Chapter 0:

A Day Like Any Other

My New Life As a Bus Driver. Why Can't I Be Sent To Another World?

Four in the morning. Ken Ogawa's alarm screamed at him as he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and sat up. Unenthusiastically, he turned off the alarm and left his warm bed to face his cold bedroom and the rest of the day.

It had been three months since Ken's mother forced him to get a job and move out. When he graduated high school, she said that she had no problem supporting him for awhile before he was able to find his way in the world. After years of watching him chase his dreams of becoming a manga artist, and with no accomplishments other than creating a few doujinshi with mediocre sales, however, Ken's mother finally kicked him out at 34 years old. Thanks to some family connections, he was able to quickly get a job as a bus driver, and began his dull yet self-sufficient life.

Three months of Ken's life was long enough that all of the novelty and joy of his new life had worn off. At first, he was able to see his small apartment as a small fortress of freedom, away from his family. Now, all he can see are the cracks in the walls, the stains on the kitchen floor, and the awkward way the tatami mats were sitting on the floor after being shoved into a room that didn't seem to be the right size for any possible configuration.

Three months was long enough that calling his supervisor 'Uncle Tama' was starting to feel creepy, and Ken wondered why he was insisting on it.

Three months was long enough that Ken had finished the training period, and drove a route of his own.  All day, north then south, north then south, endlessly. Seeing so many of the same streets, so many of the same people, it all blurred together. He started smoking on his breaks because he was afraid he would fall asleep at the wheel.

Three months was long enough that Ken was used to the horrors of living in a city of millions. After driving through neighborhoods of all qualities at all hours of the day, Ken had seen a lot of things he wished he hadn't.

Maybe that was why he had a hard time noticing that it wasn't an accident.

It was a day like any other, slowly driving through the streets of Tokyo, when suddenly a man fell into the path of Ken's bus. There was a horrible sound as the bus lurched to the side. Ken knew his career was over. The pedestrians head was thrown directly into the wheel well. No chance of survival. 

It wasn't long before a crowd formed at the scene and police escorted Ken into the back of a van. He didn't try to resist, he was Time passed at a completely unmeasurable rate. The van drove, parked, and restarted several times. When the doors finally opened, Ken was greeted by Uncle Tama as well as several cops wearing masks. Tama smirked.

"I'm sure you have lots of questions," Tama said, "But I don't care. Just forget about this and show up for work tomorrow at the usual time. If you don't there might be, ah, some problems."

Tama left as suddenly as he arrived. The police grabbed Ken and threw him harshly onto the ground before leaving as well. Ken stared, dumbfounded at the now rain-soaked pavement. The only thing he knew was that he would absolutely not forget about what had happened.