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chapter 9

At a publishing firm:

Soichiro and Kobayashi are waiting to meet with someone. An employee brings them tea while they wait. Kobayashi tells Soichiro that big companies are really different, even the girl who brings tea is a different class. Soichiro reaches out for a cup and exclaims that it is hot. Kobayashi asks him if he is shy(?) but Soichiro says, "Shy about what?" Kobayashi tells Soichiro that his plan was very good. "The two children holding hands with their back facing the camera....if all goes well it'll be great! If you make the cover page, it'll be fantastic." Soichiro is more reserved, saying "If it gets published that is..." The editor finally comes out to meet them, apologizing for the wait.

Meanwhile, at the salon:

Natsuki is apologizing to her boss for rejecting her offer to take over the shop. Her boss tells her that it is a shame she couldn't accept it. Natsuki tells her that although it was a wonderful thing...her boss tells her that she thought that it was about time Natsuki became independent and started her own shop. She asks Natsuki whether by rejecting her offer, she was about to get married. Natsuki tells her," No, it didn't work out there either." Her boss is shocked and asks why not. Natsuki tells her that there is a 99% chance that her dreams will not become reality. Flashback to Kuga telling her that because he failed once, he had no intention of re-marrying.

Back at the publishing firm:

The editor tells Soichiro: "Well, you know, now the rage is PILOLKUS, a cameraman who takes pictures of high school girls. A lot of his works are published in the magazine, so even if I say I am thinking of publishing this (Soichiro's photographs), it won't even be given the time of day. Although I do think that this picture of holding hands with the back facing the camera is suitable for girls....." Soichiro tells him to get to the point and say what he actually means. The editor tells him not to have such a frightening expression and that such things are a common occurrence in this line of business. "You have been worried after resigning from the Daichi Shinbun right?" He holds up 5 fingers and asks, "Well, what about this? It's not 5 thousand, but 50 thousand...and as for this page (the children holding hands), if there are 3 more...." Soichiro suddenly stands up, cutting the man off. Kobayashi protests "Senpai", but Soichiro tells the editor that he is rejecting the offer.

Back at the house (in the kitchen):

Natsuki tells Fuyumi and Haruko that she rejected the offer to become the owner of the shop. Fuyumi asks her why. Natsuki tells her, "It's very difficult to be the boss you's not something you can do easily.." Fuyumi exclaims it's such a waste. Haruko changes the subject and asks Natsuki what about Kuga and is the marriage issue really off. Natsuki asks Haruko how many times she has to tell them that Kuga said he was afraid of marrying again because he failed once. "So he's scared of marrying again because he failed once?" asks Haruko. Fuyumi adds that men will run when being chased. Haruko looks at her and says,"You....." but Fuyumi tells her that she knows...she is very noisy. Haruko tells Natsuki that if she misses this chance, there is a possibility that there will be no other guys. Fuyumi agrees with her. Natsuki just pouts and walks to the sink. Fuyumi tells her to express her true feelings to Kuga the way she tells Soichiro everything. Natsuki explains that since Soichiro is not the one she likes, so she can tell him anything. Haruko tells her that if she doesn't tell the person she likes anything...Fuyumi interrupts, saying that scenario is common too. Natsuki complains to Fuyumi, "I'm not as popular with guys as you!I have so little experience with guys, I have no idea how to express my feelings!" Haruko tells her to just say it, and even quarreling is good. Natsuki asks her if she really thinks so, and Haruko tells her she does. Natsuki has a dazed expression on her face and says she is going to go think about it, and slowly leaves the room.

When she leaves, Haruko asks Fuyumi why she didn't encourage Natsuki and that if Natsuki loses Kuga, she might be lonely and single for the rest of her life. Fuyumi points out that Kuga has an ex-wife and a child, and that she thinks that it is going to be very difficult to live that way.

Natsuki is upstairs in Soichiro's room, making a phone call to Kuga. He answers and she tells him it's Natsuki. (Scene shifts to Kuga's office) Just as he says, "Oh, Nat-chan....", there is a knock on his door. He turns to answer the knock, removing the phone from his ear. The nurse ushers in Dr. Yasabe, from another hospital, who tells Kuga "Long time no see". Kuga is pleased to see him and apologizes for calling Yasabe over suddenly to discuss an important matter with him. He invites Yasabe to sit down. On the other end of the line, Natsuki is going "Moshi moshi.."She can hear the commotion in the background and the nurse saying, "Doctor, there was a call earlier..." Kuga tells Yasabe to wait a moment and goes back to the phone to tell Natsuki: "I'm a bit busy at the moment. Sorry but I'll have to talk to you later." And he hangs up the phone. Natsuki looks disappointed as she slowly puts down the receiver. She replaces it on the table and then stands up and bows, saying "I am very sorry to call you when you are so busy." She then turns to leave the room, her posture a picture of dejection, when the phone suddenly rings again. Natsuki is suddenly very excited and happy and as she places the ringing phone in her lap, she keeps repeating "what?what?". She takes a deep breath and picks up the phone, saying "Hello" very sweetly. But it is not Kuga on the line, but Nazuna.

