White Album 2 manga
Volume 3, chapter 2
Narration: Since I got up my nerve and messaged Setsuna a few days ago…
we’ve been exchanging messages once a day, and no more.
Text: I understand what you mean about messaging times. You’re right. It’s not like there’s a rule that says it has to be three in the morning.
I’m sorry… Like you guessed, I’ve been setting my alarm for 2:50. I didn’t want my responses to be late, and above all, I wanted to see your messages as soon as they came in.
Although, I’ve been staying up that late anyway, so there wasn’t much point in setting the alarm. Ahaha, I know that’s kind of ridiculous.
I’m remembering how it was when I first got a cell phone, in my second year of middle school. I couldn’t wait to get my first messages from my friends…
Oh, I guess I’m rambling now. I can talk more about that later. Good night, and I’ll get back to you tomorrow.
I just have one last question. One message a day… Is that a rule? Could I send two, maybe, or would that be wrong…?
Chapter title: SESSION13
About Haruki’s Girlfriend…
Chiaki: Could she send two, maybe, or would that be wrong…?
Chiaki: That’s so innocent! Are you dating a middle-schooler, Haruki?
Haruki: D-don’t read that!
Haruki: Looking at someone else’s messages is an invasion of privacy!
Chiaki: …Now you sound like a middle-schooler.
Haruki: You…! Just get back to your report, will you!
Chiaki: I just got curious, since you were so fidgety.
Haruki: I’m not fidgety!
Haruki: How far are you in your report?
Chiaki: I’m done.
Haruki: Whoa. Yeah, you sure are.
Haruki: Yep… The formatting needs a little adjustment, but the content itself looks pretty solid.
Haruki: The inquiries are firmly established and interesting.
Haruki: Well done, Izumi. Your work paid off.
Chiaki: I did it! Yesssss!
Haruki: Of course, whether or not you can advance is a different matter. The professor is the one who’ll be grading it.
Chiaki: I’m not worried about that! I got your approval, anyway.
Chiaki: Hey, Haruki, why don’t we celebrate?
Haruki: You’re always so quick to jump to that…
Chiaki: Come ooon! I’ve worked so hard! Just a little…
Haruki: Ah, it’s eleven o’clock…
Chiaki: What’s wrong? Your fridge empty? Need to go shopping?
Haruki: No, that’s not the issue…
Haruki: You should go home for today.
Chiaki: Awww, why?! You’re so cold, Haruki!
Haruki: It’s almost time for the last train. If we start drinking now, you won’t be able to get home.
Chiaki: I’m fine with not going home!
Haruki: I’m not fine with it. You have to leave.
Chiaki: But I stayed the night here before! What’s wrong with today?
Haruki: You need to quit staying here or at school so much. Go home for real. I’m sure your parents are worried about you.
Haruki: I’ll see you to the station, all right? Let’s go.
Chiaki: Nah, there’s no way my parents are worried. They aren’t even interested in what I’m doing here.
Haruki: Joking about that again…?
Chiaki: My dad isn’t around…
I live with my mom, but we really don’t get along.
Chiaki: So I basically don’t sleep at home at all.
Chiaki: Even when I go to grab a change of clothes, I’m there less than an hour.
If Mom shows up while I’m there, we always end up fighting.
Haruki: But she does your laundry, right?
Chiaki: Our housekeeper does.
She comes on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Narration: This isn’t the usual Izumi, but something about her feels familiar…
Narration: I do want to hear more of what she has to say.
Since she spends all her time messing around, this is the first genuine complaint I’ve heard out of her.
But if I ask her to tell me the rest, she’s going to miss the last train for sure.
Narration: That, and…
Narration: I’m sure Setsuna is waiting for my reply.
…No, that’s just what I’m telling myself because I’m too embarrassed to admit…
that I simply want a conversation with her, a connection with her.
Message: Managed to finish my report today. We’ve still got end-of-term exams left, but I have all the credits I need, so for now I guess I’m all set for fourth year.
Message: Great work! And congratulations on being promoted! I’m going to drink some wine to celebrate! …Maybe I’m getting too excited about this?
