>Haruno notices that they’ve been getting a lot of stares, Iroha says that it’s about the rumors. Haruno convinces Iroha to tell her about the rumors. As soon as Haruno hears what they’re about, she loses interest. It’s not only something that has already happened before, it’s also one of the things that have caused such a strain in Yukino, Haruno and Hayato’s relationship.
Near the entrance of the room, somewhat further away from us, Hayama called out to her.
“Ah, it’s Hayato.” Haruno-san greeted with the lifting of her hand.
Then, it sounded as if the commotion in the conference room had slightly ballooned. Haruno-san tilted her head to that reaction.
“Is it just me or do the stares feel kind of strange?”(!)
“Well, yes, you do stand out.”
I didn’t need to say it, but from the perspective of an onlooker, Haruno-san was a beauty that just walking in a city would cause people to glance at her. In a school environment, she stood out like a sore thumb. But Haruno-san made a face that didn’t buy into my words.
“It feels a little different from that though…”(!) said Haruno-san.
“Ahh, it’s gotta be because of that rumor.”(!) Isshiki slipped out her remark in recollection.
Meguri-senpai latched onto that.
“Oh, that rumor! It’s kind of wonderful, don’t you think? I really like those kinds of rumors, too.”(!)
“Rumor? Huh, what’s that about, Iroha-chan?”(!)
Haruno-san didn’t let that word slide by and she directed a gaze to Isshiki.
“Ah, ummm…” Isshiki contemplated whether it was okay to tell her, making alternating glances between the discouraged Yukinoshita and Hayama(!) who was chatting further away, and was at a loss for words.
But Haruno-san placed her hands lightly on Isshiki’s shoulders as if pressing her for an answer.
“Tell me please?”
At that point, she couldn’t refuse. Those words were just as heavy. Haruno-san wore her usual smile while quietly waiting for Isshiki to act. After a few seconds of that, as if giving in, Isshiki whispered into Haruno-san’s ears while being mindful of the reactions around her. Haruno-san leaned her ear to one side as she nodded with an amused expression. Ahh, if this person gets wind of the rumor, there’s no telling what’ll happen…
But Haruno-san’s attitude wasn’t as I imagined it to be.(!)
“Oh, so that’s what it is… That’s something they’ve been through since a long time ago,”(!) said Haruno-san, coldly.
After thanking Isshiki, she turned around as if dropping all of her interest.(!)
“Meguri, let’s get going.”
>Haruno leaves the room. Yumiko asks Hayato if she knows Haruno. Hayato replies with his typical “she’s just a childhood friend, nothing more” response.
Hayama had a bitter smile to Tobe’s words and he quietly looked to the front. Ahead was Haruno-san.
“Hey, Hayato… Are you close with that person?” Miura stated with a quiet voice as she looked at Haruno-san without turning to Hayama.
Hayama looked at her, to some extent with surprise, but quickly made a broad smile.
“…She’s just a childhood friend.”(!)
With that conversation behind me, we went back to the clubroom.
>Back in the clubroom, Yukino brings up Hayama’s parents. What’s important to know here, is that Yukino has opened up about this to Hachiman, but not to Yui, indicating that Yukino’s relationship with Hachiman is stronger than her relationship with Yui. Another important thing is that Yukino really does not know what Hayato is going to choose. Hachiman wonders why someone like Yukino and Hayato would even go to their school in the first place. (Read Part 2)
I turned my head and Yukinoshita was making an unusually earnest expression.
“Hikigaya-kun… I spoke to you about Hayama’s parents before, correct?”(!)
“Yeah. Something about them being lawyers and doctors.”
“…Huh!? Really!?” Yuigahama made a look of surprise, seemingly hearing this for the first time.(!)
“You never asked?” I said.
Yuigahama inflated her cheeks as if slightly sulking.
“You normally don’t talk about stuff like that… I mean, it’s not like I know what your parents do, Hikki.”
“Both of them are just your typical corporate slaves.”
“Ah, same here. My mom’s a normal housewife though…”
As I dreamed about my wonderful family plan, Yuigahama continued the conversation.
“S-So is Hayato-kun going to follow his family?”(!) asked Yuigahama.
Yukinoshita placed her hand to her chin and tilted her head.
“I wonder… Hayama-kun’s father himself handles the law firm while his maternal grandfather is a family doctor, so both are certainly a possibility…”(!)
“So we can’t really narrow it down between the liberal arts or sciences then.”
Be it lawyers or doctors, both occupations required credentials. If his only choice was just one or the other, then we could exclude one subject or the other, but with both options possible, ultimately, we were still clueless.
Yuigahama moaned as she listened. She then lifted her face.
“But isn’t it like super amazing if he went with either of them?”
“That’s true. From a general perspective, I believe they’re an affluent family.” Yukinoshita nodded.
Certainly, if we’re discussing lawyers and doctors, they had a strong profitable image. I was aware of some of the circumstances concerning Hayama’s family, but it was outrageous having to hear it again. Why was a guy like that attending our school?(!) He should’ve just gone to a better private school.
Well, I guess Yukinoshita’s similar in that regard.(!) I looked at Yukinoshita.
>Yukino thinks Hayato is going to choose the sciences. Yukino says it’s also concerning her, namely because Yukino plans on choosing the liberal arts and Hayato is going to choose the opposite. However, it’s also because both Yukino and Hayato have been looking up to Haruno while growing up.
When I began thinking in silence again, Yukinoshita, similarly quiet, looked at me as if she wanted to say something. I responded with just my eyes and she started to speak in contemplation.
“I think… he’ll choose the sciences…”(!)
“Why’s that?” Yuigahama asked.
Yukinoshita looked downwards anxiously.
“I can’t really say it’s a grounded reason, but, um, it’ll also be concerning me, so…”(!)
“…You don’t need to force yourself to say it if you don’t want to.”
Yukinoshita’s voice was mixed with hesitation and anxiety that I instinctively interrupted her. However, after repeatedly opening and closing her mouth, she lifted her head as if making her resolve.
“Not at all, um… It’s not like there’ll be anything to lose if you knew, right?”(!)
She sure is bad at wording things, not that I had the right to say that. Yuigahama and I adjusted our sitting and faced Yukinoshita. She then slowly began to speak.
“You’re aware that Hayama-kun has a long association with my family, correct?(!) When we were younger, the two of us and nee-san were often together.(!) Since nee-san’s that kind of person, we usually had to go along with whatever she did…”(!) said Yukinoshita.
“So to put it simply, I believe it’s fine to assume that he grew up with nee-san as an influence.”(!)
