February 13, 2013

Akai Ito [Chapter 6]

Cover page: “Because [we] always quarrel, I didn’t know. But it turns out that when we happily laugh together, it is quite fun. The problem is, he is the other party.” Volume 1 is now on sale. Flashback: Hinase pinching Chihiro’s face and saying, “Very cute. You’re very cute, Tachibana.” End Flashback. Narration: “What Hinase told me yesterday had become like a curse. It kept on repeating over and over in my head and won’t go away. Like an idiot, it won’t stop repeating.” In the classroom, Chihiro and Rino are standing by the window. Chihiro glances at Hinase’s seat and thinks that he hasn’t arrive yet. Looking at the omamori [Japanese amulet], Chihiro wonders what would be the reason she’ll tell him when giving it to him. “Something like, ‘You’ve dropped something, right?’ or perhaps, ‘Is this yours?’? No, like that, it isn’t a bit cute at all.. *touches face* Hinase’s warmth still remains.. Fingers, perhaps the size of his hand, the skin’s touch, still.. *blushes upon recalling Hinase telling her that she’s cute* Cu..cute whatever, he’s definitely only joking around. He obviously made me into an octopus mouth to laugh at me. He’s definitely just casually saying it. I’m not one a bit happy about it!” Blushing Chihiro calls out to Rino and asks, “Am I cute?” Rino looks at her in surprise. Chihiro turns around and apologizes. She tells Rino to pretend that she didn’t say anything. Rino slightly panics for she unconsciously stiffens. Chihiro mentally wonders what she is asking. “It’s strange. I’m really quite strange. It’s all that guy’s fault for saying those words.” Rino asks her if something happened between her and Hinase. Chihiro goes, huh. Smiling Rino asks again, what had happened. With a deadpan expression, Chihiro says, none. “NOTHING had happened.” Rino thinks that something did. Trying to change the topic, Chihiro asks her what happened with her and Kirigaya afterwards. Slightly blushing Rino says nothing happened. Chihiro asks that didn’t they went home together. Smiling Rino tells her that she messed it up because she was overly nervous that she didn’t talk much. “He even invited me to drink some coffee, but I was so afraid that no-talk kind of situation would happen, so you can say that I’ve ran away..” Nervously thinking that Kirigaya has a favorable expression towards Rino that even she [Chihiro] thinks that it is definitely like that, Chihiro tells her that it is okay, and if it is her, she definitely would do a more serious spontaneous action. Rino gloomily mutters that she doesn’t have feminine charms. Thinking what to do for all the more she can’t say it, Chihiro says no, she’s more.. Then, some of their classmates are greeting Kirigaya who has arrived. Chihiro quickly looks away for Hinase ought to be also there. “This is bad, I’m starting to become nervous.” Kirigaya approaches the two and greets them good morning. The girls timidly greet him back. Chihiro is puzzled since he isn’t with Hinase. As Kirigaya goes to his seat, Chihiro tells Rino to go and ask Kirigaya what happened to Hinase. Rino refuses for it is awkward. Chihiro says that didn’t she said that that is fine if she [Chihiro] wants to ask [a favor from Rino] and this is a good opportunity to talk with Kirigaya. Rino hesitates.

