She was in and out of Kiro’s place frequently. The two of them met up daily to indulge in shared hobbies and spend time together. They did things like exercise, or during work, shooting shows; but their main go-to activities were gaming and frequenting the same haunted house. She thought nothing of it, not when their activities got repetitive, nor when they stopped doing much of anything else. She didn’t think at all about how odd it might seem that they showed up nearly daily to challenge the same haunted house. Nor did she consider that the game they played (hard mode, every time) never changed. These were their hobbies, the things between them unchanging and unflinching. She trusted in them the way she trusted Kiro.
“What’s wrong?” Kiro asked. It was a day like any other, and the words she replied were automatic.
“Are you going to the set?” She said. He looked over and smiled indulgently.
“Savin gave me a day off today. Is there any place that Miss Chips wants to go?” The atmosphere of the room was cordial, easy, and familiar to the two of them. She couldn’t recall a day in the past several weeks they hadn’t had this exact conversation.
“The day off? Again? Are you sure you shouldn’t be going to do some kind of work? Or maybe script reading or recording or writing music?” She wasn’t entirely sure where the desperation of today came from, but suddenly she was worried about Kiro’s career. She’d have to think more about it later.
She grabbed his hand while pushing her questions at him, hoping to convey her worry and desperation. Instead, however, he smiled again and pulled her hand closer. He leaned in and whispered, “What’s wrong? You know, this index finger has expressed my wish to wear a ring with you!” Her dread only intensified. Pulling back she chuckled and apologized for her sudden panic. She needed a distraction. She sunk back into familiarity and decided to invite him to their usual bumper car game, “Hard mode, of course!”
Any hope she had that the day after would go back to normal was dashed as they entered their usual script. “What’s wrong?” Kiro asked. Fear flashed through her, and she suddenly felt that everything she knew was phony, fake, and not real.
“Are you going to the set?” she said. She hadn’t meant to say that! She wanted to confess her anxieties, she wanted him to comfort her and show her there was no reason for her to be afraid.
“Savin gave me the day off today. Is there any place that Miss Chips wants to go?” She didn’t know why she had become cognizant of the problem in front of her, but she wished she could go back to normal. She wished could stop seeing every inconsistency within their absolute consistency. She wanted to yell, to break out of the chains she now knew were placed upon her, but she could not. She found that although she could ask questions out of their normal, Kiro would always, without fail, reply from a similar set of responses.
“The movie we talked about last week is on! Let’s go see it when you have time.”
“Miss Chips, did you watch the new anime episode updated yesterday?”
“Ha ha, come one, Miss Chips! It’s so ticklish!”
It seemed that nothing she could do would ever make a difference. Suddenly their routine was boring. It was no less sweet, it didn’t change her longing to spend time with him, but now she wanted variety. Their world, between the two of them, was empty and made of repetition.
She no longer knew if there was anything between them. Was this the culmination of their feelings? Were they this empty? She no longer had a grasp on her reality. But she did know one thing.
She still trusted Kiro. She would trust him with her life until her life was snuffed out and she was no more.
“Savin gave me a day off today. Is there any place that Miss Chips wants to go?”