"Good morning class," Mr. Read begins his lesson a long week after the entire class finally woke up. "I'm glad to see you are all doing well." He scans their faces, stopping on Hika's to sigh for a moment. "This has been a trying time and I'm sad to say some of you did not make it. Mitoka's parents will be holding a private memorial service for him with none of you invited. However, I am sure that none of you wanted to go. Shiraiyuki's parents…"
"Shiraiyuki!" Akio shouts while standing up suddenly. "I completely forgot!"
"Forgot what?" Kana tugs on his sleeve to make him sit back down.
"I don't know," he whispers.
"Anyway," the teacher continues. "Her parent's are having her cremated as her body was only found recently in the dugout of a baseball park that was closed for the entire rainy season. As you can all guess, it would not be pleasant to see what she looks like. You are all welcome to go to the service, just remember to be polite."
"I would like to extend my sincerest apologies to all of you for this year that started off so well. I really believed you would become my most memorable class, but I never dreamed that so many of you would make it back." The class looks around in confusion.
"Akio, you must have been a marvelous Sheppard, always prodding your sheep towards the right direction."
"Mara, it must have been hard for you, holding out without much hope that things would get better, yet never giving up on improving yourself."
"Kana, you may need some counseling in the future but it was really nice to see you take control for once instead of going along with the flow."
"Cassie, you will definitely need counseling, but I must say your choice in men is exceptional. I hope you will continue to be a proper influence on her in the future, Nick."
"Mana," he breathes out deeply while flexing his hands in thought of what to say. "Such intelligence, such insight and honesty. All wonderful traits, when mixed in the right proportions." He sighs again. "Ask your friends about leniency and restraint especially Nina. She is a wonderful example of patience and knowing how to not say anything if nothing nice can be said. On that subject, congratulations on finally leaving your comfort zone, Suigi.
"Deki, your heart is in the right place, but try to keep out of unknown people's business from now on."
Danto, you're still as lazy as before, refusing to take responsibility when it's your job."
"Mirai, Zeti, congratulations, no don't try to deny it," he smirks as they hide their faces. "It's been a long time coming. Good work on pushing them, Piru. You may even become as good of a leader as Akio by the time you graduate. For now be good to your friends and remember that you don't have to put on an air of superiority around them, they all trust and value your opinion already."
"Nao, you're a kind soul aren't you. It takes one braver than me to forgive someone so willingly. Neli, don't take advantage of his generosity but do be grateful."
"Eita, you could learn from Suigi. You may be intelligent but you look down on others for the wrong reasons."
"Machi, you are always so well behaved. I must say it was refreshing to see you speak your mind. I only hope your situation improves in the future and I'm sure it will, considering your newly acquired help," he motions towards Hika. "Hikaru, what am I supposed to say. You have probably faced the second biggest challenge out of everyone. I wish I had some better advice for you but all I can say is you're strong, don't let anything ever stop you."
"Some of you, tragically no longer amongst the living, have extreme problems dealing with rationality and rejection. Unfortunately all you shall be remembered for is your ability to answer only with violence."
"On that subject, one of you has earned my respect in all of these categories. Enduring like Machi, strong like Hika, compulsive like Kana, good at taking charge like Akio and Piru, good a shirking responsibility like Danto, nosy like Deki, unforgiveable like Neli, quiet like Nina and Suigi, calculative and smart like Eita, lonesome like Mara, slow to react like Mirai, hot headed like Zeti, poor at restraint like Mana, fast on her feet like Niki, quick to forgive like Nao, violent like Mitoka and Shiraiyuki, but most of all in desperate need of counseling like Cassie, you have my ever lasting respect, Chiya. I hope that one day this will all be a distant memory for you."
"You are all wonderful people with success and failure alike, but you all help bring out the best in each other in the end. Congratulations on passing your first grade of high school. I look forward to seeing you all again. Please leave some good advice or at least a prayer in your yearbook for the poor unfortunate souls who, next year, will be forced to call home the room known as class 1-A.