A Wishing Shadow
Episode 1: It Won\'t be Long Like Last Time (3)
Three days have passed since I woke up. On my bed, there lie innumerable books about memories. Most of them were written by the Grand Elder.
Her Tsukumogami could erase any memory and so, she knew a lot about it. The book covered how memories work, how it stored in the brain, why we could forget about some memories even though the max storage was more than a hundred terabytes, and how we could recover some old memories.
I focused my attention on the last part, though, to recover old memories, it needs a trigger.
A trigger strong enough to surface the buried memories
I closed the book as I pinched my chin, Trigger, huh?
”Is something troubling you, Master? ” My shadow opened its eyes.
e a master in the memory domain, right? What kind of trigger is needed so that you could remember old memories? ”
”What kind of memory do you want to recover, Master? ” Its eyes slit suspiciously. I pretend I didn see it.
”My childhood to my teenage years. I barely have any recollection. Thats right, I start to become conscious of myself when I reach eighteen. Its as if I woke up from a long dream. ”
Memories, before I was eighteen, was empty as void.
”I see. Well, a trigger means something or someone important in your life. Encounter it would make you remember everything. Most of the cases anyways. ”
”What does that mean? ” I frowned.
”Sometimes, the trigger causes you to remember a portion of the memory, not all of them. ”
I fell in thought, a portion of the memory… Still, if you remember it hard enough and find clues, you should be able to remember them.
Following this line of thought, I think I had to find a trigger.
”Master, does your forgotten memories are important? The fact its gone means that you don need them anymore. ”
”No, I have to find them. ”
”I have a bad feeling if I don remember it. ”
”Bad feeling? Aren you scared, Master? In finding out what kind of person are you back then? ”
”Of course, Im scared, but I have no choice. Furthermore, this bad feeling makes my chest tight. ”
Night descend and I was watching a live-action anime called MONSTER. Never saw the original, but the live-action was good. It wasn bad, cringe, and uncomfortable to watch.
While enjoying it, I abruptly get a strong urge to smoke. It had been three days since I hadn smoked, I wanted to use this chance to quit but my mouth craved it so bad.
I uncomfortably moved my legs to the left and right.
It had been three days but my recovery was fast thanks to the doctors Tsukumogami ability. However, my left leg had no chance to recover. The ankle was broken.
I had to use a walking stick from now on. Unless…
I shifted my eyes to Shed. Its tempting to make a wish, but my mind immediately spam, dangerous,
I shook my head as I throw such thoughts into the nearest trash bin in my mind.
”Master, is something wrong? ” Shed noticed I shake my head after looking at it.
”No, its nothing. I was just wondering something. Im going out to smoke. ”
”Are you sure, Master? Aren you quitting? ”
”I can hold it anymore. Maybe next time. ”
I got off the bed and grabbed the wooden cane next to me. Then, I grabbed my phone and a cigarette box from the desk. Afterward, I left the room.
The corridor was dim, but it was enough to see everything. As I walked, I saw three doctors a few meters away before me.
I gave them a subtle nod with a smile as I walked past them. They responded with the same actions.
I continued my walk and not long after, I reached the tiny park of the hospital. I sat on a bench under the street lamp.
Crickets sang under the peaceful night, the wind blew once in a while, sending cold chills all over my body.
I grab one cigarette and light it up as I cover the edge with my hand. Next, I leaned my back against the bench as I take a deep breath and puff the smoke out to the sky.
”The stars are beautiful. ”
Glittering like gems they were, calming my soul they did.
Seeing innumerable stars, older than humanity itself give me a sense of eerie calmness and loneliness. Despite that though…
”This isn bad. ” I realized. Having time for yourself and just thinking about random things, were unexpectedly fun.
As my mind wandered, I heard slow steps from my left. I slowly turned my head to the source.
A girl was walking alone. She had long blond hair to her chest. She had fair skin and her face would captivate anyone.
I silently observed her. She was walking while staring at the beautiful night sky.
I feel like Ive seen her before, I said inwardly.
Then, without warning, she stopped walking as she realized someone was looking at her.
She turned her head down and saw me.
”Good evening. ” I gave her a subtle nod.
She stared at me as if trying to remember something. Eventually, she pointed her finger at me,
e the one whos waving at me earlier! ”
”You remembered. ” I showed faint shock on my face.
”Of course, I have a thing with faces! I won forget anyone I saw! ”
”Even if they are strangers that just walked past you? ”
”Yup, even them! ” She stood proudly as she puffed her chest.
Despite her fully grown body, she looked like a child.