Message: Setsuna, you can’t handle that much alcohol… Don’t overdo it, okay?
FX: Tap tap
Message: I know, I know! I’m just… happy today, for some reason… So cut me a little slack, okay?
Message: By the way, Haruki-kun, do you have any plans for the winter break? Are you gonna keep working the whole time? Last year you said this was the best time to make extra money… But are you gonna do that again this year? Don’t you want a break?
Oh! Not that I’m trying to rope you into anything. I just wanted to ask.
FX: Glk glk glk
Setsuna: Here goes!
Message: By the way, Haruki-kun, do you have any plans for the winter break? Are you gonna keep working all the time? Last year you said this was the best time to make extra money… But are you gonna do that again this year? Don’t you want a break?
Oh! Not that I’m trying to rope you into anything. I just wanted to ask.
Haruki: She’s already tipsy…
Message: Setsuna, you’re drunk, aren’t you? Are you going to be able to get up tomorrow?
Message: Senseeei, I don’t have an answer for that question yeeet… I’m on my third drink…
Message: Then quit drinking! You’re already starting to write weirdly! Don’t blame me if you say something you regret!
Message: Something I regret? I was just thinking, y’know, if you don’t do something fun now and then, like skiing or a New Year shrine visit, you’re gonna get old real quick…
Message: Go to bed. This is gonna bog you down tomorrow.
Message: Yeah, I’m getting pretty wobbly. I’m supposed to go shopping with Mom in the morning, too…
Setsuna: I guess… it still isn’t the right time.
Message: Hey… Do you want to do a morning call?
Message: Yes! Yes, please!
FX: Chirp chirp
Setsuna: Good morning!
Haruki: …Did you actually sleep at all?
Setsuna: It’s been a little while.
Haruki: Yeah, it has.
Narration: Hearing Setsuna’s voice for the first time in a week…
It felt familiar, happy…
Narration: and a little painful.
Satou: Right! And with that…
Satou: The training period is complete.
Satou: Beginning today, Sugiura-san will be working for us officially.
Satou: So, Sugiura-san…
Satou: Do you mind saying a few words?
Koharu: I look forward to continuing to work with you all!
Satou: All right, that ends our meeting.
Everyone, please start preparations for opening.
Nakagawa: Sugiura-san, would you please refill the condiments and napkins at the tables?
Koharu: Oh… Yes.
Koharu: Will he…
Koharu: be here today?
Nakagawa: Oh, you mean Kitahara-san?
Koharu: I didn’t say that…
Nakagawa: Your glare was saying, “At least guess that much,” but now you’re angry that I got it right…?
Nakagawa: No, we haven’t heard anything from Kitahara-san.
Koharu: …I see.
Nakagawa: He was just here temporarily to handle your training, anyway, Sugiura-san.
Now that that’s over, he doesn’t really have any reason to show up.
Koharu: You’re pretty dry, aren’t you, chief?
Nakagawa: Kitahara-san will probably be starting his own job hunt soon. We can’t tie him down with our situation over here.
Koharu: Maybe so…
Nakagawa: Anyway, don’t worry yourself over little stuff like that!
We’re about to open.
Haruki: Good morning…
Satou: Good morniiing!
Satou: There you are, Kitahara-san!
Nakagawa: Oh, hey! Finally!
We’ve got orders stacking up, so we appreciate the help!
Haruki: Yes, yes.
Haruki: Good morning.
Nakagawa: I didn’t wanna say anything and ruin your excitement.
Nakagawa: I thought it would be more fun that way.
Nakagawa: Oh? Your face is beet-red.
Koharu: I’m going to go take table 15’s order!
Koharu: Hurry up and get started, senpai!
Haruki: That came out more formal than I meant it to…
Koharu: No dawdling!
Koharu: Hurry up!
Caption: Five hours later
Staff: Kitahara, you can go on break now.
Haruki: Got it.
Staff: See you in a bit.
Staff: Not you, manager!
Koharu: Hey! Senpai!
Koharu: You’re standing too close!
