There were two things I had not known.
The first was that you could see the house I lived in from the window of the classroom I studied in every day. It wasn’t as though I never had a chance to stand by the window and look outside.
Why did I not notice it?
Why did I not see it?
I had seen it, of course, but I didn’t consciously recognize it — basically, this was the reverse of the logic that “he who has suffered the aberrant is drawn to it”.
I think I might have pushed that house out of my own consciousness.
However, another thing I had not known was the unexpected amount of shock I would feel when that house burnt down — I was dumbstruck.
To the point where my mind went blank.
It was a terrible blow.
It seems Araragi-kun holds the misconception that, as a human being, I have a good hold of myself — but like others, I have my destructive impulses. Ever since we experienced that nightmarish Golden Week, he had placed too great an amount of trust in my humanity — or no, perhaps he had simply been turning a blind eye to it, surprisingly enough — but to be clear, I myself had wished countless times that ‘a house like this should just disappear’.
But I hadn’t thought that it would actually disappear.
Or that I would feel such a sense of loss when it did.
It was not affection of any sort.
I never even considered thinking of that place as my house — I may have said so by accident, but that was just a delusion.
However, it was the unshakable truth that emotions were once attached to that delusion.
Was that a good thing, I wonder?
I had been deluded.
Yes, that was the truth.
Or was it a bad thing?
Both seemed possible in their own ways, but at this point, it was too late for either.
After all, it had already been lost.
The house in which I had spent fifteen years,
was now lost for eternity.
Disregarding the fact that I had been late, I requested that I be allowed to leave early to Hoshina who of course approved and I ran home, despite not being Kanbaru-san, to find fire engines and spectators milling around the scene, the fire having already been put out.
The fire had been extinguished.
And everything was gone.
Not having spread to the neighboring houses, the fire burnt the house to ashes with nothing left standing.
This being extremely advantageous when collecting our fire insurance would be one cause for hope in this situation.
It was unpleasant, but it was also the most important matter.
Wait, that’s not right.
The most important matter was of course our safety — but there was nothing to be concerned with on that front. I was at school, and it was highly unlikely for the ‘other two’ whom I should call my parents to return home in the morning.
Of the three of us,
not a single one thought of this place as our home.
It was a place, not a home.
But I guess this means that the Rumba was burnt, and I mourned for automatic vacuum cleaner that had gallantly woken me up every morning.
I mourned for it, more so than for the house.
Now, aside from the Rumba, quite a lot of things were burnt, or rather, everything was burnt, but, well, as I was nothing more than a mere high schooler, I had not owned much in the first place, so in that regard there was no reason to be bothered.
I could say that all my clothes being burnt would be a bother, though.
Or perhaps it was the same for the ones whom I should call my father and mother — they probably had nothing important in the house, as well.
They probably left the things important to them at their working place.
I would think so.
was not a place to leave important things in.
They would be defiled.
Well, in any case, there were many things I had not known — and there were many things that, after the house burnt down, I realized for the first time.
Although I had not met him directly, perhaps this would be what that swindler, Kaiki Deishuu, would call a well-deserved lesson.
I don’t know.
I don’t care.
It didn’t matter whether I care or not — the fact that I had been cast out into the streets was certain.
And while there were places where I had gone to during days off, not because I wanted to but because I didn’t want to stay in the house, it would be a true blessing now to find a place where I could spend the night — in any case, thanks to this, the Hanekawa family will now have a family dialogue, something we have not had for a long time.
No, even I can imagine that this sort of thing is not called ‘dialogue’ in a normal family.
This isn’t anything like a family meeting.
We exchanged our opinions.
It was not interaction.
Naturally, many troublesome formalities resulted from our house having been just burnt down — but as of right now, even the reason for the fire was completely unknown. Chillingly, even arson was being suspected — this was a long-term problem, and there was nothing that a child like me could do, so what we discussed today was also the most pressing question at the moment, which was to say, ‘where we were to sleep tonight’.
We had nothing like relatives on whom we could rely on living nearby so, of course, there should have been no room for discussion at all, and we should make our way to the nearest hotel — but this in itself was a problem to the Hanekawa family.
It was the biggest problem, or, you could say, the only problem.
We had not slept together in the same room for a considerably long time.
I of course slept in the hall, and even though they were husband and wife, they had separate bedrooms. A hotel room would already be quite expensive, and we would need to have a second and third —
“I’ll be all right. I’ll stay at a friend’s place.”
Before the discussion could become too involved, I said this.
“It’s a good chance for the two of you to have some alone time together, as a couple.”
I said, having already understood that my doing this, not out of principle but because of how I truly felt, was due to my terrible inhumanity — during Golden Week, I realized that this was what’s wrong with me.
I did not want to spend the night in the same room as these two.
Though I clearly understood that this was how I felt, I prioritized it as lowly as I could — I knew,
just how unnatural that was.
It was barely within the scope of humanity that I could think of this fire as a ‘good chance’.
That was what Araragi-kun and Oshino-san taught me.
That was my lesson.
Of course, I stood where I was right now, not having made the best of said lesson at all — but I felt that I should return the two of them to how they should be.
I get that feeling.
It would be fine if I could just give those two one last chance before I become an adult, after which they intended to immediately divorce.
So I thought.
Taking everything into account, it would taken several months to rebuild our completely burnt house, so in the few weeks until they can rent a house, with the fifteen years the two of them have had together — things might work out.
I think so.
I get that thought.
I want to think so.
The two consented readily.
They did not stop me from staying at a friend’s place. In fact, they were clearly delighted that I suggested it myself.
Well, but of course.
The two of them together alone was better than the three of us together alone, so perhaps they were thankful for this fire, in terms of how it got rid of a nuisance for them.
They were delighted by what I had done.
I myself must be quite insane to find happiness in that.