I sat in the booth of the coffee shop, which was where I’ve decided to occupy for the rest of the day. With my laptop open in front of me, my fingers danced around the keyboard, pressing the keyboards delicately and in a swift motion, as if a talented and experienced musician was playing his piano. Writing what was necessary, I added the finishing touch to my latest novel. With that, I let out a sigh of relief as I finally finish my story and only needed to edit it. I leaned my back against the chair and stretched as far as I could, making me feel a bit relaxed. Sipping the cup of delicious and bitter-sweet coffee in front of me, I knew this was going to be boring for the rest of the day. Any day without writing seemed pointless to me. Writing for me at least, was the only way I was able to express my creativity.
I didn’t’ know what to do, but I guess reading something wouldn’t be so bad. I pulled out a small black book, which was my diary, and began scribbling down some random things that I found interesting. Taking a look back at what I’ve done in my past life, I was lost in the abyss. But no matter what happened, I will keep moving forward. I was in my own world when writing, but I was a waitress at this coffee shop, so I tend to forget to pick up orders.
Luckily, there were others to help me out. This coffee shop ran by my father, was a place that welcomed all guests. It’s really peaceful and quiet here, almost nostalgic if I would say. I walked towards the entrance, looking down at my diary, but I heard a chiming noise and immediately brought my eyes from my book to look up, only to find a customer walking in. My eyes lingered on the customer, which was a college student. His arms sticking to his sides and his head tilted downward ever so slightly as if he was subconsciously trying to hide from the rest of the world.
I could tell that behind his innocent exterior, there was a complicated and fascinating story to it. I bit my nails subconsciously as I watched him. I forgot the reason why I was heading out and soon, I was intrigued by this person.
As I looked onto the boy, I tried to figure out just what was hidden in his eyes, but to no avail. He sat near the window, placing his head on his hand and frowning. His eyes must tell of a tragedy, the way he stared outside revealed a slight sense of hurt, something that he was trying to hide whether he knew it or not. At that moment, I realized that I was the waitress and so, I hurried to his seat to ask for his order politely. He, who was too busy staring outside turned his direction and faced me. His eyes were cold when he looked at me, and it seemed like I interrupted his train of thoughts. After a brief moment, he ordered a cup of Cappuccino, and I nodded cheerfully.
His tone was calm, but there was a little bit of sadness in it, I wondered why. My eyes drifted from the boy to the book he was reading, in fact, I was really familiar with the book since it was my latest release. Truth to be told, it was quite successful. I had a shaky feeling inside me, like something exciting and dark. A while later, I brought the cup of cappuccino to the booth he occupied, and it was quite flattering for me to see someone I’d deem interesting, was entranced by my work.
The pain and sadness in his eyes were lifted, even if just a little when he started to read and I wondered if all books did this or just mine. But it didn’t matter really, just something interesting. He didn’t even flinch when I gave him the cup of coffee. He seemed to be glued inside that book, and as the author of that novel, I couldn’t help but grin to myself in satisfaction. My presence left completely unnoticed by the boy. Just what was behind that expression? I wanted to know who this person is.
I carefully seated myself across from him and finally, he lifted up his face to find the cause of the sudden intrusion. “M-may I help you, ma’am?” The boy asked, a hint of shyness and also curiousness in his tone. I grinned a little, finding his shyness kind of cute. “Yes, actually!” I answered while reaching into my back pocket for the diary and a pen. “You see, I find your entire…
Actions and mannerism… well fascinating.
” I said, marveling at the boy. ” Your name?” I asked, twirling the pen in my slender fingers, almost to fast to be human. “Ken Kaneki,” he said, examining me curiously with his glare. “Ken Kaneki..” I muttered as I wrote in my book. All of my intention drawn to this dark diary.”U-um miss-” he was hushed before he got to finish his sentence.
I simply placed a finger on his mouth, forcing him to stop talking. “Ladies first,” I said mockingly. I slowly retracted my finger from his mouth and saw him blush slightly. “Now,” I began. “Tell me, is there a reason behind the sad expression you have in your eye?” I could see that he was taken aback by my question, but I guess it was strange and uncalled for to ask something so personal. The only words the college student could say were: “I, umm..
