Dream Girl: Part 1

Kenji Saito woke up with his wife in his arms.
He gave her an extra large hug, patted her on the head then walked over to the kitchen to prepare his breakfast before work. As the kettle boiled he poured in the flavoring package, and the desiccated vegetables onto his ramen. If only she could cook Kenji thought, maybe in a few years it will be possible. Sitting down on his desk he gave a yearnful longing look at her as she greeted him with a tilted smiling face one finger adorably pressed against her cheek.

I love you he said

She responded in kind doing a little dance and blowing him a kiss

I love you he said

She responded in kind doing a little dance and blowing him a kiss

I love you he said

She responded in kind doing a little dance and blowing him a kiss

A tear formed in his eye, as he rubbed the gleaming gold band around his finger. He knew, he knew she would never hurt him, could never hurt  him, she was exactly who he thought she was, she would keep him company for the rest of his life, she could only improve. No pain, there would be no pain.
He asked her to sing him a song, his favorite one, watching the holographic girl sing and dance while he slurped down his noodles he told himself how lucky he was.
Goodbye my love he said tenderly, kissing her stuffed avatar on the head before heading back out into the cold harsh world.

Kenji wasn’t crazy, he wasn’t, he knew what people thought of his relationship, he still remembers how his mother had screamed at him, how his father would have felt had he been alive. He was well aware that there could never be any physical dimension to the relationship, well without very significant advances in robotics anyway. But for him all that mattered was that he had someone who he could always rely on to not judge, to not ignore, to smile when she saw him, he didn’t need anything else. He was once asked if he would like her to be transformed into a real girl, why couldn’t people understand. 2D girls were just better, he had to do what was best for himself ultimately. Younger guys got it, they expressed their support for his union, they know what it is like, others simply can’t understand, and their minds are too rigid to allow them to. Kenji just needed to do what was best for him.

His whole life he had been a gray spec on a gray wall. Rendered that which is beyond even what is invisible, that which is deemed of no importance, no use. He would see how people would look at each other, a furtive glance acknowledging the existence of the other, thinking in their arrogance that this is some human universal. But Kenji saw it, saw that no one had a glance to spare for those people cleaning the streets, emptying garbage cans, those sad elders sitting alone on a  park benches, those who were poor with some discretion so as not to inconvenience normal society with overly pathetic or frightening demeanors, and of course those who like Kenji just seemed painfully dull, even at a distance.

Kenji didn’t acknowledge their existence either of course, but he had an excuse, looking into someone’s eyes made him feel as if he was about to fall off the edge of some great pit.

He arrived at work, he hated being outside his apartment, but unlike all those lucky NEETs he didn’t have anyone to fund a full on Hikikomori lifestyle so he bit the bullet five days a week, trying his best to hide behind the three squat walls of his cubicle. The media treats young men locking themselves away in their rooms, playing video games, and watching anime all day like it is some kind of horrible crisis. What is the crisis, that people were finally realizing the truth? Realizing they are better off alone, better off being able to control their lives, their environments. Realizing that they don’t owe anyone anything. That society is just one big lie that only serves those who hold its reigns.

Why do we need people, we don’t need people, I just need her.

Why is he better off for being forced out of his cozy little home to a cramped cubicle under the buzz of florescent lights? He has a picture of her on his desk at least, it was from their honeymoon. Picking it up he looked at it.

I bet she misses me

“How’s your wife doing?”

Ashi had got the drop on him, the blood rushed out of Kenji’s face as he awkwardly pretended he had been merely dusting the photo, or maybe it should look like he was just cleaning his desk?

“Err umm I was just moving this picture to look for a pen I lost, she is well, we are very happy”

“I am sure you are” She said with a smile, a smile of condescending malice, the kind of smile that everyone knows when they see and yet, and yet the smiler smiling their mocking smile                                             will act as if they are innocent, if confronted shocked even that you would read ill will.  The anger, the helplessness of obvious truths made mute by the sheer weight of all the worlds collected unwritten rules that tipped the balance so that the Kenji’s of the world were destined to lose before a game even started.

“Anyway” she continued, her tone dripping with venom, a knife blade with a sticker on in that says “I assure you, if you think you are being stabbed you are mistaken” “I don’t want to interrupt your “personal time” at work, but I really must remind you that the NHK report is due by the end of the week, and this time you will make sure that do it properly yes?

“Yeah well last time it wasn’t my fault it was.. “

“Great I’m glad” She said cutting him off with another jagged smile.

