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Old 02-23-2007, 08:41 PM   #11 Offline
akachan
Takazuki Kyon
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sekkusu no fushigi

~ the wonders of sex ~

The next day, Manato & Yui visit their parents in the hospital. Manato asks his stepmother who's lying in bed "Are you alright?" Tiredly, she smiles "I'm sorry about this. It's nothing serious. I'm just feeling a little tired. I could just as easily rest at home." However, Irie, anxiously watching over her by her bed, quickly says "No way. If you overdo it you'll ruin your health." Yui adds teasingly "Mom, you've been trying too hard, looking after Dad & onichan." "Ah, listening to you talk it's as if I never looked after you before this." "Did you?!" "Of course I did!" "Yes yes, I'm sorry." Irie adds "For the moment you'll have to rest, alright?" "Alright," replies Yurie before turning to Manato "I'm sorry Manato, bothering you when you're studying for your exams." Manato politely replies "It's ok." Yui brightly assures her mother "From tomorrow I'll start taking care of everything." Yurie replies, a gleam in her eye "Really? I'll worry." Manato adds "I'll help out too. In any case Dad & I used to do everything anyway." Yurie looks at the both of them apologetically "I'm really sorry." Irie finally tells them "You both better get going. I'll stay with her today." "I'm alright, you don't have to." Yui chirps "Papa wants to be with you! & you really want him to anyway!" "Yui!" warns Yurie but Irie tells "They're right. I'll stay with you until visiting hours are over. Why? Because....." "You're newlyweds!" finish Manato & Yui together with wide grins. Irie laughs "Right!"



Having dinner at a little stall along the road, Manato tells Yui "It's great that she looks better than we expected. You'll feel a little better too." Pensively, Yui asks "Do you really think that?" Manato turns to look at her in surprise "Eh?" Staring unseeingly into space in front of her, Yui says "It's really not what it seems." "It's not?" "Actually, Mom's terminally ill & she can't be cured. Papa knows that too. But the both of them love each other very much & no matter how short a time they have left, he wants to be by her side. Mom was really moved when Papa proposed to her." Manato stares at Yui in silence....



While crossing an overhead bridge, Yui asks "Hey, would you prefer bread or rice for breakfast tomorrow? Hey!" Trailing behind her lost in his own thoughts, Manato doesn't reply. Yui looks at him "What's wrong?" Worriedly, Manato replies "What do you mean what's wrong?!" "Don't tell me you took what I said just now seriously?!" "Eh?" "I lied. It was a joke!" Peeved at having been made fun off, Manato retorts "Stop kidding! I'll think it's for real!" "You believed me?" Manato turns & looks at the traffic flowing under the bridge "Because you're her daughter. I didn't think that you would lie about your own mother having an incurable illness." "But I was just thinking that it's wonderful." "Wonderful? Your own mother dying is wonderful?" "It's not that. I'm talking about a time limit on love." "Anyway, I'm relieved that it was just a lie." "Every single day, every second, cherishing each moment. Even though there's pain & it's heart wrenching, he still loves her." Manato stares at her "That's a little extreme." Yui smiles "Is it? Whenever I fall in love with someone, that's what I always think." "That the guy might die?" "No, that I might die. That's why I want to be together with him every second, every minute." Yui starts walking again & Manato follows "You're exaggerating." Yui agrees companionably "Yes I am. But it makes things interesting. It feels great to be alive!" "Now you're talking about being alive? Aren't you contradicting yourself?" Yui smiles at him "Yes, a lot of contractions!" Manato gives Yui an assessing look as she walks on, holding up her key chain & playing with the pink colored bell.......

from that moment on,

I might have felt jealousy that no one could see...

that's why I will never forget you,

that heart wrenching love you didn't give to me....

The next morning, Manato's waiting for the bus when Haruka comes running up. Pausing when she sees him, Haruka smiles & runs up "Morning." Looking up, Manato replies "Morning." "Where's Yui-chan?" "She left earlier. Her mother....ah, mine too I guess, she's in the hospital." "What's wrong with her?" "It seems that she's just over exhausted. Maybe it's just stress from all the change, everything, like maybe worrying about whether she'd get along well with me or not." "Haruka grins "I don't think you're that bad are you?" "I don't either." "I see, so Yui's doing everything at home?" "Yeah, she's had to look after two people too." Exchanging easy smiles, they get ready as the bus arrives.....



With standing room only on the bus, Haruka says "It's crowded." "Yeah." "Uhm...." "What?" "It's just an idea, but what do you think about going to the same university?" "Together with you?" Haruka nods & Manato replies "It's impossible. The passing grade is too high." However, Haruka says optimistically "You can do it if you start putting in some effort now. I told you before that you've got great hidden potential." "I'm going to give it a miss this year." "You can't, there's still time. I'll give you the motivation!" "Motivation?" "Yes, going to the same university." Manato looks at Haruka, not exactly enthusiastic at the idea. Just then, the bus jerks suddenly, causing Haruka to fall against Manato & grabbing his hand. Manato glances at her & Haruka looks away, shyly saying "It really is crowded." A little smile appearing on his face, Manato adds "Yeah it is," grasping her hand in his......



By the shoe lockers changing their shoes, Haruka says "That night I couldn't sleep." Manato looks at her enquiringly "Eh? Ah...ah," when he recalls kissing her that night. Haruka asks hesitatingly "What about you?" "Eh? Me? Kind of...." While exchanging embarrassed smiles, Saeki appears "Morning." While Manato returns the greeting "Good morning," Haruka merely slams her locker shut & walks off without a word. Saeki says "Looks like she can't stand me." "You're feeling better lately." "Me? Ah, yes, I intend to graduate this year." "I see." As Manato starts walking off, Saeki tells him "Wait a minute." Manato pauses in his tracks as Saeki puts his arm on his shoulders "You owe me a favor." "Eh?" "The incident with the knife, the dangerous youth A." "Ah..." "I'm the one who told them to keep their mouths shut. I don't really need you to return the favor but what do you think of taking on a part time job?" "A part time job?" "Yes." Manato gives Saeki a questioning look, only to see Saeki grinning back at him.....



During lunch break, Yui's practicing monotonous sounding scales on the piano in the music room when Saeki says "Instead of practicing that, wouldn't it be better to practice a tune that you like?" Yui shakes her head, not stopping her fingers on the keyboard. "Don't tell me you want to be a pianist someday?" Yui shakes her head. "Then you just want to play the piano?" Yui shakes her head again. "Then it could be any other instrument?" Yui nods. "That's to say that you haven't got any interest in the piano at all?" Yui nods. "I see. Don't tell me you like me?" Yui's fingers pause & looking up with a smile, Yui nods. Saeki smiles, nodding "I see," & Yui goes back to playing her scales....



After school, Manato finds himself in a restaurant waiting. A woman approaches "Irie-kun?" Manato looks up "Yes." Reaching out for the bill, she tells him "Let's go." Manato gets up hesitatingly "Uhm...." "You heard from Tetsuya didn't you?" "Well, sort of. But being an artist's model, I....." "It's alright, you just have to take of your clothes for a bit." Manato looks a little stunned at the thought.....



In the classroom, Saeki's putting on his coat when Haruka walks in. Seeing her, Saeki asks "Here to change your clothes?" "I just came to get something I left behind." "I see." "You're a fast runner aren't you, even made it to the prefecture races too I hear. Are you going to a college for Phys Ed?" When Haruka ignores him, not replying, Saeki nonchalantly picks up his bag "I'm kidding. I'm off." Haruka says "Will you stop it?" Saeki turns around "Eh?" "I heard you asked him to take on a part time job." "Ah, Manato?" "He's preparing for his exams, it's not the time for fooling around." "But he didn't seem to dislike the idea too much." "Because he's a nice guy." "Probably hiding something inside." "Eh?" "Nothing, just talking to myself. But I don't think what you're doing is a good idea. That's to say, putting shackles on him. I understand that you like him but guys find it annoying. I would." Haruka retorts "You're not him." "That's true too, sorry. Well then, good bye...." Coolly, Saeki leaves, sliding the door shut behind him. Walking down the corridor, Saeki mutters to himself in amusement "Looks like I made her mad again."



Entering Shiho's apartment, Manato mutters "Excuse me." "The place is a mess, sorry." "It's ok," replies Manato, getting a little anxious when he sees sketches of nudes in the apartment. "Let's get started." "Uhm, ah, I don't think this....." When Manato drags his feet, she tells him "You're a guy aren't you? Stop wavering, come on." "Even if it's for the sake of art, I don't think I can pose nude...." "Nude? No one said anything about nude!" Shiho's surprise turns into laughter. "But you said to take my clothes off." "Just your arm." "My arm?" "Yes, that's what I'm concentrating on." "Oh." "Sit down."



At the supermarket, Haruka's doing some shopping when suddenly someone from behind touches her chest. Startled, Haruka turns around & sees Yui smiling at her "Did I surprise you?" "Yui-chan! You scared me!" "Doing some shopping?" "Yes, you too?" "Yep. My first time." "I heard from Manato. You're worried about your mother?" "Yes, but Papa's with her so it's ok. Hey, what are you going to cook?" "Hm? I was thinking of making hamburgers tonight." "Can I follow you?" "Yes!"



Walking home with groceries in hand, Haruka asks "Did Manato say anything?" "What about?" "About me." Yui purses her lips thinking "Hmmmm...." Haruka adds "If you have to think about then never mind." "Think about it?" "I don't have much experience with love, that's why I don't really know how to go about it." "Really?" "I was wondering if I'm being too possessive or not, that's why I'm feeling a little uneasy." "It's the same with me." "Eh?" "It's the same when I fall in love. When I feel uneasy, I want to be with him more." "But wouldn't he end up getting tired of you?" "Well, for me, the feelings of wanting to be with him are stronger than the fear of being disliked." "I guess I feel the other way 'cause I don't want to be disliked." "That means you don't really like him that much." "Eh?" "That means that you like yourself more than you like him."



(-= CJ =- Yui's logic never ceases to amaze me but, I have to agree with her.....)



With an apple in his fist, Manato struggles to hold out his right arm in the air. Losing to fatigue he drops his arm & the artist chides him "Don't move!" Manato rubs his arm with his left "Sorry but my arm has gone numb." Giving up with a disgusted look, Shiho dumps the sketch pad on the table "Hopeless. Alright then, let's stop here for today." Manato looks surprised "Today?" "Come back again tomorrow. I haven't got the best sketch I want yet." "But I'm studying for my exams!" Lighting up a cigarette, she says "Then you can hold out your text books with your left." "Oh, but tomorrow, I'll ask Saeki-san instead." "He won't do. I want to draw the arm of a youth." "A youth? I'm already 18!" "But you're still a 'cherry' aren't you?" "Cherry?" "Ah, you're not? That's what I requested Saeki for." Put in a spot, Manato mutters "It's not that I'm not....." Shiho smiles "otsukaresama, I'll see you tomorrow." Manato nods "Alright," & getting his bag, walks out of the apartment.....



On the bus, Manato rubs his sore arm & leaning his head against the window, gives a tired sigh......



Seated at the dinner table, Manato asks Yui "Where's Dad?" "At the hospital. He's really loving." Manato nods, eating without much expression. Yui asks "It's bad?" "What is?" "It tastes bad?" "No, it's not that. It's so-so I guess." "What's this so-so? Just decide whether it's delicious or awful & say so!" "It's delicious! Just tastes like home cooked I guess." "What's that?" "I don't know." "So this takes like home cooked?" "Yes, that's it." Yui takes a mouthful of food & ponders. Suddenly, Manato puts down his chopsticks "Uhm...." "What?" "This is kind of hard to ask but...." "What is it? Something interesting?" "No, I don't think so." "What?" Manato hesitates "That...." Getting impatient, Yui asks "What exactly are you trying to say?" Manato looks at Yui "That, well.....cherry's not good, is it?" Yui thinks "Well, I don't dislike it." Manato quickly tells her "I'm not talking about the Sakura kind...." "Hm?" "Uhm, for girls, they say......virgin." Yui stares at him & Manato pulls back "Ah, nothing...." Yui suddenly laughs & Manato looks offended "Don't laugh!" "Are you being serious?" "Not that serious but...." "I think it depends on the individual." "Individual? Ah, what about you? Just for an example." "Well, for me..." "For you?" "I don't really like the idea." "I see." "Ah, there's no way I'm going to do that!" "What?" "I'm not going to practice that with you!" "I know that!" Yui smiles & Manato picks up his chopsticks "Sorry, bringing this up during dinner." "Yeah, really! Ah, what about desert? I don't have cherries but I do have apples." Yui takes out two apples from the grocery bags but Manato retorts "I don't feel like looking at apples either." Yui looks at Manato, surprised.......



The next day in the arts room, Saeki admits "Actually I used to be her model before. It was worse back then. She wanted me to hold out my left leg all the time. I couldn't walk for the next two, three days." Manato replies "I have to go again today." "Hmmm, you don't have to if you don't want to. I'm sure she's already got a good image of what she wants." "I can't, I already promised." "Ah I see, she is a beauty." "No, it's not that." "She sure is voluptuous too, probably a size E, F....or J?" Manato looks at him Saeki in disbelief "She's that big?" "Are you surprised?" "How come you....?" "How come I know? Well, I used to....." Saeki starts before adding "I'm kidding." Manato retorts "What!" Saeki adds "But she is an art student at an arts university, she would have a lot of sexual experience." "I guess so." "If you asked her she might be happy to oblige." "I have no intentions of doing that...except...." "Except what?" "I guess girls don't really like that sort of people....." "That sort?" "I mean.....a 'cherry'...." "I see. But older women who wouldn't mind. 'Ah, you're so cute! I'll teach you.' There are women who will do that to." Manato replies, half talking to himself "She's younger than I am. & she's not a virgin either." Saeki looks at Manato in surprise "Is that so? You amaze me...." "Eh?" "Nothing." Resting his chin on his hand, Manato continues to ponder.......



After school, Yui waits outside by the school gates, anxiously waiting. Spotting Saeki coming out, she starts trailing him. At the train station, she fumbles buying a ticket, dropping her wallet & coins onto the floor. Running up to the platform, she finds herself on the opposite track. When Saeki suddenly disappears from her sight after buying a drink from a vending machine, Yui looks around & running about, spots Saeki running down a street. Following, Yui turns a corner & suddenly finds a hand in her face. Taken by surprise, Yui brakes & falls backwards. Saeki grins, holding his hand out "You haven't got what it takes to become a detective." Yui nods with a smile "Uhm," taking his hand & letting him help her up onto her feet.....



At the studio, Manato poses for the artist, right arm raised with an apple in his fist, the left holding up a text book. When Shiho doesn't appear to notice, Manato drops his arm & starts to massage it with the other. When she looks up, Manato quickly raises his arm to the required pose. Puts her paints down & getting to her feet, Shiho peels off a shirt revealing a sweater underneath "It's getting a little warm." Manato peeps over his text book as she draws aside drapes giving privacy to the bedroom. Crawling over her bed, she opens the window next to it. When she turns back, Manato quickly turns his eyes back to his book......



In Saeki's apartment, Yui looks around exclaiming "You're living here in such a big place all alone?!" Saeki flops down onto the sofa "Both my parents are in New York so I'm taking care of the place." "Don't you feel lonely?" Putting his feet up on the table, Saeki replies "Lonely? Not particularly." "Hmmm....." With a smile Yui takes a seat on the sofa across from Saeki, who asks "& then?" Yui looks at him "Then?" "Are you going to take your clothes off yourself? Or do I?" Yui looks taken aback "Eh?" "You said that you liked me, didn't you?" "Yui smiles, nodding "Uhm!" Saeki nods "Uhm. Following me all the way home, naturally you have this intention," losening his tie & unbuttoning his shirt. Yui stares at him, not saying a word. Saeki continues, taking off his shirt "Hurry up. There's no need for any tiresome talk is there? Or do you expect me to whisper sweet words of love to you?" When Yui continues staring without a word, Saeki laughs "Go home. I'm sorry but I have no interest in children." Sauntering to a table, Saeki picks up a cigarette & lights up. Behind him, Yui gets up & starts taking off her coat. As she's about to take off her top, Saeki stops her in surprise "What are you doing?!" Yui replies "What am I doing? I was thinking that I'd take off my clothes myself. Ah, or would you like to do it for me?" Saeki looks at her in amazement "No. Aren't you really trembling with fear?" Yui smiles "My heart's pounding with anticipation." Saeki laughs "You're really weird." "Compared to who?" "Who I wonder....." "Ah!" "What?" "What time is it now?" Saeki looks at his watch "5.30." Yui grabs her coat "I've got to go home & make dinner!" Saeki looks at her in shock "Dinner?!" "Bye, senpai!" "Bye..." "Ah, it's Yui." "Eh?" "My name. Oh." "Bye bye." "Bye bye." Yui rushes out the door, leaving Saeki frowning in puzzlement at Yui's behavior. Grabbing his shirt from the couch, he mutters "It's freezing...."



Yui runs out of the apartment building & turning to look back, she sees & waves to Saeki out on the veranda. Saeki waves back & watches Yui run down the street. Saeki turns & stares at his hand, looking at it as if wondering what on earth he's doing......



At the studio, Shiho finally finishes her painting with a deft brushstroke & announces "It's done! Finished!" Manato relaxes with relief as she grabs him "Come look! Don't you think it's good piece?" Manato stares at it "Eh?" "I'm going to enter it in a competition, I'm sure I'll win." Manato, not exactly sure what to make of her art, replies "Is that so? That's good then." "It's because of the model, thanks." Manato puts on his shirt, modestly replying "It's nothing..." "Your muscles are different." "Is that so? Well then, I'm off," Manato tells her, picking up his coat. "Ah wait, I haven't paid you for the work." "It's ok, it's not a big deal." "Really? Actually I'm also a little strapped for cash. I was wondering what I had to do for rent too." "Don't worry about it, bye," Manato starts for the door but Shiho stops him "I don't feel too good about that. How about staying the night?" Manato looks at her "Eh?" "Are your parents really strict?" "Ah, they're not really strict or anything but...." "Take a look inside your coat pocket," Shiho tells him, walking to her bed. Manato looks enquiringly "My coat?" Putting his hand into his coat pocket, Manato pulls out a packet & looking at it, is taken aback to see what it is. "Tetsuya-kun was the one that asked me to. He said that if I didn't have money, that I could do this." A little embarrassed, Manato holds out the pack of condoms "When did he....?" Sitting down on the bed, Shiho replies "It's just in case. You know too that getting pregnant would be a problem. Come sit over here," patting the bed beside her. Manato sputters "Ah, I don't...." but stops when he sees her taking off a sweater, revealing nothing underneath. In a matter of fact tone, she tells him "Come here..." Manato stares at her, hesitating, wavering......



Haruka pushes aside the curtains & looks out the window, staring across to see Manato's room, dark with curtains drawn. Glancing at the clock, she sees it past midnight & stares out the window again, knowing Manato hasn't returned home.....



Lying in bed, Manato stares up into the ceiling. Giving Shiho beside him a glance, he quietly gets up & pulls on his shorts. Dressed, Manato heads for the door, turning back & giving a pensive look at the woman lying asleep in bed, before turning & walking out the door. In the early hours of dawn, Manato finds himself walking to the fountain. Dropping his bag onto the ground, he sits on the ledge of the fountain, lost in his thoughts. Morning arrives. The bustle of people heading off to work & school bringing him out of his reverie, Manato slowly rises to his feet & starts walking....



As Yui washes up the dishes, she hears the door open & hurries to the foyer. Seeing Manato, she chides him "Hey, where have you been?! If you're going to stay over at a friend's place at least call home! You'll worry Dad too." Manato however, ignores her, & despondently heads for the stairs. Yui looks at him strangely "Manato? The least you could do is answer!" When she grabs him, Manato tumbles onto the floor. "I'm sorry, are you hurt? Are you feeling ill?" However, Manato just walks up the stairs without a word. Looking away with puzzlement, Yui spots the box of condoms on the floor & picks it up. Understanding dawns on her & she glances upwards with a smile "Ah!"



Manato enters his bedroom & tumbles onto his bed. The door opens & Yui bounces in holding the box of condoms "Was this it?!" Manato turns away, not replying & Yui comes in, sitting beside him on the bed "So how was it? Did it go well? Come on, tell me! Please?! Hey Manato! Ah, never mind, I'll have all the time to ask when I get back from school!" With a grin & tossing the box onto the bed, Yui bounces out of the room, leaving Manato lying in bed, staring at the box of condoms next to him......



Yui heads for the bus stop & seeing Haruka waiting, calls out "Morning!" Turning to see who it is, Haruka smiles back "Morning. Where's Irie-kun?" "He's still asleep. He might be late, or will he take a day off?" "Isn't he feeling well?" Yui gives her a knowing grin "Don't act!" Haruka however, doesn't know what Yui's talking about. Yui slides closer to Haruka "Excuse me," & proceeds to unravel Haruka's muffler, looking at her neck. Haruka pulls away "What are you doing?" Yui replies "There isn't one." "What?" "A hickey." Haruka stares at Yui shocked.....



On the bus seated next to each other, Yui chatters on, thinking that Manato's spent the night with Haruka. "Manato refuses to tell me anything. I guess maybe I'm a girl & although I'm his sister, I guess he feels a little embarrassed to talk to me about it. That's why I thought I'd ask you instead. If you don't feel like talking about it it's ok. It's not that I'm being perverted, I just want to share in the happiness, & that feeling of excitement!" Haruka quietly says "I....." Yui turns serious "Yes?" "I didn't stay out last night." Yui's expression changes to surprise "Eh?" Haruka stares straight ahead "I didn't spend the night out." Yui turns away, grimacing at her own mistaken assumption......



At the counselor's room, Mariko looks at Saeki's records in front of her "If you don't miss any more school days, it looks like you'll be able to graduate." Resting his chin lazily on his hand across the table from her, Saeki merely stares at her. Uneasily, Mariko continues "If it works out, what are your plans? Do you intend on going to university here in Japan? Or..." Saeki breaks in, asking instead "How far have you gone with that guy?" "That's got nothing to do with you." "Have you kissed yet? Or have you gone all the way?!" Saeki asks, gasping in jest. Mariko frowns "We're in school." Saeki however, ignores her warning "Is he good? Hmmm, he looks like the serious type so perhaps it feels like making out according to a textbook?" Saeki gets up onto the table & slides across to her "Does that satisfy you? Or are you just pretending? Want me to show him what satisfies you most? Bring him to the biology class next time. I'll show him according to the textbook. He's not going to get upset about our relationship, is he? We're all adults after all." Mariko looks at him "I've already told him about it, that I had a relationship with one of my students," getting up & walking to the window. Saeki says "Had? So it's past tense." "I don't want to give him any excuses. He's an honest man. He's takes me seriously." "It looks like you're seriously thinking about marriage." Mariko turns around & replies firmly "Yes. I intend to." Saeki looks away, a look of pain appearing on his face. Mariko adds "I'm thinking of resigning once this school term is over." "Will you be happy?" "Yes." "You're lying.....lying....." False bravado dissolving completely, Saeki puts his hand to his face, fighting back tears......



Manato's asleep in bed when the phone rings. Opening his eyes, he stares at it before turning over & ignoring it. When it refuses to stop, he finally forces himself out of bed "Hello, this is Irie." Haruka replies "Hello, it's me. Could you come out for a bit?" Manato nods "Uhm."



In the music room, Saeki's playing the piano while Yui flips through a magazine. With irritation, Saeki slams down the cover of the piano & gets up. Yui scrambles to her feet "You're not playing anymore?" In a huff, Saeki grabs his back & storms out "I'm sorry but could you stop following me about?" Yui stares at him & proceeds to do just that......



Manato heads down to the park & sees Haruka playing with her younger brother Satoru "Playing catch ball?" Haruka smiles "Want to take my place?" Manato shakes his head "I'll watch." "I see." Haruka tosses the ball to her brother as Manato takes a seat on the swing. "What happened last night? I never saw the light come on through your bedroom window." Manato looks up in surprise & comes up with an excuse "I was kind of lost in thought in the living room & fell asleep there." "I see." "Yeah. Feels like I caught a cold too." Haruka laughs "I'm sorry." "What for?" "Actually I know about it. Yui-chan told me about it this morning." "Eh?" "That you came home early this morning. I was a little worried. Sorry, thought I'd tease you about it." Manato remains silent, unable to say anything to say. Haruka adds "I wonder if all husbands lie like that when they have affairs." "I don't know." "Are you regretting it?" "What? Ah, well, sort of." "In that case I forgive you. I wonder when I become someone's wife if I'll do that too." Haruka throws the ball out of Satoru's reach "Ah, sorry!" Suddenly, Haruka starts to cry & Manato, seeing her tears, gets up & slowly approaches her "I'm sorry. To be honest, I did it for your sake." "For my sake?" "Yes. It's an embarrassing confession to make but I....I didn't have that experience before," Manato turns away, not looking at her "That's why, if I didn't, then it's like I haven't grown up. It might be hard for you to understand but...." "Who was she? I guess how shall I put it, she must be a 'pro'...." "Yes, she is." "I see." "I guess you think I'm just making excuses." "No, I don't." Manato finally gathers the courage to look at her & she smiles "So this is what it was." "Yeah, it had nothing to do with being in love & all that." "I'm glad." "If you weren't serious about it, then it's ok. That's what my Mom always says." Satoru comes back with the ball "onechan!" & then continue playing catch ball as Manato stares pensively at Haruka......



Saeki walking home, grimaces "I said not to follow me about didn't I?" Yui, a few paces behind, asks "Why not?" "You just can't." "That puts me in a spot. I still want to be with you." "Ah, is that what the guys before use to say to you? They would be the ones going after you instead?" "Usually." "Because they think you're cute?" "I'm not a guy so I don't know about that." I'm sorry but I don't think so." Saeki stops in his tracks & turns to look at her "Rather, I think you are a really inconsiderate person instead." "Inconsiderate?" "You think only of your own feelings, right? Either that or you're just confident in yourself." "Because I haven't got any self confidence is why I want to be with you. If I had confidence, whatever you said wouldn't bother me at all." "So you really are inconsiderate after all. You refuse to understand that I really want to be alone at this moment." "Do you hate me?" "I neither hate nor like you." "You don't have to like me but don't hate me." Saeki stares at Yui, giving her an assessing look. Yui frowns "I'm not smart at all, & just like you say, maybe am an inconsiderate person. I can't really think of too many things all at once. In any case I like you. That feeling of wanting to be with you won't let me think of anything else." Saeki tells her flatly "You're a nuisance. I'm telling you straight. I already have someone I like. Perhaps even being in love with." "I see." "Do you understand? Alright, good bye." Giving her a pat on the head, Saeki turns to leave. Yui stares at him "I'll keep trying!" Saeki turns back & Yui says again "I'll keep trying because I like you. Even if you like someone else, this feeling won't disappear." Saeki asks "So how can I make it disappear?" "I don't know. What about you? What if you knew that the person you like is in love with someone else, can you make your feelings disappear?" Saeki ponders "Yes I can." "Really?" Saeki grins "That's a big fat lie." Yui smiles "See. It won't happen right away." "I guess so," Saeki replies & coolly saunters on. Yui stares at him as if she's about to break into tears & decides to follow him anyway......



(-= CJ =- Talk about shitsukoi!! (annoyingly persistent) but I guess many guys wouldn't mind Fukada Kyoko trailing after them like a puppy dog...)



Standing side by side in the bathroom, Manato & Yui brush their teeth, each lost in their own thoughts. Yui, not her usual cheery self, says "Hey..." Manato, absentmindedly replies "Hm?" "Can I change what I said before?" "What did you say before?" "I said that I would cry only when I was happy." "Ah, yes, you did say that." "Can I correct it?" "Which part?" Manato looks up & sees Yui about to dissolve into tears "I cry when I feel sad too." Manato asks worriedly "Did something happen?" Yui nods "Uhm." "Something interesting? Ah, I guess it doesn't look like it." "Part of it is interesting, part of it is sad." "Sounds awfully complicated." "It's complicated, but it's simple too." Manato mutters "Sounds like all the questions in the exam...." "What's that?" "Nothing, go on...." "I've found someone I like." Manato looks at her stunned "Eh? I see." "Uhm." "So why is that sad?" "He said he liked someone else." "I see. That's unfortunate. You should give it up & find someone else." "I don't want to." "Even if you don't want to....." "If you were in the same position, would you give up?" "Uhm. I would definitely give up. It can't be help, I'm afraid of getting hurt." "I can't, I can't do it." The tears start falling as Yui slides down onto the bathroom floor. Manato takes the towel around his shoulders & going down on his heels in front of her, holds it out to her. Taking it, Yui mutters "Thanks." Hiding her face in the towel, she says "Then cheer me on?" "Eh?" "Tell me not to give up, to go for it. Please?" Manato looks at her "Alright, I will." Yui looks at Manato with wet soulful eyes "Really?" With a sad smile, Manato tells her "I'll cheer you on." Reaching out & hugging her brother, Yui says tearfully "Thank you, Manato." Without a word, Manato puts his arms around her, holding her as she cries........





from that moment on, my world ended,

& a new one began....

that's why I will never forget you....

no matter how much I would fight for it,

I could never play the leading role,

that was the new world you created for me.....

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Old 02-23-2007, 08:44 PM   #12 Offline
akachan
Takazuki Kyon
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sukina hito wa dare desu ka?

~ who's the one that you like? ~

Manato yawns & stretches, ambling towards the bus stop. Walking ahead of him, Yui turns around "Didn't get enough sleep?" Manato replies "Yeah, I guess." "That's tough, mugging for college entrance exams. Wait, didn't you say you were going to give it a miss this year?" "That was my initial plan but I thought I'd give it a try anyway." "I know. You're going to apply for the same university as Haruka." "That's a little out of my league though." "You'll be fine. The power of love is great," smiles Yui. Manato gives her a glance "Love, huh." "Ah, there's something I need to apologize to you for." "What?" "I blurted out to Haruka that you spent the night out." "Oh." "But it was all your fault. I thought you were with Haruka." "Forget it already." "Did you apologize to her?" "Well, she didn't exactly get mad at me." "Really?" Manato looks at her & Yui moans "That's boring." "What's that? So you just think all this is fun after all." Yui laughs "Well, in any case, I'm glad things worked out okay." "That goes without saying." "Says who?! If someone I liked did that, I would go crazy." Manato looks at her amused "Is that so? You don't look the sort." "Why?" "Well, compared to Haruka, I didn't think you were the type to mind this sort of thing." "Of course I do! I'd like his love & body both to be mine," Yui tells him, taking his hand. Manato hesitates "His body....does that mean he can't sleep around?" "Of course! Definitely!" Yui playfully pushes Manato. Manato asks "If you find out you'll hate him?" "I won't hate him but he can't," Yui pushes Manato playfully again into the bushes & runs off. Manato grins, looking at her.



