The Severance of Haruhi Suzumiya
"Jeg Elsker Dig"
"Ani Ohevet Otcha"
"Je t'aime, Je t'adore"
"Ich liebe Dich"
"I love you."
How can these simple words, regardless of the language in which they are spoken, be so incredibly joyful? And yet, at the same time, how devastating can these words also be, even when delivered without an ounce of sarcasm or irony?
I found both things out the hard way, and now I'm not so sure what to do about it. My name is… well, my name's not important, everyone just calls me Kyon anyways, so I guess it's what I'll go by. Anyways, this is the story of a girl I know, a self-centered, egotistical brat, but also paradoxically a talented and uniquely wonderful girl named Haruhi Suzumiya, and plain old boring me. This is a story about how we broke each others hearts.
She just didn't realize it at the time.
I'd say that it started off like a usual day, but in the SOS brigade that phrase doesn't mean quite the same thing as it does everywhere else in the universe. Still, it was about as normal as one could expect it to be. Asahina-san was in her maid outfit, brewing tea as usual; Koizumi was losing yet another strange game that he brought in to specifically challenge me; and Nagato was sitting on her chair, reading the latest in what must have surely been the most impressive literature collection accumulated in the history of mankind. Still, there was an odd feeling in the air. One might have attributed it to the lack of our ever over-energetic leader Haruhi being nowhere to be seen, but she had told me she'd be running late so that wasn't the cause of this mood.
This might lead you to your first question: why would she care enough to tell me, her "lowly subordinate" and lowest ranked club member, that she would be running late? Well, that's simple, it's because we've been dating now, for a couple of months actually.
Yeah, I was about as surprised as you are. But while I can't say that it's been an easy time on my sanity or my wallet at some points, I'd also be lying if I said it wasn't one of the best times of my life. I guess that it takes a near tragedy (albeit one that Haruhi herself doesn't actually know the half of) to put things into perspective, though it shouldn't actually be that shocking. Technically, Haruhi and I were each other's first kiss—twice in fact, although the details about the first time still give me a headache . Even so, I guess that for a long time I didn't want to admit that this troublesome and at times even dangerously socially inept girl was someone that I cared about in that way.
It's hard to say just which of us started the relationship, actually. It might have just been a decision that both of us reached at the same time. But when it did happen, it just… fit. I'd say that we've both helped each other mature over the short time we've been together, and I'd like to believe that we're actually doing rather well. Sometimes, I think we might even pass for an average couple—sometimes.
"It's true that you and Suzumiya-san have gotten very close over the last few months, and that things have been going quite well." Koizumi said behind that fox-like grin of his. It could just be me, but he's still way too good at that for my tastes.
"But still," he continued on, his smile somehow not quite as mirthful as before, "you have to be careful."
Don't tell me that she's still making closed spaces over that stupid argument that we had last month? How long can that girl keep a grudge over such little things? Wait, maybe I'd be better off not knowing…
He shook his head and gave a shrug, "No, no, you needn't worry about that. Things have been very peaceful, to tell you the truth. However, the other agents and I have felt strangely… uneasy for a while now. It is as if something tumultuous is going to occur, and occur soon, so be on your guard."
I appreciate the warning, Koizumi, but do you have to keep that plastic smile on, even if the situation is as serious as you say it is? It's a little unnerving.
"I do apologize, but I am concerned for the wellbeing of Suzumiya-san… No, you could say that I am concerned for the wellbeing of the both of you." He said, swinging his arms around for added emphasis. If the stint with The Organization doesn't work out, maybe you should consider being a mime; that way I also wouldn't have to hear you talk.
Still, what Koizumi said had me worried. Even though he's always stuck with that stupid grin on his face, when he comes right out and voices his concerns, it's usually justified.
I turned to the person who could probably give me the answers I needed, even if I weren't always able to understand them. As I glanced towards Nagato, I realized that she had already stopped reading her book.
"Koizumi Itsuki is correct," she said, so simply that I was a little taken aback. I wasn't used to Nagato being so blunt about, well, anything.
"It is not as simple as that, however," she continued, "this is not a disturbance in the powers of Suzumiya Haruhi, which have actually stabilized since the onset of her romantic relationship."
Everything considered, it was actually somewhat humbling that me of all people, a completely normal guy, could have this effect on her. But my mind also filled in the blank; because if this wasn't a problem with Haruhi's powers, then…
What was it?
