As the gentle winds swayed the leaves on the trees, and the sakura pedals lay on the floor on a bright sunny day with a clear blue sky, I was walking towards what could be known as the final road to society. With every step I take, I was moving one step closer to my dreams, my goals, and my desires. I looked straight ahead, ignoring everything that surrounded me unless there was an obstacle in front of me. I chose not to pay attention to the people around me, not to listen to the conversations surrounding me, and not to care about the breeze as it sways me side to side. I stopped to look at the final destination that I was headed to. It was a wide, three-story building with a small structure above the building that contained a clock and a bell. As the males, who were wearing a light green blazer with a school emblem, which contained a sword, a feather, and the letters E and W, a white dress shirt, blue dress pants, and black dress shoes, and females, who were wearing a long-sleeve white blouse with a light green collar, a dark green ribbon, a long, light green skirt, and black dress shoes, were walking towards the school, I stood in front of it, merely gazing at the clock and bell above the school. I allowed the wind to brush on my white hair and fair skin as my light blue eyes stared at the clock. So, this is my final year in this building, huh?

The Greatest Gamble around the Circle of Friends

Both returning students and new students walked up to the bulletin boards outside of the school building. The bulletin boards contained information on what classroom that student will be in for the rest of the school year. I did not bother to walk up to the bulletin boards not because that I do not wish to be cramped up and compressed by the amount of students that were pushing their way through the already large crowd of students near it, but because I did not need to in the first place. I am able to see the names on the bulletin board from the school entrance, so I did not need to bother with the rough crowd. I found out that I was in class 3H. I sighed. Out of all the classrooms that I have to be in, why room H? It is the room farthest from the stairs, and because seniors are in the highest floor, it makes it the farthest room to go to in the event that you are late. Also, the cafeteria is in the middle of the first floor, so it is the longest route to go there from when you want to buy school lunch. This is quite a misfortunate classroom, but I guess I have to put up with it now that it is signed and sealed. Slowly, I walked up to my classroom, not taking note of the students that I passed by as I walked up to it.

When I arrived, I was surprised that I was the first one inside the classroom but not surprised by the classroom itself. The classroom was a simple room with thirty-six chairs and desks in rows and columns of six, a large blackboard, the teacher's desk, and a small closet that contained some brooms, dustpans, buckets, and rags for washing the board. Still surprised that I was first, I went for the fifth seat near the windows so I wound not be considered sitting too far away from the teachers. Having nothing else to do, I placed my backpack on a hook attached to my desk and stared out the window to look at the endless sky, similar to my boredom. Eventually, sleep overrode my mind as I slowly closed my eyes and placed my head on the desk.

By the time I came back to my senses, I noticed that there were many people inside the classroom that was previously barren. When did this happen? I decided not to answer that question and looked out the window once more. Even though there were many people inside the classroom to liven up the once dull mood, it still did not change the fact that I was bored and waiting for something interesting to happen. As I peered out the window, I noticed that the clear sky now had some clouds forming in the sky. I decided to look at the clouds to ease my boredom. As I was doing so, a girl with long, light blue hair with a blue headband, lavender eyes, and pale skin noticed that I just woke up from my quick slumber. She smiled and walked up to me.

"Good morning, Yaburo-kun," the girl said.

I turned my attention to the girl who was looking at me with a smile on her face.

"Oh, it is just you, Koyama-san," I replied nonchalantly.

"What kind of an attitude is that," she replied. "You were always like that."

"I am sorry for acting so indifferent to almost everything," I answered.

The girl who was in front of me was Koyama Taiga, a childhood friend that I was with ever since kindergarten. Ever since our first encounter, we started to be somewhat inseparable, meaning that, with each passing year, we would be in the same classroom. This happened through grade school, middle school, and, currently, high school.

"Let me guess, you are in this class as well, correct," I asked.

"And if I were to say no," Taiga responded.

