Series: Tokyo Ghoul
Characters: Tsukiyama, Kaneki, Hide
Music that helped: NO.6 Original Soundtrack 2\07 ロウ.mp3
Author note: This was a fleeting idea I had that related to a bizarre experience I had. This story features subject matter that touch bases to depression, suicide, manipulations, and supernatural activities. Some characters, due to circumstances, will act different than in canon verse.
There was a stranger I met while I was walking around town. I noticed him from the corner of my eye. I glanced at him only for a moment but I could describe everything if need be. He was so odd. He was almost alien to how people usually dress in this old fashioned town.
He was probably in his late thirties.
He had a strong jaw and chiseled cheeks that slightly hollowed in. His nose was long but thickened at the end. He wore stylish black rims as glasses. His hair was short but swirled in the front giving him an edge. He walked with sauvé and pose, one hand tucked lazily into his black trouser pocket. His dress shirt was short and untucked, it slightly wrinkled over his muscles. His dress pants were rolled up to show his ankles and blue socks. He wore brown loafers. In his other hand he firmly gripped his suitcase, although smaller and thinner than most he still kept it swinging by his side. To top off his entire look, he wore an unfitting red and white checkered coat that was buttoned in the middle.
He was a stranger to this town but he walked like he owned it. This town was a small one, where everyone knows each other and nothing can be hidden. So it was a surprise to me when no one else saw him. Travelling down that road there was no one else there walking except myself and him. But I would have expected him being witnessed by someone else because he was walking towards the market. I decided to stop asking around because of the odd looks they gave me. I realized I was making a mistake asking the townsfolk. I didn't want to be isolated by them. The town is small so when someone acts a bit crazy, they become isolated. Then they disappear. Or so I've been told.
I don't want to disappear. I'm normal.
I turned around.
Hide was looking at me with worry. I asked him what was wrong, I didn't like him looking like that. I didn't want him to be troubled.
"People are talking…" He started off, but his voice started to fade off. His brows had furrowed up, he forced the words out. "They say you've been asking strange questions."
My eyes widen. It started.
"...That's not true, right?"
I found it hard to sort out for words. He took a step back from my lack of words. My heart was thumping and I could feel the blood rushing to my head.
"No!" I yelled too loudly, I winced in regret. I was afraid he would run away. I didn't want to be left behind. To my relief he didn't run, instead he laughed.
"Hey, don't worry man, I don't believe them!" He reassured me. His arm was wrapped over my shoulder, half hugging me. "You look like you're gonna cry, dude!"
I couldn't see his face but I could tell he was grinning wide. I argued that I wasn't crying and that he shouldn't scare me. He apologized saying he shouldn't have asked a useless question like that. He left shortly after, I watched his retreating back. I started to frown.
I couldn't forget how his arm was shaking over my shoulder. He was afraid. Afraid of what, I wasn't too sure. Afraid of me?
I came to this town three months ago. I was originally from the city, the bustling noises of cars and crowds of people filling every space. Despite the over population of people, you could still feel so alone. I wasn't happy and suffered a lot. You know, the typical story. A lonely boy who couldn't match his generation and being bullied for being slow, for being different, for not keeping up. It was hard. It was harder when my parents died. My distant relatives didn't want me. The world didn't want me. It was a typical story….and I hated that story.
In the city, I had decided that I didn't want to stay awake for all the pain, so I tried to fall asleep. I closed my eyes to sleep for a very long time. When I opened my eyes I was in the hospital, a nurse was hovered over me talking to someone dressed in blue and wearing a stiff hat. I didn't know what to make of this situation. Everything was blurry and it was hard to hear the voices. I remembered it all sounded like a rush. I blinked my eyes a few times and looked above me, someone else was hovered over me. Someone I couldn't quite put my hands on. Then it clicked. My eyes cleared up and the look that person's face gave me was unforgettable.
It was Hide.
He had taken me to the hospital. Apparently, he had come over to invite me for dinner. He didn't feel right leaving a youth alone for dinner. Instead he had found the front door opened and me lying on the floor unconscious. I hadn't gone back to my apartment since that day. I stayed at the hospital to recuperate for several days. Hide came to visit me each day and said he would take me away from this city on my release day. Those words were magic to me. I didn't care where I was, as long as I got away from here I wanted to go.
