Chapter 45 is the last chapter in Volume 8! One more volume and then we're caught up until Volume 10 is released on July 20th! That's right, Amazon Japan and other online retailers have finally listed Love So Life Volume 10 for pre-order and announced it's release date! I chose this picture to accompany the summary of this chapter because Matsunaga-san looks gorgeous <3 And because there aren't any good pictures of the two of them together in this chapter. Alright, on with the summary!
At the beginning of this chapter, Shiharu knocks on Nao-kun's door and goes into his room to tell him that she got a cellphone (but it's a secret from the others, so they won't get jealous and all want cellphones of their own) and to ask him for his number, since she'll be away for 3 days on the school trip. That's when they find out that *cooincidentally* Nao-kun's class is also going on a trip to Hokkaido at the same time, and during the last day of both their trips, they'll be in the same city (Sapporo) ! This leads Nao-kun to think that it would be a matter-of-fact that they'd be going on a class trip to the same place, if they'd gone to the same highschool. He recalls the summer of their third year of middle school, when Nao-kun tried to bully Shiharu into studying harder so that she could raise her academic level, and she whined and said she didn't care, and was fine with going to a school that she could get into with her current level; and this is exactly how it ended up happening, with him going to a better school than her, and the two of them being separated for the first time. The scene changes and Shiharu is at Matsunaga-san's house, explaining to the twins that for the next 3 days she won't be coming, and telling them to behave and listen to Matsunaga-san. The twins are crying adorably! She tries to console them by reminding them that she has a cellphone now, so they can call her any time. Akane-chan cuddles up to Shiharu but Aoi-kun ignores her! Matsunaga-san, in exhaustion mode, tells them bluntly to stop making such a big deal over only 3 days :P His sudden appearance reminds Shiharu that she has something to give him: the "twins memo" that she prepared with all of the twins' recent routines and habits. The next day, Shiharu, Rio and the gang are off, flying to Hokkaido on a plane. Shiharu is extremely excited, because she's never been on a plane before, but Rio reacts dryly to all of Shiharu's enthusiasm. Either Rio's been on planes so many times that they don't effect her at all, or else she's scared of them and trying not to admit it-- I couldn't decide which it was. Once they arrive, everyone remarks about how cool it is, and they take a bus to the inn where they'll spend the first night. There is abundant beautiful nature there, and Shiharu even spots a fox! Instinctively, she turns around to tell Akane-chan and Aoi-kun about the fox, but of course her friends are there, not the twins! Her friends are a little stumped at Shiharu's strange behavior and Shiharu is mega-embarassed. She explains about the fox, but by that time, it has run away. Over Shiharu's shoulder, Rio notices a male classmate, Kawahara-kun, staring at them, but he never approaches them or says anything. Then it's dinner time, which looks to be yakiniku of some kind. While the girls take pictures of eachother on their cellphone, Shiharu recieves an email from Nao-kun, telling her he's arrived in Akanko. Rio asks who the mail was from, and confirms that it's the same Nao-kun who did the test of courage with them in a previous chapter. Shiharu tells Rio that Nao-kun's school's also in Hokkaido right now and Rio is shocked. Then Rio asks Shiharu how it's coming with Nao-kun and if she's been "approached" yet. Shiharu-being a total airhead, doesn't get what Rio's implying at all until Rio spells it out for her, and then Shiharu reacts with shock and denial, insisting the Nao-kun's like family to her since they've lived together for so long. Rio thinks to herself that Nao-kun must be really suffering, [being in love with Shiharu who is totally in denial] but responds with "Then, what about Matsunaga-san?" and Shiharu understands immediately this time but gets really flustered and asks Rio "What about him?" Rio counters with "Hold on, that reaction... for real?!" Hehehe, Rio figured out before Shiharu did that Shiharu likes Matsunaga-san! Shiharu explained "It's just that I don't have much experience being around older men, so..." While she's not paying attention and trying to describe her unusual reaction to Matsunaga-san, Shiharu unconsciously takes out a tissue and wipes some food off Rio's face. People nearby stop and stare, and when she realizes what she's done, Shiharu appologizes profusely, but Rio laughs it off, telling her that she's just like a mother. With this distraction, the discussion of Shiharu's feelings for Matsunaga-san is ended, for now! That night, when they are all getting ready for bed, the girls remark on how sexy Yukina looks in black lingerie, and get a big surprise when nerdy Mai Mai removes her glasses and reveals how adorable her face is! Rio begs Mai Mai for permission to do her makeup after they get out of the bath. While in the bath, the girls compliment each other's bodies (??? I thought this was weird, lol) And once they get out of the bath, Shiharu runs into Kawahara-kun again, who is talking with another classmate. But when she tries to approach him and start a conversation, he turns around and quickly leaves, leaving her stumped. Rio introduces the "cute" made-up Mai Mai, and then it's time for bed. As soon as the teacher leaves after telling them it's time for bed, though, Rio sits back up and says that the real fun begins now! She instructs the girls to go around the room, telling their love stories. First Rio is forced to tell about her and Takeru-kun, and slyly avoids the question when Yukina says "A college student?! I hear they're really "advanced." How far have you gone?" by insisting the others tell their stories. It turns out Emi-chan is dating an underclassman, Mai Mai has never had a boyfriend but in Elementary School she used to bully the boy she liked, and Yukina once dated a girl in Middle School! When it's Shiharu's turn, she can't think of a single romantic encounter she's ever had, and the girls are all horrified that she's already a 2nd year high school student and doesn't have any romantic experience. Rio gives up and asks her to tell a "story about a time she failed at something," hoping that the level of drama will be almost equal to that of a love story, but Shiharu tells a cute story about how she once forgot to bring her Eco-bags to the grocery store and because she already collected the points for bringing her own bags, she ended up walking home carrying all of the purchases in her arms. By the end of the story, everyone's already fallen asleep except Shiharu and Rio! As Emi-chan dozes off, she tells Rio that she'll have to tell the rest of her "mushy puppy-love stories" tomorrow and Rio denies such a thing, saying she wanted to discuss their worries about love. Shiharu asks her what she means, and if something has happened with Takeru-kun to make her worry. Rio explains that it's not that, exactly, but she feels insecure because, in the end, Takeru-kun ended up dating her because she pushed him, and she wonders if someone else had pushed harder, would they have ended up together? Shiharu passionately tries to reassure Rio, who thanks her, and then makes a cute insecure face and sheepishly calls Takeru-kun to say goodnight. Shiharu thinks to herself that in a relationships, just by finally being able to become a couple, that doesn't constitute a 'happy ending,' it requires ongoing effort. Around that same time, Matsunaga-san is reading the twins a bedtime story about a flying squirrel. He follows the directions Shiharu wrote down on the 'twins memo' with some trepidation at first, but in the end is impressed that everything worked out when he followed Shiharu's instructions to give Akane-chan a towel with a bunny on it, which she likes to pet while she falls asleep, and to pat Aoi-kun gently on his back to calm him down. Just as the twins have fallen asleep, Matsunaga-san gets a text from Shiharu (pictured above) asking him how the twins are doing and telling him about her trip so far. He smiles gently, seeing how concerned she is about him and the twins, and thinks to himself that she should not worry about them and enjoy her vacation. Shiharu also attached a picture of the fox she saw to the text message, but because it was running away the picture shows only a yellow blur, which seems to amuse Matsunaga-san.