"Suzumiya Haruhi is currently experiencing what you have previously identified to me as the human emotion of anxiety."
Haruhi was anxious? About what? Shouldn't I have noticed something? When did this all begin?
"This emotional state began precisely 23 days, 18 hours, 33 minutes and 47 seconds and counting prior to the question being posited." Well, Nagato, thanks for not going into nanoseconds or microseconds, but still, something have been amiss with her that long? Why didn't I notice? I should have noticed!
"My guess," Koizumi offered, "is that Suzumiya-san has been going to great lengths to hide her current emotional state from us. I would assume that this might hold true for all three groups, but The Organization has only recently become aware of this during the past few days. We have been considering what to do with the situation, but no ideas are forthcoming."
… Koizumi, that does not help to alleviate my anxiety about this situation!
I turned to the last present member in the club room, who was doing her best to avoid eye contact with me. Not that it mattered; even if I could somehow bring myself to be enough of a monster to force information out of Asahina-san, all I would probably get among the sobs would be an endless string of "classified information", a phrase that I've really heard more than enough of. Besides, I didn't blame her, or rather, I didn't blame this iteration of her; Asahina-san (big) however, I wasn't so sure about…
Just then the door swung open, and the illustrious Chief walked in and made her way over to the computer. Just by looking at her I could tell that something weighty was on her mind. Could Koizumi's premonition be coming to pass this quickly? What could it be this time? More harebrained movie schemes, more signups for sports that none of us have ever played before? I wanted to believe that that was the case, because frankly, that would be simple, but something told me that this would be far more serious.
Whatever it was, she got right to the point; this was Haruhi we are talking about after all. "Everyone but Kyon is dismissed for the day," she quickly spat out, sitting down so that her face was obscured by the monitor on the desk. Without complaint, Koizumi and I got up so that Asahina-san could change. But out in the hallway there was nothing but an awkward silence as we mused over the developing situation.
The door opened and Nagato walked out, pausing for a moment to look back at me. Despite how well I've learned to read her over the months, I couldn't quite tell what she was thinking right now. I wasn't able to dwell on it though, as Asahina-san soon exited.
With tears nearly welling up in her puppy dog eyes, she stood up on her tiptoes and whispered in my ear, "Kyon-kun, I'm so sorry…" And with that she ran out, before I could even register what she had said. You know, the reactions of my friends to this situation were doing very little to reassure me about what was going to happen in the next few moments. Finally I took a deep breath, went back in, and, closing the clubroom door behind me sat down.
The silence dragged on for what seemed like years. I was beginning to think that the endless summer that Haruhi put us through wasn't nearly as long when I was roused out of my thoughts by the sound of the only other occupied chair in the clubroom being evacuated. Haruhi got up, moving towards the open window.
No, she wouldn't!
Okay self, calm down, she's just getting some fresh air, I think that even if I failed to notice her emotional state that I'd be able to pick up that my girlfriend is suicidal, mostly because I don't want to think of what kind of boyfriend I'd be if I didn't notice.
"Kyon, the website needs updating."
The sudden statement from her, with her back still turned to me, caught me off guard. Although maybe this meant that things aren't as bad as everyone thought. After all, how off can Haruhi be if she was still treating me like a lackey?
I sat down at the computer, while she kept on gazing out over the courtyard. Part of me wondered what she was staring at, while another part of me chastised that other part for being such a bubble-headed idiot. Still, I had to do something, because the silence was starting to drive me up the wall again. At least updating the website kept my hands busy, although that wasn't bound to last long either.
The nickname jolted me back to the present. Her back was still turned, but at least she was starting to talk, right?
"How long have we been going out?" Is that what she wanted to ask me? Her tone was so… neutral—none of the energy, none of the passion; hell, I would have even taken anger. But even her next statement, ("Answer, or it'll be a punishment.") fell flat.
Well, I'd guess it had been about four months. I guess that after so long, with both of us kind of avoiding the issue, that it took Nagato's sudden illness for us to realize that maybe there was something there. Then the rest sort of fell into place.
"So that's how you feel about it… it's been that long, hmm?" was the glib reply. Did this girl enjoy torturing me? Wait, don't answer that question, but still, this was becoming overwhelming. "Well, it's been… interesting."
Haruhi, what are you doing? What are you thinking? I wouldn't be surprised at this point if I turned around to see you smiling vacantly with a knife in your hand like you'd been taking first class instructions from Asakura Ryoko herself. "I'll kill you and see how I react!" No, even at your most off the wall, that's not something that you'd do, right?
