“From the outside…?”
I doubted my own ears. There’s no way he came from beyond the walls, right? It’s just a child’s imagination! To start with, isn’t he too old to be having an imaginary adventure? Grow up, kid!
“Judging from your expression…Well, whatever.”
The child shrugged as he took another sip from his glass. I shot Jack a questioning glare, but he refused to comment and just smiled.
I took a glance at the terrified waitress, and quickly said in order to calm her down, “Don’t worry, it’s just this child’s wild imagination. Now then, would you be so kind to take our order?”
To start with, what’s wrong with this girl. Believing a child’s story. Like hell someone can come from the outside. They won’t even survive a single instance there! Not in that hellhole. Didn’t they teach her that in school? What’s wrong with people, forgetting everything they were taught in school as soon as they get a whiff of freedom. (Author note: Am I the only one who feels like that? As soon as I get a vacation, everything I learned in school is automatically formatted…)
“Y-yes,” The nameless waitress–Oh wait, I can actually see a name tag on her chest, so let’s fix that–Amy quickly responded by lowering the remaining glass that she held onto the table and picked up a notepad and a pen.
I quickly ordered for the three of us myself, and then turned to face the child.
The child laughed. Ugh. I can’t deal with this guy… Jack! I turned to look at Jack, who…
…Laughed the same way the child did.
“I’m feeling even more tired now…”
Alright, let’s just head back home after this. Let’s do today’s work tomorrow. That’s for the best.
“So, Your name?”
I made sure to only give a side glance while saying so. Hmm, hmm, you aren’t going to make fun of me and expect my full respect while treating you.
The child, Azure, smiled as he said.
“I see. Well, nice to meet you.” I said as I finally spared a moment to turn to face him directly.
I followed up with a rude, “What do you want?”
Don’t get me wrong, I did make sure to order food for the three of us. That means, I did not ask this child, who is probably so hungry that he ended up following us, that question in order to corner and then finally kick him out.
“Nothing much,” Azure maintained his smile, “I already finished with my business here.”
“Is that so…”
Is that why he came to our company earlier? Because he had business there? I want to know. I want to know what business a child would have at the upper floors of the company. Can he be a child of one of the upper echelons? But if that’s the case, why would he give his time to talk to us? Because I’m expected all of them to
Suddenly, two minutes went by in utter silence. Well, I was silent at least. Both Jack and Azure have been talking nonstop about random topics that really don’t amount to anything: From the weather, to how boring writing reports or editing articles can get, to even their own rituals before going to bed!
“Here, an extra glass of water~” Amy came up to us and lowered another glass of water in front of me, and then proceeded to sitting next to Jack.
Jack, who is already married.
I took another look at my right, and ‘discovered’ Azure, a ‘male’ child.
This is unfair! He’s cheating! Blasphemy! I’ll totally tell that witch later!! Let’s see if he’ll be able to keep that smile then!!!
“Fuu…” I exhaled in order to calm myself down.
“What’s unfair?” Amy whispered to Jack. And yes, I did catch that.
“He’s just jelly~”
“I can hear you two!” I shouted, “You people are so rude!!”
“Is it the sweater? I’m sorry, mister, but I can’t give you my sweater…”
I almost snapped my neck at how fast I turned to look at Azure.
“Brat! No one even mentioned your sweater!! It’s too small anyway!!!”
But for some reason, when he heard that, his pale face turn as red as that of a tomato.
“I-if you want my shorts, however…you should’ve just asked…”
I heard an ominous phone being flipped open. I took another shot at breaking my neck as I tried to look back at the source of the sound as fast as possible.
“Hello?! Is this the police?!?! I want to report a case of pedophilia!”
“Stooop!!! I didn’t ask him to do anything!!!”
It took the life out of my as I tried my best to calm her down, and finally convinced her to close the call.
After that, we all introduced ourselves for the second time. Although we know her name, she didn’t know ours…
“Oh, I see, I understand! So cool, the two of you. Being hired by the company!” (Author note: If you didn’t get it at this point, then the ‘company’ is actually called ‘the company’ or just ‘company’)
Jack answered while laughing, “I know, right? I guess they highly value friendship, y’know?”
“Or probably because they were in high demand for employees and no one applied.”
“Hoo…I find it lovely that you two best friends can work in the same place!”
“I agree~!” Jack replied while grinning from ear to ear, as if he’s truly glad himself.
“I don’t really care either way, with or without him…”
After all, its work.