And so we went.
We had travelled to his hometown, and he promised he wouldn't tell anyone of what happened to me. I didn't care if people knew but I learnt there was another reason he promised not to tell anyone. The people in this town were pleasant but the town was strange. The power of word gets spread like fire, no one is safe when the fire is being fueled by gossip. I had a vague idea about what he meant. But I soon learnt from the children of the town, that people would disappear from this. I don't know why he brought me here of all places but it gave me a reason to not care. I wouldn't have to talk about the old me because no one knew me. No one knew me, I could start anew.
It had been three months. Everything was going well.
Until I saw the strange man.
It was too late for me, because word was already spreading like a disease.
"Kaneki Ken saw an invisible man."
I couldn't leave the house. Let alone the room, Hide's family let me stay in. It wasn't that I didn't want to go out. I wasn't allowed to leave. Word was spreading and the townsfolk wanted me to disappear. My name was being associated with misfortune. I was told to stay in my room and that no one was allowed to visit me. When I asked why, Hide said it was for my safety and that I would be fully accommodated in this room. I don't know how long I stayed in that room, and I didn't really mind. There was a washroom in this room. There was always food placed in front of my door. I assume it was Hide as he would walk by and conversant with me. And like he said, I didn't have a need to actually leave.
I knocked on my door.
"Hide. Let me out."
I called out, hoping he heard and if not him, anyone. I had been doing that for a long time. He used to answer back to me but not anymore. No one would answer me. This time was no different. Unsurprisingly, there was no response. I turned to retreat back to the bed.
"I can't let you leave, Kaneki. You know why." Hide said, his voice was muffled behind the door. It sounded as though he was talking very closely to the door. I was shocked that he had answered this time. I hadn't heard another human voice in what felt like forever. I quickly walked back to the door and touched the wooden panels.
"Please. I can't stay like this." I pleaded. I was hoping he would open the door. I listened closely, I saw the knob turn and my heart was beating hard. He was going to let me out. I could see it in my mind, he was going to open the door and laugh this out as a joke. But then the knob stopped turning.
My eyes wide when I heard footsteps walking away. I panicked for the first time.
"STOP!" I screamed, banging the door. I'm scared. "I NEED TO LEAVE. HIDE." I kicked the door, I swore when my toes jabbed the wooden door. I started muttering to myself, falling to the ground.
After a few days more I stopped eating. The food would still be replaced but I wouldn't see him. I was finding myself unable to sleep. When he noticed me being awake, he stopped coming altogether. I hadn't eaten, my stomach was cramping in from the pain. Hide hadn't walked by, he doesn't come to see me anymore. I stay up every night hoping to find a way out. Maybe Hide will sneak in the night to see me but...he doesn't. It's as though I've been forgotten. I was lying on the floor, I didn't have the energy to move.
"...I'm...dying…" I muttered slowly.
My body stiffened. I was...dying…? I sat up quickly only to feel nauseous from the sudden movement. But I couldn't think about that for too long because I realized something. They were trying to kill me. They wanted to make me disappear. There was a sudden adrenaline as I got to my feet. I needed to escape.
I didn't try to escape before because the only way out of this room was through a window and they would see me. Not only that, I didn't think there was a reason for me to escape. But the thought of them wanting to kill me like this was leaving an uncomfortable feeling in me. I don't know where this sense of living came from. I couldn't understand this sense of surviving in me. I never had it before in the city. Whatever it was, it had me smashing the window open with a chair. I know they heard the sound of shattering glass. I know they heard me screaming. And I know Hide was never going to forgive me but I wanted to live.
I was running. Bare feet, bleeding, and tired. I didn't look back but I could hear the sound of shouting from behind me. The screams of them wanting to kill me. To sacrifice me. To get rid of the crazy. I didn't stop running. I kept running and running and running. The sight of the town's road ending into the forest gave me an extra boost of energy. I needed to get out of here.
The moment I ran into the forest, I could barely hear any more shouting. It was almost as if it had stopped all together. If I had stopped running and turned around I would have noticed that there was never a crowd running after me. Instead, I would have saw a strange man wearing a red and white checkered suit standing at the foot of the forest incline.
And he was laughing.
What to expect in the next chapter: A deeper insight behind the town's strange behaviour.