Lost in Tokyo

by Jon Peters

I washed ashore East Shinjuku, Tokyo shortly after Reba’s death. After selling all my possessions, including my car, I had enough cash to rent a space above Decoy, a small jazz bar with a back-alley entrance. The owner, Kaito, was kind enough to give me part-time work during the week, and with my savings I was able to enjoy a moderate existence in this city of 14 million people.

I chose Tokyo because Reba and I dreamed of retiring to Japan. That was supposed to be our future. But with the world ending, and Reba gone, I decided to abandon my research post and go into hiding. I needed to escape the corruption and betrayal of my government and live the remaining months or years I had left in this doomed world as a ghost, alone to grieve.

To take my mind off my heartbreak, I began walking nightly through the shopping district so that I could people watch and window shop, enjoying the comfort brought upon by my self-imposed isolation. Tonight, six months after my disappearance from the Omega 8 Project that Reba and I were working on in secret, I stroll toward the entertainment district. I can smell the mixture of noodles and beer. It’s a soupy flavor, distinct to East Shinjuku.

I hear the rustling of voices, like thousands of leaves on a windy day, waving in unison. I catch a sliver of light from the inside of an arcade, slithering its way into the alley, attempting to pull me inside. I resist, though, because to walk the streets of Tokyo is to free my soul. The business signs are a mixture of vibrant color and stylized kana; a strange brew that, as a foreigner still learning the language, brings me wonder and confusion.

A young man and woman ahead of me turn into one of the pubs, she with a bright blue flowing shirt on and he in comfortable khakis. They look to be in love, and it hits me how much emptiness fills my heart since Reba died, all those months ago on the island we called Omega 8. Sometimes, on these walks, I daydream about bumping into her again, as if she’s still alive, walking these streets alone like I am, looking for her soul.

Omega 8 was supposed to change our lives. I guess, in a way, it did. But not for the better. Reba gone, the antidote missing, the monsters escaped. The sabotage we suffered at the hands of our marine escort was an act of betrayal that doomed us. In fact, it doomed the world.

Yet here, on these peaceful streets, you wouldn’t know that terror was swimming through the ocean. Right now, it’s just me and the fair people of Tokyo. These quiet and courteous people unknowingly await a fate too terrible to comprehend.

I return to my flat to take a hot bath, but the tub is clogged, and instead I decide to slit my wrists.