This is a detailed summary of Clover vol. 23 by Chiya Toriko. Don’t click through if you don’t want spoilers.
The volume opens with Yuko announcing that she and Takizawa are getting married. Kazuyo and Saya are surprised, because Yuko had been complaining that their relationship wasn’t going anywhere. But apparently his lease is up and rather than get another place on his own, he wants to get married and find a place with Yuko.
Yuko is excited because it means she and Saya will be getting married around the same time, but Saya says maybe not, then explains the situation with Tsuge. She says she’s never felt like she liked Haruki more than Tsuge, but that Haruki is a part of her life and she isn’t willing to cut him out, no matter what Tsuge says.
Back at the office, Tsuge and Yoshimichi talk and Yoshimichi says his dad wants to meet Tsuge. Tsuge insists he doesn’t want to marry Shiori, but Yoshimichi tries to convince him to do it. He tells Tsuge he seems to enjoy being with Shiori, and when Tsuge denies it, he says Tsuge just hasn’t realised it himself. Tsuge says he loves Saya, but Yoshimichi says love and marriage are two different things.
Haruki comes to visit Saya at her house, but she won’t let him in, saying she can’t see him anymore. However, there’s a typhoon coming and she starts to worry about him. When Ayuko comes home soaked, she asks if Ayuko saw Haruki outside, but Ayuko says she came in the side door. Worried, Saya goes out front to look for Haruki and sure enough he’s still there. She yells at him, but he says he just wanted to see her.
The next chapter starts by saying a month has passed since Tsuge said they should take a break, and it’s only four months til when the wedding is supposed to be.
Haruki is hanging out at Saya’s house a lot. He wants Saya to cut his hair, which she finally does after much convincing. She can’t stop thinking about him saying “I love you”.
At the office, Tsuge ignores her and he hasn’t called or emailed at all, either, so Saya is worried. Then one night her parents show up and her dad is angry and yelling about how he won’t allow her to marry Tsuge. It turns out Ohta told them everything. Saya gets angry, too, and yells that she doesn’t know what to do, either.
She goes out to dinner with Kazuyo and wonders whether maybe she should just date Haruki after all. She does like him, and that way Tsuge would be free to marry Shiori. Kazuyo tells her not to give up, that it’s not over yet, and that Saya shouldn’t lie to herself. Then they go out for karaoke and when she gets home, Haruki is there, having stayed over after playing video games with Ayuko. She apologises to him for being late and he grabs her hand and says he’s going to take her somewhere.
Tsuge comes home and realises how empty his apartment feels without Saya there. Later, when he’s sleeping, he gets a text from Yoshimichi saying his dad wants to meet with him tomorrow.
The next day, he meets with Shiori’s dad, who wants him to marry her. Tsuge tells him he’s already in love with someone else. There’s some back and forth, and finally Shiori’s dad says, “So you’ve made up your mind. I thought you were smarter than that.”
The story then skips back in time to late the night before/early that morning. It turns out the place Haruki wanted to take Saya was the beach. He tells her to scream her feelings at the ocean and she does, yelling at Tsuge and saying things like she’ll always love Tsuge so why won’t be trust her, that he should come see her soon, etc. She thanks Haruki and they build a sandcastle as the sun comes up. Then they take the train home because neither of them have any money, just Haruki’s train pass.
Back to the present time, Haruki comes to Saya’s work to see Tsuge. Of course all the women who work there are making a fuss over him, and some of Saya’s co-workers go to listen at the door when he and Tsuge are talking. Haruki says, “You understand, don’t you? This is about Saya. I–” and then the door falls open and all the women tumble inside. Tsuge tells them all to get back to work.
Meanwhile, it’s Reo’s first birthday and Ririka is having a party. Ohta comes over with a present and the two of them go outside to talk. Ririka explains that even though she loves Ohta, she can never be with him because of the way he is and she knows he’ll never change and it’s just too hard to be around him, so she doesn’t want to see him anymore.
After work, Shiori kidnaps Saya and takes her to a hotel room. She says that Tsuge is just too kind to dump her, and asks Saya to give him up. When Saya says no, she locks Saya in the room and leaves, saying she’ll be back in a few days when Saya has had a chance to think things over.
Saya tries to think of a way out, but can’t, and ends up falling asleep on the bed. She’s awakened by Haruki, who comes rushing in. He says he got a call from one of Shiori’s assistants, who told him where Saya was. However, when they go to leave, they find the door is still locked. From the outside it is unlocked, but it’s made so that it automatically locks when you shut it and you can’t get out without a key, so they’re trapped there together.
Haruki doesn’t have his phone with him, either, so they have no way of calling for help. They raid the minibar for snacks and make some tea and then lie down on the bed. They talk for a while and then both fall asleep.
The next day, a woman in the office says Saya didn’t come to work and asks Tsuge if he knows what happened to her. He tries to call her, but gets no answer, so he calls her house and talks to Ayuko. She says Saya didn’t come home last night and she assumed she was with Tsuge. He then sees Yoshimichi, who says Shiori was in a good mood, which means she must be plotting something.
He goes and finds Shiori and demands to know where Saya is. She says she won’t tell him unless he gets down on his hands and knees in the middle of the restaurant and begs, which he does, to her shock. She gets angry and tells him Saya is in the tallest building around. She also says she’s lost interest in him, but when she’s walking away, she’s crying.
She calls and has the door unlocked, and Haruki and Saya are able to leave. While they are leaving, Tsuge is hurrying through traffic towards the hotel. The volume ends with a black panel and the ominous narration, “I felt as free as the unlocked door and I had a feeling everything be okay again, just like before. If I could see Tsuge-san, if I could get out of here and see Tsuge-san, I’d tell him everything, how I’m feeling, and about Haruki, and we could start over. Wait, just wait, Tsuge-san. That’s what I thought…until that accident.”
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