"I would first say that you are lying," I replied quickly. "However, if you were telling the truth, I would tell you to go back to the bulletin boards and search for your name again, which should be under the same class as I am in. If your name is under another class, I would personally walk to the principal's office and ask them to transfer you to this classroom."

"Hey, wait," Taiga said, "you don't have to go through so much trouble just to get me in the same classroom as you. I was just joking; I am in the same class as you."

"Then, you should not have denied my question in the first place," I said. "I am glad that you are here with me, once again. I hope we have another successful year, as always."

Taiga blushed, but only for a second. She knew that, even though I have spoken those words to her, to me, those words were meaningless. Even if what I had just said sounded like a confession, because we have known each other for so long, she knew that it should not be taken as such. In the end, she simply smiled at me.

"Me too," she replied. "I hope we can have a great year together again."

I believe she whispered to herself "and forever, always," but before I can ask her to confirm that, she left and sat down on her seat, the second seat in the third column near the doors. I held back what I was going to say and continued to stare at the clouds. As I did, I had a slight premonition that someone was about to slap me hard in the back. I swiftly turned around and placed my hand out to protect my back. To my surprise, I caught someone's arm, meaning that my intuition was correct. The person who was about to slap me in the back was a tall buff person blonde hair, a red bandana with yellow stars, brown eyes, fair skin, and fingerless red leather driving gloves. He was surprised.

"How did you know that I was going to hit you in the back," he asked.

"You have done it so many times to me that it has become a bother," I replied.

"Give it up, Naoki" said a boy walking towards us. "You know you can't lay a finger on Nakamoto no matter how hard you try."

Two male students were walking towards us. The one who spoke to us had curly orange hair, green eyes, and tanned skin. The other male student had short dark blue hair, brown eyes, glasses, and fair skin. The male student with glasses sat down on the seat in front of mine.

"Hey, Kaito," said the boy with curly hair, "why are you sitting down on that seat?"

"I have every right to sit wherever I want," the boy with glasses responded.

"Still cold to me as usual, I see," the boy with curly hair said. "Well, that doesn't really matter anymore. I can always sit across from…"

His sentence stopped short when he saw that someone else was sitting across from me. The person who sat across from me had long, black hair that covered his eyes and pale skin. The boy with curly hair was highly surprised.

"Hey, when did you get here," the boy with curly hair asked him.

"I've been here ever since you guys came here," the boy at the seat replied.

"And I didn't notice you," the boy with curly hair remarked. "That's scary."

I simply sighed through the comedy that was happening in front of me. The names of the four boys that were around me were Hoshino Naoki, Isoda Kaito, Fujioka Osamu, and Kinoshita Riku. Naoki was the buff person blonde hair, a red bandana with yellow stars, brown eyes, fair skin, and fingerless red leather driving gloves. Kaito was the person with short dark blue hair, brown eyes, glasses, and fair skin. Osamu was the person with curly orange hair, green eyes, and tanned skin. Riku was the one with long, black hair that covered his eyes and pale skin. I have known Riku since middle school and knew everyone else during high school. Naoki was in my class during freshman year, and Kaito and Osamu were in my class during junior year. Kaito and Osamu were middle schools friends, although I could not picture exactly how that would be possible, for their personalities and taste highly contradict each other. It was here that I made an alarming discovery. Do not tell me that all four of these people are in the same classroom as I am. What a stroke of poor luck. Having realized this, I mentally died.

"Oh well," said Osamu. "I just I'll just sit behind Nakamoto then."

"Hey, that's my seat," said Naoki. "You need to find another seat."

"All three of you are cruel, do you know that," Osamu said to us.

"School is a war zone," said Kaito. "There is no love-loss in finding a seat near friends."

"And why does it have to be near my seat, of all seats," I asked.

"Isn't it obvious," Osamu said. "Friends are supposed to six next to each other. It's one of the most basic rules that friends are supposed to do when they are in the same school."

"You are obviously making all of this up," Kaito sighed.

"What did you say," Osamu said.

"Relax, Osamu," Naoki said. "In that case, why don't you sit next to Kaito?"