Haruki: You’re the one who got close in the first place!
Koharu: I-I, um, need to talk to you about something…
Koharu: I… feel like I’m being hounded down a bit here, because of my position.
Haruki: Oh, like bullying…? You do seem to antagonize people, Sugiura.
Koharu: …I know very well how you see me, senpai…
Koharu: Actually, it’s the opposite! Everyone is very kind to me. But…
Koharu: I feel like they’re getting a little too affectionate.
Haruki: What do you mean?
Koharu: The chief teased me earlier.
Haruki: Oh… Yeah, she definitely does that.
I promise she doesn’t mean anything bad by it.
Koharu: I didn’t get that feeling…
Koharu: I think she thinks we’re dating… That’s what she was teasing me about…
Haruki: What the hell?! Why would we be dating?!
Koharu: So, I wanted to get your permission.
Haruki: My permission? For what?
Koharu: To tell everyone here about your girlfriend.
Haruki: I’m going to clear up that misunderstanding myself. You don’t need to do anything.
Koharu: Why does it bother you that much?!
Koharu: You have nothing to feel guilty about, right?
Koharu: It’s not like you need to hide it, right?
Koharu: If you hate the idea of getting Ogiso-senpai’s agreement so much…
then I’ll do it.
Haruki: Knock it off!
Koharu: You’re the one who needs to knock it off!
Koharu: How long are you going to take to make up your mind?
Koharu: Just looking at you irritates me…
Hearing you say all this wishy-washy nonsense is absolutely infuriating.
Koharu: That’s why…
Koharu: You need to knock it off. Stop running away.
Koharu: …For my sake, as well.
Narration: Why does she always have to talk about things nobody wants her to touch…?
Narration: I was finally, slowly but surely, starting to move forward…
Haruki: And what am I supposed to do if things go sour with Setsuna again because of something so ridiculous?
Koharu: If that happens, I’ll take the responsibility for patching things up!
Koharu: For you, for Ogiso-senpai…
and for myself.
Koharu: …Does that work?
Narration: I know all too well that when Sugiura gets like this, there’s no stopping her.
Narration: Faced with this…
Haruki: Fine! Whatever!
Narration: I had no choice but to give up.
Koharu: Whaaat?! Really?
Haruki: One chocolate fudge sundae…
Nakagawa: Yes, really!
Nakagawa: I’d like a soft-boiled omelet with rice, too, please.
Haruki: Yes, ma’am.
Koharu: Oh, then I’ll have the same.
Nakagawa: Oho? Where’s the repetition of our orders?
Nakagawa: If I ever performed such sloppy customer service, I’m pretty sure a certain bossy someone would never let me hear the end of it…
Koharu: He got after me five times in two days for that!
Haruki: …Let me confirm that. Two soft-boiled omelets with rice, is that correct?
Nakagawa: Oh, and will you draw a picture of me in ketchup?
Write my name on it, too!
Haruki: …I am afraid we do not offer that service at this establishment.
Koharu: Sorry, sorry. So, what were we talking about?
Nakagawa: Right, right! When Tanicchi asked Kitahara-san out…
Nakagawa: He completely blew her off, like, “Don’t mistake what we do at work for personal favor.” It was painful to watch!
Koharu: Ahh! That’s just like what he did with my friend!
Nakagawa: He did the same thing to someone else?! What a jerk!
Haruki: Keep it together… Keep it together…
Satou: Two soft-boiled omelets with rice are ready for table 3!
Haruki: …Would you mind taking them, manager?
Satou: Do your job, please! We’re low on people out in the dining hall as it is!
Haruki: You always wait to get overbearing until someone starts showing weakness…
Satou: I’m not charitable enough to pity a guy who has a girlfriend!
Narration: And thus, Koharu Sugiura’s worries were resolved, and harmony visited the girls in the dining hall once more.
Nakagawa: Heeey! Where’s our omelets?
Satou: Take them! Hurry up!
Haruki: Yes, yes, I’m back…
Narration: …at the noble sacrifice of a certain bossy someone.
Koharu: It’s time for me to jump in…