“Everyone is equal.”
It was the favourite phrase of the principal of a middle school, I used to go to two years ago.
Every person is born equally; by their individual efforts, differences are created.
That is to say, by hard work, anyone can become the best. Every morning assembly held every month, he used to narrate it to the students.
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 etc. does not depend on birth, however comes down to a matter of education…Well, these words are probably for preaching the importance of education.
Surely the principal wanted to substitute words like equality and effort, to also try saying the same thing as the former great person, probably.
However from my point of view, this world naturally is very far away from equality.
For example, let us compare in terms of sports.
There are children who are born in prosperous households, get guidance under first class mentors and are able to learn in well-regulated environments. Whereas, there are also children who are poor and have no choice other than practicing alone in parks. There is a world of difference between them.
Knowledge, experience, quality of practice. Whichever you pick, it cannot be said to be equal.
That is because during the time of birth, there was already a distinction between them in terms of wealth and poverty.
And then, there are also individual differences in talent.
There are cases, where a person born in poor household, overwhelmed their surroundings with natural talent.
But those are extremely rare cases. Generally, this kind of aforementioned difference become a fatal impediment for those who engage seriously with sports.
Not only sports, but also in economic strength, parentage, future prospects in occupation. In reality, this world is indeed unfair and 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 world of difference between these two groups, which can’t be just expressed in words.
Especially during the time of being a student, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that your whole school life changes according on appearance.
Just with good looks, people will gather around naturally. In contrast, those with bad appearance only receive insults and bullying.
Not only during school life.
Even after becoming a working adult, it doesn’t change.
Like that, I don’t have a good appearance myself.
If I am mixed among the guys from class, it is certain that I don’t have any conspicuous thing which will make stand out.
Hair falling near eyes, height slightly exceeding 170 cm and a skinny body.
To say frankly, I am plain.
To have never been insulted as ugly and disgusting, I want to thank my parents who gave birth to this appearance.
However, despite me making this clear distinction, it doesn’t mean that there are no troubles regarding appearance from the surroundings.
The source of those troubles were, a friend I made in 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 those two people, Ogiwara1 Yuuto and Kanzaki Shizuku, who have been recognized as handsome and beautiful from everyone in school.
In the Sakuranooka academy, where we commute to, during the yearly held cultural festival last year, they both shined as first places in the handsome guys and beautiful girls category respectively, even while being first year students.
Incidentally in the couple division, they placed first even while they had not associated much before.
The award winners themselves had denied this but I remember pretty well that it was not completely.
Originally they became acquaintances through me, but I do think that they look well suited with each other.
Yuuto, the “Prince” of the school female population and Shizuku, the unattainable flower for the male students.
I, who nonchalantly acts together with those two who are regarded as the central figures of the school, probably looks like a tag along.
Even I don’t follow them around because I like it.
Who is together with them by choice?!!
While it maybe true that I am their friend, it is not necessary to be together during school.
When there are things like some business or prior promise for hanging out, only then it is fine to converse with them.
At least, I think that way.
For I, who thought of such things, there was a reason I had to spend time together with them even more than up to now. It goes back to the day of opening ceremony, few days ago.
“Huh.. For second year, I am in the same class as them…”
Right now, the thing pasted in front of my eyes is the class roster list for the second years.
Today when the new school term began, the classes were announced simultaneously for all the grades.
An unusual thing that this school does is that it does not announce the classes for the first year freshmen during the school entrance ceremony. With the same timing as the older students on today itself, their roster lists are pasted probably in the first year building.
In such roster list, I scan through the classes in turn to find my name.
After passing through Class 1, Class 2, I find it written in the top section of Class 3. However, just slightly above I found two very familiar names.
Ogiwara Yuuto and Kanzaki Shizuku.
The Prince and Princess of Sakuranooka academy.
Especially among the male and female student population respectively, these two with remarkable appearances are called as a well matched couple. Nevertheless, honestly speaking, I feel including disposition, it is a matter of fact that these two go well together.
Such two people are included within the names written in Class 3 list.
Probably there would be many students who would be raising voices in pleasure, to be in the same class as them.
Girls would be going “kyaa kyaa”, shrieking in delight and guys would be going “uooo!” , like raising a war cry.
Looking at these circumstances.. For this one year, probably the opinions of these two will be treated as the inclinations of the class.
It is natural since those are words of the two with such high popularity. But for people like me who cannot join that circle, there is not a class duller than this.
Early in new school term when I already feel fed up, while trying to leave the place, suddenly the collar of my uniform is pulled from behind.
“Oh…Hasn’t it become an interesting class, Minato?”
“…How so! I didn’t want to be in the same class as you guys.”
Turning my head behind, it was the central figure of the topic till now, Ogiwara Yuuto, who had grabbed my uniform with his left hand.
The amused face laughing happily, even I who had grown tired of looking at this face, had to admit that he was very good looking. Just looking at it, makes you feel anger.
“But it is the first time for the three of us to be in the same class. It’s nice to have fun for an year.”
“Because there is a school trip in second year.”, saying that he folded his arms behind his head. Towards Yuuto, who is laughing foolishly, high pitched shrieks coming from the girls in the surroundings could be heard.
Causing an uproar among girls with his each and every action, I wonder if he will become a lady killer for life.
I started walking towards the classroom to slip through the crowd of students which had discovered Yuuto and had started to gather.
“What is fun! Living around classmates for an year, who will be at you guys’ beck and call, is like hell.”
“That sort of thing won’t happen…! As usual, Minato is pretty harsh. If I was not there, would you even have friends to talk with?”
“By all means, do as you please.”
I answer quickly 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.
1. 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.