UNDER CONSTRUCTION - WORK NOT FINAL
Tomorrow is the day I die.
There’s a lot of stories about how a person who’s been sentenced to death will live out their remaining time. “If you died tomorrow, what is the last thing you’d do?” is another tough, but popular question. Once you get a hit for this kind of story, all kinds of annoying copycats start popping up. Crap like “I’ve die!” or “Oh, I’ve come back to life for a short time!” making a big stink all over the place. Bullshit stories that can’t know what it’s really like.
Anyone on their way to die has pretty much already lost. There’s not much you can do about it. Even if I desperately struggle to find that lost hope, it slips through my fingers. Can’t save a god damn thing, and that’s the truth.
I’ve got 24 hours left, maybe. If at this time tomorrow (or maybe not even then), Curtis follows his morning jogging routine as expected, he’ll do an nice little warm up at 7:00 a.m. and then quickly scarf down a cereal-and-protein meal, maybe fit in a coffee break, together with a helping of fruit or tarte if he absolutely has to have something sweet. Around 8:00 a.m. is when he’ll have gotten his mind and body into full swing.
So I’ll be dead before 9:00 AM. That’s a safe bet. But wait. Depending on the situation, he might consider the stroke of midnight to be the start of the new day, and come meet me then. If that’s the case, I don’t even have 24 hours! You’ve gotta be shitting me. That’s a pretty important detail! I guess I’d better call ahead and find out what time Curtis will be there. Wait, who am I even going to call? If I call Curtis, it’s obvious that’ll be a pretty short chat. Not much dumber than a murder victim asking the guy who’s going to kill him. Okay, then someone in his entourage? Pedro would’ve been my first thought, but he’s probably still bitter about being stripped naked and locked in the bathroom. I sent his new wife, Pamela, some juicy pictures as a wedding gift. I sure hope he enjoyed his fun little bath time, getting blackout drunk and making cute girls wait on him, because payback’s a bitch. Guess that guy’s my last hope.
It can’t be helped. It seems like I’m going to have to ask Mills for another favor. But, before that. Before I die, I’ve gotta do that. If I’m going to die tomorrow, this will be my last request.
July 6th, 0:18 PM
At Shigeki Birkin’s Apartment
I’ve never felt any desire to fall in love like a normal person.But sometimes, you just start to regretfully hold onto that ordinary love, without even noticing. I firmly understand how meaningless, unnecessary bullshit that sounds. But it’s strange. When you know you’re about to die, meaningless things start to take on a new flavor, and you’re able to walk on your own, wherever you want, as you please. Tiny as it is, that instinct humans have to try and survive seems to be working, and I’m a little bit impressed. It’s more from the act of being alive than from me personally. For me at least, that way of thinking still feels strange.
Strange as it sounds, this is is my limit. I can’t say anymore beyond that. Definitely can’t admit I’ve been hanging around that library lately, or that I’ve been reading philosophy books for no reason. Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, all for nothing. Ah, I can’t even last the week, huh … It’s no good, I’ve gradually become more of a pessimist. Whatever, I want to talk to the library lady! I want to try touching that blonde hair. If she would grant that wish, it’s fine if I die before my time.
Is it just me, or is it hot in here? I feverishly pick out a book. Grab some Sartre, head for the reception. I’m so pent up I nearly stick out my right hand and right foot at the same time.
Decker: I see today is another difficult-looking book.
Birkin: It’s because I’m an idiot. Reading a book is like studying for a test.
Decker: If anyone is an idiot, it would be me. Even though this is my job, I read a book and don’t understand a thing. I only read Harlequin romances.
Birkin: That’s amazing! Harlequins are our greatest philosophy. The Bible of our times.
Decker: You really think so?
Decker: Perhaps I should be pleased. I’m not complimented very often.
Birkin: Your name? What is your name?
Decker: Plato wrote extensively on that topic …
Birkin: Your name.
Claudia: Claudia Decker.
Birkin: Well, Claudia, shall we get out of here?
Claudia: But I still have work …
Birkin: Is it important work?
Claudia: Not at all.
Birkin: So then, we’re good to go?
Claudia: Where to?
Claudia: The outside world?
Birkin: That’s right. The wide world awaits.
Claudia: I’ve been set free …
Birkin: Come on, then.
