If I have the ability to read though each person, maybe nothing horrible will take place, no life will disappear.
Ruka: “Don’t touch my Michiru!”
Sosuke: ” ‘My’ Michiru..?”
Ruka, in retrospect, it’s a strange premonition.
Takeru walks out of the hospital room, in search for Ruka. He sees the scattered crutches and follows into the room, and, sees a silent war. Sosuke froze in mid-motion, still holding the chair well above his head; Ruka is on the floor, shielding Michiru with her thin body; Michiru is hiding behind Ruka, fear glimmering in both eyes.
Seeing your resolute expression, for the very first time; using your injured body, trying to protect a well valued friend.
Ruka and Takeru’s interference prevents another incidence of domestic violence and opens a little window to Michiru’s lonely, miserable life.
Out of the hospital, Michiru apologizes for not returning home immediately. Sosuke only darkly warns her not to see Ruka again and walks on by himself.
Returning home from the hospital the next day, Ruka shares the story with her housemates and receives varying responses. Ogura envies Sosuke’s “manly” but violent manifestation of his obsessive sense of control; Takeru asserts his own inability to accept such impulsive behavior. “The beater may forget the beating afterwards, but the victim may be scarred for life. Performing acts of violence under the name of love is straight out despicable.” Takeru speaks resolutely as if out of personal experience. The four decide to not watch Michiru suffer from domestic violence.
Takeru returns home and sees a recently received packaged sitting on the desk, unopened. He frowns at it. The phone rings. He reluctantly picks it up. It’s the sender of the package. She tells him she spent a great deal of effort to make the cookies for him, the kind of cookies that he adored as a child. Takeru angrily tells the caller to not trouble herself with the cookie baking and package sending. She has a family now and she should just live happily with her family instead of trying to amend anything. Even if she pretends to forget what had happened, he will not forget and will never forgive. He hangs up and throws the package into the trashcan. As if nothing happened, Takeru starts to pack his belongings, getting ready to move into share house. He sees the box containing the cup, opens it, and takes the cup out while thinking to himself, “Ruka, when will I be able to share with you my story. The pain I endured as a child…”
Ruka pays Michiru a vist at work, they sit down for a talk. Ruka tries to persuade Michiru to reconsider her relation with Sosuke who seems to have violence tendencies. She reminds Michiru of her own father who would always beat her mother whenever he is drunk. Michiru defends Sosuke regardless, saying that Ruka couldn’t possibly know how Sosuke is like after only one encounter. He is, in fact, a very gentle soul. Ruka emphasizes that if Sosuke treasures Michiru then he wouldn’t do what he’s done to her. Finally, Michiru reveals her true reason for staying by Sosuke’s side. She tells Ruka, “I’ve never felt how it’s like to be loved, whether it’s from father or mother.” Ruka opens her mouth in shock and wants to say something, but eventually resisted the urge. Michiru goes on, “But, Sosuke’s love is there. I can feel it.” Ruka becomes frustrated at Michiru’s defense of Sosuke and leaves.
Ruka returns to her motorcycle training. Sosuke follows her.
Michiru is doing well at work. Her boss decides to give her more customers to brush up her skills so she’s more presentable. She’s working late into the night, dying hair for a customer, when she looks outside out of habit and sees Sosuke looking back at her in that pair of sad, puppy eyes. Michiru skips a heart beat. She is bullied again at work and when she returns home after 9, Sosuke is no longer outside waiting for her. She returns to the apartment and rings the doorbell for Sosuke to open the door for her since she forgot to bring her keys. Sosuke replies, “I won’t open the door for you. It’s to punish you for making me wait. Stay outside and repent.” When he lefts her in again, she finds three burning marks on his wrist. Worried about Sosuke, Michiru asks, “What happened?” “Cigarette. I smoked three cigarettes while waiting for you today.” She looks up at him in disbelief. He only casually tells her, “Next time, don’t come home so late.”
The next day Michiru asks her employer if she can go home early and gets scolded by her boss. Michiru returns to work but is soon asked for to cut a customer’s hair. She walks towards the customer only to find out that it’s a male customer. The intense memory of almost cutting off Sosuke’s ear gushes back at Michiru, filled her with conflicting desires to not disobey Sosuke’s wish and to assume her duty as a barber. She cuts the customer’s hair after a glance at the street and not finding Sosuke watching.
At night around dinner table, Michiru carefully chews her meal while Sosuke makes conversation. He asks about her work and wonders whether or not she complies to the promise. She reluctantly lies that she didn’t cut any male customer’s hair. On a second thought, she asks, “But, what if I did…?” He stops cutting and looks up. “You did? You cut it?” He shoots up and grabs her hair. “Can’t I cut a man’s hair?” Sosuke pulls Michiru up by the hair and throws her onto the ground. Michiru talks back at him, “Cutting hair is my job. It’s a beauty parlor, there’s got to be male customers. How can I refuse? It’s my job!” Sosuke only robotically replies, “But you promised me not to barber for males. Who’s more important? Your male customers or me?” “Of course it’s you!” Michiru struggles up and hugs Sosuke from the pelvis and repeats, “Why can’t you understand? Of course you are more important.” Sosuke’s face softens. He bites his lower lip and puts his hands around her shoulder and… he throws her onto the ground again. “Don’t do it again. Hear me? Don’t give male customers haircuts.”
