Episode 6: The uninvited guests
Hiroki’s mother, Kyoko, follows Aki’s footsteps at the time of her death to reaffirm her feelings for her daughter. She moves out of the Higaki household where she has been living with Kohei, and goes to live with Hiroki at ‘Fukami’ in order to search for Fumiya. Then, Takami appears at ‘Fukami’. She has come looking for Futaba who has run away from home, but happens to see Kyoko instead. At that moment, a call comes in on her mobile phone from her husband who says he is coming over too. Shunsuke and Takami try to apologise to Kyoko for Fumiya’s actions, but the conversation is at cross purposes.
“At first … … the tortise caught a cold.
The tortise caught a cold because Aki was dead and none of us looked after it.
So we secretly released it into the river.
I remember that the river water was cold.
My daughter’s hand was cold.
When I tried to hold her hand, it was cold … … cold.”
Kyoko loses her composure and raises her fist in the air as if to strike Shunsuke with it. But at the last moment, she holds back, lowers her arm and abruptly goes to the kitchen. In the end, Shunsuke and Takami are unable to convey their words of apology.
Meanwhile, Futaba is reunited with Fumiya at the nursing care facility where their grandmother has been admitted. When Fumiya is about to leave, Futaba asks him to take her with him to the zoo. While there, Fumiya says he would like to live on a small island called Inoshima in the Seto Inland Sea. It is the island where their mother was born. Fumiya asks if Futaba will go with him and she decides that they will go by plane because she has never been on one. Fumiya arranges to set off the next day and parts company with Futaba. However, an unexpected event greets him when he returns to the fruit orchard. Saho has stolen his bank passbook and ATM card.
Hiroki, who has been trying to contact Futaba after learning that she did not return home last night, receives a call from Satsuki that Yukie is alive. The two of them immediately visit the apartment building where Yukie’s mother lives. It appears that Yukie is estranged from her family, but Hiroki manages to get Yukie’s work address from her mother by making a bold threat.
While waiting for Yukie to finish her work, Hiroki and Satsuki go their separate ways, with Hiroki choosing to turn down her invitation to have a meal together. In that time, Hiroki finally manages to reach Futaba.
At a karaoke bar, a concerned Hiroki tries to ask Futaba what she has been doing since she left home the night before. However, she avoids his question and brushes it off as none of his concern. Then, Hiroki notices an origami goldfish beneath her mobile phone. He recognises at once that it is the same as the one Yukie had had with her in the photograph that Satsuki sent to him. Futaba notices what has caught Hiroki’s attention, and at last tells him that she met her brother by coincidence yesterday. Hiroki asks for Fumiya’s whereabouts, but when she makes no attempt to answer, he gets agitated. Hiroki and Futaba are the families of the victim and the victimiser … … and both are fully aware that they are on different sides. Declaring that he will search for Fumiya by himself, Hiroki leaves the karaoke bar.
Futaba meets her brother a short while later. She pleads with him to stop by and see Hiroki before they set off, promising to accompany and protect him if anything happens. Fumiya cannot understand why she is speaking up for Hiroki.
“Fukami-san and I are alike.
Even though we’ve been on completely different sides these 15 years,
both of us are similar in that we lived in our memories.
It’s sneaky of me to only see you when he wanted to meet you too.
How can you possibly say it was better if she was not born?
There are sad people!
People who have lived each day of the last 15 years in sadness!
People whose tears will no longer flow because they have cried too much because of that sadness!”
But Fumiya turns a cold shoulder to her and drives off in his truck while Futaba collapses by the roadside in tears. At that moment, she finally comes to the realisation that her brother is not remorseful for what he has done.
When Fumiya goes back to the fruit orchard, Saho is being scolded by Kusama who urges her to apologise for taking Kenji’s passbook or he will take her to the police. But Saho remains defiant. She reveals to a clueless Maki that the person she knows as Amamiya Kenji is in fact Misaki Fumiya, the murderer of a 7-year-old child. Maki recoils at those words and hurriedly snatches her daughter, Yuri, from Fumiya’s arms.
That night, Hiroki and Satsuki wait across the street from a shop called ‘Aka Musubi’ for Yukie to finish work. Hiroki tells Satsuki that he does not want to impose on her any further, but she expresses her desire to be there for people like him who do their best for their families – an impression that he tries to correct.
“I’ve never worked particularly hard.
Nor have I done anything for anyone’s sake.
My father had to feed me because I was out of work even at this age.
I find it glaring to walk outside.
I read manga wanting to die.
I choose the clothes I wear at the convenience store wanting to die.
I piss and shit wanting to die.
I’ve clung to that house in the mountains all this time.
I’m a person who’s like a slug.
I cannot do anything even though I say I’m going to avenge my sister.
I say revenge, but read gravure as usual.
I say revenge until night and sleep comes.
Then I piss and shit again.
Like a slug, I cling to the earth and crawl about … …”
Satsuki good naturedly takes this in her stride, pointing out that Hiroki is searching for Fumiya because he is trying to get his life back. Before he can respond, she notices that Yukie is finishing her work. They cross the road and approach Yukie. When Hiroki identifies himself and says that he would like to ask her about Fumiya, Yukie suddenly runs away from them. Hiroki chases after her … …