I grabbed Claudia’s hand firmly and ran. I couldn’t believe it. This beautiful woman was sharing her time with me. It’s like time has stopped. For the first time, I felt like this moment could last forever. My chest is pounding and my heart flutters just a little. I stop running once we come up on the park where you can see Seattle Tower. I’m out of breath and my words fail me. Claudia, whose cheeks were just a bit flushed, looks even more beautiful and sweet. I wonder, is the face she sees really still my face? The smiling face I saw in the mirror was the spitting image of Samayoru. Maybe in Claudia’s eyes, the face being reflected was the me that she first met.
Claudia: I haven’t run this much since my school’s sports meets. It’s painful …
Birkin: You okay?
Claudia: I’m fine. But it felt good. When I run, I feel refreshed.
Birkin: I can’t believe it.
Claudia: Me either. This is the first time I’ve skipped out on work.
Birkin: Not that - I mean, being here with you.
Claudia: It made me happy to always think, someday, someone I didn’t know might come from somewhere and take me away to see the world …
Birkin: You too, huh?
Claudia: And when I first saw Mr. Birkin …
Birkin: Call me Shigeki.
Claudia: When I saw you, Shigeki, I felt it. This was that person.
Birkin: Claudia, please listen to me. I don’t have that much time, so I promise I’ll only tell you this once. I am giving every word to you. Ever since I met you three months ago, I have loved you. That’s right, I realized that I loved you. What’s more, I’ve been thinking of you all this time. I tried to forget by throwing myself into my work, but it was no good. The thought of you dwells inside me. But today, my prayers were heard. I love you with all my heart!
Claudia: That smiling face, it’s giving me a very bad feeling …
Out of nowhere, I grabbed the metal bat tightly and took a full swing. Claudia’s brain was a beautiful, innocent pink color, like scattered cherry blossoms, falling. Before I died, I’d accomplished nothing.
July 6th, 2:52 PM
At Seattle Tower.
I was invited by Mills to a first-class restaurant.My Last Supper … not without its potential. My goal would be to empty his pockets and drink the finest wine he could afford.
Birkin: Has something changed?
Mills: As I’m sure you understand, I don’t like dressing too formally.
Birkin: I’m choosing the wine.
Mills: Doesn’t bother me.
The number of bottles we’d both opened was already at least ten.
Mills: If you drink that much, they’ll all taste the same.
Birkin: There’s still some brand-name stuff left.
Mills: At least leave me a glass, Birkin. I brought a present for you today. That’s why I called.
Birkin: And this present comes with a catch, I’m sure.
Mills: Of course. A catch, and a lot of caution. I had to go behind some backs to get this. Choose whichever you like. [FIX THIS??]
Birkin: It’s a pill case. What the hell is this?
Mills: Open it and you’ll see.
Birkin: … Oh? This a fucking joke?
Mills: It’s what you really need. The red and blue capsules will blow your consciousness away in a haze of confusion. If you take them on the tower’s observation deck, it’ll be over in one shot. The yellow and purple capsules will make you spurt blood; you’ll run out in less than a minute. The white and black will accelerates the progression of a Smiling Face. Drink it, give it five seconds, and BOM! You’re blown to smithereens. You can choose whichever of these miracle cures you like.
Birkin: This is really better than being killed?
Mills: Don’t underestimate Curtis.
Birkin: I met him yesterday and he’s not to be underestimated. That guy’s the worst of the worst.
Mills: Even if it’s the same pain of death, swallowing a pill is much less trouble. I’m saying this for your own good. Just take it without hesitation.
Birkin: So then what happens if I take all of them?
Mills: Don’t ask dumb shit.
Birkin: Well then, watch this dumbass go to town.
Birkin: Stop it! Birkin!
Birkin: Hmph. [gulping noise] Three, four, five, six, seven? Ten seconds have passed.
Mills: You jackass …
Birkin: Placebos don’t work on me.
Mills: So the hit-making machine isn’t all talk. I’ll drink to that kind of stubbornness.
Birkin: If you’re going for the Romanée, let me at it first. And then the call to Curtis.
Mills: Bullseye, huh ... Curtis is waiting to hear from you. I’m just an ordinary messenger.
Birkin: Bullshit. You’re a piece of crap messenger. If you don’t get it absolutely right this time, then next time I’m knocking your head out of the park.
July 6th, 10:30 PM
At Ristorante Dioxin.
JPN Scan - This entry was scanned and transliterated from the 2018 SUDA51 OFFICIAL COMPLETE BOOK.
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