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On the next day, I woke up in the morning, and checked the net just like the previous day. What came into my eyes was the information that the game I was currently playing wasn’t available until night due to server maintenance.
I couldn’t sleep all day, so I prepared to go out. It had been a long time to have flea market. Therefore, I was thinking that I should buy various things.
A week ago, my dish basket of draining tableware lost its balance because its holding pillar broken. Most of the tableware were broken when it fell down on the floor, so I had to buy new ones. I also needed to buy new clothes because the old ones had holes on it and I had to throw them away. It was also a good idea to buy a net-like tableware. Since I had spare time, it didn’t feel bad to have a walk.
I wore a jacket, and went to the outside entrance. It was the beginning of April, and it was still chilly. I tightened the button on my jacket since it was cold outside as the sky was cloudy.
Today was a weekday.
As I approached the city area from the residential area which was closed to a mountain, I saw many diligent people who were working soundly. It wasn’t a bad thing, but I couldn’t bear to stay here any longer.
The feeling of guilt didn’t swell up, and given that I got used to it for a long time, I didn’t even want to go back to the old times, but I felt like I was somewhat uncomfortable. I just wanted to go home soon.
I arrive at the flea market a bit after that. While walking along the sidewalk of a declining shopping district, I noticed a pair of a mother and a child were walking ahead.
If I was in a different path of my life, it wouldn’t be strange to have a child of this age. My heart was painful when I thought so.
If such a man was watching a child from behind, it might be suspicious. By taking the recent circumstances into account, not just the child, but the parent didn’t even show a happy face.
However, the pace of the mother and the child was very slow. It was probably better to overtake them. As I thought so, I moved my legs faster.
“Aah, it’s Otou-san!” (Child)
At the moment when I passed by the side, I heard a voice speaking so. When I briefly looked at the side, the girl released her mother’s hand, and was about to enter the road through the space between guardrails.
A big truck was approaching when I looked forward.
I got instinctive, so I followed along the road, and entered it. I reached out for the girl who was already on the road. The mother, I saw in the reflection of the girl’s eyes, opened her eyes wide and for some reason, she covered her mouth with both hands.
I wondered if that could stop her scream. More importantly, it was fine if I could save the girl.
I grabbed the girl’s swaying hood at that instant, and I pulled it with all my strength. My body was already in the middle of the lane. Swing my arm decisively, and I threw the girl to the shoulder of the road.
Did I die?
I was prepared for death and that made my body stiff.
But, an impact didn’t come. In exchange, a roaring sound a windstorm of the truck that barely avoided me passed through my ears. The terrified driver snapped, and the sound of horn reverberated.
Was I a man who narrowly escaped death by a hair’s breadth?
When I opened my eyes, there was a crying mother embracing a girl.
What was that?
I left the family after the husband and wife thanked me, but the agitation still didn’t cool down. Cold sweat showed up on my shivering hands, and I wasn’t able to enjoy shopping very much.
When I bought few tableware without having my mind in the place, I had no mood to buy the clothes.
‘Let’s buy some manga books to kill time until nighttime and go back home.’
While thinking so, I started walking toward a nearby bookstore. I used a back street that only known to local people.
On the way there, there was a railroad crossing for electric train. It was a narrow railroad crossing that only pedestrians and two wheeled vehicle could pass through, so there was no stop bar.
There was a boy over there. His legs were sandwiched between tracks.
It seemed that his shoes wouldn’t come off no matter how hard he struggled. This line was operated by a third sector railway company. The management was very bad, and they were known to be a poor company. They also used a very old car. It seemed that maintenance hadn’t been done on this small railroad crossing.
The boy noticed me. When he turned to me, our eyes interlocked. He wasn’t an acquaintance, but the word ‘help’ came through eye contact.
‘It can’t be helped.’
I put my luggage, and ran to the boy. Then, I saw his shoes. The shoes weren’t hook-and-loop type. It was a shoelace sneakers, but there was something like Dango with unknown purpose at his ankle. That Dango was the shoelace. It was tied like a half dry spaghetti, and it was a knotted knot.
‘What’s going on?’
How could it be such a knot?
Although it was hard, it seemed that it would be enough if I untied it normally.
“I will cut the shoelace.” (MC)
When I said that, the boy shook his head vigorously as if he was scared.
Anyhow, I didn’t bring a knife with me. Should I borrow scissor from a nearby private house? But, a train might come while I went to ask for it. I shouldn’t worry too much since there were few routes, but I ought to hurry.
I went back to get back my luggage, and from the plastic bag containing the tableware I bought earlier, I chose a cheap one and hit it on the ground. It made a good ‘Ka-ching’ sound.
When I unwrapped the paper, the bowl was broken without being used even once. It was wasteful. But, it couldn’t be helped. I held the biggest piece and returned to the boy.
Using the sharp side of the broken bow, I cut the shoelace from the top part. I finished cutting all of it, and the shoes became loosened.
“Hey, pull out your feet.” (MC)
The boy put his strength on his legs. However, he couldn’t take it out. At that time, I heard a sound that I didn’t want to hear. ‘Kan-kan-kan’… that was the sound of railroad crossing. It was a sound without the breaker sound.
A train was approaching. I remembered the unprecedented frustration that I felt earlier. The boy was crying.
This wasn’t a situation where I could ask whether he could pull the leg or not. In time like this, there was an emergency alarm device at the railway crossing. When I looked around while thinking whether the installation of that device was mandatory or not, there was actually a alarm device.