"That monkey and I are not friends," said Kaito. "He's an oaf that follows me around."

"Stop being so harsh, Kaito," Osamu said. "Just for that, I'm sitting next to you."

"You are a very bothersome creature," Kaito said. "Crawl away like a maggot."

As Kaito and Osamu rambled with each other, I turned to Riku.

"So, how have you been, Riku," I asked.

"Oh, I'm doing very well, Nakamoto-kun," he said.

"That is good to know," I asked. "So, no one has bothered you yet, correct?"

"Well, I still have some problems talking to people, but I'm trying," Riku replied.

"That is good news," I replied. "What about you, Naoki?"

"Me," he said surprised. "Well, nothing much. Same old, same old: jogging around the park, hitting the gym, lifting weights, fixing my motorcycle."

"You can stop there; I know you had a regular day after all of that," I said.

I sighed once again and looked out the window to stare at the clouds once again. My boredom never fails to amaze me. Soon, the bell rang, signaling the start of the new school semester. After an uninformative opening ceremony that I have heard twice already and a dull, cliché speech from my homeroom teacher, the school day started with the students having assigned seats. Thirty-six pieces of paper, each with the numbers one to thirty-six written on it, were placed inside a small box. A chart was drawn on the board as to how the seats would be arranged. The numbers were randomly generated throughout the entire chart. All of the students began to reach down to the box to find out what their designated seat was. When it was my turn, I reached into the box, picked out a piece of paper, and walked away from the box. I looked at the number. Thirty-four. I looked at the chalkboard. That is a horrible seat to be in. I am in the third seat in the third column, which is technically the middle seat of the entire classroom. What a pain. It seems as if life currently hates me today. I had no choice but to sit down on that spot. I grabbed my bag from my window seat and sat down in the middle of the classroom. Having nothing else better to do, I placed my head down to take a short nap. My main concern is the people who would be sitting around me for the next year. If it were the four people whom I was with from before, then I have the worst sense of luck in this entire world. Soon, I heard someone sitting down to my left. When I looked to that direction, I realized that it was Naoki.

"Hey," he said. "It looks like I'm still sitting next to you even with our seating change."

"I see," I said. "Let me look at your number."

He showed me his number; it was the number eight. I looked up at the blackboard and saw that the number eight next to my seat. I stared at it blankly.

"Are you sure you do not want to exchange your number with someone," I told him.

"Hey, I can't be that annoying of a person that you want me to be away," Naoki said.

"That is not the point," I said. "You should make new friends elsewhere."

"I don't think it makes a difference, since I'll just go to your desk between breaks anyway," Naoki explained. "Sitting next to you is much more convenient."

Before I could say anything else, Kaito sat in front of me. I quickly looked at the blackboard again. I saw the number fourteen near my seat.

"So, I'm assuming that you have the number fourteen," I asked Kaito.

"Is there a problem with that," Kaito said, showing me his number.

"No, none whatsoever," I responded.

Kaito turned around and turned on his laptop. He is the last person that I want to make my enemy. Riku took out a piece of paper, looked at it, and sat down behind me.

"It looks like we're going to be near each other for the rest of the year," Riku said.

"It does look that way," I replied. "I'm assuming you have the number twenty-eight?"

"Yes, I do," he confirmed, showing me his number.

"Well, would you look at that," Osamu said. "We're all sitting next to each other."

"No, we are not," Kaito quickly replied. "Go back and quickly draw another number."

"I would like to do that, but I can't," Osamu said. "I picked out the last number in the box, so I can't get a new number even if you beg me to."

"I demand that you find a new seat this instant," Kaito said without looking at him. "There is something called trading numbers. Please, do so."

"Geez, you are always harsh to me, Kaito," Osamu said, sitting next to me.

