First Posted at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu
Arc 2: The First and Last Date
“Uwa–! What a wonderful view! “
“Wait, if you move that much, it’ll shake…”
“What’s with that, Mr Death. You said it, right? This place is good.”
“I said that, but it isn’t as if it’s a tourist attraction or something.”
We were at a place 100m above the ground.
But it wasn’t as if we were doing something dangerous.
“How long has it been since I rode a Ferris wheel?”
“You rode one before? “
“Don’t take me for a fool! This is one of the few rides I can ride in amusement parks.”
“Anything else? “
“…Maybe a Merry-go-Round.”
“Ah, you laughed! …It can’t be helped. Patients with heart disease have a lot of restrictions.”
Hearing my own sulking tone, I felt embarrassed. That had nothing to do with Mr Death, then why did I tell him? But…
“I know it.”
“I know that you have endured a lot of things and did your best.”
“Is that…because you’re my supervisor? “
Fixing his slipped-off hood, Mr Death placed a hand at the back of his neck and spoke.
Even if the reason was that he was my supervisor, the fact that someone knew that I had done my best made my chest feel warm.
“Do your best.” “Give it your all”
I had been told that time and again by the people around. I gave it my all, again and again, like a curse.
Even if I worked this hard, nobody praised me for it. No matter how much I endured the painful treatments, everyone just asked me to work even harder.
For Mr Death, who came to take my life, to be the one who recognised all my efforts…
I felt my tears fall. Even I didn’t know the reason why. But for some reason, my heart hurt and I felt like crying.
Holding back my tears, I pretended as if I was blinded by the setting sun’s rays as I wiped my tears.
“The sun will set soon.”
“We have to get going now.”
“…Yeah, you’re right.”
The bright crimson, pouring in through the window of the Ferris wheel was beautiful. But my feelings were discomposed. I felt uneasy, I felt sad.
As if to shut in those feelings, I gave a “Thank you” to Mr Death.
“Today was really fun.”
“Really? You had fun? “
“Yeah. I always wanted to go out with someone like this.”
“I see. if that’s so, I’m glad.”
Seeing me smile, Mr Death spoke in a relieved voice.
I wanted to go out with someone. It didn’t matter who it was. That’s why I asked Mr Death to go on a date with me and take me out. But…
I know now. It won’t do with just anybody. The reason I enjoyed today’s date was that–.
“But if you had so much fun, it would have been fine even if it weren’t me.”
Hearing Mr Death’s words, the happy feelings inside quickly withered. Why did he say that? The reason I felt happy was…
“It’s because you’re here, Mr Death.”
“You’re wrong. You just think that. You just want to go out with someone. It’s because I’m the one you went out with that you think so.”
“That’s not true! The one I want to spend time with is Mr Death. I took prints at the photo booth with Mr Death, ate ice cream with Mr Death and rode the Ferris wheel with Mr Death. Those are all my memories with Mr Death, right? Don’t say that it would be fine with someone else that easily! “
Panicked by my menacing attitude, Mr Death apologised.
Wiping off my tears that flowed as a reaction, I looked to the other side. I was able to hold them back before, but couldn’t now. No matter how much I wiped them, tears flowed out.
Silence ran through the Ferris wheel car.
Ah, that’s no good. I became emotional. Although Mr Death accompanied me as a part of his work, I felt I had ruined the happy atmosphere.
I’m sorry for saying too much. I knew I had to say that, but I couldn’t no matter what. And drowned in silence, we reached the bottom and the doors of the Ferris wheel opened.
Urged by the staff’s, “Thank you”, we got down from the Ferris wheel car.
The sun that was bright red a few moments ago, had begun to set. Looking at the clock, there were less than 30 minutes to dinner. Our time was up.
“Should we go back…?”
“…Yeah, you’re right.”
As I grabbed his hand and began walking, Mr Death pulled me towards himself.
“Huh? W-What…? “
“Keep quiet. I’ll bite your tongue.”
