Chapter 2:

Episode Two

My Dakimakura Can't Be This Cute!

Somehow, I managed to get the package inside the apartment and back into my room. I had it in my mind even when I put away the groceries and made myself the usual ramen lunch - a special edition I saw in the grocery store that I wanted to try. Instead of savoring the flavor, I just focused on the package in my room. Normally, I would just leave it out - it might be someone’s idea of a prank after all.
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People aren’t kind to NEETs and once they figure who is a NEET… I cringed at the thought as I slurped my noodles. I shook my head. There’s just no way, is there? I’m not important enough for anyone to notice, much less care about. Much less… send a weird package to. I continue to watch my TV shows. I don’t pay attention, I hardly ever do, but it’s something to keep my mind off of it.Bookmark here

.x.Bookmark here

I didn’t realize I took a nap after lunch. I fell asleep right in the middle of my trash like I sometimes did. I hate myself every time I did that and this time is no different. I woke up because there was an annoying noise coming from the door - must be from the package delivery man. What did Chloe order all the time? She seemed to order something at least once a month and there have been a few times where it came either one week at a time or during multiple days.Bookmark here

Her rule was for me that anytime she got a package and she’s at work, I would place her packages by the door of her room and leave her door closed at all times. Even if I did laundry that day, which was rare enough since Chloe insisted on doing it herself, I would place her clothes by her room and leave her door closed. It’d be a lie to say that I never wanted to know what was in her room but I kept my promise and never entered her room. Even when she wanted to show me something, she’d always bring it to me - especially if it’s something online, she’d show it to me on her phone - instead of letting me inside.Bookmark here

So, even so, I placed the package by her door and left it at that. I put my family’s seal away and I let out a sigh. I know what a woman's room looked like. Even though I don’t think too hard on being feminine or masculine, I know what a girl’s room looked like. My little sister is probably one of the most feminine girls around so anything Chloe had hidden in her room couldn’t be too bad.Bookmark here

Even so, it’s not my place. If she doesn’t want me there, I’m not going there. It’s not going to stop my curious mind by any means, but I’m not going to disrespect my roommate.Bookmark here

After I placed the heavy package by her room, I took a little break to catch my breath. Eventually, I make it back to my own room and fall on my bed. I probably should’ve gotten a futon like a normal Japanese citizen… but do I really want to whack out dust like a housewife every morning? No. My arms are as weak as a grandpa so there’s just no way I’m going to do that.Bookmark here

I groan loudly after a while. I wanted to go back to sleep but the postman woke me up, and rudely I might add, and I was unable to. It was mid-afternoon and the sun was out. I had the window opened so the wind blew inside and the spring air was indeed comforting … but I couldn’t go back to sleep.Bookmark here

The truth was that I was curious about what’s in the weird package that was addressed to me. And I brought it in like an idiot. It could’ve been something dangerous. It could be a bomb or it could be drugs - someone who happened to know my address, somehow, someway, after they found it somewhere on the Internet and…Bookmark here

Then my theory falls apart. I never gave out my address. The only way my address is even online is because of Chloe. If I used my address online for anything, I always try to delete it immediately after placing my order - so I don’t know who had my address or how. If someone were to send anyone under this apartment something, it’d be for Chloe. And she only made enough for the necessities and whatever she ordered online, that secret hobby of hers.Bookmark here

Still, and still, I wanted to go and open it. It might bring disaster to me but at least I would know what’s actually in the package.Bookmark here

I don’t know how long I lied there and stared at the package until I found the strength to get up and get some scissors to open it.Bookmark here

As I opened it, I could feel my heart beating against my chest as I opened the package - which was tougher than I imagined - but eventually, I get it opened.Bookmark here

However, when I saw that it was only a regular body pillow, I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight before me. Really? My heart instantly calmed down. Someone sent me a body pillow…?Bookmark here

I touched it, thinking maybe it was actually something else… but no, it’s a regular body pillow.Bookmark here

“Well, that’s a disappointment,” I mumbled to myself. I had built it up in my head that maybe I was important to a higher being out there on the Internet that they somehow wanted me to something. Maybe it would’ve been like my anime where the main character gets a mysterious doll and that doll changed his life and introduces him to an underground world that had always existed with his own… but, and I let out a sigh, I don’t know what I was expecting.Bookmark here