No no, thinking about it again, I think it would’ve been better if he didn’t join with me. Because of him, not only do I end up not doing work efficiently, I also have to help him when he is pressed for time.
“Oh, Which reminds me,” Amy playfully smiled, “I heard something about the company from a friend…”
“Hmm? If its anything about the company, then I’ll gladly answer.” I quickly responded to her. This is a rare occasion, talking to a girl…!
“Have you heard of this theory? It’s a conspiracy theory that a weird friend of mine believes…”
I don’t understand all of that…
“Yeah! Maybe you heard this as well, since it seems to be pretty popular nowadays. Basically put, the theory is that the company is brainwashing our minds!”
“Huh? That doesn’t make any sense…People sure are bored to make up stuff like that.”
“I agree!” She laughed, “Listen to how ridiculous this theory is. It says that the military is the one who created the company, with the aim being to suppress information! Not only that, don’t the company also supply the text books for schools?”
“Oh…yeah, the company does write all the text books. From history, up to math…”
“Yes, that! It seems that they are feeding us a false history! Isn’t that just simply crazy?” Amy played with her long hair, “Oh, and it also says that China, Britain, Italy and many other ‘countries’ that we thought existed but were destroyed by the outside never existed from the very beginning!”
“…What? Isn’t that crazy talk? Don’t we have all the documents necessary to prove their existence? Hell, isn’t this restaurant proof enough that ‘Italy’ existed before?”
“That’s what this theory tells you! It’s all fake! Lies, creating by the company! It’s so crazy, you end up finding it hilarious, right?” Amy then chuckled lightly. As if she truly find the whole theory to be amusing.
“Yup, all crazy talk. With that much proof already being there, how can it all be faked? Even without that much proof, the wall is enough evidence to tell you that the outside is dangerous.”
Otherwise, why would someone build something so sturdy; so huge?
“What truly intrigues me though, is why they’re doing it. Why, they’re brainwashing people into thinking that the outside is dangerous.” Amy laughed again.
“It’s all lies anyways. Why try to think deep into it?” I laughed alongside her. After that, we both went silent.
I then noticed Amy shooting a glance at Azure.
“Are Azure and Jack relatives?”
She asked, interrupted Jack and Azure’s private conversation.
“Nope~ Just friends.” Jack answered, “Why are you wondering?”
“The two of you seemed so close, despite both of your ages.” Amy answered innocently, “Unlike with this pedophile,”
And she was just laughing alongside me too! Did she fake it? Did she fake her interest in me?!
“You two seemed to be joking around, laughing and doing everything without reservation.”
“Oh, I see.” I nodded, “However, these two are the abnormal ones. They just met earlier, and yet hit it off like they were buddies for years.”
Azure rubbed his nose a little, “I won’t steal him from you, Mister. I’m leaving today anyways.”
Amy blinked a little, and then let out a slight frown. “Ehh~ And here I thought I’ll be making two more friends…Still, can we exchange cell phone numbers?”
As she said that, she took out her cell phone and then pointed it at Jack. “Here, please exchange~”
Jack smiled and then shock his head. “I’m sorry, but I’m already married. I kind of promised my little pumpkin to not really develop any relations with other girls, even if its to the extent of friendship…”
Amy looked extremely disappointed as she hung her head.
“Sorry~” Apologized Jack again.
Finally, with difficulty, she nodded. “It’s alright. I can understand that…” She then turned to look at Azure, “Would you please become my friend?” She asked.
Azure also shook his head in denial. “I don’t really have a phone. It doesn’t work outside those walls, anyway.”
He doesn’t have a phone? But didn’t he take one out earlier and exchange his contact information with Jack?
…I don’t understand. This pretty lady wants to be friends with these two guys, and yet they both refused her.
She took a quick glance at me, and then lowered her phone back to her white skirt’s pockets.
Huh? Why? Why didn’t she ask about my phone number?!
God dammit! Am I really that unpopular? Is there a stamp on my forehead that makes people avoid me?! No friends, no lovers and no parents! That’s my life at the moment!!
I want to go home. I really want to go home right now, and cry on my pillow.
N-no, I don’t care anyways. I bet if she gave me her number, it’ll be out her sympathy. Yup. I don’t need a number that I won’t use, ever. More so if it belonged to a girl!
“Sigh… So anyways, Amy.” I tried my best to sound as calm as possible. Yup, I wasn’t hurt by her behavior.
