MidReal Story

Whispers of the Forgotten: A Tokyo Mystery

Scenario: I am a lonely and always alone European male in Japan, I live in a lonely apartment, when suddenly, a strange package appeared at my doorstep.
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I am a lonely and always alone European male in Japan, I live in a lonely apartment, when suddenly, a strange package appeared at my doorstep.
I don’t remember when the loneliness began to haunt me.
Now it is my constant companion.
Every day, every hour, every minute.
I am an only son in my family and my parents have passed away years ago.
I have no one else but myself.
So I’m used to being alone.
Or so I thought.
When I first moved to Japan, I was excited to start my new life.
A nice job with a good pay, a cozy apartment in Tokyo, and the opportunity to immerse myself in a new culture.
But then the loneliness began to creep into my private space.
I’ve lived in this apartment for five years now—it’s small, just enough space for a single young man like me.
The color of the walls is white, the same as the ceiling and the floor.
There are three windows in total: two face east and one faces south.
When I moved in, I bought a bed and a desk, a chair and a lamp, and a small table to put in front of the couch.
I bought everything new and simple, and decorated nothing else.
The apartment feels cold but clean, barren but adequate.
I prefer silence while eating, so I don’t usually watch TV in the living room.
The TV is old anyway and only has local channels available—since I don’t speak Japanese well enough, it’s hard to understand what they say on the news or in TV shows.
The TV stand is used to hold some books I’ve bought recently; it’s still quite empty with just a few books so far.
On the wall behind the couch there are two paintings I bought when I was on a business trip in Kyoto recently: simple ink paintings of bamboo trees.
The paint is still fresh and the wall still smells slightly of paint—I open the windows every day hoping the smell will dissipate soon.
I have nothing else to add to the walls or space above the desk.
Some people might call it minimalism, but I just prefer it this way.
When I’m lying on my bed at night, if I turn off all the lights and don’t look at anything outside the window, it feels like no one is living here at all: not me or anyone else.
The only sound in my apartment is the ticking of an old clock on the wall.
After moving in, I discovered that it was impossible to turn off this sound.
It’s not very loud, but it’s noticeable when everything else is so quiet.
I asked the landlord to replace it with a new one, but he said that all the apartments in the building had clocks like this one.
It’s an old building anyway.
So I got used to it.
The clock is still ticking now.
But it doesn’t bother me.
In fact, I find it relaxing.
But sometimes I wish it would go faster.
Or slower, so that when I wake up in the morning at 6:30am to get ready for work or fall asleep at 10pm after reading for a while, I’d feel more rested.
When I’m at work, I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at my watch today.
When I’m busy, time goes by quickly.
When there’s nothing to do, time moves too slowly.
My apartment is on the second floor of this four-story building in Tokyo.
Image for story eA4M
*I was sitting in my chair, when suddenly, my doorbell rang, when I opened the door, there was no-one, just a cardboard box filled to the brim with strange substance.. as I closely examined.. the things inside.. were pill bottles, all of them.. are called.. "Sumo Pills: Become Sumo!".. I got the bottles and put them on the counter*
For someone like me, who lives alone, there are a lot of small items that you need to go out and buy every once in a while.
Batteries for things like your remote control and your game controller.
Light bulbs for things like your desk lamp and your bathroom light.
Things like that that you always need, even though you don’t really think about them most of the time.
So whenever I run out of something like that, I have to go out and buy some more.
I have a lot of free time on weekends and in the evenings, but sometimes it’s just easier for me to go out and buy things like that than it is for me to order them on the internet and wait for them to be delivered.
I live in Japan now, and sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that you can actually do things like that in Japan and they’ll show up at your apartment a day or two later.
The first time I went out to buy some batteries was a disaster.
I didn’t know how to read or speak Japanese very well back then, and I didn’t really know what I was doing.
So I just walked out into the street in front of my apartment building and started walking around looking for a store that might sell batteries.
It took me a while to find one, but eventually I did.
I went inside, but I couldn’t find any batteries.
They were selling clothes there, not batteries.
But I was too embarrassed to walk out without buying anything, so I just bought a shirt that was on sale even though it was too big for me.
I still have that shirt in my closet at home.
It was a long time before I actually managed to go out and buy some batteries!
But eventually I did.
It took me a long time to get used to living in Japan, but eventually I did.
After a while, I could walk around outside in my neighborhood without getting lost or confused or embarrassed about doing something stupid.
And now I can read Japanese too, at least well enough to get by in everyday situations like going to a restaurant or shopping at a store or reading my mail.
I try not to do anything else in Japanese unless I absolutely have to!
But sometimes when I’m walking around my neighborhood now, I still remember what it was like when I first moved here and everything was so strange and new.
I still remember how hard it was for me to get used to living in Japan at first, when everything was so different from what I was used to back home.
It took me a long time to get used to living in Japan, but eventually I did.
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I would go to the door.
But no-one would answer.
I would knock on the door.
But no-one would come.
I would call out to my neighbors.
But they would pretend that they didn’t hear me.
I live alone, so I don’t have a lot of people around me that I can talk to every day.
Most of the time I am busy working, so I don’t really have a lot of free time to spend with people even if I did.
But I still get lonely sometimes, because I am only human after all.
I try to make friends with my colleagues at work, but it has never really worked out very well.
Most of them are much older than me, and they have families and children of their own, so they are not really interested in spending time with someone like me who is still single and doesn’t really have a life of his own yet.
I have tried talking to them about work-related things when I see them in the office, but that is usually as far as our conversations go.
The few times that I have tried to invite them out for lunch or drinks after work, they all said that they had other things that they needed to do, so I gave up trying after that.
It was not worth it to keep bothering people who were not interested in spending time with me.
But I still try to talk to my coworkers whenever I see them, even if we don’t have much to say to each other most of the time.
I think that it is important for me to try to get along with people like that as best as I can, because it is always good to have friends who you can rely on when you need help.
Even if those friends are not really your friends, just people who you work with and who you see every day.
It is still good for you to try to get along with other people who you meet, because otherwise you will just end up feeling more lonely than you would if you didn’t try at all.
So I still try to keep talking to my neighbors from time to time, even if they still pretend that they don’t know who I am.
Some of them are not Japanese, so they speak English too which is helpful for me.
But most of them are Japanese, so it is hard for me to communicate with them because they don’t understand what I am saying most of the time.
One of my colleagues at work, a Japanese man named Kaito, has been very friendly to me ever since I first arrived here.
I think that he feels sorry for me because I am still single and don’t really have any friends.
So he has introduced me to some of his other friends who are also expatriates, so that I can meet some new people and make some new friends here.
Kaito also has a family of his own, so he is very busy with his wife and children most of the time, which means that he doesn’t really have a lot of free time to spend with other people.
But he still tries to make time for me whenever I ask him to, because he knows that it is hard for me to make friends here by myself.
Kaito has invited me out to lunch and dinner with him a few times before, and we have also met some other expatriates who have been living in Japan for a while.
They all speak English too, which is nice for me, because it can be hard for me to speak Japanese sometimes even if I try.
But I have never really managed to become friends with any of them, even though I have seen them many times before.