Later, Fuyumi, Endo, Natsuki and Haruko are eating fondue for dinner. Fuyumi is looking at a magazine and exclaims, "Oh this is so cute!" Endo tells her," Well, let's make two then." Fuyumi protests that two would look weird, so Endo says, "Well then, let's just make one extra room then." So saying, he feeds Fuyumi a piece of cheese-covered bread, speaking in babyish tones,"It's" They are a picture of sugar sweet lovebirds. Just then, Soichiro comes home with Kobayashi. Haruko sees Kobayashi and invites him to join them for cheese fondue also. Soichiro asks "What on earth is that?" Haruko explains it is like a cheese hotpot (steamboat?). Natsuki tells Soichiro that he got a phonecall from Nazuna.

Soichiro goes up to his room. As he is shrugging off his jacket, he looks at the phone and starts thinking. Flashback to his breakup with Nazuna on the bridge. Soichiro tells Nazuna, "I think we should stop seeing each other for a while." to which Nazuna replies, "I think that's a good idea too."

Downstairs, everyone is looking at each other. Finally Haruko crawls to the phone downstairs and the rest, except Natsuki follow suit. They crowd around the phone, intending to eavesdrop. Natsuki goes over and puts her hand on the receiver, telling them not to. Fuyumi comments that she is rather serious and like a teacher's pet, a model student. Natsuki tells her that isn't it. Endo says," It's because Natsuki was the first to do it, the Disneyland phonecall.." Natsuki tells them, "When it is the start of a relationship it's ok to do stuff like that, but not when it is about breaking-up." Haruko asks if they are really going to break up. Natsuki replies they might, or they might not and that she doesn't know. She goes to sit down again and Fuyumi follows, saying, Let's not do it. The others follow suit.

Soichiro calls Nazuna house, but he gets the answering machine: "This is Kurata. I am not home right now but if you leave a message I will get back to you..." Soichiro is about to put down the phone when he hears Nazuna saying "Moshi moshi.."He puts the receiver to his ear again and says,"ah.." Nazuna guesses it is him and says, "Kaede-kun? Sorry I was in the shower." Soichiro gives another "sound", and she adds," You must be having strange thoughts. I have my sleepwear on, so don't worry." Soichiro says, ", you called earlier? Are you well?" At Nazuna's affirmative, he says, "Really? That's great!" Nazuna suddenly says she has decided to go back to Hokkaido. Soichiro is stunned. Nazuna says, " My father took it into his own hands and found me a job." Soichiro is speechless. Nazuna asks if he is still there. Soichiro tells her that it is so sudden that's all. She tells him,"Actually it was always there, but whenever we met up, it was very difficult to talk about it. And you would probably ask me to stay in Tokyo." Soichiro tells her that he would go to Hokkaido. She gives a little laugh of shock and says," Terrible! What a thing to say! Such a thing cannot happen!" He asks her, "Oh really?" She seems a little flustered and says, "Yes, because you have work too. And Kaede-kun, you told me that you wanted to find your "own" photographs and you can't do that if you leave Tokyo! I'd like to return you your handkerchief. I'd like to meet you one more time before I go back to Hokkaido." Soichiro tells her he understands.

Natsuki goes to the hospital to look for Kuga. She sees him and is about to go to him when he stops to talk to a Woman and a young girl (his ex-wife and daughter). Natsuki hurriedly hides behind a wall. The nurse sees her and tells her that Kuga's wife and daughter sometimes come for a visit and that Kuga's daughter seems very busy with her life and development. This time it looks like it is because of an overseas assignment that they have come to visit. Natsuki looks at her in surprise. The nurse tells her that Kuga asked to go to a New York Medical Center to further his research ( relating to artificial something or other...sorry, I don't know.), but it is difficult as only one in a hundred gets chosen. Natsuki asks how it will be decided. The nurse tells her that it is by research thesis and that Kuga's had been recognized and accepted. Natsuki watches as Kuga sends his wife and daughter off at the door, waving goodbye. The nurse asks her to please allow Kuga to go.