“Are you new here? I haven’t seen you before…”
When she heard me, she looked surprised. “How did you know? Are you perhaps a regular? Wow! You sure have a lot of money to waste, coming to eat at this place regularly!”
“I’m still your customer you know! You aren’t supposed to try and shame your customers for being regulars!!”
…And why the hell do you look so shocked?! As if a revelation was just bestowed upon you!?!?!
“That’s right! Thanks for always!! Ugh, I won’t get fired, will I? I just got hired yesterday…”
And here I praised her for being a waitress to the heart earlier…
“Ding, ding, ding~”
A soft bell was rang.
“Oh? It seems that your food is ready~ I’ll go bring over and bring the pizza, mister regular~”
And with that she stood up.
As soon as she disappeared into the crowds of tables, Azure asked us something–no, asked Jack something.
“This is something to celebrate about. I haven’t really met someone so similar to me before, so I can’t help but think this is fate…So, I’ll be breaking my rule for the first and last time. I’ll be granting two people happiness.”
“I said this before, but I don’t really think giving people happiness is possible. However, I do believe that people can make other people happy, something you clearly don’t mean to do.”
Somehow, they are continuing their conversation from earlier in the elevator. This time around, I really must perk my ears…I need to listen to all of this. I’m curious, after all.
“Haha! Well said, well said! Truly, we are similar…Otherwise, you wouldn’t have understood me this much with such little contact with each other. Hehe, and because of that…”
Is Azure really a child?! The way he speaks is totally like that of a sixty years old philosopher… And I never saw Jack acting this smart before!
Suddenly, police sirens echoed from the outside. Taking a look at the window that is a few ways away, I noticed that out of nowhere, three police cars have stopped in front of the restaurant. But judging from the distant sirens…I can guess that more are in the way. I’m getting worried.
“Weird… did something happ–” And then it hit me, “That piece of shit reported me, didn’t she?! She reported me as a pedophile!!!”
Oh god, I’m going to get arrested for something I didn’t do…Huh? Why did they even appear? Didn’t we convince her to close the call…? Can it be that they sensed something was wrong, and thus traced the call here?!
“Haha, they aren’t here for a pedophile~” Azure laughed, “Otherwise, why would they send so many people?”
“Huh? Does that mean, that they aren’t here for me? Phew…”
I’m relieved. It seems that I was so worried, I ended up standing. I returned back to my seat, and then curiously took a look at the window. As I was looking through the police cars, I seemed to have made eye contact with a bald officer. The bald officer had a grim expression as he looked back at me. The bald man then took out some sort of device, whispered something into it, and then got out of the car.
“Oh, I did say that they aren’t here for a pedophile…But that doesn’t mean you are safe, y’know? Since they are here for you, Mister~”
“H-huh? W-why would they be here for me…?”
Azure completely ignored me as I felt extremely torn apart. I’m a law abiding citizen, why would they want me?
“Now then, Mister Jack… To continue where we left off. Because I understand you, I’ll be taking my liberty–” He then kicked the table with super human strength, flipping it over Jack and barricading us three in the corner, “–And will make sure to grant your dear friend happiness!”
I completely ignored how gay that sounded, because right after he was done shouting, I heard the restaurant’s door violently open, followed by a “Bang!”
“You three, at the corner of the store, are under arrest for the murder of Charlie Knox! I have already fired a warning shot. The next time I press the trigger, it’ll be for a kill. Don’t force my hand!”
After that, terrified screams echoed throughout the restaurant as chaos took over it. However, I couldn’t process any of that.
Charlie Knox… Charlie Knox… God dammit, isn’t he the president of the company?! Who the hell is stupid enough to fucking kill him?! And why the fuck…Am I accused of doing it?!??!!
“Now then, it’s time to get to work…” Whispered Azure.
“Work, what work?! Can’t you see that we’re about to be killed?! We need to walk out right now, and hand ourselves in!”
“Hehe, don’t worry, I’ll get us out of here~”
God dammit, how can you be so carefree, brat?! You should be screaming ‘Mommy’ right now! Look at Jack, he’s scared stiff! He is…eh, smiling? Why the hell is Jack smiling?!
“So exciting…I always wanted to be an outlaw! Hahaha, and what’s better, we’re both outlaws!!”
Don’t point at me! This…I’m surrounded by crazy people!!
“Now then, please don’t move…” Whispered Azure to the two of us, “And if possible, stay silent?”
After saying that, Azure slowly started to rise.
“H-hey, where are you going!?”
Azure flashed a smile, “I’m off to play a game!”