Hiroshi, 23

Hiroshi, a young AI specialist, stumbles upon an enigmatic smartphone, catapulting him into a world of art, deception, and self-discovery beyond his ordinary life.

4 min read

The untold secret:

In the hustle and bustle of the bullet train from Tokyo to Nagoya, a young man named Hiroshi stumbled upon an unexpected intrigue that was about to alter the course of his days and nights. A native of a suburb in Nagoya, Hiroshi had moved to Tokyo to establish his career in artificial intelligence, seeking to unravel the complexities of machine learning in the bustling tech industry of the capital.

It was on a routine visit to his grandparents in Nagoya that Hiroshi discovered a seemingly ordinary object that was about to become extraordinary - an unlocked smartphone left on a vacant seat of the bullet train. It was sleek and foreign, its interface in English and its contents revealing a life lived oceans away. The owner, he discerned, was a British citizen, yet more about him remained shrouded in mystery.

The train whirred along, the landscape outside a blur of greens and greys, mirroring Hiroshi's confusion. He was contemplating handing over the phone to the train staff when it buzzed with a new message. A nameless guilt gnawed at his conscience, yet curiosity, like a voracious beast, clawed at his resolve. He surrendered to the temptation and opened the message.

The message was enigmatic, intriguing, a half-written sonnet to a story Hiroshi was desperate to complete. It was from someone who identified themselves as a curator, expressing interest in the British citizen's work and requesting a follow-up conversation. Hiroshi found himself entangled in a web of intrigue, and before he knew it, he was typing a response, an impersonation that started on a whim, yet quickly spiralled into a daily habit.

Days turned into nights, nights into days, and the train journey back to Tokyo seemed to last a lifetime. His conversations with the curator grew deeper, more philosophical, gradually steering towards a realm of art and expression Hiroshi had never dabbled in. He was now not just an imposter but a participant in a dialogue that seemed to transcend ordinary boundaries.

Hiroshi found himself drawn into an abstract world of art, even though he was just a tech enthusiast. He began to fabricate things about the British artist, filling the blanks with his creativity. The guilt of snooping and deception weighed heavy on him, yet the anticipation of the curator's responses and the strange joy he found in their interaction kept him going.

What started as a simple act of curiosity had now snowballed into an elaborate charade. Hiroshi, in his pursuit of understanding the unknown British citizen, had unknowingly embarked on a journey of self-discovery and artistic exploration, all through the screen of a forgotten phone on a bullet train.

About Hiroshi:

Raised among the neat rows of houses in a suburb of Nagoya, Hiroshi was the product of a traditional Japanese upbringing, his values steeped in respect and discipline. His parents, both academics, nurtured a love for learning in him, setting him on a path that led to a fruitful career in the world of artificial intelligence. Yet, within Hiroshi's meticulously crafted life, there was a dormant spark of curiosity, a yearning for the extraordinary that was only awakened on a regular train ride to visit his grandparents.

In the days following his discovery of the mysterious smartphone, Hiroshi found himself drawn into an unexpected web of art and philosophy. As the text based conversation with the curator went on, he turned his nights, usually spent decoding complex machine learning algorithms, into a feverish quest of researching art history, theory, and the nuanced layers of contemporary expression. It was a world he was a stranger to, yet he found himself drawn to its abstract allure, making his impersonation of the British artist ever more convincing.

But one day, as the curator's messages ceased, Hiroshi's world jolted. The silence was a chilling void, filling him with uncertainty and anxiety. Had he betrayed his cover, or worse, had something happened to the curator? His heart pounded with every alert, his eyes straining to find the familiar number. When a new message finally appeared, its sender was not the curator but someone from the UK. The blood drained from Hiroshi's face as he read the message. The artist, the rightful owner of the phone, had been watching the entire time from afar.

His world spun. Hiroshi was no longer an observer but a subject, a piece in the artist's grand scheme of human curiosity and identity. The very thought sent a shiver down his spine. The artist had known all along, had left the phone intentionally as part of a social and artistic experiment. Hiroshi felt like a puppet whose strings were yanked without warning. The fear of exposure was too much; he removed the SIM card and disposed of it, his heart throbbing with a blend of relief, disappointment and shame.

However, his rendezvous with art was far from over. The intense research he had done for his convincing messages to the curator had ignited a passion for contemporary art. He began frequenting art exhibitions in Tokyo, immersing himself in the vibrant palette of the city's art scene. It was on one such outing that Hiroshi found himself standing in front of a work by the very artist whose identity he had temporarily borrowed. It was an eerie deja vu, his past coming back to haunt him in the most unexpected of moments.

The art piece was a detailed account of their conversation, his deceit laid bare for the world to see, though his identity remained hidden under the label "The Unknown Passenger". His heart pounded as he looked at the piece, a strange mix of relief and melancholy washing over him. He had managed to retain his anonymity, yet his clandestine journey had become a spectacle for public consumption, an investigation into human curiosity.

Hiroshi's life had taken an unexpected turn that day on the bullet train. From a tech enthusiast to an inadvertent participant in a grand artistic experiment, he had journeyed through the labyrinth of his own fears, curiosities, and desires. He had been exposed and yet remained hidden, his identity intact but his perspective forever altered. In the end, he was not just Hiroshi, the AI specialist, but Hiroshi, the Unknown Passenger, a silent protagonist in a tale of intrigue and discovery, forever etched on the canvas of contemporary art.

Hiroshi, 23