There had been, of course, some dispute.
Although their daughters had described them as possessing a hot-blooded sense of justice, the Araragi couple had good sense as befitting adults (and police officers) and it became a matter of whether it was a good idea.
However, after saying ‘it can’t be helped if that’s the case’, they allowed me to stay in the end, more readily than I had expected, though certainly not enthusiastically.
Karen-chan and Tsukihi-chan also gave their best in trying to persuade them — in that respect, they certainly did feel like the parents of Araragi-kun.
They both resembled him, after all.
On that note, while the resemblance among ‘family’ was of course a matter of genetics, apparently, the indirect aspect of having the same living cycle was also quite a factor. Seeing as they live under the same roof, go through life at the same pace and eat from the same menu, their bodies were made from the same materials, so it was easy to understand the logic that the finished products were similar.
In contrast, if the pace and menu were all different among individual members like the Hanekawa house, they would not resemble one another at all.
That would be why it’s said that there was a certain sense of identity in a family whose members resembled one another in appearance and personality — in that way, Araragi-kun’s family was a healthy one.
Seeing how they were during dinner, which they allowed me to take part in, made me feel it.
What it was to have a family conversation.
It was a very fresh idea, and I let myself become involved — although I winced somewhat at being persistently questioned by Araragi-kun’s mother regarding her only son.
After that, it was time for a bath.
Speaking of which, it had been three days since I used a bathtub.
It had apparently become some sort of rule for them lately, but Karen-chan and Tsukihi-chan came into the bath together — it was really too tight!
“You really aren’t pretentious at all, are you, Tsubasa-san.”
This was the conversation we had in said bathtub.
The three of us were tightly packed, like some sort of experiment in how many people one could fit into a telephone box, so in other words, it was far too cramped for any interpretation of sensuality, and within this space, Karen-chan said.
“I mean, maybe it’s just because I’m an idiot, but when I talk with smart people at school, a lot of them make me think, wow, you’re really smart. It’s like they go out of their way to string together really tough words, and bring up stuff that no one cares about. But you’re smart, Tsubasa-san, and you talk to me from the same level. That’s just really great.”
Tsukihi-chan joined in.
Her hair was quite long once she unraveled for the bath.
It would seem that the speed at which her hair grew was beyond Kanbaru-san.
“But apparently, that’s how it really is, Karen-chan. People who really are smart… actually, ‘first-rate’ people who are good at stuff, whether it’s sports or whatever, sound surprisingly normal when you talk to them, and they totally lose that air they have. But it’s probably because they’re the real thing, so they don’t need to put on an act.”
There was some unease as I felt I was being praised, though it was true what Tsukihi-chan had said about ‘first-rate’ people having surprising degrees of normality, and she was correct in that regard, but in my case, that was not how it was.
I was not normal.
And — I was not smart.
I doubt anyone could be more pretentious, more embellished than me — I realized this during Golden Week, and before the Cultural Festival.
So much so that I wanted to refuse it.
So much so that I felt hatred for it.
“I’ve always thought about how things would look from a smart person’s perspective.”
“Like how, even if you look at the same thing, you could see something different. I mean, to me, pi’s just a list, but maybe, to Einstein, it’s actually a beautiful sequence.”
“Oh, I don’t know about that.”
I answered vaguely.
The question was, in every way, difficult to respond to.
In fact, the sense needed to realize the worth and meaning behind mathematical beautilities such as pi, or the golden ratio, only existed within a small part of geniuses — however, I truly did not believe that cleverness was a requirement for it.
Even among clever people, there must be those who see pi as nothing more than a list, I thought, and the opposite must exist as well.
It was simply a matter of individual differences, and not a set condition.
The difference between the perspectives of Karen-chan and Einstein, and the difference between the perspectives of Karen-chan and Tsukihi-chan, probably did not have that great a difference in and of themselves.
“For example, say there is a novel narrated in first person. If you tell it from a different viewpoint, it will become a completely different story, I think. It’s the same as how the Casebook as told by Dr Watson would feel quite different when told by Mr Holmes himself.”
