I am Masato Keita, 29 years old, currently working as a professional novelist.
Favorite things: writing novels, reading books and cats.
Things that I hate: human beings.
Yes, that's right, there is a person who really hates other humans, especially having any type of physical contact with them. I prefer the company of books and animals instead.
It might not help you understand this odd personality of mine, but I'll tell you a little bit about myself.
As I was growing up, I had a pretty normal family. My parents were kind and lively and my little sister always stuck close to me like a sticky rice cake.
Probably because of the warm and healthy environment I grew up in, when I was young, I used to have a very cheerful disposition and I had lots of friends. I enjoyed sports and being active more than studying. So far, it's a pretty common story, isn't it?
Then, when I was in my second year of middle school, I got into a car accident and my life changed. After almost a year of being in a coma the doctors had almost given up hope on my recovery. However, I suddenly opened my eyes and discovered that I had gained a very strange ability. Whenever I would touch someone, I could hear that person's thoughts.
It might sound miraculous and amazing to anyone else, but for me this was nothing short of a curse. Because as soon as I knew what people around me were really thinking, I became disillusioned with the world. So many people fake their feelings, posing as something they are not, greedily trying to feign honesty. It disgusted me.
Therefore, I began withdrawing more and more into my own world. Family, friends… I isolated myself from everyone. I surrounded myself with books and, thus, I discovered the pleasure of reading. Soon, I wanted to create something myself and wrote my first short story. I was happy like that. The quietude and peace of mind that being alone gave me was undoubtedly a source of happiness for me.
It had been difficult to make people understand my reticence and antisocial behavior, especially the publishing company I began working with. But, luckily, they agreed to let me do it in my own way and accommodated me as much as possible. I would work at home, sending the drafts online, and whenever something needed reviewing or discussed personally, they would have an editor come to my house for a short meeting. A life with just books and my cat, Fukuharu... that was bliss.
Everything had been going smoothly, until... Until ‘he’ came along and smashed my perfect life into smithereens.
The ‘he’ I am talking about is of course my new editor, Kurosawa Rintarou, 28 years old and with a personality as that of a middle schooler. Whenever he comes over, he is always smiling and grinning like an idiot, or talking about something or other like we're best friends. Honestly, I can't seem to understand this person at all! How can he be so noisy and hyped all the time?! Doesn't he ever get tired?
He makes me so vexed that I often find myself imagining things like smashing a flower pot over his head, or tying him up and sending him to the south pole to freeze to death. Indeed, I am thankful for this thing called imagination. This way I can kill or hurt him however much I want in my head and get away with it.
But, to my frustration, my cat seems to tolerate him pretty well. Considering how it seemed to dislike humans (apart from me, of course!) as much as I do, you can imagine how astonished I was when I saw it so accepting of this big buffoon. The reason for this acceptance, though?
The first time Kurosawa-san came to see me he had brought cat snacks. Apparently, the people at the company told him I own a cat and he came prepared. Yes, that's right! My usually stubborn, aloof and antisocial cat had been won over with such a bribe! Well, I guess the survival instinct is something natural, whether we are humans or animals, but still... Have some pride you shameful cat, will you! It's not like I've been starving you. Well, anyway, there is nothing I can do about it now.
It's already been a month since we started working together, but I still remember that day when it all began as clearly as if it were yesterday.
I had been writing the entire night and that morning I was tired and in dire need of sleep. Just as I was about to meet the God of Sleep, my stupid phone began to ring like an alarm from hell. I groped around and finally managed to pick up the call, ready to yell my lungs out at the person who dared to disturb me at such an important time. But, before I got a chance to blow my top off, the person on the other side of the phone chirped loudly in my ears.
"Keita-chan! Keita-chan! How are you? I hope I am not disturbing you."
"Kota-san, if you're hoping for that, perhaps you shouldn't have called at 6 in the morning when you knew I had a deadline and had to work through the night." I grumbled, rubbing my eyes vigorously.
This obnoxious person, who has a bad habit of calling people too early in the morning, is Kota Subaru. He is the Chief Editor at Suzumori Publishing, and also someone who I call a friend... Barely. We were in the same major at college and, though he is two years my senior, he's the only person who stuck close to me even after we graduated. Mainly, he is the one considering me his friend. I only reluctantly allowed it.
Knowing that there was no way to get rid of this pest so easily, I sat up and got ready to talk business.