I looked at the blackboard; the number twenty three was next to my seat. Four hopeless friends were sitting around me. I sighed. Well, at the very least, the atmosphere around us will be lively. Then again, the same things will probably happen every day, so, in a sense, everyday will be boring. What a bother. I was curious as to what number Taiga had and where she was sitting. She sat down in the fourth seat in the front row, diagonally from Kaito and in front of Naoki. Once everything has been settled and calmed down, the next agenda that we had to target was deciding the class president. This was done fairly quickly, for Taiga swiftly nominated herself to be the class president. I was not surprised by this, for she did the same thing during our freshman year and junior year. Because the rest of the class did not want to do something so troublesome and had no problems with her representing our class, she would be our class president. After that, there were still a few minutes left until morning classes.

"So, Koyama-san is our class president again," Naoki said to me.

"It is not that surprising, to be honest," I replied.

"She is a role model for all students," Kaito said. "Then again, she could be doing this for her own benefits, such as papers to college and the like."

"Hey, don't talk badly about her; she's right there," Osamu whispered.

The good news was that Taiga was able to take criticism lightly.

"Still, you can never guess what is on a person's mind," Kaito said.

"Although I agree with you, you still sounded really harsh right there," Osamu said.

"Right," Naoki agreed. "Koyama-san is a well-respected woman. She would never do something like that if she was otherwise."

"Never judge a book by its cover," Kaito said. "Who knows what kind of a woman she is."

"If you don't trust her, why don't you go up to her and find out yourself," Osamu said.

"I'll observe her through my own means," said Kaito, who was still on his laptop.

"Geez, this is why you need to open up more, right, Nakamoto," Osamu said.

"Do not get me into any of your silly arguments," I said. "However, I do agree with you that you can only judge someone if you know that person well enough."

"Exactly," Osamu said. "It's good that we still think alike."

"What about you, Riku," Naoki said. "You find Koyama-san to be a good person, right?"

"H-Huh," Riku said, surprised. "Y-Y-Yes, I also believe that she is a good person."

"See," Osamu said. "It's three against one, not counting Nakamoto."

"You guys can think however you want to think," Kaito said.

"Still cold to me as always, I see. Not that I mind it though," said Osamu.

"I hear somebody coming from to the classroom," said Naoki.

"It is probably our teacher," I said. "Just get ready."

As I retained my composure while everyone else was frantically preparing for our first class, our first period teacher walked into the room. When everything was settled, the first period began. It was just like any other normal school day. The main things you heard inside the classroom were the teacher's lecture and the sound of pens and pencils clicking and writing on a piece of paper. Some students were called to answer questions, and the day continued as such. I simply stared into space, pretending to pay attention in class.

Soon, the bell rang, signaling the end of morning classes. The students in the classroom breathed a sigh of relief now that the morning classes were over. Some of the students hurriedly ran out of the door to buy some bread at the vendor or to quickly be in line for the school lunch. I placed the remaining books that were on my desk inside my desk and looked into my backpack. I would usually carry a lunchbox with me, but today, that is not the case. Luckily, I had some money with me to buy some bread and lunch. I closed my backpack and sighed. While Kaito, Osamu, and Riku took out their lunchboxes, Naoki continued to look into his backpack thoroughly until he gave up.

"What is the matter, Naoki," I asked.

"Well, I thought I brought my lunch with me, but I guess I left it at home," he replied.

"I am assuming that you are going to buy some bread," I questioned.

"I have to," Naoki replied. "I need to eat to keep up with my strength."

In the end, it came down to physique. Although, health-wise, he is correct.

"Hey, hey," said Osamu, "let's eat lunch together, like old times."

"Not today," I replied. "Naoki and I are going to go to the cafeteria to eat."

"Hmm, that is odd," said Osamu. "Did you forget to bring your lunch with you today?"

"It looks like it," Naoki responded.

"Well, I guess there are days when things like that happen," Osamu said.

"If you want, you can have some of my lunch, Naoki-kun," Riku said.

"It's okay," Naoki said. "I appreciate your hospitality, but I would rather get some food for myself than ask a friend for it. Thank you for the offer, though."

"Well then, shall we head to the cafeteria together," I asked him.

