Oof, time has effectively ran out for Sayu, but at the very least she was able to do a couple of things she hasn’t been able to do before her brother shrewdly showed up bright and early at their door.
It goes without saying, I am very glad that Mishima didn’t let her jealousy stop her from helping Sayu out when she needed to hide from her brother and his driver. (And oh boy, did she have a hard time containing it. She almost lost it when she saw the way Yoshida looked at Sayu.) Mishima took her to karaoke where they were able to hide there until Yoshida was done work. There the two of them were able to both have fun and a serious talk about the situation at hand. Mishima as expected, was direct as always with the way she bombards one with difficult questions, but at the very least I have to give her credit when it’s due for the way she addressed how Sayu was handling the severity of her situation. It was something I agreed with because I for one, was a bit surprised how careless Sayu was being, especially since we know she doesn’t want to be found. It didn’t even look like she was trying to lay low, perhaps because she figured there was no point since she’ll be found anyways. But even so, I maybe wear a hat? Or just as Mishima said, let Yoshida know about the situation! It would have been terrible if Sayu had been found and taken home without even being able to contact him about it first!
In the end, for better or worse, Yoshida was left in the dark about it. Perhaps it was a good thing, since Yoshida didn’t have to stress about being tailed when they decided to go to the festival together. But I still wished she had at least told him about it when they got home. At least it would have given him a heads up what’s coming.
And it is a relief that they weren’t interrupted by her brother and his driver. (Honestly I was half expecting them to show up right when the fireworks ended!) It was a special occasion for Sayu, as she mentioned how she has only been a festival a few times when she was little. But even then, she never got to properly experience it like eating cotton candy from the stalls, seeing the fireworks up close, or had any friends to go with. So it allows her to experience things she hasn’t been able to do before, and it was very sweet to see.
This outing also served a purpose of putting Yoshida’s feelings to the test. It certainly looks like the love he has for Sayu has been gradually leaning more towards romantic as opposed to the platonic/familial. (It was pretty funny how he was trying to avoid looking at her because he thought he was pretty in the yukata though! In the end it slipped out when she asked if he liked it, haha!) We can definitely see his emotions teetering back and forth between the two, from becoming more conscious of her to the point he is flustered to look at her, and holding her hand. But even so, he is adamant of making sure he doesn’t cross that line. And he did that today by encouraging her to return home instead of admitting there’s a part of him that would like her to stay by his side.
However even though he knows she needs to do this in order to move on with her life, it doesn’t make it any less difficult. Yoshida has finally come to terms of much Sayu has become a part of his life, to the point it the idea of her disappearing on him scares him senseless. It is understandable how is hard for him to imagine going back to that, especially since it means living alone for a while again. Just as he has offered his home as a sanctuary for Sayu, she in turn brought warmth to it. When they separate it is going to be hard for him going back to that loneliness again.
And it goes without saying, that is the beauty of their relationship. Sayu and Yoshida ended up being a positive influence on each other. Sayu made him think more about his appearance and got him into some good habits, and brought the much desired warmth to his home again. Meanwhile Yoshida was the first person to be told Sayu’s name, sought to protect her upon learning about how she survived, taught her the importance of valuing herself, gave her guidance and reassurance, and was among those who contributed to encouraging her to think about what she wanted to do in the future.
Sadly, even though it is a lot sooner than she would have liked, Sayu’s journey as a runaway is coming to an end. With her brother showing up at their door, Sayu now must confront the past. I just hope this doesn’t wound up with Sayu being forced to leave right away. So far the story has successfully avoided turning into a melodrama, so I am cautiously optimistic that this situation will be handled tactfully. But more than anything, I do hope Sayu will speak up for herself when needed.