Freedom – new girls’ rules part 2
There were several girls from both 2nd-grade and 3rd-grade. On one side of the room, the 3rd-grade girls sat in line. 2nd-grade girls sat facing them on the other side. There were the mean girl and her entourage, who told me not to smile. There was also Yuko, to whom I felt sorry she got involved in this as she had never been an unreasonable person.
Izumi’s sister bawled at the 3rd-grade girls, “do you know why you are here!?” The 3rd-grade girls stared at the floor silently. She continued, “they have something to tell you. You’d better listen to them!” and left the room.
It was not how we expected the afternoon gathering to pan out, but the ball had unexpectedly started rolling, and we had no choice but to go with the momentum. Silence fell in the space between us. I counted to ten and making sure no one else dared, spoke up. “I think it’s unfair that we can’t wear our hair as we like,” and “I don’t think we need to bow to you so excessively.” After another count of ten, Kei told them how the toilet rules were nonsense, and Izumi followed with more agendas. The dam was broken. We couldn’t retrieve our requests. I feared they might explode with fury or with tears.
No one said anything for a minute, and then, the mean girl spoke up in a strangely soft and high-tone voice that took me a moment to identify the speaker. “You can wear your hair however you like.” The tension in the room immediately loosened. We all started talking and negotiated the new girls’ rules together. We won our freedom.