As time passes by, it’s increasingly obvious that Saeko does not age that one day, even my own children’s ages might overtake her. Of course, my children aren’t even in primary school yet. They’re too young to tell what they had inherited from either me or my husband, but they sure appear healthy. I don’t know why my uncle insists on checking on my children just after they were born and conduct more-than-necessary tests. I was allowed to be around when it’s going on, but he didn’t tell me what the extra tests were for. Well, he is in the medical science field and could gather information for one of his many (weird) projects that I don’t know what is the purpose or the benefits behind it.
Anyways, back when they promoted me and was posted to a different branch, I didn’t know what my new job position meant and believed that it was the same as the last. However, when I went there, I couldn’t find my name on any of the desks they said my working area is. Of course, this was when I was just fired from the previous company back in 2011 for reasons unknown to me.
Me: “Excuse me, I am new here and just posted here from headquarters.”
Staff A: “And what’s your name?”
Me: “Miyazawa Kotomi. I’ve been working at headquarters with the director since 2004.”
She searched through the database.
Staff A: “I’m sorry, but your name isn’t here. Let me call the HR department at headquarters.”
My name is not in there? Is that some kind of a way to fire workers by removing their names when transferring to elsewhere?
Staff A (on the phone): “Hi, I would like to enquire about Miyazawa Kotomi who claims to have transferred from your place.”
There was an awkward silence. I can’t hear what the person on the other side is saying, but she suddenly laughed with a smile.
Staff A (on the phone): “Oh I see. Thanks.”
She hung up the phone and looked at me with a smile. What’s going on?
Staff A: “You’re the Hisakawa Kotomi who’s taking over our recently-retired boss, right? He was getting fairly old and is having health problems that he couldn’t do things as quickly as he would like to.”
Me: “Hisakawa Kotomi? Me? Well, Kotomi is my name, but Hisakawa is my boyfriend’s family name… Oh wait…”
I am married to the person in question and even bore a child with him. I slapped my face for not knowing such basic things. First, it was my own birthrate, and now it’s my own name. Why can I remember the difficult things, but not the easy ones? What’s next? Where I live? I don’t even get how my own brain works.
Me: “I forgot that I’m married to someone with that family name. It’s been a habit to use my birth family name.”
Staff A: “Anyways Hisakawa-san, let me show you to your office.”
The lady brought me to my new office, walking past some messy desks (Most tried not to look at me.) before we reached a door that has my (married) name and that job title that is unknown to me.
Staff A: “Not much people here have seen much of the previous bosses, so when they see or receive orders from them, they gave everyone stress with tight deadlines or difficult projects. Many people feared him or the bosses before him, so don’t be surprised if they try to avoid you too.”
Me: “Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind.”
She unlocked the door and gave me the keys to that room. What I saw inside made my jaw drop. Not only does it has the atmosphere of entering an important person’s room, it very much look like that of my uncle’s office. There was a thick stack of business cards with my name on the desk, and portrait photos of the previous supervisors from the very first for this branch. Noticed that all of them are men.
Me: “Are you sure this is my office? I would like to have a word with your supervisor. This doesn’t seem right to me.”
Staff A: “Erm, you are our supervisor. If you haven’t figured out what your job title means.”
Wait…what? Who me? Even though I’ve been with the company for about a decade, this news was shocking to me.
If that was not shocking enough, it just so happens that my husband was at the HR department when he overheard the call about my situation that was on the speakerphone there. He told me about it when I came back. Saeko, who was holding my child in her arms at that time, laughed too.
Speaking of Saeko, she’s actually able to take over my role to take care of the household chores and taking care of my children to the point that I don’t need to bother or worry at all, but not to the point that they don’t recognize or are close with me as their mother. Since Saeko has their dad’s “warmth”, they think that she’s the third parent. How am I going to explain at what age about her? She can’t age or die even if she wanted to (she’s supposed to be the same age as me, and had even jumped off the roof of a tall skyscraper with nothing but hard concrete to cushion her fall), Itsuki’s actual soul is in her (since 2006), her body is like the real version of the androids you see in movies. You would think she’s just a normal high school girl until you notice something odd in various ways, if you paid close attention for long enough. She’s also the company’s primary test subject since she herself doesn’t care what people do to her anymore since she’s fed up with her immortality she never asked for. Some odd things they did was to feed her with expired food with chemicals added on top of it and study her reaction to it. As for how she’s legally recognized, I’ve no idea: security checks for illegal immigrants and contraband items when entering most countries had made it more complicated. Oh wait, she has this ability discovered back in 2007 where could teleport or freeze time, but I’ve never seen her using it. It’s something that, to others (myself included), had passed by in a fraction of a second. I’ve heard of people talking to each other when they suddenly found themselves in different clothing in a position completely different a second earlier. I saw it happening in front of my eyes.
Since I have started working in my current job position mentioned earlier some time ago, the workers there has opened up to me more. Somehow, they manage to do things on time or early without me prompting them. My monthly salary is a lot more than my husband’s but it’s small compared to Saeko’s, on top of income from another research institute she somehow formed. It feels strange to manage people and there’s always this “I’ve entered the boss’s room”, along with a hint of fear, each time I enter my own office. There’s now a portrait picture of a woman (me) among the sea of men hung on the wall. I don’t feel easy sitting in here doing nothing in this large room, waiting for the unlikelihood for a call or someone knocking on the door. Looking through the drawers at my desk, I found several templates and contact cards for golfing and travel agencies. Were the bosses before me that bad? Going off during office hours, not helping around, and yet order them around like dogs? It’s no wonder I was asked to lead this group and them being scared of me at first.
However, all of that was just my background info before before I experienced one of the biggest things in my life others won’t go through since my high school days.
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