Part 28: Takeshi - Fourth Day - Part 1TrackHeilmittel
I wanted to tell her how I felt.
"...Why are you apologizing?"
"It was my fault you were injured. Because I was careless, you ended up getting hurt... It was my fault... That's why I'm sorry."
"And what's more you protected Coco. You made sure she didn't get hurt. I don't know how to thank you."
I lowered my head.
She was glaring at me.
"Don't misunderstand. I was injured, but it wasn't because I sacrificed myself for Coco's safety."
Tsugumi sighed heavily.
"It's just that... It's just that...I wanted to die."
"How come you had to save me?"
"If you left me alone... I could have finally died."
I jumped up from the bed, shaking my fist furiously.
"What the hell did you just say!? You! What do you mean, 'You could have finally died!?'"
"That's what I said, right? I...I wanted to die."
Tsugumi gazed at me, narrowing her eyes. She was quiet. I gazed back. I could tell by the look in her eye that she wasn't joking.
And because of that I couldn't forgive her.
Bam! I slammed my fists on the bed violently.
"Tsugumi, you stupid little... How dare you say that so lightly!"
I looked straight at her and screamed.
"When you die, it's game over. You understand that, right? Have you forgotten about us? What we're facing here?"
Now it was me glaring at Tsugumi. It wasn't as if she had actually done something wrong. But that didn't mean I could forgive her for saying that.
"You don't understand, Takeshi. Life is a nightmare. This world - it's littered with ugliness."
"Cut your poetic garbage!"
Again I pummeled the bed with my fists.
"Life! It's the most important thing in this world! It's a miracle, life is. "
"You're wrong! This is no miracle!"
"In this ever expanding universe... Continuing infinitely...this phenomenon called 'life' is no miracle. It's unnatural. And it's an accident that we awoke in this disgusting world."
"Wrong. You are wrong, Tsugumi."
I hesitated for a moment.
"You are unbelievably wrong."
"Where am I wrong? Come on. Tell me where I'm mistaken..."
All emotion left her face. She spoke plainly and precisely.
"Life is just a cluster of empty desires. We build our lives on the corpses of others. We kill cows, pigs, birds, fish and plants... and if we don't, we die. Our appetites are whetted by the slaughtering of others. Our desire for sleep only proves our laziness. Our sexual desires are expressed through obscenity and sin. All the things that keep us alivethe things that drive usare filthy. We can't live without them. There is no such thing as a life of purity. Ultimately... from the moment we are born, we are already corrupted."
Well, thats one way of looking at things.
"And that is why you want to die?"
I became quiet, contemplating what Tsugumi just said.
This time it was me laughing.
"I thought you were smarter than that...but I guess I overrated you."
"You do have a point, and I think you are partly right. I'll admit it. In order for us to live, it's true that we must commit some atrocities. Sometimes people do terrible, despicable things. But do you really think 'living' is a sin? Thinking life is a sin, is the result of arrogant values. You don't really think it's a crime for a bird to snatch fruit from a tree, do you? Does a tiger feel guilt for eating its prey? Is it really a terrible thing to join together and create new life? Everything that is necessary to continue living, is not only right, I believe it is sacred. The birds, the tigers, the ants, even the grass... they all work so hard to live. It's a beautiful thing."
Well, whaddaya know. Hes actually got a capable brain in there.
"And to love the lives of others, is just as important as loving yourself. You have to realize that, don't you?"
"Stop pretending to be so cold!"
I wanted to kick the bed over, yet I resisted somehow.
"Alright, so why did you protect Coco? Why did you sacrifice yourself to save Coco?"
"I don't know exactly what happened back there, but I do know that you are avoiding the truth. You are desperately trying to deny life. Everyone's desires are born out of life, you only want to believe they are wrong to prove your selfish point. You are holding on obstinately, living while all you want to do is die... Your logic is completely backwards! Life should be unconditionally embraced. Everyone lives for the sake of living. By definition, living beings must have life. If love is beautiful, then so is life."
