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The Girl's Past ( 少女の過去 / しょうじょのかこ / shoujo no kako ) is the eighteenth chapter of the Elfen Lied manga series, and the first chapter of Volume Three.

Plot

Kouta returns with Mayu to the Maple House from the hospital. Mayu nervously tries to excuse herself while thanking her hosts for lunch, but her stomach growls from hunger once again, and she is pulled in by him. She is briefly startled upon seeing Nyu. To process the horrifying memory of the graveyard battle, she comes to believe that what she saw when Lucy fought Nana was all her imagination. She experiences several moments of panic while eating another meal, realizing she is eating and not saving food for Wanta and herself for later. Kouta assures her they will feed the dog as well, but is ignorant of the fact that his gentle pat on her head makes the young girl nervous. Yuka and Kouta pressure her for her story and offer to call her home, which she defiantly resists and remembers the cruel words spoken by her mother. She departs with Wanta, intending to resume the harsh, but the familiar life they have become accustomed to while clinging to him as the only constant in her life. Inside, the cousins worry for her but are uncertain how to proceed.

Resuming the existence Mayu had known begins to prove impossible as the bakery stand that has provided her bread crumbs is closing shop for the season due to poor business. Unnoticed by Mayu, a figure begins to follow her from a distance.

Alone in the woodpile shelter on the beach, she flashes back upon the events that caused her to run away. Her mother had remarried to a man who quickly began to molest her, at first by force, after which she gave in so as not be battered. Eventually, he escalated to humiliating her by forcing her to prepare and ready herself for his sexual assaults. An even greater and more tragic shock occurs when she finally told her mother of the abuse. Rather than disbelief or denial, her mother expressed petty jealousy of the "attention" she received from her stepfather and declares further that she did not care if Mayu vanished entirely. She realized, at that moment, that she meant nothing to her mother, and perhaps never had. Soon after, a half-dressed Mayu angrily and tearfully fled his next molestation attempt on her and ran away with no intention of ever returning. She walked for days through Kamakura and eventually found a place to sleep on Yuigahama Beach, on nearby Enoshima Island. While wading into the water, perhaps in a suicidal mood, she also finds a stray puppy she comes to call Wanta, whom she is holding as her focus returns to the present.

Her plans to celebrate her birthday the next day with Wanta are cut short by a woman, who grabs him and claims that he is her dog. She also threateningly warns Mayu, whom she accuses of stealing the dog, to stay away from him.

Trivia

  • It appears that the woman who claims that Wanta is her dog (named James) was the one following Mayu from the bakery stand.
  • The chapter contains a shot of a well-fed (if not overfed) Wanta sleeping off his meal. This shot also appears in the anime's extra episode/OVA.
  • Mayu appears on the cover wearing the clothes she fled in, with a backpack (that she did not seem to have during this period) carrying bread crusts given her by the Bakery Merchant.

Gallery

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