It happened in the fall of my first year of high school. My father remarried and I had a new family.
Or, to be more precise, I should say that I had a new addition to my family. Two new people joined the Shiina family. My step mother is a beautiful woman. My step brother is a gloomy boy. I was raised by a single father who was busy, so I was always alone. Because of these circumstances, I was a little happy to have a new family.
The woman who would become my step mother had greeted me beforehand, but I met the boy who would become my brother on the day my father was to file his marriage papers. Specifically, in the government office where my father and stepmother were filing the paperwork.
The boy’s eyes were cold and his heart was closed, so I didn’t know what he was thinking. He was just expressionless and always facing down, seemingly shutting out all possible emotions from the world.
He was so creepy to the point that I thought that even though we were about to become a family. His hair was messy and unkempt, and he looked very much like a middle-schooler. And he was neither for nor against his parents’ remarriage, he just watched what happened. It was as if he had nothing to do with it.
However, I had heard a little about him from my step mother a while ago.
(Um, if I remember correctly, there were some bad things that happened in his middle school. And I think there was a lot going on before he went to elementary school?)
I wasn’t told the details, but it seems that traumatic things happened to him repeatedly. And every event has become a trauma that has bound him. It was as if fate hated him.
Even if I have the courage to talk to him several times, he only gives me the bare minimum of conversation. On the contrary, we have been living together for a while now and we have never made eye contact. For the first time in my life, I was rejected by someone. And I can’t do anything.
[……What should I do?]
I didn’t know how to treat him.
Time passed and it was July. It has been hot and humid every day since the seasonal change of clothing. I don’t know if it ‘s due to global warming or not, but I feel as if the sunlight is piercing my skin through my short sleeves. I can hardly wait for the summer vacation coming up in a month.
(If that happens, I’ll have to spend every day with my step sister.)
Since my step sister is preparing for the entrance exam, I’m sure she’s going to nag me a lot.Knowing what kind of scolding she’s going to give me is depressing, but something even more depressing is about to happen soon.
“Okay, everyone, take your seats !”
The morning begins as usual when homeroom teacher Shichinomiya sensei arrives in the classroom. But the only difference is that there’s a change in the first period to discuss the sports festival. The atmosphere is somewhat cheerful, except for those in the class who are not good at sports.
“As I said yesterday, we are going to discuss the sports festival. Let’s see, I’ll hand out the printouts for now.”
Shichinomiya sensei handed it out to the students sitting in the front rows of the class. And by the time the printouts were passed around to me, she was writing things down on the blackboard. It looks like it’s faster to look at the printouts than the blackboard, so I drop my eyes on the printouts.
(……Hee, it’s a lot different from last year.)
Last year, the teams were divided into two groups, and the winner was determined by the team’s overall strength and individual ability, and the MVP was chosen from among all the students in the school in various categories and added to the score. However, this year is very different, so I will summarize some important points.
This year’s athletic festival will be held as an inter-class competition (18 classes).
There will be five events (ball toss, pole topple, obstacle race, scavenger hunt, and relay).
The pole topple will be limited to boys, the obstacle race will be limited to girls, and the relay will have a total of 8 participants (4 boys and 4 girls).
As a general rule, all students may participate in more than one competition, and one student may participate in multiple competitions. However, this does not apply in case of illness or injury.
Ten points will be awarded for each event won, and 20 points will be awarded for winning the finals.
This year, as last year, there will be an MVP system.
The class with the highest total points will be declared the overall winner.
(Last year, there was a cavalry battle….but it was replaced by a pole topple.)
I wonder if there are any high schools that do pole toppling at sports festivals these days. And the fact that it’s boys only means that there’s a good chance that I’ll be forced to participate in this, which makes me wither for now. Or rather, simply because there’s a high possibility of injury, it’s the event that I do not want to do the most.
(In addition to that, duplicate participation in other competitions. This is probably the most important part of the sports festival this time.)
The fact that one person can double participate in other competitions means that the more athletically inclined students can participate in all but a limited number competitions. Such a strategy will be important, and the success here will largely determine the winner.
(The ones who seem to be suited for such in this class are….)
Kisaragi is the first one to be mentioned. Then there must have been a couple of boys who performed well in the sports test. Yukihana has the skills….but I don’t think she’s physically suited for it.
