“What color do you like, Kuragi-san?
That’s right. The instant he asked me that, I didn’t understand the question. I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t know who “I” was. I was “empty”.
After the Student Council finishes the bulk of their end-of-the-year work, Kimi suggests going out to a restaurant together on a day off. Machi tries to back out, but she has absolutely no excuse to offer (and Yuki is rather persistent).
Machi: I don’t think my preferences are any of your concern, President.
Yuki: I guess that’s true…yeah, sorry. But I can’t help but wonder how you see the world, Machi.
She apparently lives alone in an apartment (a very messy apartment). Her mother calls after she gets home, but Machi isn’t very talkative (if she’s anything like me, I imagine she’s too exhausted to make conversation).
Mother: Machi. Machi…Are you giving me the silent treatment again? I wish I knew what you were thinking…you never change. This is why you can’t make friends. You present yourself as an utter bore.
Machi: “A bore”…? “I” am “a bore.” That’s exactly it. My favorite color, my favorite place…I don’t even know where to start. That’s never been part of the equation. I spent so long trying to be what they expected of me, but was abandoned all the same. Leaving me with nothing but this empty-shell self. A meaningless existence.
I used to hate Machi. Part of it was that she came out of nowhere as a love interest for Yuki, but it was more that I recognized these feelings of hers. I relate to her for a lot of the same reasons I relate to Yuki, and I hated her for those same reasons. I could ignore those parts of Yuki and still fangirl over him, but I didn’t have a desire to do so with Machi (even if I could). When I was her age, I thought those same kinds of things – that because I didn’t have “favorites” or passions, I somehow lacked personality. That not having the kind of relationships I was “supposed” to was somehow my fault. And if I had no personality, I must not have any special way of seeing the world, either. But sometimes it just takes a while to find your passions, and everyone has something to offer.
Nothing’s changed since then. But him…he’s changed, little by little. […] It looked to me like the more he was treated like a “Prince”, the more the loneliness ate away at him. But now it seems he smiles because he’s actually enjoying himself. He’s changing. I’m positive.
You never change.
She wakes up the next morning and decides to go out with the rest of them (if only because she has nothing better to do).
I’m always “empty”. My existence is empty. There’s nothing here. I’m a doll with missing parts. A broken doll that can’t become human. Defective merchandise. […] Am I needed? Is my existence required? Does this world need me?
Yuki: Machi! Good to see you…I was thinking maybe I came a little too early, but here you are!
Then Machi spills her bag, which just so happened to be holding a certain red leaf she’d turned into a bookmark…
Yuki: Is this the leaf I gave you as a souvenir? […] Is it a different leaf?
Machi: It’s different!
Yuki: I see…sorry.
Machi: Or…maybe not different…exactly…
Yuki: Which is it?
This sparks a really stupid argument, which is promptly interrupted by Manabe.
Yuki: What matters is that Machi is obstinate!
Manabe: That doesn’t explain anything.
Yuki: […] Oh, I see. So then, you like the color red?
Manabe: Oh! That’s right, red! Her ribbon’s red, too.
Yuki: So I guess that finally answers my question.
Just because you can’t articulate your feelings doesn’t mean they aren’t there – and sometimes you need a friend or two to see that plum on your back.
Until next time…