"Ah, it's Haruka-chan!" Haruka already at the bus stop, turns around & greets Yui "Ah, good morning." Yui waves back "Morning." Manato reaches Yui & Haruka, after a moment's hesitation, greets him "Morning." Manato replies amicably "Good morning." Yui teases "That's great, being romantic first thing in the morning." Manato watches Yui run up to Haruka pensively.





at that moment, I certainly didn't feel that way.....





As Manato walks up to Haruka & Yui, he recalls Yui telling him the previous night "There's someone I like," & his own stunned response "Eh?"





who is he?

who is he?

that was all I was thinking about....





Yui asks "Manato, what time it now?" Manato reaches into his coat & takes out his cell phone to look at the time but Haruka answers "It's about 7.57 I guess." "I see." Manato soberly looks at his hand, thinking.





that's why I will never forget you





Yui hears the bus sound its horn & smiles "It's here! It's on time today." Manato turns to look.





fighting desperately to hide the feelings I felt for you......





Out on the track & field one morning, Manato & Saeki are limbering up with their other classmates. The coach blows the whistle & the boys gather on the track "Saeki, are you sure you can run?" Saeki nods "Yes." "If you don't feel well then stop right away." "I will." Manato looks at Saeki but doesn't say anything. The coach yells "Ready, go!" & the boys start running around the track. On the other side of the field, Taeko grabs Haruka "Look! Saeki's running too!" Haruka looks at the jogging pack of guys in surprise. Seeing Manato lagging behind, Taeko comments a little derisively "Erie's last already." Haruka mutters "Shut up." Manato gives her a grin as he shuffles by & Haruka mouths "Hang in there," to him.



Among the leaders of the pack, Saeki suddenly spurts ahead, causing the coach to shout in worry "Hey Saeki! Don't over do it!" The girls watch in amazement & Taeko says "Saeki's really good! But doesn't he have a heart problem?" Haruka replies "I don't know." Saeki continues running fast & Manato glances at him. Suddenly, Saeki grabs his chest & stumbles to the ground. Hearing the commotion, Manato turns to look & runs towards Saeki. The boys & the coach gather around him, not knowing what to do "Saeki! Should we call an ambulance?! Somebody, go get the stretcher from the infirmary!" Saeki grimaces in pain.



In the infirmary, Saeki starts laughing & Manato stares at him in wonder. Saeki grins "It wasn't a bad performance, don't you think?" Manato takes a seat by the bed "Performance?" Saeki explains "Well, my attendance record is really bad, especially for Phys Ed. But if I put in an appeal 'I did try', then the teachers would let me off." "But are you really alright?" Saeki nods "You're the only one I'm telling this to. I'm actually the epitome of good health itself. Well, maybe lack of exercise lately so my heart really was pounding just now." "But...." "A doctor friend of my father's wrote a fake medical report for me." "Why?" "Why I did that? Because I wanted to stay in this school, even if it meant repeating a year or two." "Oh." Manato gets up & goes to the window, opening it to let the breeze in. Saeki continues "Well, in any case I'll clear Phys Ed & I'll be able to score high marks for the exams. Actually I'm pretty good at Phys Ed, especially since I'm an adult already & can do really well. Ah, I still haven't told you. I heard from Shiho. Seems that everything went smoothly." Manato looks at him, stammering for words. Saeki says "Congratulations." Manato mumbles "What congratulations....it's nothing to celebrate...." "So how did it feel?" "Ah....kind of hard to put into words....." "That's sex for you. Anyway she was glad you weren't the persistent type." "Persistent?" "Yeah, for her body. It's normal to think that pleasure is the by-product of people's warmth." "That's kind of deep." "Oh?" "Well, is there someone that you like?" "What do you think?" "Hm, well if you do, then it would be someone older than you." "You're pretty good." "I guessed right?!" "Wrong!" The bell chimes & Saeki tells him "Thanks for coming by." Manato gets up "You're not coming?" Saeki lies back down in bed & pulls the covers over himself "If I'm going to pretend to be ill then I'm going to sleep the rest of the day." Manato nods politely "Then I'll get going," drawing the white curtains around the bed, leaving Saeki alone, muttering to himself "Persistence huh....."



Happily, Yui runs to the music room. Seeing it empty, Yui tilts her head "Hey?" Peeping into Saeki's classroom & not seeing him at his desk, Yui calls out to Taeko "Excuse me." "Ah, if you're looking for Irie, he's probably gone to buy lunch." "Is Saeki-senpai not here today?" "It seems he's not feeling well."



Up on the roof, Haruka holds out a bento (packed meal) to Manato "Here. I forgot to tell you about it this morning. I made a bento for you, if you don't mind, take it." Manato takes it "Thanks. But...." "I'll be in the classroom. I know that you won't like it if news gets out about us." "Well, yeah." "I'll make these for you whenever I have time. Ah, I wonder if Yui-chan will get upset." "She won't, she'll probably ask you to make her share too." "It would be great if that's the case." "Without a doubt, that's what she would do." "Then when you're done, leave the box in my shoe locker." Haruka runs off & Manato belated mumbles "Ah, ok." Left alone on the roof top, Manato grimaces "I'm suppose to eat up here? It's freezing!"



Coming down the stairs, Haruka sees someone running off down the corridor "Yui-chan?" Curiosity getting the better of her, Haruka follows.



In the infirmary, Yui stares at Saeki "Sleeping? You're asleep so it's ok, isn't it." Yui leans over & kisses Saeki lightly on his lips. A gust of wind blows through the open window & the curtains flutter open. Haruka, standing by the door, stares in astonishment.



In class as one of the girls read a text monotonously aloud, Yui glances at Saeki's empty desk. Lost in his thoughts, Manato twiddles a pencil with his fingers, not paying attention.



With a smile on her face, Yui plays with her pink colored bell. "Ah, you're awake!" Sleepily, Saeki asks "How long you been here?" "Since lunch." "Hasn't the 5th lesson started already?" "Doesn't matter." "What do you mean?" "Even if I'm not around, the 5th period lesson will start anyway." "That again?" Saeki stretches, looking at her. Sitting up, he says "Shall I make a guess?" "Hm?" "What kind of bread you had for lunch." Yui nods "Uhm." Saeki pretends to think & then looks at her "Melon bread." "How did you know?" "Because I can taste it on my lips." Yui grins sheepishly & Saeki mutters "Really!" Yui looks at him "But then the prince woke up." "With a kiss from the princess?" "Yes, to wake him up from a bad dream." Saeki tilts his head in amusement "A-hm?" Yui does the same "A-hm?" Saeki finally grins, giving in to her, falling back into bed.



By the shoe lockers, Manato looks around surreptitiously & gingerly opens Haruka's locker. Haruka suddenly appears "How was it?" Startled, Manato backs the locker door shut "You scared me! So you're here." Haruka grins "I saw you from behind so came after you." Manato holds out the box to her "Thanks." "Great." "It was delicious, really." "Is that so? My younger brother said that I'll make a good wife. He said he wanted to marry me." Changing his shoes, Manato replies jokingly "No way." "Yeah, we're blood related." "Yeah." "Oh, then in your case, it'd be okay for you & Yui-chan." Manato grins "Gimme a break," & walks out the main entrance. Haruka follows behind "Sorry, I just got a little jealous that's all. You guys get to spend all your time together under the same roof. Even in the mornings you guys look very intimate." "That's got nothing to do with me. Yui's got someone she likes." "You know about it?" "I know about it? You too?" Haruka ponders, nodding "Uhm, well yeah...." Manato asks "Who is he?" Haruka looks surprised "Eh?" Manato stares at her & after a momentary pause, says "Never mind," & starts walking. Haruka asks "So you don't know who he is?" Manato turns around "It's got nothing to do with me." "But...." "She asked me to cheer her on." "I see." "I told her to hang in there." Nonchalantly, Manato turns around & walks off.



In his room pouring over his notes, Manato corrects his own exercises "Correct, correct....hey, I'm not bad.....uhm?" Puzzling over his mistakes, he suddenly hears Yui's voice "I can't, I can't. I don't know how to do this," & then Haruka's voice "Then you do this." Yui replies "Then I'll start on this."



Manato comes downstairs & opens the door into the living room, seeing Haruka cooking in the kitchen "Sawamura!" "Ah, you must be hungry. Sorry, wait just bit more." "I didn't mean that." Yui explains "I met her at the supermarket again by chance so asked her if she could by our house & cook for us as well." Manato nods "I see," sitting by the couch. Haruka's brother Satoru, playing with the computer game, greets him "Hello." Noticing him for the first time, Manato replies "Hi." Yui tells him "Haruka's making curry, try it, it's really delicious." "Really?" Haruka tells him "Don't expect too much, it's just ordinary curry." Manato looks at her "But then again....that apron suits you." Haruka glances at the apron before shyly replying "Eh? Ah, there's not need for you to flatter me." "I'm not," assures Manato. Yui gets up & shows off her pink apron "What about me? How do I look in an apron?" Manato looks at her & teases "You....never mind." Yui pouts "Bu...bu...bu..." Manato laughs & tells Haruka "Let me know when you're done." "I will." Yui mimics "Let me know when you're done, I will. Hey Manato, you sound like newlyweds!" Manato turns around & points at her "You shut up." Yui mutters "What are you feeling shy for?" Manato opens the door & walks out as Yui says to Haruka "Don't you think Manato's cute when he's feeling bashful?" "Uhm," replies Haruka. As Manato walks up the stairs, Yui calls out teasingly "Hey, someone says you're cute, dear husband! Hey, are you listening?" Manato ignores her & continues up the stairs.



Left alone, Haruka asks "Yui-chan?" "Hm?" "Were you at the infirmary today?" "Hm? Ah, uhm. Why?" "I saw you so I was just wondering if you weren't feeling well or something." "Don't tell me you saw that 'moment'?" "Well, sort of. The curtains were drawn shut." "How embarrassing." "I left right away." "I see." "It was probably Saeki from our class, wasn't it?" "Yes." "When did it start?" "It's not when it started." "That's true too, you just transferred here." "I'm just lucky." "Lucky?" "That I met someone really nice," explains Yui. Haruka looks away muttering "I wonder if he's really that nice...." "Eh?" "Actually I know something." "Know something?" "If it were someone else I wouldn't have bothered but because you're Irie-kun's younger sister, I thought I should warn you." "What?" "He's going around with someone." Yui smiles "I know." Haruka looks at her in surprise "Eh?" "He told me that he has someone he likes, someone he loves." "& then?" "That doesn't change anything. It's got nothing to do with my feelings for him." "Nothing to do...?" "Well, not exactly. I'm just talking big. But it can't be helped." "So you're not giving up?" "I'm not. I'll keep trying." "How?" "I am full of love. I believe that one day he will return my strong feelings for him." "Strong feelings?" "I'm willing to do anything for him." "You like him that much?" "I like him that much." "I see." "Manato told me to hang in there. Haruka too, will you...." "It's sensei. The one he loves is our form teacher. That's why...." Yui's expression darkens "I see." "Eh?" "So she's an adult." Mixed emotions engulf Yui.



Manato helps an alcohol intoxicated Yui into her room "When did she drink so much?" Haruka, getting the covers off Yui's bed, replies "I think it's the wine we found. She was really enjoying it." Putting Yui to bed, Haruka says "Well, I guess I should get going. My brother's waiting too." "Alight. It was delicious, lunch & dinner both." "Are you still going to study later?" "Yes, just a bit more." "Then, hang in there. Goodnight." "Goodnight." Haruka walks out & after a moment, Manato heads for the door, turning out Yui's bedroom light. Suddenly, he hears Yui say "What were you doing?" Manato turns around in surprise to see Yui sit up in bed "& here I thought you would at least kiss her." Manato turns the light back on "Aren't you supposed to be drunk?" "Half drunk. The other half I was eavesdropping." Manato mutters "Mind your own business." "Hey, if you get married to Haruka, I'll become her younger sister, right?" Manato replies with a smile "I'm not even thinking about marriage." "I said if." Manato reluctantly agrees "Uhm." Smiling, Yui says "If that happens I'll be really happy." Manato stares at her, heart sinking "You will?" Yui nods "Uhm." Manato, returns to his room in low spirits. Drawing the curtains aside, he looks out to see Haruka's blue curtains drawn. It opens & Haruka appears, mouthing "Goodnight." Manato nods. When Haruka draws her curtains shut, Manato stares at it glumly, letting out a big sigh.



The next morning, Manato walks among the sea of students heading for school, the expression on his face gloomy.



In the music room, Saeki's playing his melancholy piece on the piano. Hearing the sound of the door open, he says without looking up "Good morning. The bells gone off already. You should be skipping classes like me....." Looking up, Saeki suddenly stops playing, seeing Haruka at the doorway. Saeki grins sheepishly "This is embarrassing, I've mistaken you for someone else." Haruka walks in "You thought I was Yui-chan?" "You're a friend of hers?" "She's my neighbor." "I see. She's an interesting girl, don't you think?" Peeved, Haruka says "Is that what you think of her?" "What do you mean?" "Well, feelings of love or...." "Ah, so that's what you mean." "If you're half playing with her then stop." "Playing with her? More like she's playing with me!" "You're already going out with someone!" "I find your reaction rather strange." "I'm not talking about me right now." "Yes, yes. But what do you want me to do? She's still coming after me even though I've told her that I'm going out with someone." "You could give her the cold shoulder." "I see. But I can't do that." "Why not?" "Hmmm, there might something wrong with me too but I don't completely dislike her either. Besides, she's really cute." "What?!" "She's only your neighbor, why do you care? If she were your own sister I could understand." "He's my boyfriend's sister." "Eh?" "She's Irie-kun's younger sister." "Really?" "He doesn't know anything. He's concentrating on his exams right now so I haven't told him." "But I don't think he would get mad. The both of us get along surprisingly well. I see. Rather than not liking the fact that I go out with Yui, you don't like the fact that I get along well with him. Am I wrong?" Haruka glares at him without saying anything. Saeki smiles "You hate me that much? I like you well enough," putting his hand on her shoulder. Haruka pushes his hand away "Stop it!" "Alright," replies Saeki, making his way to the door. Haruka warns "In any case, leave Yui-chan alone. She's still an innocent kid." Saeki pauses in his tracks & turns around "Which means you're an adult? So you've got the experience already?" Haruka looks away, not replying. Saeki continues "He said so. That his girlfriend wasn't a virgin anymore so he wanted to lose his too." Haruka says affronted "What are you saying?!" Saeki looks at her "I actually thought that you were still a virgin." Haruka struggles to find an answer "I..." The bell sounds & Saeki says "The bell's gone off," & walks out the door. Left alone, Haruka struggles with the fact that she isn't the girl Manato likes.



At the hospital, Manato struggles with filling a vase full of flowers with water. Mizawa, still in bed, looks at Yui "Really? You're taking care of everything at home?" Yui replies "Yes I am, aren't I Papa?" Irie smiles "Yes, her cooking's not bad too. The curry last night was like what you'd find in a restaurant!" Yui looks away sheepishly muttering "That was....." The door slides open & Manato enters with the flower vase in hand. Mizawa sees him "Sorry, Manato-kun." "It's alright. Can I put it here?" Manato asks, pointing to the table. Mizawa nods gratefully "Yes, thanks. It's beautiful!" Yui chirps "I picked them. Anemone flowers," running over & picking up the vase full of red flowers. Manato gripes "It took you an hour to decide." Yui explains "I was talking with them. I asked, 'who would make Mom feel better?'" Manato looks at her "Talking with the flowers?" "Yes, & then these flowers said they would." Mizawa assures them "According to the test results yesterday, the doctors said that I could probably come home next week, right dear?" looking at her husband. Irie nods "Uhm." Yui bounces up teasingly "Papa, I heard from the nurses that you have you lunch here too." Irie & Mizawa laugh embarrassed. Yui adds "You're all so cute when you're feeling bashful!" Manato says "Well, I'm glad it's nothing serious, uhm...." Yui elbows Manato & hesitatingly, Manato adds "...Mom." Mizawa puts her hands to her mouth in surprise, looking at Irie who appears equally shocked "Manato!" Yui grins "Manato said it for the first time! Ah, let's hear him say it one more time!" Playfully pushing & shoving Manato, Yui grumbles at him "Say it once more! Come on!" Manato, looking embarrassed, tries to fend Yui off as she tells their amused parents "Wait a minute, I'll get him to say it," & then orders Manato "Say it!"



Being seen off by his father in the lobby, Manato asks "Are you going to be late again tonight?" Irie replies "Yes. I also have work to do." Yui says "It's tough on you, this labor of love." Irie laughs, embarrassed "It's nothing." The elevator arrives & Irie hurriedly says "See you," & heads off towards the elevator. As Yui & Manato turn to go, Irie calls out "Ah, Manato!" Turning back to look, they see Irie by the elevator door looking back at them. With a tone of gratefulness in his voice, Irie tells his son "Thanks." Caught by surprise, Manato says "Eh? Ah, what I said just now? Yui said that I had too." Irie nods "Alright, bye."



Walking along a busy lane, Manato comments "It's weird." Yui asks curiously "What is?" Nothing, just that Dad said 'thank you' to me." "Ah, when people feel happy, they'll often say 'thank you'." "I wonder." "On the other hand, those that are feeling miserable will only say 'Idiot! Stop messing around!' Don't you think so?" Yui turns to look at Manato beside her but finds him missing "Eh?" Turning back, she finds a guy grabbing Manato by his collar, yelling "You think just a 'Sorry' will solve this?!! Idiot!!" Yui runs up "What happened?!" Manato stammers "Ah, I was passing by when his bike fell...." The guy yells "You bumped into it!!" Manato cringes "I was just...." A few more punks walk out of the amusement center "What's going on?" Yui tells him off "You shouldn't have parked your bike here in the first place!" Manato warns "Yui!"



In a deserted underpass, the three guys corner Manato & Yui, threatening Manato "Pay up!" Manato mutters "Pay up?" "Hurry up! Take your money out!!" When Manato slowly reaches for his wallet, Yui frowns "Manato! There's no need to give them money!" The guys grab his wallet "Give it!" Opening it to find only a measly note, they growl "Is this all you have?!!" "That's not going to be enough!" Manato gives a weak smile "But that's all I have right now." Shoving him against the wall, they yell "You're taking us for fools?!!" Yui, riled, takes her bag & whacks the guy on the head "Stop it you idiot!!!" "You looking for death?!" Yui goes flying onto the ground as the guys snigger. Manato fearfully tells them "Stop!" However, one of them strides up to Yui, grabbing a fistful of her hair "If you take a closer look, she's pretty cute. How about some fun?!" Timidly, Manato pleads "Stop it already!" One of them kicks him in the gut "Shut up!" Slowly, Manato reaches into his coat pocket "Hey!" The guys turning around, snigger as they see what Manato's holding out, pointing at them "What's that?! A ball pen?!" "You think you're going to change into Ultraman?" One of them pulls out a knife "Normally one uses this!" Manato bravely holds out the pen "Looks like you don't know the power of this pen!" Worriedly, Yui says "Manato!" However, Manato presses on urgently "This is the tool of the academia, that's to say, it is used to aid the memory. I have recorded all your faces in my memory!" "So what?" "It doesn't matter what your future holds for all of you, what kind of work you'll do, who you marry. I will remember you. I will find you one day; & take revenge. By hook or by crook, no matter how many years it takes, it won't make a difference to me. I will destroy whatever happiness you have!!" A look of apprehension appear on the expressions of the guys, as if half believing Manato's unflinching threat. Enraged, Manato yells at them "Don't you dare touch Yui!!! I won't let you off!!!" Yui stares at Manato in shock. Looking around, Yui yells "Ah, a policeman!" The guys turn to look & Yui quickly shoves one of them. They fall over like dominos & quickly, Yui yells "Manato! Run!" Manato quickly grabs his bag & starts running after Yui, as the guys trip & stumble in their rush to go after them. Coming to a landing, Yui points out to the different stairways "You go there! I'll go this way!" Running off, Manato takes a quick glance back to see Yui heading off in the opposite direction with the guys coming after them.



(-= CJ =- baka ja nai no, Manato. A ball pen?!)



Panting, Manato finds himself in a playground & takes a seat at the bottom of a slide "Did Yui run off okay I wonder..." Trying to catch his breath, Manato suddenly hears someone call out "Hey!" Looking up, he sees two of the punks & gets up but find another one in his face. Without a word, the three of them surround Manato, looking intimidating.



Putting one foot in front of the other, Manato arrives home. With his hair standing up on its ends & bruises covering his face, Manato enters the front door "I'm home." Haruka comes out to greet him "Welcome back! What happened to you?!" Taking off his shoes, Manato tiredly mumbles "Sawamura, you're here."



On the floor with Yui looking on, Haruka cleans up the bruises on Manato's face. When Manato flinches, Haruka quickly apologizes "Sorry, does it hurt?" Manato shakes his head & Yui grins "So you didn't make your escape!" Manato scowls "What are you laughing at?" Yui continues "You run too slowly, Manato," moving to the sofa. Manato retorts "It wasn't that! To make sure they didn't catch you, I actually went back." Yui replies, not quite believing him "Really?" "Of course! I held out both arms & told them 'You've got to get through me first!'" Yui laughs "What's that? A period drama?" "Excuse me?! Just looking at me you'd think that I was the one getting totally trashed but I gave it to them good too." Yui nods "I see." "I've got a lot of things in my bag, I wonder if those guys are all right. It's a little worrying." Yui plays along "Of course. & then what happened?" Manato talks big "Then I pulled out an Aikido stunt, without even touching them they all went flying." Yui adds "You're really so strong! & then what happened?" Manato's expression darkens "Forget it already." Haruka tells him "You should visit the doctor tomorrow." "I'm really alright," replies Manato, getting to his feet. "I'm not done yet..." Haruka starts but Manato changes the subject "What did you make for dinner today? Smells good." "Rolled cabbage." With a nod "Oh," Manato turns & heads out of the living room. Yui calls out "I won't ever forget, Manato." Pausing at the doorway, Manato turns around "What?" Yui stands up & poses "Don't you dare touch Yui! I won't let you off!" Manato stares at her without a word. Yui smiles "You were really cool." Manato replies quietly "Was not," & closing the door, goes upstairs. Yui adds "Thank you" to his departing figure & sits back down on the sofa, talking to Satoru who's playing with the computer game. Haruka, cleaning up, looks decidedly uneasy at the exchange between Yui & Manato.



Sitting on the roof top alone, Manato eats his lunch pensively. Suddenly he hears Saeki's voice "What's happened to his face? That's what everyone's been asking me all morning." Manato looks up "Hi." Nonchalantly smoking a cigarette, Saeki asks "Got in a fight?" "I just fell." "Fell? More like fell & went tumbling down?" "Yeah, well, kind of like went tumbling a fair bit." Saeki smiles & then says "Hey..." Manato looks at him, waiting but Saeki suddenly changes his mind "Forget it." "What is it? Don't start & then stop half way?" "Will you apologize to your girlfriend for me?" "My girlfriend?" "I kind of said something I shouldn't have & made her mad. Well, she takes things a little too seriously, doesn't she?" "You're talking about Sawamura?" "Yeah." "She's not exactly my girlfriend." "There's no need to hide from me anymore." Manato turns away, not replying & Saeki asks "Eh? You mean she's not?" Manato replies "She's not. Well, I've been on a date with her before but..." "Then the girl you were talking about is someone else? That girl with the 'experience', & so you also wanted to......" "Ah, she isn't my girlfriend either." "What do you mean?" "It's just my own feelings." "Unrequited love?" "Unbelievably strong feelings....yeah I guess so." "Have you told her?" "No. Seems that she's got someone she likes already." "I see." "I even told her to 'hang in there' & all that." "That's tough." "It's a really indescribable feeling. She's so artless. It's almost like a refreshing balm to the loneliness I feel." "You're giving up?" "Yeah, I guess. Besides, I have to concentrate on my exams." "But if you do that, she....I mean Sawamura, won't she be feeling upset?" "How do you know?" "Well, that's the way it is. Together with the exams, the second choice." "I don't have any intentions of doing that. I feel it's a waste for Sawamura to be with me." "My apologies. It was a bad analogy." Manato nods with an amicable smile. Saeki adds "But 'your first choice'...I mean, that girl you're in love with, what is she like? I'd like to meet her." Manato stares pensively into space, lost in his thoughts.



In the counselor's room, Yui sits waiting with a serious countenance. The door slides open & she looks up. Mariko enters "I'm sorry, I had to take a phone call. You are?" "I'm Irie Yui from class 2A." "Irie? By any chance you're Irie's younger sister?" "Yes." Understanding dawns on Mariko & she takes a seat across the table from Yui "So you're here to talk about your brother? I was wondering since you're not from my class." "I'm not here to talk about my brother." "Oh?" "It's regarding Saeki-senpai." Mariko stares at her stunned. Yui adds "I like senpai very much." Mariko quietly asks "And?" "But all senpai thinks of is you." Mariko assures her "If you're here to ask about my feelings for him then there's no need to worry. I don't have that sort of feelings towards him. I'm going to get married this spring to my fianc. It's the truth, so...." "Why? Is that person better than senpai?" Mariko smiles weakly "How do I answer that....well, to me....yes...." "Then promise me. Promise me that you won't go back to senpai." "I won't...." "Ever." After a pause, Mariko nods with a smile "Alright." Hearing that, a smile appears on Yui's face & she gets to her feet "Thank you!" Mariko sighs "It's great to be young & innocent." Yui tells her "You're wrong. It has nothing to do with being young. It's because I like him very very much." Sliding the door open, Yui goes out, leaving Mariko with a sad look on her face.



Opening his shoe locker, Manato finds another blue letter addressed to him. Standing by the lockers, Manato stares at it motionless.



In the music room, Yui & Saeki sing a children's song with Saeki on the piano. Saeki stares at her "Your tone was off!" Yui grins "You too!" "Yes. I'm hopeless at singing. In grade school at a concert, I was tone deaf & sang off key so got a lashing. " "From everyone?" "Yeah, got my butt kicked." "Those bullies!" "Yeah! I was a pathetic sight. After that I couldn't talk for three years." Really?" "No, Il'm kidding." "What! You liar!" "Yeah!" Yui suddenly changes the subject "I met with sensei." "Hm?" "The sensei that you like." Surprised, Saeki nods. Yui adds "She said that she's getting married." "Yes." "Even then, I wheedled something out of her." "What?" "I asked her to promise that she wouldn't go back to you." Saeki stares at her, trying to hide his feelings & acting nonchalant, says "& then?" "She said she would." "I see." "I'm sorry." "No, it's alright. But normally, shouldn't you not tell me these things?" ""Why?" "Why? Well, aren't you afraid that I will think you a horrible girl knowing that you did that behind my back?" "Do you?" Saeki stares at her & grins, shaking his head. With a smile, Yui replies "That's what I thought!" "How come?" "I was thinking that you're beginning to like me a little." "You...." "Am I wrong?" "You're pretty sharp!" Yui starts cheering "Yeah!" Saeki does the same, Yui's playfulness infectious.



Running, Manato makes his way to the fountain by the station to find Haruka waiting for him sitting on the benches inside the fountain. Manato holds out the letter "What's wrong? Writing me another letter?" Haruka asks "Do your wounds still hurt?" "No, thanks to you." "That's good." "So what's up?" Haruka stares at him "I like the color blue." Not understanding Haruka, Manato goes "Eh?" Haruka explains "The color blue is like the sky & the sky, they go on forever." "Uhm." "Gives a feeling of eternity." "I see." "That's how I want to feel too. If I ever find someone I like, I'll think only of him. Always. But if....but if I know that that person likes someone else, I feel really uneasy." "I understand." "No you don't!" Upset, Haruka turns away from Manato "You don't understand my feelings at all!" Haruka starts to cry & Manato looks on in shock "Haruka!" In tears, Haruka continues "I'm sorry, what's wrong with me? I've become just like my own mother. Just like knowing that Dad's having an affair outside with someone else! But....if you don't tell me, I'll feel really uneasy." Manato asks "What is it?" Haruka turns around & looks at him "Who is...the one that you like?" Manato freezes. Exchanging stares that seem to go on forever, Manato swallows & finally finds his voice "Of course...." Dropping his bag onto the ground, Manato wades into the water with his shoes on & walks over to Haruka "It's you! Sawamura! Of course it's you! If it isn't, then going to the movies, kissing....." Haruka reaches out & puts her arms around his shoulders. Manato continues "....I couldn't have done that." Finally Haruka says "I'm sorry, bothering you just before your exams." Manato smiles "Yeah, really."



(-= CJ =- usotsuki Manato! Not only lying to Haruka but to himself too. Nani kakkou-tsuken'no?!)


Manato holds up his wet shoes against the heater to dry. On the sofa, Yui's playing with the computer games. With a feeling of resignation, Manato mutters "I guess there's that sort of a life too." "What sort?" "That there's a little bit of happiness even in ordinary lives." "Do you think that's interesting?" "It might not be interesting, but there's no worries either." "I don't think I'd like that." Manato turns around & gives her a nod of understanding "Uhm." Yui smiles "Even if it's just for one second, I want to feel utter happiness in this world." Manato nods & turns back, staring pensively at the heater.





that was the moment, for the first time since I met you

a feeling of calm flowed through inside me

that's why I will never ever forget you.

Manato says "That's what I thought you'd say." Yui smiles, looking at him "Really?" "Because you like passionate colors." Reaching out, Manato turns off the heater & slowly gets to his feet. Putting his hands into his pocket, Manato heads for the door & quietly walks up the stairs.





& then resignation hit me all at once

together with shreds of loneliness....