.” “Hmm, if you don’t feel comfortable talking about it you don’t have to,” I said, letting him know that he at least had an option, though a hint of disappointment was evident in my voice. He didn’t say anything. Instead, he started facing downwards, staring at the dark brown table. I frown slightly in sympathy as I watched the boy struggle. From what I could tell, something really sad must’ve happened in his life, like a tragedy or some sort. He wasn’t really noticed by others, so he doesn’t get questions like this.
“S-sorry,” he muttered as he lifted his head up. His cold and were sad eyes full of despair, telling me that he doesn’t want to answer it. “Nah, it’s okay. Sorry for the intrusion. I guess I shouldn’t have asked in the first place.” I apologized sincerely. I quickly turned away to walk out of his booth.
I felt a bit embarrassed talking to him. However, I felt a hand gripping my wrist. It was a warm and tight feeling if I would say, and I slowly turned back. There stood Kaneki, standing with his face slightly down.
“W-wait,” he mumbled. “Who are you?”I looked into his eyes once again. I wondered if I should tell him my pen name Takatsuki Sen, or my given name: Eto. I paused for a while there, trying to choose, but as I thought about it, introducing myself as the author was better since I would get another chance to talk to him.”Sen Takatsuki,” I smiled at him deviously.
He stood there still, left dumbfounded and shocked after hearing my name. He gently and slowly let go of my hand. For some reason, I had a feeling that we would meet again in the near future. I walked away from him without a word.
Getting close to the entrance, I looked back and saw him staring at me with those innocent and curious eyes. I stopped moving when I saw the other waitress Touka, a young high school girl, standing there watching me. She gave me a disapproving, yet amused look.”What did you do this time?” She asked.”Oh nothing, hehe.” I grinned as I walked out Anteiku.I was met by a purple haired woman with glasses outside of the shop. We both exchanged glares at each other since we knew each other fairly well.
She wore a long, white dress with a blue undershirt visible only from the arms. On her shoulder was a black leather bag. She had a face that never seemed to fade that fake and devilish smile. Rize had moved to the 20th ward a while ago.
Despite her reputation, she had been quite docile recently. Still, I was still curious about why she entered this coffee shop. What were her intentions? I was quite worried that she would cause havoc here, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. She entered the shop, and the door chimed loudly. That sound made me shiver inside. I still had no idea why she was here. She was the definition of a psychopath. It concerned me that she was here, and I knew something was going on.
But for now, I should let things be. Rize smiled at Touka, and it made her heart sank. Touka remembered Rize had said ‘there’s nothing quite like staring at your prey’s contorted face as you eat them alive.’She was crazy and ravenous, eating humans for pleasure and to satisfy her hunger. Touka was surprised when she saw Rize sat across Kaneki. She knew the boy was in great dangers and she dared not to take their orders, but still did anyway. She gave Kaneki a look of sadness, trying to tell him that he was in danger and something terrible is going to happen.
Of course, Kaneki wasn’t aware. Soon, the couple was out of the coffee shop. I followed them from afar, paying all of my attention to the young couple walking together down an empty, dark street under a rail lift, just next to a construction site. Suddenly, I saw them stop in their tracks. I was sure that something was happening, so I got closer to them. Rize was getting close to Kaneki. I saw her whisper something in his ear, almost licking it. She pressed her body to his and soon, I heard a loud scream coming from the area.
I rushed to the scene immediately and saw Rize pulling away from Kaneki, blood dripping from her lips. Her kagune piercing his abdomen. I looked at the gaping wound on his shoulder and abdomen in horror. He was going to die if he wasn’t treated, so I needed to end this quickly. Without hesitation, I released my kagune, and she realized that there was no way she could’ve beaten me, so she quickly ran away from the fight. 2 days laterKaneki opened his eyes, his left one revealing a red, and black color with red veins across it. The expression on his face was one with shock, terror, and confusion.
