White Album 2 manga
Volume 3, chapter 4
Setsuna: It’s snowing…
Narration: I hate the snow.
Narration: It makes me remember that incredibly happy time…
that incredibly sad time.
Setsuna: You really…
will come, won’t you…?
Chapter title: SESSION15
Christmas Eve For Two
Shop employee: Thank you very much for your patronage.
Narration: Tonight is Christmas Eve.
My first date with Setsuna in three years.
I left home slightly early and stopped at a jewelry shop along the way, to buy a present.
Narration: It’s not like the mistake I made three years ago.
Narration: Nothing super special, but maybe a little special.
Not something anyone would feel let down over, but not the kind to get any excessive expectations up, either.
A perfectly ordinary Christmas present, to give to a woman…
Haruki: The train might run late… I should hurry.
Takeya: So, you understand, right?!
Takeya: I’m begging you!
Takeya: I’ll never ask anything of you again!
Haruki: Look, I do feel bad for you for getting dumped on Christmas Eve, but…
Haruki: That doesn’t mean I’m gonna buy off the tickets you bought…
Takeya: I’m seriously up against the wall here! I might not even be able to eat tomorrowww!
Io: For my sake, too, Haruki. Dinner tickets included. 30,000 yen would be fine.
Takeya: Hey, no! If you haggle it down any further, I’m seriously gonna die!
Haruki: But these are for a specific date, right? I have work until the end of the year.
Koharu: No need to worry on that front, senpai.
Koharu: The manager just changed the shifts around.
Koharu: There won’t be a problem.
Wait… Changed the shifts? Why…
Koharu: Because I want to work until the end of the year.
Haruki: Yes, but this is really sudden…
Satou: Please, Kitahara-san.
Satou: In exchange, I’m going to have you all over the schedule for the start of the new year!
Satou: Sugiura-san said she can’t come in on the third day!
Satou: Which is basically our busiest day of the year!
Haruki: That… does sound tough. Yeah, I’ll help, I guess…
Satou: Then, enjoy the rest of your December, but please, please, please come in for January!
Narration: …I feel…
Narration: like this was all contrived, somehow…
Takeya: All right!
Two tickets for Christmas Eve!
Narration: Takeya must already have known things would go this way when he started trying to force these on me.
Haruki: …Butting in as usual.
Announcement: There will be a delay on both tracks due to railcar inspections.
Announcement: We apologize for the inconvenience.
Haruki: Am I… going to be late?
Haruki: I’ll let her know, just in case.
Haruki: Hey, sorry.
I’m on my way right now… but I’m going to be a bit late.
Setsuna: Oh… That makes sense, I guess, with this weather.
Haruki: Even if I’m a bit late, I’m heading straight there. If the movie starts, go in without me.
Haruki: Oh, wait. But I have the tickets.
Setsuna: Actually… If you don’t make it in time for the movie, why don’t we go shopping around or something?
Haruki: Sure… I’m sorry, Setsuna. This shouldn’t have…
Setsuna: Stop… Don’t keep apologizing.
You don’t have to do that. Just come, and I’ll be happy.
Haruki: Ah… Sounds like we’ll be leaving with a ten-minute delay.
Haruki: I guess I’ll be there in about… twenty minutes?
If you can find somewhere warm to wait…
Setsuna: Yeah, I will.
Setsuna: Twenty minutes…?
Setsuna: I… hate snow…!
Setsuna: It’s dangerous to run in the snow.
Haruki: I am so, so sorry!
Setsuna: Don’t apologize. It’s not your fault.
Setsuna: The movie is about to start.
Setsuna: Let’s go.
Setsuna: It’s still coming down…
Narration: But… There’s something about Setsuna today…
Setsuna: Oh, this? What do you think? Looks good on me, right?
Setsuna: I got it as a present from this wonderful guy. Are you jealous?
Haruki: No, I’m not…
Haruki: It’s a pretty cheap bracelet.
Setsuna: Well, I’m a pretty cheap girl.
Setsuna: I could easily be won over by something like this.
I’m so touched that I can barely even swallow this fancy dinner.
Haruki: That’s kind of the opposite of the ideal result, from a cost-effectiveness standpoint…
Haruki: Are you okay, though?
Setsuna: What do you mean?
Haruki: You’ve hardly touched your food.
Setsuna: I’ve been on a diet in anticipation of this long-awaited date.
Haruki: That’s not good for your body.
Don’t let your nutrition get unbalanced.
Setsuna: If I’d known you would say that, I wouldn’t have said anything.
But… I’m sorry if I worried you.
Haruki: Hey, so…
Haruki: I have one more thing to give you.
Setsuna: Actually, I’ve been wondering when you would give it to me since before the movie started.
Haruki: This is the magazine with my first article in it.
Haruki: Writing articles is a little outside the usual scope of my work there, but…
Setsuna: Well, this is unusual. You don’t normally brag so casually.
Haruki: I feel like it’s kind of a significant achievement for me…
Haruki: This month’s Ensemble has a special feature on… a certain young pianist.
Haruki: My boss is pretty sharp. She figured out that Touma and I were classmates and gave me the job.
Haruki: In other words, the fact that I was able to do this is purely because of connections.
Haruki: If Touma hadn’t become this famous, I never would have been given this job.
Haruki: I just used her. I thought it would give me an advantage in my job search, so I sold her.
Setsuna: Oh, wow. I can’t believe you wrote this.
Haruki: W-wrote what?
Setsuna: All of this! It’s ridiculous, from start to end.
Narration: Contrary to my expectations, Setsuna had a very charming reaction.
Haruki: I wrote it that way to sell.
