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40 seconds.

Love , have you ever wondered what is love? Do you believe in this feeling? Otto always thought there is no love, as such. He thought love is just a mutual understanding between people, trusting the person you supposedly love. So what distinguishes love from friendship? But there is a difference - love you feel for 40 seconds , since the first sight of a person and the first word he said, and true love should always be at first sight. Then it will be just a friendship. Love is just a moment which existence reaches into eternity. The same thing happened to Otto , first at the bus stop , and then in the hospital. He didn't know what happened to him then, but he’s thought of nothing except Mirai.

Two days down, Otto has being discharged. His father came to take him. Even the father was in a good mood for the first time and he didn't say anything wrong to Otto. On the contrary, he praised him, but: "For what ?" Otto thought, but he didn't mind, he really enjoyed.

It was a nice day out. The sun was shining so that it seemed all the rays fell upon each and every person, everyone just shone. The fallen leaves were similar to gold coins , they glitter so that I wanted to put them into my pockets. Otto got in father’s car and they went home.

For the first time in his life Otto was glad to get home. Everything seemed to be so new, it feels like someone switched all the things and did some spring cleaning in his absence. When Otto came home, he went to get his phone at first, took out a piece of paper which Mirai gave him and started calling her. The horn , one more, and one more, then went the beeps , someone hung the phone up. The second attempt and the same thing. On the third time is all the same. It put Otto sharply in a bad mood "Didn't she just cheered me up with this in the hospital? Was all of this a joke?". Otto went into the shower. As soon as he turned the water on , the phone rings. He had not picked up the phone. He thought it was a friend of his dad offered again to sit at the bar for the night. Maikeru took a call.

- Hello , Otto ?

- No.

- Please call Otto.

- Who's asking?

- It’s Mirai.

And suddenly Otto’s father was pierced by an arrow of hatred. He dislikes Mirai after meeting her in the hospital , and he definitely did not want his son to walk with her.

- Otto is not home.( he whispered )

- How is it possible? Someone called me from this number.

- You have the wrong number , goodbye.

Meanwhile, Otto has already rinsed off, went out into the corridor and asked:

- Dad, who was that?

- Wrong number.

- Okay.

He went to his room , turned on the music, squint his eyes and dozed off.

The sunny day passed and the rainy evening came. The weather was gloomy. Everything around seemed as much scary as it could be possible to imagine. As it often happens when you sleep the day and the magic rays of sunshine, that you should get to be happy, away. After all, when you wake up at the night, you're really mad. The eyes turn automatically black, and the brain absolutely refuses to work.

Otto just woke up. He slept all day long and woke up in bewildered frustration . He was lying and minding what to do for the rest of the time. He has quickly made a decision, he went to telephone Mirai.

- Hello.

- Hello , who is it?

- Don't you know me?

- No, who is it?

- It’s Otto ( he said annoying)

- Hey Otto! How are you?

- Oh, I just woke up. And what do you do? I called you earlier this day, but you didn't answer.

- I was at the meeting .

- Okay.

- Otto, do you want to go out?

- Is it a date? ( said Otto with a grin )

- Ha-ha , well, let it be a date. At 23.00 at the bus stop where we first met.

- Okay. (said Otto and immediately hung the phone up)

Happiness… it's so good when you're happy - you do not care about anything, nothing bother you, you seem to be mad . This is one of the most wonderful feelings that a person can experience , but unfortunately, happiness comes very rarely and mostly out of turn. It looks like the wind , you can’t control it, he decides when and where to blow,. It is certainly possible to create an artificial wind, but still it is not him, you feel the replacement. The same with happiness. If you try to convince yourself you're happy , you’ll never make it, it will be a fake.

Now imagine what is happiness for a teenager who hates everything and everyone, for that person who has just begun living , and he learns he has cancer. Everything is hopeless for such a person , until he feels this, and only the day when he feels happiness , he can live, and not wasted life.

When Otto was in the hospital , he already felt that he will find out some bad news, but the most important at this time , who will report you this: the man you know and respect , or a stranger , or a friend you’d better not to know. A solid foundation that man has established for his lifetime can easily collapse because of such a little detail and it will drag him to terrible and senseless things. Otto was lucky to learn his sentence from his Father. He was just preparing himself to this. He guessed that he learns the latest bad news from his father, because relationship with him was not family , not friendly, and it was similar to classmates , table partners: basically you don't know him , you communicate only on the lessons, but he’s the one who tells you all the rumors and mockings of you. Friends? No. Friends are basically argue because of such little things, "why should friends argue?". But if a neighbor says this to you, you do not hold a grudge, because in school you are still communicate with him, but on the street you will hardly say each other "Hello". It was terrible news for Otto. Everyone gets in kind of such mood that you want to get rope , but when you take it , this mood immediately passes , because everyone wants to live , even if in thought he was ready to commit suicide. If he’s in his mind , then it will not work, because there is still an instinct apart from thoughts. And the instinct to survive takes over only in the moment when it is not needed, and when you know the time comes and the instinct starts to work all the time and only a few people do not lose their mind.

