Episode 6: Love Has Started Running?! Finally Finding the Answer.
Chiharu puts the painting back, grabs the gift and runs out, knocking over a bucket of agapanthus on her way out. She hesitates, but decides to run away. The clatter manages to wake up Junpei, but she's already gone. Haruko comes back and asks about Chiharu to a mystified Junpei. He realizes he must have missed her while he was napping, but Haruko says that she should have at least left a note. Right?
Chiharu walks to work, depressed. When she hears a bike bell behind her she turns and the cyclist knocks the bag out of her hand, spilling the sweet potatoes she had prepared for Junpei.
At work, she's distracted. Boy Crazy has decided that there are no worthy men out there and is done with Gokons. She's decided that it's better to have a child, then worry about marriage, since you can always get married, but time is more limited for having children. Chiharu laughs and says that with progress in modern medicine, she shouldn't write off anything just yet. Boy Crazy asks if she's confident in her eggs, and points out that being healthy is important if you want to get pregnant. She asks Chiharu to teach her some yoga poses.
Mai's friends play with an app that predicts what your future baby will look like. Professor Tanigawa passes and they show it to him. This leads him to discuss the declining birthrate in Japan. Mai asks why that's so important and he explains that at the rate it's falling, in 1000 years the population of Japan will be 1 person. The boys complain about women not having enough babies and the girls snap back that women aren't baby-making machines. Professor Tanigawa says that while many people opt out of having children, there are many more who want children but marry too late for it to work.
Chiharu meets with Friend 1 who asks her to watch her son Ren overnight. Since her husband's company went bankrupt, they have to sell their house and need to prepare to move. They haven't told Ren yet and are worried about the stress of packing. She agrees, but then remembers to worry about Haruko. Friend 1 calls her a "One-day mama."
Chinatsu informs her that she can't bring Ren home, since Mom will be newly home from the hospital and it would stress her out. She complains about being pregnant and worries that Yo is cheating on her. She says it's unfair that men don't have to give up their jobs and their figures for the sake of the baby, and Chiharu scolds her for talking like that.
Haruko is incredulous when Chiharu asks her to let a five-year old boy stay the night. Chiharu promises that he won't disturb her and she won't let his stuff get everywhere. Haruko grumps that Chiharu and her things have already done that. Haruko reluctantly agrees (although I swear she likes the idea), and decides to celebrate by getting out her good coffee beans. Chiharu informs her that she can't give coffee to a child, so she decides that she'll give him a ride on her motorcycle instead. Chiharu corrects her on that, too. I honestly can't tell if Haruko is teasing Chiharu or not, but she seems pretty serious.
Haruko asks what happened with the sweet potatoes, and Chiharu says they fell on the floor, so she couldn't give them to Junpei. Haruko tries to encourage her, but she shuts her down and asks her to try to get along with Ren. She goes to her room and broods.
Junpei prepares roses and thinks about a conversation with Mizuki. She told him that she has some contacts in Paris and she's going back there to paint. She explained that she thinks that he could find an audience for his work there and that his talent is wasted in Japan. She asked him to go with her. At that thought, the rose he's working on snaps.
Chiharu heads to a toy store and buys 2 baskets full of toys for Ren. She goes home and prepares lots of snacks, too. Haruko comes out and Chiharu offers her a banana for breakfast. When she asks if that's all, Chiharu explains that she's been busy preparing for Ren. Haruko complains of feeling a little sick and Chiharu warns her not to give her cold to Ren. "Ren-kun, Ren-kun. That's all you talk about. He's not your lover, you know." Chiharu explains that making things for a child is more rewarding than making things for a lover.
When Friend 1 drops Ren off, she explains that he's not in a very good mood. He takes a while to warm up to Chiharu, refusing toys and treats, but agrees to go to the park. While they're there, he completely wears her out.
Professor Tanigawa shows up at his new favorite place and prepares himself before going in. He asks Haruko for something to have at work and she suggests a plant. He quickly answers that he'd prefer cut flowers (because it would give him more excuses to come back), but Haruko misses that part, and he doesn't repeat it.