Takeru moves into share house! Eri, Ruka, and Ogura host a surprise party for Takeru. Takeru is so touched, he doesn’t quite know how to respond other than repeat thank you to everybody. Eri goes to fetch a cup for Takeru, but he takes out his own cup – the one Ruka picked out. Ruka, having refused to take back the cup, went back to the store and bought another one of the cups – but in a different color since the original one ran out. Now their cups make a pair. Ogura suggests that he and Eri buy a pair of cups too. Eri gives Takeru the key. He is now officially part of the share house family – the place of warmth.
Ruka walks out of the living room where Eri and Ogura are happily singing away. Takeru follows after. The conversation quickly falls on Michiru. Ruka tries to pretend to take Michiru’s choice to be with Sosuke lightly. Only that her subtle change of expression doesn’t escape Takeru’s notice.
Michiru couldn’t sleep. She gets out of bed and calls Ruka, saying that she wants to see her. Ruka agrees. Michiru gets dressed and waits in front of the apartment. Takeru and Ruka drive a truck to pick her up. Together, they drive a long way to the river bank to look at the beautiful scenery.
The three of them stand in the breeze, looking out at the river, as if all their worries can be blow away by the wind, their wounds wash away by the river. Ruka tells Michiru that Takeru insisted on bringing Michiru here. Michiru turns to look at Takeru, gratitude filled her face. Takeru winks at Ruka and excuses himself back to the car to give Ruka and Michiru privacy to talk.
Ruka: How are you getting along with your boyfriend? No fights?
Michiru lies: No fights.
Ruka: Everybody values happiness differently. Outsiders can never understand. For me, the best thing is to ride on the motorcycle. Hence, I can endure anything. My father, he understands how much motorcycle means to me, therefore he has never stopped me from pursuing my goal even if I get hurt. That, is love. Don’t you think?
Michiru: Of course it is.
Ruka: I suppose it’s the same for you too. As long as you can be with him, no matter what you have to suffer, you will go through it. If that’s the case, then I won’t try to persuade you to leave him anymore.
Michiru: Thank you Ruka. Ruka… even though I’m worthless, can you continue to be my friend?
Ruka: What are you saying, you silly girl?
Michiru returns home and is relieved to see Sosuke still sleeping. She gets in bed and watches Sosuke’s asleeped face for a while before getting back into bed.
There are two most important people in my life. They are Ruka and Sosuke. At least at the time, I wanted to treasure both.
The next morning, residences of the share house get up to drink the coffee Takeru brewed. Ruka notices that Eri and Ogura slept together the previous night. Eri lightly dismisses it as the result of drinking too much. Ogura brings up the suggestion to buy a matching pair of cups with Eri again.
Michiru pours herself a cup of coffee and brings it to the coffee table. She sits down, casually picks up her yearbook. To her surprise, Ruka’s face has been blacked out. Sosuke is behind her watching. He barges on her, scaring Michiru witless. She asks him in a shaky voice, “Why did you black out Ruka’s voice?” “Don’t let her get close to you.” “What?” “I knew. You sneaked out to see her middle of the night.” “Why can’t I see her? I’m not allowed to have friends? If it’s a guy then I can understand but Ruka is a girl!” “She doesn’t count as a woman. She looks at you with eyes of a man.” Sosuke keeps to bash at Ruka and warns Michiru to keep her distance.
Sosuke, you, don’t even let me see my best friend!
I, am not your slave!
For you, I’ve been suppressing my feelings. I thought I could stand everything for your sake. But only this is something I can’t give in.
I won’t allow you to bash at MY Ruka.
ding dong, share house’s door bell rings. Ruka goes over to open the door – she finds an indiscernible Michiru. Tear, snot, sweat, bruises, and cuts all converge into an obvious cry for help, “Ruka, save me…” Michiru collapses into Ruka’s arms, sobbing uncontrollably.
Takeru’s voice rings in the background:
Ruka, you made your mind then, didn’t you? No matter what happens, even sacrificing your life, you will save Michiru.
Now that Michiru is knocking on Ruka’s door, it’s not far for her from realizing how unhealthy her relationship with Sosuke is. Unfortunately realizing the problem is one thing, being able to actually leave him is a whole other story. Consequently, it probably won’t kick in until Sosuke starts to hurt those around her. The question now is who will be the one that dies in the end? The ending of this episode is gearing towards Ruka being the ultimate victim. Personally, I think it has been since the very first episode. But it’s no fun if the suspense is unmasked so early on. Who knows whether there will be a twist at the end or not. But whoever dies in the end, it will definitely help Kleenex sell more tissue boxes.