Chapter 5.

Now or never.

There was a fog with a strong wind in the courtyard . It was clearly going to rain. Mirai stood and waited for Otto. He was late, it made her angry, because she is very punctual.

- Otto , where are you? How long do I have to wait for you? She muttered to herself, then she took the phone and began to press the buttons, it feels like she wanted to squeeze them, but in fact, she called Otto.

Beeps... Beeps... Beeps....

Mirai gets angry. She tries to call him again and again, and after some time she finally got it - Otto got on the phone.

- Where are you , how long do I have to wait?

- As long as you want to see me - said Otto.

- If you don't come in five minutes , I will absolutely not happy to see you , and especially to wait.

Otto began to laugh.

Mirai got angry more and more , in consequence of which she hang up. Then, abruptly, someone slapped her on the shoulder , sharply but very gently , like the kitten suddenly held on her back by the tail. She was scared and pleased at the same time. She turned round and completely froze. Mirai thought it was Otto the second as someone touched her, but when she turned around, saw a strange woman who stood and smiled at her. Mirai was at loss, it happens when you are focusing on one event but everything happens differently. It is especially unexpected if you imagine everything just for a second , then the brain has no time to imagine other options and it takes only the first one.

This woman was dressed in a cheap black dress , but beneath the cheap dress was visible an expensive shirt and she has a strange hat on her head. She was in her 40s. Her hair, being visible beneath her hat, flow in the wind in different directions, and her eyes that looked at Mirai were white and glittered even in the evening.

- Hello - said Mirai quietly and hesitantly

- Hi, Mirai.

It took her breath away. "How does she know my name? Who is she?". Mirai loudly exclaimed in consequence :

- Who are you?

- It is not so important, there’s no time. I came to tell you two things that will decide your fate : 1. Do not miss the chance. 2. Don't go to sleep tonight. The young woman said calmly.

- Who are you? Why are you telling me what to do? What do you mean do not miss the chance? What are you saying?

Otto was running at breakneck pace to Mirai at that time, because of his father he was late for 40 minutes . Murakami made Otto to sort out the stuff in the garage , because there was a mess, and he could not resist his father. The woman saw Otto and said Mirai:

- Please , in the name of the family, do it.

Then she got in the car , which seemingly came out of nowhere , and left.

What is it? Is it a miracle? Is it a wonder that the woman appeared and where did she come from? Who is she? And why at the moment when she brought up Otto appeared, who was late so that it seemed he will not come? No, because in our world there are no miracles. There are only inevitability, accident, and your actions. But sometimes your actions, facing the inevitability, overlap with an accident and all of a sudden realize your dream. We build our own destiny due to our actions, but for the better way or for worth it depends on the person, on each person individually .

Mirai was totally shocked with all this happening. She was like a squeezed lemon , the same weak and useless. Otto went up to her and said:

- Sorry I’m late, I really didn't want to. I had to help my dad for work.

- It’s nothing, never mind.

- What happened?

- And did you not see her?

- Who? What are you talking about? What's wrong with you?

- No, nothing, I'm sorry I feel bad, I have to go home.

Mirai starts to go slowly and shaky, but she can't, she feels like her legs were in chains, she was on her last legs. Until she fell. Otto ran up to her and lifted her up , and affirmatively said:

- I'll walk you.

Mirai has not even relied , just leaned on Otto and they walked slowly. The weather was getting worse. It started drizzling. The mist had gone , the wind finished blowing, only the rain left. It seemed it was abandoned, friends dump him, because fog covered the view of the sky on the clouds , and when he has gone and clouds were open , the wind also started to go and had not capture the clouds. Therefore the sky was crying , and it is clear once it was thinking about the incident, then began to cry even more.

Otto and Mirai almost approached the house. Mirai was talking about a woman all the roads, and Otto looked at her like she was insane. They came to the door, Otto opened it, put Mirai on the bed and said:

- We've come. Lie down and relax. I will go home.

Mirai got up and started screaming:

- No, wait. Don't go , stay with me.

Otto asked:

-What's wrong with you? I just don't recognize you. 

Mirai looked at Otto , gave him a hug and started crying and through the tears she said:

- Please don't go , stay with me a little longer.

Otto almost cried looking at her. She was scared and too thrilled and he said:

- Okay, I'll call my father and tell him I’m sleeping at your place.