After she finished, she let out a small sigh. What she told me during the Christmas season didn’t vary all that much from what she just said now. But now that I had witnessed the sight of the three of them together and heard their old stories in-person, I was struck with a definite feeling of reality. The present Hayama Hayato. And the past Hayama Hayato spoken by various people. What I needed to think from this point on was the Hayama Hayato of the future. Other things, I could put to the side for now.
(This is interesting. What if it’s not that Yukino doesn’t want to tell Hachiman and Yui, but she isn’t allowed to tell because of her family situation? If we take a look at this scene:
Yukino says that “because there are only strangers around her, she doesn’t have to worry about rumors popping up that will lead to financial loss”. What if the rumors that got started back then affected the Yukinoshita family name? Because of this, Yukimom cut Yukino off from making public appearances and treated her as a disappointment. Yukino feeling abandoned by her family for not being able to be as perfect as Haruno, wants to distance herself from them, but at the same time she tries everything she can to redeem herself, by trying to emulate Haruno. Since at this point in the series, Yukino trusts both Hachiman and Yui, she is willing to tell them about her past.)
>Yukino says that if Hayato plans on continuing their family relations, the best option would be for him to succeed the law firm. This means he would choose the liberal arts, which is exactly what he chooses. Hayato never goes against his family’s wishes, which is something he is going to confirm at the very end of the volume. Yukino says that her mother supports a long-lasting relationship between their families, but Yukino doesn’t know how the Hayama family feels about this. There are other ways a long-lasting relationship between their families can be assured, namely marriage. This makes Hachiman not want to hear anymore.
“Um, Haruno-san went with the sciences, right? So that means he might also choose the sciences. You do get influenced a lot when you’re younger, too,” said Yuigahama.
“Yes… But I can’t say that for sure.”(!)
Yukinoshita’s answer sounded vague. Yuigahama and I looked at Yukinoshita to continue and with a preface, “It might be a contradiction, but” she said, “If he plans to continue our family relations in the near future, then I believe it would be much more efficient if he succeeded the law firm.”(!)
“Wouldn’t that mean he’ll be going with the liberal arts, then?”(!) I said.
Yukinoshita shook her head. “There are other ways to continue that relation, so…”
Well, yeah. Not just lawyers, but other business conditions could be used to maintain a relationship.(!) It didn’t even need to be from a business standpoint either. For example, a marital relationship(!), though it felt completely out of touch with reality, was one possibility that could be considered.
As I thought it over, Yukinoshita added in supplement.
“Of course, I don’t know what Hayama’s family thinks on the matter.(!) I can’t say for certain that isn’t influencing Hayama’s career path.(!) I’ve never heard him going against his parents before.”(!)
“Ahh, right. Hayato-kun seems like he handles his family business quite a lot, huh?”(!)
Yukinoshita nodded to Yuigahama’s simple thought. After listening to this story, I had a general grasp of his family’s situation. Even so, we still lacked a solution. Before I noticed, I was scratching my head and let out a sigh.
“I doubt we can ask Hayama’s parents. There’s not much we can do if we’re heading into family territory.”
“I suppose so… “ Yukinoshita’s expression turned gloomy.
“But at the very least, my mother wishes for a lasting relationship.”(!)
I reflexively averted my gaze.
“Got it. For now… I’ll think it over for a little bit,” I said, and stopped the conversation.(!)
Truthfully, I really wanted time to organize my thoughts. At this point, our remaining option was to make conjectures from the scarce pieces we had. Let’s just think about Hayama’s career path for now. After all. If I didn’t do that, I had a feeling I was going to imagine something horribly nauseating.(!)
>Yukino apologizes for how Yukimom sent them away. Yukino acknowledges one of her key problems when it comes to interacting with her mother; not being able to speak up or talk back to her. Hachiman and Yukino look at each other, their eyes meet. Yukino shyly leaves the room. Hachiman and Yui acknowledge how Yukino is starting to open up more about herself (post-genuine). Hachiman tells himself that one day he is going to cross that line with Yukino for sure, one day he will ask her everything he wants to know about her.
The sound of a teacup being placed reverberated in the quiet room and Yukinoshita slowly opened her mouth.
“I’m sorry for the other day when it seemed like my mother sent you away… I believe I could’ve have spoken up about it a little better.”(!) When she finished, she gazed at the surface of the tea in her cup and sucked in her lips. Yuigahama gently rubbed Yukinoshita’s shoulders.
“No worries at all. Besides, it’s not like we can just intrude on a family get-together. Right, Hikki?”
“Yeah. It’s not something you need to beat yourself over.”
Yukinoshita expressed a gentle smile, faintly tinged with anxiety, and slightly bowed her head to Yuigahama and me. Everything about her conduct was beautiful. Her elongated back, her hands gently joined together on her lap, her thin and supple fingertips, her long eyelashes that lined along her closed eyelids. As I watched all of that in fixation, Yukinoshita lifted her face and our eyes met. We both frantically turned our faces away from each other.
“Sh-Shall we call it a day now? I’ll clean up the tea.”
As if finding it a little awkward, Yukinoshita stood up in a hurry and began cleaning. She placed the teapot and cups on a tray, likely planning to clean them outside.
“I-I’ll go clean them too!”
“That’s fine, so wait for a moment.”
Yukinoshita stopped Yuigahama just as she was about to stand up and hastily left the room. Yuigahama and I were left alone in the room and we exchanged looks. Yuigahama made a smile and giggled.
“Hey, Yukinon’s starting to talk about herself a little more.(!) Like you know how before she’d never talk about her family by herself?”(!)
“That’s… yeah, I guess so.”
Perhaps, that might’ve been her way of getting closer to us.(!) Though, she was incredibly awkward, abrupt, and slightly off-track. Even though she handled most things skillfully, there was a crude side to her, too. No, I wasn’t exactly in the position to be saying that about other people at all. But someday, I will properly ask.(!) Right now, I wasn’t sure at all what it is I could ask from, but even so, someday, I will for sure.(!)
>While Haruno is still in the classroom, Haruno sees Hachiman leaving school. She tells him to wait for her as she rushes over to him. She asks where Yukino is. The entire reason why she came over in the first place was to ask Yukino about her career path.
Seemingly having rushed over here, Haruno-san was somewhat short of breath. She then made glances around the area.
“Where’s Yukino-chan? You’re not together?”(!)
Ehh, weren’t you totally absorbed in talking earlier? For this person to actually wait to ambush people is really scary… It’s likely that after the academic and career center, Haruno-san warmed herself up in the heated student council room while keeping her eye on the courtyard.(!) There’s no doubt Isshiki was forced to kill time with her. It’s not even my fault, yet I was feeling apologetic all of a sudden now…
>Haruno asks Hachiman to walk her to the station. Haruno gives Hachiman some advice on his future, but mostly because she wants to ask him about Yukino. Haruno is lowering Hachiman’s defenses by showing an interest in him and she is then going in for what she actually wants to know. Hachiman says he doesn’t know. Haruno tells him to find out for her. She then brings up Hayato. Hachiman asked Hayato directly, but he didn’t get an answer. Haruno says that Hayato was expecting someone to “find him”, to find what he actually wanted.