I expected nothing and I still feel disappointed.Bookmark here

I mutter something about how much time I had wasted - that time could’ve been me throwing it out the door and eventually to the burnable trash. I could’ve been playing a game. I could’ve drawn something, anything. I could’ve done anything but worry about this stupid package.Bookmark here

As I’m cleaning up the mess made by opening the box, I find a note. It’s a simple piece of printer paper but their words surprised me when I saw my name clearly typed with the correct romaji:Bookmark here

I felt that you needed my helpBookmark here

“Hey hey hey, Bookmark here

“Something Extraordinary Is about Happen to You. Bookmark here

“I have sent you something in this trying time,so trust me!”Bookmark here

It unnerved me. Who would send such a creepy message to me? I looked back to the body pillow, guess I’m calling it Daki from now on and watched it a little closer. I start to feel the hairs on the back of my neck start to slowly stand at how cryptic this message was.Bookmark here

No, no, no, no. There’s no way. This has to be a coincidence of the grandest order! I don’t quite get - why would someone send me such a thing? How would they even get my address? My thoughts then drifted back to my parents - could they have sent me such a weird message along with a weird package?Bookmark here

But there’s no way they could - they barely used their own computer and always called me whenever they needed help. Plus, they hardly interacted with me. They would criticize me and beg me to come home and I refuse. They would criticize Chloe and my choice in roommates but what do they care? They’re not living with her. I would rather live with Chloe than with them anyway. They tell me that they expect me to get married eventually - preferably not to her - and I told them that it’s not even possible; but not for the reason they think. She only accepts me as a roommate - nothing more romantic than that. She might be bold and consider me a friend but, to me, she’s a shining beacon.Bookmark here

With these thoughts resurfacing to my head, it started to hurt suddenly. Maybe it’s the headache from earlier. After I had my breakfast and lunch, I did feel a little bit better. I didn’t cry today so that was also a plus. I don’t know why I’m having a headache so suddenly. Maybe I’m tired or maybe I’m hungry. I haven’t had my daily snack so that could also be it…Bookmark here

Daki just sat there. I had stopped picking up the trash in my room when I started thinking about my parents and Chloe again. The sharp pain in my head was enough for me to stop thinking that way. It almost felt like someone or something turned a knob in my head and it caused my head to throb in such a way where the pain stopped.Bookmark here

Strange…Bookmark here

I then felt how thirsty and hungry I was. Maybe that lunch I had earlier wasn’t enough but it was only enough to move around and take the package off of Daki. Still, I have to remove this trash. It was an embarrassing day when Chloe and I cleaned my room together. I remember when she came in and saw how disgusting my room was - trash was mixed with my dirty laundry. It was extremely hard to do it - it was embarrassing. Every moment of it. She never criticized or judged me. She smiled as she helped me clean up and sift through what was dirty and what was trash and it was frustrating. Were all peoples like her this kind or is it just Chloe? Is she an angel that decided to bless me for some reason? What did I do, in this life or a previous life to deserve someone as kind as her? She must be an angel...That’s the only thing I could explain.Bookmark here

And slowly, my head started to hurt again. It was just as sharp as it was before if maybe more but I couldn’t tell. It hurt a lot and it nearly knocked me down when I picked up a piece of cardboard. I had to use one of my bookshelves to keep steady.Bookmark here

Okay, okay, I’ll stop… j-just stop!Bookmark here

I had to breathe in and out through my mouth and I could feel myself sweat a little bit before the pain finally fully subsided. I don’t know what’s going on and it’s scaring me. I had to leave the room. I don’t know what Daki actually is and it scares me.Bookmark here

However, as soon as I stepped out of my room, I instantly felt better. I closed the door to my room just so I don’t have to deal with whatever strange thing Daki’s emitting. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that with the arrival of Daki, something strange is going on. Why else would I get these headaches? Even if I stare at my computer, TV, phone, and all these other screens all day, I wouldn’t have such a sharp headache. I...I don’t know what’s going on or why and frankly, I’m too scared to ask. Then again, who could I even tell? I couldn’t tell Chloe. How would I even approach it?Bookmark here

