It was stark and unexpectedly painful when asked aloud like that.
But she had a valid question. Had I lost faith?
"It is not uncommon for idol program students to have doubts, as you might know. It comes with youth after all," said Principal Deeta.
"This is even a problem for pure-blooded Nihonjins, not just for..." Principal Deeta seemed to struggle to find the word she wanted to use. "...people like you."
Non-Nihonjins. Non-Nihonjins is the word that she was looking for.
"Regardless of your ancestry, the assumption is standard education would iron out those doubts and produce faithful Idols." said Deeta before looking away to gaze upon a portrait of the previous principal still hanging on the walls of this office. "Well, that assumption is wrong isn't it."
She makes it seem like it's my fault. Well... it is.
"That assumption is made for the very simple reason that you, by the virtue of the position you are in, have found Mirai and chosen Her by your own volition. And here you are now, saying you want out."
I shrink and the Principal turns to me again.
"Please remember, Miss Wakabayashi, that your seat could have been filled with one of the hopefuls who got cut by the opportunity quota,"
'I know! And I am sorry too!' I wanted to scream at her but I did not even mumble, not wanting further confrontation.
Then she said a most damnest thing, considering hindsight.
"Damned government initiatives" she grumbled under her breath. "Government should stay away from religion, don't you think, Miss Wakabayashi?"
It was an unequivocal yes from me, but at the time I was too frazzled to answer, and now laughing at the irony of it all.
The Principal sighed.
"It follows that you should be working your hardest for those who got snubbed because they just had to fit in one more of you."
It had always been a favorite argument by naysayers of the Religious Equality Act of 2390. Of course, they can be phrased in many different ways. Sometimes it is said like 'you're only here because of your race', or 'my cousin should have been here instead, she can dance much better than you', or, my favorite, 'what's next? they're gonna let Tolks be idols?'
"Let's check your grades to see, if you even deserve to be in here shall we," she said as she worked her desk interface.
I dreaded this action. If I had a chance be allowed out before, I definitely won't now.
"Let's see here... Wakabayashi, Wendy... Your grades are...."
The Principal paused for a moment and tilted her head. She didn't finish her sentence. She looked back at me.
"You are dismissed."
I was still frozen.
"Please, Miss Wakabayashi" sighed the Principal. "Stand up, turn left, take one step, turn left again, walk until the doors, open and return to your dormitory to prepare for tomorrow's school day."
I did exactly as the Principal said.
They were very specific instructions.
It was highly appreciated.