Note: One of my pet peeves with many Japanese creepy pastas is that the author sometimes goes overboard with explaining the creepy part of the story. This is one of those stories. I’m going to translate the whole thing, but put the overkill behind a cut.
The ramen restaurant I worked at was in the middle of a certain city’s red light district. Many of the customers were prostitutes and other sex workers who were ordering before starting their work for the evening.
The restaurant was quite popular, and that was primarily because of the delivery service that was offered. There were several “dorms” for sex workers in the area (right next to the ramen shop itself was an apartment rented out for female prostitutes), and dozens of orders would be placed by the women alone every day.
Most of the orders were a simple order of ramen or gyoza. That isn’t very profitable so most restaurants would refuse those sorts of things, but our restaurant was more than happy to deliver even those simple requests.. This is why the place was so popular.
Including me, there were four of us who were working part time. We would be split into pairs and take turns every other day waiting on customers in the store or doing delivery runs. I was paired with Satoshi, but sometimes he would say some weird things.
When the two of us were on delivery duty, I would cover the northern half of the delivery area and he the southern. Apparently there was a strange customer that he would often delivery to.
That customer would always order the same thing—fried rice. Satoshi never heard her voice and never saw her face. The apartment she lived in was also a little weird in that the women that lived there were very rough around the edges; many seemed to have ties to the yakuza or were from South America.
Satoshi said that every day, he was to delivery the fried rice at 6 pm exactly. He was to leave it at the door and then return to the store without speaking with or seeing her.
Why? A guy who seemed to be in charge of the area—a yakuza member, needless to say—came to our shop and spoke to the master about having the food delivered. The master was already used to the more interesting customers and orders we got, so he didn’t ask any questions when the request was made. Regardless, questioning those sorts of things in that area was dangerous, and everybody knew the unspoken rules.
When Satoshi told us these things, the rest of us part timers began to make up stories about what must go on there.
“There must be a wanted criminal living there.”
“Or they’re hiding something nobody is allowed to see.”
Those sorts of things. Satoshi didn’t know her voice or face, but whenever he picked up the dishes the next day, something that looked like lipstick would be on the silverware. That’s why we assumed the person living there was a woman.
Other than Satoshi, none of us had ever been to the apartment so we weren’t too interested in it. Satoshi, though, was extremely curious about what was going on there.
He would often try to ask other customers that he knew well about the woman, but nobody would say a word about the strange customer. Even the master would tell him “You shouldn’t look into it too much. You might get hurt if you do.”
One day after we had finished work, Satoshi and I were heading home together when he started talking about the customer again.
“Um… I think I might try knocking on that customer’s door…” He wanted to think of a reason to speak to her, face to face, so that she would open the door and he could see her.
“That’s a good idea. Go ahead and do it!” I thought it sounded funny, so I went along with it.
I had a long break, three days, from work after that evening. When I returned to work, the boss looked concerned.
“Hey, you’re friends with Satoshi, right?”
“Did something happen to him?”
“He’s been missing since the day before yesterday.” I couldn’t hide my shock.
Satoshi went to work and did his job as if nothing was wrong. And, just like always, he went to deliver to that woman’s apartment. He came back to the shop after that delivery and waited on customers for a while, but at some point in the evening he disappeared.
The other workers thought that he might be in the bathroom, but he wasn’t there. His clothes were in his locker in the changing room, as was his bag. It was as if he just vanished.
“Did Satoshi tell you anything at all? Do you know anything about what happened, or if it seemed like he was having any problems?” the master asked me.
I most definitely was good friends with Satoshi, but he never gave me any sign that he might take off.
The master checked Satoshi’s apartment, but it didn’t seem like he had returned there either. He called Satoshi’s parents as well, and his parents put in a missing person’s report with the police.
Disappearing from work and leaving all of your belongings behind… That is definitely strange.
“I wonder if he got caught up in something dangerous…” the other workers and I mused.
But of course, I had my suspicions. He must have really knocked on her door. Did he see something he wasn’t supposed to?”
But I didn’t tell the master.
After Satoshi disappeared, I ended up taking charge of that apartment. Just like he described, the tenant would always order fried rice. Everyday, it was the same thing.
But, there was one difference.
Instead of ordering one plate of fried rice, she began ordering two.