White Album 2 manga
Volume 2, chapter 3
Chapter title: SESSION09
What Connects the Two of Them
Narration: I hated myself for stealing away Setsuna’s potential.
Narration: I couldn’t forgive myself for snatching away the voice of the singer I so admired.
Narration: So, all I can do is make Setsuna sick of me.
I deserve to be hated.
Narration: In high school, she belonged to no one, and to everyone.
Narration: I want her to go back to being the real Setsuna Ogiso.
Narration: I wanted her to fly away, like she did.
I didn’t want her to be imprisoned by someone like me.
Narration: If I could have that single wish granted…
Then, I would finally…
Chiaki: Agh! Cold!
Haruki: Yes. It’s December.
FX: Burrow burrow
I was wondering why I didn’t see you, and it turns out you’re sleeping in the seminar room again.
Haruki: Now wake up and get ready to write your report.
Haruki: The deadline for the report…
Haruki: I had a talk with the professor and got it extended to just before winter vacation.
Haruki: Apparently I’m involved in your education personally. Now that I’ve been given this appointment, I have a lot of power.
Chiaki: So that was real.
Haruki: And, so…
From now on, you need to keep your schedule open every Wednesday evening after seminar.
Chiaki: I’m going to be alone with you in the seminar room at night?!
Haruki: No, don’t worry. At night, there should be upperclassmen here.
Chiaki: Whaaat? But I can’t focus with lots of other people around…
Haruki: Sheesh, you’re selfish…
Chiaki: Okay! We’ll do it in your room!
Chiaki: Let’s go!
Haruki: So, what is your topic going to be?
Chiaki: Folklore of the Hokuriku region.
Haruki: That’s… a pretty esoteric subject.
Chiaki: I did some detailed research on it at one point before I started college.
…So you were diligent once.
Chiaki: What? Is that your girlfriend?
Haruki: No! What the hell?!
She’s clearly wearing the high school uniform!
Haruki: Chiaki… Will you go kill some time in a convenience store or something for a bit?
Chiaki: What are you doing?
Haruki: I’m gonna talk to her. Won’t be long.
Chiaki: Hey, hey, hang on.
Chiaki: Look, Haruki, why don’t you leave this one to me?
FX: Cough cough
Haruki: N-no… thank you.
Haruki: Whatever she’s here for, it’s definitely my responsibility.
Chiaki: She’s an outsider, right?
Chiaki: Then, if I go, we’ll both be outsiders!
There’s no reason to complain!
Haruki: No, listen…
Chiaki: You have a hard time talking to girls other than me, right?
Chiaki: Let me handle this!
I’ll get everything squared away for the debt you owe!
Haruki: …I don’t remember…
Haruki: saying anything about owing a debt.
Chiaki: Go on, go on!
Go buy dinner at the supermarket or something.
FX: Push push
Haruki: I’ve only ever talked to that girl once, but she’s pretty serious, completely inflexible, rigid in her own opinions…
FX: Push push
Chiaki: It’ll be fine!
I’m used to dealing with difficult people like that!
Chiaki: Hey there!
Narration: …Will it really be fine?
She got mad, right?
Chiaki: Nah, she’s a good girl. She was super understanding.
Chiaki: Don’t you have any dirty books around?
Chiaki: I think she understood about the way you’ve been acting, too.
She probably won’t be coming back.
Haruki: How the hell did you convince her?
Chiaki: I mean?
We just talked.
Narration: Maybe it worked out because they’re both girls, like Chiaki said?
Chiaki: Sweet! A guitar!
Chiaki: Hey! You should play something later!
Haruki: …Have you forgotten why you’re here?
Chiaki: C’mon, just a bit!
Chiaki: I know! I’ll work really hard on my report, so will you play it for me as a reward when we’re done?
Haruki: …I gave up the guitar.
Chiaki: Whaaat? That’s such a waste!
Haruki: Not really… I was never very good at it anyway.
Haruki: So I didn’t really feel any attachment to it.
Chiaki: What’s up, Haruki?
Haruki: That song…
Chiaki: Oh, “Unreaching Love”?
Yeah, the college radio station has been playing it every day since last week.
Chiaki: I heard it for the first time the winter of our freshman year.
I fell in love with it after one listen!
Chiaki: The vocals and melody are great, but it’s the lyrics I really dig.
…Not that they’re that good or anything, but there’s just something about ‘em…
Chiaki: Oh, right! Hey, Haruki…
You came up from the high school here, right?
Chiaki: Then you must have heard this song when it first came out!
Haruki: No, I don’t think I did.
Chiaki: …If you say so.
FX: Tunk tunk
Takahiro: Oh! Hang on, sis.
I haven’t read this week’s Big Spiritual yet.
Setsuna: Another stop?
Mom and Dad are probably already there!
Takahiro: C’mon, it’ll just take a second.
I’m only following two series! Five minutes!
Takahiro: You should find something to read, too.
Cover: Kaiou Graph
Setsuna: Takahiro! Go and buy this! I need to make a phone call!
FX: Rrring rrring
Phone: Setsuna Ogiso
Narration: I have to tell Haruki-kun!
FX: Rrring rrring
Narration: The moment I saw that name, my whole body froze up. I couldn’t even move my fingertips.
Narration: All I heard was my own heartbeat pounding in my ears.
Chiaki: …Your phone is ringing.
FX: B-thmp b-thmp b-thmp
Haruki: I know…
Narration: Pick up…!
I should have turned my phone off while we’re studying.
Chiaki: I sure hope I’m not going to be blamed for this.
