She said nothing, showing only a secretive smile. For a moment, I thought it would be nice if she were to tell me that she came to see me. Oh well, as if something like that would happen in real life.

Survey. What computer do you have?

Boy – IntelCore 2 Duo T2750, 2000MHz, 15.4 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels, 120 GB, 10/100 Mbps. And Razer DeathAdder mouse.

Girl – a grey one


‘I didn’t bring an umbrella,’ Rhea said, watching the pouring rain.

‘Neither did I,’ I said. ‘Why don’t you continue to play? We can’t go anywhere, anyway. Unless you’re planning to make a dash through the rain. It’s kind of romantic, you know.’

She laughed. ‘I’ll pass. I don’t want to get sick.’

I thought she was going to return to her station, but she stayed at the counter with me. Everyone else had already left, leaving only us.

The rainy atmosphere probably played a part, but I thought she looked really lovely that day. From her permed hair, loosely tied with a brown rubber band, to the nape of her neck, down to her tiny shoulders. Her oversized sweatshirt hung loose, revealing her collarbones.

‘Josh, do you like to play games?’ she suddenly asked. ‘Is that why you work here?’

‘I guess I do,’ I said. ‘But working in a game centre hardly gives me any chance to play games. Most of the time, I’m behind the counter, collecting money and issuing receipts.’

‘I see.’

‘How about you?’


I nodded. ‘Why do you play games?’

‘I’m just curious.’

‘But why always station number seven?’

‘I want to beat the top score.’

‘Someone you know?’

She nodded.

‘A boy?’

‘Smart one, aren’t you?’

I felt a throb in my chest. I probably shouldn’t have asked, but I had. Then I even dared asking, ‘So what happened to the boy?’