現代怪談: Waiting For You

Waiting For You
A Modern Japanese *Kaidan

original story copyrighted by the author
translation copyrighted by M. L. Mills, 2010~


This happened many years ago, when there were a lot of those monochrome cell phones still in use. It seems that an odd email arrived in my friend's cell inbox with my name as the sender.
“I got lost on the way. Please help!”

No matter how many times she tried to send me a reply, it always returned with an error. She even tried calling me directly, yet had no better luck. A well-timed email arrived from me just around the time she started getting really worried, and with that, like the pins of a lock falling into place, both mail exchange and calls resumed normally. “Probably another one of those processing mixups or server overload like before...”
And that was that. Besides, if not an error, I figured it probably was a prank.

But then, several days later, my friend received another suspicious email.
“Why? Why won't you help me?”

Again, the sender line showed my address.
Just like before, too, neither mail nor calls would get through when she tried to reach me. Left with no other options for contact, my friend did finally reach me by way of another friend. Of course, I had no memory of sending that email. After that, on that very day I took the opportunity to change my mail address. The idea of some anonymous sender stealing my name to send emails really creeped me out. From that point on, the suspicious emails came to a halt.

But only for the time being, as it turned out.

Several months later, my friend received another suspicious email. And once again, from my address.
“I'll be waiting at the usual place.”

The mail contained only that one sentence. A considerable bit of time had passed since the previous weird events, and given that I had also changed my email address, she didn't give it a second thought. So this time, without bothering with a reply, she simply called. However, the meeting place that immediately and naturally came to mind with the words “the usual place” was sometimes known for having poor reception and lots of dropped connections. Apparently, my friend assumed I had gone ahead of her so she got in her car and headed off to the same place.

I haven't seen her since then.
On that very day, she died in a car accident. It happened as she was going to meet me.

I learned of that several days later when I received a call from her mother. Apparently, the final email she had received was from me. They discovered it when they were checking her cell phone found on the scene.

And in that last email sent from my address...
“Thank you. I've been waiting for you.”

But that wasn't the end of it.
About six months had past since that incident. I was dating someone regularly now. And one day, he received the exact same email my friend had.
“I got lost on the way. Please help!”

And just like in my friend's case, neither mail nor calls would reach me. Fortunately, my boyfriend's house was close to mine so he came directly over to see me. We decided that email was likely just a clever prank. Yet inside I was sharply reminded of what had happened before. I didn't like the idea of telling him about it and risk scaring him. Desperately, like a mantra or a prayer, I kept telling myself “It couldn't be. It couldn't be...”
But, after all, it could be.

“Why? Why won't you help me?”
Before I knew it, the next email had come.
I remember being terrified, feeling that there was no going back now. I told him that even if a similar email does come, absolutely do not come to meet me until you can get into direct contact with me.

But for him too, it came.
“I'll be waiting at the usual place.”

This time when he couldn't get a hold of me through email, nor would the phone connect, he tried to contact me through a friend. Unfortunately, in those early days, delays with mail delivery were not uncommon. Before the email from my friend had even reached me, my boyfriend had already set out to meet me. Upon finally receiving the email after a two hour delay, I called my boyfriend. When the call didn't connect I went directly to see him, but he wasn't at home. I spent a long sleepless night only to have the following day confirm my worst fears. He had been driving on a downward slope, and for some reason, without even once applying the brakes, had crashed right through the guardrail of that gentle curb. He was never coming to see me again.

Several days later, after everything had calmed down a bit, I asked his parents if his cell phone had been among his effects. It was. I asked to see it.

“Could you hurry?”
He must have received it on the way.

And then the last one...
“Thank you. I've been waiting for you.”

All were sent from my address. What caused it or what was behind it, I still do not know. What was worse, even after that, my friends continued to receive similarly suspicious emails. I was truly scared. I bought an entirely new cell phone. I completely changed my service provider. But even so, my friends who were listed in the address book of my previous cell continued to receive strange, suspicious mails.
Emails from an old cell that wasn't supposed to be in use anymore......
Should not even exist anymore....

I have since told all my friends to either ignore or refuse any emails coming from that old address.

Now I can only pray that this time, it ends here.


Original text story (Japanese only.)
Audio recording (Japanese only. Account with nicovideo required.)

Thanks for visiting! Stay tuned and happy listening. (^_-)-☆


*Kaidan: a traditional Japanese “ghost” story usually involving the unexplainable, a flexible concepts of time and space, strange meetings, love gone wrong, the supernatural… Curious and sometimes terrifying stories, but never centered on nor featuring either gore or sex.

Translator's Notes (and various laments): 
First, as always our thanks to NikoNiko for providing a place where these stories can be posted and shared, and to all the users that take the time to record and share. In particular, many thanks to uribou (https://twitter.com/uri_bou02 ) not only for yet another great selection this time, but for doing a fabulously professional job of recording. These translations wouldn't exist without your effort and interest in sharing them in the first place.

An easy, fun piece. More or less.
All in all, I have to say I spent the most time on taking the pictures (along with their various edits and arrangements) and trying to settle on a title, which I am still not entirely satisfied with and could change without a moments notice in the future. Although it should be noted that my Japanese title is the title that would be perfect. Just no good translation exists for it. Naturally.
Cell phones from Hell as a theme has already been done (and done well) which was then followed by another not-so-well-done Hollywood remake. And the idea of chain-mail anything bringing horrible death and misfortune was passe by the time I was in High School. But in the end, those weren't the true elements of horror in this story, those were just the mediums of it. The ultimate element of creepiness I felt laid in the unknown person(or persons), lost and waiting.
Or lying in wait?


All translations copyrighted and owned by myself. All copyrights of their respective owners. No part of this web site may be produced, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner.

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