He went to call and Mirai meanwhile replayed the incident a thousand times over in her head . She was looking for at least some sort of clue , but nothing could come up. In the interim Otto called home , but no one answered, and then he remembered that father went to rest with his friends. And if he went to rest he won’t be at home till the noon the next day. With a satisfied face he walked towards her, probably the dearest person for him. He sat down, put his hand on her head and started questioning about what happened. Mirai had already calmed down and began properly take it in.

- What happened , will you tell me?

- Next time. (She said stooding up from the bed) .

Mirai went to the kitchen , she had to refresh herself. She opened a bottle of whiskey, poured two glasses and came to Otto.

- To you. (She said quietly.)

- Why, is it a holiday today?

- If I want to drink it must be a holiday? The holidays were invented by alcoholics , to have an excuse at home in front of their wives, here is a direct definition of this word.

Otto started laughing, took the glass and said:

- There’s no reason to drink to me. Let’s have it to us. (He said sarcastically.) 

Mirai silently agreed. They raised their glasses and drained them dry. What is the most unexpected that they just as quietly drained the whole bottle, then the second one, but they could not done the third. Otto was so drunk , he hardly controlled himself not to blurt out some nonsense.

- Mirai, may I have a smoke? – he barely said

- Yes of course. Please go out to the balcony.

He stood silently and went to the balcony well straggering , Mirai followed him.

-Otto. – said Mirai pitifully.


- Can I ask you a very bad question ? -Yes , of course. – boldly said Otto , without realizing it.

- How is it, to know when you die?- Almost crying uttered Mirai.

- To be fair, I don't care. As for me life and death is the same thing. After death man does nothing and appreciate nothing and in life - the same. It would be hurtful to die. If this world had at least one thing I could hold of. The only thing that bothers me is that I’ be able to see only two falls, two winters, two springs and two summers and after that I will see nothing more. It really tears me up. I got used to the rest.

Mirai hugged Otto and started crying. Then she raised her head , looked into his eyes , which were also watering and kissed him. In his eyes she saw all the eyes that had once met in her life. They were not of this world, that's for sure.

It was the happiest moment for Otto. He hugged her , and said:

- Actually, I'm really scared. I'm afraid that if I let you go, I'll never be able to hug again.

Mirai looked in his eyes and saw a spark of truth. He told her with all his heart and then kissed. They were kissing all night long. They found each other , they felt each other, at first glance, at first word, and after touching they realized that the world took the colors, everything is not so bad as it seems but rather.

6.00 Otto woke up to go home quickly until father came. Mirai was deep asleep. He didn't wake her up, just left the house. Otto went home with an incredible smile. He forgot all the troubles, all the problems. It seemed to him that everything has already been decided, everything was settled in the blink of an eye.

Can we call it a miracle? Or rather call it a sadness. After all, when you have a lot of problems you simply forget about them - it is not very good, because they will continue to grow, and became countless. You will not be able to remember all problems and will always be sad. And when you're happy you perceive sad things differently. At first you are not so sad , but it is during this euphoria. But once it passes , you get a double whammy , and this experience is much harder. So why do we need a good mood? To be happy , and then bitterly pay for all this? It turns out it’s better live simply, without joy, without happiness , that troubles spared you? It's good to be an idiot, for them happiness and problems is the same thing. And what about others? They can't just forget, they will have to endure for the whole conscious life.

Without happiness , life would be not so colorful. It would be a black and white background, although black and white photographs are beautiful, but it's only photos. You won’t see the happy faces on them, everybody are serious, from the environment to humans.

So it turns out that real life brings only sorrow and only grief? Our life is dark, it is the album where the photos are black and white and only when on certain pages skips a color photo it means the intervals of pleasure, joy. And though they are small , but together they constitute our life , no one loves to show off the "black tone". And, unfortunately, it works another way. You have to pay for the pleasure and what to pay , it depends on its quantity of the euphoria that you got.

Otto came home. Father was not home. He went into the room, changed clothes and went to the kitchen. There was no food, only bread and a small stick of sausage. Otto made a sandwich and came out to the hall, sat down on the sofa and started watching TV. The phone has rung , he answered:

- Hello.

- Hello. Is Otto at home now? It’s the headmaster. I'd rather talk to him about his achievement.

Otto froze. The headmaster? Why does he call?

- Sorry but Otto Died. (he said)


- No I'm not kidding, my son died..

- I’m sorry to bother you and I'm sorry for your loss.

- Thank you, already accepted.

Otto hung up the phone and began to laugh loudly. He laughed like a crazy. It feels like he was an evil genius who came up with another plan to take over the world.

"What's wrong with me? I still have 3 years, but I consider myself to be dead. Am I really crazy? No, I need to control myself. I should go to bed. Yes, I need some sleep. I didn’t sleep enough.”