"Did you forget your lunchbox too, Nakamoto-kun," Riku asked.

"I did," I answered. "You guys can eat without us if you want to."

"Just buy some bread and come up here as soon as possible," Osamu said.

"A gathering is not needed to eat," Kaito said, eating his lunch.

"Hey, hey, can't you wait," Osamu said. "We'll wait for you, right, Riku?"

"H-Huh," Riku said, surprised. "Y-Y-Yes, we will wait for you."

"You guys are really good friends," Naoki said. "I will be back soon."

"There is no need to be that modest about their reaction," I said to him.

Along with a few other students, Naoki and I stood up and walked out of the classroom. Naoki was swiftly walking to the cafeteria. Seriously, this guy does not really need to be that emotional about our latest conversation. Still, I guess I cannot do anything about it, since that is his personality. I tried to keep up with his pace. Taiga, who saw me walk out of the classroom, was about to stand up to walk up to me, but quickly controlled herself and sat back down. On her lap were two lunchboxes. Kaito noticed her reaction, but did nothing about it. He stopped eating and continued to work on his laptop.

Meanwhile, Naoki and I finally made it to the cafeteria, a large area with tables, chairs, and benches galore. On one side of the cafeteria were a few vending machines for drinks and machines that gave students a meal ticket for the school lunch. On another side of the cafeteria was the line for the school lunch and bread; however, the bread line should not be considered a line. As I looked for the bread stand, all I saw was a massive amount of people cramming their way through the crowd to pay for whatever bread there was left in the stands. As usual, the bread line is just one large warzone for students like us. I do not believe that freshman should go through such crowds as these, since the people who go for the bread line are usually nasty and foul-mouthed at heart. Then again, I could be wrong, and there are actually freshman in that crowd. I was about to turn my attention to the school lunch line when I noticed that there was a short girl standing away from the large crowd of people while looking at the bread stand. She had long blond hair in twin tails, red bows for her twin tails, red eyes, and pale skin. There was a worried look on her face. I have not seen her before. Could she be a freshman? It must be her first time seeing such a large mob as this. Then again, middle schools should have something like this. Maybe she goes to a school that does not. In any case, I pity her for wanting some bread even though it may be too late to get some. As an upperclassman, I should help her. I was about to walk up to the girl when Naoki also noticed that there was a girl standing away from the large crowd while looking at the bread stand. Slowly, he walked up to her. I was worried. If he walks up to her like that, she may get a bad impression from him. I walked behind him.

"Excuse me, but do you want some bread from the bread stand," Naoki asked her.

The girl was surprised and turned to Naoki. There was a long pause. I seriously hope that nothing bad happens. I waited for something to occur. Suddenly, the girl nods to him. I was surprised. Did I just see a miracle occur?

"I see," Naoki said. "The line is quite packed right now. Tell you what; I'll buy some bread for you in your place. What would you want?"

Again there was silence, and the girl was looking down.

"How about I choose something for you," Naoki asked. "Wait right here. What do you want, Nakamoto? Hey, why are you swelling up with tears?"

I did not notice that I was crying and quickly rubbed my eyes.

"Sorry about that," I replied. "There was something in my eye. What did you ask?"

"Do you want anything from the bread stand," Naoki asked again.

"I do not think there is any point in choosing," I replied. "I will have whatever that is left."

"Alright then," Naoki said. "Wait right here."

"Hey, Naoki, maybe it is best if I go through the line instead of you," I said.

"If I do that, I would feel bad about not going there with you and would want to figure out how to repay you," Naoki explained. "Let me handle this."

Naoki walked away and walked to the crowd of people. As soon as people saw him, they were scared and moved to the side for him to pass through. When he walked up to the bread stand, he noticed that there were still a few pieces of bread left. He took three yakisoba bread from the stand and gave the money to the seller, who was also frightened of Naoki. I sighed. I knew something like this would happen. I hope the girl is not afraid of him after all is said and done. When he walked away from the bread stand and away from the crowd, there was complete silence, but it only lasted for a split second. Soon, the crowd became wild again and began to buy the remaining bread from the stand. Naoki walked up to the girl that we met.