Classes already started.  Frowning Chihiro thinks that there is totally no sign that he’s coming. “Is he absent today? Isn’t he feeling well? He seems to have a lot of vitality yesterday.. And he even swung the shinai 1500 times. Kirigaya also said that he doesn’t know.. *sigh and looks at the omamori* I really want to see him soon.. *kisses the omamori* Eh? *blushes* I’ve unexpectedly wanted to see him..!” Holds the omamori tightly, Chihiro blurts out, “No..that’s not right..” The other students look at her. Embarrassed Chihiro looks down. “Geez, since yesterday, I’ve been played into his hand. Ah. *looks at the bent omamori* Uh..oh.. I’ve bent it out of shape.” Soon, it is lunch time and some students are going to the canteen. Looking at the bent omamori, Chihiro wonders if she totally bent the thing inside out of shape. “How am I going to get it back to its original shape.. It ought to be alright for me to take out the thing inside. I won’t get retribution, right? [<- since it is an amulet] Ah, what is this! *notices a transparent tape at the side of the omamori* What, even using transparent tape for this. This is quite troubling but it is inevitable, I’ll just have to take out the thing outside for me to sew the [pouch] bag.. *opens the pouch bag of the omamori and notices a small paper which contains the picture of a man wearing a kendo uniform and he’s holding a trophy* Ah..Hinase? It doesn’t seem to be but it seems to be.. and he’s even wearing a kendo uniform.. *surprised to see the surname ‘Hinase’ on the name plate* Since the surname is also Hinase, could it be his father?” Rino approaches her and tells her that she’ll be going to eat at the canteen today. Chihiro says that she’ll also go. Holding the omamori, Chihiro thinks that this is something very important to Hinase. At the canteen, while eating, Rino asks Chihiro what she has been sewing a while ago. Chihiro nervously tells her that it is an omamori which she carelessly ruined a bit. Rino says is that so, and it seems that Hinase isn’t coming to school today. Chihiro says who knows, maybe he skipped class. With a doubting expression, Rino asks if that’s for real. Chihiro asks what’s up with that. Then, she is surprised when someone is complaining about being so hungry that he’ll die. Chihiro turns around and is surprised that it is Hinase. Chihiro is glad that he came and it turns out that he’s fine, health-wise. Holding the omamori, Chihiro stands up to return it to him. But, she sees Hinase’s fangirl, clinging on his arm. Short haired fangirl asks long haired fangirl if they are together. Flashing a v-sign, still clinging on Hinase’s arm, long haired fangirl says yes, that’s right. Hinase is busy wondering what to eat. Chihiro thinks that it turns out that he is late because of that. Rino watches Chihiro sits back to her chair again and holds the omamori tight. Rino asks, “..Chihiro, in the end, you like Hinase-kun.”
After looking surprised, Chihiro denies it and tells Rino not to say strange things. Smiling Rino tells her that it isn’t only just now, she is always concerned about Hinase. “With just one glance, it is only with you that I can know it, right? There’s no need to meticulously hide it from me. *Chihiro continues denying it* But, it’s great. I’m at ease that you didn’t deeply fell for Nanjou-kun’s attack. Always acting strong and even saying that you won’t fall in love again, it really made me worried.” Chihiro looks surprised. She thinks that not long ago, she obviously still like Nanjou-kun, and right now, towards some other guy.. “Like this, isn’t my self-awareness also excessively good? Rino has already seen it through, and that is saying that one day, Hinase will also.. Even if that is the case, but right now, he still thinks that the one I like is Nanjou-kun.. I don’t want Hinase to think that I’m a very frivolous[/fickle] girl.” Blushing Chihiro stands up and tells Rino that she doesn’t like that guy-whatever. She goes to Hinase and asks if this is his. Chihiro holds up the omamori and Hinase exclaims in disbelief. Holding the omamori, he asks her where she.. Chihiro has already turned around to leave. Hinase manages to grab her arm and asks if she was the one who picked it up. Conscious over him holding her arm, Chihiro pulls her arm from his grip and says that it is nothing. Looking away, she tells him that it was coincidentally dropped in front of her house’s gate. Chihiro thinks that she said un-cute words again. Hinase exclaims if it is for real, because since this morning, he has always been looking for it after he couldn’t find it. And, he is even thinking that he definitely won’t be able to get it back. Chihiro is surprised over what he said because wasn’t he together with that girl just now. Hinase exclaims in delight that Shichimi is amazing for she even helped him sew it that it became very beautiful. “It’s really great that you were able to help me find it.” Chihiro blushes. She realizes that she is blushing so she quickly fans her face with her hand to cool it down. She fears that he’ll see through her. Turning around, Chihiro tells him that she wasn’t careful that she bent it while holding it. “I’M SORRY. If you want compensation, don’t hesitate to ask. Good..goodbye.” Chihiro starts walking away fast but he calls out to her and says, “Thank you, Shichimi.” Trying to act normal, deadpan Chihiro tells him that it is totally not needed since she only just coincidentally picked it up. She starts to walk away as Hinase is puzzled over his thanks being totally not needed. Chihiro is blushing as she goes out of the canteen. Rino tries to call her but Chihiro didn’t hear her so she just lets her be. She happily sighs and thinks that she is bad for sighing in relief upon learning that Chihiro likes Hinase because it is like being happy over Kirigaya being jilted [by Chihiro]. “Yesterday, Kirigaya-kun invited me to go home together and it is definitely because he wants to ask me about Chihiro..” She didn’t notice that Kirigaya is looking at her.
