Categories of girls
In the first year, I didn’t have particularly close friends. I liked that everyone was well-behaved and smart, but I wasn’t sure of myself. I could have relaxed and returned to who I was – a quiet, bookish girl, but I was afraid of shunning people as I had done in junior high school.
I observed the social diversity in the homogenous collective of high school. Some of the girls from the city had more elegant air, implying their well-to-do background, like Shiho. They came from a family of doctors, teachers, and ryokan owners. They focused on the study and cultural activities. They could be top of the class while playing Beethoven on the piano or singing like opera singers.
The girls from rural towns spoke in a thick accent and were less refined than the city girls. Some told crude jokes that surprised the rest. They had a gay presence and vibrant energy that stood out in the class.
There were girls whose womanhood sprouted early. They were pretty with dyed marron color hair and a shorter skirt. They had boyfriends in another school and knew all there was to do with the intimacy with boys.
Some odd girls had their world and shared it with only likeminded girls. They flocked together, so their aura protected them from the insensitivity of other young girls.
Though the threshold was not distinctive, I believe there was a “cool girls” category. They were stylish, apparent even from the way they wore the school uniform. They had a great haircut, carried a cool bag that went with their shoes. Some were into sports, and others were into music. They were full of exciting topics to discuss, or even dull topics were turned into an epic anecdote. They knew how to make each other laugh, with their clever wit and banter. They connected comfortably with others, too, by sharing their deepest thoughts. Basically, the “cool girls” were Izumis from other schools. Izumi was, of course, amongst them.