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Volume 06
Chapters 57 - 67
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Punpun goes on his date with Kanie, which, despite his best efforts, ends in disaster. Mama ends up in the hospital yet again with a collapsed lung, and later, cancer.

Chapter 57 Edit

Punpun mopes at an arcade but feels better daydreaming about his upcoming date with Kanie, which will surely end in a whirlwind romance. Since he was told not to come home tonight, he wanders around the nightlit streets and instead thinks of all the ways his date might go wrong. He unzips his fly and continues walking, wishing someone would find him. After sex at the apartment, Mama tells her lover, Kaima, that she was feeling depressed since her dad died. He tells her she could've spent time with her son, and she jokes that she will call his wife. Kaima calls her selfish, and when she starts to cry, he comforts her. She asks him to marry her, but of course they can't. Mama goes to the kitchen for a beer and returns with a knife.

Sometimes I get the feeling you mistake being selfish for asserting your freedom!

-Kaima


Chapter 58 Edit

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Kaima yells that they can talk things out. Mama says she's tired of pretending to be happy and holds the knife to her throat. Maybe she'll be reincarnated as Kaima's sperm and ruin his life when she's born! After a fit of laughs and screams, she collapses on the floor, gasping, and tells Kaima to call an ambulance. The doctor tells Kaima that Mama has a collapsed lung, which is very treatable. A nurse asks Kaima to fill out his "wife's" forms, but Mama interrupts that Kaima is just a kind stranger who she will never ever see again. Punpun visits her in the morning, and she apologizes for her earlier remarks and tells him he doesn't have to visit if he doesn't feel like it. Later, instead of asking for a bedpan, she tries to find the bathroom on her own, but gets lost in winding hallucinations.

Ah, forget about that, I need to go! Go...? Where was I going again? Foreigners sure are big... No, now's not the time for that! I have to go, or the stew's going to boil over!

-Mama


Chapter 59 Edit

Mama wakes up in the arms of a teenage boy, who calls for a nurse. He helps her stand, and she finds that she has wet herself. Later, Mama and the boy have a friendly chat in the waiting room, and she finds that he crushed his leg when a car hit his bike and he's the same age as Punpun. His name is Harumi. From her hospital bed that night, Mama thinks of him and wishes she could masturbate here. She instead thinks of Papa, of the night she got tired of being lonely and threatened to leave him, got a knife and threatened to kill herself and Punpun, only for Papa to hit her with a microwave and Punpun to find them in the morning. Why couldn't Papa have comforted her instead? The next day, Harumi waves at her from the waiting room. When she mentions that his leg must be very serious if he comes for a daily checkup, he admits that his girlfriend was on the back of his bike during the accident, and she is hospitalized here.

What I want to hear from you dear, isn't that something is difficult. Just tell me that things will be alright, that you're sorry, and that you love me...

-Mama

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Chapter 60 Edit

Mama applauds Harumi for visiting his girlfriend every day, but he admits that he has yet to visit her once because he is scared she won't forgive him for ruining her face. Mama chastises him for only caring about an apology when his girlfriend needs his comfort. His sad gaze reminds her of Punpun. Shortly after, she confesses that she is still in love with her husband even after five years divorced and that her son only inherited the worst parts of both of them. Without a place to call home, she's spent her entire life running from herself and her loneliness. What a sad life it will have been if she dies in surgery tomorrow. And what a sad life it will be if she lives.

Chapter 61 Edit

Mama awakes from a nightmare about her surgery, and the girl in the bed across from her, Harumi's girlfriend with the bandaged face, offers to call the nurse. Mama declines and asks how severe her condition is. The girl says it's not that bad, but the scars from her stitches probably won't heal. Mama says that technology in the future will probably heal the scars and that much happiness comes with getting older, although she doesn't mean it. The girl tells Mama that she will get better, too. Punpun gets ready for his date and makes sure to put a condom in his wallet. He meets up with Kanie, and since they're both 15 minutes early, they have time to kill. Midori meets Mama before her surgery. Mama tells the nurse wheeling her out that after the operation that there's a guy she wants to confess to. She's done hating people to protect her feelings and is sure love can heal scars. Maybe she will move on. Maybe she will become a better mother.

Ah... She returned it back... She returned my empty words of comfort back to me... To think that I'd hear such kind and caring words... Stop!! I don't need any sympathy! But even so... I can't help but feel a little happy.