Later Kuga and Natsuki are walking together. Kuga says, "Oh, so you heard from Manate-kun (I think it's right..the name of the nurse finally!) about it." Natsuki asks him when he is leaving. He tells her right after he has received approval he will leave immediately. He apologizes that it is all so sudden. He tells Natsuki, "I have been thinking and thinking how to tell you...what is the best way to tell to tell you?" Natsuki looks at him and asks,"I see. Not what to do, but how to tell me? Not a discussion about what to do, but instead, to find your own answers and come to your own decision and then tell me? In the end, I haven't made any impact on your life. I can't get into your world. Nothing changed in your life, regardless of whether or not you met me." She gives a small laugh and continues, "Being told 'I love you' and 'you're cute' was enough for me and I accepted, I have become such a person, such a thing. To be taken out once in a while to be shown off, like a display item. What you're just playing with my feelings aren't you?" Kuga protests, "What do you mean? I haven't been seeing any other women but you." Natsuki blurts out that she just saw him with his wife. The two of them stand there, Natsuki with her head bowed and Kuga looking frustrated, the gap between them an ocean apart.

Later back home:

Fuyumi chastises Natsuki for saying things like "I am not a part of your life at all" to Kuga and that she was stupid to do so. She tells Natsuki that such talk is more suited to business deals and that men hate that sort of thing because it hurts their pride. Natsuki retorts then what should I have said? Fuyumi clasps her hands together and says,"I'll be lonely...must you go?" Natsuki groans, "Such cutesy things...I can't say stuff like that. I didn't even think of it." Haruko tells her that at important moments like that, she should let Fuyumi handle it. Natsuki asks her what she means by that, and Haruko repeats what she said. Fuyumi tells her it's all ruined. Natsuki defends her actions, saying that Kuga didn't seem the least bit sad or lonely to be parting from her. Fuyumi immediately says, "That's why you say 'I'm lonely, don't go!" Natsuki says she is not Fuyumi. Natsuki realizes that Soichiro is not around and asks where he is. Haruko tells her that Soichiro is not back yet. Fuyumi says,"Forget about Soichiro! Did you even congratulate Kuga on being selected?" Natsuki retorts that she had no mood to say such things because she got a shock. Fuyumi tells her she should have congratulated Kuga and then followed it up by saying "but if I don't have you, I'll be very lonely." and that she should tell him honestly how she would feel. Natsuki repeats She is not Fuyumi and she has never played/toyed with a guy's feelings before. Fuyumi gets mad and asks her what she means by that remark. Natsuki repeats it "toy, toy." They start quarreling, but Haruko stops them and sits them back down, saying, "That's enough. If you both go on you will have a big fight. Calm down!" Natsuki takes a sip of her wine and wonders if Soichiro is gonna be back soon. Fuyumi asks her if she is starting to like Soichiro, because she kept talking about him. Just then, Soichiro comes home with Kobayashi. He asks Haruko to get Kobayashi something to eat. Haruko asks where Endo is. Soichiro replies, on a date. Fuyumi immediately asks with who? Soichiro says, "'s Fuyumi. Then it is probably work then." Haruko tells Kobayashi that there is nothing to eat. Fuyumi suggests that they all go out to eat.

Later at OVERTIME:

Natsuki: Huh? what do you mean?

Kobayashi: It was too much wasn't it! Going to far wasn't it!

Natsuki: (to Soichiro)And so you sold it? the plans to your photo book?

Kobayashi:Of course not! Senpai was really cool about it. "This is my plan and I'm taking it back. I don't want any money."

Soichiro:Cool? "You can't hack it. You can't survive if you aren't a photographer that follows the trend." What's so cool about being told things like that?

Natsuki: Oh, I see. That's why Soichiro has been depressed too. Let's all have a good drink tonight.

So saying, she raises her glass. Kobayashi is the only one who raises his bottle of beer to meet her cup. He asks her what happened to make her depressed?

Natsuki:I was dumped. The things that happened 5 seconds before I was really dumped."