She didn’t have to have come to him, she could have just emailed, but she took great pleasure in sneaking up behind him, making sure he knew that at work he was never safe, never in control.

Ashi was his superior now, but they had started at the same time, he had tried to talk to her, a little at first anyway. But a girl like her can smell it on him, can within an instant know he exists on the very bottom of the pyramid, his sole purpose to be crushed in order to elevate those on more lofty perches. She had never openly said anything, directly said anything anyway, but her tongue towards him had undoubtedly left its barbs under his skin more than once. At work he was vulnerable, exposed.

Defenseless

He usually ate at the office cafeteria alone, today was no exception.  Hunched over his food as if he were an injured dog afraid of having another meal snatched away. Reading manga on his phone it made it easier to pass the time. Halfway there Kenji, halfway there.

On the way home he stopped by 7 11 to pick up his go to dinner, the clerk knew him well, same katsudon and rice bowl as always. Stepping out once again he found himself still a normal unremarkable thirty year old man, still in regular Tokyo. So many animes have this exact setup, well this is the place where he is supposed to be transported to another world, with some fantastic power that will allow him to tap into his heroic potential. What kind of power would he have? He just knew as soon as he had power he wouldn’t use it to oppress but to protect, he was a secret hero, he just needed the chance. Only those on the bottom would understand suffering enough to be able to be real heroes.

But it was fine, he had real love, pure love, incorruptible love, all he wanted from her was comfort and to see her smile, and she only wanted to make him happy. It is more real than real love, if real love could even exist in such selfish creatures as humans. No before this, the modern age, love was surely a fiction, just another act, just another veil hiding human ugliness.  It was not in the real world that he had ever seen any evidence of the so called beautiful human traits. His father now past had been strict and humorless, the relationship between his parents was that of two companies that had a merger in order to work on a mutual project, just obligation, just business. Instead of loving him for what he was they could only look on in disappointment as their investment received lower returns than the investments of those mergers around them. He hadn’t seen anyone go out of their way to be kind, to be loyal, all just veils for people to use each other.

But in the 2D world, the animated world, it was different. There was love, there was kindness, there was loyalty, there were those who would endure any hardship just to help those they care about.  There were girls who would do anything for the one they love, girls who were pretty, sweet, talented, cute. Girls who could really love you, not for your looks, not for your bank account, but for the hidden gold inside your heart. Those ideas in that world were so much more real than anything that is the result of actual humans interacting.

His love wasn’t artificial, it is the rest of the so called love in the world that is.

A memory flashed

His coworkers three confident close cruel men. They had suddenly after his marriage seemed nicer to him, supportive of him. Maybe they did understand, maybe they just wished they had his courage to openly commit to their 2D dream girls. He would tell himself often that he didn’t need anyone’s approval, the sweetest lies are those we tell ourselves.  So he had talked with them, they asked if they could come by maybe have a few drinks and meet the wife. Clearly they were jealous.

They came, seemingly nice at first, Kenji didn’t have much experience interacting with others. Were they secretly mocking him? After a few drinks it started, they asked to make him have her perform, they then made lewd comments and gestures, but she didn’t understand them she was too pure. He would be upset for her, he told them in his sternest voice to leave.

They held him down and took turns saying I love you to her.

She responded in kind doing a little dance and blowing each of them a kiss

They laughed, laughed like a bunch of hyenas, though they were beasts far crueler. Man’s intelligence instead of making him truly wiser simply sharpened his fangs. Finally he screamed, screamed like a wild animal, thrashed like fish introduced to land. They decided they had their fun with him and left, laughing and joking all the way.

He rushed to her his face red covered in tears and snot, but when he looked at her, all he felt was revulsion for his weakness and stupidity. The purity he had felt was violated, corrupted, emptiness filled him  leaving room for nothing else.

 

He called in sick for a week, he lay on the floor, he didn’t eat, he merely cried.

If this were fiction he would get revenge on them, someone would help him, the world would ultimately be fair. But this isn’t fiction, the weak get no justice against the strong, there are no magical forces bending towards goodness, reality is amoral, authorless and structureless. Bad men can profit, innocent children die, no one need approve. That which happens just happens . All there is, is just chaos, selfishness, and entropic decay.

It didn’t happen, he thought as he submerged the memory beneath the waters of his conscious with all of his might.

Putting on a happy face he greeted his bride, plastic bag in hand. She sweetly greeted him in one of the four or so ways she was programmed to. He asked her to sing for him as he dug into his rice bowl.

Continue here

The story it is based on can be found here

1 thought on “Dream Girl: Part 1”

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