“Okay, so maybe the department of letters wouldn’t fit you. I think you might find social studies or something along those lines more fun,” said Haruno-san.
When she told me, my mouth was stuck open. At some point, she started counseling. I wasn’t very satisfied since I wasn’t really in the mood for it, but I should probably accept her good will with gratitude.
“You’re welcome.” Haruno-san smiled and then coughed.
“So, did you hear anything from Yukino-chan about what department she’s interested in or anything?”(!)
Tch, so this was what she wanted to talk about!(!) What a waste of my thanks…
“No, I didn’t hear anything about her choosing one or the other.”
“…Well, I guess she wouldn’t tell you herself. Hikigaya-kun, make sure to ask her, okay?”(!)
She slapped my back. Um, even if you ask me to… But I couldn’t tell her to ask Yukinoshita herself. I doubt Yukinoshita would honestly answer her anyway, and I had yet to ask her myself.(!) I couldn’t tell someone to do something that I didn’t do.
“Make sure to ask her the next time you meet her,” said Haruno-san, formally. She then went “Ah” as if remembering something. “Speaking of which, did you ask Hayato directly?”(!)
“Ahh. He told me some things, but he didn’t tell me.”(!)
“Ohh. So Hayato didn’t, huh…?”(!)
Haruno-san removed her gaze from me and ahead towards the main street of the station that began to come into view. But it looked like she wasn’t looking at the flow of people passing by. Her narrow, nicely shaped eyes were likely not looking at the present.
“I see. So Hayato’s expecting something, too.”(!)
Her sudden mutter didn’t sound like it was directed to me, but I reflexively questioned it regardless. Eventually, Haruno-san looked my way and made an enchanting smile.
“Something that’ll find him, I guess.”(!)
>Back at home, Hachiman thinks a lot about Hayato, Yukino and the situation they are in. What expectations are these two constantly forced to live up to? What is Hayato’s career path? Is it something he chose for himself or is it something that was decided for him and he is simply going along with it?
Fortunately for me, though I wasn’t sure if I could say to that extent, my specialty was clearly demonstrated in my grades, so I was able to pick my career path without the least bit of concern.(!) In the first place, I didn’t have very many options.(!) That’s why I was able to decide through process of elimination.(!) But flip the situation. How was it for the people who had an abundance of choices to pick from?(!)
For example, Yukinoshita Yukino.
How exactly did she decide?
In retrospect, I should’ve asked her when I had the chance.(!) As far as simple talents were concerned, the one closest to Hayama Hayato was Yukinoshita.(!) Despite that, I had utterly excluded the possibility that Yukinoshita’s choice could’ve served as some kind of reference. Of course, thinking about that now was absolutely meaningless. Thinking of that as the reason felt like I was going to be hit with a much more horribly difficult problem.
But now, what I needed to think about was Hayama’s choice between the liberal arts and the sciences. Exactly how did Hayama Hayato make his decision?(!) If I tried to bring up the choices Hayama had, there’d be too many to name. He didn’t have the ability to choose by process of elimination nor did he have negative elements to eliminate things by.
There were people who lived all their life never going against the intentions of everyone including their parents(!) and could do everything flawlessly. Just what exactly did these people choose?(!) Still placed with expectations, relied on, and continuing to answer them, just what kind of future were these people aiming for?(!)
Yeah, it’s completely unbelievable.
Had it been me, I wouldn’t have been able to stand it. I’d toss all that bothersome crap away, destroy it all, and make it all pointless.(!) I likely would’ve felt the expectations from people I didn’t even know to be annoying.(!) I wouldn’t want to affirm a single strand of hair on people whose names I didn’t even know and people who I wasn’t even friendly or close with. Be it expectations or praise, I’d probably reject them. However, Hayama Hayato wouldn’t do such a thing.(!) He’d try to be Hayama Hayato until the very end, all for the sake of answering expectations and all for the sake of hurting no one.(!) Many people forced the idea of expecting virtuosity, kindness, and farces from Hayama Hayato to be natural, insisting on a victim. His pride and his kindness were also swarmed with demands. Unfortunately, Hayama Hayato was endowed with just the ability to answer all of that. Yet, there’s just one point that Hayama was refusing to yield.(!) And that’s telling anyone his choice between the liberal arts and the sciences.(!) Despite being the one who answered everyone’s expectations.(!) Just why did Hayama Hayato not tell anyone?(!)
As I was doing that, I remembered something from some time ago.
“If you were requested something contradictory, what would you do then?” Hayama certainly asked me.
“Could you stop doing bothersome things?” He said.
In the end, both Hayama and I covered it up and vaguely answered at the time. One side postponed it to a later day while the other played it off with a meek smile. But it’s probably the same. While the process may be different, the decision to not choose was the same.(!) In that case, Hayama’s answer was already set in stone.
>Hachiman calls Saika and asks for his assistance.
>Iroha, Yui and Yukino cheer Hachiman on. This is another one of those examples where Hachiman and Yukino have a psychic link. Essentially, Hachiman and Yukino don’t need to exchange words to understand each other.
Isshiki watched the both of them in satisfaction on the side and then turned this way again.
“…Senpai, do your best too, okaaaay!”
This time it looked like she was looking my way and telling me. Y-Yeah…Just why is she so stubborn about not saying my name…? I wonder if she doesn’t remember… As I thought about that, Yuigahama who had been watching Isshiki in a daze took a single step forward. Then, Yuigahama waved her hand.
“D-Do your best!”
Her voice was considerably more soft-spoken than Isshiki’s as if she was being conscious of her surroundings, but it definitely reached my ears…Thank goodness she didn’t call my name. I’m grateful for her consideration at times like these. I covertly raised my hand with appreciation and Yuigahama clenched her fist back. Then, next to her, Yukinoshita’s eyes met with mine.
She wordlessly made a small nod. It felt like her mouth moved just slightly, but her voice didn’t reach me.
I wasn’t sure what she said nor did I know who it was directed to.
But well, I felt motivated.
Alrighty, let’s get to work…
(This imgur link didn’t quite work out the way I wanted it to work out. The point is, Hachiman and Yukino both nod to each other, however it’s a bit difficult to see.)
>Hachiman asked Totsuka to ask his tennis club teammates to keep the other runners back. He needs some alone time with Hayato.