He noticed that he was in a quite modest house, different from the apartment that he rented. He stared at the ceiling for a while, before slowly getting up. The night before felt like a dream to him. It seemed like his wounds had healed completely. He wasn’t sure what happened or why he was here, but he had one thing in mind. Rize was a ghoul. “Kaneki?” I said in a concerned yet sleepy tone. “Where are we?” He asked, looking at me seriously.
“Shhh,” I gently whispered as I covered his lips and began stroking his hair with the other free hand. He showed signs that he didn’t want to be touch, but I still did anyway. “I’ll explain everything tomorrow,” I sighed loudly. “But for now, let’s get some sleep.
I stayed up all night looking after your conditions.” I yawned and he seemed to comprehend, so he stopped questioning me. I inched closer to him as he lost consciousness. His breath was steady and eyelids closed. I hummed a sad song and lulled him to sleep, while simultaneously began losing awareness as the world started to sink. Everything was pitch black and before I knew it, I was sleeping right next to him, hugging his warm body tightly around my arms.
Kaneki felt like he was suspended in reality. He felt something really warm and comfortable like a fire during the winter on his left. His left eye stung and his vision was blurry, but he didn’t know why. He woke up from the pain, and simply laid there staring at the ceiling, trying to clearly remember what happened, but it was futile. He tried moving but found 2 thin arms restraining him, wrapping around his body tightly.
He also felt a weight on his legs. Feeling a green puff of hair strands that tickled his forehead, he knew what lay on him, and his face turned a bit red. Faint and small breaths of the author emanated throughout the room. He tried to call out her name, hoping that she would wake up and release him, but she didn’t.
She must’ve stayed up all night, Kaneki thought as he tried to lightly push Eto away, but she moaned softly as if she didn’t want to arise.”Mmm.. *Yawn* You’re so restless Kaneki, ” I said sleepily as I rubbed my eyes. I noticed that my limbs were wrapping him firmly, so I quickly unraveled them, also blushing a bit that I did that.”Soo, I guess you have some questions right now..” I said as I fell onto the soft bed, letting my hair flow down freely.
“But before any of that, I just wanted to check on something,” I said quietly. ” Do you feel any different recently? I asked, looking at him seriously.”How different?” He replied as if he had missed something crucial. “I don’t understand..”I sighed, but still continued:” Here, I guess you’ll find out eventually, but please don’t freak out.
“He was confused, but even more so when I showed him my right eye (Kakugan). He jumped back a few steps while looking at me cautiously.”Why do you have the eye? Are you a ghoul?” he looked petrified, but I simply got closer and closer to him, as he backed further and further away until he hit a wall. I pinned him to the wall, making sure that he had nowhere to go.”And so are you,” I started to feel the guilt, as I got emotional.”I’m.
.. a ghoul?” He muttered, looking up at me with those innocent eyes as if he couldn’t believe what I just said.”I’m sorry, Kaneki. It’s all my fault that you turned into a ghoul.” I whispered sympathetically.
Trying to calm him down, I ran my fingers down his hair gently, stroking it every time, but he looks traumatized. He felt empty, spacing out once again. I looked at him, worried, guilty about what I’ve done. Then, after all of that eerie silence, he questioned coldly:”Why? Why did you turn me into a ghoul?””You would’ve died if I didn’t,” I tried to sound reasonable, but it was hard since what I did was taboo. Something forbidden, but not impossible.
“I would’ve been happier if I die,” he cried. “I don’t want to live in this cruel existence anymore.””Shhh,” I hushed faintly. “Please don’t say that. You don’t deserve to die.” I lull him, frowning that he was saying those words. I hugged him to ease the sadness while he sobbed. He cried on my neck silently, denying everything I said, and cursing loudly.
Once that first tear broke free, the rest followed in an unbroken stream. For what it felt like hours of crying, he finally stopped, but he looked devastated. He was worse than before.
His eyes, swollen after crying, revealed something that only he could describe.”Takatsuki-san,” He murmured, finally waking up from his ordeal.”Hm?” I replied, curious about him.”Tell me everything that happened.” He insisted.
