Chapter 5:

Nightshift with an Easygoing Redhead

Pandora's Box

I was excited to begin working with Red on my campaign. Unfortunately, I'd have to wait until Monday, since we met on a Friday and there was no school over the weekend.

Currently, I was at my part-time weekend job and I just finished recapping this week's events to my co-worker.

"Ha, hearing about your week is always the highlight of my Saturday, Kuro." The easygoing red headed girl I work with said.

She was slim and perfectly proportioned and wore her hair tied back in a ponytail. In all honesty she was easily on par with the girls from the student council in terms of attractiveness. Both her and I were wearing green aprons with the 11/7 logo on them.

"I knew basing my manga on you was the right move. Who knew people would find a story about some boring unassertive kid running for student council president interesting."

Red was leaning up against the cash register I was at.

"I'm not boring..."

"Who are you talking to?" My coworker asked.

She was looking at me curiously with her devilish ruby colored eyes.

"Oh, sorry. It's nothing. I was just thinking out loud."

"Is that so? It's alright if you have an imaginary friend or something. I won't judge you."

The girl's name was Tachi Akari. The two of us both worked the night shift every Saturday at our local convenience store. Every week it's become something of a routine for me to give her a run down on my life.

"In all honesty though, do you think I made the right decision?" I said.

Akari was at the register next to mine. She turned to me.

"You know earlier when I asked you to carry that crate up here from the back?"

"Yeah, but what does that have to do with anything?"

"I'm getting to that, just hold your horses. Do you know why I had you carry that crate up front?"

"You said it was too heavy for you."

"Yes, but the truth is that I could have easily carried it up front. I was just too lazy to do it."

"Okay, why are you telling me this?"

"Because I'm saying that you're kind of a push over. We go to different schools, so I don't know these girls. Personally though, I think you did the right thing by telling them off. If you're not assertive, people will take advantage of you."

"Man, that's a little harsh, but of course like always you're spot on. How is it that you always seem to have the solution to all my problems?"

She laughed.

"It's just simple logic. Everything in life is essentially just a puzzle and every puzzle has a solution."

Red chimed in,

"This girl's pretty smart and she's attractive... You know Kuro, there's this thing you kids these days call 'rizz'. Maybe you should try it out on her."

"Have you been browsing social media or something?" I whispered to Red.

"I borrowed your computer while you were sleeping last night. That internet sure is addicting. I ended up going down quite the rabbit hole."

I couldn't even imagine the kinds of things a devil would look up.

"Careful what sites you go on. I don't need a virus or my mom finding weird things in my search history."

"What are you mumbling to yourself?" Akari said.

"Uh... um.... I was just deep in thought about my campaign."

"Oh really, because it seemed like you were having a conversation with someone."

"W-what that's crazy. You're the only other person here. W-who else would I be talking to?"

She got close to my face, as she smirked and looked me in the eyes.

"Hmm. Why do you seem a little nervous, Kuro? Are you afraid because I know about your secret?"

My face was starting to turn red. I wasn't used to having a girl this close. Did she actually somehow deduce that I have a demon helping me?

"W-what secret?"

"It's obvious that you must have the ability to see ghosts..."

She burst out laughing.

"Lighten up, I'm just messing with you."

"I know that. Of course I can't see ghosts. This isn't Bleac-"

*Crinkle* *Crinkle*

I was suddenly interrupted.

"I already told you earlier not to reference other media! You were literally one letter away from slipping up. You're going to end up getting us sued." Red scolded me.

He had crawled up onto a shelf and obnoxiously tore open a bag of chips in order to stop me from committing copyright infringement.


He ate a chip.

"What was that noise?" Akari said.

"I don't know, it sounded like it came from over there." I responded.

I had to play dumb. It's not like I could explain Red to her, she'd think I was crazy.

She went over to the shelf to investigate.

"Weird, there's an open bag of chips. That's kind of coincidental, considering we were just talking about ghosts. Maybe this 11/7 is haunted... Oh well nothing I can do about it."

She just left the bag on the shelf and went back to the register.

"You don't seem at all concerned about possibly witnessing a paranormal event. At the very least, shouldn't you have thrown that bag out."

"I'm sure there's probably some kind of logical explanation, but figuring that out, as well as throwing out that bag of chips would take way too much effort."

She set her arm on the counter and rested her head on it.

"You have to be one of the most easy going people I've ever met. It's like you don't have a care in the world." I said.

"That's because I don't. My life's pretty easy overall. My philosophy is to take the path of least resistance. That's why I work this particular shift. My dad made me get a part time job, so I figured this would be the optimal time to work. Barely anyone ever comes in this late and all I really have to do is sit at this desk."

"I wish I could be like you. I always feel like I'm stressed out."

"You can, just avoid stress. For instance, do you know why a girl as hot as me doesn't have a boyfriend?"

"No, not really."

"Because I've rejected every guy who's ever asked me out. I realized having a boyfriend would take way too much effort. It's easier just not to have one."

"How many guys have you rejected?"

"I lost count a while ago. At this point it's become something of a challenge with the guys at my school. It's pretty much part of my daily routine."

Red had crawled back onto the counter.

"Dang, this chick's pretty cool. Maybe I should have based my manga on her instead. You have absolutely zero chance with her. I swear every girl you know is out of your league. You better step up your game or you're going to end up a pile of ash in a few weeks."

I just ignored his petty comments. Akari and I continued making small talk the remainder of our shift.