Soon, it is dismissal time. The other students hurry off to their club activity. While putting her books in her bag, Chihiro is concentrating on being calm and don’t look at the side. Hinase is looking at her though. Then, he calls out, “Hey, Shichimi, that guy yesterday who has been following you, was it always like that before? If you’re afraid, I can walk you home.” Standing up, Chihiro says that it’s fine because she usually goes home together with Rino and yesterday was a special case. Then, Chihiro blushes and thinks, “Walk..walk me home.. Didn’t he just say that he’ll walk me home?” Chihiro casually tells Rino that they are going. Hinase just looks at her. At the lockers, Rino notices that she forgot something so she has to go back to the classroom to get it. Chihiro says okay. Chihiro sighs over her loathsome attitude towards Hinase and she’s really not a bit cute at all. She is startled when someone asks, “Can I have a moment, Tachibana?” It is the stalker, the guy from yesterday. Chihiro slightly backs away from him and starts to wonder how she is going to run away. The stalker asks if she had thought about the manager position. Chihiro is puzzled so he asks if she has seen the card in her shoe locker. Chihiro recalls that it is that note from 2nd year’s K•Y. Stalker says that they hope that she’ll be the manager of their kendo club so can she give him her answer. Frowning, Chihiro thinks that it turns out to be the kendo club and how can he say, ‘if she thought of it or not’, when he didn’t even mention on the note, which club he is from. Smiling stalker says that she is also a bishoujo [beautiful girl] that upon seeing her causing an uproar during the opening ceremony, he already has a good feeling about her. “Yesterday, I fundamentally want to talk with you but I made a mistake with the timing.” Not convinced, Chihiro says is that so. She thinks that she doesn’t know when Hinase would join the kendo club.. “If he is going to join.. Wrong! This has nothing to do with Hinase!” Chihiro apologizes and tells stalker that right now, she isn’t inclined towards that direction. Stalker happily says that even if it is not right now, but the future isn’t decided, and wasn’t she also a manager of the kendo club during junior high. Chihiro asks how come he knows about that. Stalker says that several managers had already left their club and actually, it is quite troublesome so can she help them, okay? Chihiro thinks that this guy is quite annoying. Chihiro says about that.. The guy happily asks if she agrees to join. Looking dark, Chihiro replies, “I DON’T WANT TO JOIN.”
