New story idea that has been swimming in my head for awhile! I really should update my other stories first... but oh well! Here goes!
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. And I have no idea if Odaiba Supermart really exists. If it does, I don't own it either.
(Stupid website won't let me put the chapter title in full…)
Chapter One: Tonight, Tonight, Under That Bright Neon Light
For two years, the plot of land was nothing but a giant, flat field of grass, where children sometimes played soccer and families held picnics during weekends. It was near the neighbourhood district of Odaiba and fairly close to the train station. It was beautiful. It would also only be a matter of time before sharp-minded businessmen turned it into something else.
Now, the big grass field no longer exists. The kids missed the carefree days of old soccer games and nonsensical chatter while lying sprawled on the grass. Mothers missed watching their children run around and squeal in the midst of a hearty picnic while their husbands chased after them. Others missed it for the view it provided, for the fact that it was the one thing that stood out from the many modern buildings in the district. But mostly, people saw the replacement as ideal.
The replacement didn't come as a surprise. It was a large supermart – the largest, in fact, in the entire city. Enormous and imposing, it was a square white building with darkened windows, the words Odaiba Supermart inscribed in navy blue block letters on the front. Two storeys tall and absolutely gigantic, it sold all sorts of things – from the usual stuff you see in supermarkets to the interesting, even exotic ones – things that couldn't be found in normal supermarts. Special, imported junk food from an unheard of nation; out-of-the-world, vintage earrings sold at absurdly low prices, cheese-flavoured ice-cream... you name it, they had it. One could live inside the mart and live comfortably for months – after all, they sold mattresses too.
It was open twenty-four hours. Perfect for late-night shoppers, for hungry young couples out for a stroll, perfect for lonely homeless people with nowhere else to seek shelter. Odaiba Supermart was only five months old, but it had already become a central part of the people there.
For them, it was more than just an ordinary supermart.
For her, it was the promise of the start of a new life. A fresh dropout from college, it was where she would be starting her new job as a cashier. She was going to be working the night shift on weekdays. It would be fun, she told herself, for she was always ever the optimist.
For the innocent young couple, it was their special weekly hangout. Friday was the one day they could stay out late and usually, they went to the supermart. There were many like them there, secretly envied by others not in their position; young, naive and lively, they were easily satisfied and little things made their day. In the supermart, they could spend hours - pointing out things that were far too expensive and things that were far too cheap, giggling and squirming at the raw meat section and buying wacky-flavoured chocolate at the tidbits section.
For him, it was where he could get away from it all. It was his source of freedom. When life got too pressurizing and you needed a breather, what better place to escape to but a large building with all the space you need, and all the time in the world for you to hang out at? He lived in the next town, which was quite a distance away, but frequented it quite often all the same.
For him, it was a mark of his recently-gained independence. Raised in a strict, traditional family, it was only recently that he was allowed out late on his own. Where else to begin your nightly endeavours but at the district's famous supermart?
For him and him, it was a good place for the recently-together couple to hang out. Faced from all sides with the pressure of traditional values and family objection, it was the best place to escape and just be themselves – plus, the supermart sold their favourite beer at the cheapest price. Besides, it was also the perfect chance to spy on their younger siblings, who coincidentally loved to frequent the supermart as well.
For him, it was the best place to study. The cosy little cafe tucked away in a corner was always quiet and vacant. They also sold yummy cinnamon buns. You may be wondering this - who would study on a Friday night? Well, Medical school was a tough place to be - especially if you got in through hardwork and not smarts, and his roommate annoyed him to no end. Life for him was a constant stream of memorized facts and scientific images.
For her and him, two bickering best friends, these trips were a little tradition of theirs. They bought weekly midnight treats for each other, taking turns to do so. On odd weeks, he treated her to whatever she wanted. On even weeks, she treated him to the same thing – chocolate-covered jelly beans, a quessential favourite of his. That week was the odd week, and she already knew that she wanted nothing more than a large, juicy peach.
For him, it was the place he stopped by every Friday, when his job ended late and he stopped by for a quick nightly buy... his Friday nights were never much. He told himself he didn't feel lonely.
For her, Friday night was grocery night. It may sound like a weird time for grocery shopping, but she was a busy girl, a star sports player, and she couldn't afford to buy her necessities any other day. On Friday nights the mart was strangely emptier. All the better for her – she was a patient soul but sometimes, you just get tired of aspiring young players who recognized you. Everybody needed their 'me' time.
And lastly, for him, the one who had been rejected far too often, been lonely far too long, been misunderstood practically since birth – this was probably the most important day of his life. Screw the scholarship offers, the countless trophies in his cabinet, the crumpled picture of his family he kept in his wallet and looked at when his mother cried that he never seemed to care. This was the final act. This was the chance to prove himself. This was the time to show to them, to the whole world, that he had never been what they thought he was.
He walked toward the building and as the automatic doors opened, he felt, for the first time, doubt building up in his mind. Was he really going to do this? There would be no turning back if he went on. Was this what he really wanted?
And then the laughing young couple strolled past him into the supermart, arms wrapped around each other, lost in their own little world. He whispered something in her ear, and she laughed girlishly, the sound of her laughter like the tinkling of bells in the breeze. They looked so happy.
Why can't I be like that?
And then the thought he had had for so many years popped effortlessly into his mind.
Because you're different, that's why.
Resolve thickened and decision made in the swiftness of those few seconds, he straightened and followed the couple in. His fingers brushed the object in his large pocket, an object that brought fear to people's hearts at first sight. It hadn't been easy, getting it. Pushing his glasses up his sweaty nosebridge, he paused briefly for one last time, listening to the melodious tune playing in the mart. It sounded like the reptitive tune of a musical box - light, cheerful and empty.
He was ready.
This is the kind of story that should only be posted once you have a concrete idea for the entire thing... but I'm the impatient sort. Ah well. I've never written for this kind of (darker) genre before, so please tell me what you think! And if you have any ideas on how you think the plot should unravel, I'd be happy to hear them! I've got a faint idea myself but things still need to be finalized.
And finally... can you guess who is who? Yes, there're thirteen people. But yes, they're all characters from the show! I hope I've managed to bring in some mystery! Now click on the review button and gimme some love! :D