There was a girl called Mayumi.
day when she was walking towards the school, she caught sight of
another girl ahead on the street wearing the same school uniform as her.
The girl was her classmate, and was often the target of bullying in the
Bullying could often get extreme at an all-girls school like Mayumi's.
her classmates just ignored the girl, and at other times they would do
things like putting used sanitary items on the girl's desk. The teachers
knew about the bullying but pretended they didn't see it.
had no particular feelings towards the girl, but she didn't dare to be
the odd one out and so bullied the girl along with the rest of the
class. She remembered saying some cruel things to the girl.
Mayumi got closer and noticed the girl was looking very happy. And somehow she kept jumping at the same spot. Mayumi was puzzled. The spot where she was jumping on was a manhole. Why was she jumping like that, smiling like mad?
"Nine, nine, nine, nine...." The girl kept muttering while she jumped.
"What are you doing?" Mayumi asked the girl.
But the girl didn't answer and just went on muttering, "nine, nine, nine, nine...."
"Hey! Don't you ignore me!" Mayumi said with more heat in her voice.
But still the girl said nothing.
Until that moment, Mayumi never despised the girl like the others did, but what with the girl enjoying all by herself and ignoring her completely, a sudden feeling of anger welled up in her.
"Why the hell are you doing that?"She asked once again. But the girl went on jumping happily as before, as if she hadn't heard Mayumi's outburst.
Then suddenly a strange idea occurred to Mayumi that maybe this "jumping on the manhole as you say numbers" is a very wonderful and interesting thing to do.
It was a stupid idea, Mayumi
knew. She felt confused about her feelings, and at the same time, found
herself wanting to make the girl stop what she was doing. Mayumi somehow couldn't accept that someone like her was enjoying herself in that way.
"Move! I'll try that myself!" Mayumi said, and pushing the girl away, stood on the manhole herself.
bent her knees well before making a big jump. At the exact moment, the
girl who had been pushed away, quickly, and using all her strength,
removed the lid of the manhole. Mayumi fell right into it.
girl put the lid back on. And smiling with satisfaction, she started
jumping again, this time muttering, "ten, ten, ten, ten...."