Do you know why the Kintetsu Railway doesn’t go on strike?

I was waiting for experiment data for my graduation thesis when A came over to talk to me. “Do you know why the Kintetsu Railway doesn’t go on strike?”

According to him, there was once an accident on the tunnel connecting Nara to Osaka that was so big it threatened to send the company bankrupt. The workers all got together to weather the storm, and even today they still refuse to strike if things go bad.

“These days the train passes through a new tunnel, so it’s different to that one.”

The old tunnel was no longer in use, A said, so anyone was able to go there now. “You wanna go now?” I said nonchalantly, and four of us (excluding A, who had to stay behind for the experiment) decided to go.

You can’t reach the entrance of the tunnel directly by car, so we parked at a nearby park and walked the rest of the way. Oh, and even though the four of us loved scary stories, none of us had any ability to see ghosts.

“The mountains are kinda scary at night, huh?” I muttered as we cautiously approached the tunnel. Sadly, the front was fenced off, so it seemed like we’d be unable to go inside. If we tried hard enough, we could probably get in, but there was a fresh bouquet of flowers sitting at the entrance, so none of us particularly felt like forcing the issue. Feeling down, we began our walk back to the car.

We returned in the silence of the dark, the only thing we could hear being that of our own footsteps on the gravel below. Somewhere along the way, however, I noticed one more sound further behind us. I could hear it clearly, and it was getting closer.

‘Oh no, it’s right behind me,’ I thought, and without thinking I started running, leaving my friends behind… but they all started running at the same time. We all ran at full speed until we reached the car. Everyone was frantic.

After we safely reached the car, I asked everyone if they heard the same thing as me, and they said they did. When we got back to the university, A was grinning. “Did you see him?” Apparently one of A’s high school classmates went to the tunnel and was hospitalised. He could have told us that sooner. Thankfully, we were all morons with no supernatural sensibilities whatsoever so it all ended well. Thank god for being thick-headed, haha.

15 years later.

Last year I bought my own house and every morning I take the new tunnel to work. When you pass through a tunnel on the train, the outside goes dark, but the inside is bright, so you can see things reflected in the window glass, right? You’re probably already aware of that. Well, whenever I look up at the window, our eyes meet.

Every morning.

It’s the same person.

If I turn around he’s not there.

I can’t see him unless it’s in the window reflection.

Thinking about it, he probably came back with me that time. That time we went out to the tunnel.

 

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