Source: Geocities

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Old 02-23-2007, 08:49 PM   #13 Offline
akachan
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kare ga imouto wo daita asa

~ the morning he slept with my sister ~

Manato adjusts the light over his books, a blue colored good luck charm hanging from it. A knock on the door & Manato grunts "Come in." The door opens & Yui peeps in "You're still awake? The exam's tomorrow isn't it?" "Yes but I just want to study a little bit more." "Putting up a fruitless struggle?" "You could say that." Yui grins & enters "It'd be great if you get in. You'll be in the same university as Haruka." "No way, not with my level." "If you think that then if you get in you'll be doubly happy!" Manato flips pages "When I fail then I'll only be half as sad." Yui nods & then asks "Are you taking a bento (packed meal) with you tomorrow?" "Sawamura said she'd make it for me." "Oh, that's good." Manato looks up "Ah, she also made me a good luck charm, see," clipping the blue puff with his hand. Yui exclaims "A handmade daruma? (a tumbler doll) It's cute! I should get her to make me one too!" "So ask her." "Well, this is from me," Yui takes out a folded sheet of paper & puts it on his desk. Manato unfolds the sheet & Yui whispers into his ear "Exam questions. I stole it yesterday." Manato frowns "Eh?" Yui grins & snatches it away "I'm kidding! That was just a joke. The real thing is here." Jumping onto the bed, Yui puts something into Manato's jacket pocket. Manato asks "What is it?" "A secret. See what it is when you're in the exam hall tomorrow." "Oh okay, thanks." "Well then, goodnight." "Goodnight." Yui bounces off the bed & out the door. Manato turns back to his book but curiosity getting the better of him, starts to get up to take a look. Just then the door opens & Yui peeps in "Tomorrow!" Manato nods sheepishly "Okay, tomorrow." Yui gives him a pout & Manato obediently sits back down at his desk & gets back to flipping pages.



Manato comes out of his home the next morning to see Haruka playing with her dog, waiting for him on the stairs. Seeing him, she gets to her feet "Morning." With a scarf dangling around his neck, Manato returns the greeting "Morning." "It's cold today." "Yeah." Taking out the bento from a bag, Haruka holds it out "Here." "Thanks." "It's nothing. Do you have the charm with you?" Manato holds out his school bag & shows her the charm attached to it & she grins. As they start walking, Haruka cheers him on "Hang in there." Manato, ever modest, replies "Don't expect too much." "Pressure?" "Not exactly but...." "Sorry." "No, it's not that. Anyway, I'll do by best." Haruka nods "Uhm." Putting the scarf properly around Manato's shoulders & sends him off "Itterasshai."



Manato walks through the main gates of Seiho University to take their entrance exam.

at the time

I didn't feel the slightest bit sentimental


Manato looks at the examination card in his hand & puts it back in his coat pocket, determination written on his face. He takes two steps when he suddenly recalls something. Reaching into his pocket of his jacket, Manato takes something out & opening his fist, sees a red colored pencil sharpener & stares at it.





that's why I will never forget you

even though a bittersweet thought

you were still there not far from my side

Gripping the sharpener in his fist, Manato continues walking on.



At a shrine, Haruka puts her hands together & says to her brother beside her "Satoru, say a prayer too." Satoru nods & obediently puts the soccer ball he's holding onto the ground. Haruka says "Alright." They both clap their hands & then say a prayer, their eyes closed. Satoru peeks "onechan, what are you praying for?" "What for....that the exam goes smoothly." "The onichan next door?" "Yes." "Why are you praying for the onichan next door?" "Why? Because...." "I know. Because you like him, don't you." "No. It's because he likes me." "Hmmmmm....hey wait a minute, it's the same thing!" Haruka laughs at her brother "Yeah."



Sitting tensely at his desk, Manato waits. The examiner announces "Alright, start!" Everyone turns over their question papers & starts pouring over them. Manato starts writing on his answer sheet when the tip of his pencil breaks. Reaching out for another, he starts to write when he suddenly puts the pencil down. With a frown, he reaches for the sharpener in his pocket. Taking the broken off pencil, he sharpens it.



Yui's sweater drops to her feet. Slowly, Saeki & Yui move to the bed, smiling at each other. As she reaches to unbutton her blouse, Saeki stops her & continues undoing them instead. Over at the examination hall, Manato's deep in concentration over the exam.

At the very same moment, Saeki & Yui are in bed together. During a break, Manato sharpens all his pencils. Anxiously, Haruka waits for him. The exam continues & Manato taps on the sharpener, thinking. In bed, tears of happiness down Yui face, Saeki kissing her passionately. The buzzer sounds & Manato drops his pencil down, leaning back with a deep breath. The exam papers get passed up the front & Manato adds his to the pile.



With his hair tousled & a crumpled white shirt draped over his shoulders, Saeki sips a cup of coffee, coolly watches a sleeping Yui in his bed. Suddenly the phone rings, breaking the silence.



Saeki finds himself at a cafe, staring at the envelope on the table with the words "Private Investigations" on it. Picking it up, he looks at the man sitting across the table "A private detective agency?" The man, Mariko's fianc, nonchalantly replies, "I met her at an arranged marriage meeting. Since we're getting quite serious & although I trust her completely, I thought I'd just check to make sure." Saeki takes a look into the envelop & tosses the photographs of himself & Mariko outside her apartment onto the table "Double checking huh." "Well, it does make things look a little suspicious but then again you are her student so going in & out of her apartment isn't anything strange. However, like I said before, I'd just like to make sure. If anything happens later, it might cause problems, you know, like finding out if she's in debt, or having affairs." Saeki ponders & then says "You didn't ask her anything?" "Hm?" "So you just came directly to find out from me, right?" "Well, yeah." "Whether or not I'm intimately involved with her?" "Well, yeah, putting it that way. She's a real beauty & has probably gone out with many men before. But then as a teacher & thinking about it morally.....at the very least, I think....." Staring at the coffee in his cup, Saeki tells him "There's nothing." "Eh?" "There's absolutely nothing between us." "Really?" "Yes." Relieved, the man smiles "That's what I thought. That's great." "Actually I've been ill so haven't been able to do all that well in school. So to catch up, I'd go to sensei's apartment for extra tutoring." "I see, are you alright?" "Besides bothering her, it's also made you suspicious of her." "You right, me being suspicious of her." Saeki gets to his feet "Well, I guess I better get going," reaching out for his wallet. Standing up as well, Mariko's fianc stops him "I'd appreciate if you...." "Of course, I'll keep this a secret. Thanks," replies Saeki, taking his coat. "Thank you." Saeki manages a grin "All the best."



With one hand holding the phone & the other flipping through a book, Manato says "I can say nothing about world history. Ah, but what you told me, the topic on the Russian Revolution appeared." Haruka looking out her bedroom window at Manato replies "It did? It seems that it's the professor's specialty. It came out the year before. What about classics?" Manato mutters "Ah, I have absolutely no confidence in that at all. When I was answering the second question, my pencil broke." "Eh? Really?" "I'm just kidding." "So how do you think you did overall?" Manato glances out the window & then turns away "I don't know but I don't think I made it." Haruka sounds disappointed "Oh." Manato laughs "Don't make it sound that bad." "Sorry." "It's alright." "I was thinking about it all day." "Hm?" "That if you didn't make it this year, I was wondering maybe I'd go to the same cram school with you instead." "Don't do that!" "You don't like the idea?" "It's not that. You managed to get such great results, it would be meaningless." "Not to me." "No, spare me that," Manato retorts & Haruka remains silent, taken aback by Manato's sudden forcefulness. Manato quickly proceeds to soften his words "I'm very grateful you think that way. I'm afraid I was being overly harsh." "No, I'm the one that's sorry. I did it again...." "I guess I'm just a little tired today." "Are you alright?" "Yeah, it's not a big deal." "Then, sleep well tonight." Manato nods "Goodnight." Haruka replies "Goodnight." Exchanging waves, Manato draws his curtains shut. Hanging up, Manato breathes out a deep sigh. Drawing her curtains shut, Haruka does the same, breathing out a tense sigh.



As his father leaves the next morning, Manato follows him out, sending him off "To the hospital? I thought she was going to be discharged?" Walking to the car, Irie replies "Well, there are various reasons." Not understanding, Manato asks "Various reasons?" Irie remains vague "Various reasons mean various reasons." "Oh." "Ah, so how was the exam?" Manato grimaces "Ah, well, not too good." "It's just one year." "Eh?" "I'll tell you right now that there's not much time to spare." "I know." Getting into his car, Irie adds "Then again, education isn't everything either." Manato grins amused "Hey, that's contradicting yourself." Irie winds down the window "Yurie said that one shouldn't put too much pressure on kids." "Ah, so thanks to her I see." With that, Irie drives off & Manato, feeling the cold air bite, runs back into the house.



In the living room, Yui's on the phone "Is it really okay? Then we'll meet in 10 minutes outside the house. Bye bye." Manato comes in, yawning "Who is it?" Yui tells him "What do you mean who is it?! You still hadn't invited Haruka?!" "Invited her for what?" "What? Didn't you look at your desk? You were asleep so I left a note on your desk." Manato replies irritably, walking off "I don't want to look at my desk anymore!" Yui grabs his arm "We're going on a drive." "Drive? I haven't got a license." "My boyfriend's got one so it's alright. Hurry & go get ready or we'll be late!" Manato stares at her blankly "Your boyfriend?"



Playing with the pink colored bell on her key chain, Yui makes a phone call "Hello, where are you now? Eh? Isn't that kind of far?" At the fountain by the station, sitting next to each other waiting, Haruka says to Manato "Yui's really excited." Manato mumbles "I don't know who the guy is. But I wonder if he really wants to meet with us." Haruka laughs "I know how she feels. It's a bit like her boyfriend meeting her parents & family for the first time, kind of like getting their approval." "Is that so?" Manato replies, looking at a very happy Yui chattering away on the phone. Haruka confesses "If I wasn't certain of his feelings, I wouldn't be able to do that." Manato looks at her "His feelings?" Haruka explains "Well, if things don't work out then everyone feels awkward." "Yui doesn't think that far ahead." "I really envy her." "Eh?" Well, it just means that she's really very happy at this very moment." "She's just a kid. I'm sure her boyfriend isn't anyone special." Yui suddenly shouts "He's here! He's here!" A white car pulls up by the curb & Yui runs forward. Getting up, Manato stares in shock to see who Yui's boyfriend is. Saeki winds down the window & calls out "Hello!" Haruka gives Manato a sideward glance as Yui calls out "Hurry up the both of you!" Yui gets into the car "You're late!" Saeki replies "Sorry, sorry, I had to drop by someplace." Haruka gets in the backseat & Saeki greets her "Hello," & does the same when a stunned Manato slides in beside her. Saeki directs his question to Manato "Boss, where would you like to go? Chiba or Kamakura?" Still not over the shock, Manato stammers "Ah, well, whichever."



Mariko comes downstairs of her apartment building. As she reaches for the newspapers from her letter box, a white envelop flutters to the ground. Picking it up & with a look of wonder, opens it to see a photograph of herself with Saeki outside her apartment.



Driving along, Yui says playfully says "Hey, let me drive!" Saeki looks at her "Nope. People without a license are not allowed." "Why not? Just a little," Yui pouts, reaching out for the wheel. Saeki growls at her half seriously "It's dangerous!" Yui laughs "That's the first time I see you serious." Yui mischievously touches something "Let's try this!" Water spurts onto the windshield & the wipers start moving, taking Saeki by surprise. He growls at her again "I said it was dangerous!" Yui finally grins sheepishly "Sorry." In the backseat, Manato observes the banter in going on between them in the front, a forlorn expression on his face.



Stopping at a gas station & opening the trunk of the car, Saeki suddenly says "By chance I picked up her house keys in the music room." Alone in the backseat, Manato turns around blankly "Huh?" Saeki explains "Nothing, you just look like you didn't know anything so I'm just telling you. I only found out that she was your sister recently. Were you wondering what sort of guy would show up? 'This punk of a guy' or something." Saeki gets back into the driver's seat. Manato quickly replies "No, I didn't think that far. Only...." "Only?" "I didn't expect it to be you." "Expect it?" "Yui's character & yours...." "Don't quite match? Well, that's really something strange. Your girlfriend....or no, I mean Sawamura. She seems to be against it though. You know, 'cause I appear to be just simply playing around." "Ah, I don't think that way. Rather, I actually feel better that it's you." Saeki turns around "That's what I thought, 'onisama'." Manato grins embarrassed "Calling me 'onisama'...." Manato looks out the window & suddenly turns pensive, seeing Yui enter the store at the gas station.



Yui enters the store "Sorry to keep you waiting." Sitting at a table having a drink, Haruka starts tentatively "Yui-chan?" "Hm? Ah, I know what you're going to say. You told me before that senpai liked someone else?" "Well, I guess it's too late to say anything now." "No, I'm really happy that you're worried about me." "In that case...." "But that's no longer a problem." Haruka looks at Yui in surprise. Yui explains "I went to see that teacher." "What?!" "It seems that she's getting married to someone else this spring." "Really?" "Yeah, that's why she no longer has anything to do with senpai. I even got a promise from her!" "A promise?" "Yes, that she wouldn't go back to senpai." Haruka stares at Yui in admiration "You're really something!" Yui moves closer & pushes her own hair around her shoulders out of the way "Look at this! My hair's covering it." Haruka looks at the hickey on Yui's neck in surprise "That's....." Yui grins "Yeah. That's a stamp that means I belong to senpai!" Haruka starts laughing & Yui looks at her "What's wrong?" Haruka smiles "You're really something else! You're moving too fast!" Yui replies with a smile "It's not fast at all. This is normal." Haruka pauses & then laughs "So this is normal!"



At the beach, all four of them romp around on the sand, playing with a frisbee & laughing, having a great time. As the sun gets lower, Yui yells "Places!" & gets down beside Haruka & Saeki, all ready to race. Manato, sitting down next them, grumbles "What places...." Yui ignores him "Ready! Start!" Saeki, Haruka & Yui all take off & Manato scrambles onto his feet going after them. Saeki & Haruka race off ahead & Saeki yells out "Just like the runner you are!" Haruka, keeping up with him, yells back "So you were pretending to be sick after all!" "I guess I've been found out!" Saeki & Haruka laugh as they race off together. Behind them, Yui trails after Manato "Wait for me Manato!" Manato teases her "So you're the tail end after all!" Yui pants "I don't want to be the last!" Tripping, Yui falls down & starts whining "Owww! It hurts, Manato!" Manato, giving in to Yui, comes back & holding out his hand, helps her up "Come on." Still holding her hand, Manato starts to walk when Yui suddenly tugs at it "It's beautiful!" Manato turns back "What?" Yui points out into the sea "The sunset!" Manato looks out & quietly replies "Yeah." "Hey Manato, I can hear it." "What can you hear?" "The sound of the sun setting into the sea." Watching the sunset, Yui says "Shuu-shuu-shuuu....it's the sound of today's love slowly getting cooler." Manato looks at Yui "Why is it getting cooler?" Yui looks back at him smiling "Well, if you're too warm you can't get to sleep, right?" Manato smiles "Yeah." As Yui turns back to admire the sunset, Manato turns pensively & stares at his hand entwined with Yui's. Turning back to look at the sunset, Manato closes his eyes with a little grimace, feeling heart wrenching emotions as Yui beside him says "shuu-shuu-shuuuu....shuu-shuu-shuu-shuu-shuuuu......."



At a restaurant, Mariko puts the photograph of herself & Saeki onto the table in front of her fianc "You met with Saeki-kun, didn't you." Looking awkward, her fianc replies "Darn. He said that he'd keep it a secret from you." "I'm not upset that you had a private investigation agency check up on me. I'm upset that you met one of my students on your own accord." "I'm sorry." "Why didn't you ask me directly?" "That's...it's not that I don't trust you but if I had asked, would you have told me the truth?" "Well...." "Let's not talk about this anymore. It's over. He's told me everything. There was nothing between the two of you." Mariko looks at him in surprise "Eh?" "He said that he just went to your place for tutoring to catch up with his studies. He has health problems? He also said that he was sorry to give you so much trouble. He wished us all the best. At the end he looked pleased that he had resolved the misunderstanding." "He really...said that....there was nothing between us?" "Yes." Looking upset, Mariko adds "He was smiling?" "Mariko-san?" Mariko doesn't reply, struggling to fight back tears.



11.20pm & Saeki checks his cell phone to find 20 messages in his voice mail from Haruka & Manato. Lying down on the driver's seat, Saeki says "Don't you think it's time we go back? We left them behind but they've been calling non stop." Yui replies "It's alright." Sitting up, Saeki adds "It's alright? There'll be no more trains running soon." "It's alright. If we don't do this, the two of them....." "Ah, so that's it." "Yes, that's it." Saeki grimaces "But Manato's going to be really mad with me afterwards." "Why?" "Well, it seems that she isn't Manato's first choice." "Eh?" "Ah well, never mind. At least it's better than being a rounin." (a student who's retaking his college entrance exams.) Yui looks puzzled at the news.



Waiting outside the Kazusa Minato Station, Haruka tries to get a hold of Saeki again. Manato comes out of the station "Did you get through?" "No." "I guess we don't have a choice. The last train's here, let's take it." Manato starts heading back for the station but Haruka suddenly calls out "Let's wait a bit more." "But..." "I'm sure they'll come back." "Sawamura....." "Alright?" After a long pause, Manato finally gives a reluctant nod "Uhm."



Seated in a family restaurant across each other, Manato chatters on non stop to Haruka about nothing important. Haruka, looking uneasy, silently listens.



if I stopped talking

I would be forced to make a choice in the ensuing silence

somehow somewhere that was the feeling I had

my mind was in complete confusion

Manato rattles on "Ah, do you recall in kindergarten, I was always covered in dirt......"





would she even remember

I was always alone

always had pranks played on me

"...ah yes, & then....." Haruka finally breaks in "Irie-kun." "Eh?" "We're kind of alike, aren't we." "Are we?" "Not only outward appearances but it's like we can see right through each other too." "That so?" "So you don't have to force yourself." "Force myself?" Haruka looks away "It feels rather uncomfortable to see myself." "What do you mean?" "You know what I mean." "Ah, well....." Awkwardly, Manato takes a sip of his coffee. Haruka switches the topic "It's great that things are working out for Yui." Manato looks up "Eh? Working out well?" "Saeki-kun was going out with someone else." "I see. Yui said that there was someone else that he liked too." "But it seems that that person is getting married soon to someone else." "Oh. So it is someone older after all." "That's why things between him & Yui-chan..." "...are working out well? I guess that's true. They seem to get along pretty well." "They've even slept together already." Manato looks shocked "Eh?" Haruka continues "I was surprised that they've moved along so quickly but I guess that since they both liked each other it's natural." Manato, looking blank, nods "I guess so." "Although I think everyone's different, what I meant earlier about us being alike is that they're different from us." Manato looks at her "That we're moving too slowly?" Haruka admits "Or rather, it feels more like we're never going to move along." Manato replies "I see. Ah, I guess I shouldn't say that." Haruka gives a weak smile & looks out the window "Irie-kun, let's take a taxi back." However, Manato, suddenly annoyed with the way things have worked out, curses under his breath "Shit!" Haruka looks at him "Eh?" Manato gets to his feet "Let's go." "Eh?" "There's nothing we can do even if we stay here. Let's get out of here first." Manato strides off & Haruka quickly grabs her jacket & goes after him.



Along the road, Manato walks two steps ahead of Haruka. Coming up to a hotel, Manato suddenly stops & looks at it. Haruka stops next to him & slowly, puts her hand in his. Manato asks "Will this place do?" Haruka pauses & then nods "Uhm." In the lobby, the both of them check out the rooms available in the 'love hotel'. Haruka says "This place has karaoke too." "Yeah." "Let's get this room." Making their selection, the room key gets automatically dispensed out from the machine in the wall. Trying to act nonchalant, Manato adds "The elevator's over there." Haruka, equally uneasy, replies "Looks like it." Without a word, the two of them ride in the elevator. Opening the door to the room, they glance at the dim tackily designed interior & the big bed in the center of the room.



Saeki lights up a cigarette, glancing at the sleeping Yui in the seat next to him. As he gets out of the car, his cell phone rings & answering it thinking it's Manato, replies "How does it feel?" However, Mariko answers "Saeki-kun? Are you still awake?" Momentarily stunned, Saeki quickly regains his nonchalant composure "Sort of. Ah, if you're calling about that photograph, don't worry about it. I just wanted to warn you that your fianc was being suspicious of you, that's all. It was taken pretty well so I thought you could keep it as a souvenir." "I gave it back to him." "Then you know that we met." "I made him tell me everything." "As fastidious as ever I see." "I can't believe that he had the gall to meet with one of my students." "But I feel sorry for him if you're mad at him. He's just a little uneasy because he loves you a lot." "I don't think so." "Why?" "You felt it too, that's why you put the photograph in my mailbox." "You're wrong. It was really a nice picture." "Whatever." "Don't be mad." "I guess you're just getting the marriage blues?" "Saeki-kun, I'd like to correct what I said to you before." "What?" "You're the grown up. I've been the child all along. But I've been trying to act the adult, just like an idiot." "That's your charm." "That I'm like an idiot?" Saeki grins "Just like an idiot." "If you talk like that I'll get mad. You act like you understand everything about me." "Well I do understand everything about you." "Then what am I thinking now?" "I'll make a guess but do I get any reward?" "If you're right we'll talk about it." Okay. Then, first, you're thinking of calling off the wedding." The look on Mariko's face says that he's guessed correctly & she sighs "Eh..." "Don't say anything, listen right to the end." "Uhm." "You never loved him in the first place. No, perhaps it would be more correct to say that you tried to love him. Tried to love him in minute detail. In other words, it's just the reaction of trying to forget the one you are truly in love with. There are a lot of women who get married on the rebound. I sympathize with you. The one you truly love died in an accident. This is what you're thinking about right now. You're thinking that you can't make yourself love someone. It has to be found. & you have decided that you'll live the rest of your life alone. You won't ever love anyone ever again." Mariko finally speaks "Thank you." "So what's my reward?" "There is none. I'm afraid your guess was off." "You're mean. Even if I was right you wouldn't tell me." "I'm am telling you the truth, you guessed wrong. You were right for the first half though." "Up until which part?" "Until that bit about it being a reaction of trying to forget the one I am in love with." Saeki gets back inside the car "Until there? What do you mean?" "That the one I love is dead." "That he's still alive in your heart? I've heard that many times already." "Actually he's very much alive. It's you." Stunned, Saeki doesn't reply & presses a button, hanging up on Mariko.

With a tired sigh, Saeki mutters "You've got to be kidding...." Beside him, Yui stirs & Saeki looks at Yui's hand clutching his arm "....hey...baby..."



Haruka lies in bed, staring at the ceiling. Manato, sits at the edge of the bed, not looking at her "I don't know why, it shouldn't be like this....." Haruka tries to console him "Don't worry about it, really." Manato gets up & nervously walks to the coffee table "But this is weird. The last time I....." Manato suddenly stops & Haruka smiles "Maybe you're just relieved that the exams are over." "I'm sorry," adds Manato, sitting down at the table. "Why are you apologizing?" "Ah but...." "Don't apologize. If you do, I..." Manato quickly gets to his feet, trying to reassure her "It's not you! It's all my fault. Ah, the last time I guess there was no feelings between us, I guess that's why it went okay. That must be it. Now when it's all serious I'm all tense...I guess, with everything...." Haruka softly says "Forget it." "Eh?" "Come here. Let's get some sleep." Manato nods & slowly walks to the bed, sliding under the covers beside Haruka. Haruka mutters "Hold my hand." Hesitatingly, Manato moves his & takes her hand, saying "I'm sure it'll work out next time." Haruka nods "Uhm." Manato adds rather sheepishly "If I may say so myself." Haruka smiles "Goodnight." "Goodnight," replies Manato, turning to look at Haruka & then grimacing to himself.



The phone rings & Manato, still asleep, reaches out to answer it "Hello....uhm? It's time?" Manato opens his eyes & remembering where he is, quickly replies "Ah, sorry! We'll leave right away! Sorry!" Turning around & not seeing Haruka beside him, calls out "Sawamura?" Hopping out of bed, Manato calls out again "Sawamura? Are you in the bathroom? It's time to go! Sawamura?" Suddenly, Manato spots a note on the table. Picking it up, he sees Haruka's handwriting "I've gone home first."



In her apartment dressed to go out, Mariko's on the phone "....I'm sorry, I'll apologize to them properly....I'm sorry I've given you so much trouble...." The door opens & Saeki walks in to hear Mariko continue ".....sorry to bother you so early in the morning...." Whispering to Saeki "I'm on the phone with...." However, Saeki ignores her & kisses her passionately, unbuttoning her coat. Pushing him away, Mariko quickly continues "...ah, it's nothing...I'll call you back again shortly....yes, bye." Hanging up, Mariko glares at Saeki who returns a nonchalant shrug "You hung up?" Mariko buttons up her coat "What are you doing?" Saeki, sitting on her bed, replies "I love it when you're trying not to make any noise when you want to so passionately!" Walking by to grab her coat, Mariko gives him a whack "Pervert!" "Who is?" "Eh? What I said is normal." "I wonder. Ah, who was the one that's enjoying hurting other people? I'm just looking after you, don't give me too much trouble." Mariko nods "Uhm." Surprised, Saeki says "Oh, someone's really being obedient today." "You hung up on me yesterday so I didn't expect you to come by." "This time it's my turn to feel a little flustered." "Was there an old lady with you?" Saeki gets off the bed & stands closely behind Mariko "Old lady? No. There was a transient angel with me." "An angel?" "She healed my wounded heart." "That girl?" "Which girl? There's so many I don't know who you're talking about." "She came to see me." "She's a really good girl, really bright & cheery. She gets along well with me too." "I see." "Only...." "Only?" "But just like you said, I am someone that's alive." Putting his hand on her chin & turning Mariko's face towards his, Saeki adds "I won't fall in love with an angel." Saeki & Mariko kiss passionately, embracing each other tightly.



Manato stares out the window of his room to see Haruka's curtain drawn shut. Drawing his own shut, he sees a pink colored note Yui left for him on his desk "Let's go on a drive tomorrow. Invite Haruka too! Yui" Manato scrunches it up. A knock on the door & Yui calls out "Are you in?" Manato mutters "I'm not," sitting down at his desk glumly. The door opens anyway & Yui enters "When did you get back?" Manato replies irritably "I'm still not back yet." "Ah, you're still mad that we left you behind. I'm sorry I butted into your affairs." Manato remains silent & Yui adds "& by the way, there's one more thing I have to apologize to you for." "One more thing?" "But that's your fault. You told senpai but you didn't tell me about it." Manato takes a book, flipping through it & looking away on purpose "What is it?" "That Haruka isn't the one you really like." Manato freezes. Yui continues "There is actually someone else that you like. Who is it? Is it someone from your class?" Manato gets up without a word & sits on his bed. Yui adds "I understand if you don't want to talk about it. It's different from Haruka right? It's one sided on your part? But Manato, indecision & kindness are two different things. That's being unkind to Haruka." With a flounce, Yui sits on the bed next to Manato "It was the same way with senpai & me, I was the one that went after him. But I hung in there & things worked out. So if you do too?"





if I had told you right then that you were the one I loved

would our story have been different?

Quietly, Manato answers "She's no longer around." "Eh?" "She transferred to another school in during junior high." Yui adds, disappointed "I see." "Yeah, she was a great girl." Manato turns around & stares at Yui.





that's why I will never forget you...




Looking into Yui's eyes, Manato says "To me she is just like....."





if I had said that I was in love with you...





Manato turns away with an aching heart "....an angel...."

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Old 02-23-2007, 08:53 PM   #14 Offline
akachan
Takazuki Kyon
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ame no barentain

~ a rainy Valentine's ~

Outside Haruka's home, a guy gets onto his bike & says to Haruka "Well then, when you get into college, we'll go to a go-con (party where guys & gals meet) together." Haruka grins "What? Trust you to say that!" "Idiot, I am a guy you know." "Then you go after girls?" "No, on the contrary, they come after me." "& then you'll go out with them?" "If they're as cute as you." Haruka sticks her tongue out at him "No one will show up." The guy grins "Well I'm off," putting on his helmet. "Bye bye," waves Haruka, seeing him ride off. Suddenly, Yui appears behind her, looking on curiously. Haruka, noticing her presence turns around "Yui-chan!" A little pensive, Yui says "It's cold today too, isn't it." Blowing out a breath, Yui adds "It's all white." Haruka nods a little sheepishly "Uhm." In English, Yui says "By the way...." Haruka looks at her "By the way?" "Who was that?" "Oh, he's my home tutor to help me out for the college entrance exams." Yui nods "Hmmmm, is that all?" "What do you mean 'is that all?'" "Sorry, I'm just a little jealous for Manato." Haruka gives a little laugh "For Manato?" Yui nods "Uhm, he seems a little out of sorts right now." Haruka adds in a resigned tone "I don't think he's jealous." Sitting down on the rail, Haruka continues "That's because he's in love with someone else." "You're giving up because of that?" "Yes, the thought crossed my mind. If I was truly in love with him, then I wouldn't think of doing that. Perhaps that is the way it is. Perhaps I'm not really in love with Irie-kun." "Then it's over, isn't it?" "Hm?" "If you're not really in love with him then it's better if it's over." Haruka looks away, unable to find an reply.