FX: Skch skch skch
Setsuna: Huh? Wh-what is it?
Takahiro: Look, I bought the Kaiou Graph.
Takahiro: What’s going on with you?
You’ve been acting weird.
Setsuna: What? No…
Takahiro: Is there a really awesome article in there? Which one?
Setsuna: No, no!
You can’t look at this!
There’s someone I have to tell first…
Thanks for today.
Chiaki: About that phone call…
You should really call her back.
Chiaki: See you tomorrow!
Message: Um, good evening. This is Setsuna.
Message: I’m sorry to call you when you’re busy.
Message: But I wanted so badly to talk to you today.
Message: U-um, Haruki-kun, have you seen this week’s Kaiou Graph?
Message: If you haven’t, please give it a look.
Message: And… if you can, please call me.
Message: Any time today is fine. I’ll be staying up.
Message: Even the early morning would be okay.
Message: So, um… I mean, only if you have the time… if you don’t mind… um…!
Message: …Please let me hear from you.
Haruki: The Kaiou Graph…
Magazine cover: Kaiou Graph
Narration: There’s no way Setsuna could have known that, just from that magazine title, I would know exactly what she was calling to tell me.
That I’m working part-time at Kaiou, that I helped out on that article in this week’s issue of the Kaiou Graph…
That’s the sort of information that any pair of friends or couple would share with each other, but we don’t do that any more.
Narration: So, the least I can do…
Narration: is respond to her request.
Setsuna: Ah! H-Haruki-kun? It’s you!
You really did call me back.
Setsuna: You’re talking to me.
Haruki: It… It’s been a while.
Have you… been well?
Yeah, I’ve been fine…
Setsuna: I’ve been so busy with my seminar lately. It’s been pretty tough!
Haruki: Same here…
That’s why it took so long for me to call you… I’m sorry.
Setsuna: Oh, no, I understand!
I know you’re working a million times harder than I am.
Haruki: I wouldn’t say that…
Setsuna: Oh, anyway, what I wanted to talk to you about was the issue of the Kaiou Graph that was released today. I saw…
Haruki: Yeah, I read it. Touma hasn’t changed at all, huh?
I knew it was Kazusa the moment I saw the picture. She’s really turned into a big deal.
Haruki: Finishing second in that international competition and all…
In Europe, for that matter…
Setsuna: I looked some things up online, and it turns out Kazusa’s mother won that competition once.
Haruki: Then I’m sure her mother must be hassling her right about now.
That’s the sort of thing they would fight about.
That was the sense I got from Youko Touma.
She really seems to look at Kazusa as a rival.
Haruki: I hope so.
In that case, I guess Touma’s realized two dreams now.
Setsuna: Dreams, huh…
Haruki: Standing on her own as a pianist, and making up with her mother…
She’s really been working hard.
Setsuna: But, there was one other dream…
Setsuna: …Hey, why don’t we raise a toast? To Kazusa’s success.
Haruki: A toast?
Setsuna: Do you have any alcohol in your fridge?
If you don’t, tea or juice is fine, too.
Haruki: Yeah, I’ve got beer, if that works.
Setsuna: I’ll get some right now! Get everything ready, Haruki-kun.
Haruki: Hey, Setsuna…
Patter patter patter patter patter
Setsuna: Huff, huff… A-are you ready?
Lead the toast, Haruki-kun.
FX: Pour pour pour
Haruki: We pray for Touma’s continued flourishing and success…
Setsuna: Too stiff!
Haruki: It’s your fault for dropping this on me all of a sudden!
Haruki: Ugh, whatever!
FX: Glug glug
Aren’t you downing that a little too fast?
Are you okay?
Setsuna: Why not, Haruki-kun?
…I haven’t had a day this happy since I started college.
Narration: Two of Kazusa’s wishes had been granted.
Narration: She’d been working like crazy in a place unknown to me, to exactly the incredible results I imagined she would.
Setsuna: My beloved Kazusa…
Narration: And yet, I couldn’t feel purely happy for her.
Narration: I know exactly why, but I could never say the reason aloud.
Setsuna: Your beloved Kazusa, Haruki-kun…
Haruki: Setsuna… I…
Narration: The kinder Setsuna is, the more forgiving she is…
Let’s stop apologizing to each other, okay?
Setsuna: Whatever may happen…
I love Kazusa.
Setsuna: Whatever may happen…
Narration: the more my own pettiness and weakness are brought into relief…
And, over and over, I am reminded that I don’t deserve to be with Setsuna.
Setsuna: I… love you.
Narration: Hey, Setsuna…
Setsuna: So, on days as happy as this one…
I can keep talking and talking to you, right?
Narration: I wish you wouldn’t corner me like this any more.
Haruki: Come to think of it, lately…
FX: Chirp chirp
Haruki: Well, I think it’s about time…
Setsuna: Yeah… That went a little long, huh? Will you be okay tomorrow?
Haruki: I always go to sleep around this hour. What about you?
Setsuna: Oh, my classes are in the afternoon tomorrow…
Haruki: That’s good.
Setsuna: Wow, remember how we used to have long phone calls like this, way back when?
I had such a bad time with mornings then…
Setsuna: I just got a little too happy, and I’m drunk… I-I didn’t mean to bring that up…
Setsuna: I-I’m really sorry. I…
Haruki: I thought you just said we weren’t going to apologize to each other. Are you really going to break your own promise?
Haruki: Listen, don’t worry about it. I won’t worry about today, either. In fact, I won’t apologize for anything that happened before.
Haruki: Good night, Setsuna.
Setsuna: He… scolded me…
used you again.