>Hachiman tried talking to Hayato about his career path before, but Hayato told him to mind his own business. Hachiman instead comes up with this plan, to pretty much ambush Hayato while he is focused on winning the race so that he can ask him these questions. Since Hayato is running, he has probably become tired. Maybe adrenaline is pumping through his body. Maybe he is entirely focused on winning or maybe there’s something else that’s distracting him. The point is: during this competition, Hayato is probably not the cool friendly Hayato he always is. Hachiman uses this opportunity to take a peek behind Hayato’s mask. However those are merely the prerequisites. Hachiman is going to need one final push to get Hayato to talk; namely Hayato’s relationship with Yumiko and also his “I’m not the nice guy you think I am” phrase. (The anime only focuses on Yumiko.)
What came to mind when people made it through the turnaround point of a painful penance?(!) Was it despair that there’s still another half to go or was it reassurance that it was just another half until they made it?(!) In the case for a majority of people, it’d be one or the other. And the feelings from both choices would form a hole in someone’s spirit.(!) This hole would cause people to realize their fatigue. Source was me. Frankly, a feeling of exhaustion enveloped me when I was about to let out a breath of relief from finally finish the first half and when I looked downwards, my feet naturally grew heavy.
That hole and that fatigue was my chance.(!) When people lost room to move, their true intentions spilled out.(!) In the same way my little sister Komachi did, they’d spit out what’s locked deep within their hearts.(!) That’s why I pushed myself up to this point. In any other normal situation, he’d surely just dismiss my words with a peaceful smile regardless of what I said to him.(!) In that case, I needed to take away his headroom so he couldn’t avoid things.(!) But while Hayama was surprised from me running next to him, he looked calm as he always would.(!) He had a somewhat stern look because he was running, but he didn’t look shaken up. I needed one more push to disrupt Hayama’s equilibrium.(!) Just one thing that could pierce right through Hayama, right through his core.(!) I forcibly stifled my increasingly heavy breathing. My chest was in pain, but I endured it and smiled, distorting the corners of my mouth.
“…Is Miura convenient for avoiding other girls or what?”(!) I said.
Hayama turned towards me. He glared at me with a sharp glint(!), breathing out hot breaths in place of swallowing down his hostility. Yeah, this is the expression I wanted to see.(!) He wordlessly looked at me and slightly increased his pace as if deciding to ignore me.(!) I frantically chased after him and hit him with more words.
“How about it? Is she useful?”(!)
To be honest, I knew Miura wasn’t a bad person. As someone who had a glimpse of her excessively straightforward personality, uttering something like that pricked my heart somewhat.(!) In that case, that should apply to the listener as well.
“Be quiet for a bit.”(!)
Without looking at me, Hayama stated with a voice mixed with irritation. I took a step backwards, encroaching on his overbearing attitude that conflicted with his normal, calm tone.
But I focused again and took a step forward.
“You can’t expect me to be quiet just like that… I’m not as nice of guy as you make me out to be, yeah?”(!)
I made a menial smile, borrowing the words I was once told by someone. When I did, Hayama gave me an apathetic look with a condescending smile.
“Is that a joke? I’ve never thought of you as a good guy.”
>Hachiman offers Hayato an option of how Hayato can free himself from the expectations of others. Hachiman tells Hayato that if he picks the sciences, he can distance himself from his current relationships without having to hurt anyone. Hachiman assumes that Hayato is only taking the wishes of his classmates into consideration or at the very least, that’s the way Hachiman is presenting his argument.
“There’s a merit to changing. Actually, it’s the only way to satisfy your desired conditions.”(!)
“Conditions?” Hayama made a dubious look. Thanks to that, Hayama’s pace lowered. I matched mine with his.
“You told me to stop doing bothersome things, right…? In other words, you want to stop being the Hayama Hayato that everyone wants you to be.”(!)
Hayama abruptly stopped his legs. I noticed that and halted as well.
If we’re just talking about simple entrance exams, then with Hayama’s academic ability, classes at school shouldn’t have been much of an influence.(!) Prep school was enough for him to understand what was necessary. So in there, the meaning wasn’t about entrance exam strategies or interested universities.(!) The question was, what was it that Hayama Hayato chose to throw away?(!) The remaining meaning was the life he’d have as a third year in high school, in other words, his relationships.(!)
“Honestly, choosing the liberal arts or the sciences isn’t a big problem as long you did something about the entrance exams. And yet, you never told anyone. So basically, weren’t you planning to throw away something by keeping quiet?”(!)
Hayama stayed silent, not giving an answer and only continued walking. But I could tell that silence meant I should go on.
“The sciences have less people in the first place, girls too.(!) For now at least, you’d be able to move away from the problem that’s plaguing you.(!) Besides, if your career path’s different, then you should be able to convince everyone and get away from them.(!) If things naturally disappeared, then you can avoid hurting anyone as well as betraying someone’s expectations.”(!) My voice grew huskier due to my dry throat, but I still managed to weave my words and added one final thing. “Your desired conditions can only be satisfied in this way.”
>Hayato says that he hates feeling inferior to Hachiman. Hayato wants Hachiman to be his equal. That way Hayato can comfort himself knowing that the things he loses at, he lost to someone that’s as good as him, that it was a fair and even match. However, at the same time, while Hayato is able to come to terms with losing to Hachiman in certain aspects, that doesn’t mean he wants to lose to Hachiman either. Instead he’ll continue being the Hayato Hayama he has always been: “Everyone’s Hayato Hayama” and continue to meet everyone’s expectations.
(Episode title: Hayama Hayato Always Responds to Everyone’s Expectations)
Hachiman accepts that Hayato isn’t the nice guy Hachiman always thought he was.
“I absolutely can’t stand it when I feel inferior to you. That’s why I want you to be my equal. That’s why I want to raise you up high, and that just might be it, all so I can accept the things I lose to you in.”(!)
I’m sure that was the same for me. I elevated Hayama as a special existence as a means to convince myself, reinforcing a lie all this time, the lie that Hayama Hayato was, without a doubt, an absolutely good guy.(!)
It’s likely that the choice between the two subjects didn’t matter at all to Hayama deep down. To him, either choice didn’t make that much of a difference.(!)
>There was one final thing Hachiman wants to ask Hayato, it involves his relationship with Yukino. Hayato immediately catches onto it and asks Hachiman if he’s bothered by the rumor. Hayato says he’ll do something about it. The reason why Hayato laughs is because he understands how much Yukino means to Hachiman, that Hachiman is going through all this trouble to make the rumors stop. However, Hachiman would never admit that’s the reason. He would simply substitute it with the club or some other reason.
“We should get going now,” said Hayama, lightly moving along and beginning his run.
