Rainbow of the Horizon—Illuminating Our Darkened Path | Our World
Surely it is weird for me to think that our month-long stay in Japan still felt like it was yesterday, although it has already been two weeks since then. Time flies fast, and it does not at the same time.
I guess my way of thinking just sums up to me being weird, generally.
But of course, there's no way I can shrug off this normal coming days as I move around partly with a life-accidental but essential routine every single day.
In such a way, my life is not always different. But I know that at least one will surely counter those hypocritical words. That, I am guilty of.
Perhaps others would say that my life is different, or maybe with a more upgraded approach—some might call me a "riajuu."
Well, it certainly looked that way and I won't deny that in face value, it's unavoidable to be called by that, though superficial, in reality.
I live partly independent in a house which does look premium at first glance. I work at a decently popular restaurant as a sous chef. I also have a lover that I can see pretty much everyday and have a time with her.
That does certainly looks like a life of a riajuu. And I feel that I have no rights to tell you that you are wrong. Those resulting situations however were not caused by some kind of trick where for instance, snapping a finger and money falls onto your hands.
That was never the case. All of those were done through acts of trials and hardships that were triggered from the past. There is a reason. We fight through those trials and pain, face them head on, and move forward with it as we dub ourselves victors.
I hope that it helped the lengthy utterance that I have been uttering. Contrary to the belief that I have such a luxurious life as some kind of a bourgeoisie…
…it already pains me that turning my AC on every night will surely skyrocket my electric bill up.
Doh. That's a pretty trashy way of ending my statements, indeed. But I have a feeling this might turn into a half-baked concept paper if I don't stop now.
To summarize, humans struggle.
▪ ▪ ▪
It is safe to say that I woke up in a very rare sight in the morning. No, it was not waking up with some other person drooling on my pillow.
For the past eight months of being this guy's companion, I woke up for the first time with Haku sleeping on my belly. I really don't get what's up with this cat. It is however a spectacle to see him lift up and down while I breathe.
But seriously, this cat is just as weird as I can be. He doesn't particularly like those common approaches you do with animals to make them look cute so I will clarify this at once: Haku is not a, or my pet.
Having all of that said, I woke up the guy with a very weak knock on his head and he eventually opened his eyes with a seemingly glare, which is actually just how he looks like normally. He's not mad or anything. Haku is actually a pretty chill cat.
With everything coming into place once again, I did my normal routine of my everyday life in my bathroom. Surely there's nothing more to say about that.
Going down to the first floor of my house is where the first and last meals that I consume are found and made.
And as I was toasting my bread on a pan (I don't need a toaster), my front door started to make a knocking sound which eventually stopped due to the obvious clacks of my doorknob.
"Morning, Rin. Haven't had coffee, I presume."
"Good morning, Potato."
It's true that Rin comes by half of the time to eat meals with me as she use the excuse that she can't just let me be alone for most times, considering the plenty horrific situations that happened to me being alone.
And yes, we used to live under the same roof for a month. It was a different, special, but ephemeral lifestyle as it lasted only for that duration. If that situation is to however be replicated, I am not sure if I will let something like that slip. It is for our best that we kept ourselves under limitations.
"Just woke up, I guess?"
"Yeah… Was practicing with the violin and lost track of time."
"So I heard before I sleep. Just sit still and I'll make something to make us at least comfortable with this weather."
"Hahh… I wish for fall to come early…"
"Well, our changing of seasons is earlier which is straight up bizarre, but I get impatient with that too. Also with saving energy and all… it's difficult to do that when it is currently 'dehydration in sleep' season.
And Rin, you're starting to melt."
"And now I'm just realizing that I haven't even eaten ice cream for the rest of this summer. Uuuuuggghhhhh…"
"You say that now… but I haven't really been fond of eating desserts after returning from the Room. Man, I really grow old quickly."
I would be surprised if there is a human that would not complain about 42 degrees of heat in feel. Just by hearing that, I would really want to tilt the Earth if I can.
"Mmmm… Even though it's hot breakfast really can't be beaten."
"'Something you can do in the morning that you can't do at night…'
I don't get why I suddenly remembered that joke."
"It sounded kind of tricky but it works," she agreed.
"Will probably make you think a bit."
"Ah, Potato. Sis will be working full time outside of her offices."
