- I apologize for taking up your time, Nakura-san.
"Um, let me see. You said your name was Kujiragi-san? Can I ask why I'm getting a call from an insurance company?"
- Sorry if this sounds intrusive, but would you happen to know this person called Orihara Izaya?
"Orihara Izaya? Ah, yes. I went to the university with him, and there's no way you can forget someone with such a weird name anyway. So what is it? Did he finally do something? Like insurance fraud? Don't tell me he's been using my name again? I'm telling you this now just in case, but I have nothing to do with anything. I haven't even seen him recently."
- What did you mean by "finally"?
"Ah, Ms. Insurer, you haven't met the guy in person, have you? Well, you'll know what I was talking about when you meet him. You'll know he's not normal as soon as you see him. …Actually, maybe he will pretend to be normal in front of women. He's got quite a lot of women who kind of worship him or something."
- Did you just say that he was using your name "again"?
"Yeah…how should I put this? I sold him my name."
- Sold him your name…?
"Well, when I met him he told me that he was trying to buy something secretly online, so he wanted to use my name and shipping address. I said no at first, of course. But he offered me a pretty decent amount of money and all that. So I thought, 'Why not, it's not like I'm giving him my credit card number or anything.'"
- Could you give us more detail?
"Several packages were sent to me. Orihara would always tell me beforehand when to expect them, and they never went to the wrong person since I lived alone. Ah, but I was curious about their contents. So one day I pretended that I mistook one package for my own and opened it."
- What did you find inside?
"Ordinary books. They did look a little erotic to me, but I think they're just studies of folklore. He didn't get angry at me for opening the package anyway."
- Was he a normal student?
"Normal? I seldom saw him attending classes at Raira University. Well, everyone skipped classes there, so I guess you can call it normal, yeah… Sometimes I saw him talking to this strange guy in a white coat and glasses on the campus. I thought he was in our medical school or something, but he didn't look like it…ah, right, right. Orihara once made this unfunny joke about him that went like 'He's an underground doctor. You can go to him if you ever get shot or something and don't want the cops to get involved.' "
"Oh, I'm sorry. We should be talking about Orihara, right? Well, like I said, he's kind of not normal, so I did keep my distance from him. I already told you this, but apart from the women who were taken in, I think he had no 'friend' friend…except that guy in the white coat. Well, he took that guy to the campus even though that guy was not a student, so they had to be friends, right?"
- So he was pretty much isolated.
"Well, I heard that back in high school he got into a lot of trouble with this super dangerous thug called Heiwajima. But when I tried talking to that guy he turned out not so bad after all. I'll say this again: Orihara's just not normal."
- And you just lent your name and address to someone you kept your distance from like that…?
"It does sound unnatural when you put it like this…but hey, it's not like I was the only one."
- You were not the only one?
"Nah. That guy, he borrowed several people's names at the university. Most of them were women, but there were several men as well. And you know, I was short on money and all…"
- Is there anything else you know about him? Personal history, et cetera?
"I - told - you - I was not the person to ask for that kind of information! If the people at my company ever finds out that I lent my name to someone like that, everyone's going to look at me weird and all!"
- Sorry for being intrusive. There are rumors saying that you were close with him when he was going to the university.
"Who told you something like that…? Good God, this is getting on my nerves. I don't know nothing about Orihara……"
- Is something wrong?
"Nothing…it's just that now I think about it, I really don't know anything about that guy."
- Would you happen to know if there's anyone who knows him better?
"Well, it's not like that…I doubt there was anyone at that university who knew about his past and everything. Those women were pretty much simply taken in, and that was all…if there's anyone who knows his personal history, it would probably be just that white coat guy."
- What is his name?
"I have no idea. Speaking of which, now that I think about it, did I do something terribly stupid…? It scares me. Oh yeah, it does, I feel this chill on my back…did I dig my own grave when I let him use my name…?"
- It's fine. As far as I know your name has not been used for anything.
"That's a relief…by the way, why are you investigating about him, really? Did that guy do something?"
- Unfortunately I can't tell you the details because it's a company secret, but his name was on our list of insurance beneficiaries.
"…Ah, I see. So you are suspecting fraud. …Well, I can totally see him doing something like that, it's true…he's good at taking advantage of people's weaknesses…ah, right, that reminds me. He did say that his hobby was human observation or something."
- Human observation?
"Yeah, sounds totally juvenile, doesn't it? Imagine a college student telling you that his hobby is 'human observation'…but it was kind of different from, say, condescending…you know how when people who like cats see a cat, they just go on and on about how cute it is, regardless of whether the cat is angry, sulky, or simply asleep?"
- Are you saying that he sees humans as cats? But wouldn't that be condescending in itself?
"Well, it's not really like that…I'm only saying this because we're using the humans = cats metaphor and all, but…"
"If it's that guy, even if the cat is run over by a car, dying of a disease, or getting its throat torn open from fighting other cats…
…he'll probably still say: 'So cute.' "