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The Noose


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  • See also:

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      All three live in different worlds, but seek the same goal. To separate truth from illusion. To make sense of their own lives.

      ----

      I saw a ghost in the living room.
      But as I was already used to the phenomenon, I did not let it interfere with the preparation of my evening meal.
      The ghost ate my fried egg and commended its taste.
      As I listened to her talk, my memories drifted back to the days we were still together.
      Back when we were in school, she asked me what was necessary for the two of us to be together.
      A small workplace that we could make a living from without relying on anyone.
      A silent apartment where we would have the freedom to do what our hearts desired.
      I told her that.

      In the late eighties – during the economic boom – the small design company we founded was doing surprisingly well.
      We visited all the places we talked about when we were in school – the southern islands, the old European cities, the West Coast. We went wherever we wanted, seeing whatever we sought.
      Alone in that spacious living room, I attempted to figure out why it all ended this way. Why those days when nothing could stand in our way faded into the past.
      I no longer felt like I could do everything.
      The world had grown complicated. Even simple matters became difficult.
      The rules we had established in the past no longer seemed to apply, and the castle we built for ourselves crumbled to dust.
      "What is necessary for us to be together?" – the ghost asked me.
      We need a make a new place for ourselves.
      A place no one can destroy.
      Let's make it a place that no one else can reach.
      And so, I inconspicuously proceeded with the plan.
      In a place so deep below the surface that no one else can find it.
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      At the time, the whole school was in a festive mood with Christmas just around the corner. As couples and spur-of-the-moment couples alike were flirtatiously carrying on, the whole school was abuzz with excitement over the “St. Michael’s Best Couple” poll being conducted by the student volunteers. Risa, who was single, figured it didn’t concern her…

      So then how did she and Miya end up being chosen?!

      Although Risa naturally denied that they shared that kind of relationship, the classmates who had selected them would just smile with the reasoning of tempered young ladies who had been raised in respectable families and say, “You always look like you’re having so much fun.” Resigning themselves, the two decided to go along with it, “Just for appearance’s sake,” and it seemed they would have to stick it out through the coming holidays of Christmas and Valentine’s Day along with four other couples as the committee members for various events.

      Will the big name couples be able to handle the events that follow? And will Risa be able to survive the lovers’ holidays of Christmas and Valentine’s with Miya?


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