Evening. The streets of Kabukicho in Shinjuku were full of people. The alleyways leading to Shinjuku Station's eastern entrance were noisy; from the bars came the sounds of different types of music mixed with charming, feminine voices. Along the roadside, a young salaryman was patting the back of a drunken woman who was stooped over and vomiting. He looked somewhat fed up, but seemed slightly reluctant to leave her.
It was not like no one was watching. A taxicab driver was looking at the two, his expression saying he was tired of seeing the same sight for the hundredth time.
A middle-aged woman with hair dyed red bent over next to the man. "Hey mister, you got a light?"
"Eh? Sure." Not caring who it was, just happy that someone interrupted him, the man looked somewhat relieved as he held out his lighter.
"Light it for me, will you," said the woman.
The man showed no anger at the obnoxious request. He flipped open the 100-yen lighter and lit the woman's cigarette. Blowing out a puff of smoke, she looked into his face.
"You're a pretty nice guy. Why not ditch this girl and come with me?" The redhead threw a hostile glance at the woman next to him, who had not finished throwing up. Tobacco fell from her fingers.
"I can hear the call!" The redhead suddenly stood up, her eyes glittering with ecstasy. Seemingly following her lead, the young man stood as well.
"Tatsuya, where are you going?" Wiping the vomit off of her lips, the young woman, still crouched over, looked up at the man.
Her boyfriend seemed to have completely forgotten about her. He started walking away alongside the red-haired prostitute.
"What's wrong with you, you jerk!? I'm never going out with you again!" Her blouse still open and her chest exposed, the woman staggered to her feet.
Soon her eyes too stared into emptiness.
To the west.
People silently started walking.