"Here you go," Naoki said, handing the yakisoba bread to her.

The girl stared at the bread for a minute and slowly took the bread from his hand.

"I hope you like it; it is really good," said Naoki. "The line from the bread stand is very spontaneous. There are some days when the people are nice and will allow you to pass through them; however, there are other days when the line is very mean and will actually punch and kick you in order to be first in line. In order to successfully get the bread you want, you have to prepare to run to the cafeteria beforehand. As soon as the bell rings, make sure that you have everything ready to go so you can quickly run to the bread line and be first as fast as possible. The bread line gets highly crowded easily, so you must be there as early as possible. Sometimes, when you want to buy food, you'd like to eat it as soon as possible, right? The same method applies if you want to find a seat in the cafeteria. There aren't that many comfortable places to eat outside the school unless you go out of campus. So, the easiest thing to do is to get here before the line gets packed so you can have your bread and leave with it."

I was dumbfounded from this scene that was going on in front of my very eyes. Is this a vision of heaven? Not only is Naoki giving a thoughtful lecture, which is quite normal for him, but that girl is actually listening and paying attention to him. Not only that, she is actually taking notes on what Naoki is saying, although that is quite extreme in her part. This is too much of a blessing of happiness. When Naoki was finished, he turned to me.

"Hey, Nakamoto, why are you crying again," he asked me.

Again, I did not realize that I was crying from this scene and rubbed my eyes.

"It is nothing," I replied. "Another small speck of dust has caught my eye once more."

"You should be careful," Naoki said. "I thought they cleaned up this place well."

"Well, we have nothing to worry about from here," I said. "Let us depart."

Naoki gave me a yakisoba bread, and we walked away from the girl. Before we were about to leave the cafeteria, the girl ran up to us and tugged on Naoki's shirt. The two of us turned around. Is there something else that she wanted? We waited for a response.

"Um," she said to Naoki. "T-T-Thank you very much."

Naoki was speechless due to her eyes. He quickly blushed and turned to the side.

"Y-You're welcome," Naoki replied. "If you need any more help, you can ask me."

The girl nodded and released her grip from Naoki. We turned around and walked out of the cafeteria. I noticed that Naoki was still blushing from what just happened a few seconds ago. I turned to the girl that we have left at the cafeteria; she was also highly blushing while looking at Naoki. When we made eye contact, she quickly turned to the side to hide her blush. I turned back and continued to walk beside Naoki. It cannot be; I must be over-thinking this. Can one consider this "love at first sight?" If those two continue to meet each other and actually develop feelings for one another, I would be the happiest man on earth for witnessing such an eventful and interesting experience. I kept my thoughts to myself, and the two of us walked into our homeroom. I noticed that there were a few students left inside the classroom; however, the three key people were still inside the classroom. Osamu was busy toying with Kaito while Riku was patiently waiting for us. Taiga was also one of the few people inside the classroom.

"Hey, hey, what took you guys so long," Osamu said, noticing us.

"Sorry, Osamu, we…" Naoki began.

"A series of events occurred inside the cafeteria, but all is fixed," I replied.

"Hey, Nakamoto, you should tell the truth," Naoki whispered to me.

"That was the truth, do you not agree," I whispered back.

"Yeah, but that is not really the whole truth," Naoki said.

"I don't know what happened, but I am famished," said Kaito. "Sit down, you two."

"Geez, why can't you be patient," Osamu said. "Sorry about that; Kaito is just a bit cranky because he was waiting for you to eat."

"Well, I did give you permission to eat without us," I told them, walking to my seat.

"Hey, hey, I said we're all going to eat together, so we're all going to eat together," Osamu said. "There is no one that will eat prior or after that."

"I see," I replied. "Sorry it took so long, Riku. Did you wait too long?"

"No," Riku said. "I can wait patiently for you, Nakamoto-kun."