"...You don't understand a thing."
"Yeah, I don't understand. We've known each other for what? Just three days. I don't know a THING about you... but I know for sure that what I'm saying is 100 percent true. So... Don't say that you want to die."
I bit my lip as I stared at Tsugumi. I had told Tsugumi exactly how I felt. No holding back, no regrets.
(I don't want her to say it anymore.)
I didn't even want to have to say those things.
(You survived for a reason, Tsugumi. Don't say you want to throw that away.)
Tsugumi let all of the tension slip from her shoulders. Her eyes suddenly lit up.
"Yeah... I get it..."
What, had I finally gotten through to her? ...I couldn't help but smile. A smile appeared on her lips... She glanced up at me and muttered something...
"I understand perfectly."
Sora was waiting just outside the door with a worried expression on her face.
"But she wishes she were dead."
"T-Takeshi! Did she really tell you that?"
"Yup. It's true. It's unfortunate, but she didn't get what she wanted. Death."
"But, but...you don't have to..."
Sora's voice quivered as she spoke.
"You know, I should have never even helped save..."
"Takeshi! Please stop this..."
"You should not say...things like that..."
"It is awful. I am so disappointed in you..."
I I feel kind of bad for her, actually.
"I'm sorry. Now you're upset, Sora."
"I'm not myself right now... I'm heading back to bed, even though I know I can't sleep."
I raised my hand weakly and parted with Sora. Sora stood by the entrance to the medical room, frozen, without movement.
And when I couldn't get up, I'd get irritated. The reason I couldn't sleep was beyond me. 'I probably can't sleep because I'm so caught up in not being able to sleep?' A vicious cycle.
(Man, this is really bad...)
I was still groggy, but thankfully I wasn't so sleepy it was driving me crazy. I opened and closed my hand. My body seemed to be in pretty good shape... I shook my head a little. I slapped my cheeks. Then I breathed in a deep rush of cold air, breathed it out, and gradually cleared my head. Mustering up my strength, I jumped out of bed. I put the voice alternator back in my ears.
"'Bout time I started cooking breakfast for you all!"
But when I looked around,
"...No one's here!?"
The Conference Room was empty.
"Hold up, what time is it?"
I checked my PDA display anxiously. It was just shy of 9 a.m...
You was standing guard in front of the kiosk. The Kid, Coco, and Pipi were sitting and waiting.
"Late, late, late, late!"
Oh hey, shes back in her uniform.
"Takeshi, you're a total mess."
You's cheeks looked a little swollen.
"Aw, sorry, my bad..."
"We've been waiting forever! I'm starving..."
"Look, if my belly actually sticks to my spine, I'm holding you personally responsible..."
"Remember me when I waste away to almost nothing and am blown by the wind across the Pacific!"
"You're worried about being blown away by the WIND? I think it'd probably take a hurricane to carry you off."
And I'm sure by that he means "because of all the muscle you've built up by wrestling bears in the mountains", right?
"...You're a real gentleman, Takeshi."
You's shoulders sagged, for some reason.
"I can't believe you guys haven't eaten yet."
I looked around at them.
"Well, you see..."
"We did try..."
"I'd say we tried a little too hard..."
They looked at one another with a mix of conflicting expressions.
I cocked my head quizzically at them and went around into the kiosk's kitchen.
"What's going on here?"
There was an impossibly delicious smell... And a blackened, charred piece of fried tuna. Red, black, greeneverything was splattered with a mysterious fluid. The sandwich buns were colorful and sticky. The lettuce that normally went into the chicken sandwiches had been diced. I'd never seen such a shocking kitchen.
"What on earth happened here!?"
"Nee, hee, hee"
"We tried dividing up the work! Hey Takepyon, why don't you try some too."
"H-hey! Wait, wait! Is this food? You can actually eat this?"
"Hey Kid - you serious?"
"Well, sort of..."