Narration: That’s why I keep trying to get to the core of things.
Haruki: Right now, Touma, or Kazusa, is an entity for me to write about so I can gain recognition.
Haruki: At some point, whatever feelings I may have had for her turned into that.
Narration: So I can put everything onto Kazusa, for the sake of building our new relationship.
Setsuna: That… isn’t true, is it…
Setsuna: Because this is…
Setsuna: This is…!
Setsuna: …No, it’s very well written. Kazusa was definitely like this.
Setsuna: Her grades were at rock-bottom all three years…
She was a delinquent all through high school because she assumed her mother had abandoned her… Heehee!
Setsuna: I feel bad for Kazusa, but you really hit the mark.
Haruki: Huh? Y-you think so?
Setsuna: Yep! I will gladly accept this. And, let me congratulate you again.
Setsuna: You bought these two wonderful gifts for me…
but I can’t give you anything in return.
Haruki: Oh, don’t worry about that. I just decided to get…
Setsuna: Actually… I deliberately didn’t buy anything.
Narration: She spoke like an adorable, willful child…
But her moist eyes were overflowing with the kind of bewitching charm that pulls men in uncontrollably…
Setsuna: I told everyone that I would be staying somewhere else tonight.
Narration: As a man, seeing Setsuna like this drove me nearly out of my mind.
Setsuna: It’s so common, so self-centered, so pushy…
Setsuna: But will you accept it anyway?
Setsuna: What I’ve been meaning to give you since three years ago…
Setsuna: I’ll be fine…
Narration: I’ve always loved Haruki-kun.
And he wanted me.
So, I don’t feel a single shred of anxiety.
I know I won’t regret this, either.
Narration: …I’m sorry, Kazusa.
Today, I’m going to take Haruki-kun…
Setsuna: away from you…
Narration: Oh, god. The more I try to calm myself down, the more my own desires are exposed.
Narration: Even now, I’m worried that if I see that look in Setsuna’s eyes again, some beast within me will awaken.
Narration: I can’t turn back now. All I can do is resolve myself.
But, in that case, I have to make absolutely sure I don’t cause Setsuna any pain.
When morning comes, I have to reassure her from the bottom of my heart that she made the right choice, so she’ll smile at me…
Haruki: What? Don’t look at me like that.
Haruki: Always… Always…
Haruki: Making me feel ridiculous…
Narration: Are you a celebrity?
The up-and-comer we all expected?
A thoroughbred, blessed with beauty and talent and pedigree?
Narration: Ridiculous delinquent girl…
If I hadn’t put you on the right path, you’d just be a shut-in now, living quietly and comfortably on your parents’ money!
Narration: Hey, Kazusa… After today, I’m going to forget all about you.
…Will I be able to forget?
Kazusa: What, are you wimping out?
Kazusa: You decided to be alone with Setsuna, right?
Kazusa: Don’t get all nervous now!
Kazusa: I’m famous enough to give solo performances in Europe now.
Kazusa: I’m in a completely different world from mediocre people like you.
Kazusa: So, you’d better…
Kazusa: forget all about me.
Kazusa: You can do this.
Kazusa: …Everything will work out with time.
Kazusa: Bye, Haruki.
Setsuna: I’m… done…
Haruki: Oh, um… Then I’ll go ahead and…
Haruki: Just a minute.
Setsuna: Hm… At times like this…
Setsuna: Should I get naked first?
Setsuna: …no, maybe it’s better to let him undress me?
Setsuna: Should I get in the bed?
Setsuna: Or, on the chair…?
Caption: Frequent image from movies
Setsuna: I’ll wait in the bed.
Setsuna: I’m sorry, Kazusa.
I don’t want you to see me like this.
Setsuna: would it be in a place like this?
Narration: The atmosphere in here is decidedly different from ten minutes ago.
Narration: The moment I saw what was under her hand, I understood everything.
Setsuna: The truth is… I’ve actually read this article loads of times already.
Narration: The careless way I went about hiding it must have been out of a sense of guilt.
Setsuna: …I bought it the day it came out. And over, and over…
Setsuna: Particularly the part between pages 12 and 16.
Narration: Setsuna easily saw through the part I’d handled.
Setsuna: Nothing you’re saying is any different…
Setsuna: from the way you were back then, chasing after Kazusa.
Setsuna: Speaking poorly of her at the start…
Setsuna: then putting all your effort into sticking up for her…
Setsuna: and, at the end, hiding your own embarrassment with unnecessary lecturing…
Setsuna: is your own words from back then, completely unchanged…
Setsuna: And now that I’ve found this love letter, with all these feelings in it…
Setsuna: what am I supposed to do…?
Setsuna: Don’t touch me.
Narration: It was a clear rejection.
Narration: I have to say something, deny it somehow…
Setsuna: You’re a liar, Haruki-kun.
Setsuna: While I was in the shower…
you were talking to Kazusa…
Setsuna: You got the courage from Kazusa to give up on her…
Setsuna: Kazusa encouraged you to sleep with me…
Setsuna: That’s not fair, Haruki-kun.
Setsuna: After all these years… you’re still lying to me.
Setsuna: And you meant to keep going like that, crushing yourself down.
for my sake.
Narration: I don’t remember much of what happened after that.
The next thing I knew, I was sitting on a bench at the station, turning myself in circles with a million questions.
Narration: I know Setsuna loves Kazusa as much.
That’s why she couldn’t overlook the existence of Kazusa within me.
Every time she tried to get into my heart, she locked eyes with the memories of Kazusa there.
In other words, Setsuna and I will never be able to walk on together again.
Is that it?