— And all life vanished.
I want to tell a simple, hypothetical story.
Thinking it was a power outage, you checked the breaker, but it wasn’t flipped.
And noticing this makes you anxious. When you go outside to look for them, the mysteries just keep adding up.
When you rush into the nearest convenience store, you find not a trace of life, and the automatic door doesn’t open for you.
Even after reaching the station, you find no one there.
Even in the middle of the night, taxis come and go, and there was never a time when it was empty.
And eventually, your impatience turns to resignation.
Before you realized it, you had stepped foot in the Capital, Tokyo.
While you do feel slightly guilty, you enter a convenience store that caught your eye, leave some money with a note on the register, and take some lukewarm juice and an Onigiri with you.
Resolving yourself to return to your own town… your own home, you begin following the path you came.
Of course, there are automobiles and bikes lying around everywhere.
But like everything else, they’re empty: unmanned.
It took more time to get back then it did to go, but you arrive at your home.
Looking at the single house that had suddenly lost its landlord, to sum up your thoughts, you were tired.
Remembering your fatigue, you spread yourself over your bed.
All that enters your mind are the situation you’ve found yourself in, and nightmares.
When you wake up, the same morning light that greeted you yesterday flows into your room.
For breakfast, you simply finish off whatever’s in your unfunctioning refrigerator.
No one passes you on the familiar path you walk every day.
It was usually crowded with your classmates; quite a lively place.
The staff room is no different. No one’s there.
Having given up on school, you begin investigating your neighborhood.
But your efforts were wasted in vain.
You lie down in the middle of the main road, and think.
And you reach a single idea.
You walk up to the house of your neighbors, who had been kind to you since you were little.
Once you got in, of course, the scenery of someone’s house stretched out before you.
And you noticed.
— Sets of silverware, and dishes of food were laid out on the table.
Quite an amount of time has passed since the food was cooked, so it’s dry and cold.
But you guess that it’s been around two to three days.
You continue breaking into every house in the neighborhood, and reach a single conclusion.
It’s not that anyone left of their own volition, one day, by some influence, they were suddenly erased from existence.
And the days pass.
For seven days, you search every nook and cranny, and try to gather information.
In places with self-generation and solar panels, you can use electricity.
It’s not that you didn’t feel guilty about it.
Your ideals cruelly betrayed you.
You quickly gathered up the items in the fridges that would spoil easily.
You heard that canned goods could last even ten years after their expiry dat.
After about two weeks, the smell started to stand out.
Trash that had been thrown away. Food materials in the houses. The contents of the nonfunctioning refrigerators.
In times of great stress, you were able to get used to it.
It wasn’t only humans.
When you go to the department store, you do not find a single cockroach.
No crows grace the skies, and even after walking through the forest, you show no signs of mosquito bites.
Your only saving grace is that processed goods are still somewhat safe.
Eventually, you get used to life, and decided to take a single course of action.
From a nearby training institute, you borrowed a manual on cars, and began studying without a license.
A few days later, after determining you would be alright, you began your voyage by car.
There was no one driving on the opposite lane, and no people in the first place. The traffic signals didn’t even work.
When you ran out of gas, you would simply rummage through a close house, and change to a different vehicle.
Your journey continues.
It will continue until you find some form of life besides your own.
Your journey continues.
No matter how much time passes.
Your journey continues.
A day, a week, a month, a year, a decade.
Until you find life…
Of course, as I said before, all of this was but a hypothetical story.
If someone like that were to find life… if they were to meet another, then just what sort of face would they make?
— It would… definitely be one like this.
Before me was a woman, wearing a robe that covered her whole body. The robe’s color was close to silver.
Her complexion was that of a person who had witnessed a miracle she had given up on long ago. She shed tears of joy, and gave a wide smile.
『Fukametni temu met mawozamph… Chnitch temu met mawozamph…』
The girl embraced me while spilling out the words of a foreign land.
There’s no way I could truly grasp her heart, her thoughts, or joy.
But I could understand what she was saying.
Thank you for being born… thank you for being alive…
— That day, in a world without life, I met her.