Mars v.8 by Fuyumi Soryo – 200 pages
Kira tells Rei she was raped by her stepfather in middle school. She had horrible thoughts about killing him and also other people; she hates men, and kills people in her mind. She wonders if she isn’t like Masao, but asks Rei not to hate her. She’s never hated him as a man, because as she tells herself, “It’s because he knew despair. He knew the pain of a wound that can’t be healed.”
Rei feels like he doesn’t understand, and can’t do anything, but he takes her on a motorcycle ride to the beach. They help some kids who had their sand castle knocked down by others build a new, bigger one. Rei tells Kira he’d build them over and over together with her. Rei feels like Kira needs him, and that gives him purpose.
Kira’s mom is released from the hospital, but without a job or money, she and Kira move back in with the abusive stepfather, who apologizes on his knees to Kira. Rei is angry that Kira would go back under her dad’s roof, and not come live with him instead, and he breaks up with her, leaving her at the school lunch table in tears.
I’m disappointed that Kira’s story has taken a back seat to Rei’s until now and doesn't seem to be getting as much treatment, and that he left her after she stayed with him through his difficulties. But the ways of love take twists and turns, and this volume sets things up for them to spend time apart, and maybe get back together.