"That's good to hear as long as she doesn't become a shut-in.
What happened, anyways? Did Sis get promoted?"
"It's just a decision for ease, since she only goes to her office to drop documents or when she needs you to accompany him with things."
"That makes sense. Portable documents and cloud are pretty much everywhere. But I really won't get it if the office people even laze off with just printing."
“Well, her room is pretty much her office so she has everything that she needs, work related.”
“Ah, before I even forget to- Haku, oi,” the cat just jumped to my lap. “Before I even forget to say, Kyoko Animation will hold several interviews with us I think via the internet. The animation turned out to be related a bit to our real life story which of course, I’ll vaguely describe.
And they also assigned a representative for us.”
“It’s a bit embarrassing now that I think about it but we agreed to it.”
As we are having breakfast, the news suddenly popped in the television.
“We have breaking news. Over 50 corrupt authorities that were arrested in the Capital yesterday as per the orders of the president are named today. The search will still continue for an indefinite time.
Apparently, the said authorities were unjustifiably arresting individuals without further investigations and insight. With that, proper investigations will begin for the arrested people under them.”
“Oh, shoot… I haven’t contacted Juno yet.”
“What about Detective Artecus?”
“Ah, I haven’t told you about it. Well, hearing that news, I guess Cotona will be next in line. It’s good to know that there are coincidental relevance to a case that I’ll have to be involved in investigating.
Rin, do you know that Jean has an imprisoned brother?”
“That’s the first time I’m hearing about it… Could it be that he’s also a victim of the arresting?”
“Spot on. So Jean asked me a favor to get in touch with the detective regarding that, knowing that we’re acquaintances.
Simply said, we’re trying to get his brother out of jail.”
“Is that so… I hope everything goes well.”
“I miss playing games… let’s game for a bit, Rin. Ah, have you been doing art recently? Why don’t we practice?”
“I haven’t really done any art for months now. I’ll have to get back my drawing senses too.
But let’s play first.”
“Yep. I agree.”
“Hello? Anyone in the house?” a voice from outside called.
“Who’s that, I wonder?”
I shouldn't have asked since I basically know who was it from the voice.
“I hope this works, Rin.
Ah-ah. Can’t hear anyone. No one’s in front of my door unless the doorbell is rung.”
“Ah, is that so. Sorry for that. I’ll go ring the-
GIN! STOP TROLLING!”
It was Nagi.
“Hey, Nagi! Stop shouting this early in the morning! I’ll open the door, okay?”
It was to my surprise not to see him alone upon opening the door. Shiro is with her and dare I say, for the rare times we've conversed during this summer, I haven’t seen him without Shiro beside.
“Morning, come in. 'Twas a long time since we last saw each other.”
“Well, yeah. You two just stayed silent when you came home so we have no idea you’re still alive.”
She then waved back.
“Didn’t expect you two to be visiting early in the day and we just finished breakfast earlier. Let’s see, why don’t we all get ice cream then? Rin has been complaining about the heat and she wants it too.”
“Ice cream…” Shiro’s sweet tooth activated.
~ ~ ~
After opening up our popsicles, we stopped by a bench at a waiting shed with the free wind blowing directly on it.
“Ahhh… This place should be considered one of the wonders of the world.”
“Gin, that’s what lazy people say everyday.”
“Hey, Potato. What flavor is yours?”
“I dig some melon today. Let me guess, yours is strawberry.”
Sometimes I wonder how much of an irony it is that Rin like strawberries more than apples; with her name translating to “apple,” and all.
“Any news about Akira?”
“I’ll answer that if you tell me why you’re called ‘Potato’ now.”
“Ask Rin for that.”
“Nevermind. I think we can’t relate.
Still haven’t seen a shadow of him. My guess is that he hasn’t yet gone out of your base. I’m surprised that there’s internet in there, though; for him to be commenting in that video.”
“Independent network, track-free from the surface, and the fastest I’ve used. Marco pulled a lot of strings for that.”
“You still have half, Nagi. Mind giving me a taste?” Shiro suddenly asked.
“Let’s just exchange.”
“We planned on playing games, anyway. I guess it’s better to have more people, then. Are you two in?”
“If you say so. But try to at least do something to lessen the heat. Today’s the hottest so far.”
