Anyways, sorry about my rant! The main point of this post is to share what I *did* manage to get done in between issuing noise warnings and chasing dogs and strippers out of the hotel: the summary for Chapter 36 of Kore wa Koi no Hanashi! This chapter really sets the high school arch in motion. I wonder where Haruka and Maa-kun are going to go in the next chapter. Maybe a love hotel?!! We'll have to wait and see!
By the way, pretty much everyone in KKH refers to Maa-kun as Sugita-kun, Satomi's the only one who calls him Maa-kun, but for some reason I got stuck calling him Maa-kun, so to keep things clear and avoid changing back and forth, I'll stick with Maa-kun in my summaries.
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"How long will a person continue to wait for something they want but can't have...?"
The chapter starts off with Haruka stunned speachless at Maa-kun's sudden declaration at the end of the last chapter (that with him she could do the things she can't with Shinichi.) Then Maa-kun says "What, did you take me seriously? I was only joking." But he says he was serious when he said that her situation with Shinichi where their relationship doesn't make any progress is a problem. He asks her what the point is if it's never going to become a real relationship. She doesn't respond and he then asks that if she is expecting it will become a real relationship at somepoint, when is she expecting that point will come? Haruka gets angry and tells him to stop speaking if he's just going to say it was a joke again, and she tells him that this is a problem between her and Shinichi. Maa-kun tells her fine, but he has one more thing to say: Her feelings might not have changed, but neither have his. Then he leaves, saying he'll see her later.
In the end, Haruka and Shinichi end up eating dinner alone. Shinichi remarks that he was surprised how big Maa-kun has gotten and asks Haruka if she's seen him lately, to which she simply says no. He looks at her as if he wants to ask what what she's not saying means, but doesn't. Haruka reports that Maa-kun said he'd come again. Shinichi seems to be thinking it over but finally says that that's good, and it will be like things returning to the way they were before.
Haruka narrates that 3 years had passed in the blink of an eye, and that she and Shinichi had left things at "just friends."
The next day at school, Utako is obsessing over fashion magazines trying to decide what to wear on an upcoming date. Haruka misunderstands that this means Utako had made up with her ex, a boy in their grade, but Utako says no, they broke up and she's going on a date with an older guy this time. Haruka is really bothered by the idea that Utako would just give up on the relationship after the two of them got in a fight and broke up, but Utako says that there was no point in them dating in the first place since her boyfriend was always busy with club activities and never took her out anywhere. Utako says that Haruka's in the same situation, not being able to go out on dates or anything, but then backtracks and says she's not criticizing her; she thinks dating older guys is better because they've got more freedom than highschool students.
Haruka interupts to tell Utako that Maa-kun came over to Shinichi's house and Utako asks her how it went. Utako starts musing to herself nostalgically about how nice it is that they can talk again and how they've all been friends since 5th grade, but once again Haruka cuts in with her own problems and asks Utako if she and Shinichi are weird for ignoring the situation and continuing on as friends. Utako perceptively come back with "Maa-kun said something to you, didn't he?" She tells Haruka that they are weird, but everything about their relationship has been weird since their first meeting, but that doesn't mean they're wrong. This seems to be an epiphany to Haruka.
Later on Haruka is washing the dishes at Shinichi's house and thinking about what Maa-kun and Utako both said and thinking about Shinichi. She goes out grocery shopping at some point and when she comes back she finds Sakura's eaten all of her food and Maa-kun is there laying on the ground back to back with her.
Maa-kun flashes a devilish smile and said that Sakura was so happy to see him that she obediently ate all her food and took a nice nap. Haruka implies that she's not surprised that Sakura did that, since she's a cat, but she's surprised Maa-kun fell asleep there. He replies that he loves Sakura so of course he wanted to cuddle up to her and fall asleep together. Perhaps Maa-kun didn't mean anything else by it, but Haruka seems to take these words to heart.
At some point later, probably another day since her clothes are different, Haruka comes upon Shinichi sleeping on a futon in the tatami room near the open doors to the pourch. She recognizes that she'd hung the futon up outside earlier and he must have brought it in and fallen asleep on it. Haruka recalls Maa-kun and Sakura sleeping peacefully back-to-back, and lies down on the futon next to Shinichi in the same position, and falls asleep.
Sometime later, Shinichi wakes up and sees Haruka lying on the futon next to him and freaks out. He shouts "Whoaa!!" which wakes her up and then demands to know what she was doing. She sleepily tells him she saw him sleeping and he looked so comfortable that she laid down and accidentally fell asleep too. Shinichi responds that people don't "accidentally" lay down next to other people and fall asleep, and that some one could have seen them where they were (right near the open porch door). Haruka asks "Is that a bad thing?" and Shinichi replies that of course it is. Then Haruka asks Shinichi "How long is this going to continue?" Shinichi doesn't seem to get what she's saying so she propts "When will we be able to be like a normal..." He narrows his eyes and asks "A normal what?" Haruka doesn't answer and he tells her to say what she wants to say, but she still doesn't answer. Finally he calls her by her name and she asks "...Do you still like me?" Shinichi is a bit surprised(?) by these words. Finally he seems to understand what she's saying and he tells her with a severe expression that he told her before that there is nothing and can be nothing between them. Haruka hangs her head and obediently agrees. On the following page there are a few boxes that give some insight into Shinichi's point of view: he narrates that he doesn't know what the future will bring and he doesn't want to make promises he might not be able to keep, so for now this is all he can do.
Later on, Haruka is sitting out on the porch by herself crying, when Maa-kun appears. He asks why she's crying, but Haruka doesn't respond. Maa-kun seems to know instinctively, and says "I told you so." Then he says "Let's go somewhere. Somewhere far away, even. Someplace you can forget about everything." On the last page it shows a picture of Shinichi, in his room working, and Haruka taking Maa-kun's outstretched hand and saying "...Yes."
The next chapter will be released 11/28, I hope to get it around the 2nd week of December :D