|Volume||Manga Volume 2|
|Relationship milestones||Tsubaki creates a new hand sign, to silently message to Urabe that he does now, and will forever love her.|
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MYSTERIOUS SIGN---CHAPTER 9 OF THE MANGA
( Anime cross-reference---None )
( Program Note---This chapter of the manga, and subsequent chapters, takes place during the first winter of Urabe's and Tsubaki's friendship, as evidenced by the fact that all of the students are wearing their winter school uniform, predominately black in color. )
More girls are taking interest in Tsubaki, including a cute First Year student named Matsuzawa. She invites him to attend the school's Film Club, but he first must find Urabe and give her the hand sign that he will not be walking home with her. After the meeting, Tsubaki walks home with Matsuzawa, as they talk about movies. Thus begins the practice of Matsuzawa making pleasant conversation with Tsubaki, and also coming to his classroom and exchanging movie DVD's, right in front of a sleeping Urabe. Later, on their way home, Tsubaki explains to Urabe what his new hand sign means. It is two fingers chopping like a pair of scissors. The hidden meaning is that, although Tsubaki is talking to another girl, and being friendly with her, Urabe should understand that she alone is his one and only girlfriend. Urabe reacts to this new hand sign in a most unusual way.
One day at school, Tsubaki hears the call of, " Senpai, Senpai " from behind him in the hallway. It is a cute girl First Year student named Matsuzawa. Tsubaki doesn't remember her until she mentions that the both of them are members of the school's Film Club. Tsubaki recalls that he has only attended a few times, but Matsuzawa strongly encourages him to attend today's club meeting, in fact, she came looking for him to tell him to do so personally. Tsubaki reluctantly agrees to attend, but tells her that he must do something first. He searches and finds Urabe at the lockers, and gives her the 'hand sign' of putting his thumb into his ear, to tell her not to wait up for him to walk home together. Urabe understands and leaves.
Tsubaki is present at the Film Club meeting, but only one other student remembers who he was. Afterward, while walking in the hallways, Matsuzawa remarks that she still really likes Tsubaki, because they share the same tastes in movies and entertainment. In a flashback, Tsubaki tells club members that he liked a disaster movie called, " Exploding Library ". Everyone laughs, except Matsuzawa, who tells him later that the movie was one of her favorites, too. As they walk home together ( looking like a typical boyfriend and girlfriend ), they share their likes and dislikes about current movies from a movie magazine that Matsuzawa has with her. Finally, Matsuzawa tells Tsubaki how happy she was this day to be with him, and says goodby. Tsubaki walks the rest of the way home by himself, musing about the difference between walking home with Matsuzawa ( such fun and pleasant conversation ), vs walking home with Urabe ( so stoic, with hardly a word spoken between them ).
Next day at school, Matsuzawa begins the daily habit of coming to Tsubaki's classroom at lunchtime, for pleasant conversation, and to exchange movie DVD's, right next to Urabe, who is sleeping at her desk. Urabe gives them a jaundiced eye, and goes back to sleep. That afternoon, during their walk home, Tsubaki awkwardly tries to explain his relationship with Matsuzawa, but Urabe gives little or no reaction. They continue walking in silence, as Tsubaki grapples in his mind that he does like talking to and being with Matsuzawa, but Urabe was and is his girlfriend.
The next time that Matsuzawa comes to Tsubaki's classroom at lunchtime, Tsubaki flashes a new 'hand sign' to Urabe, that of his two fingers cutting the air like a pair of scissors. Later on the walk home, he explains that the new sign represents Urabe's scissors, and that the sign means that although he might be talking with another girl and being friendly to her, it is that Urabe has been, is, and will be his only girlfriend. Again, Urabe gives little or no reaction. When it comes time for their daily drool routine, it is finished with Tsubaki spontaneously hugging Urabe. From past hugs, thereby fearing the worst, Tsubaki stammers excuses as to why that happened. However, Urabe merely states that what happened is what she wanted to happen. As Urabe walks away, Tsubaki ponders that even though they have many misunderstandings about one another's feelings, he, nevertheless, is so happy for the times that he is able to touch Urabe's heart with love.