Not The Isekai I Thought It Would Be
Beep Beep Beep BEEP BEEP BEEP
“SHUT THE HELL UP!!” I scream as I throw my alarm clock across the room. It bounces off my table and knocks over a few of my figurines. “You’ve got to be kidding me! Jeez, why’d I even set up that damn thing! Magical Girl Sayaka Sakura doesn’t even start until 8!” I grumble as I crawl out of bed and slump onto the floor. Groggily, I pull out my last cup ramen from the crumpled box of the sink in my shabby 500 square foot apartment. Filling it up to the line with freshly sourced tap water, I let out a sigh as I shove the whole styrofoam mess into a half-broken microwave. There goes the last of my money…
Who would’ve thought that my life would’ve turned out this way. In high school, I wasn’t a terrible student. I got decent grades and ended up graduating with honors. I got into a prestigious college out of sheer luck. However, it was barely a month into class when I started to fall behind. The rest of my classmates worked hard on their homework and assignments, while I procrastinated and played games instead. By the end of the semester, I had failed almost all of my classes. Disheartened, I ditched most of my periods the following semester and holed myself in my apartment. Obviously, I got kicked out of school but I didn’t seem to mind at the time. A year went by. Then another. Suddenly I’m 28, wasting my days playing video games, watching anime, and reading manga. My parents finally decided to stop sending me money last month, and 3 figurines and an acrylic tapestry later my bank account is now in the red. Whoopty-doo.
I never had a job before and the last thing that I want to do is ruin my freedom by working tirelessly at minimum wage for some large corporation that doesn’t give a damn about their employees. But at the end of the day, the world runs on money. Money pays the bills, buys you food, and puts a roof over your head. Sometimes I wonder if I had spent a tad more effort in school, or spent time learning to draw or code or write, would I be in any better of a situation? Would I have become the next great mangaka or author or game developer? Or would I still end up wasting my days unemployed and raging at people online all day. Could I have been famous or popular if I had used and posted on social media instead of trying to ridicule people who had social lives, jobs, or romantic partners? Maybe. Maybe not. It doesn’t even matter anyway. After all, the only jobs that would really accept someone with no experience, no skills, and no talent are those large corporations.
DING DING DING
I throw the microwave door back open and grab the lukewarm noodles and a pair of disposable chopsticks from a Chinese restaurant. As I walk over toward the only chair in the room, I stumble over a trash can filled to the brim with tissues. Some of the muddy soup seeps into the carpet and the rest dribbles down onto a wrinkled suit sloppily laid out on the floor. Huh? Why did I leave a suit on the floor?
Beep Beep Beep BEEP BEEP BEEP
That stupid alarm started going off again. I bend over to pick up the bruised and beaten up alarm clock and my freshly-broken Coco Kaine and Sayaka Sakura figurines. Sigh, I really liked those and they cost me a pretty penny too. As I shovel the dismembered body parts onto the table, I flip the clock around to remove the batteries when I notice the time. 10:03. Why would I set my alarm this early? Was there some event today? I check my phone for a calendar.
JOB INTERVIEW TODAY - 10:30 AM
CRAP! I’m going to be late! In a panic, I scramble around the room trying to mop up the soggy mess I made over my suit. I rip off the sweatpants I’ve been wearing for the last week and a half and toss the crusty and faded shirt over my head. I try to put my pants on while standing, but end up tripping and falling onto the small wooden table on the floor. As I pick myself off the floor I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. My moppy black hair drapes over my forehead, stopping just enough to stop me from looking like a hentai protagonist. My chin, riddled with whiskers and facial hair I can’t grow out but have been long since given up on shaving. The white dress shirt wrinkled and my lanky arms hastily shoved into the sleeves. I fiddled with my belt in a rush, frustrated with how I was unable to get it through the belt loops. Finally able to get it in, I fumbled with the buckle, finding I had to make it a bit looser than before. I was by no means fat, but I had developed quite a gut that I tried to work off by playing CircleFit after seeing some of my favorite VTubers play it. Obviously, I would be able to keep up a daily routine and get in shape, but that would remain a fantasy. In reality, I lasted no more than 10 minutes before I swore to never touch it again.
I quickly throw on the black suit jacket with a brand-new stain on the left pocket. I scroll through Guugle as fast as I could to find out how to tie a tie while simultaneously trying to put my socks on. I tie the tie sloppily, then redid it again, and again before giving up and calling it good enough. I stuff my worn-out leather wallet, my ancient uPhone 5, and trusty lighter and cigarettes into my pockets. I bolt straight out of the door right after slipping my feet into my only decent pair of shoes: worn-out black Adadis sneakers, one with pre-tied laces and the other sloppily done and shoved under the tongue.
With a slam of the door behind me, I impatiently looked at my phone to check the time. 10:17. I changed faster than I thought I would. I raced down the street as fast as I could. The 5-Eleven was just around the corner a couple blocks down. I just about made it to the crosswalk when I realized that I had left my resume back at my apartment. I would be cutting it close but there still was a chance I would make it on time. I did a complete 180 and dash back toward my apartment. I frantically patted myself down while leaping up the stairs desperately searching for my keys. I grasped a hold of it just before I got to the door and jammed it into the lock. Running inside I danced around the room looking for my resume before finally spotting it on the other side of my bed. I grab the folder and jump out the door, slamming it behind me. I pounce once again down the stairs and book it to the street. I make it all the way to crosswalk across the street from the convenience store. Out of breath, I start panting while waiting for the cross light to come on. Quickly slipping my phone out of my pocket, I check the time again. 10:28.
It was right there. My only shot at a job right across the street. And I was going to miss it because of a cross light. No. I quickly glance around. There seemed to be no cars around. This was usually a quiet street anyway. I grasp my phone tightly and bolt onto the crosswalk. I’m halfway across when I hear a loud horn. Still running, I turn to see a truck, hurtling max speed in my direction. I pick up the pace, I’m running faster than I ever have before. I’m scared. I keep running and running. I’m almost there. And then, I trip.
Ah, is this where it ends? Deadbeat, unemployed, and alone? Tripping over my shoe lace and getting run over by a truck. How fitting. Maybe, I’ll be reincarnated into another world. Yeah, a world with magic and monsters. Kings and Queens. I could have godlike cheat abilities or be able to use magic since birth or maybe be reborn as a slime or something. Whatever it is at least maybe then I’ll start trying. If I had a second chance, I would put in that effort to become strong. My life flashes before my eyes once more as my body keeps moving forward.
The truck driver frantically steps on the breaks. My legs keep moving as I stumble over my untied shoelace. I hit the pavement and my phone goes flying. The truck is still moving fairly fast. I jump to my feet as fast as I can and grab my phone as I run by. Whew. Safe. 10:29. I can still make it. My mind is still racing after the shock of almost losing my life. I mean that is natural isn’t it? I almost DIED. I can’t believe I’m still in one piece after that. My legs are trembling with each step as I dash toward the door. I place my shaking hands on the handle. None of that matters anymore, I’m just here for the job interview. This is my only shot. I close my eyes and thrust open the door. I take a huge step inside and shout, “I’m here for the job interview!” Huh? It’s a lot warmer inside here than I thought it would be. Do they not have an AC working? It’s also a lot noisier too.
And so I open my eyes onto a whole new world.