The Happiness That The Shinigami Gave Me - Prologue-2
The train was strange.
There were no ads on it and the interior walls and seats were all clad in a sky blue color. I was the only passenger on the train. It was quiet and cozy. The only sound that I could hear was the rattling sound of the train itself.
Rather than anxiety of being left here all alone, the feeling I had was comfort. The train felt like a gentle cradle.
I thought to myself, ‘I could fall asleep here.’
“Look what we have here. A cute little guest.”
A cheerful voice called out to me.
I looked up to see a strange man.
He was dressed like a normal businessman. He wore a shabby suit with no tie and an awkward looking shoulder bag. The man really looked like an old man you could find anywhere.
Except for the afro. It made his head a size bigger.
Something was moving inside that shaggy hair. It was white and it slowly flashed, in front of my curious eyes.
“Oohashi Yuuma-kun, right?”
When he called my name, I nodded in surprise.
My younger self wondered how this strange salaryman knew my name. My mom always told me not to talk to strangers.
“Do you know where you are currently?”
The man’s voice was gentle. Hearing that gentle voice, I shook my head in relief. He then pointed toward the window.
“See that river over there? It’s Sanzu River. Do you know what Sanzu River is?” (T/N: Sanzu River/三途の川, to put it simply, it’s the Japanese’s River of Styx, the place where the soul of the dead crosses before going to the afterlife in Japanese’s Buddhism.)
“…I don’t know.”
“I see. You’re too young to know something like this, huh?”
The man sat down next to me, spread his legs, and arched back in the seat.
“To put it simply, you’re dying. Look at this thing in my head. It’s your soul. To make it easier for you to understand, it’s basically your life. Seeing it on my head like this, it looks like a baby chick in its nest, doesn’t it?”
The man’s head did look like a bird’s nest.
“Am I dead?”
“Getting to the main point already, huh? Like I said, you are dying, you aren’t dead yet.”
“But I’m going to die soon, right?”
I looked him in the eye while asking. He stared at me right back.
“No, you can still live… You don’t want to die young, do you?”
“It’s fine, I don’t care if I die now.”
I shook my head and the man widened his eyes.
“Because nothing good ever happens.”
I loved my mom, but I didn’t want her to hit me again. If I were to stay here, no one would hit me anymore.
“…I couldn’t believe that a seven year old kid would say that to me. That’s quite shocking.”
The man slumped for a moment before he raised his head back up and spoke with a cheerful voice.
“Alright, let’s do this. I’ll cast a curse on you!”
“It’s a bad magic spell~”
Under his afro, his eyes looked excited.
“I’ll give you a new fate, filled with good things in your life since you said that nothing good ever happens in your life.”
“You are too young to know what that means…in any case, just treat this as a way for you to attain happiness.”
The man put his hand in my head as I nodded to his string of difficult words.
“One day, you will meet your ‘fated girl’. The girl who would become special to you, the girl who would become the love of your life, the girl who would bring you happiness.”
‘The girl who would become the love of your life.’ That sounded amazing.
I loved my mom, but I knew that feeling wasn’t truly happiness.
“But, your happiness won’t last long. Make sure you’ll cherish your time together, okay?”
“Why won’t it last long?”
“Because that girl has a short life span. In other words, she will die soon.”
My fated girl would die soon.
“Poor girl,” I murmured.
“I feel bad for her… Can’t you help her?”
The man’s eyes widened.
“You threw your life away so easily, but you feel sorry for a girl you don’t even know?”
I mean, I don’t care about me dying as I’ve been through a lot. But other kids were different from me.
“Fine, for you, I guess I can help her a little.”
The man stood up and stuck his hand inside his afro.
“Since you told me to help your fated girl, I’ll give you your life back. Dedicate your life to her.”
“…If I do that, she won’t die, right?”
The man nodded and took a bead of light from inside his head.
“Come over, I’ll give your life back.”
He pressed the light against my chest and my body grew hotter.
“Dedicate this life of yours for your fated girl.”
The door near me opened. The man nudged me to stand in front of it.
Before I knew it, the train had stopped at a small station. There was a ticket gate right across the platform.
I turned around.
“Um, who are you? Why do you know the future? Are you a shinigami by any chance?” (T/N: I decided not to translate shinigami to death god or reaper because I think it’s more fitting this way. They’re in Japan anyway.)
When I asked him the word that I learned from an anime, the man laughed.
“Well, I suppose so. Haha, yes, yes, I’m a shinigami, kind of.”
‘I knew it!’ When I exclaimed that in my head, he pushed me from behind. The force was enough to make me fall onto the platform.
“Do your best. Make sure that you’ll fulfill your mission successfully.”
The door closed as he finished his sentence and the train departed soon after. The man’s figure eventually faded in the distance.
“Mhm, got it! I’ll definitely help the girl!”
I heard voices coming from the other side of the ticket gate, so I walked in that direction.
I felt something heavy on my back, but my footsteps felt light.
The night when my mom attempted to kill me.
The shinigami gave me a new fate.