Haruka's Diary
Chasing After Rainbows: Alternate Dimension (Part 40)

16 January 2010

Alternate Dimension (Part 40)

Itsuki brought me to a family restaurant that's neither empty nor crowded at the time we went there. Just looking at food that other people had ordered gives me a general idea of what they are selling here. Those look quite delicious. Surprisingly, I was able to order what I wanted at my own will, though I can't stop smiling and what came out of my mouth when talking to Itsuki is not exactly what I wanted to say.

Itsuki: "Say, Saeko. there's something I want you to know."

Me: "How rare of you to talk to me like this. What is it? What is it?"

Itsuki: "I have a girlfriend. And I've known her for quite some time now."

You have a girlfriend... Don't tell me it's who I think it is.

Itsuki: "Her name is Kotomi Miyazawa."

Thought so. I'm trying to act as though I'm not interested, but my body is behaving as though I'm surprised at this news and wanting to know more.

Me: "Is she pretty? How did you get her? When can I meet her? Onii-chan~!"

Itsuki's reaction to my actions tells me that he actually thinks that his erasing of my previous memories and replacing with a fake one actually worked.

Itsuki: "Um, she's currently studying overseas, so I can't introduce her to you in person. You could say she's very much like you, from her beauty to her intelligence. Though she was popular among the guys in my high school, it was she herself that picked me even though I did nothing to compete with the other guys for her attention. I don't know what she saw in me."

Me: "A top grade girl, choosing someone like you who could barely keep up with grades among all the better guys. something must have happened between you two."

Since I wasn't aware of my own appearance or know how others saw me prior to him saying this, I wondered if there were any lies in what he told me until I saw my own reflection on the glass window. Wait, I am as pretty as Kotomi? Was that supposed to be a compliment?

Itsuki brought me to the clothing section of a large department store. He knows that I have a very limited set of clothes, and I can't be wearing my uniform all the time. I don't know what were clothes I picked, but it's certainly not what my guy-ish mind would pick to wear for myself, like blouses and skirts. These range from casual to expensive-looking business attire. Though I'm not mentally comfortable buying them for myself, I'm oddly looking forward to wearing them.

As we walked through one of the many narrow, near-deserted streets I have walked through several times. I sensed that something was not right: it's too quiet. There wasn't any sound of the birds or insects, let a lone the sound of vehicles from a major road not too far away. I looked around: Itsuki seems normal, but everything around me is void of any living thing. In fact, the only sound we heard is our own footsteps and the shopping bags we were carrying. What's going on?

Me: "Onii-chan, I'm scared..."

I found myself saying that in a quite frightened voice while hugging him with my face in his chest. Hey, this is not the time for me to be this scared! What's wrong with me?

Itsuki: "Saeko-chan, don't be scared. I will protect you from any danger."

I would like to see what you would do now that you have forced me to behave as though I had lost my memories and you having no experience in situations like this.

We walked around the streets. It seems that everyone has vanished with their clothes and accessories on the ground. Things were left at what they were at that time, like the ruins of an ancient civilization that is oddly preserved. This is actually the most scariest thing I've been through.

Me: "Onii-chan... Uwaaa-ha! Mummy..."

Okay, I'm not that scared to the point that I started to cry for my mother.

Itsuki: "Strange, what's going on here? Why are we the only ones here?"

Itsuki took out something that doesn't seem to be sold in stores, pushed some buttons, and, as though he spotted something odd mid-way, he looked at me with a shocked face. Am I the cause of all of this? Is he planning to lure me into something I don't want to again?

Itsuki: "Y-you! I thought I erased your memories."

Oh, you're finally admitting to what you did to me last night. Yes, my thoughts and memories are still intact as though it never happen, but I'm forced against my will to act as though I've actually lost them.

Me: "Onii-chan, what are you talking about?"

See? You only modified how I would behave. I never liked calling you as my older brother, and neither did I liked my body going against my will.

Me: "What are you looking at, onii-chan? Did you discover something? You looked shocked. Let me see..."

Itsuki: "Erm..."

To tell you the truth, I don't mind me behaving like this, though I don't know what I would do if you let the clueless me see this. Best to not let me see this before my clueless self thinks that I'm someone else who's taking advantage of Kotomi's absence for your attention. Remember: I am you. You wouldn't want to betray yourself.

Itsuki: "According to this there are still people around us. Even right now! I think..."

What I saw were bars, waves, and mathematical/scientific equations. He's right, though I didn't get to see it long enough to know what exactly I was looking at.

Me: "I don't understand, onii-chan..."

Itsuki! It's your fault you didn't allow myself to analyze that in critical situations like this.

Itsuki: "These are live statistics of the data of brain waves of people around us, so it moving means that there are still people around."

Are you sure? If so, doesn't it include our own brain waves?

Me: "So that means we're not alone?"

Itsuki: "Yes, that's right. It's hard to tell though."

Which question were you replying to? My thoughts or what I just said?

So, with nobody around, that means nobody is operating the buses, trains, or taxis. Itsuki didn't bring my car along. So the only way to get around is to either take a long walk or steal a vehicle that already has the engine running. But where to?

Me: "Ah! I think the research institute at where I live might be able to help."

Surprisingly, I was able to say this at my will. This came across my mind because it seemed to have came with me when I came back from the other dimension. There was no Saeko Hisakawa at the time they say the company was founded, and that time was when I was still in middle school. Hatsuya Research Institute wasn't my first choice after what they did to me and Kotomi years ago. My very own appearance alone is a strong reminder of that.

Itsuki: "The easiest way to get there is by train, but since the network of trains are not driver-less we could crash into another train ahead of us on the same line, as there is no one operating that train or the ones ahead of it."

It wasn't easy driving around by automobile either, with cars stationary all over, especially areas known to have heavy traffic where it's hard to overtake. Although neither of us had rode a bike before, we have no other choice besides walking long distances.

Me: "A bike? Are you sure you know how to ride it?"

I could drive it if you just let me take control of myself. Then again, riding a bike like this is not something a girl like me would do.

With that, he took a random bike that could contain the stuff we bought earlier (mostly my clothes) and I'm the pillion of the bike. I'm quite nervous about him driving the bike since I know the only kind of vehicle he drives is a car. Since he's my other half, I guess he should at least know how to ride a bicycle since I myself know how ride one before we were split apart.

Me: "Say, onii-chan. I am having this weird thought since earlier. Although I've never met your girlfriend, I'm having visions of her landing on top of me, attending her 16th birthday, someone who looks a lot like me. I even felt as though I was someone else just yesterday. Even at the restaurant earlier, there's something inside me that's angry about you."

Wait. What did I just say? Am I slowly overwriting what Itsuki programmed me to do? The first sign of this was that I was able to do what I wanted in front of him. That was quick, considering that he did that less than twenty-four hours ago. Well, what I said was alone to make Itsuki almost crash into a stationary bus in front.

Me: "Sorry. It's just that it has been bothering me. I tried to ignore it, but it's too strong and distracting to do so. I'm scared... Onii-chan!"

This phenomenon is something I had never experienced before. Neither do I know the cause nor the solution to get out of this, or what will happen if we were to stay here for too long or when we get out.

Chapter 9
Part 39 | Part 41

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帰国子女 英語能力は堪能。趣味はアニメや漫画やプログラムコードを編集。通常、あたしの小説を英語で書いてです。Grew up abroad &travelled to different countries. I write my own fictional novel on my blog.