"See, you should learn from Riku, Kaito," said Osamu.

"You are in no position in telling me what to do, buffoon," Kaito responded.

"Geez, your harshness to me never fails to amaze me," Osamu said.

With that, the five of us started to eat our lunches. Osamu began talking about random things to help lighten the quietness inside our circle. Most of the topics that Osamu said annoyed Kaito, so the quietness was mainly interfered by Kaito and Osamu's voices. Sometimes, when the opportunity arises, Riku or Naoki would cut into the conversation to voice their opinion. I remained quiet, only listening and observing everything that is happening around me. I noticed that Naoki was still thinking about that girl whom we have met a few minutes ago. I could still see a small blush coming out from his face. I guess I should talk about this personally with him after school about that girl. In the event that he is interested in her, I would like to support him in any way I can.

I looked over to Taiga. She was conversing with her friends as well. All were talking and giggling. Well, at least she is having a grand time in her circle of friends. I noticed that she was carrying two lunchboxes inside her bag. Did she have my lunchbox the entire time? In that case, she could have given it to me in the morning. Maybe she forgot about it. Well, it is too late to walk up to her and ask her about it. Besides, we did make a promise to each other about it. I guess I have to wait until later to eat it.

Soon, the bell rang, signaling the beginning of afternoon classes. I noticed a crowd of students quickly running into this classroom, making sure that they made it in time so they would not be considered late. At the same time, a few students ran out of the classroom using the other door. All who were inside the classroom quickly got settled until the next teacher came in. Once the teacher walked in, everything became quieter, and the air of students paying attention in class resumed. Once again, the same boring things happened. As the teacher continued his lecture, the students were jotting down notes into their notebooks. Again, all I did was stare into space while pretending to pay attention. It is not that I was the type of person who does not listen in class or care about the teachers. It is simply because I find it hard to get motivated to do anything school related. Sure, I am still able to answer the questions that the teachers throw at me and get high grades in all of my tests thus far, but it is hard for me to actually be lively in class. Overall, I feel as though everything related to academics is a bore and rarely do things catch my interest that would actually make me think deeply into things. Take the scene in the cafeteria as an example. I have known Naoki for two years. I know that despite his delinquent looks and muscular physique, he has a very kind heart and would never backstab anyone. He also will not talk badly about other people, even though many people have treated him so. When I saw that that girl was able to hold a normal conversation with him, I was in shock. For one second, I thought that there was someone other than myself who is able to see pass his looks and into his heart. Then again, I still do not know much about the girl and what her thinking process is like. She could probably just be talking like that out of respect to her upperclassman. Still, that is an example of things I am interested in, not dull lectures that I am currently listening to.

The bell rang, signaling the end of the school day. Because today was the first day of school, the bell rang earlier and classes were shorter. The classroom was once again loud with idle chatter and the shuffling of papers and books. As the teacher gathered up her things and left the classroom, so, too, were students inside the classroom, eager to leave school.

"Don't you guys think woman are weird creatures," Naoki asked.

I was struck silent. That is not a good subject to talk about at the end of the day.

"Do you believe so," I asked. "What makes you think that way?"

"Well, I think women are delicate people," Naoki explained. "You have to be very nice and gentle to them because they might get emotional. When they do break down, you have to be there to support them, no matter what. At least, that is how I feel about them."

"That's quite an appealing statement that you have made there, Naoki," said Osamu.

He overheard us? He is the last person I want to listen to this.

"You really think so," Naoki asked.

"Of course, I do," said Osamu. "In fact, I'll tell you how I view women."

This is the reason why I did not want him to be a part of this conversation.

"You see," Osamu began, "women are like priceless merchandise. They are beautiful, shiny, and treasured dearly by their caretakers. They are finely colored, nicely cleaned, and shaped in every way, shape, and form. For men like us, we must pick exactly what kind of women that we want out of this fine selection that the store known as Earth has given us. Yes, women are simply merchandise for men to have. It is a known fact throughout the entire earth. They are yours, and yours alone. Once taken, you can treat it however you can without any backfire whatsoever. They cannot do anything back to you because women are simply there for men to have, and they know that it is the men who govern their entire will and life. Yes, this is why there are things such as woman in this world. You can have as many of them as you want, and nothing will ever fall on you whatsoever."

