Stumble and Fall, 1/? (2015-12-25)

The problem wasn’t the time travel or the hearing restoration. Those could be considered the opposite of problems, in fact. Waking up as a middle schooler with full range of hearing was befuddling, yes, but not unwelcome.

It was odd to think that the last five years of his life had been reduced to nothing more than a highly realistic dream, but considering what he received in exchange…

The problem wasn’t even that Kouhei had done a spirit a favor and received three wishes in return. That still could be considered the opposite of a problem, being a literal gift after an act of generosity.

No, the problem was that he hadn’t known about being given such a gift until after two of the wishes had already been granted.

Spirits, unlike gods, are kind to humans. They are trees or cats or ghosts, not forests and storms and ideas–they see individuals instead of nations, persons instead of people.

But because they don’t see in generalities, they don’t quite comprehend longterm consequences. Or perhaps, due to their own timeless existences, such things don’t matter.

It was meant as a kindness, Kouhei reminds himself. The chatter of his friends–old ones that had not drifted away, new ones that had been drawn into his orbit–is now overwhelming, where before it had been out of reach. A constant grating that once slipped around him, wind to a stone, now instead water eroding him away into sand.

He’s not ungrateful; university is easier this time around now that he can actually hear the lectures, and personal relationships aren’t choked under the strain of constant begrudging effort. But it’s still exhausting.

And then he hears the laugh. A loud, braying thing cutting across the courtyard. It hits him like a lightning strike, a thunderclap; and Kouhei searches for the sound like a parched man turns toward rain.

Taichi

~

A/N: Just read v02ch04 of Hidamari ga Kikoeru and Kouhei’s speech about how he wouldn’t change anything in his life made me think–well, what if it weren’t his choice.

I have a few more “scenes” in mind for this little canon divergence, but mostly I wanted to post this just to see if there are any others out there who have feels about this adorable manga and if ANYONE WANTS TO SCREAM ABOUT IT WITH ME.