Walking around Saeki's apartment, Manato says enviously "This apartment's really something. Don't you feel lonely living here alone?" Pouring cups of coffee for the both of them, Saeki replies "Lonely? Someone asked me the same thing once." "Who?" "Your sister." Manato grins "Oh," & then suddenly pauses when a thought strikes him "You mean Yui's been here too?" Saeki replies "Twice or three times." Taken aback, Manato looks away & stares through the glass walls into Saeki's bedroom in silence. Bringing the coffee over to the living room, Saeki says "Sorry to call you over here all of a sudden." "It's alright. In any case I'm free now that the exam's over." Saeki hands Manato his coffee "gokurousama, ah, coffee's black." Manato takes a sip "Ah, what about you?" "You're asking why I didn't take any exams?" "Yeah." "I was thinking of studying overseas." "Studying overseas?" "Uhm, although it's not because both my parents are abroad." "Then you're going alone?" Saeki lights a cigarette "No. I haven't asked her but I think she'll say yes." Manato says hesitatingly "That's......" "...not Yui," finishes Saeki. "I see." "What do you think?" "What do you mean?" "Think she'll be shocked?" Manato replies "If she's really in love with you, she will be." "Really in love with me?" Manato doesn't look at Saeki "What do you think?" Saeki stares at him & then continues "Are you mad at me?" "What?" "Well, that's true too, I am a guy who's going to tell your adorable sister goodbye, this guy sitting right next to you." Manato gives a laugh "No, I'm not mad, on the contrary....." Saeki picks up on Manato's slip "On the contrary?" Manato gets up & walks to the window.





on the contrary, at that very moment,

I was desperately trying to hide the fact that

I was suppressing the smile threatening to appear on my face

Saeki adds "Well, with her character like hers, I'll bet that she won't mind at all." Manato nods "Yeah...."





that is why I will never forget you

"That's for sure," giving Saeki a smile. Saeki grins & Manato looks back out the glass window again, a hint of a smile on his lips.





suddenly without warning,

my turn had arrived at last

In the living room at the coffee table, Yui's flipping through a book when Manato walks in after his bath, towel around his shoulders & hair dripping wet. Seeing Yui, he asks "What are you looking at?" "Graduation album." Interest peaked, Manato grins "When?" "From junior high." Manato comes over "Let me see." Sitting down at the sofa looking over Yui's shoulder, Manato suddenly says "Hey!" Absorbed in the pictures, Yui mutters "Uhm?" "Isn't that mine?" Yui laughs "Yes it is. You really looked gloomy," pointing at Manato's photo. With a pout, Manato grabs the album & puts it behind him "Don't look at it without asking." Yui reaches out for it "Come on, it doesn't matter!" However, Manato quickly gets up & walks to the fridge with it "No way! You're invading into my privacy!" Yui pouts following him "You're being mean!" Getting a drink out of the fridge "Yeah I'm mean." "Is it the girl in the round picture?" "What?" "The one above the class picture." "What are you talking about?" "What do you mean what? The girl that you can't forget, the girl that transferred to another school." "Oh." "Her name's Hirase Ai right? A passionate love." (Ai means love) "You remembered her name?" Putting her hands together, Yui says "Please, let me see it again?" When Manato doesn't reply, Yui whines "Let me see..." Giving in to her, Manato turns around & quietly hands the album over to her. Happily, Yui takes it & goes back to the coffee table & takes another look "Hmmm, she wears glasses too." Taking a seat on the sofa, Manato replies "She might be wearing contacts now." "Where did she move to?" "How would I know?" "But you said you liked her!" Manato ponders "Probably somewhere around Niigata." "Did you ever confess to her?" Manato stares back in shock "Confess? No way! I've never even spoken to her before." "You really looked really gloomy, didn't you." "Forget it already." "Then that means you don't know what Ai feelings are." "Feelings?" "Perhaps Ai likes you too." "That's impossible." "You don't know for sure. Now that you've taken off your glasses you look really good." "Really? But I've never taken it off in front of her." "She might look really pretty too without her glasses." "You think so?" "Perhaps she was just like you, playacting another role & putting on glasses that she didn't need either." "No way." "Well, there's a possible that there are similarities between the both of you, not on the surface but deep down." "You're exaggerating!" "You can't keep thinking it's impossible all the time. For the sake of the future." "For the future?" "Finding our her address & writing her a letter." The phone rings & Manato laughs "Stop kidding already!" Getting up, Manato picks up the phone "Yes, this is Irie.....ah Dad? What's wrong?" Suddenly Manato's expression turns into serious "What? You're kidding me! Uhm.....uhm....alright." As Manato hangs up, Yui asks "What's wrong?" Manato quickly tells her "Go get changed. Ah, me too." Yui stares at him & Manato adds "The hospital....."



A taxi screeches to a halt in front of the hospital & Manato rushes out, Yui following closely behind. Running through the corridors of the hospital, Manato suddenly stops, when he sees his father "Dad!" Waiting on a seat outside the ICU, Irie gets to feet when Manato & Yui come running up towards him. Breathlessly, Manato asks "What's wrong? How come it happened so suddenly?" Irie solemnly replies "There's something I didn't tell you. Yurie didn't want it to affect your exams." "What do you mean?" "Yurie....never had long to live from the start." Stunned, Manato stares at his father "What?" Slowly turning to Yui, Manato says "Then, what you said before...." Calm, Yui turns around & looks at him, giving him a nod. In disbelief, Manato mutters to himself "It's not possible..." The door to the ICU slides open & a nurse approaches "Members of the family, please go in." With a nod, Irie takes two steps before turning back to look at Yui. With an encouraging nod from Yui, Irie enters without another word. The nurse tells Yui & Manato "Please go ahead." Struggling with the truth, Manato mutters "Wait a minute, I'm not ready....." but Yui firmly tells the nurse "We won't be going in." Manato looks at her in surprise "Yui!" "Let her be alone with Papa." The nurse nods & leaves. Worriedly, Manato looks at her "Yui...." but Yui merely replies "Mom's really fortunate, to have the person she loves watching over her when she leaves." Manato stares at her, unable to say anything.



Haruka sprints around the track working out. Done, she heads for the tap & takes a drink. Someone takes her towel & hands it to her. Looking up to see who it is, she finds Saeki in front of her "I saw you from the music room. Are you upset that I'm not the one you want to see?" With an awkward nod, Haruka takes the towel without a word. Saeki continues "I guess you're still mad at us for leaving you guys by the beach? It was Yui's idea. She was getting impatient with you guys. I was also looking forward to it but as your senior I was a little worried. I tried to call you about the time of the last train but....you switched off your cell phone, didn't you. Way to go! When it comes to crunch time, women are something else!" "It was the first time I went to a love hotel." "Oh wow, never expected to hear you say something like that! I'm fascinated!" "They had karaoke & things." "Even slides & swings?" "But....nothing happened." "Nothing?!" "Well, not exactly nothing but...." "So you're saying that you didn't go all the way. So who's fault was it? Ahhh, you suddenly got scared & started crying." Haruka shakes her head wordlessly & Saeki continues "So that's to say it was Manato. Before he entered he came." Haruka gives a little embarrassed smile & Saeki coolly continues "Sorry. That was rather vulgar of me." Haruka sighs "The problem was before that." "What do you mean?" "Well...." "Well?" From the sheepish look on Haruka's face, comprehension dawns on Saeki "So he couldn't do it. Well, I'm not trying to help him out here but sometimes when one's too anxious it happens." "You think that too?" "Me?" "Me....I'm the type that enjoys the pressure. Ah, I see. So that's why you're out running so early in the morning. I guess that's not surprising, you're wondering if you're attractive or not & all that. But you don't have to worry. I can guarantee you that. You're wonderful." "Thank you, even if it's just flattery." "You're really honest with me today." "I went home alone." "You left him alone at the love hotel?" Haruka nods & Saeki continues "I guess I understand your feelings. You were hurt." "Actually that wasn't it." "You weren't upset?" "I was really disappointed with him. Somehow I got the feeling that he was in love with someone else." "Really? I didn't hear anything about it." "But then again that's a different story." "So when nothing happened you were disappointed with him." Haruka laughs "Something's wrong with me today, telling you all these things. Must be feeling the blues, opening up to you like that." "You really are a some woman." "I know what you're trying to say. I'm finally understanding what kind of a woman I am, right?" "I don't mean it in a bad way." "But when I realized that I got a shock myself." Saeki laughs "That you're the 'other woman' type?" Haruka sighs "Hate it..." "So that's why you were out running. But that's kind of cute. Want to try it with me next time?" Haruka frowns "What?" Saeki covers his face with his hand in jest "I'm kidding! That's not possible anyway right?" Haruka laughs with a tinge of sadness "If there was no one else around I might ask you to." Haruka runs off with a rather contemplative Saeki watching her.



The funeral takes place for Yui's mother Sayuri. Manato however, seems to be in a world of his own, struggling to come to terms with his own feelings.





In the past few days

I've had been overwhelmed by a strange sensation

first, Dad, my own father

had been living in such a romantic love

no...

because I didn't think he'd be with someone who had no tomorrow



& then Yui

who had just lost her own mother

but didn't shed a tear

I couldn't quite understand either



to be sure

to be sent off by the one you loved at one's death

could perhaps be called happiness

but no matter how I wanted to understand it all

no feelings of any answers came to me



at that moment

I felt like I had been left all alone

impatient with the thought that

no matter how I tried

I just couldn't reach the place

where Yui & the others were



but whatever it was

there at that moment

there was a sense of calm in the air

Sitting on a log by the beach, Irie tells Yui & Manato "She never wanted to marry me in the beginning." Yui asks "How come?" Irie smiles "Because she said that the name Irie Yurie would sound weird." Yui laughs "I see." Manato stares at the both of them, feeling out of place & turns back out to look at the ocean.



In class, Taeko grumbles to Haruka "I did use this name & attached this as well." Haruka smiles "You said that the last time too." Suddenly Manato walks in & seeing Haruka, greets her "Morning." Caught off guard, Haruka gives Manato an awkward glance & then chooses to continue her conversation with Taeko "So did he reply in the end?" "Well, I've been waiting but....." Manato, looks at Haruka, & taking the hint, turns away.



In the music room, Saeki's playing another piece on the piano with Yui listening contemplatively. Suddenly she asks "Did you write that tune as well?" Saeki pauses "What? It's Mozart!" Yui smiles "Hmmm, but I think the tune you wrote sounds better." Saeki laughs "Those who know music well would never ever say that." "Then, since I know you well then can I say something?" "You know me well?" "Uhm." "Then what am I?" "Well...someone that I've grown to love." "Hm? &?" "Someone that I'll go on loving." "& then?" "Someone that I'll always love." Saeki takes an apple from behind him & gives it to her "Here, thank you, gokurousama." Taking the apple, Yui asks "That won't do?" "It's not that, but just your own subjectivity. You should be more objective." "I can't be objective. When something occurs to me, I just act." "But wouldn't things often go wrong because of that?" "Go wrong?" Saeki smiles "Nothing." Getting up from the piano, Saeki starts to say "I've got something to tell you." Yui looks on enquiringly "Something interesting?" "I don't know if it's interesting or not...uhm, I'm thinking of going to school abroad." "Going to school abroad?" "Uhm, I mentioned before that my parents are living in New York, didn't I?" "Uhm." "I don't particularly want to go to college here either." "Then you'll be moving away." "Uhm." "I see." "I'm very happy that I met you....." Yui suddenly interrupts "Okay." "What?" "I'll go with you too." "What do you mean go with me?" "It'll be alright." Saeki smiles "It's not as easy as that....what about your parents...." "They're dead." Saeki stops & stares at Yui as she adds "Mom's no longer around. That's why it's okay. I'll go with you." Saeki starts "Yui....." but Yui states adamantly "I'll go with you." Pursing his lips, Saeki says "Are you being subjective?" Yui tilts her head & replies "Probably." Saeki mutters "I see," & leans back against the wall, wondering how to get through to Yui.



After school Manato rushes down the stairs after Haruka, calling out "Sawamura!" Hearing Manato call out, she pauses at the foot of the stairs. Manato asks "Are you going home?" Sawamura nods "Uhm. A lot of things have happened, hasn't it." "Uhm." "Is Yui-chan alright?" "Yeah." "I see," replies Haruka & abruptly heads for the shoe lockers. Manato follows "You've been coming to school early recently? I don't see you at the bus stop in the mornings anymore." "The athletic meet is coming up soon." "Ah, your running club? I see. I was thinking that you might be trying to avoid me." "Not really." "Ah, are you free today? If you are, let's do something now?" "I'm sorry, I've got something on." "I see." "Bye." Surprised at the brush off, Manato mutters "Bye..." & watches her leave. Suddenly behind him, Manato hears Saeki say "When pursued, one runs." Turning around, Manato sees Saeki smiling back at him "What?" Saeki adds "If one runs, then one is pursued."



Having coffee in a cafe, Saeki says in a worldly tone "It's natural between males & females, nothing to get flustered about." Manato replies a little defensively "We're not pursuing or running away from one another." "You didn't sleep with her." Manato looks surprised "Eh?" & then grimaces "That Yui again." "No, I heard it from the person herself." "From Sawamura?" "I didn't think that she'd actually tell me all that either." Manato wonders in silence & Saeki says "&?" Manato looks at him "What do you mean '&'?" "Why? Was it that after all? The image of your first love appearing in front of you?" "No, not that." "That's true too. You don't look like the type to dwell over in a love that is impossible." Manato takes offense "In any case I was set up." "Calm down, don't get mad. I'm looking at it from an objective point of view." "Objective point of view?" "Uhm, you can even call it constructive if you like...ah, well, I guess it doesn't have anything to do with what I want to say." Manato waits for Saeki to continue & eventually Saeki says "I've told Yui about my plans to study abroad." "&?" "She said she'd come with me." "She'd go with you?" "That's to say she's wants to go with me to the United States of America." Manato frowns "No way...." "That's what I think too! But I don't really know if she's serious or just kidding though." "Since it's Yui, it's possible that she's serious." "What?" "She doesn't lie." "But that's really weird. She said that now that her mother's passed away, everything's alright. There's still her father & you, her brother...." "We're not related by blood." Saeki looks at Manato in surprised as Manato explains "My father remarried & Yui's her daughter." "What about other relatives?" "She hasn't any. Of course my father & I aren't really relatives either although she might consider us her family." "Puts me in a spot." "What do you mean? As long as you tell her that you're going with someone else...." "That's true but somehow I can't bring myself to tell her so. You might say it's underhanded but I don't want to her to hate me." "But...." "I know. That's why, I was hoping to ask you." "Ask me?" "Tell her for me." Manato stares at him & finally replies "That puts me in a spot. & you know Yui's character, she'll just go after you anyway." "Perhaps, but then it would cushion the effect instead of hearing it directly from me." "But...." "I'll return the favor. If you do that for me, I'll so something for you in return." "Well, I don't have anything...." "I'll play mediator for you." "Mediator?" "You know, that first love of yours. Don't look down on me, I'll be a nice assistant, a nice mediator for you." Manato gives a wry smile of resignation "That's impossible." "How come? Tell me who it is & I'll work it out for you." Manato merely shakes his head & takes a sip of his coffee.



Haruka goes out on a date with her home tutor Muroi, heading for a bar after some fun at a bowling alley. Putting a glass in front of her, he says "Juice for you, you're not old enough for alcohol yet." Haruka laughs "Ah, just like a school teacher." "A teacher is a teacher, even a home tutor." "Alright!" Taking a sip of their drinks, Muroi says "Why wrong? Calling me out all of a sudden. Something happen at home?" Haruka shakes her head "Nothing, just felt like it." "Just felt like it? Isn't that a little dicey? Calling me out just because you felt like it, it could be that you like me." Haruka bursts out laughing & he teases "Don't laugh! That's not appropriate." Haruka grins "Understood, sensei." "Don't call me 'sensei' here." "You said yourself that even a home tutor's a teacher." "I guess so." "Well then, Muroi-san." "Uhm." "Are you....popular with girls?" Muroi grins "Well, I'm good looking, happy by nature, & I'm a sweet talker. On occasion this face sends women wild!" "Then you've got the experience." Muroi stops short "Experience? 'That' experience?" Haruka stares at him & then nods "Uhm." "Well, yeah I do." "I haven't, yet." Muroi gives a little laugh "What's the matter with you? Are you drunk from orange juice?" Without looking at him, Haruka asks "What's it feel like?" "What do you mean what it feels like...." "Tell me." Muroi laughs & starts to say "Stop joking...." but when he sees that Haruka's dead serious, the smile disappears from his face.



Manato's sprawled out on his bed when there's a knock on the door. Not moving, Manato mutters "Yes?" Yui's voice follows "It's me, can I come in?" Manato sits up, muttering "Uhm." Yui enters with different colored packets of writing sets "Which color do you prefer?" "Which?" "Let's decide, red, blue, yellow....ah, this one has little bears on it." "Writing letters?" "Uhm." "Well, if it's you then I guess red." "You're the one that's doing the writing." "Me? To who?" "Hirai Ai-chan of course!" "Are you serious?" "Of course. I called your old junior high school today." "What?" "When I told them that we were arranging a class reunion, they told me Ai-chan's address right away. Seems like she really moved to Niigata." "Wait a minute...." Manato tries to protest but Yui ignores him "So what color shall we pick?" "Come on...." "Then green, it means evergreen." "Wait a minute! If I write out of the blue, what will she think?" "Just write naturally." "Like what?" "Stuff like 'when we were in junior high, I had a crush on you' etc, all sorts of things. & I'll help you think what to write too." Manato looks at her "Write? You mean the both of us?" Yui nods "Yes, the both of us." Manato turns away "Don't kid, I don't even know if she remembers me...." "You can't chicken out now. You've got to be strong." "Be strong?" "But if you stay like this, nothing will ever happen. Because you're always thinking about her, things haven't gone well with Haruka-chan, am I right?" "That...." Manato starts to protest again but Yui cuts him off "You said so.....you said that she was like an angel to you." "But......." Manato hesitates & walks to the window, upset "What is it with you?! Didn't you say that you hoped that things work out fine between Haruka & myself? & now you want me to do this. Don't you think that I'm being unfair to Sawamura?" "I don't." Surprised, Manato turns back to look at Yui "What?" Yui explains "Because you are more important to me than Haruka-chan. That's why as long as you're happy, that's what matters." "I appreciate your feelings but....." "Then if, writing to Ai-chan you then find out that she's not what you expected, then you can return to reality & go back to Haruka-chan." "Things aren't that simple...." "Come on, just write it, give it a shot." "Life isn't like that." Yui moans to herself "I'm running out of time." Manato looks at her "What?" "Ah, I said it," mutters Yui & then adds "I was thinking of keeping it from you for a while more.....I've decided that I'm going to leave together with senpai." Manato asks quietly "Where to?" "Uhm....where was it.....overseas." Manato turns away in silence, thinking. Yui puts her arm in his & continues chattering "Anyway, I haven't got much time left with you. That's why I want you to be happy now. I don't feel good if I'm the only one feeling happy. I've only ever had these kinds of feelings with you & Mom. But Mom's gone now." Manato stares at her & then looks away again, a crease on his forehead, not saying a word. Yui goes in front of him "You're not willing to write? Are you afraid if you find out that she has a boyfriend? Or....." Suddenly without a word, Manato moves to his desk & sits down "I'll write & see." A bright smile appearing on her face, Yui exclaims "Really?" Manato picks up the green colored letter set "Yes, with strong feelings." "Uhm!" "But if I don't get a reply, then it ends right here." "You'll get one for sure!" "I hope so." "Let's take some pictures afterwards. She's only got the image of you in glasses looking gloomy." Manato grabs a pen & starts "Hmmm, should I start with 'Dear' or not?"



Yui approaches Saeki's apartment building & suddenly stops. From her coat pocket, she pulls out a pink colored wrapped box tied with a red colored ribbon, a little card addressed to Saeki saying "I love you" on it. With a smile, Yui starts forward when she suddenly notices a taxi pull up in front of the apartment. Without noticing Yui, Mariko gets out of the taxi, going inside the building with a smile. A crease appears on Yui's forehead as she stares up at the building.



With hair still ruffled from sleep, Manato enters the living room, greeting his father "Morning." "Morning, hey, what about school?" asks Irie when he notices Manato's still in his sweatshirt & pants. "Exam holidays." "Oh." "Where's Yui?" asks Manato, looking around. "Looks like she's gone out already." From the table, Irie picks up a pink bundle tied with a red ribbon & holds it out to Manato "Here." "What is it?" "Chocolate. I've got one too." Manato takes it & staring at it, mumbles "Ah, so it's Valentine's today." Irie stares at him with a laugh "You mean you just realized it now? You're really haven't got it with the girls." "Leave me alone," retorts Manato good naturedly, sitting down at the breakfast table. "I get a ton of chocolates from the folks in the office every year." "But they're all giri-choco anyway, right?" (Chocolate that one is obligated to give.) Irie pauses & then gets serious "Manato, is Yui doing alright?" "What do you mean?" "Now that Yurie's gone, is she feeling lonely?" "Uhm, I think so, but I don't really know exactly how she feels." "I see." Manato asks "What about you?" "Hm?" "Don't you feel lonely?" "Uh...it's strange, I don't." "How come?" "Feeling lonely is just one's ego at work. In order to fulfill those feelings, one ends up making demands of somebody. & I no longer have any intentions of doing that." "Maybe that's because she's alive in your heart." "Yes, we have conversations everyday," replies Irie, looking at Yurie's picture on the cabinet. Looking past Manato, Irie suddenly adds "See, Yurie's standing there right now." Shocked, Manato turns around "What?!" Irie laughs "I'm kidding!" Manato grins, relieved "Stop it."



Saeki asks "So what are you going to do about work? Are you going to continue being a teacher?" Seated on the couch, Mariko explains "I've already told the principal that I'm going to get married & quit." "So the word's gotten around to the other teachers already?" "Probably." "That's really un-cool." "Right." "I've got a good idea." "A good idea?" Saeki goes behind & puts his arm around her "Come to America & marry me." "Stop kidding, even if we go there you'll still be a student." Saeki climbs onto the sofa plopping himself next to Mari "I've got the inheritance from my grandfather so it wouldn't be a problem getting by." "That's not the problem." "You don't have to worry about my parents either. They're practical & they'll like you. & as soon as I graduate I'll start work, they'll be very happy." "Even if you tell me all that...." "If you disagree I'll stay back another year." "Don't put me in a spot!" "I want to!" Mariko gives him a playful whack on the head "Idiot!" "Oww!" Saeki dodges & then pauses when the doorbell rings. Climbing over the sofa & seeing Yui's face appearing on the intercom monitor, Saeki says "This is bad." Mariko asks "What?" "She's here." "She?" "That Manato! He still hasn't told her!" Mariko gets flustered "Shall I hide?" Saeki pretends to get agitated "No, the window...." Mariko protests "We're on the third floor!" Saeki grins "Uhm. I just won't answer the door that's all." "Poor thing." Saeki pulls Mariko back down on the sofa "Can't be helped," & proceeds to kiss her. Down at the lobby, Yui stares at the intercom, pressing buttons but not getting any response from Saeki. Suddenly thunder rumbles & the skies open up, bringing down rain.



Sitting on his bed, Manato makes a phone call. "This is Sawamura." "Hello? It's me." "Yes?" "It's started to rain so I thought your laundry might get wet." "Thanks." "Uhm." Hanging up, Manato looks out the window & sees Haruka enter her room & take in the laundry. Sitting down at his desk, Manato takes the pink packet of chocolate in his hands when the phone suddenly rings. Answering "Yes?" & going to the window, Manato sees Haruka looking out her bedroom window back at him. Awkwardly, she says "Thanks for helping my brother with his homework. "It's nothing." "Then, bye...." Haruka's about to hang up when Manato suddenly says "Ah....are you avoiding me? You are, aren't you." "Why do you think that?" "Well, like today's Valentine's Day right? Normally someone like you would be making chocolates or something." "Did you get some from Yui-chan?" "What? Uhm, I got some, but so did Dad. It's giri-choco." "So the home made chocolate went to Saeki-san?" "Probably." "If you got some from me, would you be happy?" "Of course." "Even if it's just one or two, would you be happy?" "Of course because it would be different from giri-choco." "Talk about getting conceited," replies Haruka, turning away & leaning her back against the window sill. "Not exactly conceited, just taking things as they come..." "Right now I'm doing an experiment." "An experiment?" Still with her back to Manato, Haruka answers "To find out whether or not I really like you. Because I'm not sure..." "I see," replies Manato, in a muted tone, turning his back to the window as well. Haruka continues "I'm wondering that maybe it's because I feel safe with you. I've known you since we were kids. I feel really afraid of older guys. I'm really sorry, but I'm wondering if I was just looking for someone that made me feel safe, that maybe this wasn't really love. It's the same with you too, isn't it?" "Me?" "You weren't in love with me either, right?" "Well..." "There's someone else that you like, right?" "That..." "But that girl likes someone else so you gave up on her." Haruka turns around & looks out the window at Manato "It's Yui-chan, isn't it." Manato turns around & stares at Haruka, not replying. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to blame you. If I really was in love with you, I would probably also resign myself that it wouldn't work. But there are a lot of things that make me feel fed up, things about myself, your character, & probably.......you too." Manato stares at Haruka who adds "I want to change myself." Manato remains silent, looking despondent.



The doorbell keeps on ringing & finally Saeki gets up from the sofa "She's really persistent! I wonder if she knows that we're in." Mariko replies worriedly "Maybe she saw me when I came, & then..." "It bothers her?" "Of course!" "But wouldn't that normally make a person leave?" "She really loves you." "I guess it can't be helped. Shall I let her in & we'll talk?" "Wait a minute! Don't do that!" "Why not? Forget that you're a teacher & just explain it to her." "But...." "I didn't really want to hurt her since I'm the one in the wrong but..." "I'll go meet her." "What?!" "I'll go apologize to her." "No you can't. With your character, you'll pull back right away." "We can't talk to her here either, it's cruel somehow." "That's true."



Outside, Yui stands in the pouring rain, staring up at the apartment, the box of chocolates in her hand. Suddenly, a red umbrella appears sheltering her from the rain. Turning around, she sees Manato holding out the umbrella over her. With quiet understanding, Manato says "Let's go home." Yui stares at him with sad eyes & Manato nods "Okay?" "Right now, senpai's at home." Manato nods "Uhm." "I brought chocolate for him." Manato nods again "Uhm." "I made it this morning. It's the first time I've ever made any." "Is that so?" "Ah, but Papa's & yours were bought, sorry." "Don't worry about it." Yui slowly glances up at the apartment "Senpai....." "Hm?" "Has he gone back to her? Has he?" After a pause, Manato quietly says "So it seems." Tears in her eyes, Yui stares at a soaked Manato "Why? Because he hates me?" "I don't think so." "Then why? Why?" Manato struggles to find something to soothe Yui's pain but can't find any words. Yui cries "Manato...." Slowly, Manato moves towards Yui & putting his arms around her, holds her close.



Back home, Manato knocks on Yui's door "Are you changed?" "Uhm." Manato enters & seeing a Yui drying her hair, asks "Are you alright?" Yui sneezes in reply. Manato walks up to her & puts his hand on her forehead "Have you caught a cold? Doesn't look like you have a fever though." Suddenly Yui says "Hey, let's take some pictures." "Hm?" "To send to Ai-chan." "Right now?" "Uhm. You've finished writing the letter haven't you?" "Well, sort of." "Great! Then let's take some!" Grabbing Manato's hand, Yui excitedly pulls him out of her room into the living room downstairs. With an instant camera in hand, Yui instructs "Smile!" With a smile that looks more like a grimace, Manato grumbles "How many are you going to take?" "It's just like an omiai picture so we'll pick the best one of the lot. Right! One more! Ah, it's the last one." "It's enough already." "This time we'll take one of the both of us." "What?" "You can send one with your cute sister as well!" Sitting down on Manato's knee, Yui holds out the camera with one hand & takes a shot of the both of them.



Out into the night, Yui pulls Manato up a flight of steps "Hurry up!" Manato as usually grumbling "Wait a minute!" Panting, they both arrive at the top of the stairs where there is a red post box. Yui pushes Manato in front of it with Manato protesting "We didn't have to mail it today!" "As the saying goes, strike while the iron is hot!" "I wonder." "What are you worried about?" "Well, even if she's living an ordinary life, I don't want to disrupt things for her." "There are no girls around that will not like being pursued." "Really? Wouldn't she already have someone?" "If it's Manato she'll be very happy." Manato turns around & looks at Yui "Is that so?" Yui smiles, assuring him "If it were me I'd me thrilled." "Really?" "Uhm." Manato stares at Yui, starting to say "Yui...." "Hm?" "Well....it's not what happened to you.....that I'm about to say this but......" "What's wrong? You're fumbling with words...." "Well....." Manato hesitates & then turns away "Never mind." Changing the subject, Manato asks "Why did you decide on the color green for me?" "Ah, you're wondering about that?" "Uhm, sort of." "Because of oxygen." Oxygen?" "Uhm. When I'm with you, the air suddenly feels very fresh." "Is that so?" "The Manato that is green in color, gives me pure oxygen." "But even if there's a lot of greenery, without the red colored sun, photosynthesis can't happen." "Red color? Ah what is that! So it's thanks to me?" Manato nods "Uhm," & walks back towards the post box. When Yui follows, peeping over his shoulder, Manato turns the green colored envelop face down, & slowly drops it into the box. Pensively, Manato turns & takes two steps when Yui suddenly puts her hands together & says happily "Please let there be a reply from Ai-chan." Manato looks at her, deep in his own thoughts.

'Now is still not the time'

I kept telling myself then

over & over

someday

the time would come naturally

In her room, Yui stares at a photograph of herself & her mother Yurie.


that is why I will never forget you


As the bell chimes, Mariko's class ends "Alright, this is it for today." The monitor orders "Rise! Bow!" All he students bow respectfully to Mariko. Mariko calls out "Class monitor?" "Yes?" "Will you come to the staff room during lunch break?" "Yes." Mariko gathers her books & takes two steps towards the door when she suddenly stops, seeing Yui through the glass panel on the door. Staring intently at Mariko, Yui slides the door open. From her desk, Haruka looks up "Yui-chan?" as Manato's attention switches from his desk to the doorway. At his desk, Saeki also notices Yui approach Mariko in a trance-like state. Manato gets to his feet "Yui." Suddenly blood starts flowing out of Yui's nose & worriedly, Mariko offers her handkerchief "Are you alright?" Without warning, Yui suddenly attacks Mariko. Manato yells "Yui!" & rushes towards her.




ever since that time

I never got another chance to tell you



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Old 02-23-2007, 08:58 PM   #15 Offline
akachan
Takazuki Kyon
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uso to jerashi

lies & jealousy

"Yui!" Manato yells, rushing up & grabbing a hold of her. Saeki dashes up a second later, worriedly glancing at a stunned Mariko & a struggling Yui.

 

Mariko sits on the bed in the infirmary, gingerly bringing her hand to the bruises on her chest. The door slides open & Saeki appears "Brought you a jersey." Mariko gives a little smile "Thank you." "It might be a little bit big." "ok." replies Mariko, taking it. Saeki takes a seat on the bed beside her "I'm sorry." "Hm?" "Well, I should have told her outright about us." Mariko simply says "Could you draw the curtains shut?" Saeki gets up, muttering "I'm sorry," drawing the curtains around the bed at the same time, giving Mariko privacy to change. "I never expected such a cheerful & cute girl to do something like that." "It doesn't matter." "Really." "Instead I'm more worried about her." "Uhm. It seems that her mother just passed away. Maybe that's why she's feeling a little unsettled right now. But it'll be alright. I'm sure right at this moment..."

 

Carrying a sleeping Yui on his back, Manato heads for the shoe lockers. "Thanks," replies Manato to Haruka when she takes out his shoes for him. "Shall I go with you?" "It's alright, I'll just let her sleep once we get home." "Sure?" "Yeah, it's better not to kick up a big fuss." "Okay," nods Haruka, holding out their school bags for Manato. Managing somehow to carry the bags as well as piggy-back Yui, Manato says a quick "Bye," & walks off with a worried Haruka looking on.

