Chapter 3: The fateful morning!
Hazily, as I rose from the bed in my modest apartment, fondly I touched the book that had kept me company for the night. The cover of ‘Blood Meridian’ gave me the familiar chill that all horror novels had. Yet it was definitely pleasant in its own way, one of the few small pleasures of my colourless life. Looking up to the room devoid of light, the dust and the scattered novels did give the room a certain appeal, almost conveying the loneliness and lack of human contact, contrasted with the rich content on the white pages.
“Each tells a different story,” I muttered, yet mine is just mine. The brutality I read is certainly too far removed from my life. While I do enjoy watching the corruption of the heart and mind depicted through a series of tragic events, I silently continue to hope that it stays that way…
Stretching my hands and legs, I wrap the blanket around the top of my head, reflecting on how I had managed to get a date with such a beautiful woman.
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“It is hard to find someone who appreciates literature and a rich cup of coffee,” her words echoed bringing a warm sheepish smile to my face. Of course Hide tries quite hard to follow and discuss my hobby, harder than I ever do for his interests. Yet Rize-san possesses a certain affinity for the subject, ripping the words I meant to say out of my mouth, though her gentle guidance seems like a soft path, attempting to drive me toward her opinion through well thought out statements and curt observations. Perhaps I am hopeless, as it is her beauty and soft features that make her language that much more powerful.
I spent one too many nights trying to understand why she had approached and noticed me on our first meeting; Hide’s hasn’t been letting me off on any occasion, attempting to pry every single detail about our first conversation and probe it with his deft mental capacity. Of course I resist, but eventually I give in. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t?
The ringing of the phone companied by the playing of ‘requiem for a dream’ meant the arrival of a call. At this hour, only one person would and could call me; I chuckle as I pick up the device listening to the first sounds of the call.
“Kaneki! I do realise both of you love books, but a library truly is the lamest place, ever. For a first date.” he said with a flat tone, before proceeding to whine some more. “Wouldn’t the movies do, perhaps some horror would be quite the highlight? Don’t both of you adore it?”
Flustered and slightly on the defensive, I merely reply “Hello- to you too!” I say stressing the latter.
“Yes Hide, I am definitely sure I want to go to a book store,” and despite my irritation and aggravation there is still a playful edge to my voice, one that he catches without failure. “It sounds you almost enjoy being scolded. Perhaps Rize-chan is just as into that kind of thing.” Almost falling over from the shock of his comment, I attempt to recuperate and retort, yet nothing except for simple denial comes to mind. Ironic that I would read so much, just to find myself lost for words.
“Hello? Kaneki?… While I realise that I have completely caught and annihilated you verbally…” I could almost imagine him smirking. “I do still have to remind you that your ‘date’ is in one hour!” verbally berating myself for such a lack of foresight, I quickly dropped the blanket from my head, its warmth leaving my presence being a most unpleasant feeling, the safety and security it offered serving as a constant of the morning. “Yes Hide! Fully ready to run” I jokingly remarked.
“Going to go get ready now… I’ll talk to you when I get to Anteiku” I stated rather quickly, too quickly almost.
“Jerk” he muttered while laughing as he hung up. Despite my cold reply and overall demeanour, I simply attribute the whole situation to our mutual understanding. He is practically the only person I do talk to, not that I would admit it, especially to him. Sometimes he is the only one who keeps me rooted in this bland reality. Once again I mentally berate myself for such an outlook. For I always promised myself to keep going despite any challenges this life throws at me.
Perhaps he is the only one who gets to see this cynical side of me, not for too long however. I hate to bring him down with it, especially considering how much he had helped me over the years. Not that he’d ever mention it. He’s just too nice of a person, and too perceptive if need be. His joyous gaze becoming solemn over the duration of a relative time period, instantly dissecting your worries. Making them his…
Of course accusing him of selfishness would be wrong, as he merely adopted the problem. Still his wholehearted commitment inspires me to try and do the same for someone. Secretly I hope that once I do get to know Rize-san better she is of the same opinion. I seem to physically glow at that possibility, as if she does seem like a companion and someone I would like to get to know better.
A more doubtful side of me however kept saying that her smile was too perfect. Her movements too practiced and her dialogue too natural. Of course that would be too crazy, I’m definitely not special enough for such special effort on her part.
The passing time made me quite aware of my surroundings for once, the fact that 15 minutes had passed was surprising but not abnormal. After all, Anteiku was not far away at all…
My date with Kaneki-kun was supposed to be today wasn’t it, such a shame. I truly did enjoy his company while it lasted. His idea for the date at the bookstore truly does fit us if we were an ordinary human couple. Silently I smirk while contemplating the idea. If I were born human, would I be less cynical? Or violent? Perhaps. It is funny contemplating the endless possibilities and I would have done so if I hadn’t had my meal planned for tonight.
Wiggling my toes I got up from my satin bed, the sunlight illuminated the through the half-drawn curtains. While the shade of the light entering the room was certainly exquisite. Falling directly on the striped carnations in the vase on the table next to the window. I would find out what they represent, but in this bind for time I don’t feel the necessity. Especially considering the faster I get this date over with, the faster I can sate the thirst. My kakugan materialising as I temporarily lose control of the hunger.
“I thought I had gotten pretty good at controlling it, despite my voraciousness…” I sighed and pouted in disappointment at my loss of control, generally one of those in public could lead to my demise. Despite the pathetic lower ranked CCG members, there are always special class investigators, those can pose an issue. Unlike normal humans or other ghouls, they know what to look for and where if they are trying to kill me, not that I would ever mess up that badly… I’m not a weakling.
Remembering tales of the CCG’s s reaper does making me slightly uncomfortable, like any self-respecting creature. I fear death, especially if it comes in the package of an investigator who hadn’t been scratched by a ghoul’s kagune in years… perhaps I should cannibalise, acquire myself a kakuja. Immediately reflecting on how I might eventually be able to combat him on equal terms. Perhaps that’s getting too far ahead of myself I muse. I am stronger than most of the ghouls in Tokyo, this allows me to roam the wards uninhibited.
Perhaps that is the reason Jason is on my trail. Is it my haughtiness? A lady does have her needs, even if those take the form of a massive amount of sustenance. A smirk adorning my face, I recall the innumerable times I had caused issues for the various ghoul communities across Tokyo. Leaving the positive memories momentarily, I had reached into my closet and observed the assortment of clothing sitting and gathering dust. Considering my meal later today, perhaps I should wear something more disposable. Yet a feeling within me says that white and red would go pretty well together. Especially if I were to get rid of the purple…