Putting the Pieces Together
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Lot For Sale Tour (Piece #33)
[Pre-requisite: Ryuguu’s move back to Hinamizawa]
[Pre-requisite: The fourth year’s curse]
...Hmm, I guess I’m in a bit of a predicament here right now.
My name is Maebara Ichirou and I’m in a particularly in a great mood right now…but at the same time, I’m stuck in a jam…
I came to Hinamizawa on a tour of find a new place to build a home. After the realtor explained the details of this area to our group, he told us to enjoy a bit of free time until time.
…And so I wandered off as I experienced the wonderful nature and the smelled nice aroma of clean air. As I was attaining great inspiration from this area, I realized…well…that I was lost.
Fortunately, there is still a bit of time until the time I was supposed to be back with my group. …But, that still doesn’t change the fact that I’m lost. Okay, calm down. Even though this is a rural area, people reside here. So long as I continue walking, I’m bound to meet up with someone whom I can ask for directions.
No worries, no worries. Ha-ha-ha. …Well, except for the time I’ve gotta catch the Shinkansen…
However, my plan to meeting someone on the road seems to have backfired. ...It’s been hours, but I haven’t seen anyone passing by. …I think I really am lost. I should’ve been more careful in paying attention to my surroundings. I guess this shows how much of an urbanite I am…
So, I was very relieved when I heard voices nearby. It was the playful sounds of two little girls having fun. …Since little kids are here, this still must be safe place to be lost. I immediately turned my legs towards the direction of their voices.
As I waded through the tall pampas grass, I suddenly came to a very astonishing field filled with the beauty of nature. And there, I saw two little girls playing with each other. The portrait of the cute girls innocently dancing in the field blossoming with flowers were so spectacular, that it blew away all the great artworks that I have seen since. ...I could be over-exaggerating, but the sight was holier than any other religious art works too.
I wondered why we feel such salvations from seeing innocent girls dancing the field.
...That’s because we are all live our lives tainted with sin. Living life is not all pleasure and glory. ...We build up sins and guilt just by living life as well. That is why we sense holiness at the sight of innocence which reminds us of the time we weren’t corrupted with the sins of our world.
We grow up as a natural process of life, …in the meanwhile, we begin to realize the innocence that we lost through maturity. Henceforth, we see adoration and admiration to such cute little children which symbolizes innocence like these girls…
Rika: “…Mi-. There is a stranger who is looking at us while mumbling about difficult things.”
Hanyu: “Auauau. …Rika, that person is no stranger.”
Ichirou: “…huh? Whoa!! Oh, I…I’m so sorry!! No, no, I’m not a stranger. Wahahahaha…!”
Rika: “…Yet, his eyes are hooked to my breast and my legs. Nipa~☆”
Ichirou: “No, no, I wasn’t looking in there! Please don’t tell the station officer-!! I was using this mirror to fix my hair…!!”
Hanyu: “….Ahahahahaha. I don’t understand what you are talking about, but I’m sure it’s something very funny.”
Rika: “I guess father and son really are alike.”
The two girls made fun of me for a while, but they seemed to have gotten bored with it rather quickly and began to playfully dance in the field once again.
I realized that whatever I said will backfire against me, so I left the two alone and watched them play as I rested my butt on a dead wood.
…I wonder how old they are. They look rather young, …but they probably aren’t too far apart from Keiichi.
If we’re to move here, Keiichi might be one of their schoolmates. Kids that meet each other at the school means…that they are residents of this area. …If the kids here at Hinamizawa are all like these innocent little girls….even if living a rural life may have its inconveniences….there is a good reason to move our home here.
….We were a failure as parents.
We didn’t know anything about Keiichi’s internal problems, we couldn’t grasp his disenchantment, and we practically forfeited parenting him by leaving him alone.
Any parental guidebook says that….the first signs of delinquencies in a child…are signals for help towards his or her parents. It’s not the actions itself; it is the motive to do such actions which are an emotional appeal from the child to yearn communication with his or her parents.
…Yet people are used to formal methods of communication through speech…which makes it difficult for one another to sense such subtle pleas of help. We could only hear vocal communication, and we couldn’t hear the emotional signs of distress from our own son.
Keiichi….probably thinks he is the most one at fault.
