|random old shoujo manga nostalgia
||[Dec. 14th, 2010|10:02 pm]
Reading all of these het romances is making me remember an old one-volume shoujo manga I have a fondness for. Unfortunately I have no clue where it is or what the name of it, but I do remember the gist of the story pretty well. It's set in the past, either 19th or early 20th century, probably in Europe somewhere. A rich family with one girl (hereafter to be called A) moves into a mansion located near a poor village. There's a poor girl B who's family supplies food, including eggs, to the rich family. There's also poor boys C and D. A is a nice girl, if spoiled in the way rich kids are. She befriends the poor kids and treats everyone nicely. C thinks the world of her. He's smart and kind and straightforward. B loves him. D is cynical and snarky and also loves A. At one point B is supposed to take eggs to the rich family (in the snow in the dark, I think). She falls and breaks the eggs, and is afraid of getting in trouble. Somehow or another A is there and takes the blame. Of course she won't get scolded, and B thinks A is just great so even though she loves B she doesn't resent A for stealing B's heart.
One day things change when A's father loses all his money and commits suicide. A and her mother have to move out of the mansion and disappear. Years pass, C has become a successful...writer, I think. I also think he's engaged to B. He runs into A being dissolute. I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I think she's going to marry some awful rich man for his money. She drinks a lot and acts all silly. C wants to help her, but A won't take his help. She has her pride when it comes to the playmates who'd been poor when she'd been rich. D shows up (or he might have been around the entire time) and mocks her. He basically dares her to run away with him, I think, and she does. They marry, and B and C marry. A and D live poorly while B and C live very comfortably. B and D won't accept much help from B and C, who really want to help. Especially since A's health isn't so great and living in such poor conditions is not good. She's also bitter because D can't give her the pretty expensive things she loves. D finally decides he needs to make a change. He goes off to do something dangerous but possibly very lucrative...I don't know if it's something like going to America to make his fortune or smuggling, but it involves getting on a boat. A realizes only when D's gone that she doesn't want the pretty expensive things if it means D could die (he hadn't told her that what he was going to do was dangerous, I think C tells her afterwards). Her health deteriorates. B and C are very worried for her, and want her to move in with them in their comfortable home. A won't leave her home, though. She wants to wait for D to come back, to their home. What she does get is not D but news that D has died. The shock is too much and she collapses. B and C take her in. I think they buy her old mansion in their home village and take care of her. She's just weak and kinda lifeless. One day, dozing in the sunroom, she wakes up to find D come to her with a bunch of roses. She happily rises to hug him, telling him she'd waited and waited and was worried that he'd be too late. He sweeps her away...B comes to check on A to find that she'd passed away. B and C mourn her death, remember her and D's love for each other and vow to name their unborn child (B is very pregnant at the time) either A or B, depending on the sex of the child.
Yes, the story is very cliched and sappy, but what always stayed with me is the scene when D finally comes to A. It's a lovely scene because A perks up and is as beautiful as she'd ever been, but also a sad moment because it's her death. Ack, I hope the manga turns up one of these days....