“Everyone is equal”
It was the favourite phrase of the principal of the middle school, I used to go few years ago.
Every person is born equally; by their individual efforts, differences are born.
In short, by hard work, anyone can become the best. In the morning assembly held every month, he used to narrate it to the students every time.
There is a saying, some great person left in the past.
“Heaven doesn’t create a man above or below another man.”
Humans are equal when they are born. The distinction between the rich and the poor, parentage, occupation, social status does not depend on birth, but comes down to a matter of education.
It seems these words are meant to explain the importance of education.
I wonder if the principal too, wanted to transform the words like equality and effort, to mean something like what the former great person said.
But from my point of view, I do not think people are equal since birth.
For example, let us illustrate in terms of sports.
Those children who are born in wealthy households, get guidance under first class mentors and are able to learn in well prepared environment meanwhile, children who are poor and can only practice alone in parks; there is a world of difference between them.
Knowledge, experience, quality of practice. Whichever you pick, it cannot be said equal.
I think it happened because it was already unequal during time of birth.
Certainly there are individual differences in talent.
There are cases, where a person born in poor household, overwhelmed his surroundings with his natural talent. But these are extremely rare cases. Generally, this kind of difference is fatal for those who work seriously in sports.
Not only sports, but also in economic strength, parentage, future prospects in occupation. This world is indeed unfair and is made up of a system which makes people compare themselves with others.
However, I think the biggest inequality is in terms of appearance.
People with good appearances and those with not.
There is an absolute difference between these two groups, not merely comprising in words.
Especially when you are a student, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that your whole way of life changes depending on appearance.
Just with good appearance, people will gather around naturally. On the contrary, those with bad appearance only receive insults and bullying.
I don’t have a good appearance and there is no conspicuous thing which allows me to mix in with the other guys of class.
Hair extending near eyes, height is also approximately 170 cm and a thin physique. To say frankly, it is plain.
To not have been insulted as an ugly person, for this I want to thank my parents who gave birth to me.
However, despite me having this clear distinction, it doesn’t mean that there is no trouble from surroundings concerning appearance.
The cause of that trouble were, a friend from middle school and a childhood friend I used to play with occasionally, whose family were friends with mine. I have been troubled a lot when acting together with them.
It is the two people, Ogihara* Yuuto and Kanzaki Shizuku, who have been recognized as handsome and beautiful from everyone in school.
In Sakuranogaoka, the high school we go to, a handsome guy and beautiful girl ranking was held last year and while being in first year, both shined as first place in their respective lists.
Incidentally, in the couple ranking, they placed first even while they had not associated.
The award winners themselves had denied this but I remember pretty well that it didn’t seem serious.
Originally they became acquaintances through me, but they do look well suited with each other.
Yuuto is the “Prince” for the female students whereas Shizuku is the unattainable flower, out of everyone’s reach.
For someone who acts together with such two central figures of school nonchalantly, I wonder if I look like a tag along to others?
I do not follow them because I like it.
Who is together with them by choice?
Even if I am friends and childhood friends with them, it is not necessary to be together in school.
Just where there is some business or if there is a prior promise for hanging out, only then I converse with them.
At the very least, I think that way.
I, who was thinking like that, had to start spending more time with them recently, even in school. The reason dates back to the opening ceremony, few days ago.
“Huh.. For the second year, I am in the same class as them…”
Right now, in front of my eyes is the class roster list for the second year.
Class roster announcements for the whole school is done today, when the new semester starts.
Freshmen first year students will also not get to know their classes during entrance ceremony, but on today, with the same timing as the older students. Is the roster list pasted in the school building of the first years?
In such roster list, I find two names in the class 3 column, which I knew too well.
Ogiwara Yuuto and Kanzaki Shizuku.
The Prince and Princess of Sakuranogaoka.
They are called as a couple who appear to be matched exceptionally well among boys and girls respectively. From my point of view, it is a matter of fact that these two are a good match.
Such two people’s names are written in the same column of class 3.
Probably there would be many students who would be raising voices, pleased to be in the same class as them.
Girls would be shrieking in delight and the guys would be roaring loudly.
Looking at these circumstances.. For this one year, probably the opinions of these two will be treated as the intentions of the class.
For people with so much popularity, it is natural but for people like me who cannot join that circle, there is no tedious class as this.
Beginning of new school term, when I try to leave the place with a dreary feeling, my collar of uniform is pulled from behind.
“Hasn’t it become an interesting class, Minato?”
“How so.. I find it unpleasant, being in the same class as you guys.”
Looking behind, it is Ogiwara Yuuto who has grasped my uniform with his left hand.
I start getting angry looking at his face full of enjoyment and laughing disgustingly.
“But it is the first time for the three of us, to be in the same class. I am glad that this one year looks to be pretty fun.”
“Because there is a school trip in second year.”, saying that he folded his arms behind his head. Because of Yuuto, who is laughing foolishly, I could hear lots of high pitch shrieks coming from the girls in the surrounding.
Causing girls to make fuss by his each and every action, is he going to become a lady killer for rest of his life?
I try to slip around all the students who came to look at Yuuto and start walking towards the classroom.
“What is fun! Living around classmates for an year, who will do everything you guys say, is like hell.”
“As usual, you have a pretty bad mouth. If it were not for me, far from having friends, would you even have people to talk to?”
“By all means, do as you please.”
I answer without paying attention to Yuuto, who brings a crowd of students as he walks. In no time, I weave through the crowd of overflowing students and aim Class 3’s classroom as my destination.
*The authors sometimes write Ogiwara and sometimes Hagiwara. I have decided to stick with Ogiwara for the time being until they make it clear in future chapters.