Saotome-san wants to try her best
It has been about a week since that fierce UNO race we had. Today, I am changing the calendar sheets in Mio-san’s house and mine forward by one month.
“July” is written below a photograph where clear blue skies are reflected in the beach resort. The arrival of summer is almost tangible at this point.
After having the first soumen1 of the year for dinner, Mio-san and I were contemplating how to pass the time.
「When it comes to summer nights it must definitely be this—」
「I won’t disagree with you. At the same time I can’t go so far as to agree with you」
「I get it, it’s the feeling that you won’t be able to go on living if you don’t twist reality to something much more comfortable to you」
In front of Mio-san, who has switched to lighter clothes welcoming summer is a table, and on that there is a blu-ray disc, carelessly strewn about.
The title is 『A Ghost’s Bon curry2』. It’s a small scale B-grade horror film made using low budget and few people… but the point is….
「You know I heard that this movie was terrifying」
「Even though you say that, the package looks comical. With it being mostly red and yellow, isn’t this almost the same as a curry box?」
「The manager of the customer who lent this to me showed him a video of him watching the movie with his family. Do you know what happened?」
「A video of people watching another video huh…. How complicated….. So what did they do? Did they shriek or push over the juice or something?」
If it is only that much then it’s simple matter for a slightly timid person to have such a reaction. In the first place, it doesn’t have to be interesting to achieve such a result.
「Well, Matsutomo-san, can you tell me what comes out of one’s face」
「What is it, suddenly? Do you mean something like blushing when embarrassed? 3」
「No, I meant liquids that come out of your face. Can you tell me? 」
「Let’s see, from the top it would be sweat, tears, mucus, saliva and….. do you also want to include things like vomit? 」
「Everything came out」
Following the flow of this conversation, I want to know what “those” include.
「I see, I see. It’s frightening to a terrifying extent huh. No wonder, no wonder.」
「It will be alright. Since it was a customer that lent it, I want to watch it. But you know, it’s very difficult. I watched a little once and it was very difficult to watch it by myself」
「You mean to say that it is better to watch the entire thing together with me than to survive the experience alone? Even if you say so, don’t women dislike showing such things in front of other people….?」
「I will work hard and try not to release any. Moreover, even though it’s embarrassing…. If it’s Matsutomo-san then I am fine with showing everything」4
Those words, a different connotation comes to my mind.
「Th, That’s right, why don’t we call Tsuchiya or Murasaki?」
Two is better than one and three is better than two. I feel bad getting them involved repeatedly but I bet they will be happy to get invited by Saotome-san.
「Today is a no go」
「It’s because this is something that I must be doing. Even if Matsutomo-san were not available I wouldn’t have called upon them」
「I would have attended to them though…..」
Somehow, an uncharacteristically clear reasoning has come out of night mode Mio-san. I was startled at such a rare reaction from her. Looking at my face Mio-san hurriedly waves her hand around.
「Eh, Ah, That, I was simply thinking if we would be disturbing them. Tsuchiya-san and Murasaki-san both seem to have it tough at work」
「If it’s them I think they would be glad to meet you…..」
「Is that so….?」
「Yes, definitely. Nonetheless, calling them out on a weekday would be bad I guess. Should we put it off for today and watch it over the weekend?」
「Tomorrow I am meeting with the person who lent it to me. So I have to watch it today…..」
「That’s why I told you that the holiday homework should not be postponed until the last possible moment…..」
The sad fate of a salaryman. You can’t escape from your schedule. It is harder than escaping from the demon king.
Preparing myself with the resolve to die a noble death if I can’t escape, I took the Blu-ray disc.
「I will play it?」
「…… Here I go」
Moving from the sofa, I switch off the lights and on the projector and playstation 4. They look like they have been abandoned for two years after a salesperson’s recommendation that should have been something like this “If you want to watch movies and videos then go for this one!!”
『A Ghost’s Bon curry』
The icon wavers and the title screen is displayed.
「As expected, doesn’t it look cheap and not scary at all? Till where have you watched it?」
「Till the 13th 5second」
「Much shorter than my estimation」
「Matsutomo-san, is it fine if I hold your hands? 」
「Sure, it’s fine, it’s fine」
Mio-san’s tiny left hand weighs down on my right hand.
Grasping the hands that were placed over me, it strikes me how thin her fingers are. With such tiny hands she is surviving independently in this world. Such tenderness started building up within me.
While I was taken over by such feelings, next to me Mio-san who was taut with tension opened her mouth with a stiff expression on her face.
「Ummm, Mio-san what is the countdown for?」
It’s actually pretty clear that it is the countdown for the 13th second which stumped Mio-san.
As the countdown proceeds, the pressure on my hand, which is being grasped, keeps getting stronger.
「What in the world happens at the 13th second……」
「STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT, STOP IT!!!!!!!」
「Wait, wait, wait. Waahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!」
「NO, NO, NO, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO」
「Haaa, Haaa, Haaa, Haaa,」
「Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Sorryyyyy!!!!」
I don’t want to go into details as to what happened after that.6
I too was able to take a step forward.
Somehow we are able to finish watching the 90 minute movie. When bedtime approached, in front of Mio-san’s bedroom door I was holding a Cross and was acting as a doorguard.
「Pl, please stay there till I fall asleep. You mustn’t move from the door okay?!」
「Yes, Yes I got you」
「What do I do when I have to go to the to,to,to,toilet」
「It will be fine. Or rather I don’t think you will be able to go even if you want to」
『A Ghost’s Bon curry』was a movie about a woman who was betrayed by her best friend. This woman comes back as a ghost to haunt her best friend and makes curry in her7 bedroom.
In many ways, I think it’s not a movie that should be watched late at night. Mio-san was petrified for five minutes, standing in front of the door, before she could bring herself to enter the bedroom.
「What’s the matter?」
「I will try my best. Tomorrow too, the day after tomorrow as well, I will definitely do my best」
「Mio-san is already trying her best everyday」
From then on the silence continued. The hindrance of mystery, fear and comfort were all absent.
It took one hour after that for Mio-san’s rhythmic breathing to become audible. I confirmed that she truly had fallen asleep, then quietly slipped back to my own room.
I was able to go to the toilet.8