Idiot, I can’t run at all anymore. While thinking that, I more or less chased after Hayama. That’s because there’s still one more thing I wanted to ask.(!) I forcibly carried my dragging legs along. Fortunately, my breathing had eased after some rest. My heart was still beating quickly, but I took a deep breath to slow it down.
“…Did you choose the liberal arts because of family problems?(!) Uh, like in a relationship kind of meaning.”(!)
“My family? Did I ever talk to you about them before?”(!)
This speed we ran at was apparently at the level of jogging to Hayama, so right now, his gait and voice were light.
“No, well, I just happened to hear about it…”(!)
“Are you bothered by the rumor?”(!)
“Huh? No, that’s not really it… It’s just, well, you know, that… Kind of.”(!)
When I fretted over how to explain it, Hayama raised his voice and laughed.(!) Despite running with such a beautiful form, his upper body was shaking bit by bit and then swaying.
“…What’s so funny?”(!) I asked.
Hayama wiped his eyes forcibly.
“Nothing, sorry. You don’t need to worry about it. I’ll make sure it goes away.”(!)
“Ahh, if you can, that’d help me a lot. I can’t stand how tense the club is right now.”
>Hayato takes measures to make the rumors stop.
>Hachiman enters the nursery, Yukino is there as well. Hachiman is injured so Yukino tells Hachiman to take a seat while she fixes him up. She asks if Hachiman found out about Hayato’s career path. Hachiman says it’s highly likely not the sciences, which is correct. As soon as Yukino finishes up, Hachiman and Yukino have their moment, which lasts for like 10+ seconds.
“It seems you ran with Hayama-kun… Were you able to hear something from him?”(!)
“Yeah… At the very least, it’s not the sciences, probably.”(!) I answered oddly, unable to think of any other way to phrase it.
Yukinoshita chuckled. “That’s a strange way to put it… All done.”
Yukinoshita breathed out in satisfaction and lifted her face. When she did, Yukinoshita’s face, which had been stooping over, became so close to mine to the point we were almost touching.
Both of us were locked stiff in that position. Her exposed skin that was as white as a blanket of snow. Her wet, damp black pupils. Her long eyelashes that momentarily shook with a blink. The finely shaped bridge of her nose. The smiling shape of her mouth along with the escaping of breaths. When Yukinoshita’s thin shoulders quivered, her long, glossy hair flowed. I frantically looked up at the ceiling, fell backwards with my body, and made some distance. Somewhere in that moment, I felt a sting from my injury.
“…Ahh, thanks for this.”
“…Not at all. It’s not that big of a deal.”
After I expressed my gratitude in a way to smooth things over, Yukinoshita adjusted her sitting and turned her face away. At that point, the infirmary was submerged in silence. With nothing to do, I looked at the bandage that she wrapped for me earlier. Upon looking, the knot of the bandage was tied in the shape of a small ribbon…(!) So by “all done”, she meant this, huh? Don’t they have those metal clippings to fasten the bandages? Use those. What’s with this ribbon…?(!) It sure is cute. As I looked at the ribbon, I slipped out a smile. I started to feel somewhat better.
>Hachiman asks Yukino a personal question. Hachiman has always been worried about whether or not he is allowed to cross the line with Yukino, more so than with any other character, because she’s the one he is afraid of losing the most. Hachiman knows that one day all of this is going to come to an end, but as long as he was able to leave at least one footprint in Yukino’s life, he’ll be satisfied. Or at least, for now. Who knows what will happen in the finale.
I pulled my chair, took a shallow seat, and stretched my back. Yukinoshita tilted her head finding my posture to be strange. Right now, I felt I wanted to ask her.(!)
“…Hey. Can I ask you what career path you’re advancing in?” I asked.
Yukinoshita let out a breath as if in bewilderment. Her hand which she placed on her chin to think was brought down to her chest and stopped.
“I’m in the International Liberal Arts course, so choosing between the liberal arts and the sciences shouldn’t matter…”(!)
“…That’s true. I just wanted to try asking. Don’t worry about it.”
It was an answer I had somewhat expected, but even so, I was satisfied, though it might’ve been self-satisfaction instead. I stated with the intention of glossing it over, but Yukinoshita placed her idle hands on her lap and looked at me with a slightly downcast expression.
“This is the first time you’ve asked something like that, isn’t it?”(!)
I knew that, but I pretended not to.(!) For all this time, there were plenty of opportunities to ask personal things like that(!), but I had drawn a line that I swore not to step over.(!) It’s because I thought I wouldn’t be forgiven if I did.(!)
Yukinoshita coughed as if having a difficult time speaking and looked into my eyes at an oblique angle in examination. “…Tentatively, I’ve decided for the liberal arts.”(!)
“Yes. That’s why… for the time being, we’re all together,” said Yukinoshita, smiling. It was a smile as though she was a little girl on the day before an outing.
“Well, I suppose as far as categories are concerned.”
I chose the liberal arts and there’s no doubt Yuigahama did as well.(!) Just how much meaning that division had, I didn’t know. Ultimately, we’d eventually embark to different places and to different worlds.(!) In the same way a group of three when younger couldn’t stay together forever.(!) As time continued on, the way things ought to be would undoubtedly change. What didn’t change were the truths of the past. That may tie in with responsibility, but it could also be something that could keep things in place. As long that one step over the line left a footprint, then that’s fine.(!)
What’s important to know here, is that in Volume 2, all three characters had already said what career path they planned on taking. Hachiman said liberal arts, because he’s bad at math and other subjects that fall under the sciences. Yukino said sciences, because Haruno went with that. Yui said liberal arts, because Hachiman went with that. In the early parts of Volume 10/episode 11, Yui loudly announced that she was going for the liberal arts. That’s why Hachiman didn’t need to ask Yui.
In Volume 10, Hachiman asks a lot of characters (Tobe, Zaimokuza, Saika, Saki) what career path they’re going to take, except with them he just asks it casually. Hachiman knows that there’s a high chance that he’ll never see these people again once he graduates and he has basically accepted that. It’s not something he is going to try and resist. With Yukino on the other hand, it’s a little different.
To Hachiman, Yukino is essentially the personification of the “Once you lose something precious, you’ll never be able to get it back.” conversation he had with Hayato in Volume 7.
>Hachiman says he’s going back to the classroom. As he is about to step outside he sees Yui. Yui witnessed this interaction between Hachiman and Yukino and she realizes that the two of them are in love.
He then goes to open the door. However, opening the door is not always such a good thing. Yui, who is standing in front, seems to be aware of something.(!) At the time, the other two were still not aware of this.(!)
>The three of them decide to go to the after party so they can tell Yumiko about their results.
