cried when i watched it for the nth time

“I wish you’d never retire.”

And why that line hurts.

I didn’t realize it before. But this scene was actually very painful. Contrary to what other fans say that this scene is romantic and that those tears are happy tears. Here is why I think it’s not.

After the Free Skate Program, Yuuri went out in the snow and thought about his future, and decided on this:

It wasn’t the first time Yuuri thought about it. He has been sure Victor won’t stay with him for good since Episode 2. So when he vocalized it in Episode 9 (through a voice-over), Yuuri was finally firm on this decision but he doesn’t have the guts to tell Victor yet.

He decided to keep it to himself. However, he also hasn’t let Victor in another decision he’s made: his retirement. Which is what I think he is about to say in that scene above, before Yurio cut him off with a flying kick.

We may have not realized it, but Yuuri has been sure when he will retire since Hasetsu on Ice.

This is his last season. In a few months time, Yuuri will retire from competitive figure skating.

So when he came back to Japan and reunited with Victor at the airport, what Yuuri really meant when he said this:

Was “Please be my coach until the Grand Prix Final ends!” Which (I’m sorry if I’m mistaken), only a couple of months forward or so.

However, this was mistranslated. We all know that.

And that’s the sad part. Yuuri, here, was in fact asking Victor something much deeper than that. What he really asked him was, “Please take care of me until I retire.” Which, as you may all know by now, is the Japanese way of asking one’s hand for marriage, or generally, to belong to one another exclusively.

Yuuri here was asking Victor to be whatever he is right now to Yuuri, ONLY until the end of the Grand Prix Final. After that, he’ll let Victor go.

Here was a man ready to return Victor to the world even if it hurts.

That’s how Yuuri looked like before he asked that mistranslated plea. Face scrunched up by both pain and determination. That’s the face you make when upon finally making this decision, you also realize you only have two months or so left to be with the person you want to hold onto the most. And that hurt.

And here was how Victor responded:

Victor was all of us. He didn’t catch everything that Yuuri meant. Because it sounded “almost like a marriage proposal.” We were all too happy that we failed to take into consideration the deadline… the end… that Yuuri has set.

Yuuri, on the other hand, was contented with Victor’s answer. He has finally made peace with the fact that he can’t have Victor for himself forever.

Until Victor said this:

With this one sentence, Victor expressed his commitment to Yuuri. He wants to be together forever which shocked Yuuri.

But Yuuri…

… can’t give Victor that. For Yuuri was convinced he stole Victor from his life on the ice, from the world. That he is holding him back and he is not worth all the sacrifices Victor has made.

So Victor saying “I wish you’d never retire.” goes against what Yuuri has already decided on: an impending separation. It wasn’t that Yuuri wanted it. It is a sacrifice he has to make. And Victor saying this line only makes it harder. Because Yuuri knows that just can’t be. Hence, the tears.

And it hurt more because Yuuri is the only one who knows it. He, alone, carries the pain.

“I wish you’d never retire.”

It makes letting go, “ending this”, hurt more.

Note: I’m sorry if I made you feel miserable. This is just my personal realization after I watched the episodes for the nth time. I won’t claim anything. I cried myself to sleep upon realizing this and didn’t go to work the next day. I felt miserable. But if it helps, I also realized another thing. 

Yuuri’s decision became firmer in Episode 11. He wanted to nail Victor’s signature jump so badly because this is the last time he will be able to show him. And when he failed, he crumbled.  Then later on he saw how Victor reacted to other skaters, looking like he wants to go back on the ice and reclaim his throne.

But all that pushed Yuuri to finally tell Victor. It urged him to open up to him, and tell him about his doubts, fears and other insecurities, not only on the ice, but with their relationship. Yuuri, though unintentionally, will fix this miscommunication.

I haven’t thought much about it yet because I still don’t want to replay Episode 11. It still hurts. But I can only see one way this will end.

Victor will accept Yuuri’s wish to stop being his coach, and Yuuri will retire. But just that. Victor will insist that whatever they have between them will remain. VICTOR WON’T LET YUURI GO JUST LIKE THAT. They will get married whatever the results of the GPF will be, and Victor will prove that Yuuri was wrong. He won’t go back to the ice. Because to Victor, home, no, his entire world now, is Yuuri.