 

Walking quietly along a tree lined path, Yui suddenly mumbles "Manato." Manato pauses "You're awake?" "Uhm, actually I was awake just now." "I see." "I was embarrassed so I was pretending to be asleep." "Is that so?" Manato starts walking again. Yui ponders "Why did I do something like that?" "Don't worry about it right now." "Even when I realized it, I don't even know why I did it." "That happens sometimes." "It happens to you too?" "Remember when I first met you? Before I realized it, I was about to steal a book at the bookstore." "Hmmm, I wonder if that's the same." "It's different?" "No, maybe it's the same."

 

 

あの時僕は

いっぱしのナイトを気取っていただろうか

気付いたお姫様を守ってあげる

 

 

at that very moment

was I posing as a knight in shining armor, I wonder

before I realized it

I was protecting the princess

Yui asks "Hey, am I heavy?" Manato smiles "To be honest, a little." "I'm sorry," replies Yui, putting her cheek against the back of Manato's head "But, could you carry me for just a little bit longer?" Manato replies "Uhm. Of course." Yui closes her eyes, smiling.

 

 

 

だから君のことを忘れないよ

二人だけのこの道が

永遠に続いたらいいのに

 

 

that is why I will never forget you

this road that is only for the two of us

if only it would go on forever

[CJ - I can hear all the sighs..."Manato's not posing as a knight in shining armor, he IS the knight in shining armor!"]

 

 

Manato enters the cafe & sees Saeki waiting for him "Sorry to call you out." Taking a seat across the table, Manato replies "It's okay. By the way, how is sensei?" "She's fine." "That's good." A waitress comes by & puts a mug on the table for Saeki, at the same time greeting Manato "Welcome." "Hot cocoa please," requests Manato & she replies "Alright," taking his order. Saeki continues "However, mentally she's a little...how shall I put it....Mariko's probably a little shocked that she's the target of hatred by a student." "I see." When Saeki stares at Manato, he quickly adds "Ah, it's just that to hear you calling her 'Mariko', it's a little...." "Exciting? Are you shocked?" "That it's sensei?" "Uhm." "Hmm, I guess it's not that surprising, even if it were other teachers." "Ah, it seems that you stole Mariko's underwear before." Stunned, Manato looks around the cafe & then back at Saeki "You want to talk about that here?" Saeki laughs "Alright, we'll forget that." Manato continues "When Yui entered the classroom, I was stunned." Saeki nods "Yeah. It happened so quickly, at the speed of light." Manato asks worriedly "Will Yui will be suspended from school, I wonder." Saeki replies coolly "Well, if rumors or anything happens, Mariko will probably take care of it." Assured, Manato breathes easier "That would be fine." The waitress approaches with Manato's order "Sorry to keep you waiting." "Thanks." Saeki lights a cigarette & then asks "So how's Yui doing?" "A little miserable by the looks of things. She's just keeping herself locked up in her room, said she didn't know why she did that either." Saeki nonchalantly comments "Pre-menstrual syndrome perhaps?" Manato looks shocked "What?" "Well, from what I heard, people get irritated sometimes." Manato mumbles "Oh," taking a sip of his cocoa. Saeki adds "It's said to calm folks down." Manato looks up in surprised & Saeki says "Cocoa, they say it's good for health." Glancing at his mug of cocoa, Manato asks "Is that so?" "Where did I read it?" mutters Saeki.

 

Manato walks in through the front door & is surprised to hear Yui talking cheerfully with his father "No way! & then what happened? Did you go?" Irie laughs "Of course I did." "Really? Poor thing! I would've been totally embarrassed! So you really went." Manato walks into the living room & Yui greets him brightly "Welcome home! Where have you been?" Manato replies "Nowhere in particular. It's pretty lively in here." Yui smiles "Seems like it was pre-menstrual syndrome...." Manato pauses "Oh, so it was that after all?" Yui adds "...when Mama was in the hospital." Manato looks surprised "Mama? Oh," walking into the kitchen, taking a seat at the table & then without a word, stares at the both of them talking cheerfully. Yui continues "& she asked Papa to go buy napkins for her." Irie laughs "That put me in a spot! It's embarrassing for folks of our generation so I told her to ask you but she said no." Yui replies "Mama just wanted you to pamper her." "I know. So I went to the convenience store, put it in between a magazine..." "Just like renting a porno video?" "Yes, yes....& hiding it between videos of masterpieces!!" Yui laughs "Mama was very happy, wasn't she." Ire smiles "Yes, very." "Ah, the bath should be ready by now." "Then I'll go take it first," says Irie, getting up from the couch & walking out of the living room. Yui gets up & walks into the kitchen "It's fun, talking about this." Sitting at the dinner table, Manato breaks his silence "Are you alright?" Checking the pot on the stove, Yui turns around "What?" "Nothing...." replies Manato, staring at her, a frown creasing his forehead.

 

At the game arcade, Yui shouts "Left! Left! Right! Come on!" Manato stamps his feet in a totally uncoordinated attempt on the dance machine. The machine announces "Game Over!" & Yui moans "Aaa....Manato, by any chance are you're hopeless at sports?" "Ah, it's really fast & this is my first time," Manato tries to explain himself. Yui jumps up onto the machine beside him "Alright, let's do it together this time!" Manato looks at his watch "The second lesson should be over soon." When Yui looks at him in wonder, Manato tries to explain "It's not that I don't want to be with you, just that it feels strange not to be in school. It may sound weird, but then I start pretending that nothing's happening & put on an expression of feigned ignorance." "Expression of ignorance?" Manato crosses his eyes "Uh, something like this?" Yui laughs "Isn't it more like this?" sticking out her tongue, tilting her head with spaced out looking eyes." Manato laughs. Yui says "Let's play it again? How much is it?" Manato replies "200yen." As Yui digs into her coat pocket, out falls her pink colored bell key holder. Her expression changes as she bends down to pick it up. Manato asks "What's wrong?" but without a word, Yui grabs her coat & runs out of the arcade. "Hey wait! Yui! Where are you going?" Manato runs after her. Not stopping to answer, Yui yells "To school!" "Are you ok?" "No I'm not but it's something else...." "Something else?" Suddenly Yui stops running & turns around with a smile "I want to see senpai. I want to see him." Manato freezes, silently watching Yui run off.

 

Racing down the corridor, Yui dashes into the music room where Saeki is playing on the piano. Tilting her hear to one side & sticking out her tongue, she looks at Saeki. "What's with that face?" asks Saeki & Yui replies "Feigned innocence, pretending like nothing happened." "Isn't it more like this?" Saeki nonchalantly raises his eyes, staring up into space & making a face. Yui laughs "I'm glad." "Hm?" "I thought that you wouldn't come here anymore." "How come?" "I thought you'd be angry." "& why is that?" "Hmmm...." "Actually, more like I should apologize to you." "Apologize to me?" "I was the one that pushed you into a corner." "It's not your fault." Saeki gets up from behind the piano "I should have been the one to explain everything clearly to you. I shouldn't have asked Manato to do that for me." Yui looks surprised "Manato?" Taking a seat on one of the chairs, Saeki nods "Yes. It appears that he didn't say anything to you. In any case it's all my fault, so don't blame Mariko." Yui sits down next to Saeki "I don't blame sensei at all. I really don't know why I did that yesterday, I really don't know..." "She made a promise to you didn't she? that she wouldn't come back to me." "Yes, but sometimes I don't keep my promises either. I oversleep, leave my things about..." Saeki smiles at Yui's innocence. Worriedly, Yui looks at Saeki "senpai..." "Hm?" "Do you hate me?" "No I don't." "Really?" Saeki nods wordlessly. Yui continues "It's just that you like sensei more than me?" "What?" "To say it simply." Saeki reluctantly replies "Well, sort of..." "So sensei is number one, & I am number two?" Saeki makes a face, bemused "....ye-ah...." "If that's the case that's fine." "I'm sorry." Yui shakes her head "No, don't apologize yet. I'm still doing my best." "What?" "If I'm number two, then if I try hard enough, I'll become number one!" "Yui!" "So don't apologize yet." "In spring I'll be...." Saeki tries to explain but Yui interrupts "Just until then." Saeki gives in "Just until then." Yui nods "Uhm, okay?" Saeki takes a deep breath "Ah huh." A grin appears on Yui's face "Ah huh."

 

Up on the roof, Haruka says "What's the meaning of this?" Surprised, Manato asks "What?" Haruka holds out a green envelop "I received this letter this morning." "Oh. It was just something I said." "Something you said?" "That in junior high, I liked this girl who was a transfer student, even now." "Who was it?" "Do you remember a Hirase Ai?" "Hirase? A girl who wore glasses & looked quite matured?" "Uhm, I don't really remember too well either." "& then?" "Yui wanted me to write a letter to her. Yui wanted me to tell her that the reason you & I weren't getting along was because of her. Although it's not the nicest thing to say, she wanted me to tell her how I felt." "I see." "It's stupid huh. But I heard from Saeki that he wanted go back to sensei & he asked me to tell Yui about it." "So because you felt sorry for her, you did as you were told?" "Well, yeah...." "But why did you send the letter to me?" "Well, if I sent it to someone I couldn't talk to about it, I'd never get a reply." "But...." "You know Yui, if I don't get a reply she'd ask me to write again." Haruka stares at the letter in her hand "So you sent it to me." Manato looks apologetic "I shouldn't ask you to but..." "You want me to reply?" "Yes, say sorry, you've already got a boyfriend or something, anything will do. Then it'll be settled once & for all." When Haruka remains silent, Manato adds "If it's too much trouble then forget it. I'll figure out something & settle it myself." Suddenly Haruka asks "Why? Why didn't you tell Yui then how you really feel about her?" Manato starts "Ah, well...Saeki...." "Because you knew that Saeki was going to turn his back on her so you felt sorry?" "Ah, well...ye-ah...." "I don't think so." "What?" "I'll bet you thought that the time wasn't right, that someday your turn would come. So even if you told her then, it would be meaningless." "I don't..." "I'd certainly think that way...because it would be cowardly.....because it would be dishonest....wouldn't you hate yourself if you were like that?" Manato stares at Haruka, not saying a word. Haruka asks emphatically "Aren't you going to change? I am." Letting out a deep breath, Manato avoids her question "Throw that letter away. It's makes no sense for me to have it." As Manato walks off, Haruka presses "Aren't you going to tell her how you feel? Not to Ai-chan but to Yui-chan." Manato stops in his tracks & turns around, a calm look on his face, shaking his head. Haruka mutters "Irie-kun." Finally Manato says "I am me. I don't want to go back to being an imposter." With that, Manato walks off, leaving Haruka wondering "An imposter?"

 

Mariko returns home & walks up the stairs of her apartment building to find Yui waiting for her. Both women exchange stares, neither saying a word.

 

By the fountain, Haruka waits all dressed up. Taking out her compact mirror, she checks her lipstick & make up. Suddenly a horn sounds & she looks up to see Saeki get out of his car & saunters up towards her "I was wondering who it was, all dressed up! I've got to send something to Haneda for my Dad, would you like to go on a drive with me?" "No thank you." "Oh! I see you've got on make up." Embarrassed, Haruka turns away "It's nothing." "Looks good. It looks really good. But I think the eye shadow's a little too much, it's..." "Leave me alone!" "You're not going out on a date with Manato?" "It's none of your business, go away!" "Have the both of you made up?" Before Haruka can say anything, someone calls out "Haruka!" As Haruka comes running up, Muroi on his bike, asks "What's happening?" "Nothing, just some weird guy trying to hit on me." Muroi stares at Saeki, who puts both hands up in surrender. Haruka gets up onto the bike "Let's go." Staring at them as they zoom off on the bike, Saeki with a worldly look on his face, says "uh hmm...."

 

In Mariko's apartment, Yui pours milk into her tea & stirs it. A little awkwardly, Mariko offers "Sugar?" Yui shakes her head & Mariko nods. Suddenly, Yui asks "Are you startled?" Mariko looks surprised "What?" "That I was waiting for you, & thinking maybe that I would do something to you again." Mariko smiles "No." Looking appropriately ashamed, Yui apologizes "I'm sorry." "There's no need, instead I am the one who should be apologizing to you." "Because you broke your promise to me?" "Yes." "Because you said you wouldn't go back to senpai?" "Yes." "So does this mean that you're now really back with him?" "What do you mean by really...?" "Then what about the guy you were going to marry?" "I've officially broken off with him." "Wasn't it tough?" "Well, yes..." "But you've made everything clear with him & gone back to senpai?" "I'm sorry." "No, I'm not blaming you for anything, I just want to find out how things are between the two of you." "Things between us?" "Yes, things between you & senpai. I was just wondering if senpai will really accept you back." "That is...." "Tell me the truth." "I'm sorry, but I think he will." "I guessed as much. So right now I'm losing out to you." "Right now?" "The both of you might be going abroad in spring, isn't that right?" "I still haven't decided..." "So that's why senpai said that until then, I could go on trying." "Saeki-kun said that?" "Yes." "I see." "I think perhaps he was only trying to be diplomatic." "I don't think do. Even I think that you're young & pretty." "Thank you." Mariko takes a sip of her tea & finds Yui staring at her intently. Suddenly Yui leans forward "I'd like you to tell me something." Startled, Mariko asks "What is it?" "What makeup do you use? & which hairstylist do you go to?" "What exactly....." "Ah, no? I guess you can't tell your own rival these things. I guess so too. But I'm running out of time so I was just thinking that maybe it would be a good idea if I tried to look a little more like you." "Like me? Even if you don't, just like I said just now...." "But because of that I'm number two! I think senpai prefers your look." "No such thing." "I don't think so. I think that if I looked like you, senpai would like me more." "Why do you think that?" "You said so didn't you? That you would marry someone else. If it were me, I could never say that. So if we were just competing about that, I'd be number one, senpai would end up liking me more." "Well, there's also one's character..." "Don't move! Sorry, could you let me study your face some more?" Yui stares intently at Mariko's face from different angles "Ah! Could you lend me something to draw with?" A little taken aback, Mariko nods & takes a notepad & pen from her table, handing them to Yui. Taking them, Yui starts to sketch a picture of Mariko. Looking at the childlike drawing, Mariko laughs. Yui looks up "Ah, that's a nice shot! So that's the way you smile! I see!" Mariko merely sits there silently observing Yui, letting her do as she pleases.

 

Tensely, Haruka sits on the edge of the bed, dressed in a bathrobe. Muroi, with just a towel around his waste, comes out of the bathroom & sits on the bed beside her. Quietly, he asks "Are you sure about this?" Nervously, Haruka replies "Don't ask." "Hm?" "Don't ask me that." Muroi nods & Haruka looks at him "Just do it." Muroi nods "Uhm," & without another word, slowly reaches out & loosens her belt, taking off her bathrobe.

 

At his desk, Manato reads aloud a letter he's written "To be honest, I don't really remember much about you, I'm sorry. & right now, I have a boyfriend..." Manato tilts his head & moans "Would a girl be that direct?" As he scrunches up the letter, there's a knock on the door & immediately Yui enters. Manato growls "Hey!" "I knocked!" "It's meaningless if I don't answer!" "Alright, then I'll do it over again." "Forget it. What is it?" Yui comes into the room & shuts the door behind her "I went to sensei's place today." "Sensei? Asami-sensei?" "Uhm," nods Yui as she takes a seat on the bed. Manato sits next to her "To apologize to her? You could've told me, I would've gone with you. It wouldn't have been as bad." "It was alright. I even had tea." "I see." "She asked if I wanted to have sugar but I decided play it cool & refused it." "& then?" "She apologized to me too. I don't like being apologized to & yet, even senpai apologized to me too." "Well, that's because they hurt you too." "If they apologize to me that'll hurt me even more." "I guess that happens too." Yui shows him the sketch she did "Who do you think this is?" Manato takes a good look "Who is this? A kokeshi?" With a frown, Yui grabs the piece of paper back "It doesn't look like her after all!" Manato asks "You're not saying that it's sensei?" "Yes, I guess a photograph would've been better. Next time I'll ask." "Are you just doing this for fun?" "I'm not playing around! I'm absolutely serious." "Well, I don't understand any of it." "I was thinking of looking more like sensei." Manato looks at her "What?" Yui explains "Senpai prefers sensei's appearance, doesn't he? Strictly speaking, I guess it's her style to." "So?" "I was thinking that if I looked more like her, senpai might like me a little more." Manato turns away, not saying anything. Yui asks "What's wrong?" Manato mumbles under his breath "You haven't given up..." "What?" "Nothing," replies Manato, going back to his desk. Yui cheerfully asks "Hey, do you think sensei's hairstyle suits me? Hey Manato." Irritably, Manato replies "Don't be ridiculous! Unless you go for plastic surgery you'll never look like her." Yui explains "I don't have to look exactly like her, just a little bit." Manato retorts "That would be senseless!" "Why do you have to say that?" "What do you mean?" "You're being mean today." Manato calms down "I am not." "I know, you're in a bad mood because you didn't get a reply from Ai-chan, right?" "Not at all. I was just thinking that the exam results should be out soon." "I see." "I've been thinking a lot about what's happened this year." "I'm sorry. I'm just thinking about myself." "No you're not." "I'm sorry." "Don't apologize. & I..." "You don't like to be apologized to either?" "Uhm, I guess." Yui smiles "Just the same like me. It's probably the first time." "Probably," nodding, giving her a loving smile.

 

[CJ - A kokeshi is a folk craft wooden doll with a spherical head & cylindrical body without any limbs.]

 

Late into the night, Muroi's bike pulls up in front of Haruka's house & she gets off. Muroi apologizes "Sorry it's so late." Haruka returns the helmet "Thanks." Awkwardly, Muroi asks "So how was it?" Sheepishly Haruka replies "Don't ask!" "Don't ask anything?" "Yes, don't ask anything." "Well then, was the experiment a success or a failure?" "Probably...a success..." "I see. That's good. Well, call me anytime, with a great experiment like this I'll go out with you anytime." Haruka makes a face at him & he laughs "Well then I'm off." "Goodnight." Watching Muroi ride off, Haruka turns pensive.

 

Entering her room, Haruka pauses, leaning against the wall in darkness. Noticing the letter from Manato, she turns on the light & opens the letter, reading it.

 

 

Suddenly receiving this letter

I'd think you must be very surprised

I am Irie Manato

we were in the same class together

before you transferred to another school

I guess even if I told you that

you wouldn't remember me, would you

I wore glasses, looked very dull

& barely spoke to anyone.

with a filter in my heart,

I never even realized that

somehow I became someone else,

an imposter.

Haruka mutters "An imposter?"

 

 

All the loneliness, the sorrow,

the happiness, the coward that is me

I hid it all inside

but that is the real me

Haruka stares at herself in the mirror "The real...me?"

 

 

I have never been in love before

that's to be expected isn't it

because that wasn't the real me

when I realized that, I felt a little lonely

& all of a sudden

your face appeared in my mind

of course

I know that this would put you in a spot

but I think I've fallen in love with you,

Hirase Ai-san...

Manato walks out from his room & leans wearily against Yu's door, closing his eyes. Looking out her window, Haruka stares at Manato's window, tears in her eyes.

 

In Saeki's apartment, the atmosphere is tense. Mariko takes a sip of her tea "I can't go with you." Seated at the dining table, an equally somber Saeki replies "So you want to stay in school? I've told you before, if you do that then I'll stay back in school again." Putting her cup down on the coffee table, Mariko says "I'm thinking of going back to my hometown." "Didn't you say you that because you cancelled the engagement that it would be tough to do so?" When Mariko remains silent, bitterness enters Saeki's voice "What is this?! Talking about leaving me again? Is it because of Yui?" "Do you dislike her?" "I do not." "Then you like her?" "I don't know what you're getting at!" "I'm wondering if I love you more than she does, more than that cute & innocence girl..." Saeki gets up "Okay, now I'm beginning to understand. So you've lost your self confidence, comparing your feelings about me to Yui's. & you even wanted to marry a man you didn't love. Perhaps I'd be better suited to Yui? Even our ages are closer...what rubbish!" "Stop kidding!" "Kidding?! You're wrong! I'm doing my best to stop my anger from exploding! Do you understand? There is something of the utmost importance that you've forgotten." "Utmost importance?" "My feelings." "That's why...." "Do you dislike her? Or do you like her? Don't kid. For your sake I pretended to be ill & repeated 2 years in school!! No matter what anyone else says, I am true to my own feelings! If you've lost all that confidence then I'll stay back in school for years for you! You're the only one that I need in this world." "Saeki-kun..." "Even for example, even if you said that you don't love me, that you will no longer love me, even if you slept with another man in front of my eyes.....I would hate that but I will never change! I love you!" A pause & Mariko finally says "You....could even become a politician," clapping her hands. Saeki grimaces & just then, his cell phone rings. Walking over to the dining table & picking up the phone in resignation, Saeki replies "Hello, this is the Saeki electoral office..."

 

In their favorite hangout cafe, Manato apologizes to Saeki "Sorry to disturb you on your holiday." Across the table, Saeki coolly takes out a cigarette "What are you saying? Aren't we good friends?" Surprised at being considered so, Manato asks "Good friends?" Saeki replies "Yes. From now on we'll help each other out." "Oh." "So which is it today? It's probably my turn to help. You want me to help you out with that number one girl of yours?" "Ah, it's something I've spoken to you about." "You shouldn't pass the shot but take it yourself." "Look who's talking!" "I guess that's true," laughs Saeki good naturedly. The waitress approaches "Sorry to keep you waiting." "Thanks," replies Saeki, taking a sip of his drink. Manato asks "So how are things between you & sensei?" "What do you mean?" "Going overseas as planned?" "Of course I would like to do that but...." "But?" "All of a sudden she said she wants to go back to her hometown. Just like some trendy drama!" Manato tells him "It seems that Yui went to sensei's apartment." "&?" "I don't know what actually happened but when Yui came back, she was really insistent. She was saying something about becoming number one." "You think that she threatened Mariko?" "I don't know. Maybe that's a possibility so I'm a little worried. She's really direct so I don't know what to do. Anyway, you have to tell it to her once & for all." Saeki nods "Alright. I could've said something that gave her the wrong impression." Manato presses intently "If you tell her outright that there's absolutely no chance at all, I think she'll give up. Rather than tell her you don't like her, tell her that you hate her." Saeki looks up at Manato intensity & Manato suddenly pulls back "Ah, I..." However Saeki smiles "Thank you." "What?" "I'm glad that you're Yui's brother." "I'll handle things after that." "The sooner the better huh." "I think so too." Releasing sigh, Saeki takes a sip of his drink & finds Manato staring at him. At Saeki's questioning look, Manato asks "What is it about you that Yui likes so much, I wonder." Saeki pulls a face "My face?" "Well, that's part of it too." "My voice? Or my hips? Ah let's stop it, even I get the creeps talking about it," laughs Saeki. Suddenly Manato asks "Shortcake." "What?" "Do you like strawberries?" "Not particularly." "Well, supposing you did." "okay." "On top of the shortcake, there is a strawberry. Where would you start eating?" "Where would I start? Strawberry?" "Why? Wouldn't you leave it to the last because you liked it?" "Because I like it, it would be first." Manato stares at him. Saeki smiles "What's this? Some psychological test?" "Well, sort of..." Manato's face darkens.

 

Manato comes home & Yui calls out "Manato?" "Yes, I'm home." Yui comes stomping down the stairs. "What's all the commotion about?" "Congratulations!" Yui pulls a cracker & streamers come flying out, giving Manato a fright. Taken aback, Manato asks "For what?" "Congratulations!" "I asked what for?" "Ah, it's not the exam result." "I know that, it's not announced yet." "You got a reply from Ai-chan." "You're kidding." "I'm not, see?" Manato stares at the yellow colored letter Yui holds out. Turning it around, he sees the name "Hirase Ai" on the back of it. Yui says again "Congratulations!" Manato mumbles "This is nothing to congratulate me on," walking off. Following Manato into the bathroom, Yui asks "Why not? You're not happy?" "It's a rejection letter, probably saying that she has a boyfriend or something like it." "No such thing." "In any case, this is the end of it." "Hmmm, & she said that she would like to meet up with you too." "Who?" "Of course it's Ai-chan! Sorry, I read the letter already." Manato takes the letter from her & starts to read it. Yui adds chirpily "She says that she remembers you. Not only that, she used to steal glances at you. Aren't you happy? & right at the end she said that your sister is cute too!" Without a word, Manato heads for the stairs with Yui asking "Are you going to reply? That's great!"

 

In his room, Manato dials Haruka's number. "This is Sawamura." "Hello." Recognizing Manato's voice, Haruka replies "I'm in my room." Drawing the curtains open, Manato sees Haruka doing the same, smiling back at him "I thought you'd call." Manato holds up the letter "What's the meaning of this?" "She didn't notice the postal stamp on it? I think Yui wouldn't notice that." "I don't think she did but...." "Well, you did ask me to write back." "Yes I did, but what you've written is different! You were suppose to reject me." "I shouldn't have done this?" "Rather, it's just that Yui will ask me to write again, & then expect another reply." "What's wrong with carrying on like this? Being pen pals?" "What?" "It's better this way. Until you tell Yui how you really feel, it's better this way." "Why?" "Girls everywhere all wish that they are liked by someone. Even if they are obsessed with someone else, it's still nice to know that someone else likes them. So Irie-kun too, don't be someone who's rejected, but rather, it's better to be someone else's obsession. That's why I hoped you'd be happy with what I wrote. Especially after having been disappointed in love, I don't want you to be miserable." "Are you making fun of me?" "I'm on your side!" "Why?" "I don't know....I don't even know why myself...in any case from now on, Sawamura Haruka & the bespectacled Hirase Ai....yorishiku" Haruka smiles & Manato returns it, quietly saying "Same here."

 

 

Yui runs up happily like a little kid into the snow covered playground. With Saeki sitting on one of the swings, Yui shouts "I want to sit on the swing too!" Without a word, looking grim, Saeki lights a cigarette. Yui, not noticing Saeki's expression, happily gets on the swing.

 

Manato enters the living room to see it empty. Looking around, he spots a note on the table & picks it up. "I've got a date with senpai at the park, Yui."

 

With the swing screeching, Yui says "When I was young I used to swing really high up! Now I'm too heavy." Without looking at her, Saeki says "This is how you deceive everyone huh." Yui stops "What?" "Artlessly, cheerfully, naively...." "Senpai?" Tiredly Saeki gets up "Even I came dangerously close." Not understanding, Yui says wonderingly "Senpai?" Standing in front of her, Saeki tells her "Don't bother me anymore, or Mariko." "Why?" "Don't ask why!" "But I'll try harder!" "I'm fed up! I'm fed up with you! Don't assume that just because we had sex once that you're my girlfriend." Tears well up in Yui's eyes. Saeki turns away & heartlessly continues "You should understand. That was just to fill the loneliness when Mariko left. It had nothing to do with liking or disliking you. It could have been anyone. & Mariko's back now. I don't really want to say this but....you're....'no longer in use'. Do you understand? If you ever do anything to Mariko again I won't let you off that easily, that's a promise. Don't just sit there, just give it up." Stunned, Yui gets up "You hate me?" Not looking at her, Saeki says "Didn't I just say so? I neither like you, nor hate you....." Turning back to look at her straight into her eyes, Saeki adds cruelly "....right from the very beginning." "I see..." mutters Yui. Without another word, Saeki walks off & Yui start to cry. From a distance hidden behind a tree, Manato watches in painful silence.

 

 

あの時僕は

唯の前に現れて

優しく抱きしめようと考えていた

それなのに何故か

凍り付いたように

一本足も動かなかったんだ

 

 

At that very moment

I wanted to appear in front of Yui

& gently put my arms around her

but I don't know why

it was as if I was frozen

I couldn't move a step

Alone at a table at the cafe, a disheartened Manato sits alone at a table, the evening's sunrays streaming through the glass walls.

 

 

 

フィルターをはずして

僕は本当の自分を取り戻したのに

相変わらず僕は

惨めな人間だった

 

だから君のことを忘れないよ

君はこんな僕を

たやすく忘れたとしても

 

 

Having taken off the filter

I regained my true self

& yet just like before

I was just a wretched being

 

That is why I will never forget you

Even if you've simply

forgotten about me

 

 

Taking the strawberry from atop the shortcake in his fingers, Manato stares at it. Slowly, tear in his eyes, Manato takes a bite.......



Nguồn: Geocites










 

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Old 02-23-2007, 09:02 PM   #16 Offline
akachan
Takazuki Kyon
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kowarete iku futari

the breakup

Morning arrives. With a vancant expression, Manato sits on the rail at the bus stop. "Irie-kun?" Turning at the sound of Haruka's voice, Manato sees her approaching "What's wrong? You're looking kind of absentminded." Manato gets to his feet "Ah, just not enough sleep." "Playing computer games?" "Well, yeah, just couldn't get it." "Go get some exercise." "Is the athletic competition over?" "What?" "Well, you're back to leaving for school at this hour." "Ah, well yeah." Looking around, Haruka asks "Where's Yui-chan?" "Seems like she's got a cold." "Is she alright?" "Uhm, it's nothing serious." Haruka looks at her watch & takes a step back to sit on the rail "So when is it going to be?" Still standing by the curb, Manato turns around to look at her "What is?" With a bright smile, Haruka replies "The next letter you're going to send to me." "More like to Hirase Ai." "Ah, yes." His expression darkening slightly, Manato turns away "I still haven't written it." "Why not? & here I was looking forward to it." Surprised, Manato stares at her "How come?" Haruka replies with a twinkle in her eye "It's interesting to find out more about you." "About me?" "Uhm." "Don't you hate me?" "Of course I don't. I was merely uncertain whether or not I truly liked you." Manato nods. The bus arrives & they board it, Manato sharing a seat with Haruko. Manato asks "When a girl's been disappointed by love, will she fall in love with someone else right away?" Haruka ponders "I think it depends on the individual." "What about Yui?" "Hm?" "Ah, no, I was just wondering." "Hmmmm, what would she do I wonder?" "Don't answer my questions with questions!" "She might surprise everyone & forget it all easily." "You think so?" "Well, those two hit it off really fast didn't they?" "So you're saying that she'll get over it just as fast?" Haruka smiles "Well, there's the saying that passion that's quick to rise, cools equally fast." Manato smiles "Maybe she is this type of person," turning away with a pensive look on his face.

