment up front.
She must be a big time prodigal, or just a big weirdo.
I got more and more curious and I knew I shouldn’t have, but I found out the address of this weirdo (I can declare so with confidence now!)
It was away from the city and it was an ambiguous address not in the residential district or the industrial district.
It wasn’t even a house.
It was an abandoned building.
And it’s not just a normal abandoned building. It’s really abandoned as it’s construction was started a few years ago when the economy was good and the construction was stopped halfway when the economy became bad. It’s shape as a building is there, but the interior is totally unfinished as the walls and the floors are completely bare.
It would have been six stories high upon completion, but there’s nothing above the fourth floor. Now, it’s more efficient to start building from the top floor, but I guess it was still using the old construction method back then. Since the construction was stopped halfway, the half-done fifth floor is like the rooftop.
Even though the building is surrounded by a tall concrete wall, it’s easy to get into. It’s a miracle some kids didn’t make a secret base out of it.
Anyways, I guess Aozaki Tohko bought this abandoned building.
The kitchen-like room I’m in right now is on the fourth floor. The second and the third floor is like Tohko-san’s workspace, so we usually talk on the fourth floor.
… Let’s get back to the topic.
After that, I got to know Tohko-san and I ended up working here and quitting the college I just got into.
Unbelievably, I get paid here.
As Tohko-san puts it, there are two types of people with one of two attributes: The one to make and one to search, the one to use and the one to destroy.
She told me frankly that I had no hope as the one to make, but she still hired me. She said that I have the ability as the one to search or whatnot.
“You’re slow, Kokutoh”
I hear her from the next room.
Looking, I notice that the coffee maker is already filled with the black liquid.
“I guess the one yesterday makes eight. People should start to notice the similarities by now.”
Putting out her cigarette, Tohko-san abruptly says so.
She must be talking about the recently repeating suicides of female high-school students which they jump off of high buildings.
I think so because there’s nothing else she would want to talk about, with this summer being one with no issues such as water-shortage.
“Huh? Wasn’t it six?”
“There were more while you were dozing off. It started in June, and it’s averaging about three per month. Maybe there’ll be one more within the next three days.”
Tohko-san says an ill thing. Taking a look at the calendar, August will come to an end in three days. …… Three more days…?
Something about that catches my attention, but it fades away quickly.
“But I heard they are all unrelated. The girls who commited suicides are all supposedly from different schools with no connection to each other. Well, it might be that the police is hiding the fact.”
“You’re not trusting people? That’s unlike you.”
… With her glasses off, she can be infinitely mean.
“Because no will has been televised. Six, no eight people. If there’s that many, at least one should have left behind a will. But if the police has not said anything about it, you’d think they are hiding them.”
“I’m saying that’s the relation. Or I should say the connection point. Out of the eight, more than half are seen jumping off by themselves by witnesses, but they are unable to find anything wrong with their private life. It’s not like they were doing drugs or affliated with a weird religion. It’s definitely a suicide where they felt uneasy about themselves and selfishly killed themselves. That’s probably why the cops aren’t taking a big interest on that point.”
“Are you saying that there was no will from the beginning?”
After I say so doubtfully, Tohko-san nods but says she can’t be too sure.
But could that be possible?
There’s an inconsistancy somewhere. I think as I take the coffee mug and taste the bitterness of the liquid inside.
Why would there be no will? If there is no will, people usually would not kill themselves.
A will is an attachment to the real world. When a person who does not like to die is forced to die, the will is what they leave behind as a reason for their death.
A suicide without a will…
To have no need to write a will means they have nothing to leave this world, and is willing to disappear without any traces. That would be the perfect suicide. I think a perfect suicide would be one without a will and even the death itself is not found.
But committing suicide by jumping off a building is not a perfect suicide. To die in a way to catch people’s attention seems by itself a will.
Maybe it’s for a different reason… like someone stole their will? No, then that will not be a suicide.
Then what? There’s only one logical answer I can think of.
Like it sounds, maybe those were just accidents.
The girls had no intention of dying from the beginning. Then there would be no reason to write a will. It’s like getting involved in an unfortunate accident while going outside for a bit.
Just like what Shiki said last night.
… But I cannot come up with a reason why they would jump off a building when they were just going out for a bit.
“The suicides will end at eight. There won’t be anymore for a while.”
Shiki comes into the conversation as if to interrupt my raging thoughts.
Even though Shiki seems to be uninterested in this subject.
“You can tell?”
I have to ask.
Shiki nods while looking far away.
“I went and looked. There was eight that were flying about.”
The well-shaped lips let out those words.
“Oh, so there were that many at that building? You knew from the beginning how many there were, Shiki?”
“Yeah, I finished it off but I think those girls will stay there for a while. Even though I don’t like that idea. … Hey Tohko. Do all the people end up that way when they can fly a bit like that?”
“I don’t know. You can’t say for sure since everyone’s different but in the past, of those who have attempted to fly with just human powers, none has succeeded. The word fly and fall are tied together. But the more you’re hooked to flying, the more you forget about that fact. As a result, you end up trying to reach the skies even after you die. Not falling to the ground, but as if falling toward the sky.”
Shiki frowns at Tohko-san’s response.
Shiki’s angry… but at what?
“Sorry, but I don’t quite follow the conversation.”
“Hmm? We’re talking about the ghost of the Fujiyoh building. Although I can’t say for sure if it’s just an image or a real thing unless I take a look at it. I was thinking of going to take a look at it if I had the time, but if Shiki’s killed it, there’s no way for me to check now.”
… I see. As I expected, they were talking about “those” kind of things.
When Shiki and Tohko-san without her glasses talk together, they usually talk about these occult-like things.
“You heard the story that Shiki saw the girl floating at the Fujiyoh building, right? That story had more to it and it seems there’s a human-like figure flying around those floating girls. We were talking that since they won’t go away from the Fijiyoh building, maybe that place was like a net or something.”
I’m troubled at how much weirder and complex the story has become.
As if Tohko-san can tell my confusion, she sums up the whole thing.
“In other words, there’s one floating human at the Fujiyoh building and around it are the girls who died from the suicide. These girls are probably something like ghosts. That’s pretty much it.”
I understand the story but I guess I’m hearing the story after its over again.
Seeing how Shiki talked, it seems the ghost thing was already taken care of.
It’s been two month since I let these two meet. I’m starting to become the one to hear about the results when it comes to these kinds of stories.
As a normal human being different from these two, I’d like to stay away from those stories. But since I would not like to be ignored, I think this neutral stance I’m holding right now is perfect.
I guess people call this good news within bad news.