“Yeah, yeah. Let’s enjoy the AC since this is a bit of a special day.”
~ ~ ~
It was at the point where we are all drowning in our own sweat and I just remembered that I closed off every cavity in my room, leaving it to be almost the same as an oven.
Upon opening the door of my house, I immediately ran upstairs to sort that out.
"Sorry, you'll have to wait for a bit. You can turn on the fan so just sit tight."
"Ahhh. Thank goodness I didn't turn my PC on otherwise it might overheat."
"What just suddenly happened with Gin?"
"I don't know. Maybe he's just cleaning his room?"
"Yeah. What do you know; maybe his room looks like a scrapyard right now."
"You two have been in his room, right?"
"Uh, yeah. It was the time when he was sick, but I don't even remember it now."
"All I know is that his room is big and white."
"About his room being white, it was just his plain intention to make him remember of his time in the Room of Reality that's why he painted the walls.
There really isn't that much of an accurate resemblance but one will be reminded of it."
"Wait, I know you've been going to their base for a bit, but have you entered that room already? Not that I can relate, though."
"It's weird to say that 'I didn't' since it wasn't really that long, Nacchi."
"But you weren't hurt right? Gin said that he experienced much more gravitational force than that of Earth's."
"It's not a problem, Shiro. But what's weirder is that we technically just stayed there for around five minutes."
"Eh?! Why so short?"
"It translated in six hours inside, though."
"Ah, I see. But it still doesn't make any sense."
"Well, it was quite an experience…"
Suddenly, Rin was reminded of her own memory of that time. Whether it was an embarrassing or happy memory, she still froze.
"Sorry for the wait. My room is blazing hot so I sorted it out first before turning on the aircon. You can come upstairs now."
~ ~ ~
"Dude, your room is huge. This is like the size of one room apartment, you know?"
"This house is big for one person to live in. It's scary, sometimes."
"Gin, what's with this architecturally perfect window of yours? It's exactly parallel and congruent with the windows over the ones on Ringo's house," Shiro curiously asked with her two fingers pointing at my window.
"That's actually my room, coincidentally."
"Thought so. It didn't even surprise me anymore."
"I bet Gin can dive on his window to yours, Ringo. The distance is so small."
Hearing that, I might try that once.
"What games do you have anyways, Gin?"
"I don't really have that much. I have a few visual novels, N*A 2k18, Bor*to's Dad: Ninja Storm 4 and Chronopoly: The Monopoly of Time."
"Seriously, I can't believe they actually named the game 'Bor*to's Dad.'"
"It's for the gag, I guess."
"And you have an insane spec in your PC. Surely that also packs a lot."
"Nah, I only play gosu! in that machine. I dedicate those 16 gigs of RAM for my digital suite.
I built that unit, which the costs probably equated to my kidney (I still have the two of them inside)."
"Wow, you never get tired of clicking circles. What's your rank, anyways?"
"Ehhh. I'm not doing very well. I'm around 200k in global and 4k in national. I'm still stuck at 3 star difficulty."
"We really are a band of noobs."
"That, I agree."
Half an hour later and our bottoms are stuck in sitting cushions while we fiddle over our controllers at hand. It was quite convenient that an electronic company sent me a TV monitor that I once reviewed using my blog which reached out a lot of people.
It was a decently wide screen, but is surprisingly low at energy consumption. Though, compromising the resolution. Still, 120Hz is a feast to the eyes.
And at one point, my hands—paralyzed, dropped my controller.
"Hey, what just happened with you? You okay there, Gin?"
"Oi, seriously. You're not about to go unconscious, right?"
"Potato, you're suddenly acting strange."
I am such and idiot… Why…"
"Uhh… we can't understand if you don't say anything."
Why didn't I ever think of going to a karaoke place when we're in Japan…? Why…?"
A palm sounded sharply on my head which dealt me such pain.
"QUIT OVERACTING, YOU IDIOT!"
Still, Nagi is easily trolled.
"But hey. You unintentionally made a point."
"Huh? How, Nagi?"
"We're friends for almost five years now and we never even thought of coming to karaoke, let alone know if one is tone deaf or not."
"I wouldn't go anyways since I'm not fond of our country's music, honestly."
"Yeah. You're easily baited with dramatic opening and ending songs.