Soichiro asks her what she meant by that and she shrugs it off, saying don't ask, just drink. Just then, Endo arrives, amidst a chorus of "Endo you are so late!" A while later, natsuki is a little drunk and is talking about Kuga. Endo chips in that a man dating a 30 year old woman must be mentally prepared. Natsuki retorts that she is still 29. Endo comments that Kuga probably didn't think about the implications. Natsuki tries to sit on him for saying bad things about Kuga. Endo stands up and says men should take responsibility, to which Natsuki agrees heartily. They make a lot of noise, shouting for sake. Haruko admonishes them saying it isn't a sake house, but a bar. Fuyumi asks Endo what he means by responsibility and that he wasn't responsible for her but a burden. They start to quarrel, but Haruko stops them. She tells Soichiro to send Natsuki back coz she has passed out on the table. Soichiro pats Natsuki on the shoulder and says, "Let's go,oneesan (elder sister)", to which Natsuki drunkenly replies who is your elder sister? and smiles at Haruko. Soichiro then says "Let's go, miss." Natsuki complains that no one has called her "miss" for 8 years and she was so happy she started crying. Soichiro tells her to stop crying and let go of the wine bottle. Natsuki protests that she wants to continue drinking. In the end she has to be lifted out of her seat and helped off.

Later, Natsuki pretends to be an airplane, and weaves along in the middle of the road. Soichiro tells her:" It is dangerous to fool around on the road in the middle of the night, miss." Natsuki has her arms outstretched, like she is flying and she asks Soichiro if he bought any snacks to eat? Soichiro replies that there is potato chips. Natsuki asks if there is anything else, to which Soichiro replies he didn't buy any more. She asks what is this and weaves into the middle of the road again and is almost knocked down by a car. Soichiro grabs her wrist, admonishing her that it is dangerous. Natsuki shouts an apology to the driver as Soichiro drags her to the pavement. She sees a statue(?)of the earth god( I don't know...)and stoops down to read the inscription: Pray for the happiness of the people of the world. Natsuki asks Soichiro if she is included in the phrase "people of the world". Soichiro tells her that of course she is. He pulls Natsuki away from the statue, but she suddenly turns back and grabs the statue, begging it to give her happiness. Soichiro forcibly drags her away, telling her not to be so frightening and what would happen if they encounter ghosts since it is night. He says it would be frightening if they opened the door to find the statue standing there. Natsuki says they should give the potato chips to the earth god, and stoops down to look in the plastic bag. Soichiro suddenly exclaims: The earth god is walking! Natsuki turns around and says "you're joking!" but sees nothing moving. She looks at Soichiro who looks back at her cheekily and says,"I was joking." Natsuki pouts and chases after him, and suddenly blurts out,"AH" and turns to one side. Soichiro follows her gaze without thinking and she laughs at him for falling for her trick. They laugh and joke with each other. Natsuki even finds a 500 yen coin.


Haruko looks at her watch and suggests that they all go back now. Fuyumi asks her why. Haruko tells them she has a bad feeling about letting the two of them go back together. Fuyumi asks why again. Haruko explains that there is no guarantee that two people who are at an emotionally weak stage in their lives will not be drawn to each other and that they should go home early to prevent Natsuki and Soichiro from doing something they might regret. Endo chips in that a Dalmatian and a dinosaur are also man and woman. Fuyumi refuses to go back. She feels that since both of them are failing in their relationships with Nazuna and Kuga, it is the perfect time for them to be together and that they are a perfect couple. Haruko asks if that was all Fuyumi was thinking about. Haruko thinks about having Natsuki as a younger sister, and says, Not a bad idea, and decides to stay at OVERTIME after all.

Soichiro and Natsuki reach home. Natsuki immediately collapses on the sofa and starts to cry. Soichiro tells her he will get some water for her. Natsuki says: If it goes on like this, when I am 30, when I am 40, when I am 50...." Soichiro tells her that there is 10 years before she becomes 40 and 20 years before she turns 50. She looks at him and asks for tissue. When he brings her tissue she asks for beer, and he has to go get it. She tells him that he wouldn't understand that she has been unhappy throughout her 20's. He asks her if she was really so unhappy and she replies that she had nothing. She was serious about her life, didn't rob, didn't steal, lived a normal life...Soichiro tells her "just like a normal human being". Natsuki continues, saying that once she gets hurt, she becomes emotionally insecure. The more she gets hurt, the more emotionally insecure, the more she tells herself that her heart is mended and she's ok, but it isn't mended and she isn't ok. She asks Soichiro why it is that you forget the happy times but remember the sad and painful times. Soichiro tells her that's a difficult question. She replies,'Really? Difficult?" He then asks her if it is really like that.

Soichiro:No matter how many painful things happen, it all becomes blurred with the passing of time.You can't rush it.

Natsuki: Hearing you say that....after hearing that...would you take me to a hundred years from now?