I entered the infirmary once again and I was enveloped with the warm air. Yuigahama moved her seat next to Yukinoshita, sitting side by side in front of the heater, the source of the warmth.
“We need to tell Yumiko today about the request, right?(!) But there’s a party after this and Yumiko is heading directly there. What should we do?”(!)
In contrast to Yuigahama who spoke in a hurry, Yukinoshita placed her hand to her chin and began thinking.
“…Then on our way home, it seems we’ll have to go to Miura-san and speak with her.”(!)
“At least say you’re going to the party!” Yuigahama shrieked in sorrow.
Yukinoshita and I exchanged looks. We were both used to this pattern. We both nodded and spoke simultaneously.
“Alright, if we can go, we’ll go.”
“Yes, we’ll decide on the flow of things.”
“In the end, you guys aren’t just going to go, you know!?”
After letting out an exhausted sigh, she calmly opened her mouth.
“Okay, well, but, compared to before, I guess it’s better…” said Yuigahama, and she relocated her stool with casters next to Yukinoshita.
“Okay, then let’s all go together…! Everyone… together.”(!) She repeated her mutters and moved her body closer to Yukinoshita.
“…So stuffy.” Yukinoshita frowned as if the heating in front of her was the cause. But she didn’t forcibly pull Yuigahama off of her and stayed as is. Yuigahama didn’t seem intent on moving from here, either. In front of the heater, she began making a comfortable, happy face.
I’m pretty sure the school nurse is going to come back eventually and chase us out…
Well, until then, I guess I’ll stay here in this warm room, too.
>The gang tells Yumiko about Hayato’s career choice. Yumiko decides she’ll go with that too. Yumiko thanks the Service Club members for helping her out.
As Miura’s tartan scarf and proud curly hair fluttered with the wind, she muttered, “Oh… so Hayato’s picking the liberal arts.”
“Uh huh. That’s the feeling we got at least,” said Yuigahama, anxiously fiddling with the bun of her hair.
Even after hearing that, Miura kicked the ground with her slipped on loafers and indifferently looked up at the sky.
“Okay, maybe I’ll just go with that, too.”(!)
“Should you be choosing so easily like that?”(!)
Yukinoshita’s voice, while soft, also sounded critical.(!) Without turning towards Yukinoshita and still gazing up at the darkness, Miura walked on as if observing the stars.
“I mean, I don’t really have anything I want to do. I could just, you know, go to prep school if I really have to take the sciences, right?”(!)
Miura turned back noticing that we were at a stand-still.
She faced Yuigahama and lightly tapped her shoulders. Then, she rotated just her neck and gave me a look. “Ahh, Hikio, too.”
She doesn’t even care… I was being treated like a complete supplement, not to mention my name isn’t Hikio. Well, that’s fine too.
“Also… Yukinoshita-san? You… um, you know, it’s like…”
Miura shifted her gaze from me to Yukinoshita. She chewed her words anxiously, but eventually looking determined, she glared at Yukinoshita directly and abruptly bowed her head.
Yukinoshita blinked with a blank expression, but after breathing out with a small smile, she flicked away her hair at her shoulders with her mitten-covered hands.
“It doesn’t bother me. As a matter of fact, I’d like to praise your audacity for raising your hand against me directly in person.”(!)
“Tch, what’s with that ego? Talk about irritating… I totally apologized for nothing.”(!)
Their words seemed hostile, but both of their voices were soft.(!) Yuigahama looked at them with anxiety, but unable to hold it in any longer, jumped at Yukinoshita and Miura.
“Okay! Then let’s all go to the after-party.”
Held by Yuigahama, Yukinoshita twisted her body as if trying to turn down the invitation. Miura, who was in Yuigahama’s arms as well, glanced at Yukinoshita and said, “Why don’t you come, too?”(!)
“…I suppose so. Just for a little then.”(!)
Her hesitation lasted for only a moment. Yukinoshita formed a small smile and answered. Miura averted her face.(!)
The two most important things to take from this conversation are:
1. This serves as a conclusion to Yukino’s “learning how to deal with people like Yumiko and Hayato” arc.
Yumiko is a girl that represents the bullies from Yukino’s past. Yukino has now learned how to deal with someone like her without having to antagonize her (and vice versa). In Volume 11, Yukino helps teach Yumiko how to bake cookies/chocolates for Hayato, so they’ve both learned how to get along with one another. The other person Yukino makes up with a couple of moments later is Hayato. This concludes another important character arc for Yukino, making up with Hayato about what happened in the past and letting bygones be bygones.
2. Yukino asks Yumiko if she should decide her career path so easily simply because Hayato is going in that direction. What is important to know is that Yui chose liberal arts because of Hachiman, Yumiko because of Hayato and with Iroha you can say that both Hayato and Hachiman will influence her decision:
“So that means senpai’s going with the liberal arts?”(!)
Isshiki replied with a totally unconcerned “ohhh” when I answered.(!) Don’t ask me then. Isshiki then cleared her throat as if indicating she was going into the main topic.
“…So, did Hayama-senpai already decide what to do?”(!)
“Ahh, it looks like Hayato-kun’s already made his decision,” said Yuigahama, remembering.
Isshiki abruptly leaned forward. “Eh, no way? What did Hayama-senpai pick? Like, I just want to know as a reference.(!) It’ll be for my future, so if possible, I’d like to know myself.”(!)
“Mmm, I’m not really sure what it was that he wrote down… Hayato-kun already turned in his questionnaire, too…”
“Oh, I see…” Isshiki dropped her shoulders in dejection.
Now with Yukino, she too is now going with the liberal arts, hoping that in some way she can stay connected to both Hachiman and Yui (but mostly Hachiman probably), even though they won’t be in the same classes. However, the issue with Yukino is that she has become indecisive. On one hand she wants to stay close to Hachiman and look in the direction of a future with the two of them together (once again, yes, they’re teenagers, but both Hachiman and Yukino are looking for meaningful long-lasting relationships), but she’s afraid that Hachiman might not share the same sentiment. On the other hand, there are family expectations that are weighing on her shoulders. Yukino’s initial goal in life (when the series started) was to redeem herself in the eyes of her family by trying her hardest to be like Haruno, because everyone liked Haruno. However, now she has found people that like Yukino for being Yukino, so her priorities have shifted away from that. So Yukino is straying away from the path of “trying to live up to everyone’s expectations” like Hayato and Haruno.
Moving on with the story.
>Hachiman and Yukino, being loners, keep their distance from others while ordering drinks. Hayato approaches them. Hayato apologizes for the rumor. Yukino says it’s not a big deal, it’s not as bad as it was back then. Yukino has friends that understand her now and she isn’t alone anymore. Yukino and Hayato make up. Yukino tells Hayato he doesn’t need to chase after her anymore to try and make up to her about the past.
