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- My drab studio apartment.
- There was nobody inside. Nobody to say "Welcome home!" or ask "How was your day?". I unlocked the door and walked inside. Out of habit, I switched the TV on. Boisterous laughter erupted from the screen. It was probably some sort of variety show. Sound oozed from the TV behind me as I changed out of my uniform. I set my bag down in its usual place, began to prepare dinner, and drew myself a bath.
- Today: a fluffy omelette over rice, with a salad on the side.
- It was a perfect dinner for a high school guy. Once the bath had enough water in it, I shut off the tap and began eating. I kept the TV running to stave off loneliness. In the end, it only made me lonelier. I was used to that, though. I spent thirty minutes eating what I could've finished off in fifteen. I washed the dishes and took off my clothes. There were times after I'd started living here when I'd be caught up in some sort of conflict. Nonetheless, by comparison with the years of my life I had spent as a nomad, my current situation was utterly peaceful.
- I let my self soak from the waist down for quite a while before getting out. After I toweled myself off, I gathered up the clothes I had taken off. I sleep in my house-clothes, thus saving me the trouble of having another set of clothes ready. That's a good tidbit to keep in mind for when you want to reduce the amount of laundry you do. I sat down on my bed, wearing only my shorts. As I dried my hair, I watched the news. Apparently, the local minor league baseball team had lost the first ten games of the season.
- Thank goodness Mitsuki didn't care for baseball. If she had been a fan of one of the local teams, hell if I'd know what sorts of things she'd get angry about. Hard as it may be for a frequent relocator like me to understand, lots of people feel a strong attachment to the place where they were born and raised.
- Suddenly, Kuriyama's face popped into my head.
- "I don't really know. For as long as I can remember, I think I've been able to manipulate it, so---"
- To your average joe, that wouldn't seem like much of an explanation. I, however, was neither average nor a joe. What she said was right on point. I had nothing to say in reply. For as long as she could remember, she was able to manipulate it.... I suppose she saw that as a perfectly normal thing to do. Why wouldn't she?
- The same held true for me.
- I'd been immortal ever since I was born, and I had convinced myself that there was nothing unusual about that. Think about it. Even the greatest of mavericks is normal if he has nobody to compare himself to. It was only later that I met a lot of people who were _truly_ normal, and was forced to accept that it was _I_ who was atypical. It was a sudden realization. One day, my world collapsed around me, leaving me with nothing to believe in. I still haven't forgotten the anguish I felt then.
- I stopped drying my hair for a moment. "What to do; what to do," I said to myself.
- Kuriyama Mirai... she wasn't _just_ a girl who looked good in glasses. I'd known that all along. When we met on the roof that day, I could see it in her eyes - she really did want to kill me.
- "You treated me normally even after you saw my xenomachics, so yes."
- She seemed so alone as she said that to me. That was reason enough for me to want to protect her.
- I wouldn't want Kuriyama to just up and disappear one day. Plus, with Mitsuki keeping me at a distance, it's probably a matter of time before my relationship with her goes sour. I ought to do something. But... would that count as breaking my promise with Mitsuki? I'm not sure. I am sure about one thing, though: I have a bad habit of sticking my nose where it doesn't belong. It isn't altruism that motivates me to behave that way. Au contraire; by making myself indispensable to others, I preserve my sense of self. And that's a sense I very much lack, being neither a human nor a dreamghast - indeed, being no-one at all. When other people feel that they need me, I feel a sense of salvation.
- Even _I_ can prove useful to them?
- That thought alone is enough to make me feel like my life has meaning.
Kyoukai no Kanata - Chapter 1, part 5 [English]
nakulas Jul 23rd, 2013 3,675 Never
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