 

 

あの時の僕は、

愚かにもその言葉にしがみついていた
熱しやすく冷めやすい
だから君のことを忘れないよ
早く魔法が解けるように、
そのためなら僕はどんなことでもしたんだ

 

 

At that moment

no matter how foolish it seemed,

I clung on to those words

passion that rises easily, cools easily

that is why I will never forget you

breaking that spell as quickly as possible

just for that I was willing to do anything

With his hand fool of bread & fruit in one hand, Saeki reaches into his pocket with the other, searching for his wallet "Eh?" Suddenly a hand appears in front of him with a note "Here." With a cool smile, Saeki takes the money from Haruka "Thanks." "You are welcome," replies a cheerful Haruka.

 

In the music room, Saeki opens up the cover of the piano & finds his packet of cigarettes sitting on top of his wallet "So I did leave it here. Ah, my cigarette's crushed." Taking a note out of his wallet, he holds it out to Haruka "Here." Haruka asks playfully "What about interest?" "Just for a mere five minutes?" Smiling, Haruka takes the note out of his fingers "Just kidding!" Saeki comments "You've become really cheerful." "Is that so?" "Things must be going well between you & Manato?" "What?" "Didn't the both of you come to school together? I saw you." "Is that so? But that's not it." "Hm?" "I've decided that I'm not going to force things." "Force things?" "Hmm, for example, I thought that I was the type that would wait around for happiness to come along." Uhm." "But there are people who search for & grab that happiness too. I was always envious of them." "I see. So?" "So I decided to stop doing things that weren't me." "Hmmm...." "When you do things that aren't like you, then everything's just an illusion. Someday, you'll become someone else." "& you don't like that." "Well if not, then the person you really are becomes really pitiful." Saeki looks at her in silent admiration. Haruka nods "Right?" "Yes." "But what made you come to that conclusion?" "Hm? Ah, nothing...." "Ah, you slept with that guy, the one the bike you met in front of the station. Ah, sorry, I lack finesse I guess. Well, of course I'll keep it a secret from Manato. It looks like things are going well between you two." "I'm have no expectations of that sort." "What?" "That things will work out between Manato & myself." "Don't say that." "I said so didn't I? That I have no expectations." "But not to search for something & not wishing for something are two different things. You said that you're going back to being yourself, the type that waits." "Not with regards to Irie-kun." "But don't worry too much over sex, that Manato gave himself to a woman he didn't know. Ah, if you didn't know about this, I'm sorry." "I knew." "Phew!" "But things are different for men & women." "In this day & age?" "You're wrong." "So you're still...." "You want to say old-fashioned. But, that's me." With deeper understanding of Haruka, Saeki nods "I see." Walking ahead, Saeki opens the door "After you." "Thanks," replies Haruka & they both walk out of the room amicably.

 

(CJ - I like the way the relationship between Saeki & Haruka is turning out. Nice to see Haruka coming to terms with who she really is. Manato still needs work, but Yui at this point......)

 

In the counselor's room, Manato sits at the table awkwardly waiting before mumbling "Excuse me...." Sitting mutely in the corner, Mariko finally breaks her silence "Ah, I'm sorry. I was just wondering how I would say this." Manato assures her "It's alright, you don't have to explain anything to me." A tad embarrassed, Mariko gets up from the chair & steps forward, hesitatingly saying "But, your sister & I are...." "I know," Manato breaks in. Surprised, Mariko looks at him "You've heard?" "Not from Yui, but from....." "You're not saying it's Saeki-kun?" "Ah, well, yeah." Sighing in resignation, Mariko takes a seat across the table from Manato "I never thought he would be such a chatterbox." "I'm the only one he's told, I'm sure of it. We're....good friends." "Good friends?" "Yes, so I know everything." "What do you mean everything?" "Ah, well, I don't really know all that much about your relationship with him." "I see. You must have been shocked." "Well in any case, there's not need for you to explain anything," replies Manato, getting onto his feet, turns to leave, nonchalantly adding "I also know of the love triangle between you & Yui." Taking offense, Mariko tells him "Stop it! Don't say that!" Taken aback by her vehemence, Manato turns back "Ah, I'm sorry." Gathering her composure, Mariko shakes her head "I'm sorry. I just realized recently that I'm not being matured enough. Because you're good friends I'll say this. I am totally confused by his actions. Ah, I'm not making excuses." "Oh." "I just think he's a little rash. Perhaps that's the part of him I'm attracted to but to tell you the truth, there are times when I think I just can't keep up with him." "Are you talking about going overseas?" "Ah, you really do know everything." "Yes, going together with you." "It's ridiculous don't you think? He's still only a student & yet says that he wants to marry me." "Is that ridiculous?" "Of course it is. Although I've called of my engagement but I have no intentions of marrying Saeki." Manato freezes at her words "What?" Mariko explains "There's also the big difference in our ages," walking towards the door. Without thinking, Manato grabs her arm "You can't think like that!" Shocked, Mariko stares at him "Irie-kun?" "You can't let that bother you! If you love each other, you should be together no matter what it takes! It's ridiculous! I'd be in trouble!" "In trouble?" Mariko's questioning look checks Manato's tirade as he awkwardly mumbles "Ah, no, it's....I think that would make Saeki-san really pitiful." "I wonder. I'm really not that interesting a woman." "sensei..." "That's why I'm just feeling a little uneasy if there comes a day when he'll get tired of me." "He won't. Have more confidence in yourself, please." Mariko nods weakly "Uhm. Strange how this room's become become a counselor's room for teachers." With a little laugh, Mariko slides the door open & walks out, leaving Manato alone in deep contemplation.

 

By the shoe lockers, Saeki changes his shoes & gives a wave when Manato approaches. Manato, however, answers in total annoyance "Just what do you think you're doing?!" Not knowing what Manato's upset over, Saeki answers without taking offense "What am I doing? Well, I can't exactly go home barefooted." Manato just glares at him, taking out his own shoes & dropping them on the floor with a loud thud.

 

Walking along the path, Manato says "I spoke with Asami-sensei today." Saeki asks "With Mariko?" "Yeah." "She wanted to explain to you about what happened in the classroom with Yui?" "Well, it started out that way, but half way through, it became more like a woman confiding in me." Saeki laughs "& you were forced to listen to her appeals." "It's your fault." "My fault?" "Well, you haven't really got a firm hold of sensei, have you..." points out Manato, irritation in his tone. Saeki smiles unruffled "No such thing. I've expressed my love for her in words." Manato bites out in a rather surly tone "You come across too frivolous." Saeki laughs "This is nothing for you to get mad about." Surprised, Manato stares at him "Mad? No, I'm not mad. It's just that I feel sorry for sensei." "Alright I know, I know." "She'll never along go with you if you behave like that." "It'll be fine. She's always peevish about it but at the end, she can't do with me." Saeki turns around when he finds Manato stopped in his tracks "What's wrong?" Manato stares at him "Nothing, I was just thinking that you're so full of confidence." Saeki turns back "Well, talk is for free." Manato shoots back "Is it just talk?" Saeki laughs "I'm kidding, I'm full of confidence!" Manato frowns & walks pass him "Well, please." Saeki adds "I see, you're worried about Yui." Taken aback, Manato stops & turns back "What?" As if reading Manato's mind, Saeki says "You're thinking that if Mariko retreats then Yui might start to get her hopes again." "That...." "You have nothing to worry about. It's not because you pressed me to, but I've already made it clear to Yui. I told her that I hated her. " "Is that so?" Manato doesn't let on that he already knows. Saeki nods "I was downright despicable towards her. Not frivolously like you accused me of being earlier, in fact I was shaking inside, it's out of character for me. Besides, I was wondering when I said it, if I really meant it, if I really hated her that much....even now, I wonder....." In irritation, Manato retorts "Stop fooling around!" & stalks off in a huff. Saeki chuckles & follows quickly "Alright! You want to say that I've got Mariko, right? That's why it's not exactly love. It's just that, doesn't she seem a little bit like an angel to you?" "Well, I think she's pretty much given up on you." "From what happened today?" "Yeah." "I heard from Sawamura that she didn't come to school." "She ate too much so she's just feeling a little ill." "I see." "She's the type that gets passionate quickly but cools just as fast." Saeki walks on amicable without answering. Manato suddenly adds "It's fine. Did you expect her to be shocked & depressed?" Saeki puts his arm around Manato's shoulders teasing "Don't be that cruel to me!" A horn sounds in the distance & Manato runs off "The bus is here!" Heading down the steps, Manato heads for the bus, Saeki following.

 

(CJ - Hmmm, I always get the feeling that Manato starts off wanting to say something but when confronted, ends up saying something else instead. sunao janai na, Manato)

 

Manato trudges up the slope towards home with a bag of groceries in hand. Entering the house, he finds it in darkness. Putting the bag of groceries on the floor, Manato starts up the stairs when he suddenly hears a bang from the bathroom & then the sound of Yui throwing up. Rushing in concerned, Manato calls out "Yui!" Turning around, Yui weakly moans "I'm sorry, threw up." "It's okay." "Are you alright?" Manato rubs her back to calm her. "The mop..." "It's ok, I'll do it." I'm sorry." "Don't worry about it, it's nothing." "Uhm." "You'll be well in no time." "Uhm," moans Yui before throwing up some more.

 

Manato carefully skins an apple & brings it upstars on a tray together with a jug of water. Knocking on Yui's door & entering, Manato asks "How are you feeling?" In bed reading the letter from 'Hirase Ai', she replies cheerfully "I'm fine." "Are you still reading that?" "Uhm. Whenever I read Ai-chan's letter, it cheers me up." Pouring a glass of water for Yui, Manatao asks "How come?" "Well, you're happy aren't you?" "Uhm, well, yeah." "Well then it's passed along & it makes me happy too." "Is that so?" Manato replies, holding out the glass of water to her. Yui shakes her head & asks instead "What about your reply?" "I haven't written it yet." "You can't do that. You have to write it soon, I'm sure she's waiting for it." "I wonder..." "Of course she is, the color of this letter is yellow." Sitting down on the chair next to Yui's bed, Manato asks "Does that mean something?" "It's definitely her first love, the color of lemons." "You think too much into it." "Hey, go write it now so you can send it off tomorrow?" "I can't right now." "I'm fine so please. & then when you get another reply, let me see it?" "Then will you eat some apple now?" Yui moans "Ehhhh?" "You haven't eaten anything since yesterday. I know you haven't got any appetite because of your cold but you won't have any strength if you don't eat." Manato puts the plate of fruit on the chair & heads for the door. Yui slowly sits up "Manato." "Hm?" Quietly, Yui says "I'm sorry. In fact I don't have a cold. That's why I haven't got a fever either." Manato mumbles "I see." Yui hesitatingly says "Actually.....I think I'm...." Suddenly as if afraid of what Yui's going to say, Manato insists "You've just got a cold. & you're just tired." Walking over to the bed, Manato gently lays Yui back down & pulls the covers over her "You transferred to a new school, your mother passed away too. Everything's just added up & it's finally taking its toll. So don't worry about anything. I'll take care of what's happening in school so you just rest." Yui looks at his hand "Did you cut your hand?" "Huh? Ah, yeah, nothing serious," replies Manato, rubbing the band aid on his palm. Touched, Yui smiles "Maybe I'll just have one piece." Manato nods "Uhm," getting the plate for her "Just a small piece will do." Yui opens her mouth waiting to be fed "Ahh...." & Manato looks at her in surprised "Huh?" Them smiling, Manato takes one & puts it into her mouth "Here." With her mouth full, Yui mutters "Write the letter." "I will," replies Manato, putting the plate down on the chair. "I'll turn off the light." "Uhm." Yui watches Manato switch off the light & walk out, shutting the door behind him. The moment he's out of the room, nausea hits Yui & she scrambles to sit up, spitting the apple out of her mouth.

 

In his room staring at the green colored letter paper, Manato ponders over what to write when the phone rings. "Yes?" "Hello." "Sawamura?" "I saw your bedroom light come on." Drawing the curtains open, Manato looks out. Taking a sheet of the green letter paper, he waves it, showing it to Haruka "I was about to write the letter." Haruka smiles "That's great! Can you send it out by tomorrow?" "Yui's been bugging me to write it quick." "Is Yui better?" Manato looks away "Uhm, its' nothing serious. She's still got a fever though." "I see." Sitting down at his desk, Manato says "This letter, I still don't really know what to write." "Do your best!" "But thinking about it, it actually doesn't matter if I don't write it." "Huh?" "Well, what is needed is only Hirase's reply." "No way! You expect me to just write it myself?" "Not you, Hirase." "It's the same thing." "It isn't." "I can't get into it if you don't write." "Don't say that, put your writing talent to good use." "What's that?" Haruka mumbles in a pout, not liking the idea. Manato suddenly turns a little sober "However, Yui really likes it. She keeps reading it over & over." Haruka merely replies "Well in any case if you don't write, I'm not going to reply. It'll be inconsistent." "Just make something up." "That's cheating! If you're going to say that I'm not going to write anything." "I'll be in trouble!" "Then write. & write seriously. Then I will...ah....I mean Hirase Ai will also write seriously." Manato gives in with a little laugh "Alright, I understand. But, how long are we going to keep this up?" "Until you tell her." "What?" "Until you tell Yui how you really feel about her." At a loss for words, Manato merely utters "Uh." With a smile, Haruka takes a sheet of yellow colored writing paper "When that happens, Hirase will disappear. Just like a lemon drop in your mouth." "So that's why you picked the color yellow?" Haruka nods "Uhm."

 

At the breakfast table the next morning, Irie enquires "Is Yui still feeling ill?" Manato replies "She's much better. In any case the final exams are approaching & she's studying at home. It'll be tough if she doesn't make it." Irie gets up & starts to walk off when Manato asks "Where are you going?" "I'm just going to check on her." "She's still sleeping." "I'm only just going take a look at her. To be honest with just the two of us, breakfast isn't that appetizing." Irie turns to go when Manato suddenly bursts out "No!" When his father turns around in surprise, Manato mumbles "Ah, she said that she's just recovering & doesn't want to pass the cold on to you," quickly coming up with some excuse. "It'll be alright just to see her for a moment." Manato nonchalantly adds "If you persist on being inquisitive into an adolescent girl's affairs, she'll end up getting annoyed with you." "Is that so," Irie sighs, walking back to the breakfast table. Manato adds "She'll say that you're dirty & that you stink." With a frown, Irie sniffs at his shirt sleeve & then with a laugh, sits back down at the table "Hehe, body odor is hereditary you know." Manato looks up at him & chuckles, eating his breakfast. A second later, a pensive look appears on his face.

 

With a green envelope in his hand, Manato walks up a flight of stairs to the mailbox. Pausing just in front of the box, Manato hesitates for a second before slowly slotting the letter into it. Hearing it drop into the box, Manato stares at the it before turning around & walking off.

 

In the music room, Saeki plays on the piano - T's Waltz. The pensive music drifting through the air to the roof top of another building. Sitting alone on the roof top & staring at Saeki from a distance, Yui sits listening to the soulful tune. Leaning against the rail, Yui closes her eyes. Suddenly, the music stops & Yui turns around. Through the window of the music room, she sees Saeki smiles at someone & through another window, Yui sees Mariko throwing the window open. Saeki comes up to her & smiling, puts his arm around her. A frown of pain appears on Yui's face, looking sad.

 

Manato takes the tray from Yui's desk "That's great, you finished all your lunch." Lying in bed under the covers, Yui nods "Uhm. I can if it's udon (noodles)." "Even with an egg in it?" "Uhm." "So what about dinner? I didn't get groceries today but I'll make you some porridge." "No, actually I have a favor to ask of you." "If it's about the letter, I sent if off this morning." "It's not that. I left something behind." "You left something behind?" From under the covers, Yui takes her hand out & shows him her key "The bell's missing." "I guess you must have dropped it somewhere." "I've looked all over the house. I think it's probably in school, either in the classroom or the music room." "Alright, I'll look for it tomorrow." "I want it now..." "What? School's closed already." "It's not possible?" "No, it isn't that but....why?" "Well....I got it from Mom so it reminds me of her." "I see." "That's why I feel uneasy without it." "Alright. Can I go after I wash the dishes?" asks Manato looking at the tray in his hands. Yui gets up "I'll do them." "Don't bother, it'll be done in a jiffy. Lie down." Yui nods obediently "Uhm." "Ah, but if I can't find it...." "You will, I'm sure." Manato nods & walks out of the room, Yui stares at the broken end of her key ring.

 

(CJ - Now that's asking a bit too much, talk about Manato totally giving in & spoiling Yui! You want that bell that badly girl, go get it yourself!!!)

 

Manato washes up the dishes & needing to throw something in the trash, steps on the pedal to open the lid. His expression changes & reaching beneath a plastic bag, stares at the udon - Yui's lunch, in the trash.

 

In the dark of the night, Manato stands outside the school gates. Climbing over the gates, Manato starts searching for the bell in Yui's desk in her classroom. Muttering to himself "I feel like a burgler," before seeing someone "Ah!" Realizing that it's only a reflection in the mirror, Manato grimaces "What! It's only me!" Getting on his hands & knees, Manato starts searching the floor.

 

 

The more one thinks about someone

one becomes something laughable

at that moment I

became completely obsessed

it was as if trying to find that tiny little bell

would save her

a spell with a single keyword

would save her, would save even me

if I could clear this game

then the bells of happiness would chime
 

Looking around in the dark music room, Manato spots something stuck on the blackboard. On music notes drawn on the board, Yui's bell is stuck on it. Pulling it off & shaking it, a wide grin appears on Manato's face "Yes! Yes! Yes! I found it!" Ecstatically, Manato jumps up & down on the desks.

 

On top of the roof of the other building, Yui smiles as she sees Saeki in the music room having lunch. Saeki tosses an empty can & grimaces, walking over to pick it up. Yui smiles. When Saeki tosses another & hits the target, Yui smiles applauding. Saeki starts playing the rather plaintive tune again & Yui closes her eyes, listening to it as it floats into the air.

 

Sitting on the bench at the bus stop, Yui doesn't move when the bus arrives & leaves.

 

In class, Saeki nods half asleep through a lesson.

 

Another bus arrives & leaves. Yui remains motionless on the bench.

 

Class over, Saeki strolls out into the corridor, yawning away. By the shoe lockers, Saeki changes his shoes.

 

Yui is still as a statue on the bench.

 

Saeki walks on, looking around at nothing in particular, along with other students chatting on their way home.

 

Another bus pulls away, Haruka comes running down the steps yelling "Ah stop! Stop!" & then moans "Ahh, I missed it." Turning around, she sees Yui sitting alone on the bench "Eh? Is that Yui-chan?" Walking over, Haruka calls out "Yui-chan? Yui-chan?" When there's no response, Haruka reaches out for Yui's shoulder shaking her but Yui suddenly slides falling over on the bench, going limp, her face pale. Haruka tries to wake her up "Yui-chan! Yui-chan! Hang on!"

 

Manato comes home with a bag of groceries & is surprised to see a pair of shoes in the foyer. Walking into the living room, Haruka asks "Where have you been?" Turning around to see Haruka, Manato replies "Where? I went to buy groceries for dinner." "Yui-chan passed out earlier." "Where?" "At the bus stop, by our school. I got the doctor to come take a look at her." "Is it that serious?" "He gave her an injection so she's sleeping now. But she's very pale & her body was very cold." Indifferently, Manato walks into the kitchen "She has a cold & she still went outside." "The doctor said it wasn't a cold. She's just very weak at the moment." Manato remains silent & Haruka asks "I would guess that Yui-chan hasn't been eating anything lately." "No such thing, she even had udon yesterday." "Then why?" Manato replies irritably "How would I know?! It's probably all the things that have happened recently, she transferred here, & then her mother..." "Really. Is that the only reason I wonder?" Refusing to think otherwise, Manato continues putting the groceries in the fridge as he replies stubbornly "There's no other reason." Haruka asks "What about Saeki-san?" Manato pauses & then gets up with a retort "No way! There's no way that could be it. Even you said so that she's the type that gets passionate easily & then cools just as fast." "What if she isn't that type of person? & haven't you already realized that yourself? Am I wrong?" Manato yells at her "Even if that's the case what do you want me to do?! If that's the cause of all this, I can't do anything anyway!" Manato sits down on the sofa in a huff continuing "I know she's really hurting. & all I can do is not say anything & leave her alone!" "& not tell a single soul about it? & keep her hidden at home?" "I'm not hiding her!" "Really?" "Of course! It would be meaningless to do that!" "You didn't even mention anything to Saeki-san, is that for Yui-chan's sake?" After a pause, Manato quietly says "Yes it is." Haruka presses "& not for your own sake?" Angrily, Manato shouts "Yes!" Stunned at Manato's reaction, Haruka mumbles tearfully "I'm sorry...sorry...." & starts to cry. Manato turns & gets onto his feet "Why are you crying?" Haruka sobs "I don't know....but it's probably because....I don't want to end up hating you...." Manato stares at her wordlessly. Haruka calms down & continues "I received the second letter this morning." "Uh." "I liked the real Irie-kun that wrote that. Especially that one phrase I really liked that's appeared in both letters. Ah, there must be something wrong with me....am I becoming Hirase-Ai I wonder." Drying her tears Haruka gathers her coat & bag "The doctor said that if you get in touch with him, he'll come by & check on Yui too. The telephone number is over there." Manato nods "Uhm, I know." "Well, then I'm going home." "Uhm. I'll let Yui know that you took care of her." "There's no need to. Well then, goodbye," Sawamura turns to leave when Manato starts "Ah..." Haruka turns around & Manato says "Ah, not Sawamura but Hirase....." Haruma nods "Uhm." "The phrase that you liked, which is it?" "It's the last bit...'That is why I will never forget you.'" Manato stares at her wordlessly & finally nods. Haruka turns & leaves, shutting the door behind her.

 

In Yui's bedroom, Manato quietly stares at Yui's sleeping figure, drawing the covers snugly over her.

 

Sitting alone flipping through a magazine, Saeki waits at the usual cafe hangout. Looking up, Saeki asks "What is it that you wanted to speak to me about?" Coming forward, Haruka replies "I was wondering what to do." "Are you going to shockingly confess that you're in love with me? ndeed. Anyway, you've always been blunt with me." "It's about Yui-chan." "I see. What!" Saeki drawls out derisively. Haruka retorts "You don't have to speak like that!" "Ah, sorry. I didn't mean it like that. I just have some bitter memories with Yui that's all. I just meant 'forgive me'." "What do you mean?" "You know what happened in class don't you? So I thought that I should make it clear to her once & for all." "What about?" "The usual break up story. But I was really mean to her, to the extent that I hate myself for what I did." "No wonder...." "No wonder?" "Seems like it was too much of a shock for her." "Shock? No way, Manato said that she's given up completely." Haruka shakes her head. Saeki asks "Are you sure?" looking a little bit upset at the news. The waitress comes by "Sorry to keep you waiting, what would you like?" Haruka replies "Coffee." "Sure," replies the waitress, taking her order. Saeki coolly asks "& then?" "& then what?" "Uh, nothing. But I guess even if I had known there's nothing that I can do anyway. Manato probably thinks the same way so didn't tell me about it." "That's true but...." "Say even if I call & tell her get well soon, it would end up making her even more miserable. & may even cause her to recall unpleasant memories. Whatever the case, it would do any good." "I know that much! It's just that, I didn't like the idea of you not know anything about it. I always thought of Yui-chan as an optimist but I didn't want you to think that too. I won't forgive you if you don't feel anything." Saeki assures her "I do feel guilty. Just like the way you feel guilty towards Manato for having slept with another man. But if you think like that you'll never fall in love, ever. Excuse me but I'm leaving." "Wait..." Haruka tries to stop him but with a blunt "Take your time," Saeki walks off.

 

Silently sitting by Yui's bed, Manato watches over a sleeping Yui. Finally Yui opens her eyes & sleepily looks about "Manato." "You're awake." "Uhm, I slept well." "Sawamura brought you home in a taxi. Also, the doctor came by & gave you a jab." "I remember. I hate injections, I flinched." "I see." "Were you worried?" "I was." "A whole lot?" "Uhm." "Really," Yui's pleased to hear. Manato returns her smile & gets up to pour her a glass of water. "Manato..." "Uhm." "You like me don't you." "What?" "You like me don't you?" After a moment's pause, Manato looks at her "Yeah." "Because we're brother & sister right?" "Yeah." "You'll always be with me?" "Of course." "I'm glad." Slowly, Yui holds out her hand & says to Manato "Hold my hand?" Nodding, Manato puts the glass of water down & takes her hand in his. Yui says "I have something to apologize to you." "Forget it, not that I know what for." "You're just like me, we don't like to be apologized to." "That's right." "But, I lied to you." "Lied?" "For that I want to apologize." "What is it?" Yui takes her other hand out from under the covers & holds out the bell "This." "Oh, great that it's been found huh." "I told you before didn't I? That it reminded me of Mama." "Uhm." "Actually it's not that." "What?" "It actually holds memories of senpai. The first time I met him, he picked it up for me." "Oh, is that so." "I'm sorry." "It doesn't matter. Actually I kind of thought that wasn't really the truth anyway." "Really?" "Well, if you didn't say that it was because of 'Mama', I'd probably have said that I would have looked for it the next day, right?" "Oh." "Of course, I know whatever you're thinking." Yui smiles "I see." "Yeah," smiles Manato. Suddenly the doorbell rings & Manato looks surprised "I wonder who's that." Yui adds "It must be Papa! He must have lost his keys." "Yeah, it must be," replies Manato, slowly letting go of her hand as he gets up.

 

The doorbell rings again & coming down the stairs, Manato calls out "I'm coming!" Opening the door, Manato's expression darkens in shock. Saeki saunters up "Yo!" Without moving out of the way, Manato asks "What are you doing here at this hour?" "I met Sawamura." "Sawamura?" "I heard about Yui. It's a bit of a bother but it's weird. Before I realized it I was headed this way." Saeki brushes pass Manato & walks into the house "I was thinking that if she really was feeling that bad that I'd come by & cheer her up. I guess that's because she's like an angel. Well, in any case saying that I hate her isn't actually the truth either." Manato's expression remains grim.

 

あの時の僕は
胸の中で必死に鳴り響こうとする鐘の音を
押さえていたんだ
それは僕が求めたこと

まるで正反対の

 

At that moment I was suppressing

the chimes of the bells

that were violently reverberating in my heart

whatever I had wished for

was turning exactly the opposite

With a dark look on his face, Manato tells Saeki "She's alright." Pushing Saeki out the door almost rudely, Manato adds forcefully "Thanks for taking the trouble to come by, but Yui's asleep." Surprised at the cold treatment, Saeki merely stares at Manato.

 

Upstairs in bed, Yui rings the bell, the sound tinkling away.

 

だから君のことを忘れないよ

 

that is why I will never forget you

Staring intently at Saeki, Manato adds "She'll forget about you.....in no time," shutting the door on his friend.

 


嫉妬が叫ぶ悲鳴のようなS.O.S.
 

as if jealously was screaming & shrieking S.O.S.

Shutting the door, Manato leans against it, letting out a long breath, a grimace of pain on his face.

 

 

 

 

(CJ - Hmmmm, I really do not like what Manato's become, what happened to my gallant knight in shining armor?? Lying to himself & to everyone around him, the way he's treating his father & his friends. & the phrase that's been said to only Yui so far up until now - 'that is why I will never forget you'. It appears in both the letters to Sawamura / Hirase. By any chance is that the only time Manato is true to himself? Is he writing to 'Yui'? & interestingly enough, Sawamura's reply seems to cheer Yui up. When the lemon drop disappears..... On a whimsical thought, Sawamura's favorite color blue mixes with Hirase's lemon drop yellow color to give Manato's green. & of course, everyone's under the impression that her breakup with Saeki is the cause of Yui's 'illness', but there's certainly more than meets the eye....I'm still wondering about the title of this episode - kowarete iku futari. Who are the futari (2 people) that will kowarete iku (break apart)? At first I thought it was Yui & Saeki but they were never really a couple to begin with. So it's Yui & Manato? The two of them have really fallen to bits at this point......)

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Old 02-23-2007, 09:09 PM   #17 Offline
akachan
Takazuki Kyon
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tasukete kudasai, imoto wo

save my sister, please

Manato sits at the dining table, motionless.



あの時僕は静かに、
そう静かに興奮を静めていた



At that moment I was quietly

quietly suppressing my excitement




この小さなお城に侵入する、
いかなる外敵からも彼女を守り抜け



I would protect her from

whoever the enemies were

that would invade this little castle

Bringing up a tray of food for Yui, Manato walks up the stairs & enters her room.




だから君のことを忘れないよ



that is why I will never forget you





Yui smiles "Was it Papa?" Manato remains silent. Outside, Saeki turns back & stares at the Irie home.




たとえばそれが、
君の待ち望んでいる、

あの、王子様であったとしても


even if it was the prince

that you were waiting & hoping for

Manato puts the tray down on her desk "Uhm." Taking a seat by her bed, he smiles at her "It was Papa."



In the rain, a crowd of students check out the exam results posted on the notice board, jostling to find out if they made it into college. Carrying an umbrella, standing apart from the others, Manato stares silently at the notice board, his face expressionless. Turning to walk off, he is surprised to see someone waiting for him "Sawamura!" With a smile, Haruka replies "Congratulations." Manato stares at her for a long moment before nodding, a hint of a smile finally appearing on his lips.