Soichiro: We'd be dead by then.

Natsuki: It was an example! Oh, the tissue is finishing....

Soichiro: If you keep crying like this, I will buy you more tissue, together with the beer.

He pulls Natsuki to him and she rests her head on his shoulder. She tells him thank you and that he is very warm and kind. He asks her to work things out with Kuga one more time but she says it can't be done. Kuga will go to America and leave her all alone. Soichiro asks if it has already been decided and she says yes it has. His hand shifts from patting her head to patting her shoulder. She tells him that the shift of his hand gives her a "lecherous" feeling. He retorts that it is a natural reaction( sorry..a bit difficult to translate it properly....). Their eyes lock and they move closer to each other. As their lips are about to meet, Soichiro suddenly decides to hug Natsuki instead. Natsuki smiles and says," You were thinking about kissing me weren't you?" Soichiro tells her she thought the same thing. Natsuki tells him that they can't. Soichiro asks why. She just says that they can't. He confesses that he is feeling emotionally insecure too as he is meeting Nazuna the next day. He tells Natsuki that he is sure to be dumped when he meets Nazuna because she already told him she was returning to Hokkaido. Natsuki sympathizes with him and says, that's tough. Soichiro tells her that he won't be able to sleep before tomorrow and that he feels as though he just climbed a 30 storey building. Natsuki asks if there is a chance that Soichiro and Nazuna might make up, but Soichiro tells her there is no chance and that Nazuna told him she wants to return his handkerchief. He says perhaps if she threw it away, things would end better and properly, but he hadn't the heart to tell her to throw it away, because he wanted to see her one more time. He calls himself a coward. Natsuki hugs him and pats his head, comforting him and telling him it was alright. He comments that it isn't a very manly thing to be, but Natsuki tells him that she will keep his secret. He tells her that he has never opened his heart to anyone like this before. She tells him she hasn't either. He asks if they should sleep together, but Natsuki tells him no. She tells him that if she slept with him, the next time she suffers a breakup, there will be no one to buy tissue for her. They both laugh and just sit there, Natsuki with her arms around Soichiro.

The next morning, Fuyumi and Haruko can't believe that nothing happened between the two of them. Haruko asks Natsuki what the two of them did all night. Natsuki replies :" We talked until 12, and then from 12 to 3 we played Othello. The Game of LIFE is no fun when there are just 2 people playing. From 3 to 6, we watched my Monte Carlo dracula movie tapes. After 6 we made breakfast and drank coffee. What about you guys?"

Haruko says:" From 12-3 we were at OVERTIME, but the owner was giving us dirty looks so we went to another bar nearby. At 6 we had breakfast at Denny's."

Natsuki tells them it was hard on them. Fuyumi agrees, saying it was all to get Natsuki and Soichiro together. Natsuki tells them that they should have told her because she wasn't sure when they might suddenly come back so they couldn't do anything. Fuyumi (or maybe Haruko) asks if they intended to do anything. Natsuki scolds them for thinking that way about Soichiro and her. Haruko admits that it was only after Fuyumi told her that she thought of getting Natsuki and Soichiro together. Natsuki tells them that she can;t think of Soichiro as a guy. The fact that he just asked if they should sleep together (as though he was asking her if she wanted a cup of coffee) and the fact that when she felt uncomfortable he stuck his finger in her mouth to get her to puke...there was no way she could even feel the slightest attraction for him. Fuyumi says it is like an egg. You easily buy a whole box. Natsuki adds that it only costs 500 yen too. Fuyumi throws the egg to Natsuki who catches it and looks at it.

Soichiro meets Nazuna at the cafe. She tells him he looks well. He asks her if she is well too. She tells him that she is doing ok, even though it was recently quite a trying time for her but she gradually got used to not meeting Soichiro. Soichiro asks her about going back to Hokkaido. She explains that her father found a job for her and told her to come home.

Nazuna: Kaede-kun, remember when I told you over the phone that I was going back to Hokkaido? After I said it, I felt really happy.

Soichiro: Can't we start over again?

Nazuna: I'm happy you want to, but I will refuse you here. If next time we start dating again...when I am hurt or angry, I will make you feel frustrated.

Soichiro: It's alright even if I get frustrated.

Nazuna: I'm sorry. It's painful for me too. I'm sorry.

