Act 1: Takahashi Kenichi
‘Get on with it twig.’ ‘Suck it up loser.’ ‘Go home and suck on your grandma’s tits.’ These are the most common phrase that you can hear around Takahashi Kenichi, a Japanese boy that lives in other country since he was small. It is fairly common to see ‘outsiders’ being bullied by the natives. For all his entire school life, he has been called twig, shit-head, nerd, and even non-recycle trash.
Takahashi Kenichi, TK for short is a fifteen years old shy natured boy. He is timid and he is physically weak in sports. He is obsessed with comics and games and often lock himself up in his room solely for games and comics. Let’s just say that he is a timid ‘otaku’. He has a strong sense of justice and he dislikes violence on top of anything. You can say he is a hypocrite as well.
TK has been discriminated in class and school for his entire life. He found a solution to reduce the ill treatment after all these years of experiences; make a fool out of himself. Whenever he does that, there are less people to look down on him. They will think that he is funny, some sort of entertainment for the dense and dull school life. But there are some that still treat him as the usual.
Ever since that he made himself as a clown in school, he made some so called friends. They will like hang around him like friends, act like friends, but never really intent to be one. TK fully aware of their act, but it is better than alone or being treated like trash.
Even though there are less people looking down on him, the bullying are getting worst. Dead cats in his locker, trash stuff into his bag, and his shoe went missing or torn apart. Even threatening letters like ‘Die and rot in hell’ can be found on his desk every morning. Sarcasm occurs every day.
TK is a single child. He was raised poorly by his mother since his father left with another woman when he was four. His mother become a prostitute for a living. She was never home for TK whenever he has problems with school. Whenever his mother saw his face, it reminds her of that bastard of a husband and resolve to violence. Sometimes she would be drunk and started to strangle TK. ‘Why don’t you just die!’ is a phrase that TK are use to for all these years.
He thought of dying every now and then. There was a time that he nearly died. The attempt was stopped and he was saved by a girl. They soon become friends; he fell in love for the first time in his life. He begin to have a desire to live, a desire to stands up for himself, a desire to protect the one he loved.
It is the same as any ordinary days. He went to school by public transport, a public bus. Nobody knows that there is a truck coming at full speed from behind. To avoid the bus that stopped in front if the truck, the driver steers it to the walkway. It is just when TK got off the bus, the truck is closing in.
‘I want to live.’ TK wishes when he saw the truck closing in with full speed. Right before the truck hit him, he closed his eyes. He felt strange. There is no pain at all. Did TK die in split second without feeling any pain? Or was he already at Heavens?
When he opens his eyes, he saw the truck right in front of his nose. The distance is so near that is hair is already touching the truck.
“It stopped?” TK looked look at the truck for a second. “IT STOPED!” TK was overjoyed.
This is where the oddness came in. All the surrounding is frozen in time. The leaves from the trees that fall from the breeze stopped in mid air. The tumbling old lady stopped in mid air as well. All the pedestrians that was fleeing is frozen too. What is the world has happened? TK can’t straight out his mind.
“Do you want to live?” A voice came from inside the bus. “Or do you want to die?”
“Wh-who goes there?” TK is looking into the seats inside the bus. “Sh-show yourself.”
“My bad.” A man with a weird mask stood up from the seat and start walking casually.
“Who are you?” TK tried to move but seems like only his eyes and mouth are able to move. “Why can’t I move?”
With a snap of his finger, TK fell backwards on the ground; TK is able to move now. He stood up and frozen on what he saw. He saw himself still standing there on that spot.
“I am a gate keeper.” That man with a weird mask said. “You are lucky to be chosen as one of those lucky ones. You were given a chance to choose whether you want to live or die this instance.”
“What are you talking about?” TK is confused. “Why am I standing there while I am here? Is this some kind of candid camera?”
“Let me explain to you.” The masked man vanishes and appears sitting on top at a mail box. “You have fulfilled the requirement to be chosen. First, one must be suffering for more than half of his or her life. Second, one must have regains his or her lost confidents and will to live. And third is a strong will to live in the verge of death.”
“What do you want from me?” TK asks.
“No no no, it is ‘what do YOU want from me’? To live or to die? Choose one.” The masked man said.
“What if I choose to live?” TK said. “And what if I choose to die?”
“Hmm... If you choose to die, I will undo the ‘Time Freeze’ and you will die hit by the truck in less than a second.” The masked man said. “If you choose to live, I will have you die once.”
‘Die once’? What does he means?
“It seems that whichever I choose I will have to die right?” TK said.
‘If that masked man wanted me to die, why did he waste all his time to associate with me? There must be a trick behind this. This always happened in games and the comics I read about.’
“That is correct. The choice is yours, now choose.” The masked man said.
“I choose to live!” TK answered.
“Very well.” The masked man stands on the mail box, took out his staff out of nowhere and start casting some magic. “I will have you die once.”
TK regain consciousness on where he was last stood. The truck hit him head on and the world around TK went blackout.