Itoshiki Saigestu (The Loving Times) First Part
Itosewashi Hibi (Busy Days)
This part is written in first person from Yumi’s point of view once again. It begins with an overview of how, after being Sachiko’s soeur for 6 months, she still feels inadequate.
1) Until Yumi absent-mindedly mentions something, the en bouton had completely forgotten to arrange a party for the departing Roses. They have been completely absorbed in the arrangements for the school-wide event for the graduating third-years.
2) Once they decide upon a date, Yumi offers to confirm with the Roses. To us, in her head, she confides that she’s not much in looks or brains department, but she has footwork covered.
3) As Yumi gets up to make the phone calls, Sachiko says for her to wait, but she also feels something strike her in the middle of her back. She sees an eraser roll away and hears Yoshino say, “Even if I do say so myself, nice control.” LOL Yumi thinks that Yoshino thinks she’s Zenigata Heiji. (This cracked me up – I used to watch a show about ZH on TV on Sunday mornings. Zenigata Heiji was a famous Edo-period constable, police detective type. In any case, on the TV show at least, ZH would throw a coin to stop people in their tracks.)
4) Yumi takes on the job of calling the Roses to confirm the date of their party. She makes a note of their real names and rehearses quickly what she’s going to say. Yumi thinks that she’s really gotten more confident in the last 6 months, compared to how nervous she was when she first called Sachiko and got all flustered.
5) Youko says, “So, you guys forgot, huh?” Yumi denies it, and is sure to make sure she doesn’t run off at the mouth, like she would if she was lying. Youko and she laugh, but they’ve been nailed.
6) Eriko answers the phone panting, she’s just run in to make her curfew (7PM). She’s willing to break a date following Yamanobe-sensei around to make the party.
7) Sei, quite seriously, asks what they will do for the talent show. She says that it is an established practice and that Rei crushed apples in her hands, while Sachiko danced and sung Swan Lake.
Sei asks that they do it because her dream is to have one really good laugh before she goes. (Youko’s dream was to see the Rose Mansion full of people…. Eriko’s is to get married.)
8) The next morning the three first-years have a conference in the library. Yoshino takes over as president immediately and decides that Shimako should dance. Shimako is concerned, because she doesn’t really do comedy, but Yoshino says it’s okay if Shimako dances, she and Yumi will provide the comedy. Yoshino informs Yumi that she, Yoshino, will do magic, and that Yumi should do a party performance. Yumi panics, she has no idea what to do, so Yoshino hands her a book on the topic.
9) On the way to the Rose Mansion, Yumi is approached by Saeko, a classmate of Yoshino’s who is the soeur of the president of the flower-arranging club. Saeko want to know when they will need to bring the vases and flowers over, and how long will they need the vases for. Yumi says she’ll look into it. (The Yamayurikai has to pick the color and arrange for the corsages for the graduating class). Yumi feels like she’s at last able to help her onee-sama in some concrete way. And we can see that she’s stepping into her future en bouton duties. Then Yumi is asked by the Fine Arts club about the signboard for the party, Yumi says she’ll handle that as well.
10) At home, Mom helps Yumi look for a box of props. They find a box wrapped so tightly that Yumi thinks it like breaking into an Egyptian tomb (the curse of the pyramid) – or perhaps there’s pictures of naked women. Inside is cassette tapes, 5-yen coin and a something other crap. Mom and Yumi are totally confused as to why this was hidden and wrapped so tightly.
11) Just as an interesting note, Lillian has a wide variety of clubs, which include a comedy club, and a general athletic club, as well as all the others we’ve seen mentioned over the books.
12) People are coming and going like crazy in and out of the Rose Mansion, very much like the school festival, only this time the en bouton are running the event. Yumi is extremely busy helping out.
13) Yumi runs into Shizuka who has come to the Rose Mansion. Shizuka has come to discuss the borrowing of a pianica. Yoshino wants to borrow one and Shizuka wants to know which one. Yumi had no idea there were different kinds. (You may remember the pianica from the anime – it’s a recorder with piano keys.)
14) Yumi goes to pick up the sign from the Fine Arts club, but Yoshino never shows, so she carries the sign, which is heavy and taller than herself to the Rose Mansion, by herself.
15) At home, Yumi asks Yuki to rub her shoulders. She promises to give him a caramel if he does and he tells her that that is very childish – but he does rub her shoulders. She spies the package from the other day in his room and interrogates him about it. Yuki says that it’s a hazing tradition in his school – one first –year is forced to do this performance and keep the bag of stuff. Yumi asks him to show her the dance.
16) Yumi runs out of the house without eating and is on the bus late with a lot of drunken salarymen (returning late from all-night after parties, assumably) which makes her ill. Between that, overwork and not enough sleep for practicing her performance, she passes out. She vaguely remembers hearing Sachiko’s voice. When she wakes up, she starts to cry, because she wanted to be a big help to Sachiko, and instead is only a burden.
17) Sei comes to get her and escort her home. Sei tells her that they all care about her and she shouldn’t try and do everything alone.
When Sei has left, Yumi’s father says, “You go to an all-girls’ school, right?” then goes on to say that Sei seems awfully oyaji. :-)
18) Ultimately Yumi chooses the color for the roses – salmon pink, because it’s a mixture of red, white and yellow. And she says that she thinks it’s become her favorite color.
19) The day of the talent show and party is told from Youko’s point of view and her POV begins, “What on EARTH?” lol
It’s unbelievable – like a dream – there’s Yoshino doing magic…Youko comments that she’d notice that, unlike Rei, Yoshino had no talent for handicrafts, but she’s impressed with her sleight-of-hand.
Youko overhears Sachiko blame Sei for the talent show and Sei confesses. “I told them that it was a tradition, and they believed me.” Youko thinks that Sei is pathologically selfish.
When Yoshino finishes, Rei claps loudly and longly and Youko is a little embarrassed.
20) Shimako begins to dance, but the music Yoshino chose is “Maria-sama no Kokoro” which doesn’t fit Shimako’s traditional Japanese dance. (But, then, Youko thinks, Yoshino in a top hat and school uniform was weird too.) Shimako falters in her dance, because the music doesn’t match but, then, keeps dancing.
At which point Youko begins to laugh. She decides to stop analyzing and just enjoy it all. The third time the chorus starts, Youko begins to sing along, and so does everyone else. (We learn that Youko did not attend Lillian from nursery school, but Sachiko taught her the words to the song.)
21) When the music switches for Yumi’s dance, Youko is simply blown away. She knows instantly what the music is and has plates for eyes when Yumi does indeed begin this comedic dance from one of the islands. Out of the corner of her eye, Youko can see Sachiko laughing so hard that she’s crying.
With this, Youko thinks to herself that the future Yamayurikai will be strange, but fun. And she can leave Lillian with no regrets or worries.
“A Short Interlude”
This is from Eriko’s point of view and recounts her meeting with Yamanobe-sensei.
The one thing of note was when, after Yamanobe offers her some of his yakiimo (roasted sweet potatos which are easily enough for two people) she offers to buy him some tea and she thinks to herself that this is the first time in her eighteen years of life that she’s ever made that offer to a guy. (Would you like to drink some tea?” is a common pick up line.)