A Simple Survey:Volume2 Attraction07
Attraction 07: Memory Game
In my opinion, no one truly has nothing.
However, what they have may not be useful in society or help them earn money. It was naïve to think one would be praised for mastering something no matter what it was.
If you could name every single train station, would that help you in a job?
If you had memorized the phone numbers of dozens of acquaintances, would that give you a topic to start a conversation with a girl?
“This attraction will test your memory.”
That was why I was so surprised when the bunny girl said that.
It would finally be useful.
I was sitting in a chair within a small room. A large monitor stood before me. The bunny girl used a hand to fiddle with the star-shaped earring in her right ear while using the other hand to operate a remote control.
“Okay, watch this footage. But you only have 5 seconds!”
The footage was a white screen with animal silhouettes scattered around it.
The silhouettes’ colors were divided between the types of animals.
My eyes followed the animals as they moved around the screen like a cheap screensaver and the 5 seconds soon came to an end.
But that was fine.
I remembered it.
“Two red giraffes, three blue rabbits, two yellow crows, seven green dolphins, and one purple camel.”
“Wow,” said the bunny girl in mock surprise. “Okay, time for the question.”
“Hurry it up.”
“Give your answer over there!!”
I did not have time to be confused.
The chair suddenly rotated 180 degrees. At some point, the wall of the small room had opened up revealing a long straight passageway. It was about 50 meters long. An obvious large button like the ones from quiz games could be seen at the end.
While the passageway was straight, several barriers of metal bars were set up along the way. They had doors on them, but I doubted they would open if I pushed or pulled on them.
Those doors all had large plates to the side.
“If you answer some simple quiz questions, the doors will open. Do your best to answer them all and then press the button at the end. Then we can begin the memory game!”
I frantically stood up and ran down the passageway. I could tell there were five barriers of metal bars in total. I reached the first one.
The large plate next to it said the following:
“Question 1. Please calculate (32 + 45) x 19 / 3 x 0 x (99 - 11) in your head.”
This has nothing to do with the red giraffes or blue rabbits!!
I started sweating when I saw that completely unrelated question. As I followed the formula with my eyes, I felt like the previous information was slipping out of my head. Calling those scattered numbers into my mind was mixing up the numbers of the different types of animals.
I knew it was a trap, but I could not reach the real memory game without answering this.
I quickly read through the question and tried to think through each number one at a time, but then I noticed something.
“Dammit!! The answer is zero!!”
I entered that single digit into a calculator like device.
An overly complex and gimmicky mechanism loudly unlocked the door. Every action took longer than necessary and I could only assume it was meant to wear away at my memory.
I had four barriers left.
I ran to the next question.
“Question 2. A dog runs at 30 kph, a cat runs at 40 kph, a horse runs at 100 kph, and a hyena runs at 80 kph. After 45 minutes, how much distance will there be between the animal in 2nd place and the animal in 3rd place?”
Now it’s animals and numbers!!
I gritted my teeth at this question that was nothing short of intentionally cruel.
If I did not answer it quickly, I felt like I would forget the footage on the monitor, but losing myself in the question would also blur my memory.
But I had to do it.
I shuddered as I thought about what they would do to me if I failed this attraction.
I had been a child with no redeeming features.
That should have been enough.
But I suddenly gathered attention for having a better memory than most people. I enjoyed being praised by others, so I worked hard at it. When I was able to name all of the stops along a nearby railroad, a new look appeared in my parents’ eyes.
It seemed someone had suggested I appear on TV.
They were expecting something of me.
But I knew that my talent was nothing more than remembering the names of train stations. If something was expected of me in the public eye, their expectations would pile up higher and higher until the vaulting box was piled up too high for me to clear it. I would mess up. I knew I would. I was heading down the rails that led to destruction. But everyone around me expected so much from me. That became such a great force that I could not back out on my own.
And I failed in the end.
When I was lined up with prodigies such as a violinist with perfect pitch, it was obvious what would happen.
I was meat to be pecked at under the spotlight.
From the moment the camera began rolling, I understand what my true role was.
I was meant to round out the numbers.
I was a foil.
I was an unimportant character meant to make the hero look cool.
“Question 5!! The final barrier!!”
I used my finger to directly write on the touch panel and the door unlocked. I squeezed through the slowly opening door to get to the end of the passageway as quickly as possible.
I was sick and tired of being lifted up by others where I would inevitably fall.
After I did not live up to my parents’ expectations, they wanted nothing to do with me. It was not until much later that I learned the word “neglect”. At the time, I thought it was the natural response to what I had done. Thanks to that, I completely ignored my education and did not even graduate elementary school. I only had enough knowledge to barely manage addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
But I would live on.
I would manage on my own.
I would not simply rot away in a dark room forgotten by all. I would use what I had to find my way through this vast world. This was the first step toward that.
But I needed a “guarantee”.
Without the support of my family, I could not even rent an apartment without that. It seemed the bunny girl could help me with that. I did not know if they would give me a fake identity or use some other person, but if I cleared this attraction, they would provide me a convenient guarantor.
After slipping past all of the barriers, I slammed my palm against the large button on the back wall.
A ridiculous sounding electronic tone played.
“Okay then, it’s time for the memory game!!” said the bunny girl’s voice from a speaker on the wall.
I thought back to the footage I had been shown on the monitor.
Did I still remember it?
Would I be okay?
“…I can do this.”
I remembered it.
I remembered the types of animals.
I remembered their colors.
I remembered their numbers.
I could answer it all accurately. I would be fine. I could answer any question she asked. I could manage. I could overcome this. I would win this attraction, gain the “guarantee” I needed, and construct the foothold for my battle against this world.
“Time for the question,” said the bunny girl.
This question would literally influence my destiny.
“What shape was the earring in my ear? And was it in my right ear or my left ear?
I stopped breathing.
No animals, no types of animals, no colors, no numbers…
It has nothing to do with any of it?
The monitor itself had been a bluff. The bunny girl may have shown me the footage directly after saying this would be a memory game, but she had never said anything about the question being related to the footage.
“You have 10 seconds.”
Why was the bunny girl giving instructions through a speaker rather than appearing herself?
I understood why painfully well.
My face…no, my entire body became soaked with an unpleasant sweat and then a deadly announcement reached my ears.
“Now, give your answer!!”
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