It was a summer day in August where the concrete of the road reflected the heat of the dazzling sunlight. It was a busy day in Tokyo, where the mass amount of people constantly walked with hasty steps and disappeared into and appeared from buildings.
On a such day in a such place, this girl, who was almost sixteen, had to sacrifice herself to survive. As her mother could not affort to send her to high school, this was the unbearable nightmare when the normal girls of her age enjoyed shopping and summer vacations.
Her job had to be simple, for the work that kids without education could do were limited in this advanced country, but she was against committing any crimes.
What she had to do was to distribute the packets of the pocket-sized Kleenex, whose covers were the printed ads of the notorious loan shark company, to those walking people.
Who to blame was her father who had disappeared five years ago, leaving the crazy amount of debt. Who to protect was her mother who was currently hospitalized due to her chronic heart disease, incapable of working. Poverty was the pronoun of hers and her fate was cruel.
For hours and hours, she kept on distributing the packets to all of the people she could reach to. Her fake smile brutally hid her exhaustion and the sunburn made her skin uglier. Some received the packets and some did not. It was the job with no thank-you. The sweat running on her skin inside the pink tank top and her wet long hair gradually absorbed her energy. Those people were so unfriendly and her fate was indeed cruel.
As the sun rose over her head, her exhaustion reached its peak. The world was demanding too much of her. She could not stand this.
She crept away from the central road to the dark alleyway and started to wipe her body with the Kleenex. The more she wasted the tissue papers, the more she thought and worried of her sickened mother. But, the more she used the tissue papers, the more she could be free. Her mind was filled with the happy moments from the past when her fate was still gentle.
The Disney Land she went with her parents on her 8th birthday, the delicious miso soup her mother used to always make for her breakfast, the piano contest she participated every year till she turned 10, the boy from junior high school who once said he liked her. The memories came and went like a cool sea breeze.
When she finished the last packet of the tissue papers, she took a deepest breath and silently collapsed to the ground.
- “Tissue-pack marketing is a type of guerrilla marketing that is a phenomenon in Japan. Companies use small, portable tissue packages to move advertising copy directly into consumers’ hands.” by Wikipedia
© 2015 Miki Martinez