Episode 3: Because she’s her mother
On the night of the summer festival, Hiroki and Futaba run into his mother, Kyoko, and sister-in-law, Yuka. Concerned about Futaba whose clothes were soaked by the rain, Kyoko lends her a shawl. Although Hiroki introduces Kyoko as his mother to Futaba, he does not say who Futaba is because he fears agitating her.
When the two of them are alone again, Hiroki tells Futaba that his mother has not forgiven him.
“A long time ago, I apologised to my mum.
We happened to meet in front of the train station just like we did just now.
And I thought now’s the moment.
I said sorry and apologised for what happened to Aki.
Then my mum said, “I’m fine”.
She didn’t say “It’s okay” or “I understand”.”
Futaba confides that her family is being harassed by nuisance phone calls. She says that until she got to know him, she had suspected that he was behind the calls. Hiroki has a bad feeling about this.
Even though the Toyama family has shifted, there are no indications that the harassment will come to an end. While Futaba is on the way home after an interview for a part-time job, she meets Kyoko and is invited to go bowling.
At that moment, Hiroki is told by Kohei that their mother has been harassing Futaba’s family continuously for the past four or five years. Hiroki is momentarily stunned. He berates Kohei for not stopping her, but Kohei replies that that is something she has been living for ever since Aki was murdered.
“Do you know what has been said of her by the mothers in Japan ever since Aki was killed?
Why did she let such a small child out of her sight when she’s a mother?
They’ve been censuring the mother of a murdered girl who still doesn’t understand why her daughter died.
That she is alive … is a wonder.
No one knows, and no one has taught her
how she should live after her child was killed.
That’s why harassing that family gives mum something to live for.”
After Kohei goes back, Futaba and Kyoko come to ‘Fukami’. Hiroki is dumbfounded to see the two of them getting along well with each other. He drags Futaba out of the shop, tells her that his mother is behind those phone calls and makes her leave. Then, he tells his mother to stop her ridiculous behaviour. However, Kyoko cannot stop. She says that she died the day she lost Aki, and leaves.
Futaba, who has been loitering around instead of going back, sees Kyoko come out from the shop. She falls down and injures her knee while trying to hide to avoid being found. Kyoko tends to Futaba’s injury at the bus stop bench while waiting for bus. Then, she spontaneously starts to tell Futaba about Aki. Kyoko regrets letting Aki wear a short skirt that showed her knees on the day she was killed. A thought strikes Futaba as she watches a visibly disturbed Kyoko board the bus.
Futaba rushes over to ‘Fukami’ and tells Hiroki that his mother has a fear has been bothering her all this while. She has realised that Kyoko dreads the possibility that Fumiya might have raped Aki before killing her. At the time of the murder, fear had paralysed Kyoko and she had not asked the police or the lawyers. Prompted by Futaba, Hiroki visits the lawyer’s office in Tokyo. Futaba goes along too. However, the lawyer who was in charge of the case at that time has retired and witness depositions are only kept for five years. As Hiroki and Futaba are about to go back without any success, they are stopped by Fujimura Satsuki, who had overhead their conversation. She says that like Hiroki, she is also a family member of a murder victim, and wishes to help him.
The next day, Hiroki visits his mother with Aki’s autopsy records which Satsuki had helped him to find. Kyoko refuses to pay attention to it, so Hiroki reads out loud to her. Learning from the records that Fumiya had not done anything to Aki before killing her, Kyoko thanks Hiroki with tears in her eyes. Hiroki again apologises to his mother for leaving Aki alone. However, Kyoko has never blamed Aki’s death on Hiroki. The awkwardness between mother and son is eased by Hiroki’s efforts.
Hiroki reports this to Futaba. And this time, he offers to accompany Futaba to her old house because she has not been able to visit the house that she lived in at the time of the murder. The two of them go to the former Toyama residence, but it has become an empty plot. Hiroki discovers a fruit over there. It is the same type of fruit that Fumiya had left on the railing of the overhead bridge when he fled the funeral service.
At that moment, a new female arrives at the fruit orchard where Fumiya works. Her name is Usui Saho and when she is alone with him, she calls him Fumiya. She does not use Amamiya Kenji, which he calls himself now, but the full name he used to go by in the past: Misaki Fumiya … …