“Well let’s decide who will participate in which competitions first. Then Kisaragi san, please.”
As usual, Kisaragi, who’s a member of the class committee, is in charge. The most popular is the ball-tossed, which is a very popular competition in the japan. On the other hand, limited competitions such as pole topple and steeplechase were not so popular.
“Hmm, the odds of throwing a ball are high, Well then, let’s play rock-paper-scissors fairly…..”
I thought rock-paper-scissors wouldn’t matter, but the vice prez, Yukihana, put a stop to it. Kisaragi asks what happened to Yukihana who suddenly raises her voice.
“…..We should decide on the limited competitions that don’t have a lot of applicants first. Specifically, we’ll give priority to those with the highest athletic ability from that ball game.”
“You’re right. Certainly, we need to do it that way to decide.”
“……It’s a suggestion, so first make sure that the class is okay with it.”
“Understood. Then everyone raises your hand if you disagree with the current suggestion. Well, since there doesn’t seem to be any…..that’s the way we’ll decide for now.”
(When you ask people to raise their hands if they disagree, no one will raise their hands.)
Raising a hand here is like a public execution in a sense. After all, I knew that if I raised my hand, I would be asked why. I’m sure she knows that. What a way of doing it.
“Well, I’ll have the students with the best PE scores go first to the pole topple and the obstacle race. Then we’ll adjust the ball toss.”
And so the forced transfer of competitions began. I thought I would be fine since I had a medium grade in P.E., but I was moved to the pole topple with plenty of time to spare. Or rather, if you look closely, the minimum number of participants in pole topple is not much different from the number of boys in this class. It seems that I had to participate anyway.
(If that happens, the ball toss will be canceled.)
If I’m allowed to participate in the pole pole, I have fulfilled the requirement of participating in all competitions in general, so there’s no need to go to the trouble of participating in the ball toss again. I will therefore limit my participation to the pole topple only.
The same factors for the women’s obstacle race were also decided. It seems that Kisaragi will lead the girls in the obstacle race. Yukihana, on the other hand, did not take part in the obstacle race, but instead in the ball toss competition. Unlike Kisaragi, she wasn’t planning to participate in the obstacle race. The participants for the limited competition and the ball toss were then determined.
The scavenger hunt was easily decided since it was a mixed gender event and there were unexpectedly many people who wanted to participate. Perhaps it’s a hidden popular event.
For the remaining event, the boys were selected in order of the fastest time. The boys were surprisingly enthusiastic about it since it’s a sort of star event. The girls were made up of members who seemed to have good athletic skills, including Kisaragi, who’s a member of the track and field club. What surprising was
“Ruri chan, you’re going to be in the relay, too.”
“…..Don’t be silly.”
“Oh my, Ruri chan, you said that we should select people based on who has the best grades in PE. Ruri chan, regardless of long-distance running, you were fast in sprinting, so I’m sure you can do well !”
So Yukihana was pushed into participating in the relay as well. She wasn’t happy about it, but she could not back down from the idea because she had initiated it. It backfired her.
“Well, then, let’s see if this is how it works out.”
Then it was roughly decided who would participate in which event. Kisaragi is in the obstacle race and relay. Yukihana will participate in the ball toss and relay. And I’m going to do the pole topple.
Once the events were finalized, the classmates were discussing various things with the people seated nearby. They were probably talking about the events and the day of the event.
As I was pondering how I was going to skip the pole topple event, Kisaragi tapped on the teacher’s desk and began to call out to everyone in a loud voice.
“Everyone ! Unlike last year, this year’s event was a class competition. I’m sure there will be a lot of memories and bonding. So let’s all do our best so that there will be no regrets, and let’s make sure our class wins the overall championship “
When Kisaragi said this, the whole class got excited. It’s no exaggeration to say that this girl is in control of the class right now. I wish Yukihana would somehow take the reins of the class.
(Anyway, I don’t cooperate with the class at all)
I’m not trying to help the class in this sports festival. I’m just trying to figure out how I can skip class without being noticed. If possible, I would like to be absent on the day of the festival, but I don’t know what I will be told afterwards, so it’s a choice I don’t like to make.
With that, each class began full-fledged preparations for the sports festival.
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