Just then, Mai comes down and insists on helping him, which is okay with Haruko. As she wanders off, he tries to follow, but Mai stops him and makes him decide on a flower. He admits that he doesn't like the idea of raising something and picks the carnations that are the first thing he fixes on. He stares after Haruko as she works, and then Mai gets in the way and his shoulders slump in defeat. As he leaves, Haruko runs over with a bag to hide his purchase in, which makes him a happy man.
Haruko gets a call from Chiharu, but all she can hear is heavy breathing. She worries that something is wrong, and Chiharu pants out that children have no end to their energy. She worries that she's too old to keep up and begs Haruko to come home early. Ren runs up and says he has to pee, so Chiharu puts her phone in her pocket and Haruko hears them run off to the bathroom, Chiharu pleading with him to hold it. But then we hear him sigh and can pretty much guess what happened. Poor Chiharu! After Junpei gets back, Haruko seems to have a dizzy spell, but refuses to rest, since they have some late orders.
Chiharu plays with Ren at home, but tries to take a time out to prepare dinner. He insists on playing more, and she's relieved when the doorbell rings. She warns Ren that Haruko gets angry if there's a mess "like a demon," and he promises to shoot her if she does. He grabs a ball-gun and sets up his defense in front of the door.
But when Chiharu opens it, it's Junpei instead, explaining that Haruko sent him over to help. Chiharu feels awkward with him, but lets him in. He wins instant brownie points with Ren by giving him a train engine. He apologizes for not noticing when she stopped by, but she tries to pretend it was nothing.
Chiharu watches them draw together as she cooks dinner with a smile on her face. At dinner (omurice, yummm!) Ren asks them if they're dating, which makes them both choke a bit. Chiharu says no and tells him to eat up. He acts a little funny, then whispers to Chiharu that he stuck a rock up his nose earlier at the park.
After some panicking and some failed attempts to get it out, they rush to the ER. The doctor gets it out and advises mom and dad to be more careful. Junpei tries to explain their relationship, and Ren just smiles at them mischievously. In the hallway he tells them that they're like a mom and dad. Chiharu squats down to remind him not to stick things in his nose, and he tickles her, which makes her fall over and scream a little. A nurse asks her to be quieter and Ren imitates her. Junpei holds out his hand to help her up, and she takes it after some hesitation.
Junpei does the dishes then goes to find Chiharu to say goodbye. He finds her asleep next to Ren and tenderly puts a blanket over her. He stares at them lovingly for a minute then runs out to greet Haruko when he hears her come home. He tells her he had a good time and leaves.
Haruko goes to check on Chiharu, and Chiharu rolls off the pillow. Haruko mutters that these two are both children. Chiharu wakes up and the women have some beer together. Chiharu says that sending Junpei was the right answer and then explains that she now understands why they say to have kids when you're young, because they take so much energy. Maybe she can't handle having kids, after all. She asks if Haruko ever thought about having kids, and Haruko doesn't really have an answer, but ponders the question now. When Chiharu tucks Ren in later, she smiles when he clasps her hand in his sleep.
In the morning, Haruko teaches him a bit about plants and Chiharu wonders at her gentle voice. Haruko insists that it's her usual tone of voice. Haruko even gets Ren seconds at breakfast. It surprises Chiharu to realize she's sweet on children.
Chiharu takes Ren to her parents' home for the day. During his nap, she chats with Mom and Chinatsu, who decides that Chiharu could have had a child like Ren by this point. The girls mention that Mom had to give up lots of things for them and ask if she regrets it. She answers that being called mom and seeing her girls grow up was her own proof of life. She explains that this means that the love she poured into them will continue after she dies, and it will connect them when she's in the next life. Chiharu wonders if she has anything like that, and Mom says she does.
Yo gets home and apologizes for being late. He says that he landed a big contract and had a reception, and Chiharu and Chinatsu whisper together that he wasn't having an affair after all. Dad says that having a child makes a man really start to work hard. Yo says he'll do anything for his child.