Moving to a fast food restaurant, Manato asks "Why did you come?" Across the table taking a sip of her drink, Haruka replies "Well, I was afraid that you might get a shock & kill yourself or something." "So you thought I wouldn't make it." "That's because you weren't exactly confident when you spoke about it." "I was shocked myself. I was thinking that I would have to make applications at some prep school first." "So we'll be together again when spring comes." "Yeah, that's right." "Shouldn't you call & let your father & Yui know?" "There's no need to." "Ah, you want to let them think that you didn't make it & see their reactions?" Manato shakes his head without replying, getting up to clear his tray from the table. Haruka awkwardly apologizes "Ah, I'm sorry, I forgot that Yui's still not feeling well." Without looking at Haruka, Manato quietly says "Saeki came by yesterday." "Eh?" "To see Yui." "I see." Turning to stare at Haruka, Manato adds "He said he heard about it from you." Haruka returns the stare "I shouldn't have told him?" No, it's not that you shouldn't have. I was just thinking that the both of you are really insensitive, that's all." "Insensitive?" "Weren't you the one to say that Yui's probably in shock over Saeki? & to tell Saeki himself to come see her, isn't that being insensitive?" "I didn't tell him to go see her..." "& for him to actually come see her, he's totally insensitive!" Haruka stares at him as a thought dawns on her "You turned him away?" Manato looks at her "Of course!" "Did Yui-chan say that?" Losing his cool, Manato retorts "I didn't have to ask! It's understood isn't it?!! Yui's trying to forget about him." "Did Yui tell you that?" "I don't have to ask! I know!" Haruka half mutters under her breath "But you're not her!" Manato stares at her. Haruka continues "You keep saying that you understand her, but you're not Yui-chan!" Manato sighs irritably "You're acting as it you're trying to reason with a child, stop it. It's obvious! She's ill! Instead of prying into every little thing, isn't it better to do something for her instead?! Unlike you, half playing in jest, thinking this is fun...." Haruka stops him "Wait a minute! I'm didn't tell him for fun! It's just that Yui-chan.....wants to see Saeki-san...." In anger, Manato raises his voice "Yui doesn't want to see him! & you're not her either so how would you know!?" Everyone in the restaurant turns to stare at a furious Manato. After a moment's silence, Manato turns to walk off when Haruka adds "Yui-chan was at the bus-stop." Manato pauses "So what about it?" "She was in school. She must have been watching him from somewhere. Because she can't see him in person anymore, at the very least from somewhere else...." "You're jumping to conclusions. She might have been waiting for me to come home." "Is that what you really think?" "How would I know, I'm not her," Manato throws back a last word & turns to stride off. Seriously quiet, Haruka says without thinking "Are you trying to kill Yui-chan?" Manato freezes in his tracks. Slowly, he turns around & stares at Haruka. Realizing she's gone too far, Haruka stammers "Ah, sorry, I......sorry....." Without another word, Manato walks off. Haruka calls out "Irie-kun! Your umbrella......" but Manato's gone. In the pouring rain, Manato walks with angry strides.



In the music room, Saeki plays his soulful "T's Waltz" on the piano.



Manato stops by at a supermarket & picks up some groceries. Finally with the rain having let up, Manato trudges up the wet slope towards home. Coming through the front door, Manato sees Yui's wet boots in the foyer. Turning to the umbrella stand, he pulls out Yui's umbrella & rain water splatters all over. His expression darkens.



When he walks into the living room, Yui, sitting on the sofa, greets him "Welcome back." In a bad mood, Manato replies irritably "You should be in bed." "I thought you'd be home soon." "Don't lie to me!" "Eh?" "I said that if you lied to me I'd know right away. Where have you been?!" "I didn't go anywhere." "Your shoes are soaked, & your umbrella's wet." "Ah, I went to check the mailbox." "The mailbox?" "Uhm, I was thinking that maybe Ai-chan's letter would have arrived. I've been waiting but it didn't arrive today." Manato stares at her "You telling me the truth?" "Thinking about it, I guess it would take a while. She's in Niigata after all." Manato turns away "Uh..." & sits down on the sofa beside her. Yui asks "So, how was it?" A little lost in his thoughts, Manato mumbles "Hm?" "You seem a little out of sorts, so you didn't make it after all?" "What?" "The exam results." "Ah." "What do you mean 'ah'?" "I got in." "Really?" "Uhm." Yui grins "Congratulations! This is great! You're great! So you're going to be in college in spring!" Yui's enthusiasm finally gets a weak smile from Manato.



Having dinner at Mariko's apartment, Saeki says "Speaking of which, I nearly forgot," taking out a little white box from his pocket & putting it on the table. Mariko looks up in surprise "What is it?" Saeki replies "Two lovers are having an intimate dinner together when suddenly the guy rather sheepishly produces a small little box. I'm sure you can figure it out. At the very least it isn't a container for a stool examination. Ah, sorry, we're eating." When Mariko doesn't move, Saeki pushes the box towards her "Open it." Mariko gets up from the table without looking at him "I'm not accepting it," going into the kitchen. Nonchalantly, Saeki picks up the box "I thought you'd say that. You don't like the idea of something bought with the allowance I get or from my grandfather's fortune. However, I emptied what little savings I had to get this. When I was a kid I'd save the otoshidama (money given as a gift at the new year), pocket money that I didn't spend. Of course it's a little hard to say that it's something I sweated for," Saeki getting up from the table moving towards Mariko while he speaks. Quietly, she replies "Thank you." "It's not all that expensive but then again, neither is it a toy." "I appreciate your intentions but..." Mariko replies, turning away. "What am I suppose to say to that? There's a limit to being jealous you know." "If that's how I've made you feel, I apologize." "Then what should I do?" "Leave things as it is." "Leave things as it is," repeats Saeki. "I have no intentions of marrying you." "Just a moment please." "Yes?" "You like me. OK so far?" "Of course I do." "& you don't believe in being single forever. & I apologize for bring it up again, but you were even willing to marry someone you didn't love." "That's true." "This is the simple arithmetic of one plus one. Even kindergarten kids know this. You marrying the person you love, me. Bingo." Mariko shakes her head with a smile. Saeki continues not giving up "Ok, lets move onto high school mathematics. Here I am, still young, a student on the time axis that is about to begin. Let's add classical writings & Japanese history to that. Even the boring sense of morals of an older teacher." However Mariko simply says "I won't marry you." "& the reason being?" When Mariko doesn't reply, Saeki adds "Not because of Yui?" "It's got nothing to do with her." "That's true too. If you kept on that subject I'd start to dislike you." "The reason is simple." "I'd really like to hear it, before I go crazy!" With a smile, Mariko says "Because I love you." At her answer, Saeki finds himself at a loss for words. Eventually a wry smile appears on his face & with a scream of anguish, Saeki starts to fling the box away but stops. "If I had known this would happen....I'd have bought lots of candy & gum instead!" Grabbing his jacket & shoving the box roughly into his pocket, walks out of the apartment.



In the middle of the night, Manato hears a knock at the door as Yui calls out "Manato?" Turning on the lamp beside his bed, Manato sits up "Yui?" The door opens & Yui, dressed in her pink pajamas appears "Were you asleep?" Worried, Manato gets out of bed & approaches her anxiously asking "What's wrong? Are you feeling ill?" Yui shakes her head "No, just couldn't sleep." "Couldn't sleep?" "Uhm, well I am feeling kind of listless but...." "Oh," "Can I sleep together with you?" Stunned, Manato stares at her "Huh?" "Maybe I'll be able to get to sleep then." "Ah...." Yui looks at Manato ever so innocently "No?" "Uhm...well, ok...." Happily, Yui mutters "Great!" & quickly hops into Manato's bed, pulling the covers over her "Hurry up!" Manato merely nods "Uhm," closing the door. Walking to his bed, Manato awkwardly gets under the covers when Yui grabs his arm "If you sleep that close to the edge you'll fall off!" "I'm fine." "Come over a little closer. Ok." Reaching out for the lamp, Yui turns it off & sighs "Ah, it feels safe." Quietly, Manato answers "Really?" Yui nods "Yeah." "That's good." A pause & then Yui confesses "Actually, I'm rather timid." "Really?" "Uhm. When Mama decided to get married again, I felt really scared." "Uhm." "It wasn't so much Papa but rather his son, that's to say, you Manato." "Uhm." "I was wondering what kind of person you were. Maybe you were a bully, or some punk kid & scary, or a weird nerd or something. I was thinking all sorts of things." Manato smiles "So that's why you were following me around." "Yeah, it was fun playing detective." "So?" "Uhm?" "What's your impression?" "Of you?" "Uhm." "You want to know?" "Well, yeah..." With a quiet smile, Yui says "It's the same." "The same?" "The same as what you feel for me." Manato's face clouds over at her words. "I like you very much," adds Yui. Manato turns to look at her as she continues "I'm sure that even real brothers & sisters don't get along as well as we do. That's why as long as you're happy, I'll be happy too. That's because I like you very very much. You feel the same for me too, don't you?" Finally Manato nods "Uhm. I feel the same way too." Looking away, Manato adds "As long as you're happy, I'll be happy too. Even if the whole world is sad, as long as you're happy...." Yui smiles "Uwa~...that's going a little over." Manato chuckles "I guess a little...." "But I'm glad." "You are?" "Uhm," replies Yui, snuggling up closer to Manato.



Noon & Yui finally awakes, sitting up in Manato's bed, dazed from sleep. Reaching into her pajama pocket, she takes out her key ring, staring at the pink colored bell.



Seated in the foyer, dressed in her red coat, Yui puts on her boots & leaves the house.



Looking pale, Yui leans weakly against the bus stop post. The bus arrives & Yui slowly gets up the bus, not noticing someone running up the bus just before the door closes. Catching his breath, Manato, with a cap pulled low over his eyes, flashes his pass at the driver & walks past Yui, looking away, avoiding her. However Yui, in a world of her own, finds a seat, not noticing Manato's presence. Manato slides into a seat at the back of the bus, pulling his cap lower, staring at Yui.



At the same time In the music room, Saeki & Haruka are having lunch. Saeki asks "You're having obento?" Unpacking her lunch, Haruka replies "I cooked too much last night so this is just leftovers." Saeki looks into his paper bag, "Shall we swop?" Surprised, Haruka says "Huh?" Walking up to her, Saeki declares "I miss the taste of mom's cooking," placing his bag on Haruka's table. Affronted, Haruka retorts "I'm not old enough to be anyone's mother!" "What's the big deal? I'll just take the side dish, wow, it looks delicious!" Saeki takes the chopsticks from Haruka's hand & picks up the lunch box before she can protest. Sitting down at a desk behind her, he digs in "Itadakimasu." Giving up, Haruka takes out a bread roll from Saeki's paper bag "So what did you want to speak to me about? Everyone in class will start to talk." "About you & me? So what? We're going to graduate soon." "I guess so." "It's absurd, don't worry about it. This is delicious." A little embarrassed, Haruka says "Don't look at me while I'm eating." Saeki stares at her "Why not? I can't see your......underwear." (Play on the words pan - bread & pantsu - underwear) Haruka turns away with a pout & Saeki changes the subject "But it's great that Manato got into college." "Makes no difference to me." "Really? It means that you've got another four year chance. You'll be moving about in the same circles again." "I haven't thought about it." "Look who's kidding herself. & here I was thinking of giving you a hand." "Eh?" "I can get back with Yui." Surprised, Haruka turns back to look at him "What?" "If I do that, Manato might give up & get back with you." "So you know who Manato's in love with?" Saeki gives her a brief all knowing grin "Well, I do have some common sense you know. When he sent me packing I kind of felt it, somehow. & of course with your leading questions as well...." Haruka keeps silent at her own blunder & Saeki continues "So I was right after all. Don't get upset. I'm telling you this for your own sake." "I'm not upset." "Huh? How come?" "Because I really had no intentions of doing that. If anything, I'm helping the both of them get together." "Help them? How?" "The letters. Anyway, it doesn't matter." "What a self tormenting love affair." "In any case, talk about being irresponsible. You've already got Mariko & now you're talking about getting back with Yui? You've got to be kidding." "Let's not talk about Mariko." Haruka peers at him curiously "Did something happen?" "Nothing, it's just the same as you & Manato. She can't quite come to terms with her true feelings so she's kind of edgy." From his pocket, Saeki fishes out the white box & opening it, places it on the desk. Haruka looks at the diamond ring "That is....?" "From the 100yen toy vending machines. If you'd like to you can have it." "I don't want it." "Oh," Saeki nonchalantly picks up the box & looks at the ring, adding "You sure aren't the least bit popular," putting it back into his pocket. Looking at a rather absent minded Saeki, Haruka starts cautiously "Hey, your parents are living overseas, aren't they." "Uhm." "So you're always home alone?" "How come you're asking me this all of a sudden? Doing a family background survey?" Haruka ignores him "What about friends?" "Eh?" "Thinking about it, there's also the age difference between you & everyone else at school, & you always seem to be alone." Saeki gets up, clearing his throat "What exactly are you getting at?" "I was just thinking that the truth is, you're afraid." Saeki replies jokingly "Me? Hey, are you telling me off?" Haruka smiles "Perhaps even more afraid that Irie-kun & myself." Saeki's expression darkens as he listens to Haruka "That's why you're always joking & laughing. Although you feel really lonely, you laugh it off. Aren't you the one that can't come to terms with your own true feelings?" Suddenly Saeki leans forward & put his head on his hands over the desk, his voice teary "You're right. You're right about what you said. I am more alone, lonelier than anyone else. I'm afraid of losing anyone. If I had known that, I wouldn't have fallen in love in the first place. I am.....living in a world of lies." Haruka cast a worried look at him "Saeki...." All of a sudden Saeki looks up & grins "Just kidding!" Getting up, he spins around "La, la, la.....I should go for acting auditions." Without a word, Haruka grabs her lunch box & walks out of the classroom. Saeki calls out "Wait a minute! Mama, I haven't finished eating!" Alone, Saeki sighs heavily & takes out the ring from his pocket, his expression somber.



Manato arrives at the front of a building. With a worried frown, he pulls off his hat, staring up at the building.



Alone, in the music room, Saeki plays the rather forlorn T's Waltz, the ring on top of the piano.



With the pink colored bell hanging out of her coat pocket, Yui sits on the roof top of the building across, clinging onto the railing, listening to the music. Suddently sensing someone's presence, she turns around & sees someone standing there "Manato." Silently, Manato turns & listens to the soulful tune in the air.



That evening, Manato is peeling an apple for Yui when his cell phone rings. Taking it out from his pocket, he answers "Hello."



Approaching a playground, Manato sees Saeki up on the jungle gym, puffing on a cigarette. Turning around, Saeki greets him "Yah...there are no stars out, I guess it'll rain tomorrow." Manato walks up without replying. Saeki asks "Why didn't you tell me about Yui? There's no point in hiding it from me now. Put both your hands up & confess." Manato takes a seat at bottom of the slide but when he remains silent, Saeki continues with a slight mocking undertone "However I was really surprised to find out that your number one desire was Yui. I guess it was probably because I only found out much later that she was your step-sister. Input it all into the computer & that's the data I got. Just say it. I said so before, I'd help you out, help you & Yui get together." Climbing down from the jungle gym, Saeki adds in jest "When you tell her your true feelings shall I play a tune from Chopin or something? Or would you rather I get you an aphrodisiac from India?"



Whether in jest or seriousness, only Manato knows as he slowly takes out a fruit knife from his pocket & turns to stare at Saeki. Seeing the blade flashing, Saeki calmly says "I see. So the best thing for me would be to disappear completely." Manato gets to his feet & holding out the knife points it at Saeki, forcing him backwards. Holding his hands out, Saeki coolly says "It's ok, I don't mind. My heart is over here. But please, make it in one shot. I'm not a masochist so I don't care for suffering too long. I'm told that stabbing from above at a slight angle will work. When I fall, wipe off your fingerprints & put my hands around the knife." All of a sudden, the tension between them disappears as Manato's expression softens & he asks "Apple?" Saeki returns a questioning look & Manato reaches into his pocket, taking out an apple "Would you like it peeled or would you prefer it as is? I bought too many. It's sweet & delicious." With a grin, Saeki accepts "I'll take it whole."



Biting into his apple, Saeki listens to Manato "I was just playing for time. That's what I thought. Once you graduated you'd be going to New York. " "Uhm." "If that happened, Yui would in any case have no choice but to forget about you. That's what I thought." "Well, I think strategically that would be correct." "But what I'm more worried about is if Yui's health will hold up until then." "But that's odd. She had boyfriends before me didn't she. She's wasn't a virgin." Realizing his blunder, Saeki looks at Manato "I'm sorry." Manato shakes his head, smiling "I already knew." "I see. So? She would have broken up with someone before meeting me. But she got over it completely." "I thought so too." "See?" "I wonder if it's different with you. Perhaps her ex-boyfriend was the one that went after her, & maybe Yui was the one that initiated the breakup. But for you it's the reverse. Yui was the one that went after you, & you were the one that initiated the breakup." "The dynamics of love?" "Yeah." "& your relationship with Yui too?" Manato gives wry smile "Yui's the princess, I'm not the prince, more like a retainer I guess." Saeki grins "You're being really modest." Manato laughs "A little masochistic too I guess." Saeki laughs & then adds "That's why you won't tell her your feelings, no, more like you can't." A little sardonically, Manato grins "It'll just end with a 'Thank You'." "Will it ?" "To be honest, there were many times I wished that you weren't around. I also thought of giving up many times, I even went to a hotel with Sawamura. But when I found out about your affair with Mariko, I thought there was still a chance." "A very simple way of looking at things. My apologies, continue." "The strawberry on the shortcake...." "Hm?" "Do you remember me asking you before?" "What I started eating first?" "Yui also eats the strawberry first." "I see." "But I always leave what I like to the last. No, not only me, Sawamura does that too. I think most people do that. They'll start from the edge of the cake first, & then finally eat the strawberry on top of the whip cream. Even aesthetically it looks odd too doesn't it, a cake without the strawberry." "But if you don't eat the strawberry first, it might be eaten up by someone else." "Who's going to eat it?" "I'm just saying as an example." "No one's going to eat it." "Is that strange?" "It is." "But from where I stand you're the one that's strange." Manato pauses "Yui probably thinks the same way too." Saeki asks "Your values are different?" "Yes, that's why unfortunately, for Yui, no one can take your place." "That's not necessarily true. Simply speaking, all you have to do is eat the strawberry first," Saeki says as he comes down the slide. Manato looks at him & Saeki grins "Right?" Manato remains silent, the expression on his face one of having tasted defeat again at Saeki's hands.



The next day. It is pouring with rain but as always during lunch, Saeki's in the music room playing the piano. & as always, Yui, crouched against the railing of the building opposite, watches him, a smile of contentment on her face. Only this time, as she looks up, Manato's standing beside her. Holding an umbrella over her, sheltering her from the rain, he asks "You're not feeling cold?" Yui nods "I'm not." Manato adjusts the muffler around her shoulders & she replies "Thanks." Getting down on his heels next to her, Manato holds out the thermos "Would you like some cocoa?" Yui smiles "It feels like an excursion." "Yeah," a warm smile on Manato's face.



As Saeki plays a soulful tune on the piano, different from his usual T's Waltz, Yui closes her eyes, entranced by the music. Manato merely looks at Yui with a gentle loving expression, mindless of the rain beating down on him. When the bell sounds, Manato says "I guess break's over." However Yui's eyes remain shut & there is no reaction from her. Not realizing anything wrong, Manato adds "Yui, let's go home. I'll bring you here again tomorrow," getting to his feet. Yui suddenly falls over & frantically, Manato tosses the umbrella aside "Yui! Yui, are you alright? Yui!" Manato shakes her trying to wake her up "Yui! Yui!"



At the hospital, Yui's lying unconscious, a drip attached to her as a nurse checks in on her. Their father, Irie, mutters in worry "When did she start getting so thin?" Upset, Irie grabs Manato on the shoulder "What were you thinking of?! The state she's in now, why didn't you take care of her?!" With eyes cast down, Manato mutters shakily "I'm sorry...." Suddenly a weak voice says "Please stop." Irie looks at her "Yui-chan!" Yui turns to look at them "It's not Manato's fault." Manato gets to his feet "No, it was me...." "I was the one that said I didn't want to. I'm not sick. I don't feel hungry, that's all." Manato adds "She hasn't slept much either," sitting despondently back down on the chair by the bed. The door opens & gets Irie's attention "Doctor, what's wrong with her?" Taking Yui's chart from the nurse, the doctor replies "We don't know. In any case we'll put her under observation & run some tests." From the bed, Yui protests "I don't want to. I want to go home." Irie persuades "Yui-chan, listen to the doctor." "But there's nothing wrong with me.Manato, I want to go home." However, Manato only answers her plea with silence, a sad look on his face.



At Mariko's apartment, Haruka looks out the window at the pouring rain. Bringing in a tray, Mariko enters the living room "Let's have some tea." Turning around, Haruka starts of shyly "When I first..." "Hm?" "When I first found out about your affair with him, to be honest I didn't like it at all." "I see." "I might be old fashioned, but I don't think a teacher & student should...." Mariko agrees "I think so too. I ended up hating myself." "Even now, it doesn't mean that I agree with you but I guess you could be a special case." With a little laugh, Mariko pours a cup of tea for Haruka "How come?" "Hm?" "What made you change your mind?" "Simply, that you suit each other I guess." "Really..." "In a more complex sense, I feel sorry somehow." "Feel sorry?" "Not sensei." "For Saeki-kun?" "He's smart. Probably good at sports too. He comes from a rich family too doesn't he." "Yes." "I think he's someone who could get anything he wants." "That's true." "But what he really wants isn't what other people want. I guess that's you. When I think about that, I get upset sometimes but I end up feeling a little sorry for him too. I know you love him but I wonder why you won't marry him." In all honesty, Mariko replies "Because I'm afraid....of taking away all that he is capable of. Just like you said, he is very talented in many areas. I am very normal, completely ordinary. Although I try to act like an adult, it's tough to keep up with him. All I want is ordinary happiness." Haruka asks "You love him but can you leave him?" Mariko merely nods & Haruka looks away "I don't understand." Mariko nods, her smile sad.



That evening, Haruka looks out the window as she draws her curtains shut, looking across at Manato's bedroom window. The phone rings & she answers "Yes, this is Sawamura." "Hello." "Irie-kun?" Calling from a payphone by the nurses station, Manato replies "I'm at the hospital right now." Surprised, Haruka replies "Hospital? Yui-chan?" "Uhm. She fainted again. She's worse than the last time too." "Is she alright?" "She's on a drip right now." Haruka sits down at her desk & turns on the light "Is there anything you need? I'll bring it over." "It's ok, my Dad's here too. It's just.....I need something from you." "What is it?" A long pause & Manato asks "I want a letter." Thinking, Haruka ventures "From Ai-chan?" "I know we got upset the last time & it's hard to ask but...." "Don't worry about it. Ok, I'll write it right away." "Thanks. When your.....ah, Hirase's reply comes, I'm sure it will cheer Yui up a little." "Uhm." "She's under medication & sleeping right now so tomorrow will do." "Uhm." "Even if it isn't postmarked, I'll just let her read the letter." "Uhm. It's ok, I'll write it." "I'm relying on your...." ".....literary abilities." Manato smiles "Uhm." Haruka nods "Uhm. Bye," hanging up the phone. Reaching out for a sheet of yellow writing paper, Haruka stares at it, thinking of Manato's touching love for Yui. Back in Yui's room, Manato sits silently by Yui's side, his expression dark.



The next day, two sheets of the yellow colored letter are in Yui's hands. Visiting, Haruka asks "What's that?" With a smile, Yui replies "Letter from Ai-chan. Manato brought it over this morning." "Who's Ai-chan?" "Don't you know her? She transferred away during junior high." "You mean Hirase Ai?" "Yes. Manato's first love." "I see. I didn't realize anything at all." "It looks like Ai-chan liked Manato too. No, likes him even now." "I see." Seeing Haruka's faraway look, Yui says "I'm sorry." "Hm?" Sitting up slowly, Yui explains "I actually wanted things to work out between you & Manato. But when I found out that Manato liked Ai-chan, I asked him to write to her." Haruka nods silently as Yui adds "I was thinking that if there was someone else in his heart, I would feel sorry for you. No, actually more than anything in the world, I just want Manato to be happy."



With a bouquet of flowers in his hands, Saeki takes long strides towards a Manato waiting for him in the hospital lobby. Stopping in front of Manato, Saeki takes a glance at the flowers & then asks Manato "You're sure about this?" Suddenly Manato bows to him "Thank you. Please.....save Yui." Saeki stares silently at Manato. In an agonizing tone, Manato adds "The strawberry on the shortcake......I'm afraid I can't eat it first." A heart wrenching moment of tension, & suddenly Saeki grins. Seeing Saeki laugh, Manato ends up smiling. Saeki steps around Manato & heads inside, Manato watching & going the other way.



Back in Yui's room, Haruka's packing up a few things & Yui's still reading the letter. A knock on the door & Haruka answers "Yes?" Sliding the door open, surprise appears on her face "Saeki-kun?" Closing the door behind her, she steps outside into the corridor as Saeki explains "Manato asked me to come." "Irie-kun did?" Saeki nods. Haruka mutters "I see." Saeki shows her the flowers & shrugs, eliciting a smile from Haruka "I'll go get a vase." As she walks off down the corridor, Saeki gives a big sigh. Sliding the door open, he sees Yui staring out the window. Saeki calls out "You're not going to be able to see from there......your prince." Surprised, Yui sits up "Senpai!" Saeki walks up "Ah huh." A beautiful smile appears on Yui's face.



Manato stares out over the water, standing by the railing of the bridge where he met Yui for the first time.




あの時僕は気がつくと、
彼女と出会った最初の場所にたどりついていた
何も感じず、何も考えてやしなかったのに、
どうして僕はここにいるのか
ひとつだけ確かなことは、通りすがりの誰かに質問されたら
こう答えただろう



At the time, before I realized it

I found myself back at the place where I first met her

I didn't feel anything, didn't think anything

why did I end up here?

The only thing I was certain of was this

if I was asked by any passer-by

I would probably answer like this

Manato hands slowly slides down the bars of the railing, ending up on his heels. Tears welling up in his eyes & he starts to cry in anguish.




だから君のことを忘れないよ
そこの君、もしかして死にたいのかい?
ええ、そのとおり、僕は消えてなくなりたい


That is why I will never forget you

Perhaps, are you wanting to die?

Yes, that's right, I want to just disappear forever

Nguồn: Geocites

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Old 02-23-2007, 09:17 PM   #18 Offline
akachan
Takazuki Kyon
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yuki no kuni no S.O.S.

Snow Country S.O.S.

Manato walks away, turning back, staring up at the hospital. High up in the hospital ward, Yui looks at Saeki sitting by her bedside, listening to him say "It looks like Mariko has no intentions of going with me. At first I thought that she was just making a big deal about it. But it seems like she's dead serious. Anyway, it's not just because this has happened but if you'd like, you're welcome to use the ticket for the seat next to mine. Of course that'll only happen after you get better." Yui smiles "So number two has been promoted to the number one spot." Saeki nods amicably "Uhm." "Albeit wounded." "There's no need to say that." "A victory is a victory I guess." "Yes it is." "Was it Manato?" "Hm?" "He asked you to come here?" "Yes." "I knew it." "He's a great brother isn't he." Yui leans back against her pillow & nods "Uhm."



Seeing Manato sitting on a bench, reading a book at the park near the hospital, Haruka calls out "Irie-kun?" Looking up, Manato smiles "Yah..." "What are you doing here? Is Yui-chan sleeping?" "No, Saeki-san is here to see her again." "I see." "Have a seat." "Ok," replies Haruka, sitting down beside Manato. Holding out a little box, she says "I brought some cake, but I'm not sure if she can eat though." Taking the box from her, Manato nods "Thanks. I think she's getting better but I'm still not sure if her appetite's back yet." Noticing Manato's calm resignation, Haruka ventures "It's strange." "Hm?" "It feels like you've changed again." "I have?" "Uhm. It's like you've regained your composure & your kindness shows." Manato smiles "I don't know about that. It's just that...." Haruka looks at him "Just what?" "I guess it's because I've given up completely...." "Yui?" Manato nods "Uhm, yeah." "I see." Manato gets to his feet "Seeing Yui in such a serious state, any strange malicious intentions I had just disappeared I guess." Haruka ventures "The state of enlightenment perhaps?" Haruka laughs & Manato returns it "Perhaps." Manato walks slowly to the edge of the pond & stares at his reflection in the water as someone inside him murmurs; that's the best thing to do.





あのとき僕は突然、

そう突然に

もうひとりの自分を呼び戻してしまった

フィルターとしてのメガネをかけていた、

あのもうひとりの自分を



At that moment I suddenly,

yes suddenly

called out to the other person inside me

the other one inside me

that wore those glasses as a filter

Lying in bed, Yui says to Saeki "There is someone I really would like to meet." "Someone you'd like to meet?" "Uhm." "Who is it? Someone I know?" Yui shakes her head & reaches under her pillow, pulling out the yellow colored letter "Hirase Ai-chan."





だから君のことを忘れなよ



That is why I will never forget you.


Sitting back on the bench next to Haruka, Manato's stomach starts to growl. Haruka laughs "You haven't had lunch yet." "You're right." Holding out the cake box, Haruka offers "Have this then." Manato nods & takes it from her "Uhm. I'll have one." Opening the box, Manato sees three pieces of strawberry shortcake. Taking one & holding it up, Manato ponders "Where shall I start?"





最後の最後まで、君は僕を、

困らせたね、エンジェル



Right to the very end,

you put me in a spot, didn't you

Angel...

At the cafe, with Haruka scribbling away on a writing pad, Saeki moans "But how come I have to make the valedictory speech at the graduation ceremony? Maybe because I cool? Maybe the majority of the girls voted for me without my knowledge?" "It's probably because you stayed an extra two years in school." "You're right, I'm sure that's it. They get a student who's suffering from some illness make a touching speech at the ceremony." "& faking an illness at that." "I guess it's better to hide that forever, together with my affair." With a tired sigh, Haruka drops the pencil on the writing pad & gets up "Work on this yourself, I'm going home." Saeki pleads "Please, I need your literary expertise." "I haven't got any of that." "You do. It was fairly obvious in the letter, Hirase Ai-san." Haruka freezes. Saeki grins "I knew it. So it was you." "You read it?" "Yui showed it to me." "I see," replies Haruka, sitting back down at the table. Saeki continues "There's no need to be embarrassed, I'd like you to tell me about it." "It's got nothing to do with you." "What heartless words again. I would like to have something to do with everything that happens in this world." "You mean have something to do with all the girls." "You've got me wrong." "We're right back where we started." "Well, in any case this Hirase Ai doesn't exist, does she." "She's in Niigata. She transferred away during junior high." "Ah, this is hard to figure. & then?" "Irie-kun said that she was his first love, lying to Yui." "Why did he make up that lie?" 'I think it was to hide his own feelings." "I see. So that's why he wrote the letter. But then why did you reply?" "If I didn't she'd suspect something, wouldn't she?" "Lies on top of lies. So you were part of the cause of this too." "Don't put it that way." "It's just like an accounts clerk that misrepresents the accounts at a bank. She knows for a fact that she's being used & yet, she continues to help out the man." "I was the one that wanted to reply." "Why?" "I wanted to go back to being the real me." "That again. There's no such thing as being real or fake," Saeki brushes the thought off, putting a cigarette in his mouth. Haruka flatly counters "There is. Even in you." At her quiet confident reply, Saeki turns somber & admits "Probably."



