Read First at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Arc 1: Nice to Meet You, Mr. Death
I waited inside the pitch-black room. Faint moonlight filtered in through the window but blocked by the white curtains, it failed to light up the room.
Letting out a sigh, I placed a hand on my heart. Thump, Thump. The dull beating in my chest told me that I was still alive.
I groped about, searching for the blanket I had kicked off without my notice. The breeze that blew into my hospital room, brought in the chill that night breezes in spring usually have,
I unknowingly questioned. It was strange to doubt my senses after all. But a breeze no doubt blew into the room just now.
…Hmm. But that wasn’t possible. I had closed all the windows before sleeping, and even if the nurse came, there was no reason for her to open the windows of a fully air-conditioned room. Bet them, what was that just now…?
As I wondered, I saw something move in front of the curtains.
“Who is it…?”
I saw the shadow of a person.
I did not know who it was. However, I knew for certain that it wasn’t the nurse. They always had a small light in hand.
When the shadow heard me, it approached my bed, one step at a time.
I thought of pressing the nurse call button beside my pillow, but my hand slipped and I couldn’t grab it. As fumbling on my bed, the shadow was soon beside me.
I heard a slightly low, but gentle voice beside me.
At that moment, the curtains flew wildly in the breeze that blew in from the now open window.
“Nice to meet you, I am the Death God. I have come to take your soul.
The young man pulled his hood lower and spoke in a matter-of-fact tone.
Death god…he said? Did I mishear? He clearly said that he had come to take my soul.
“So? Will you take it now?”
Perhaps he did not like my reply, or maybe he did not anticipate that I would answer like that, for the man who introduced himself as the Death God seemed flustered and at a loss for words. After a brief moment of confusion, he asked me a question in reply: “You believe me?”
I had no reason not to…
“Didn’t you say so yourself? Was it a lie?”
“It wasn’t a lie, but—. It’s just that most humans do not believe it that easily.
Certainly, that was true. If someone introduced themselves as the Death God, people wouldn’t usually think there is something wrong with his head. But, this is a hospital, and I, a patient. I always felt I was at death’s door. I had seen people leave this world without any warning in this ward quite often. The room would be quietly emptied and a new patient would enter before one knew it. That’s the kind of place this was.
“You’re right. But I believe you. That’s why take my soul quickly.”
“Why should I?”
“I hate it. I don’t want to continue living like this. …Even the cherry blossoms are not blooming this time.”
“Cherry blossoms? There’s many blooming outside-“
“Enough about that!”
Hearing my words, the Death God looked behind him at pointed at the cherry blossoms blooming outside the window. I knew there were cherry blossoms there. I knew it, yet they held no meaning for me. After all, they weren’t the cherry blossom I wanted.
As I looked away from the cherry blossoms outside the window, I tightly clenched my palms and repeated my words one more time.
“Will you take my soul today?”
“Today is impossible.”
“Then, will you take it tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow is also not possible.”
I felt irritated by the Death God’s matter-of-fact tone. If today and tomorrow were no good, then when exactly would it be?
The Death God seemed to sense my displeasure, as he scratched his head under his hood and asked in wonder.
“Why do you want to die that badly? I have seen many human beg me to not kill them, but your the first one to ask me to take your soul quickly.”
“…It’s nothing much. I just want to get to the other side soon.”
“If you ask why, then…”
“Do you have a reason?”
Before I realized it, Mr. Death had started speaking casually.
Ah, enough of this. It’s annoying if he keeps asking me the how’s and why’s of everything. If that’s so…
“If I stay alive, won’t I just be a bother?”
“A bother is…”
“…I’m troubling my family. I’m this fragile, they have to treat me like I’m glass.”
I spat out my words. I noticed the Death God holding back his breath. He was the one who had come to take my soul, why was he more shocked than me? Although I couldn’t see his face, I could see that he pitied me from his attitude. I wanted him to stop. I wasn’t a pitiful child. I wasn’t. I, of my own will…
“Death isn’t all that scary, right?”