Tanigawa shows up at the shop again and explains to Haruko why he only wants cut flowers. He pours all his energy into one thing at a time, and that's his students. He feels that he can only give one thing enough attention for it to grow at a time, so his marriage suffered. He admits that he's divorced and then tries to ask her something, but is interrupted by another customer. Mai comes in and excitedly helps him again.
Chiharu plays with Ren until Friend 1 comes to pick him up. As they leave, he keeps turning to wave goodbye. When Chiharu goes to the garden, she stops for a moment to contemplate where they played. She sees Junpei on their bench and gives him vegetable chips as a thanks for his help. She admits that it was hard for her to say goodbye to Ren.
She asks Junpei if he's ever thought of having kids. He hesitates, and she says that for singles it has a bit too much reality to it. He tells her that he wants to leave something behind, but is worried that he won't be able to. They sip their beer, eat a chip, and sip again. Chiharu laughs that they're in sync.
When she gets home, she sighs over Ren's toys. She tells Haruko that she's going to send them to his new house. She sighs again and says that she realizes that she does want a child, but she may never get that chance. Haruko says that's life, but then gets serious and says that she doesn't believe that you have to have a child to be a mother or father. She has a child herself. Chiharu perks up, and Haruko explains that the garden is like a child to her, and everyone who visits and appreciates it also feels like her beloved child.
Chiharu tells her that she doesn't have things like paintings or gardens to pour her love into, so she doesn't have anything to leave. Haruko replies that the love she gave to Ren will stay with him. And look at Mother Teresa, who had no children but was called the mother of the whole world. Chiharu gets a call from Ren, who insisted on hearing her voice before going to sleep.
The next morning, Haruko is worried that she's gone far-sighted from age. Chiharu urges her to eat breakfast and stops her from having coffee. Haruko mutters that she was just a mother for one day, and Chiharu asks where this child's rebellious phase came from. They bicker about breakfast.
Junpei puts a label on the carnations that shows that they mean "Mother's Love." Mizuki comes in and says that she seems to remember that they mean pure love or devotion, and that you long for the person you love. He agrees. She hands him a plane ticket to Paris and tells him that she can't leave things as they are and she's serious about him coming with her. Cue deer-in-headlights look.
Chiharu contemplates the carnations Haruko brought home while Junpei stares at his plane ticket.
Don't do it! Unless you take Chiharu with you!
It's interesting to me that carnations have a dual meaning here. They're the first flower in this drama to do so. And yet, mothers are also considered to have pure love and devotion to their children, so it's singular in that regard.
I was wondering when they'd bring in a kid. There's nothing like a kid to bring 2 clueless adults closer together. Plus, it just ups the cute factor like a bajillion times. I love how much Junpei was able to help out, plus all the moments of denying they're a couple, since their chemistry is so obvious to everyone else. Haha!
I'm worried that Haruko's health problems are more than just a cold and fatigue. (Aren't they always in dramaland?) I really hope it's not cancer, but it probably will be, if it's anything. But, we've already had one tumor in this drama, so we could consider the quota to have been met, right? Unfortunately, things are never so simple.
I do love Haruko's continued meddling. If anyone needs pushing together, it's Chiharu and Junpei. Since Haruko's manipulations are minimal and subtle, I feel that they are actually positive and helpful, more than interfering and damaging. Plus, she probably wouldn't have been able to help much with Ren, especially if she is having more serious problems with her health.
One thing that really started to show in the last episode is the difference between Chiharu and Mizuki in their efforts to get Junpei to paint again. It's understandable that he wouldn't want Mizuki interfering if she was the source of his self-doubt, and I feel like she's very pushy in her methods anyway. I think she feels a lot of guilt about him giving up on his painting, but it doesn't give her the right to coerce him into coming to Paris with her.
On the other hand Chiharu is more encouraging and understanding of him. Although Junpei felt that her first comments were unwelcome, he's definitely responding to her current attempts to help him. And he was very touched by her insistence on getting his paintings back for him. So, while both women want him to paint again, it's really only Chiharu's efforts that are getting through to him. I feel that she's quickly becoming his motivation and inspiration to open up again and live for what he loves. Which is painting. And her.