With the two of us remaining, Yukinoshita and I briefly ordered our drinks and leaned against the end of the bar counter.
“Thank you for your work.”
Yukinoshita stood next to me and lifted her glass and I raised mine to a similar height. We weren’t accustomed to this kind of boisterous atmosphere, but it’s Yukinoshita and me. I’d say watching them from the corner was just about the perfect distance for all of us. For a moment longer, we continued watching everyone silently, but as if noticing our gaze, Hayama who had went around made his way to us. Going through the formalities as the leading actor sure seems tough…
“Hey there… Thanks for coming.”
Yukinoshita shook her head indicating it’s not a big deal and I nodded in agreement. As I thought about whether it’d be better to congratulate him, Hayama quietly lowered his head.
“Sorry… for a lot of things… like about that weird rumor.(!) It should’ve been a bother to you.”
Yukinoshita choked on her voice in bewilderment. But that was only for an instant as she quickly assumed a firm attitude and reiterated what she had stated in the clubroom.
“It wasn’t anything that bothersome. Compared to that time, it’s a trivial matter.”(!)
“That time, huh?”(!) Hayama muttered with a shameful expression.
Seeing that, Yukinoshita’s expression grew cloudy as well.
“…I understand it somewhat now. I’m sure there was a much better way of handling things back then. That’s why I believe I caused you trouble as well… I’m sorry.”(!)
This time, Yukinoshita bowed her head. When she lifted her head, with eyes that looked nostalgically into the far past, she added, “But I’m grateful for the fact that you were being considerate of me.”(!)
Hayama’s expression was filled with surprise. Taken aback, he made a fixed gaze at Yukinoshita.
“…You’ve changed a little.”(!)
“I wonder about that. It’s just a lot of things are different from back then,”(!) said Yukinoshita, and she moved her gaze towards Yuigahama.(!) Then, she glanced at me.(!) Feeling restless from having heard something I wasn’t supposed to, I instinctively averted my eyes. Yukinoshita breathed out as if smiling and turned to Hayama.
“I believe you also don’t need to let the past tie you down… There’s no need to force yourself to run after someone’s back.”(!)
Taken from ANOTHER: Yukino was being bullied. Hayato wanted to pretend like nothing was going on and wait until it blew over. Yukino tried confronting the person who started it, that person pretended to be innocent. Hayato didn’t have Yukino’s back at the time, which caused the rift. Yukino is now apologizing to Hayato for trying to solve the problem by going after the root/cause of it.
“In most cases, chasing after or cornering the person who started it all will probably turn out to be a huge problem if said person pretends to be innocent……”(!)
“There are a lot of rumors that just don’t simply end in gossip. The people around you will play those rumors up, and the result is that you get people poking their noses into your business. When that happens, that’s when the personal attacks begin.(!) Either out of jealousy or just getting carried away, because it’s only human. I don’t really interact much with people, so it affects me less but……”
I dare say that Yukinoshita probably had the same experience as Yuigahama. Or rather, she probably chose to get involved with people as little as possible as her self-defense measure.
>Hayato confirms that Yukino did change a little, because she’s not chasing after Haruno anymore. Instead, because she admires Hachiman, she’s now “chasing after Hachiman’s shadow”.
“Yeah, she really did change a little… It doesn’t look like she’s chasing after Haruno-san’s shadow anymore.”(!) Hayama’s gaze that followed Yukinoshita quietly narrowed and was sharp. His voice afterwards was somber. “…But that’s all there is to it.”(!)
“Sounds fine to me.” I answered, not giving it any thought. For Yukinoshita, I’m sure it was a part of her growth. It’s likely that she had been constantly compared to the existence that surpassed her own.(!) Continuing to chase after Haruno-san’s shadow and trying to grab ahold of something that was different from Haruno-san was a testimony of her struggle.(!) In that case, I felt it was something to be proud of.
But Hayama looked at me in amazement. He painfully swallowed the content of his glass cup and asked solemnly, “…You haven’t noticed?”(!)
“Well, if you don’t get it, then that’s fine too…”(!)
“That’s an irritating thing to say.”
“I was told in the same way a lot back then, so it just naturally came out similarly.” Hayama wryly smiled.
>Hayato tells Hachiman the reason why he couldn’t tell anyone about his career path. It wasn’t his choice, but instead what was expected of him (most likely by his parents). Volume 10 serves as the conclusion to Hayato’s character arc. Hayato decides that he still wants to be everyone’s Hayato Hayama, living the life his parents and society have planned out for him, except this time, out of his own free will. (Very much like Haruno, except Haruno probably didn’t want it, but reluctantly agreed to this lifestyle.)
“It’s a follow-up to your explanation. It’s about the reason why I didn’t tell anyone my decision between the sciences and the liberal arts. It wasn’t because I wanted to cut off my relationships.(!) Relationships won’t reset just because you move up a year or go on to university.”(!)
“No, they definitely will.”(!)
“That applies only to you, Hikigaya. I’m different from you.”(!)
“…Yeah, that so. Well, why didn’t you say it then?”(!)
When I asked Hayama who shrugged his shoulders with a mocking tone, he gulped down the content of his glass and breathed out. As if he was reciting in front of a grave with a slightly solitary face, he slowly opened his mouth.
“I can’t call choosing something that was my only possible option my own decision.”(!)
It’s when he explained that I finally understood. It wasn’t that Hayama didn’t say anything about his career path.
It’s that he couldn’t.(!) Even not saying anything wasn’t his own volition.(!) After continuing to answer expectations and wishes for so long, he could only interpret those as conformist actions. He wasn’t allowed to hold onto anything but the most optimal solution.(!) Although he had told Tobe that he’d regret not choosing for himself(!), the one who actually had regretted it was, without a doubt, Hayama.(!) Repentance was exactly what that was. In that way, Hayama would continue to answer people’s expectations. From this point on, he’d do so with his own will.
“That’s why, I’ll be the only one who doesn’t deny it.”
“I need to show that there’s someone who isn’t forcing expectations.”
>Haruno asks Hachiman to go out with her so she can ask him about Yukino’s career path. Hachiman says he shouldn’t be the one to tell Haruno. Haruno says that Yukino must trust Hachiman quite a bit if she’s willing to tell him. Hachiman jokingly says he’s not that trustworthy of a guy. Haruno on the other hand confirms his words. She says it’s not trust, but something far more sinister Yukino feels for Hachiman. Yukino hasn’t changed and is still following other people’s choices instead of making her own.