“Many of my friends left before me. They must be waiting on the other side. I want to go quickly and see them once again.”
I let go of the sheet I was clutching on to before I knew it. The sheets were just as crumpled as my face as I choked back my tears.
I felt as if he could see through me. Straightening up the crumpled sheets, I asked the Death God in front of me, “So? When exactly are you going to kill me?” The Death God gave a light cough and spoke.
“Miss Sagara Mahiro. 16 years old. Suffered from heart disease since she was young and spent most of her life in and out of the hospital. This is you, right?”
“Right. As I said before, you will soon die.”
“Tell me exactly when.”
“Within thirty days from today.”
Within thirty days… that meant I had at most thirty days more to live.
I looked far beyond, through the window where the early cherry blossoms bloomed. I’m sure the cherry blossoms would all wither in thirty days. In other words, I would die at the end of spring. All while not seeing that cherry blossom.
“Can I continue?”
Hearing the Death God speak snapped me back to my senses from stating at the pink cherry blossoms reflected through the window of my pitch-black room. I didn’t want him to sense my unrest. Feigning nonchalance, I looked at the Death God.
“Within thirty days, you’ll die due to something. Then, I’ll take your soul to the other side. That’s all.”
“Hey, isn’t saying I’ll die any time within the next thirty days too vague? And you didn’t even say what I’ll die of. I won’t die of disease?”
“I cannot tell you how many days later you will die.”
“…In the past. The people who heard their day of death from the Death God tried to commit suicide before that day. Their cause of death changed. That was huge pain back then.”
I wonder what the Death God remembered, he massaged his temples through his hood. He seemed affected by some other matters, but perhaps this was the unexpectedly a glimpse of the real Death God, I thought.
“That’s why I can’t tell you the day you will die.”
“I see. Then what about how I die?”
“That’s no good either. You might change the way you die.”
“You’re quite stingy I see. Well then.”
If what I saw just now wasn’t my misconception, then this was something the Death God had done in the past. Was he that naive?
I pointed at my heart.
“Just tell me one thing. Is it because of this piece of junk?”
After a moment of annoyance, Mr. Death took out what seemed like a notebook of some sort and shook his head. There was something written in that notebook. Its spine had a star broken from the top. Why was it broken? The question popped in my head for a moment, but I didn’t bother much. I wasn’t that curious.
“Yeah. How ironic it is to not die because of my heart despite it being the very cause that forced me to spend such a long time in the hospital.”
I laughed unexpectedly. I wonder why I receive treatment. Just why did I stay by myself in this hospital all this while. If I wasn’t going to die because of my heart, what was the need for me to be here?
No, but still. There were still a few people who would be troubled if I weren’t here. If I left the hospital, I would bother them…
But, I’m glad. I won’t die because of my heart. I felt happy knowing I won’t die in that horrible pain.
“Thank you for telling me.”
Despite saying he couldn’t reveal the cause of my death, he still told me it wasn’t my heart.
He might be blunt, but he seemed like a nice person at heart. It was strange to call the Death God who had come to take my soul, a good person. I unconsciously laughed at my simple train of thought. Lost in my thoughts, I stared at the Death God wordlessly.
”Hey.”, I suddenly voiced. “What is it?” asked the Death God in wonder. I giggled like a child caught doing mischief and said.
“Then, till that day, won’t you be my conversation partner and keep me company?”
“I’ll be in your care, Mr. Death.”
Perhaps Mr. Death has a troubled expression on his face right now.
A stark contrast to the smile I had on my face, Mr. Death was at a loss for words. His “Ah…” and “Um…” showed his stubborn nature. “I’ll be in your care.” I enigmatically said a second time. Perhaps he got an idea seeing me, as Mr. Death muttered in a weak voice, “…Same here.”
This is the beginning of a short, yet long tale of my thirty days with Mr. Death.
Birthday Update 4/5
Hasr: This story kind of gives me the Last Leaf vibes. I like it. Don’f forget to leave a review on Novel Updates if you liked it.