Chapter 21:

High schoolers talk about numbers

Former Magical Girls and their Daily Lives

"Kasumi, what does this number mean?" Risa said, pointing at her phone. It was the number 42.Bookmark here

"That's your IQ score, and that means that you're retarded," Kasumi said, looking up from a magazine she found that day.
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"Oh, man. I didn't know I was retarded."Bookmark here

"I'm pretty sure that you aren't, though," Kasumi said, putting down the magazine, "I think you just ran into some prank IQ test. It'll probably give you something low no matter how good you did in the test."Bookmark here

"I hope you are right. I'll rather not be retarded. Yuri, do you think I'm retarded?"Bookmark here

Yuri was watching something on their small TV. She turned to Risa and quickly turned back to the TV without responding.Bookmark here

"Please at least say something," Risa pleaded.Bookmark here

Kasumi rolled her eyes.Bookmark here

"Anyway, to change the topic, I've been thinking about adding stuff to our living space. It's quite barren as things go."Bookmark here

"I've been thinking about it too. Maybe we should add a couch, a coffee table, and probably a bigger TV."Bookmark here

"Yeah, that sounds good. I've been thinking about a computer. We do need a computer to do some assignments for school. Also, we should probably try using the bedrooms. This place has three bedrooms after all."Bookmark here

"Aw. But I like all of us sleeping in the same room. It's comfy."Bookmark here

"I don't mind sleeping together, but I guess we should use the extra rooms for something. The room we sleep in now is supposed to be the living room. The bedrooms aren't being used at all. We should figure something out."Bookmark here

"I will say that it's a little of a waste to not use those rooms, but let's focus on the easier thing. How about the computer? What type of computer should we get? Should I call Megumi?"Bookmark here

"Didn't Megumi say that she wasn't that good with technology?"Bookmark here

"Well, yes, but she could possibly be a good help. She can't be worse than us."Bookmark here

"I guess you aren't wrong, but would she go?"Bookmark here

"I doubt she wouldn't. But who knows. I think it's better to just ask her."Bookmark here

Risa was about to text Megumi, asking 'Do you want to go to the computer store tomorrow? We need a computer.'Bookmark here

"Wait, Kasumi. Do you want to go tomorrow?"Bookmark here

"I don't really have any plans."Bookmark here

"Okie dokie." Risa hit the send button.Bookmark here

"So, what else do we need for this house?"Bookmark here

"Maybe a garage."Bookmark here

"We are not getting a garage for our non-existent car."Bookmark here

"No, I meant for a garage band."Bookmark here

"Do those still exist? Wait, no. Why would we have a garage band?"Bookmark here

"Of course, garage bands still exist, but I think we should start a band. I think our lives need a little more spice in them."Bookmark here

"I don't like the idea of having a band. I don't like playing instruments, and I don't think that either of you ever played one."Bookmark here

"We can always learn. Music is food for the soul."Bookmark here

"I guess, but that doesn't mean that we should get a garage for a band. You know that we don't have a car nor can we get one. Even if I could get a car, riding the trains to school is already way more efficient."Bookmark here

"So, how about a band without a garage? That'll be way easier."Bookmark here

"I would say that that's much more doable... Wait, did you add the nonsense with the garage to convince me to start a band?"Bookmark here

"Noo... Probably... Let's start a band."Bookmark here

"No. This isn't some moe moe anime where we need some kind of club gimmick to make ourselves stand out from the pack. Either way, the band gimmick has already been overused."Bookmark here

"But we already have the magical girl gimmick."Bookmark here

"But we aren't magical girls anymore. If the creator of this story is choosing this part to focus on, they are missing out on the most exciting part of the story. It would make more sense to focus on the magical girl stuff."Bookmark here

"But I would argue that magical girl stuff is already overdone. The better solution would be to focus on the other stuff. Like, do you ever wonder what happens to your heroes when they become old and frail? Stuff like that."Bookmark here

"We aren't old and frail!"Bookmark here

"Well, not yet..."Bookmark here

"What? Is the story going to focus on a grandma who's like 'look at me. I used to be a magical girl. I remember that look on that demon's face when I blasted a hole through its chest like it was yesterday.' and her children are like 'Don't listen to her. She is slowly losing her mind.'?"Bookmark here

"Well, maybe we should go a little younger... Just to change the topic. Megumi responded. She said that she could go. What do you think about that?"Bookmark here

"It's great. You didn't force her or anything, right?"Bookmark here

"Nope. I just asked."Bookmark here

"And we are just going to get a computer. No funny business?"Bookmark here

"I don't like that that's your impression of me. Of course, we are just going to get a computer. Actually, should we just get one computer or multiple? We are three girls after all."Bookmark here

"Maybe? There's too much about computers. How's the money looking, Yuri?"Bookmark here

Yuri was counting the money for the tenth-thousand time. She liked the simple task. Counting bills calmed her down. She liked the feeling and smell of paper bills. However, she didn't like the coins. As the girls got more and more change from their purchases, Yuri gained a love-hate relationship with counting the money.
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"982,000," Yuri saidBookmark here

"Yen, right?" Yuri nodded. "I'm surprised that we already spent that much money," Kasumi said.Bookmark here

"It isn't that bad. We do get the money monthly, right?" Risa said.Bookmark here

"Yeah, we can live very comfortably. It's a lot, however. 12,000,000 per year for three teenage girls. That's more than a doctor, right?"Bookmark here