Before I realised, my body was flying in the air, held by Mr Death.
‘W-Wait….I-I’ll fall!” “
“if you hold on tight, it’ll be fine! “
I closed my eyes tightly shut as I wrapped both my arms around Mr Death’s neck, clinging on for dear life. On hearing Mr Death say, “It hurts”, I nervously loosed my grip around him. On opening my eyes, I saw that I was flying in the evening sky in the embrace of Mr Death.
This was the first time I had seen such a beautiful sunset.
My heart beats were loud enough that they hurt. But surely, this was because this was my first time flying, and not some other reason. That’s right, it definitely wasn’t because I was in a princess carry…
As I muttered to no one in particular, Mr Death opened his mouth.
“your mood seems better now.”
“I’m sorry for speaking like that just now.”
“Ah…” Yeah, I also said too much.
“No, it’s my fault. The truth is, I had intentions to do my job, but I had too much fun today and ended up saying something childish like that.”
What did that mean…?
I turned to look back at Mr Death.
His face was hidden by his hood, but his cheeks seemed to be dyed in red in the evening sun.
“That’s why, um…when I thought that you would have fun even if I wasn’t here, I felt bitter, and uh…”
Mr Death? “
“It’s nothing. Hey, if we don’t hurry up, you won’t make it in time for dinner. I’ll be speeding up, so hold on tight.”
Wha-, kya!” “
Increasing his speed, Mr Death zoomed towards the hospital.
After I had finally seen Mr Death being honest, to go back like this was a pity.
I desperately searched for topics of conversation. But…
“Hey, hey, Mr Death.”
“What is it? “
“T-That… The sky! I’m flying! “
“I didn’t know you could do something like this! Amazing! “
Mr Death replied in an exasperated tone, “How did you think I came to the hospital till now?”
Certainly, he was right. My window was on the fourth floor of the hospital. There was no other way to enter than flying.
I felt embarrassed not having noticed such an obvious thing…
I turned silent. “But”, Mr Death added.
“Flying in the sky is scary.”
Hearing Mr Death speak in such a serious tone, I burst out laughing.
He pouted as he said, “Don’t laugh”. He seemed so human that I once again burst out laughing.
“But didn’t you ride the Ferris wheel just now?”
I asked him as he dropped me off on the rooftop of the hospital. “Ah”, he replied, scratching his head.
“I can do it if I have to ride in something like that, but flying in the sky by myself is something I can’t get used to no matter what…”
“Is that so? “
I didn’t quite get it, but my cheeks slackened as I thought of how he had done something he was not comfortable with, just for my sake.
Telling me to hurry up and return to the hospital, Mr Death disappeared into the evening sky.
Seeing Mr Death off, I quietly sneaked down the elevator. Luckily, there was no one in my room, and it didn’t seem like I had caused an uproar either. I had somehow managed to sneak out without being found.
Changing back to usual pyjamas, I slid into my bed. At that very moment< I heard a knock on my door.
“It’s time for dinner!”
Saying so, the head nurse brought out the portable table and placed the food on it.
As I thanked her and began eating, I felt the head nurse stare at me.
“Is your body alright? “
“It’s fine to have fun, but if something happens, Mahiro-chan will be the one in trouble.
It seemed like the head nurse found me out.
After sincerely giving me a lecture, the head nurse asked me, “Did you have fun? “
“I did! I didn’t know that the outside world was this fun! “
The head nurse gave me a gentle, yet melancholy smile. Saying she would return once I was done eating, she left my room.
Left by myself I gazed out the window. It had become dark, now that the sun had set.
It felt like the fact that I had been out there a few hours back were a lie. Within the room, I felt nothing– Neither the smell of fresh breeze nor the chill.
But I didn’t feel empty as usual. That was surely because I now knew of the wonderful world beyond that darkness.
The reason I could think like that was all thanks to Mr Death. Muttering a small ‘Thank You’ under my breath, I stretched my hands towards my dinner that had begun to go cold.