Late in the evening, with Manato by her bedside, Yui says "Senpai said that if I got better, he'd give me the ticket." Manato asks "For the flight to New York?" Yui nods "Uhm." Manato smiles "I see. That's great." Yui frowns "It's just that there's one problem." "About sensei?" "No, it's you, Manato." Manato looks surprised "Me?" Yui turns to look at him "I don't like to be the only one that is happy. If you're not happy...." Manato assures her "I'm not unhappy. Well, I got into college when I didn't expect too...uhm....I'm pretty contented." "& what about Ai-chan?" Manato looks away as he replies "You know as well as I do that it's going along fine. Well, as far as pen pals go." "I want to meet her." Manato looks surprised "Eh?" "I want to meet Ai-chan." "That's not possible." Yui sits up suddenly "Why not?" Manato quickly gets her shawl & puts it around her shoulders "Well, it's not exactly impossible but.....well, it hasn't been easy getting to know one another...." "But I'm worried." "What about?" "Well, one can write anything in letters right? Perhaps she's really bad natured in person." Manato smiles "You're thinking too much." "I don't like the thought of you being unhappy when I'm no longer around." "Alright. We'll wait till you get better." "That's just the opposite." "The opposite?" "Meeting Ai-chan would put me at ease, & then I'll get better." "Yui....." "I won't eat anything until you let me see Ai-chan." Manato turns away in silence. "Come on, let's go see Ai-chan," pleads Yui. Manato replies curtly "No." "Please. This is my last request." "Stop it, what last request." "Is it unlucky?" "That's for me to say," replies Manato, smiling, ultimately giving in to Yui.



The day of the Yukigaoka High School 37th graduation ceremony arrives. In the music room, Mariko picks out the tune of the T's Waltz on the piano. Haruka, leaning against the grand piano, says "I've been thinking about it ever since.....but no matter how I look at it, I still can't accept it. When I think that the same thing might happen to me when I grow up, I feel afraid." "Afraid?" "That just loving someone isn't enough." "I'm sure it's better that you feel that way. I never even had the slightest doubt." 'Then why?" "I guess I've changed. My life is chained by him. & I have tainted him..... " "Does that mean you're unhappy?" "If that's the case then the person I have been all my life is to be pitied. No, I'm sorry. I'm sure that isn't the case. This is probably.....some kind of punishment." "Punishment?" "Ever since I started thinking about our parents, our future, or things that had nothing to do with us at all....it's God's punishment not to give me the one person I love most." "Sensei...." "I was engaged to someone from an omiai (arranged marriage) meeting." "Yes, I know...." "I'm pregnant." "Eh? You're not saying that it's his?" Mariko remains silent & Haruka ventures "Then, you & he....?" Mariko shakes her head "That's my punishment." With those words, Mariko walks out of the music room, leaving a stunned Haruka alone with her thoughts.



A nurse enters Yui's room "Irie-san, I'm here to change your IV." However, seeing the empty bed, she looks around "Eh? Where is she?"



The graduation ceremony takes place in the auditorium & Mariko stands at the podium. "Due to personal reasons, I will be resigning at the end of this school term. I have a lot of memories here & I am unable to speak about all of them now. They will be forever in my heart, something that I will always cherish." Haruka glances at Saeki who sticks his tongue out at her in return. Mariko adds "Thank you very much for everything," ending with a bow as the students break out into appreciative applause.



The train comes out of the tunnel into bright sunlight, the white snow of the surrounding area dazzling. Inside the train, one of the cars is deserted save for Manato & Yui. Turning to look at Yui, Manato asks "You're not cold?" Looking rather pale with a faraway look in her eyes, Yui slowly nods in reply.



Back on the podium, a teacher continues with the graduation ceremony, announcing "& now for the valedictory speech, the representative from class 3C, Saeki Tetsuya." Everyone turns to look at Saeki as he slowly gets to his feet. Haruka whispers "Go for it." Saeki leans forward & mutters "I guess this is the last chance." Haruka looks at him in surprise "Eh?" Walking up to the stage, Saeki stands in front of the teachers & bows in respect. Looking at Mariko, Saeki says "You said that I could even become a politician, didn't you." Caught off guard, Mariko looks at him "Eh?" Without another word, Saeki stands in front of the mike & closes his eyes. Murmurs build up in the crowd of students as they wonder what Saeki is up to.



On the window of the train, frosted over with the cold, Yui draws an aiaigasa - the figure of an umbrella with their names 'Manato' & 'Yui' on each side of it. Seeing it puts a melancholy smile on Manato's face.



Amid the murmurs, Saeki finally opens his eyes & the murmurs subside. With a wry grin, he starts "We were born to love!" Haruka looks on in wonder "Eh?" Saeki continues "We were born into this world to love. We weren't put into this world to suffer. The 20th century that has been created by irresponsible adults is filled with conflict & deceit. However we were not born into this world to suffer." The murmurings among the students get louder & a girl next to Haruka laughs "What's wrong with Saeki-san?" Without looking at her, Haruka replies "Shut up." Getting to her feet, Haruka looks around at the others "Everyone, shut up!" When silence returns, Saeki continues "There are times when we will meet people who are heartless & we will feel like hitting them from behind, but we were not born into this world to hurt others. There are times when we will meet people who are heartless & we will feel insecure or stifled, but we were not born into this world to be hurt by others. Sometimes, we will create another person inside us. Perhaps that's just a way of escaping from pain & suffering. Perhaps in the eyes of others we are just running away, shutting oneself up at home, or running away to another different place, in order to talk to the other person, the friend inside us. That is why no one is ever alone. Everyone of us has a friend, the other person inside us. There are times when we think that those friends are bad company, that they are cowardly & cruel. But in reality it is different. The ones that are cowardly & cruel aren't our friends but our own selves. Why? Because in truth, the existence of those friends are created by us for our own sakes. That is why we have to part with those wonderful friends. If we don't do so, we will always be dependent on that other person inside us. Well then, when will that happen? That will be when we meet the person we love. When we give up loneliness, sorrow, pain & the person inside us for that person we love. Well then! Let's go look for the one we love. Someone we love whom we can talk to about anything, to laugh, to cry, to hold each other, to kiss & have sex with. Someone from whom we can get courage from, & to whom we can give courage in return." Moved, tears roll down Haruka's cheeks. Taking a deep breath, Saeki continues "The only reason we were born into this world is to love! Only, we are......." All of a sudden, Saeki stops in mid sentence & then unable to carry on, adds ".....valedictorian, Saeki Tatsuya." The auditorium is deadly silent. A solitary Haruka gets to her feet & starts applauding, sparking off others to do the same. The auditorium explodes into cheers, whistles & applause.



Late at night, Irie receives a call "Niigata?! What are you thinking of? Yui-chan is ill! She's so weak....what? Emotionally...? Whatever, just come back right now! If anything happens it'll be too late! Besides, how will I make it up to Yurie?" Manato assures his father "Don't worry, leave it to me, ok Dad?" His cell phone starts to beep & Manato hurriedly adds "The battery's going flat, well then, bye." Irie shouts into the phone "Hey Manato! Manato!" Giving up, Irie hangs up the phone & then reaches for the photograph of Yurie & Yui on Yui's desk.



Having checked into a room at a hotel, Manato pulls up the bed covers over Yui as she ponders "There must be a big fuss happening at the hospital right now." Manato replies "You talk as if it's got nothing to do with us." "What did Papa say?" Lying down on top of the other bed, Manato replies "It's to be expected I suppose but he was sure in a panic." "We'll get a good scolding when we go home." "Yeah, especially me," retorts Manato gruffly. "Are you mad, Manato?" "No, I'm not mad but just a little disgusted. But I am used to giving in to you." "Because it's me?" Manato turns to look at Yui "Hm?" "Because it's me you give in to my whims & fancies?" Manato pouts "Of course! It's a special service." "What if it's Ai-chan?" Taken aback, Manato replies "Eh?" Yui asks "What if Ai-chan asked you to?" Soberly, Manato turns away "She would never say so." However Yui persists "You don't know that. So, what if she did ask you to? You would listen to her wouldn't you? Because you love her." Not looking at her, Manato replies darkly "Maybe." Yui looks away "I wonder if we'll be able to meet her tomorrow." "It's so sudden so I don't know." "If she feels the same way about you she'll show up for sure." "I hope so." "Manato?" "Hm? Are you feeling cold?" "Let's sleep together again." "No way, this bed is so narrow." "It's ok, as long as you hold on to me from behind. Hurry up." Giving in to her again, Manato gets under the covers next to Yui as she pouts "You can't touch my chest." Manato laughs "I won't," pulling up the covers & putting his arm around her "How's this?" Yui giggles "Ticklish." "I'll turn out the light," says Manato. Yui nods "Uhm. Goodnight." Manato mutters in reply "Goodnight." In the dark, Yui gentle reaches for Manato's hand, holding it tight.



The next morning finds Manato & Yui in a little cafe. Seated with her back to Manato at a next table, Yui grumbles "She's late. Did you really arrange to meet with her at 11?" Manato nods & Yui looks at her watch "It's already half past. Maybe something came up at the last minute?" Manato mumbles "Perhaps," taking a sip of his coffee. Yui looks at him & then turns away "Manato." "Hm?" "Isn't it about time you told me the truth?" "Eh?" "I already figured it out much earlier. There's no one called Hirase Ai-chan......" Suddenly a long haired girl appears, quietly enquiring "Irie-kun?" Yui's face clouds over, stunned, as Manato gets to his feet "Hirase-san?" Hirase nods "Uhm. You're wearing contacts?" Manato replies "My eyesight got better." "That's great, my eyesight's gotten worse since high school." "Oh," replies Manato as they sit down at the table. Yui listens silently to the conversation behind her. Looking up at the mirror reflecting Hirase Ai behind her, Yui's expression remains unreadable. Hirase adds "It's been a long time," to which Manato replies "Yeah, this is a little awkward." "You're right." The waitress comes by to take her order "Welcome," & Hirase mutters "Tea...." "Alright." Manato continues "You must have been surprised that I wanted to meet up with you so suddenly." "Uhm, but I was really happy." "I just finished my exams so had some time on my hands." "Congratulations on getting through." "Thanks." At the next table, a dejected Yui mutters to herself "So she really exists." Behind her the conversation continues as Hirase says "Actually there's something I haven't told you." "What is it?" "I'll be attending college in Tokyo starting April." "Really?" "Uhm, I'll be living alone." "Will you be alight?" "Well, I'm a little nervous but now that you're going to be around...." "Leave it to me." "But....." "Hm?" "It's strange. We never spoke a word back then." "It wasn't that we never spoke, it was because we couldn't speak...." "....to each other." "Yeah." In shock & dejection, Yui slowly gets to her feet & without looking back, walks out of the cafe. Silently, Manato watches her leave. The moment Yui disappears from sight, Manato breathes a sigh of relief "Thanks for taking the trouble." Pulling the wig off, Haruka appears "Did she fall for it?" Manato nods "I think so. She had her back towards you so she only caught a glimpse of you. You were really great, even the way you spoke was different." Haruka grins "The moment I got your phone call I was desperately practicing. But why didn't Yui-chan ask to be introduced?" "That's because I told her over & over again that I wouldn't." "Are you going back right away?" "Uhm, Yui did sneak off quietly from the hospital." "Yeah." "What about you, Sawamura?" "Well, since I'm already here, I might take a look around the place.....as Hirase Ai." "I've really put you though a lot of trouble." "It's ok. I hopped on the boat & there's not turning back now." "Thank you. Hopefully this will help Yui get better & go with Saeki....." Unable to continue, Manato gives Haruka a sad smile "Bye." Haruka mutters a "Bye," & watches Manato grab his coat, leaving her alone in the cafe.



Saeki walks down the corridor towards Mariko's apartment. Knocking on the door, he calls out "Mariko? Mariko?" Not getting any response, he reaches out for the door handle & finds the door unlocked. Opening it, he steps inside into an empty apartment. Looking around, he mutters to himself "No way...." Swallowing hard in an attempt to accept Mariko's answer, he slides down to the floor & takes out the ring from his pocket. Staring at the ring, Saeki's voice trembles "& I proposed to you in front of the entire school....." Falling onto his back, Saeki closes his eyes, in tears.



As Saeki gets into his car, his cell phone rings. Answering it "Yes?" he finds Haruka on the other end "Its me, Sawamura." Saeki kids "Who are you looking for? This is the lost love restaurant." "Stop kidding around." "Let me kid around." Panic in her voice, Haruka says "Yui's missing!" Shocked, Saeki says "Eh?" From a payphone, Haruka frantically explains "I'm in Nakaoka, Niigata right now." "What on earth are you doing there?" Seeing someone approach, Haruka quickly says "Ah, wait, I'll call you back." Hanging up, Haruka rushes out of the phone booth towards Manato "Well?" Manato shakes his head. Haruka asks "She wouldn't have gone home would she?" "No, her wallet's with me. What about the hospitals?" Haruka shakes her head "Nothing. I've called all the hospitals in the city." "I see." "What do we do now?" "Go back to the cafe, she might go back there." "What about you?" "I'll go look around," replies Manato, running off. Haruka calls out "Wait, why did Yui-chan run off?" Not knowing the answer, Manato shakes his head replying "If she doesn't show up in a while, go to the police."



Manato runs about the streets looking for Yui, asking people on the street "Have you seen a girl in a red coat?" Finally, Manato finds someone who's spotted Yui "You saw her while you were driving?" A worker in a factory replies "I saw her along the road, but she was headed up the mountains." "The mountains?" "Yeah, she looked pale too." "Thank you." Manato runs off & heads up a ski area in the mountains, all covered in snow. Running pass a cordoned off area, something catches his eye. Looking past the sign board that says "No entry", Manato spots something in the snow - Yui's key chain. Picking up the bell, Manato shouts "Yui!" following tracks in the snow.



Driving on the roads towards Niigata, Saeki speaks with Haruka on the cell phone "Have you heard from Manato?" "Not since we split up. I haven't been able to get him on the phone either. Looks like his phone's turned off." "What about the police?" "I just called them a moment ago & I'm on my way there now. But since I don't really know what's happening I don't know if they can actually help." "Tell them that she's ill." "Uhm." "I'm also heading for the police station." Giving in to terror, Haruka chokes back tears "What do I do now? If anything happens....." Saeki assures her "Manato will find her." Haruka replies worriedly "But the guy at the cafe said that it would snow tonight....." Saeki's only reply is to step on the accelerator even harder.



Snow begins to fall heavily up on the mountains as Manato searchers for Yui. Mindless of the snow, Manato shouts "Yui! Yui!"



Haruka runs to the police station as Saeki speeds towards Nagaoka.



Struggling in the snow, Manato falls over in exhaustion. But looking at the key ring grasped tightly in his fist, Manato mutters "Yui..." & with renewed resolve, gets back up on his feet.



In the backseat of a patrol car, Haruka listens to a policeman radioing out a call "There have been reports of a high school boy & girl seen up at on the ski slopes. It seems like they were headed into the mountains. Uhmm.....there is a possibility that they might commit suicide." Haruka objects to his last comment "Wait a minute! They're not....." However the cop ignores her protests & continues on the radio "Anyway I'm headed over there now." Haruka, seeing a familiar car pull up, dashes out of the patrol car "Saeki-kun!" Saeki calls out "Get in!" The cop frantically calls out "Hey!" while another cop approaches Saeki "Who are you?" "A friend," replies Saeki, while Haruka hops into the car.



Saeki trails the patrol car heading up for the mountains. Haruka says shakily "I don't know why Yui's doing this...." Almost to himself, Saeki murmurs "It could be my fault." Haruka stares at him & agitatedly retorts "Did you say anything to her?! What did you say to her again?!" "Nothing, calm down." "How do you expect me to be calm?!" Saeki explains "For sure I told her that if she got better to come with me to New York. She just said 'thank you'." "Then why?" "She said that she couldn't go. I never imagined something like this would happen. Perhaps I am partly at fault because I wasn't exactly thinking about them. I should have told Manato." "Why did Yui say that she couldn't go?" "Because she's in love with someone." "In love with someone?" "Yeah." "Not you?" "It seems like he's the most important person in the world to her."



Manato's cries of "Yui! Yui!" echo in the howling winds with the snow falling fast & furious.



At the ski lodge with darkening gray skies outside, policemen question a witness "You last saw them at around 3pm?" "Yes." More police arrive "Gokurousan...what are the ways up the mountain?" "There are two trails but one is blocked....." The police stride off, past Haruka & Saeki. Haruka quietly asks "When did it start?" Saeki looks at her "Hm?" "When did Yui....." "I don't know. I didn't ask about the details but it was probably in the park after she heard me tell her I wanted to break up with her." "But after that....." "She was so shocked that she lost her appetite for food." "So it was because of you after all...." However Saeki shakes his head "It seems that she was overjoyed that he was worried about her."



Shouting "Yui! Yui!" at the top of his voice, Manato battles the snow & finally stumbles & falls. Exhausted, Manato stays down, trying to catch his breath. Lifting his head, he suddenly spots something in the distance. Staring at it, he sees a figure lying on the snow, a red coat. Getting up on his feet, Manato struggles to run towards her, each stride burying his feet into snow that is knee high, screaming "Yui!"



Saeki recites what Yui told him to Haruka "Gentle & kind Manato....he would peel an apple for her, make her meals, never leave her side for even a moment. She knew that it couldn't be like this, but she was happy. Yui went on pretending to be ill. She wanted Manato to go on looking after her."



Manato finally reaches Yui & falls down on his knees beside her "Yui! Yui!" Holding her up, he gently puts his hand on her cheek "Yui...." Yui opens her eyes weakly "Manato...." Manato asks "Why did you come here?" Yui looks away, not answering.



Saeki continues "He would listen & give in to her whims & fancies....her one & only gentle hearted Manato. She didn't realize that she was beginning to fall in love. She said that when she realized it that it was probably too late. Yui's anguish began. Why? Because there was someone that Manato could never forget." Haruka looks at him "Hirase Ai?" "She was unbearably jealous of a girl she hadn't seen. But no one knew." "How come....." "You want to say that it's not like Yui? But when one falls in love, everyone turns into a coward. Look at me, I even stayed back in school for two years. I was just staying by Mariko's side all the time. Just like you once said before, even when I was trying to tell her that I loved her, I could only do it half in jest." "Because you were afraid of losing her?" Without replying, Saeki thoughtfully lights up a cigarette.



In a hut up in the mountains, Manato lights up a fire in the middle of the room. Yui, silently watching, sitting up against the wall.



"But it seems that Yui discovered that Hirase Ai didn't really exist," adds Saeki. "How come?" asks Haruka. "The letter wasn't postmarked." "Ah....she noticed that. But....." "In actual fact, she existed. That was you in disguise." "It must have been a great blow to her." "Yes, it must have been. When Manato finally reached the limit & admitted that a Hirase Ai never existed, she intended to tell him her feelings. She'd probably laugh & say "I already knew that.'"



Lighting up the fire, Manato goes to Yui & putting his arms around her, rubs her back "It'll warm up real soon."



Haruka asks "Then Yui-chan..." "It's not the same as it was with me. She may be serious about wanting to die." At Saeki's words, Haruka moans "What have I done?" "Don't blame yourself. Everything's just a misunderstanding." "But...." "It's the same with me. I should have told Manato right away." "Why? They're in love with each other but....." "Yui can no longer confess her feelings for him. She's probably given up all hope." "There is......a way of saving Yui. If he.....Irie-kun can tell her his feelings...." "That's impossible. If Manato could do that he would've done so already." "But......" Saeki sighs heavily & the both of them stare out through the window at the heavy snowfall in the dark of the night.



Holding Yui in his arms, Manato tries to keep her warm. Quietly Yui asks "What happened to Ai-chan?" "Ah, we went out separate ways soon after that. We agreed to meet again in Tokyo." "Oh." "She talked about you too. That she wanted to meet the adorable sister in the photograph." "Uhm." "Just hang on for a while longer, help will arrive soon." "Manato?" "Hm?" "It's great isn't it. It's really great, isn't it?" "Yeah, I'm really grateful to you." "Grateful?" "I'm a coward. If you hadn't told me to, I wouldn't have written to her. I think I would've gone on for the rest of my life merely reminiscing about my first love. The courage....the courage that you gave me, brought us together again. So you don't worry about me anymore. Hurry & get better, you have to get back with Saeki again."



At the police station, Haruka stares at the policemen upset "Called off?!" Saeki presses "What do you mean called off?" The policeman explains "It's snowing terribly up in the mountains right now. It's asking for trouble!" Saeki says "But...." The other policeman tries to pacify them "In the morning when the snow lets up...." Haruka retorts agitatedly "What if they die?! Yui-chan is ill!" Saeki declares "I'll go. Lend me a flashlight..." The policemen try to stop him "Wait! Don't do this! If anything happens to you we can't go searching for you too!" Saeki stares at the faces around him, a frown on his forehead.



Upset, Saeki strides out of the lodge & gets into his car. With a sigh, putting his hands on his face, he leans forwards onto the steering wheel. The door opens & Haruka gets into the seat beside him. Before she can get further than saying "Saeki-kun...." Saeki gives in to despair "Give me a break! How can something like this happen?! This is the first time that I've made friends that are important to me, Manato & Yui both! Why is everyone around me leaving me?!" "Don't say that! We can't give up yet...." "Mariko's gone too! Before I got your call I went to her apartment. I was shocked! The place was totally empty! She didn't even leave me a note. Although, whether she's gone back to her hometown, or if she's gone some place else, I have no intentions of looking for her." "That's the best thing to do." At Haruka's stiff tone, Saeki turns to look at her, calm returning. Haruka adds "That's because I think sensei doesn't want to see you anymore." Saeki questions demandingly "Do you know something? Was it a guy? Did she arrange another omiai meeting without my knowledge?" When Haruka remains silent, Saeki mutters to himself 'No, it's not that, is it." Seeing Saeki's entreating expression, Haruka continues "She thinks it's a punishment." "Punishment?" "Punishment for worrying about things that had nothing to do with the both of you......it's like if you're just looking at the surrounding scenery you all the time, before you realize it, you've gone astray......" "Do you understand what Mariko was thinking about?" "I'm.....afraid of growing up." Saeki doesn't reply, tiredly running his fingers through his hair.



In the hut, Yui starts getting drowsy & nods off in Manato's arms. Quickly pushing Yui upright, Manato tells her "Yui, you can't fall asleep." "Why not?" "Your body temperature will fall. I don't really understand it, but that always happens in movies." However Yui sleepily falls into his arms again "It's a little fuzzy, feels nice....." "I know, I know but.....hey, let's sing a song." "A song?" "Uhm. What shall we sing?" "Make something up." "Make something up? No way." "Then I'll sleep." "Alright! So what song?" "Mori no kuma-san." (The mountain bear.) Manato asks "Can one compose to that song?" "I don't know....just make anything up." "Alright, I'll just make something up." Leaning Yui against the wall, Manato gets to his feet & clearing his throat, starts "aru hi...." with Yui echoing "aru hi..." "mori no naka...." "mori no naka...." "kuma-san ni...." "kuma-san...." Yui starts to sing but then seeing Manato's actions, shakes her head "That's a bear?" Manato insists "It's a bear!" & then continues "deatta..." "deatta..." "hanasaku mori no michi kuma-san ni deatta. kuma-san no iu koto nya ojou-san onigenasai. sutakora sassassa no sa sutakora sassassa no.... " Suddenly Manato notices Yui's closed her eyes "Yui?" Yui falls over & Manato frantically dashes up to her "Yui! Yui! Wake up! Yui! Yui! No....just wait a little longer! Help is on its way! Yui!" When Yui doesn't respond, tears well up in Manato's eyes & falling onto Yui's cheeks "Somebody.....save Yui.....I......Yui....." Suddenly the emotions that Manato's kept in check snaps & in the hut up in the snowy mountains where his cries can be heard by no one, screams "Yui!"



(-= CJ =- I wouldn't have bothered translating this little ditty but since there's a reference made to it by Yui later on......)



aru hi

mori no naka

kuma-san ni deatta

hanasaku mori no michi kuma-san ni deatta

kuma-san no iu koto nya ojou-san onigenasai

sutakora sassassa no sa sutakora sassassa no....



one day

in the forest

I met Mr Bear

on a forest path of blooming flowers, I met Mr Bear

Mr Bear said, Miss, please run away

& flee, flee........



Haruka says vaguely "It's been said that one shouldn't marry the person they loved most. Why, I wonder. I guess it must be tiring, that's why it's better to find peace of mind with someone else. & then once in a while, remember him. Maybe think about him too at the moment of death." Saeki adds bleakly "Maybe that's what growing up is about. Love isn't everything." 'I don't want that! No matter how tough it gets, how painful it gets, I want to live with that person one only gets to meet once in a lifetime. I want to be with him....weren't we born for the sake of love?" 'That was...." "....a joke?" "No.....I was....unusually serious....."



With Yui lying unconscious in his arms, Manato mumbles to himself, in a daze. "Yui......interesting.....there's something really interesting which I never told you. Or rather, I guess you were the only one that I would never have spoken to about it. But....I'll tell you all about it now. Why? Because right now you can probably see right through what's in my heart. Whatever I say, whatever I'm thinking, it's probably the same as yours. First of all, the Hirase Ai in junior high, that was just pure nonsense. Not only did I not speak to her at all, even looking at her photo I don't even remember what she looked like. So she never sent me any reply. That yellow colored letter was the reply I got Sawamura to write. & that person you saw at the cafe in the afternoon was Sawamura in disguise. Because we started with a lie, we had no choice but to go on lying. & when you said that you wouldn't eat, we desperately fabricated the whole thing to the very end. I don't know how I will ever make it up to Sawamura, not to mention that I've hurt her so much. " Manato pauses & then continues "There's still something else that I haven't told you. In fact, Saeki-san came much earlier to see you." From his pocket, Manato takes out Yui's key ring "See, your precious bell. You dropped it along the way earlier." The bell tinkles as Manato puts it into her hand. When we were talking, the intercom rang. That wasn't Dad, it was him. & then, I turned him away. At that moment, he was kind of taken aback. But to be honest, when I found out that you were going out with him, I didn't dislike the thought. I wonder why. I guess it must have been because I liked him, perhaps admired something about him." With a deep breath, Manato continues his soliloquy "Well, I guess it's about time to get to the main subject. I'm getting sleepy too. Running around searching for you, I'm all worn out. Yui.......there's no other more interesting thing than this......you'll get all swell headed I'm sure.......Yui......I......love you. Words fail to express how much.......I love you. See? There isn't anything anywhere more interesting than this, right? Nowhere......" Lovingly, Manato holds Yui closer to him, closing his eyes.



The next morning, Saeki & Haruka join the search party up the mountains, yelling for them. Saeki & Haruka freeze in their tracks as they here a shout echoing through the mountains. Running up a slope, they stop as they see in the far distance, Manato walking towards them, Yui in his arms. Yelling "Manato!" Saeki dashes towards Manato & Yui, Haruka following. Panting, Saeki asks "Are you alright?" Haruka asks worriedly "How's Yui-chan?" Without answering, Manato stares at Yui, who slowly opens her eyes. Saeki mutters "Yui..." Yui smiles, putting her fingers in the shape of a V, giving them the sign of peace. Relieved smiles appear all round. Haruka apologizes "Yui-chan, I'm sorry...." but Yui interrupts "I heard an interesting story from Manato last night....." Manato exchanges a rather sheepish looking smile with Saeki when the search party reaches them "Are you alright?" Handing Yui over to them, Saeki is left alone with Manato for a moment. Saeki stares at Manato & suddenly holds out his hand towards him. Manato reaches out for it in a firm handshake. Manato walks past Haruka & with a quick "Thank you," follows Yui down the mountain. Left alone with Haruka, Saeki says "Let's go to the hospital too." "Uhm." "This is great. I can go off to New York next week then." "Next week?" "Uhm, although I'll feel a little sad at the thought of no longer being able to see your angry face. "Me too, I'll feel a little sad at not hearing those sarcastic words of yours." Saeki teases Haruka "Hey hey hey~~~??? By any chance...." Before he can say more, Haruka shoves a handful of snow into his face, & pulling a face, starts running off. Saeki yells "Haruka! Have you caught the love bug?! Tell me!!" running after her. Catching up, he tosses a laughing Haruka onto the snow.



The ambulance speeds off with the sirens howling, carrying away Manato & Yui. Holding onto Yui's hand, Manato says "Even then, would someone pretend to be dead in such a situation?" Yui grins "But that's because......I met Mr Bear....." At the thought, a silly grin appears on Manato's face & they both start laughing.



In the busy streets of Tokyo, Manato sits on the rail, waiting as people go walking by. From his pocket, he pulls out a postcard from Saeki & Haruka sent from New York.





あれから一年が過ぎた

驚いたことに、沢村は三か月で中退して、

ニューヨークに行ってしまった

僕はといえば、あいかわらず進歩があるのかどうかもわからない

ただ、心はとても満たされてはいた



since then a year has passed

the shocking thing was, three months after that Sawamura dropped out

& left for New York

As for me, I no longer know if I've made any progress or not

only, my heart was filled with contentment





Manato gets up & looks into the crowds. Finally a figure dressed in red appears - Yui. Cheerfully, she waves "Manato!" Manato grumbles good naturedly "You're late!" "Sorry, sorry! Did you wait long?" "We could have left together. There was no need for us to meet on purpose." Yui pouts "No. If we did that the mood would be different," & then gives a sweet smile to Manato.





だから決して君のことを忘れないよ



that is why I will never ever forget you


Manato smiles "Let's go. The movie's going to start," taking Yui's hand & walking. Yui protests "Wait, I'm hungry, let's go get something to eat." "After the movie. Haven't you been eating too much lately?" "Well, I guess I'm just happy." "Yes, yes," grins Manato. "Or maybe I'm pregnant." "No way." "You were startled!" "I was not!" A little girl holding a strawberry balloon walks past & both Manato & Yui stop to stare at it floating in the air. Exchanging glances, they start walking again, hand in hand, arm in arm.





ありきたりな僕たちのありったけのこの想い

忘れるはずもない

なぜっていつまでもこの僕の目の前に

変わらず存在してるんだから...



all the memories that we have

how could I ever forget

why, because they exist forever, never changing

right before my very eyes........





~ owari ~


Nguồn: Geocites

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Old 03-01-2007, 01:56 PM   #19 Offline
akachan
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:37 PM   #20 Offline
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