"Maybe. 4,000,000 a year is a good amount of money for girls like us. What could you do with that kind of money?"Bookmark here

"Well, we have rent covered already. Food isn't that much I think. I'll assume that we have 1,000,000 a year for spending money. Maybe? That isn't too little, right? Either way, let's say 1,000,000 per year. That could pay for a truckload of games, anime, manga, figures, um... I could go to an amusement park a lot with that kind of money. That's enough for a season pass for a lot of places. Honestly, I don't know if I could safely spend that much money. I don't want anything illegal. Risa, do you think that a savings account would help us?"Bookmark here

"You are right that we have a little too much money. I heard that child actors don't do so well because they get into expensive stuff like drugs, cars, strippers, and stuff like that. I don't think I would do that, but I can't think where I could sink that much money. I would vote for a savings account. I don't know how long this money would reach us. So, it's good to keep it for our future. Yuri, how about you?"Bookmark here

Yuri nodded.Bookmark here

"Okay," Kasumi said, "We choose the responsible choice and stick with the savings account. I think we are choosing wisely here. But I will have to admit. Isn't it kinda easy to chose the wise decision with all of the money we have rolling in? If had 100,000 yen a month, we could easily blow that money, and not save anything."Bookmark here

"Kasumi, I really hope that 100,000 yen a month will never happen. 1,200,000 yen a year is like near the poverty line, right?"Bookmark here

"I guess you would be right there. 100,000 yen a month probably isn't enough to live easily, so we probably wouldn't have much to blow anyway. But what I was trying to say was that having too much money showed us that we should be careful. If we had enough to live easily and a little more spending money, we would probably blow that money. It seems that the middle ground is the worst position."Bookmark here

"No, I still think that barely being able to make ends meet would be the worst one. Going to sleep hungry is no joke."Bookmark here

"Risa, I know full well how bad going to sleep hungry is, and you know it. I guess I should rephrase myself. The middle has the least awareness of the problems with money. The poor can go broke, and the rich are the targets of useless luxury items. A fool and his money are quickly separated. That kind of thing."Bookmark here

"I would imagine that most people would have a decent awareness of money problems. It isn't based on the amount of money they currently have. There are hundreds of little variables. And also, it isn't like everyone wants to be rich."Bookmark here

"I guess you would be right. Everyone is different and everyone knows something, but if you just focus on the wealth a person has I wouldn't be surprised that you'll find something like that. Wealth is very interesting. I would think that the middle class would be the most comfortable with their money. After all, if you are having a lot of money problems, you probably wouldn't be classified as middle class. But that's just my definition or understanding of low, middle, and high class. Not all low-class people are suffering, but I would imagine that middle class would be the point where you could say that you have a stable income and you don't have problems with going broke. However, if you have a lot of money, well, then you have to deal with a lot of issues, like taxes, maintaining your big house, probably bossing people around, making sure that your expensive car is clean and functioning properly, and a lot of stuff."Bookmark here

"But you are talking about a certain kind of rich person. Not all rich people like to have expensive stuff. I heard of billionaires who still take the bus."Bookmark here

"I think those billionaires have it right. If I was filthy rich, I wouldn't have spent everything on expensive houses and expensive watches and stuff. Those things aren't worth it."Bookmark here

"I think I have to agree on that, but I do think I would like to spend a little bit of money. I don't like the idea of being a millionaire and sitting in an empty room because nothing is worth it."Bookmark here

"I believe I would spend something. I'm not like 'I can only have one spoon, one fork, and one knife because I'm efficient to the core.' No, some things are worth it. If nothing was worth it, money wouldn't matter. All of those motivational pictures that say that money can't buy happiness would be true. It's partially true, but money can buy stuff that actually makes you happy. At a certain point, more money doesn't mean more happiness, but oh, well, that's life. If there was a single number that we could pump up to increase our happiness, then that number would be exploited to hell and back. That number isn't your bank balance. Anyway, what would you spend on if you had a billion dollars?"Bookmark here

"Maybe a nice dress. A lot of those expensive dresses are beautiful, but I wouldn't spend it on expensive t-shirts. T-shirts are meant to be worn indoors when no one is looking. Should I get a beach house? It would be great to have a consistent place to stay when you go to the beach, but if I'm that rich, I could just travel anywhere in the world, so what's the point of having a beach house in a single place? I could afford nice rooms in great hotels. I would like to go to France. Have we been there?"Bookmark here

"Oh, yeah. I remember. We fought a demon in Paris. I remember seeing the Effiel Tower, but I didn't get to see it for anything longer than a minute because we had to leave. I remember that you and I were confused about where to go in the streets of Paris and our navigator was... her.... Hey, Yuri. What would you do with a billion dollars?"Bookmark here

"Boyfriend," Yuri answered immediately.Bookmark here

"Aw, Yuri," Kasumi said, throwing her arm around Yuri's shoulders, "You can't buy a boyfriend. Money can't buy love. What's with that answer? Did all of those letters infect you with the love bug? Do you have someone in mind?"Bookmark here

Yuri shook her head.Bookmark here

"Come on. Do you?"Bookmark here

Yuri pounded Kasumi's chest, but it was a light aggressive pounding, like a heroine from a 1930s film who fainted at the lightest form of danger. It didn't do any damage.Bookmark here

"I think Yuri wants to change the subject," Risa said, looking at other things to change the subject before focusing on the TV "What's on the TV, Yuri?"Bookmark here

Yuri looked at Risa and Kasumi.Bookmark here

"Us."Bookmark here

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