Yuuto Shimizu had just turned eighteen, not more than a week before his entire life was turned upside down.
Because his parents (his mother) had decided to kick him out of the only place he had ever called home.
“You can’t stay here any longer. You need to pack a bag and leave,”
“What about the rest of my stuff?” asked Yuuto.
“You can put it in some boxes and we can send them to you when you find a place to stay.”
He had been told he was cut off from all family relations. It wasn’t a major surprise to him.
Okay, maybe it was, just a bit. In the last few years, he hadn’t been getting along with his three younger sisters and mother so he should have seen it coming.
The cause of the conflict?
His three sisters, two of the twins and the third who was the youngest, were always treated like princesses. They were never grounded or even scolded when they did something wrong.
The worst punishment they had ever gotten was a light smack on the hand and told not to do it again.
Whenever Yuuto had said or done anything the sisters thought was wrong they would go to their mother and tell her all about it. So the multiple groundings had just turned into a permanent grounding over the last few years.
Yuuto was currently sitting at one of the large wooden tables at the local library looking through the classified ads for any job that he could take.
It had only been two days since he had become homeless and the little bit of money he had would only be enough to last him a month at the most.
His current job prospects were not looking good. All the interviews and phone calls ended the same way. He was not qualified or suited for the job.
Yuuto sighed and looked out the library’s ornate glass windows.
The orange-tinted sky was growing darker, it was getting late and the library would soon be closed.
He skimmed over the contents of the classifieds one last time, checking for anything he could apply for quickly. He noticed an ad for a telephone salesman with no prior experience needed.
“Telephone Salesman, no prior experience needed. I finally found something I can do,” Yuuto Muttered quietly to himself.
He stood up and walked over to one of the phone’s mounted on the walls. It was free to use the phone as long as you were using it to apply for a job.
No one picked up the phone on the other end.
“Please leave your message and contact information after the beep. I will get back to you as soon as I can,” said the recorded voice of an older male.
Yuuto quickly left his name and how to contact him before hanging up the phone and leaving the library and started to walk to the homeless shelter that was currently staying at.
The days were getting warmer and longer as spring arrived. With the warmer weather, the shelters became less crowded as many of the homeless only stayed during the cold months.
When Yuuto arrived at the shelter he checked in at the office and signed in and to let them know he was back before the set curfew. If he was late or did not sign in he could not stay the night when the doors were closed.
After signing in, he headed to the cafeteria which had just opened up and started serving dinner.
“Thanks for the food,” said Yuuto after receiving his dinner on a tan tray.
When he was finished eating he dropped the tray off into the dirty dish bin and took a shower.
He spent the rest of the night reading a book on his bunk bed until it was time for lights out.
“Is there anyone by the name of a Mr. Shimizu here? A message is waiting for you at the front desk,” asked the female library aid.
Yuuto walked to the front desk and retrieved the message, quickly reading it.[It is requested that you call x**-x**-6969 before noon to interview for the telephone salesman job.]
Yuuto rushed over to the library phones and dialed the number.
After two rings, a rough male voice answered the phone.
“Who is it? What do you want?”
“Hello, my name is Yuuto Shimizu. I called the other day about the telephone salesman’s job. I am calling you to do the interview.”
“This is an easy job, so it’s not too hard to get hired. Just answer these questions. Are you eighteen? Do you have a drug or an alcohol problem? Any prior experience as a salesman? If you lie to any of the questions in this interview you will not be hired,” the rough voice said in an agitated tone.
“Yes, I am eighteen, I have no experience in any job so this would be my first. I have no drug, drinking, or smoking problems.”
“How soon can you start?”
“Then you’re hired. Our office is in Tokyo. I’ll fax a map to you with directions starting from the Shinjuku train station.”
“Thank you very much. You won’t be disappointed.”
“I have a feeling you are right, I expect to see you tomorrow at 8 am. Have a safe trip.”
Yuuto had arrived at Shinjuku station on the last bullet train of the day and now stood in the empty lobby of a capsule hotel.
His meager savings had been reduced greatly after buying the ticket on such short notice but it was worth it now that he had a job. There was still enough money to last until he received his first paycheck.
Yuuto walked up to the empty desk and read the sign that had been erected.[Ring bell for service.]
“One moment please,” came a voice from under the desk.
A short man climbed up from behind the counter and fixed his uniform. “How many I help you, sir?”
“I would like to rent a room please.”
“The price will be 4000 yen a night. Cash or credit?” asked the man.
“Cash,” said Yuuto handing over the money.