How about Ringo and Shiro? Do you two sing?"
"Tell me if I'm wrong, Rin. But I do think that your voice suits singing."
"I don't really sing that much, Potato. You should know that already."
"In fact, I've never heard this milady sing and vice versa.
How about you, Shiro? Surely Nagi had already heard at least once."
She immediately rolled her eyes away and looked down with a bashful expression. Then she stole some glances at Nagi in which is staring at her.
The two failed to comprehend anything verbally and so I didn't get an answer seeing that the pair doesn't even have an answer to it.
"I guess Shiro can sing."
After a few hours of playing, we took a break and ate lunch which in such rarity, was prepared by the other two aside from Rin and I. It was somewhat fun having to eat someone's food because I was so used to move my arms before I eat what I make.
A treasure of an experience—learning how to appreciate others' creation instead of mine is contenting. It made me realize how much I can still do in my lifetime.
Even before the sun started to set, we parted ways after an art practice in my house. The scene hasn't silenced yet as seen as we are outdoors. From time to time we do go out to eat dinner either in a restaurant or in cart. Diversity helps a lot.
It was to my surprise that someone from my back called out as I was just standing on the sidewalk waiting for Rin.
I turned around and entertained the person that apparently is asking for directions. With a polite smile, I pointed out the place that was asked.
"Also, here's a contact card and if you need help, there's also an address where we can meet."
I have noticed that the person is acting nervous ever since seeing my face, and upon receiving the card, nod was the reply and so the person said farewell.
"Potato? Were you talking to someone?"
"Just helping out someone that was asking for directions."
"I see. Shall we go then?"
"Yep. I'm hungry."
~ ~ ~
Time for dinner passed and we went home, planning to waste the hours before retiring for the day. That time wasting is what one might call binge-watching anime in the living room with the remainder of my uncooked rice, popped as a moon snack.
I decided to try a subscription to Crispyroll for a month and it was a fair experience having to watch ongoing shows an hour after its release in the North.
But this time, we are watching the first season of Sn*w White with the Red Hair.
"Do you remember when I told that you resemble Shirayuki a lot?"
"Hmm… I think it started when I painted a silver apple?"
"Ah, that was the first time we all did club activities. Man, we were surprised to see you in the Art Room."
"Now I'm recalling the time when I secretly listened to you about the piece you made that was displayed. I heard a whack, though."
"Seriously, I had no idea that it was actually you but I had a feeling that someone passed by the room."
"But still… so much has changed hasn't it?
The six of us were all together either in the Art Room or the rooftop. You suddenly disappeared because of the accident but thankfully came back alive. Then you and I started our current relationship, which we were then followed by Nagi and Shiro."
"Jean decided on his own path, and even found his love. Then Akira started a brand new life underground.
Thinking about it, it's a little sad that we won't be complete anymore when we sit on that certain table at school. But on the bright side, we chose and decided on this life which what we think is what's best for all of us."
"Mhm. I don't regret walking down our path."
"Well? That's good to hear, Rin. I'm grateful.
Yawn~ I think we should wrap this-"
Just as I was about to say to retire for the night, Rin's head fell on my shoulder and fell asleep.
For the umpteenth time that this had happened, this scene has not folded a wrinkle. Seeing the girl with such a meek demeanor in her slumber, makes my surroundings very calm and tranquil. I daresay, it is like everything is at peace.
Nevertheless, these little moments are one of reasons that I continuously strive to survive in this world.
"Rin~ Just wake up for a second, and I'll get you home."
Silence, as you wouldn't call it a response.
"Good grief. You were so proud of getting back the ability to wake up by yourself and look at you now, still not overcoming your habit."
Confirming that Rin was actually asleep, I carried her on my arms for who knows how many times I have done this and sent her next door.
"Auntie, Rin fell asleep on my house again."
"My. She's just like a baby, as always."
"Well, you know the drill, Gin. Go ahead."
I went upstairs and put her on her bed, in which I immediately went out of her room as I always do.
"Well then, have a good rest, Auntie."
And so I stepped out of the residence and came back home.
What a reliable and good child. I will really be glad if he becomes my son-in-law."
That ends 012!
But here starts a new year. I hope you look forward to what NijiHo is going to bring about this year!
Thanks for reading!
Saying farewells and playing the waiting game...?