Speaking of which, in the Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, a short story with an omniscient narrator also existed.
However, as it was from an objective point of view, it was not quite correct to say that it was a world which possessed correctness.
It was not necessarily true that God could not make mistakes.
He accidentally created humans.
……Although, now that I had had such intimate contact with the beauty of Karen-chan’s body, its muscles tightened by her training, and Tsukihi-chan’s lovely and contrastively younger figure, I began to wonder, ‘does Araragi-kun always get along with sisters like these?’, and could not help but gain something of an understanding into the reason behind his eccentricities.
And so on and so forth.
Then, I got up from the bath.
The underwear bought from the shop had been used up, and I thought I could live with reusing them for one night, but Karen-chan lent me a new pair of shorts.
She lent me a set of pajamas, as well.
It would be odd of me to act reserved now, so I meekly accepted both.
“Huh? But isn’t this men’s size?”
“Hm? Oh, that. It’s Nii-chan’s.”
I just put on Araragi-kun’s pajamas…
I looked at myself in the mirror.
What’s with this feeling, like I’ve done something I shouldn’t have?
On the other hand, if I were to take it off now, it would seem like I was strangely conscious of it — or, no, that was just an excuse.
Now that I had put it on, I felt some resistance towards taking it off again,
“Hmm, I see. The size is just right.”
and like so, I said something normal that couldn’t be amounted to an attempt to hide my embarrassment, and began brushing my teeth before bed.
Still, I really can’t tell Senjougahara-san about this, can I…?
After that, with the two leading me on, we headed to Araragi-kun’s room.
Now that I actually thought about it (though it was something I already knew without thinking), I had invaded the Araragi house with absolutely no permission from Araragi-kun, borrowing his pajamas and his bed. It would not be an exaggeration to call me some sort of ruffian who just did as she pleased.
Worse, he did not even know that I was here by permission of his family and his girlfriend.
I did think I should at least send him a message, but under the present condition, with me having no idea what situation he was in, I naturally hesitated.
I’m wearing your pajamas right now, Araragi-kun.
If I did send him such a message, assuming he could even receive it, I got the feeling it would have a considerably negative effect on whatever serious situation it was that he had landed himself in.
Besides, looking at the clock (I had noticed it when I was allowed in before, but Araragi-kun’s room had four clocks, for some reason. He didn’t strike me as that punctual a person…) it was already past nine. When it occurred to me that he was meeting with Kanbaru-san about now, I, oh, hm — well.
“Well, good night, Tsubasa-san. You can use anything you want in this room.”
“Good night, Hanekawa-san. See you tomorrow.”
Said the Araragi sisters, and they went off, leaving me alone in Araragi-kun’s room, not knowing what to do.
Not that there was anything I could do besides sleep.
Even if I wanted to do my daily studies, I did not even have textbooks — they were lent to me by Senjougahara-san.
As I thought about perhaps going to the library tomorrow to borrow some books for school, I found myself glancing at Araragi-kun’s bookshelf.
Although Karen-chan said that I could ‘use anything’ in this room, I of course could not do as I pleased in Araragi-kun’s room. However, I could be forgiven for looking at the books on his shelf.
His lineup had changed quite a bit since the last time I was here — he told me that he did not throw away books, so it would seem he was the type to put unread books on the shelf and finished books in the closet.
There were many novels, surprisingly.
From the way he usually talked and conducted himself, you would think he read only comic books.
I took out a foreign novel at random and, afterwards, sat down on the chair facing the desk and read for about one hour. However, the feeling of Araragi-kun coming from the desk and chair meant the words did not enter my mind at all.
By the time I turned off the light and laid down on the bed, it was past eleven.
Even so, after realizing that I was currently putting my head on Araragi-kun’s pillow and sleeping in his bed while wearing his pajamas, it was impossible for me to sleep, and it was only after the hand had passed the hour mark that I managed to fall asleep.
I should not blame Araragi-kun.
It would be improper of me to think such a thing.