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Chapter 61 starts out with the twins having a tantrum, and a really worn-out Matsunaga-san telling us that 3 months have now passed since his brother disappeared, leaving them behind. The babysitter before Shiharu is there, and she apologizes that nothing she’s tried could get the twins to stop, but Matsunaga-san tells her this is just normal for them. T_T In his thoughts it reveals that the had been thinking the twins would be better off being cared for at home by a babysitter, but if it’s not working out, maybe he should bring them to the daycare again… They are crying really pitiably for their mama and papa and Matsunaga-san hugs them and tries to comfort them the best he can. So heartbreaking!
In the next scene Matsunaga-san’s on the phone with someone (I think his mom) and she’s telling him to send the kids back to their mother’s parents (“Takegawa-san”) but he insists that with the grandmother hospitalized and having just lost his daughter, the grandfather can’t care for them either. She responds that even so it’s no okay to impose on Matsunaga-san and even if the twins are really pitiable, if Matsunaga-san gets involved his own [freedom to lead the kind of lifestyle he wants] will be sacrificed in the process. He yells at her for talking this way, saying “It’s your own grandchildren we’re talking about!” Then she tells him “Why do I need to [worry/feel responsible] for even my grandkids? I’m busy, so I’ve gotta go,” and hangs up on him! How cold! Matsunaga-san is disgusted and thinks that he can’t believe his parents and Misaki’s parents are both grandparents when his own parents act so selfishly and Misaki’s act so selflessly. He also acknowledges that he needs to take it easy or he’s going to end up burning out.
In the next scene Matsunaga-san gets scolded for using the wrong intonation when reading from his script, and a coworker remarks that he’s seemed off lately and asks if he’s alright, since the irregular lifestyle since taking custody of the twins must be hard on him. Of course Matsunaga-san denies it, but in his thoughts he feels guilty to the twins that his work schedule is imposing on them. He even begins to doubt whether he’s doing the right thing continuing to wait for his brother when he shows no sign of reappearing, and wonders what he’ll do if Kouichi never returns.
Then the scene changes again and Matsunaga-san and his girlfriend are in a café, and she’s telling him that she’s sorry but she met someone else. He just says “I see” and she gets really mad that he didn’t even try to stop her and runs off. He thinks that, given the way he has neglected her, he has no right to keep her from leaving.
The scene changes again and Takeru’s mom has come over to visit, bringing some extra food she made. She remarks that Matsunaga-san has lost weight and asks him if he is eating properly. She greets the twins but they act really shy, as if they don’t remember her. Matsunaga-san apologizes and says that although it’s been 3 months the twins won’t even hug him, and they still do nothing but cry. He even wonders if being with him is really what’s best for them. Takeru’s mom asks the twins bluntly if they would prefer to being with Sei-chan or their grandfather, then laughs when they just stare at her blankly and says that she forgot they are only 2 years old. But they seem to have understood, because both hug Matsunaga-san timidly but tightly and say “Sei-tan…”! As far as Takeru’s mom is concerned, that settles it, but Matsunaga-san gets all flustered and repeats that they never do what he says and do nothing but cry all the time. Takeru’s mom responds that Takeru is always making Mana cry, and that she as a parent would in fact be more uneasy if her children didn’t cry to let her know about their needs. Furthermore, she tells Matsunaga-san that even the smallest child understands that “This is the person who is taking care of me.” After she leaves, Matsunaga-san considers it long and hard and decides that waiting ‘halfway between’ for his brother to return isn’t helping the twins, and even if it means giving up on chasing his own dream, he won’t regret what he’s about to do if it means getting closer to something even more important (the twins.)The next day, Matsunaga-san asks his boss in writing for a transfer (to a less high-pressure position, which implies it’s also lower pay and no opportunity for career advancement in the future). His boss tries to talk him out of it but Matsunaga-san thanks him and tells him firmly that he has already decided. On his way to pick up the twins from the daycare he thinks that it’s curious but he actually feels relieved, now that he’s made up his mind to raise the twins properly and will be able to spend the time with them that they need. When he walks into the daycare the twins are playing with Shiharu and when they see Matsunaga-san they tell Shiharu it’s time to go and tell her to come home with them. Matsunaga-san is shocked to see the withdrawn and antisocial twins hugging someone. Shiharu introduces herself and explains that she just started working there the week before. He gets even more shocked about them hugging her when he hears that she’s only been there for a week, and yet the twins have gotten so used to her. Shiharu is a little awed that Matsunaga-san is there in the flesh when she’d previously seen him only on the TV. Then the daycare teacher starts telling Matsunaga-san that when it’s time for the twins to take their afternoon nap, if Shiharu’s there they fall asleep right away, maybe all the way into gamma wave sleep (something like that.) Matsunaga-san gets more and more worked up the more he hears about these miracles Shiharu is responsible for and immediately asks Shiharu to ‘come home with’ him!
After that, Matsunaga-san’s boss happily rips up his request for a transfer and says he’s glad Matsunaga-san changed his mind. The next few pages suddenly switch back to the current-time’s Matsunaga’s thoughts narrating the end of this ‘Matsunaga-san’s Past’ arch (kind of confusing.) He pictures all different kinds of Shiharu, smiling, shy, embarrassed, sad, crying etc and admits that he didn’t expect to get to know all of these different expressions of the ‘girl who gives [him] peace of mind.’ Then he wonders when it happened that he started not wanting to give her up, having nothing to do with the twins or his brother, and he wonders how much longer he’s going to be able to control himself!!! On the last page of the chapter he wishes it were okay for him to express his feelings in the strait-forward manner of innocent children.