The Rumors About Me - Chapter 1 - page 2

The news ended. I nodded decisively, then declared resolutely.
"It´s an illusion. Yes. An illusion."
I murmured on.
"I guess there really are illusion as clear as this one."
"Ha ha ha ha ha!" I laughed. The sound of my low laughter echoed in the four-and-a-half tatami-mat room.
I tried imagining what would happen if the story really had been broadcast. If Akiko Mikawa had seen it, or if the guys at the office had seen it, what on earth would they think? I burst out laughing again at the thought, and it just wouldn't stop.
"Ah-hahah! Hahahahahahaha! Hee,hee! Hahahahahahaha!"
Even after I'd burrowed into my futon, I still couldn't stop laughing for some time.

The next morning I was on the human interest page of the newspaper.


"At approximately 4:40 p.m. on the 18th, Mr. Tsutomu Morishita(28), employee of Kasuyama Electric Industry Ltd. of Sanko-machi, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, was turned down after asking Miss Akiko Mikawa(23), a typist at the same company, to have tea with him after work. Miss Mikawa said she had to return home early. When he asked Miss Mikawa in the hall, Mr.Morishita was wearing a red necktie with green polka dots purchased the previous day at a Shinjuku supermarket.
"Mr. Morishita had no choice but to return to his lodgings in Kichijoji's Higashi-machi, where he prepared dinner and ate by himself. After dinner, he is believed to have gone straight to bed as usual. It was the fourth time in a row that Miss Mikawa had turned Mr. Morishita's invitation down."
There was a mug shot of me. It was the same one I'd seen on television the night before. There was no picture of Akiko Mikawa. Apparently I was the main subject of the story.
I read the article over four or five times while I drank some milk. Then I ripped it into shreds and dumped it in the wastebasket.
"It's a plot," I muttered. It's somebody's plot. Damn! Going to all this trouble!"