I pushed the alarm at once. The firm feeling of pressing down the button transmitted through my hand, but there was no alarm.
I pressed it for the second time, and third time, a sound like smoke going up also didn’t appeared. It also didn’t sound like ‘Kan-kan’.
‘…Is it the type that doesn’t make any sound?’
I returned to that boy. I didn’t know what was the mechanism to make it moved, but I couldn’t trust it. The best way was to separate the boy from the track.
“It may be hurt a bit, but bare it. Put your strength at the same time.” (MC)
I put my arms on both sides of the boy and pulled him purely using my spine. Even so, the boy’s feet didn’t move.
When I thought when the train would appear, my heart fluttered.
“Get on my back.” (MC)
I squatted down in front of the boy as I said that. The boy nervously entrusted his body on my back.
Grabbing the wrists of the boy who drooped in front of my chest, I mobilized every muscle, the spine, abdominal muscle, thigh muscle, and I pulled him out similar to judo throw.
As I spent everything I had while shouting, the resistance disappeared and I rolled forward. The whirring sound of the electrical train wheel reached my ears. It was getting closer.
I grabbed the boy’s arm as it was, and rolled sideways before getting up.
The moment I got out from the railroad track, the thundering sound spread.
*Zuooooo!* *Sound of train passing by*
The sound was heard right away.
‘That was close…’
As I expected, the mechanism didn’t work, huh?
What kind of day was today…
The boy collapsed beside me.
It seemed a harsh pain running through the ankle. He crouched while saying ‘ouch’. So, I called an ambulance.
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Haa, what a day…
I put the boy on an ambulance and explained the circumstances. When I realized this, I had no time to eat lunch, and the sun was about to set. I felt like I was about to be killed by the world.
I thought that I was going to die. This feeling happened twice in my life, and it happened twice in my thirty years of my life, but to feel it twice in one day wasn’t something ordinary. However, even with games, it was surprisingly common that an item with a drop rate of 1% fell twice in a row. It might be such a thing.
I decided to go home while pulling the plastic bag containing broken tableware. I was already hungry and I didn’t feel like doing anything.
I would be home soon. While thinking so, I passed by the bridge near my home. The river was illuminated by the setting sun, and it created a beautiful scenery. The cloudy weather cleared up before anyone noticed, and the scattered cloud was illuminated by orange color.
Was this a reward for saving the life of two children in one day? If that was the case, this really cheered me up.
The only compensation I received was the word of gratitude. My bowl wasn’t going to come back, and it didn’t develop like an eroge where I got acquainted with a beauty. This scenery was the reward. I decided to console my heart by thinking so.
Then, as I tried to make myself felt better while watching the beautiful scenery, I found a girl looking at the surface of the water from the railings when I was about to cross the middle part of the short bridge.
I closed my eyes and closed my ears. I felt like passing by. Today wasn’t my lucky day. Something bad was surely to happen.
Whether the girl, who looked lively, noticed it was the iron bar of the railings, she lifted her body with both arms, while looking at the scenery. It wasn’t an atmosphere of doing a suicide jump. It seemed that she was just doing stupid things.
When I looked closely under the bridge, the river flowed very fast. It might be because of melted snow, and somehow, it seemed to be a high tide.
‘No, no, she’s going to be okay.’
It was a needless worry. This could lead to a serious accident just because a child was doing dangerous things, but what should I do if it really happened?
There was this Heinrich’s Law. The other name for it was the close-call law. Behind one serious accident, there were 29 minor accidents and 300 close call cases
Conversely, if people conducted a dangerous act 330 times, 329 times out of the total would make them ended up either with minor injuries or avoiding the danger.
That one time out of 330 times would not happen here.
As I tried to pass by while thinking so, then, it happened.
The girl was enjoying herself while swaying, but the moment when the balance collapsed was just right. A large truck passed through the roadway, and the gust pushed by the truck blew me and the girl.
It wasn’t strong to make me stumble one or two steps, but my body was tilted a little. I turned to the side as I remembered the chilly feeling, and it should be a sight that end with a needless worry, but it turned into reality. The girl, who used to be there, wasn’t there anymore.
I was overcome with surprise as if I forgot how to act. I felt like sighing while thinking why did all these happening to me. However, this wasn’t a situation where I had spare time to sigh.
I immediately go to the railing and overlooked the river. Thereupon, the girl fell in the river as I expected. She was carried away by the flow that could be seen from the bridge. The girl seemed to panic and was about to drown.
‘Should I save her, or shouldn’t I?’
While asking myself that question, I took off my clothes.
With only underwear remained, I immediately jumped into the river. From the beginning, it didn’t matter whether I lived or not since I was a trash.
I fell into the river with an impact. Then, a terrible coldness struck the whole body. The river, that mixed the meltwater from the upstream, was too cold for people to immerse.
However, somehow or rather, I couldn’t stop swimming. This was the first time in four years to enter into the river and to swim. In my life, both pool and ocean were already something unreachable.
I kept swimming and I finally got to the girl. I grabbed her clothes, and headed to the bank while almost drowning. It was clear that my body was growing cold. That was because I didn’t eat lunch. Since I was living an unrepentant life, I was probably lacking of physical strength.
We arrived to the bank as we barely escaping alive. I somehow managed to bring the girl to the bank, but the physical strength need to crawl up was no longer there. I was swallowed by the river as it was and washed away.
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