NARRATOR: "The hallway is empty, almost intimidating. Nomiya's “office” is the art classroom at the other end of the third floor hallway. Our steps echo disturbingly. The atmosphere is unlike on a normal afternoon. It feels like the school knows that nobody will be coming back for a month, too. "The door is open, but not very inviting."

HISAO: "I'll... um, wait outside."

NARRATOR: "Nodding barely noticeably, Rin strides in without stopping, and naturally, without knocking. Maybe that's why it takes a few seconds before I hear the teacher's voice from inside."

NOMIYA: "There you are!"

RIN: "Hello."

NARRATOR: "A conflict arises: should I stay here or go somewhere else? I'm not sure if I even want to eavesdrop on them. ... Manners lose to curiosity, and so I stay close enough to listen in. Their voices echo in the hallway, but no matter. There is nobody around, save for me."

NOMIYA: "Dear girl, what on Earth were you thinking, leaving like that on the big night?"

RIN: "I couldn't say anything."

NARRATOR: "Compared to Nomiya's scolding tone, Rin sounds awfully quiet and withdrawn. Her words seem to drown under his."

NOMIYA: "I have to say, I am very disappointed in you, Tezuka."

RIN: "It was no good at all."

NOMIYA: "Never mind all the things I did for you, but what about Sae? What about all the guests who wanted to meet you?"

RIN: "There was nobody. Even Hisao..."

NOMIYA: "You have embarrassed us very badly, Tezuka. Reputation is what counts, surely you know that?"

RIN: "It's all right. I don't need it."

NOMIYA: "“Don't need!” What do you think you know?"

NARRATOR: "Rin's replies only seem to agitate the teacher more, his voice rising with every sentence."

NOMIYA: "The path of an artist is a thorny one, I'll tell you that! Thorny! You have to see the big picture! There will be bad times and good times!"

RIN: "Things are like they are. It'll be all right even—"

NOMIYA: "You might now think that it's oh so wonderful and easy, but how far would you have gotten without me? I won't always be there for you! When you lie on the floor of your minuscule room, your rent three weeks late, your mind blank for the fourth week straight, then you will wish that you had listened to old Nomiya a bit more. When you keep measuring how the shadow of your chair becomes longer over the spring because that's all your lethargy allows, maybe that's when you will start caring about your career!"

RIN: "That doesn't matter."

NOMIYA: "Your resolve is not enough."

RIN: "I am not a resolved person."

NOMIYA: "You are not a resolved person... Then tell me, why... why... WHY DID WE GO THROUGH ALL THIS TROUBLE IF IT AMOUNTS TO A MOSQUITO'S SHIT?"

NARRATOR: "Oh dear, the teacher blew a fuse. Him yelling at Rin makes me feel bystander's guilt. If I had gone with her, maybe he wouldn't have gotten so angry. If I had not let her run away, he wouldn't have gotten angry in the first place. I still could go and save her... I don't think I can. I was the same. I yelled at Rin too, and I'm feeling all the more embarrassed about it now. I felt justified to vent my anger at her face just because... just because I felt it was her fault that I was so frustrated. I was no more justified than the teacher is."


NARRATOR: "A terrible silence sets upon the hallway. Rin does not have anything to say to Nomiya. Whether she has run out of answers or she knows that arguing would only make him angrier is anyone's guess. The teacher has nothing more to say either, it seems, or maybe he just ran out of breath. For a moment, I imagine the two of them just staring at each other, one full of red-hot anger, the other full of... yes, what? I can't tell how Rin feels, not before, not now. Teacher seems to expect Rin to say something too, but since she doesn't he finally continues in a quieter, but not less angry voice."

NOMIYA: "What worth is there in doing so much work if the outcome is... nothing?"

NARRATOR: "Still, Rin will not say anything."

NOMIYA: "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have gotten so excited."

NARRATOR: "He does not sound sorry at all. Rather, his tone is cold and sharp, like he was spitting the words out of his mouth."

NOMIYA: "It seems that I was expecting too much. You are not an artist after all."

NARRATOR: "Yeah, not sorry at all. He storms out of the club room and down the stairs without noticing me. After he is gone, I peek carefully inside the classroom. Rin is left standing there, in front of the teacher's desk."

RIN: "I couldn't say I am sorry."

NARRATOR: "She says it into the humid air of the classroom, not to me. But since the room won't answer her, I will have to."

HISAO: "That was unfair of him... He was angry, but still..."

NARRATOR: "I can't decide how to end my sentence. Disdaining the teacher feels like disdaining my own behavior from two days ago. Stupid, but correct in hindsight. Rin won't answer, staying petrified where she stands, so I walk up to her. She stood up for herself. In a way. I didn't expect that. I can't determine whether it's unbecoming or not, but either way, she did it. Against me, she never did. I sort of wish she had, maybe I would not feel this bad then. Lately, it really seems that I've been wishing for all kinds of things."

HISAO: "Rin?"

RIN: "Go away."

Next Scene: Raison d'Etre