‘Hey, Chloe, I got this weird body pillow in the mail and it’s been giving me headaches! What do you think I should do?’Bookmark here

No, no, no. It’s stupid and weird. There’s no way. I didn’t want to bother Chloe with this. Maybe I should go and throw it out to the garbage. I throw the cardboard in the burnable trash - because I really don’t care to put it in its actual trash bag - and I stay out of my room while I thought of a plan.Bookmark here

But I already went out for the day. I’m already exhausted. I don’t want to be that weirdo who’s throwing out a body pillow in the middle of the day… it’s weird enough to be seen by the neighbors but a body pillow? Oh, as if I haven’t been strange to them. Ah, it’s useless. Absolutely useless.Bookmark here

I throw myself against my closed door. I could feel the exhaustion hit me - from going outside, to feeling that negative towards that grocer lady… to Daki zapping me with a weird headache whenever I thought some bad thoughts. That had to be it. There’s no other explanation. I don’t know what to do. I hate this. I really, truly do.Bookmark here

And there’s nothing I could do.Bookmark here

.x.Bookmark here

“Hey, are you okay?” Bookmark here

I hear her sweet voice. My eyes flutter open and I realized I fell asleep outside my own door. I really am pathetic, aren’t I?Bookmark here

“Huh?” I responded as I could feel my body become oddly sore as I stretch them out. I don’t know how long I’ve been asleep at the door. She had her ponytail down and her hair was somewhat of a mess - probably because she let it loose after work. I was surprised that she’s home so early because usually, she would be out drinking with her coworkers, as usual.Bookmark here

She looked sober but mostly worried. This hurts me in my heart. She should be out trying to get along with her coworkers instead of coming home to a pathetic person like me. I waste her time and I waste her space. I’m a waste of space - that’s all I am.Bookmark here

“Come on,” she said in a weird loud whisper. “Let’s go out to dinner tonight.” She gave me a reassuring smile. This… is why I love--I like her so much. She never asked the unnecessary questions. She always treated me with respect. Even though I don’t deserve it, it does feel good inside of me and it makes my heart throb.Bookmark here

When I looked around, after I rubbed my eyes, I notice she has her package under her arm and I slowly nodded to her. She must’ve just arrived home. How long was I asleep? When did I even fall asleep? I just remember lamenting about Daki and how I should throw it out… and then one thought led to another… and then I must’ve fallen asleep, somehow.Bookmark here

I nodded to Chloe, to let her know that I was paying attention to her question. Spending time with her outside and having some decent food might do me some good. Today had been oddly rough for this NEET.Bookmark here

She asked what I wanted and I gave her the same answer - some good pork katsu. It’s my go-to food whenever I was feeling especially down and felt like leaving the house. I would only leave the apartment when I’m with her or when I’m feeling brave, which was extremely rare.Bookmark here

When we made plans, we went our separate ways and went inside our rooms to go to change. My clothes were really fine but I probably should change out of it just to make Chloe look better. She never really cared about that sort of stuff, but I did. I didn’t want others to judge her just because she’s foreign and I didn’t want them to judge her harder to be with someone like me.Bookmark here

I keep the lights off when I enter my room as the sun started to set. I then realized my phone’s battery is a little less than half drained but I shrug it off. I should keep it to message my folks to let them know that I used the money for groceries and to check my mobile games - but that’s about it. Even though I have Internet friends online, we never talk. We have each other added but no one has anything to say to me and I have nothing to say with them.Bookmark here

I suppose with my mobages it’ll be fine and we’ll probably be playing together anyway while we ate.Bookmark here

When I found a clean shirt to wear, I almost sort of smiled with how our dinner would be together. Daki just sat there - its white cloth almost glowed eerily and I felt a chill down my spine. I changed quickly to hide from its odd aura and I left as soon as I could.Bookmark here

I almost forgot about Daki’s existence and I need to figure out what to do with it. One thing's for sure though - I am not mentioning this to Chloe. At any and all costs.Bookmark here

To Be Continued...Bookmark here

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