”What does a girl do in the middle of the night? ” I put the cigarette into my mouth and breath out a puff of white cloud.
”I just take a walk, how about you? ”
”Im smoking. ”
”You should stop smoking. ”
”I know. ”
”Then why don you? ”
”Its hard. I tried a few days ago, but it failed. ”
”Then you should try harder! ”
”Its not as easy as that. If people could get anything if they try harder, the world wouldn be this chaotic. ”
”Its not related. Im talking about you, not the world. ”
”Ah, is that so? Then can we talk about yourself, why don you go back? Its in the middle of the night and whats with your clothes, aren you cold? Who are you going to seduce? ” My tone slowly intensified.
She wore a white dress that didn suit the chill night at all.
”Seduce? Don make it like Im a woman who targets every man out there! Besides, who is interested in seducing you? You
e rude and have no etiquette to lady at all. ” Her voice increased in volume.
e in 2022, you guys ask for equality and this is what you get. ”
”Im not talking about etiquette! Are you dumb, yeah, you must be dumb! ”
”Lady, whatever, Im not arguing with you in the middle of the night. Much less in the hospital, I don want to disturb the patient. ”
e the one who starts it. ”
”And I want it to end, so whatd you say? Can we drop it here? ”
Reluctantly, she opened her mouth, ”Fine. We call it a truce. ”
After that, I smoked and breathed out a thick white cloud.
”Hey, have we seen each other before? ” She sat on the bench for some reason, she was sitting next to me.
The bench wasn long and I was sitting in the middle. I could make a space between us if I move to the left but I don feel like doing it.
”We met a few hours ago. ”
”No, thats not what I meant. I felt like Ive seen you before that. ”
”Probably on the street? This country is vast, after all. ”
”No, if thats the case, it wouldn be as vague as this. Its as if something is blocking me from remembering it. ”
”You have amnesia too? ”
”Too? ” She looked bewildered.
”Yeah… during my childhood to my teen, I have no recollection whatsoever and as I hit eighteen, its as if I just woke up from a long dream. ”
”What did you do after that? ”
”Graduate from high school and applied to that school. I did those without questioning it, I just know I have to do them. Now, however, its different. The urge to recover my old memories gets stronger as each day passes. ”
She grunted in acknowledgment. Knowing she kept listening, I continued, ”Ive been reading books about memories and I learned that to recover my memories, I need a trigger. ”
”A trigger? ” She raised one of her brows, intrigued.
”Yeah, its something or someone important in my life that is enough to jolt my brain. ”
After that was a brief silence. It seemed she was thinking about what to say next.
”I hope you find it, the trigger. ” She opened her mouth.
”Yeah, thanks. ”
”Speaking of memories, I remembered when I was eight. I used to talk with my twin brother like this. Wed usually argue like enemies, but the next moment, we became best buddies again. ”
”What happened to your brother? ”
”He left me and he said hed see me again when Im twenty. ”
”What a terrible brother you have. ”
”Yeah, you said it, but thanks to him, I am where I am now. You see, on the exact day he left, an elder adopted me and give me the best life any orphan girl could ask for. He must have done something. Isn he amazing?
”Im happy for what he did, but if I was given a choice between him and this, I would rather pick the former.
”Brother… why did you leave me… ” Her voice was weak and it was about to break into cries at any moment.
”…Sorry. ” I reflexively apologized.
When I listened to her story, something deeply buried in my brain start to resurface. Then, flashes of images played before me.
This… I see, I remembered it now, I said inwardly.
Next, I slowly turned my head to her with disbelief. Then, I whispered, You… Im glad you
Maybe I said it out loud, she started to look at me strangely.
”Huh? ” She blurted out confusedly.
I fell silent as I just realized what I did. I calmly handle the situation, ”No, its nothing. ”
”Theres no way its nothing. You suddenly said to me, Im glad you
e okay, like we know each other.
”Oh! Its probably that! I know it! We knew each other! Hey, tell me, where did we meet and what kind of relationship do you have with me? I don seem to recall anything! Please, answer it. ” She begged.
I stare at her for a few seconds straight before putting off the cigarette and throwing it into the trash bin just next to the bench.
”Are you not going to leave without an answer? ”
”Yeah. I have a feeling you
e the key so that I know why my brother left. ”
”I see, then sorry. ” My eyes went cold.
Shed abruptly appeared behind her and hit the back of her neck with hand shaped shadow. Her eyes became empty as she lost consciousness. She fell as her head rested on my shoulder.
”Is this the right thing to do, Master? ”
”Its not the right time for us to meet. Furthermore, I just remembered a lot of unpleasant things. ”
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