Chapter 3:

THREE- Awake and Alive (Miura Rie)

Life x Like

All I felt was the envelope of a smooth, soft object. Nothingness stretched forth into the distant horizon. Stationary… Slowly being molded, slowly being filled with the breath of life. I felt myself being wrapped with a soft cloth.

Moments [passed and I could make out a clear figure on the other side. His eyes although having bags under them, had faint yet unquenchable sparkle. He was slouching which was intimidating to me. But his strokes were gentle and careful as if he would die if I were hurt.

He looked like a living corpse halfway towards decomposing completely and yet here he was bringing life into my being.

Such was Yoshida Masanori, my creator, my master


I sat on a chair opposite to the stove where he was making some liquid in a pan. I wore a light blue T-shirt that was a bit large and loose around the neck and chest areas. I stared at myself in a mirror towards the exit. I tied my hair back into a bun using a rubber band. My brown eyes were sparkling with life. But I went downwards towards my chest.

“Is this all you have to wear?” I asked, annoyed for obvious reasons.

“Well, I don’t have people over. Especially people of the opposite sex. Why would I have some clothes that fit you?”

I felt something snap inside me. My face turned red hot, “Well you should’ve made my chest larger goddammit!”

“Huge chests are an eyesore. Flat ones are where it’s at.”

My eyes widened. I took the next nearest thing; A book about anatomy I presumed, and threw it at his face!

“Hey!” he shouted, “What the hell was that for?”

“Pervert!” I screamed back, “How could you say that with a straight face, huh? Dumbass!”

He walked towards me with the crutches and leaned in closer.

“What are you doing now?”

He nodded to himself and sighed. “Maybe I should make it a little bigger. Although I think I should draw it on you… You know what that means, yes?”

His face had a weird grin as I stared down at myself. I turned redder.


I grit my teeth and raised my palm but before it hit his face, he caught it. His face turned serious again and he walked back to the stove.

“I thought you’d say that.”

“Why you little-”

But he ignored me. He was getting on my nerves. I could feel him trying to get in my head. But his face reflected hesitation like he didn’t mean all that… He poured the now-ready hot liquid into two cups and handed me one. It was a soft-toed brown and smelled good. It gave me enough time to reflect on my actions.

“What is this?” I asked.

“Tea,” he responded, taking a seat opposite mine.

“Tea?” I asked.

“Yeah, will help you calm down.”

“It’s not going to make my insides hurt right?” I asked.

“Aren’t they already? Dealing with me is enough..”

'Another self-loathing comment…’ I thought, ‘Why is he like this?’

I accepted it and took a sip. It was sweet. A bit too hot but once it entered my system, I felt myself calm down and exhale unconsciously.

“Thanks…” I said, “And I’m sorry.”

Masanori waved me away. The spark of life in his eyes that I saw when I came to life were all but present. He looked like he could’ve passed for a dead person.

“I’ve been through worse.” he stated, nonchalantly, “I understand where you are coming from anyway.”

For a guy who doesn’t know how to have a coherent conversation with a person, he was pretty considerate. He cleared his throat.

"I don't like the idea of you being here. Let me make that clear."

I nodded. For a complete nobody like me to leech off of him like this is unbearable indeed.

“However, you have no other place to go and you will probably be taken by force by bigger perverts if you go outside. You know nothing about Shibuya so you will end up being lost or sidetracked.”

‘Shibuya…’ I thought, ‘So that’s what this place is called.’

“You have no family either and like it or not, I’m the only person you know in this city… Which is not a good thing considering how much of a shitty person I am…”

“At least you are self-aware…” I said.

He sighed as if he was accepting that remark. He didn’t rebuttal with an argument this time either. Was he that vulnerable?

“...But that’s not the point.” he continued, “Since this is your current case. You can live here. I don’t care what you do as long as you don’t touch my stuff without asking. If you end up leaving from here. I do not care, I would understand why.”

He tried to smile. But it looked so fake… So strange.

“Don’t try to force it.” I said, “Anyone can see that it’s not genuine.”

He shook his head and reverted to his neutral-looking expression.

“Welcome to my abode, Rie. I hope we can get along.”

I smiled back at him and bowed politely, “Likewise.”

Yosida went into his room. I wondered what he was doing in there. I could hear him shuffling around in there. He came out moments later. He wore a plain red shirt and dark blue jeans. His hair was less messier than before.

“Get ready.” he said to me, although I wondered if that was directed at himself, “We’re going out.”

“Huh?” I asked, confused. “Where to?”

“You want clothes yes? So we are heading to Akagi-san’s store.”

“Akagi-san?” I asked.

“A friend of my mother’s. My guardian…in a way” he replied, “She owns a store a few blocks from here.”

“A guardian…like a protector…?” I asked.

“More like a surrogate parent,” he responded.

“What happened with your own parents?” I asked.

I heard him click his tongue. He adjusted his standing position. I looked down at his legs and the crutches that he was using to support himself.

“Let’s go, shall we?” he asked me.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” I asked.

“I am fine.” he responded, “I can handle it.”

“Why are you…like this?”

He shot a glare at me. A bit of fear came crawling into my system. But, he withdrew just as quickly.

He walked towards the door and held it open for me.

“What are you waiting for?” he asked, “It’s not like you need to change your clothes. Let’s get this over with.”

I solemnly stepped out while stealing glances at his pained face. I could get that he was trying to hide it from me. I felt like I should stay by his side from then. He let me, a girl who knows nothing, stay by him. I felt… grateful.

I also feel…sorry for him.

Today was the day I was bought to life.

And from today, I will live it to my fullest,

In this strange world that I was bought into.

He took me in with hidden compassion.

In this world I know nothing about.

I will learn to live.

And then, I’ll bring life into his eyes again.

Life x Like