The sun has set and we leave Tohko-san’s abandoned building. Shiki’s apartment is in the area but my place is twenty minutes away from here by train. Shiki must be sleepy as Shiki is walking a bit wobbly. But Shiki stays by my side while we walk.
“Do you think suicide is right, Mikiya?’
Shiki suddenly asks me that. That downcast-like gesture looks a bit touching.
“Hmm, I don’t know. Let’s say I get this virus that will kill eveybody in Tokyo just by me staying alive. If it’s the case that everyone would be saved if I die, I’ll probably kill myself.”
“What is that? That’s so unlikely that it’s not even a what-if story.”
“Let me finish. But I think I’ll do that because I’m weak.
I’m going to kill myself because I don’t have the courage to keep on living turning all of Tokyo into my enemy. That’s easier, right? Courage for an instant and courage that needs to continue throughout your life. You know which one is harder.
It’s an extreme arguement, but I think death is running away, no matter what kind of determination is behind it. But there are times when the concerned person wants to run away. I can’t deny it or refute it, because I’m a weak person as well.”
Hmm, but this seems like I’m saying it’s all right for someone to do so because I’d do so too. Self-sacrifice in that case is probably the right thing to do, and that action would be called heroic. But that’s wrong. It’s foolish to choose death no matter how noble or right it is. No matter how wrong or lowly it is, we have to keep on living to make right of our wrongs.
We have to live on and accept the end of the things we’ve caused. That is something that takes a lot of courage. I don’t think I could do that myself and it sounds too cocky, so I decide not to say it.
“… Well, anyways… I think it’s just different for everyone.”
I end rather vaguely and Shiki looks at me doubtfully.
“But you’re different”
Shiki says so as if seeing inside my mind. It sounded cold, but the words were warm somehow. It was a bit embarrassing, so I walked on for a while silently. The clamor of the main street is getting closer. Sounds, bright lights, engine sounds. Flooding waves of people and many sounds they make. If we pass the department stores, the station is right ahead.
Then, Shiki stops.
“Mikiya, you come over my place tonight.”
“Huh? Why, all of a sudden?”
Shiki pulls me saying that it doesn’t matter.
It is indeed easier to stay at Shiki’s place since it’s nearby, but I don’t feel like doing so out of morality.
“It’s fine. You don’t have anything in you room either. It’s boring even if I do go. Or are you telling me there’s something I have to do there?”
I know there’s no such thing. I said so knowing that, so there shouldn’t be anything for Shiki to say back… or at least I think so. But Shiki looks at me as if I’m the cause of the problem.
“Two strawberry Haagen Dasz. It’s still there after you brought it. Finish off that thing, man.”
“… I guess I did buy that.”
Yes I did. It was something I bought because it was so hot while walking to Shiki’s place. But why did I buy that thing? With it being almost September and all…
Well, I don’t care about small things. I guess my only choice is to obey Shiki. But just obeying is a bit irritating, so I decide to strike back a little.
Shiki has a vulnerable point where when I say this, Shiki gets mad but cannot say anything back.
Even though it is a wish from the bottom of my heart, Shiki has yet to take my advice.
“All right, I’ll spend the night. But Shiki…”
I say with a straight face to Shiki, who looks at me.
“You shouldn’t talk like that. You’re a girl, you know.”
Being said that, Shiki looks away angrily.
That day, I chose to take the main street to go home. It was just on a whim, a very rare thing for me to do.
When I was walking through the buildings I see everyday, someone came crashing down. A wet crushing sound that you will normally never hear. It was obvious that the person died after falling off one of the buildings. A crimson color spreads across the ground. The only thing that’s left noticeable was the dark, black hair, and the thin, white, weak-looking arms and legs… And the smashed up face. The whole scene was surrounded by the old summer, and it reminded me of a pressed flower that has flattened out from being in between a book.
I knew who it was. Hypnos (Sleep) returned after all by turning into Thanatos (reality). Walking on ignoring the people gathering, Azaka catches up to me.
“Tohko-san. That was suicide by jumping off that building.”
“Yeah, I guess so,” I answer vaguely.
To be honest, I had no interest. No matter what the will of the suicider is, a suicide will be treated as a suicide. Her last will can be summed up with one word, not flight or floating, but by the word “fall”. What’s there is only misery, and there’s no way you can be interested in that.
“I heard there was a lot of that last year, but is it occuring a lot again? I don’t get what these people think about. Do you know, Tohko-san?’
“Yeah,” I answer vaguely again
I answer while looking up at the sky, as if looking at an image not there.
“There’s no reason for suicide. It’s just that she wasn’t able to fly today.”