"And this is why you are considered lower than trash, you pig" Kaito said.

"Hey, hey, don't interrupt me while I'm making my grand speech," Osamu said.

"You're lucky to be still standing near your desk, buffoon," Kaito said.

"Oh, really now," said Osamu. "Well, what do you have to say about women?"

"They are annoying creatures," Kaito responded. "They rob your possessions, release a personality inside you that you thought you did not have, and slowly break you apart one by one. They mask their slyness with a smile and ruin everything that is important to you. They're the kind of people that would use every trick in the book to get into a man's life and destroy it for their own humorous sake. They're not worth opening up to, but they are not as worthless as you."

"I-I-I disagree with all of you," Riku said.

The four of our eyes turned to Riku's direction. We were silent.

"A-A-Although what you say has some truth in it, Kaito-san, you still need to respect them and treat then equally, Osamu-san, and you can't belittle them, Naoki-kun," said Riku. "I believe women should be treated with respect. In fact, everyone should be well-respected. You can't just discriminate people because of sex, race, color, and religion. It's wrong. So, on that note, women are to be treated with the same respect as how you would treat your superiors or best friend. That is what makes connections between opposite genders strong and great."

The four of us were shocked that he said something like that. Riku was worried.

"D-D-Did I say something weird," Riku asked us. "If I did, I'm sorry."

"No, you did not," I replied. "In fact, you have given me quite the inspiration. It is about time we try to spice up our lives for a bit. Shall we make a bet?"

"What is it that we are betting on," Osamu asked.

"Here is the plot," I explained. "I am certain that all four of you know, as well as I do, that we are all single. Naoki, you believe that women are people who should be protected and taken care of at all costs. Kaito, you believe that women are merciless and only care about credentials. Osamu, you believe that woman are spoils and can be treated however one wants them to be treated. Riku, you believe that women are to be respected and treated fairly. So, here is the situation that I am throwing at you four fine gentlemen: you are to find your significant other before graduation without getting detected by any of us."

"I'm out," Kaito said quickly. "I'm not wasting my time playing along with such childish thoughts."

"Allow me to finish," I said. "Whoever has a girlfriend by the time we graduate will be able order the people who do not have a girlfriend to do whatever he says for a full year afterwards. That means that, even if we graduate and go on in our separate ways, we can still annoy each other for a full year. I am sure you are interested in this now, Kaito, correct?"

"Count me in," Osamu said. "I know I can find a girlfriend within that amount of time easily! In fact, I have a lot of things I want Kaito to do in front of me, since I know that there is no way Kaito is going to have a girlfriend anytime soon."

"In that case, I'm in as well," said Kaito. "I know that junk like you will never find a true woman no matter how hard you look. I, too, wish for you to obey my words."

"I don't like the idea, but it is true that we should find at least someone of interest while we are still young," Naoki said. "I'm in this one as well."

"I-I-If everyone is doing it, then I will do it too," Riku said.

"Alright then, let us settle this matter. Everyone is to gather around my desk and place his hand on top of my hand," I said as I stretch out my hand on top of my desk.

"I'm not sure why we have to do that, but okay," Naoki said

"Do we have to do something as childish as that," Kaito asked.

"Hey, hey, it is fun to do it once in a while," Osamu said.

"I think it is quite interesting as well," Riku said.

The four of them did as I said, and everyone's hand was together.

"One last thing," I said. "If you know who any of our person of interest are, the person that was founded out must do whatever that person has to say until graduation."

Before any of them could say something, I lifted everyone's hands up.

"The pact known as Nakanaori is now in full motion," I said.

I did not bother to listen to their complaints afterwards.

*To be continued*