This person frightens me. It’s not just because of her perfect mask, but that unrelenting inner face that she wouldn’t bother to hide once it’s been seen through. And lastly, her eyes which indicated that there’s something else hidden in her depths. That’s why I covertly averted my gaze and again, asked, “But really, since you went through the trouble of calling me out here, do you have some business with me?”(!)
“Ah, right, right. I was thinking of checking your answer as I promised.(!) Did you ask Yukino-chan what her career path is?”(!)
“…For the most part, I know what it is, but it wouldn’t be very fair for me to say it.”(!)
“Oh, what a dutiful lad. But I see. So if it’s Hikigaya-kun, she’ll properly tell you.(!) Mmhmm… Yukino-chan trusts you quite a bit, doesn’t she?”(!) said Haruno-san, smirking as though indicating how pleasant that was.
Having someone else consider it as such was oddly embarrassing. Since the conversation we had in the infirmary room came to mind at the same time, I found myself fanning my cheeks.(!)
“…You can’t really call that trust, can you?”(!)
“Oh, wow. So you do get it.”(!)
My voice was taken away. Although I had intended a casual reply(!), the words Yukinoshita Haruno apathetically stated without a smile resounded against my eardrums. After taking a sip of her coffee, Haruno-san traced the rim of the cup and looked at me with somber eyes.
“That’s right. That isn’t anything remotely like trust…(!) It’s something much more horrible.”(!) She smiled, only her lips appearing tender. But the quality of her cold voice made her appear as someone else entirely from earlier. “Nothing’s changed and that child thinks that’s fine.(!) I mean, sure, that part is also what makes her adorable, but… I really don’t like that.”
“If it isn’t trust… what else could it be?”(!)
“Who knows? But at the very least…” Haruno-san overtly shrugged her shoulders, making a smile for just an instant, and focused on me. “You can’t call it something genuine…(!) Those were your words, right?”
I certainly did say those words. But still without a proper grasp of their meaning and significance, they were simply groundless words of what I believed in. Something genuine. That’s to say, the truth(!), or perhaps sincerity.(!) Just exactly which of them you could call genuine(!), I still had yet to understand.
“I wonder if genuine things really exist…” Haruno-san looked overhead at the winter sky with suspended thick clouds and muttered. Where was her question that was tinged with a faint ring of loneliness directed at?
Suddenly, I thought back. A certain individual said that it’s an enclosed happiness.(!) A certain individual asked if I hadn’t noticed it.(!) And from the very start, Yukinoshita Haruno in front of me was someone I had doubted entirely, that whether there was any truth or sincerity to her.(!)
>Hachiman had a couple of “moments” with Yukino in this volume, but now the one thing he feared the most has been pushed in his face: he has found out something that he didn’t want to know, something that is going to make Hachiman doubt whether or not Yukino’s feelings for him are real. Hachiman has become hesitant in continuing further and knowing how the story will end. (Near the end of Volume 9, Hachiman was optimistic about reaching the conclusion of the story, now not so much anymore.)
I reached out to the book that was left on the table with my quivering hand and softly touched it. The book had turned cold from being constantly exposed to the wind and I became hesitant in continuing it further and in knowing how it would end.(!)
That concludes Volume 10. The most important thing to take from all of this is the state of mind the three main characters are in as we enter Volume 11.
1. After this moment,
instead of constantly suppressing them, Yukino has accepted her feelings for Hachiman. The problem is, Yukino has lost her confidence in herself and is now hoping for Hachiman to save her, to be the person to show her the way she needs to go in, the person that will help her solve her family issues. In that way she has become dependent on Hachiman, but that doesn’t change the fact that Yukino’s feelings are real. She’s just uncertain about a lot of things. She has never dealt with these types of feelings before and she doesn’t know if Hachiman feels the same way about her.
There’s something I want.(!) No matter how much I rack my head over it, I could arrive at only one, permissible answer.(!) But mysteriously enough, it’s accompanied by an echo of ambiguity.(!) That’s why, I actually don’t have a tangible understanding of what it really is. However, every time the words leave my lips, I break into a smile, overcome with the desire to hold my head from embarrassment.(!) To get a hold of this feeling, I tried thinking of numerous definitions that could be applied to our current relationship(!), but not a single one fit. What’s the correct way to define it?(!) I have several candidates in mind, but while they seem accurate, they also seem misleading.(!) If even my definition is prone to errors(!), then what others thought of it would exacerbate those errors even more.(!) I won’t make the hopeful observation that those who were wrong should just face the same direction.(!) It’s because it isn’t difficult to imagine that I would be the only one looking in the direction away from theirs.(!) I’ve been thinking ever since then, composing word after word that spring to mind all the while not verifying my thoughts. Nothing but answers, all fleetingly wrong and whimsical, now and then. I’d indefinitely play around with words in such a fashion, thinking about their meanings in both a positive and negative light(!), yet still be left with no clear, right answer.(!) Even so, there is something like an answer for us, so I decided to vaguely think of it as the right one.(!) I don’t mean that half-heartedly, because I’m thinking of it as a prerequisite for the answer that should see the most mutual agreement amongst us.(!) I want to believe that is genuine.(!) Because I can’t believe in anything else beyond that, or even in myself.(!)
In truth, I was just being dependent on it.
Perhaps, the thing that Yukino wants from her memorandum is the same thing Yukino started wanting in Volume 8. If it’s something that neither Hachiman nor Haruno have, then it could possibly be love. However, that then raises a bunch of other questions, so I’m not going to fully commit to that thought. Instead I’ll just leave it open for interpretation.
The VN game does bring up the thing Yukino wants again. This is obviously not canon, but perhaps it adds some context.
(Since this memorandum is taken from ANOTHER, you could also say that Yukino is dependent on her relationship with both Hachiman and Yui, since those are her only friends.)
(Yukino’s character song: A Crescendo To You)
If I can overcome these countless sleepless nights,
I wonder if that means I can go and welcome the future as the new us.
Basically, if Yukino can overcome her problems, she will be able to welcome her new future with Hachiman.
2. Hachiman shared a couple of romantic moments with Yukino after saying that what he wants from her is something genuine. However after Hayato and Haruno’s words (mostly Haruno’s words),
Hachiman starts doubting Yukino’s feelings. In Volume 11, Hachiman is going to do whatever it takes to avoid having to address Yukino’s feelings, up until the very end where he says that all he wants is something genuine.
3. Yui has been trying to become Hachiman’s girlfriend the entire series long. After witnessing the infirmary scene, Yui comes to the conclusion that Hachiman and Yukino are in love and Yui is going to try bowing out.
However, Hachiman isn’t going to allow that, because Yui swallowing her feelings would be deceit. Instead they’re going to put all of it out in the open in Volumes 13-14.