After a pause, stalker sheepishly says that it turns out that way, is that so, it’s like that. This puzzles Chihiro. With a bit serious-threatening look, stalker asks if she meant that she is busy dating with her boyfriend that she isn’t free to do club activity. “From his looks, he seems to be a playful guy, YOUR BOYFRIEND.” Chihiro backs away and is surprised over what the stalker is implying. To Chihiro’s surprise, Hinase holds her shoulder and pulls her to him. He asks, “What do you want with my girlfriend?” Stalker asks what’s with him. “What’s with that look? You obviously know that I’m a second year. Are you trying deliberately looking for a fight?” With a taunting look, Hinase asks what about it. “Is it wrong to treat a guy in school this way, whose repulsive face is bothering a girl?” Scowling stalker tells him not to be overjoyed by that. Hinase tells him to shut up. While the two are on a stare-off, Chihiro tries to stop Hinase because she thinks that it is bad if he had a dispute with someone in the kendo club and it will be quite troublesome if he joins the kendo club later on. Chihiro bows to the stalker in apology and shouts, “Really so sorry.. Having such an arrogant attitude, I’m sorry! He doesn’t have any malice towards it, please forgive him. It is possible that you won’t recognize my apology but..please..!” Hinase is surprised and displeased by this. Stalker warns Hinase that there should be no repeat of this. “Take note of that next time.” After he left, Hinase exclaims to Chihiro what’s up with that. “Why did you have to apologize? You hate that guy, right? You only need to go along with me on this and that’s it. *seeing Chihiro’s flustered expression* Is that so.. It turns out to be like that. I almost forgot. Ha.. *expression softens* I’m sorry for being meddlesome. *Chihiro is surprised that she looks at him* You hate me, right?” Thinking that she doesn’t hate him, Chihiro exclaims, “No..” but she stops upon seeing Hinase’s frowning expression. Hinase tartly says, “But, forget it. Saying that you are my GIRLFRIEND is also just to deal with his PRETENSE, so don’t mind it.” Chihiro is quite frustrated and flustered. Just as Hinase starts to leave, Chihiro clenches her fist and shouts, “Idiot..! *Hinase turns to look at her* Even if for you, it is possibly just dealing with PRETENSION. But it isn’t so with me.. For me, it isn’t the same..” With that, Chihiro quickly runs off just as surprised Hinase tries to say something. Narration: “During this kind of time, I couldn’t openly be frank.. In the end, I’m too spineless.” Blurb: “Even if [it is] ‘like’, but cannot get closer. Because [they] ‘like’ [each other], all the more [they] cannot get closer..!”
Comment: Hehe, apparently, these two have some issues. Chihiro is really in denial over her feelings even if it is already a bit obvious. And, she doesn’t know Hinase’s feelings for her. It doesn’t help that Hinase thinks that she is still in love with Nanjou and the crucial one is, he actually still believes that she hates him. That impression must have really stuck on his mind that Chihiro is already showing obvious signs of liking him. For example: would a girl who hates him would even make it out of her way to sew his uniform and omamori? But then, maybe he is the type who believes her words rather than her blushing expressions and other telltale signs which she desperately tries to hide. Well, she is indeed giving a bit of mixed signals. ^^; The stalker can be quite annoying and a jerk who flaunts his ‘status’. With that kind of guy, aside from the Hinase reason, it is understandable why Chihiro would never join that kendo club. If she, Rino and Hinase don’t join, I somewhat feel sorry for Kirigaya being there by himself..aside from feeling sorry for him that the girl he likes actually thinks he likes her best friend even if he is obviously trying to spend more time with her. ^^; Unlike the main couple, his ‘date’ was a failure. It is nice that Hinase helped her with the stalker. Chihiro meant well to apologize to that guy on Hinase’s behalf because she is thinking of his future with the club. But, that might be a no-no since Hinase’s pride/ego as a guy must have hurt because it really does seem like a girl just saved him from a situation which he believes he can handle. Being confrontational does seem to be part of Hinase’s personality since it is also like that during the competition before. Not that it is bad since he is willing to stand up to those kinds of people especially if it involves Chihiro ^^ but the result might not be favorable for him. That and other misunderstandings cause a rift between them again. So, about Hinase’s quitting kendo is indeed related to his father. For him to work hard and everything must have been because he wanted to be like his father. So, why quit? Did something happen to his father? I wonder if I’m just overly thinking about this because maybe Hinase is just the type who is quite sloppy like a guy who would use tape rather than sew or ask his mother to sew his uniform or the omamori, but both items are related to kendo so is it possible that if there is a deal to quit kendo, it is related to his mother instead? Scans by 深雪

Quote of the day:
Love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding. ~ Diane Arbus