“The bathrooms and capsules for males are on the right. You’ll be staying at capsule 69, here is the key for your footlocker where you can keep your bag.”
An ordinary key was handed over to him. It had the number of his capsule and the footlocker on a metal tag.
Yuuto spent a restless night tossing and turning in the capsule unable to get a good night’s sleep.
“Where was that road again,” muttered Yuuto as he looked at the map for the hundredth time.
“Ah this is it!” said Yuuto as he walked down a side street and stopped in front of a shabby two-story concrete office building that looked quite old.
He walked up to the door, reached out his hand, and knocked loudly.
“Who is it?” asked a muffled voice from behind the door.
“It is Yuuto Shimizu, I was offered a job and given this address,” shouted Yuuto.
“Alright, you don’t need to shout! I can hear just fine. Just a second and I’ll open the door for you.”
The sound of multiple types of locks being unlocked could be heard before the door opened revealing a middle-aged man who stood to the side of the hallway thoroughly inspecting Yuuto.
“My name is not important, you can just call me Boss. Hurry up and get inside, we haven’t got all day you know,” said the agitated man waving at Yuuto with a folder that was in his hands.
Yuuto quickly stepped into the hallway before having the door slammed behind him.
Yuuto followed the man into a room two doors down on the right side of the dimly lit hallway.
The room was empty except for an old phone, a wooden desk that could have been two times older than him, and an equally old and uncomfortable metal chair.
“This is where you will be working. That is after you sign these papers,” said Boss as he tossed the folder in his hand onto the desk.
“Where are the other employees?” asked Yuuto.
“They are moving their stuff from the old offices and will be here in the afternoon.”
Yuuto sat down at the desk and pulled the papers over to him. He took a few minutes to quickly read through each of them.
“Where do you want me to sign?” asked Yuuto.
Boss took two newspapers out of another folder and stabbed a grubby finger at several lines on each of the pages.
Yuuto quickly signed each page and checked to see if he had missed anything.
The signed papers were picked up by Boss and placed into the folder.
“Wait here,” said Boss before he limped out the room slamming the door behind him.
‘What am I supposed to do now?’ thought Yuuto.
Several minutes passed by as Yuuto stared at the bare wall.
The door was flung open and Boss limped back into the room carrying two large binders. He walked over to the desk and slammed the smaller binder into Yuuto’s chest and tossed the larger one onto the desk.
“This has all the items and information on everything we sell. Read and remember the first ten pages. It has all the greetings and answers to the most common questions,” said Boss pointing at the small binder.
Then he pointed to the large binder on the desk, “That has all the numbers of the people you are to call. Lunch starts at noon and lasts until 1 p.m. Here is the key to the building so you can let yourself in always keep the door locked.”
Yuuto was handed a card as well, “I made you this as well, it’s a special company credit card. You can only use it for your work and food expenses. I expect you to work diligently and not slack off. Now get to work.”
With that, Boss left the room just as quickly and loud as he had entered.
Yuuto opened the small binder and quickly read through the first 10 pages.
‘It seems simple enough,’ thought Yuuto.
He picked up the larger binder and looked at all the numbers. There were 100 or more numbers on one page.
”Well I better get started,” said Yuuto as he picked up the phone and dialed the first number.
It was 11:50 am when he started to get several phone calls each of them asking for a Mr. Yuuto. Yuuto ignored them and continued calling the phone numbers in the binder.
One of the callers would not stop calling so after hanging up the tenth time, he finally decided to answer it so they would stop calling him.
“Hello may I ask who it is calling?” asked Yuuto.
“Is this the “Quagmire” sales company?” asked a stiff male voice, ignoring Yuuto’s question.
Yuuto looked at the company’s name that was printed on the Binder.
“Yes, that is correct. How…” he was cut off before he could continue.
“You tell the owner, Yuuto Shimizu, that I want the money he owes me now! I have been waiting a long time for it and it better be paid!” the man shouted into the phone.
“Sir, you’re mistaken. I am Yuuto Shimizu. I just started working at this company today. I’m not the owner of the company but an employee. I haven’t bought or borrowed anything from you or your company whoever you maybe.”
“I just had documents delivered to me by courier. These documents state that the business was sold and handed over to a person named Yuuto Shimizu.
The papers have your signature on them. If you don’t believe me, I can come over to your business and show you the paperwork. I’ll give you a week to pay off the debt. It would be wise of you to not try and avoid paying the debt. Or else.”
The call ended with those words.
Yuuto put the phone down and ran out of the room into the hallway and began opening doors searching for Boss.
Every room was empty.
Some even had a large layer of dust covering the carpet. The building was empty.