"I guess, what I'm trying to get out is, you've helped me do the impossible."
The impossible? What does she mean? Has she figured it out? If so, then why haven't I sprouted three heads, or the world started spinning backwards?
"Idiot. I mean… you made everything seem different. You know… not so… boring."
Now that was something I was not expecting. Haruhi was always open, yes, but this was too much. Where was she going with this?
"The truth is, Kyon. That I really like being with you. I like it a lot. Well, probably more than that."
I won't lie. I'm the type that you'd often characterized as getting lost in the plot. It's just not my style to pay so much attention to things that I go gray before I graduate high school. After all, with all the antics that Haruhi causes are contributing enough to that. But I couldn't have imagined what she said next, even though it should have been as obvious as a huge truck barrelling down the road.
"I love you Kyon, but I can't be with you anymore."
At this paralyzing contradiction, my mind went blank.
How could two statements be fused so nonchalantly? I didn't know if Haruhi was subconsciously preventing me from speaking, or if it was good old-fashioned shock that kept my mouth shut, but I couldn't rebut any of what she said next.
"I know how that must have sounded, Kyon," she said. Her voice still flat, but it was obvious that she was fighting to keep it that way, "But for a while now there's been a feeling I can't ignore. Being with you is great, but at the same time … it reminds me of someone I had almost forgotten about. He—I mean— I guess, you could call him my first love."
First love? Who was it? Give me directions and dueling pistols and I can solve this problem within the night, because surely I don't deserve this! My mind started racing; who else could there really be? I mean, it wasn't Koizumi, that's for sure, and I think she'd rather become a celibate monk for the rest of her life than date any of the other people in our class. Besides, if she loved me, then that meant that I was an important part of her life, right? Was I still too cynical? Too normal? No, that couldn't be it, not after what she just said!
"It's silly, because I met him while I was still a kid." She let out a half-hearted laugh. "I don't even know his name, and we only saw each other for one night."
Wait, why was this starting to sound maddeningly, distressingly familiar to me?
"And this whole time I've been with you it's been reminding me more and more of him. And even though he might even be dead or long gone by now, I would never forgive myself if I didn't try my best to find him and tell him how I feel."
At this point Haruhi walked past me, towards the clubroom door, and when she finally turned around I was shocked. That million-watt smile looked like someone had smashed half the blubs out of it, and even though it was subtle, there were definitely tears escaping those beautiful eyes.
"I know that you probably don't want to hang around with the girl that broke your heart, so in this rare move on behalf of your chief, if you resign, I'll accept it. The decision is yours though; I won't force you to do anything either way."
Without saying another word, she turned around and walked out, leaving me in my stupor. The last thing I remembered was hearing her footsteps outside the door, getting quicker as they echoed through the hallway.
By the time I came around again, the sun had set. My eyes hurt, though I didn't remember crying. Haruhi you stupid girl, even if you just broke my heart. I…
The events of the past year swirled around in my head. This was a girl that had essentially belittled me, kidnapped me and several other people into joining a club that barely made sense; had nearly destroyed the world over her jealousy of Asahina-san; almost made me, a normally calm person, punch her out (I still have to repay Koizumi for his save on that one); put us through a never-ending summer break; and made my life an unbelievable hassle.
But it was still true.
Haruhi, I love you. How could I stand not seeing you again?
But the thing that hurt the most by far was the realization of what Asahina-san had meant by her apology. I had just lost Haruhi to a man called John Smith.
I lost my first girlfriend, my first love, to myself.
To Be Continued...
Before I begin, I'd like to thank the people that reviewed the first version of this fiction, and especially Arty Esbee d'Arc, who has also become my beta in this endeavour.
Well, this is the heavily revised first chapter of what will now (hopefully) be an ongoing and fully fleshed out story. You can hopefully expect a lot of interesting events, some surprises, maybe even some laughs here and there? At any rate, I hope that anyone that reads this enjoys it at least a little. I had considered just editing the first story, but decided that this fresh start would be better. I can't promise a comprehensive update schedule, but I can say that I'll try not to let it go too long without updates.
Any and all reviews are encouraged. Comprehensive ones, short ones, just saying whether you enjoyed it, whether you thought it was bad, and what you thought was good or could be improved. All reviews are greatly appreciated.