They sit there, both looking sad, both not saying anything. Later they walk to the train station, both not saying anything still. Nazuna suddenly says :" I feel like going to Disneyland." When Soichiro turns to look at her, she asks if he remembers their first date when he asked her where she wanted to go and she told him Disneyland. She looks down at her hands and says she really would like to go. Soichiro smiles and grabs her hand and tells her: "Let's go. From now, let's go to Disneyland. Although by the time we reach there it will be evening, but it will still be beautiful. Let's go." They go through the turnstiles, Soichiro looking happy and excited, but Nazuna looking rather sad and reluctant. Soichiro runs on ahead and waits for her at the escalators. As they go up, he asks her how long it's been since she went to Disneyland. She replies that she hadn't been since after high school. He tells her he hasn't been in 3 years. As the train pulls into the station and Soichiro starts to enter, he realizes that Nazuna isn't following. He asks her what was wrong. She tells him that she's sorry but she thinks they shouldn't go to Disneyland after all. He asks her why. She replies that she doesn't want to add to her memories of him. And that the minute she remembers those memories, she will remember the painful moments too. The train doors close with a finality and the train pulls away. Soichiro grabs Nazuna and hugs her to him.

He finally releases her and steps back. She takes out his handkerchief and returns it to him, telling him Thank you. He makes no move to take it, so she places it in his hand and walks away. He watches her walk away.

Later at the house:

The phone rings. Natsuki, who is doing something to her nose (I have no idea what) rushes out to pick up the phone. She wonders where everyone has gone. It is Soichiro on the line and he asks if Natsuki is home. Natsuki asks him how he could forget the voice of the woman he loves. He tells her her voice sounds weird. She tells him it is because she stuck something on her nose. She asks him what was wrong. He doesn't answer for a while so she asks him what was wrong again. He gives a groan of despair and tells her that he isn't that sort of guy. She tells him to tell her everything from the beginning. Who, when, where, how it turned out..the whole story. He finally tells her :" Nazuna dumped me." She asks him what he said and he repeats it. She says:" Oh I see...oh yes, you did say that today was your last date with her..." He tells her enough already and makes to hang up the phone. She tells him to wait and starts shouting HELLO HELLO HELLO!!! HE puts the phone back to his ear and tells her his ear hurts. She says :"Oh good, you didn't hang up. And so because of this, you called Natsuki oneesan huh?" Soichiro replies that's why he said he isn't that sort of guy to call up someone else to say he's been dumped and that Natsuki seemed so smug about it. She tells him to wait a minute and places the receiver down, steps away from it and shouts:"GANBARE..RE..RE...SOICHIRO!!!" into the phone. She then picks the receiver up again and asks him if he heard her. He is touched and tells her he heard. She asks if he wants an encore but he tells her it's enough already. She tells him she isn't somebody. She says:"Just now you said you aren't the kind of guy to call someone up to tell them you've been dumped right? I'm not "someone", I'm your friend. I've been your friend since the day you chased after me after I was dumped during my matchmaking meeting. And now we are do I say this.....the best of friends." Soichiro is touched by her words and just answers "mm." She tells him to come home. She says to come back in an instant because she feels like cooking something to eat, or they could go to OVERTIME if he preferred. She tells him that she did a facial today and is thus very pretty. She asks him if he has hung up already because he didn't answer. HE then replies, ok, I'm coming back. She tells him she's glad he didn't hang up. He is about to hang up now, but she tells him to buy back soya sauce because they have finished it already. She apologizes for asking him to buy stuff back but he tells her no problem. As Soichiro comes out of the telephone box, he realizes that it's snowing.

Nazuna is talking to Kobayashi over drinks at a bar. She asks him why things turned out the way they did with Soichiro. She says things went smoothly sometimes too and that today Soichiro might have asked her not to go back to Hokkaido and might even have chased her to Hokkaido. She tells Kobayashi that today Soichiro asked her to get back together again but she refused. She tells him that if she did agree, she would turn into a hateful girl..liking Soichiro, being jealous, feeling upset..and thus she wanted to break up with him before she became that hateful girl. She initiated it, although it was cowardly. She tells Kobayashi that compared to love, her own affairs were more important. She gets up to leave but as she leaves, Kobayashi stops her and asks her if it is really all right. She gives him a smile and goes off.

Soichiro comes out of the train station to find Natsuki waiting for him with an umbrella. She welcomes him home and shades him with the umbrella while he opened the one she brought for him. He opens it, only to find that there is a big hole in it. She says, OH well and they walk off, sharing Natsuki's umbrella. She asks him if he bought the soya sauce and he tells her he did. He asks her what they are eating for dinner. She tells him she was thinking of making steamboat. They walk off together, with the snow falling all around them.

End of Episode 9.