“All right, I guess let’s start from the bottom okay?” I said as he nodded understandingly. ” The first time that I saw you entering the shop, I was captivated. You had a strange and mysterious atmosphere around you, and the way you see the world around you must tell of a tragedy or some sort. That was when I saw you reading my novel. I was thrilled and flattered to see you glued to it, so I couldn’t help but want to talk to you.
Although it was strange and wasn’t that much, I still get to know you better. However, when I walked out of the shop, I saw Rize, a psychopath if I would say. I was worried, so I checked you guys out, but before I got to the scene, I saw her eating you. I was stronger than her many times, so she ran away, but there was some deafening sound after she ran, I’m not too sure about it. I carried you to my residence and treated your wounds, but you lost so much blood when she pierced through your abdomen.
Therefore, I had to turn you into a ghoul to quickly regenerate. It was something forbidden that only a half-ghoul like me, could do. Sorry, Kaneki.” I told him everything that happened, and he listened thoughtfully. He seemed to understand the situation a bit, so he calmed down. He lied down on the bed, staring aimlessly at the ceiling.
I lied down next to him, covering the space on the bed, facing the other way. “Why were you holding me this morning? he asked, this time facing my back.”Are you trying to make it harder? I laughed softly, facing him. “Do you hate it though?” I asked a hint of sadness in my words.”Not entirely, but I couldn’t move.” he shrugged.
“Well, maybe it’s because of my affection towards you,” I said to myself, small enough to not let him hear, but he still heard me mumble.”What?” he questioned. I grinned at him a bit, getting closer to him, embracing his warmth.”Oh, nothing,” I told him, hiding the truth. Woken up by the cold breeze of the night, I felt nauseous. Everything was so hazy, like entering a place that I didn’t belong. I shouldn’t be falling asleep at an unusual time, but somehow I still did.
Unsure of the time, I looked at the clock. Shocked that it was 3:00 am, I got up immediately. A faint breathing could be heard, filling the soundless room. It was like seeing life all around you, flourishing and blooming like a flower, but you feel as though as you were alone. Getting off of the bed, a violent gust of wind swept by, making me shiver.
Wrapping myself in a coat, the fierce wind felt like nothing. I looked back, having one final gaze at Kaneki. It must have been a trauma for him, something that he couldn’t get over with.
A faded remnant of his past life, memories allowing him to recognize who he was, rested inside his heart. It was all meaningless, nothing more than an overheard conversation. But as time goes by, he will soon search for the answer that rested deep inside his heart, something that only he would understand. Perhaps, that was what I thought each time staring at him. The air was so chilled that it hurts to breathe outside. The sky was dark.
The stars hidden behind the shifting clouds. The ground laid white with thick blankets of snow. There was no hint of warmth left, but it didn’t matter. The streets looked like a messy painting. It was eerie, it was bitter, but I felt enchanted. I loved this atmosphere. It was a perfect combination. Each step I took leaves a print on the snow, but it looked like I was the only soul to have walked here.
I didn’t like going at night to hunt, which was when Doves gather up. I decided that I’ll eat something tomorrow morning. I can’t go risking my life for something as simple as that. Leaving the area swiftly, I returned home.
To my surprise, Kaneki was awake, reading one of my novels. Except, this time he looked at me when I arrived. He was worried, I could tell. “Where did you go?” he asked, lifting his head from the book. “Oh, I got hungry, that’s all,” I replied honestly, although he didn’t respond. An awkward moment, if I would say.
“You know, I really admire your work,” he spoke, finally ending the silence. That statement flattered me a bit.”I abandoned hope a long time ago. I have lots of hatred towards this world, so you might find it similar to your situation.” I said while staring blankly at the window.”I guess it’s something I can’t escape huh,” He mumbled to himself, although enough for me to hear. I got close to him until I was only inches away.
“Don’t worry, you’ll get over it soon, Kaneki,” I whispered. “But more importantly, are you hungry?””I am, but I don’t want to eat humans.” he tried to defend himself.
I chuckled softly at his words. It was kinda cute, a ghoul not eating humans.”A ghoul’s hunger is the worst feeling you know. You lose your mind and could seriously get yourself in danger,” I told him. “If you don’t eat, I’m going to do it myself.”