…Of course, what Keiichi did was wrong. People are different from cats and dogs. As a human being, it is one’s own responsibility to understand and differentiate between right and wrong.
…But…as parents…we too are also at fault.
It disgusts me to call myself as a parent that I let my own son spiral down to such a level to cause such an incident to make us realize his emotional pleas. If we really listened and saw Keiichi, if we hadn’t put so much pressure on him, Keiichi would never have made such an sub-conscious call for help in such a terrible manner.
So, that incident was not all Keiichi’s fault. …Everyone in the Maebara family was at fault.
…I wanted to tell Keiichi this, but Keiichi is still much too young and still hot-blooded to understand this now.
…Right now, Keiichi is at home with the guilt of what he had done crushing him. He seemingly has lost the will to live.
His mother, my wife, is also the same. …She is at home blaming herself for putting so much pressure on our son; how she only focused on his good grades and nothing else; which lead our son to cause such an incident.
…And me. I blame myself for my disinterest in my parental duties. The forfeiture of looking after my own son triggered this incident.
The crucifixion cross will forever linger on our backs even though the injured child accepted our apologies and was released from the hospital. And the coldness of society will mock at us to crush ourselves to death with our sins.
…But we continue to live. We acknowledge our sins, we carry the burden on our backs…and we continue to live.
Perhaps we can start a new life here in this village. …I sincerely began to think that way as I was watching the two girls play.
The types of friends that Keiichi needs are children like them. …I’m sure that children in this village will definitely teach Keiichi something that he has never been taught by the children whose main discussions were about cram schools and preliminary exam results.
Then, I realized that the two girls were playing near a sign post that didn’t fit in to such an open field like this. The sign read “lot for sale” and it advertised the real-estate agency that had just brought me here for a tour.
…Then…this means that…if we desire to do so, we could live in a such a beautiful scenery such as this place.
The girls then came up to me as if they had read my mind and said,
Rika: “….This is a wonderful village. There are things here that cannot be found in a big city.”
Ichirou: “Yes, that maybe right. I have a feeling that there are too.”
Rika: “…But you too will be able to bring something beneficial to the village.”
Ichirou: “I don’t know…Do you think…we have such a thing?”
Hanyu: “Yes, you do. Auau.”
Rika: “….We have lived in this village for several hundred years. And no one has come, and nothing has occurred. …That’s why nothing drastic happens, and nothing can be changed.”
Ichirou: “But isn’t having no change the best part of the village?”
Rika: “…But you came here to this village to seek change…right?”
Ichirou: “Yes, …you have a point there.”
Rika: “…And we too are eager to welcome the new people into our world. In our perspective, it is like blasting open the dike that keeps the stale water in the marsh from draining. Water purifies because it streams. A lake that has no streams leading in or out of it is just a dank marsh.
Hanyu: “Yes it’s true that this place was called a village with a ‘fuchi’ (marsh) up until recently as the Meiji era. …But, that name changed into the village as we know today – Hinamizawa. …Waters in the ‘fuchi’ (as in Oniga[i[fuchi[/i]) becomes stale because they don’t flow. But waters in ‘sawa’ (or ‘zawa’ of Hinami
, sawa/zawa = stream) doesn’t go stale.
Rika (Frederica-mode): “….Chuckle. And besides, you guys are gonna teach us that a dike can be, no, must be, blasted open.”
I wonder if the girls are playing riddles with me. I couldn’t understand a tiny bit of what they were saying.
But, I did understand…that these girls were eagerly waiting for a newcomer into their village, and that they wanted to build a new future for the village along with the newcomers.
I once again took a good look at the ad sign behind them, to remember this exact spot.
…My heart was already set.
Rika: “…We’ll be anxiously waiting for your family to move here. ….Maebara.”
Uncle Hiroshi: “Ahhh~!!! There you are!! Sir~~!! You shouldn’t wander off to such a far away place like this--!!”
The daydream like moment came to a sudden end as I heard the raspy voice from the distance. …It was the real-estate agent. He must’ve been looking all over for me because I hadn’t returned back in time.
Ichirou: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry…! I got kinda lost on the way…”
I apologize to the agent as I scratched my head.
…I look back to take one more glimpse of this girls…but they were nowhere to be seen….
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