"I don't exactly know if it'll taste GOOD, but..."
"Why did you stop talking?"
"Nee, hee, hee!"
"Now, now, let's not be critical."
I think this is the perfect time to be critical. Death by mysterious sandwich is not a cool way to go out.
Apparently there had been a number of reasons why I was in charge of cooking.
"Time for a post-meal break?"
They all trooped over to the rest area. I had safely finished eating...but my stomach was still growling. Would I be okay? Doing the dishes was an unpleasant job, but with everyone's cooperation we got the ordeal over and done with.
"Hey, hey, Takepyon. I took Tsugumi's sandwich over to her."
I patted Coco's head. Before I tackled the clean up, I had picked out some decent sandwiches and had Coco take them over. Whether the still-recovering Tsugumi would actually eat them was another story...
"Hey, Coco, was Tsugumi eating alright?"
"Yeah, she said she was really hungry. I think she ate three."
"Hm. Well, I guess she's gotten well enough to eat then."
"She's getting better pretty fast, don't you think?"
That Tsugumi... The night before, she'd said she wanted to die. The fact that she was eating meant that at least her body was determined to live. If she would just continue this tendency and get well, I thought there'd be no more problems...
Wait, that was a contradiction.
"There is no such thing as a life of purity."
The appetites necessary to sustain life are evil. But then... After all, she demolished three whole sandwiches without even flinching? Well, then again, I was the one who told Coco to take the sandwiches down, because 'It'll be bad if she doesn't eat something...'
So I was contradicting my earlier stance too, but... Something strange was going on! What's the deal? The word 'hypocrite' came to mind... Who was the hypocrite now, Tsugumi!? Tsugumi...what were you thinking!! I couldn't help but feel resentment rising in my chest.
"Your face got all scary for a moment..."
"Ah, it's nothing."
I didn't want to show my sullen mood. I didn't even want to be thinking about her anymore.
Waving with one hand, I tried my best to sweep my mood away.
"Oh, goodI thought maybe those sandwiches had given you a tummy ache!"
"Why! Did you put something in there that would make me sick?"
"Well, Takepyon, do you really want to know? You won't be sorry, right?"
"... No, stop! Don't tell me, I don't want to know."
Just imagining the possibilities was making my stomach hurt... Gathering my wits, I went to the bench where You and the Kid were sitting. Coco and Pipi trotted along behind me.
"Hey You, where did Sora go?"
"She went to go look again to see if she can find some clue to help us escape. From what she said, the sensors on the third floor are working a little bit better..."
"Did you see Sora, You?"
I cut in front of them.
"Huh? Oh yeah, for a minute, before you came to the kiosk."
"I see... did Sora say anything else? Did she seem different somehow?"
"No, not really. Same as always."
"Okay. Well, that's good."
"Hm?...Takeshi, did you do something to her?"
You're acting pretty suspicious. Why'd you say, 'well that's good...'? Not that I'm the type to hound you with questions or anything."
"So, what's the story, my dear Mr. Takeshi?"
She laughed and pretended to hold a mike to my face.
"Can you tell me how you're feeling right now?"
"I don't care what happens, I'm not talking to you."
"This is reporter You Tanaka, reporting live."
She withdrew her invisible mike.
"Hey, that reminds me..."
The Kid muttered, glancing at me.
"Apparently Takeshi sneaked out of his room in the middle of the night."
"Oho! Relevant circumstancial evidence!"
This time the invisible mike was pointed at the Kid.
"I thought maybe you were sleepwalking. But you ran up the emergency stairs, so..."
"I went to sleep right after that, but it's been bothering me."
"What do you have to say for yourself, Mr. Takeshi?"
"If you don't want to talk about it, don't worry..."
"Huh? Wha-what? Are you talking about something fun?"
All of their eyes were fixed on me. Bathed in their attention, there was no way for me to escape the mike.
"...*sigh* Alright, ALL RIGHT, I'll confess."