-Mama


Chapter 62 Edit

Punpun is determined to have the perfect date with Kanie. He wins her a doll from a claw machine and pays for her lunch, over which he listens to her dream of volunteering abroad to help the less fortunate, then shares his umbrella after hers is stolen. Despite his best efforts and raging hard-on, though, they just aren't clicking. They go the art exhibit of Kanie's sister, Miyuki Kanie, and her friend, Sachi. Kanie loves the painting her sister did of their mother and feels family is truly the most important thing. Punpun wonders if he should humor her and slowly becomes less confident about their date. Is this how liking someone feels? He thinks of Aiko and stops in front of a painting of the milky way.

Chapter 63 Edit

The starry painting reminds him of the ever-same sky he saw many years ago at the miso factory with his long-gone friends. Although he was just a kid, he's become a much lesser person since then. Sachi approaches him, appreciative that he likes her messy painting so much, and asks him to leave a comment in her art notebook since she's competing with Miyuki Kanie. She parts after whispering that Azusa Kanie is still a virgin. He thinks of the star Punpunia and writes a short story about a boy who fell in love with a transfer student from another planet, only to lose this soul mate of his, doomed to search for her across the stars and galaxies. He and Kanie leave the exhibit, and the pouring rain snaps him back to the present. He thinks of how nice and serious Kanie is and pops another boner at the thought of her being a virgin. They sit in silence on a covered bench, and Punpun feels the tension swell and swell between them... when Kanie says she needs to go home.

Punpun thought to himself of how the starry sky of that night many years ago had remained unchanged and must be shining as it had always been. Yet his friends, on the other hand... Harumi, Komatsu, Shimizu, Seki, and even Aiko... all of his former friends were nowhere to be found.


Chapter 64 Edit

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Kanie says they should hang out again when the rainy season is over and exams are through. She gets up, and Punpun grabs her wrist and asks her to stay just a little longer. She sits, but in the awkward silence, the only thing Punpun can think about is her body. She says he should head home so his mother won't worry, but he says his mother is having a surgery today. Kanie is shocked that he would hang out with her instead of support his mother, and he is offended that she would force her ideals onto him. She rants that he must've thought her sister's painting was stupid then, and why ask her to sit with him if he's not going to talk. If he has something to say, say it! Punpun asks her to be his girlfriend, and Kanie says he's too weird and selfish. He thinks she's a horny bitch and pins her and kisses her. She slaps him and throws the doll he gave her. She calls him lonely and walks home in the rain, without an umbrella.

I see, so that's how it was... I thought you were just a nice guy and having fun today. But that was all just to get me to like you, wasn't it? How selfish of you. You have to consider other's feelings more. I'm sorry, but I can't go out with you, so don't get any wrong ideas. After all, you love yourself the most, don't you?

-Kanie


Chapter 65 Edit

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Punpun worries whether Kanie will tell everyone at school that he tried to rape her. Filled with shame, he sits down in the rain and masturbates. Mama gets a trendy haircut and asks the stylist whether boys these days like sugary gifts. She picks up some cream puffs on the way back to the hospital and notices that Harumi's girlfriend is not in her bed. When asked, the nurse tells her that she stepped out to talk with a boy. Mama rushes out and sees the girl and Harumi talking. When they kiss, Mama retreats. She finds a letter at her bedside from Harumi, thanking her for her kindness and advice. But it seems in the end, she is still all alone. She cries through her x-ray then buys a nice meal from the grocery store and goes home to Punpun, who has also cut his hair. When she suggests they have a real family dinner, he wordlessly goes to his room. Mama sits down at the dinner table and cries.

Chapter 66 Edit

Mimura and Punpun bomb their final exams. Mimura says they should go to the beach and live up their youth, and Punpun wonders what exactly youth is supposed to be like. He sees Kanie in the hallway, and she stops to say hello. When she leaves, he realizes he has absolutely zero self-confidence left. Mama listens to a baseball game and writes a letter in the hospital waiting room before her checkup. The doctor says her stitches are healing well but perhaps they should do a cancer check. On her way home, she mails her letter, addressed to Punpun from Papa. Staring at the blue sky, Punpun is grateful that Kanie never spread gossip about his lewd acts and thinks the world might actually be full of good people. In order to be his best, he swears to never fall in love again. Goodnight, Punpun.

Punpun finally understood. He knew there was no such thing as God. The only thing here right now was just one rotten part of his soul aimlessly tossing about.


Chapter 67 Edit

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Two years later. Mama thinks of her past, of how she never had much luck in love, how she never wanted a child, how she had such big aspirations for herself. She wakes up in the hospital room to the faces of Midori and Punpun. Mama holds Punpun's face and apologizes for being so cold to him. She loves him - her son. After her funeral, Yuuichi and Midori go home with Punpun. He stands outside and thinks that even at the very end, he could not love his mother.

Punpun, I'm scared... I'm scared of dying. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry Punpun. To be honest... I really loved you, Punpun...

-Mama

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