I never really liked my name. Sapphire Kawashima. It's too flashy, too sparkly, too... "kira-kira" as they say in Japanese. I've always preferred to be called Midori instead. Just the first character of my given name.

Growing up in a wealthy family, my parents were obsessed with giving me a name that would stand out. They thought it was elegant and sophisticated, but all I saw was a constant reminder of how different I felt from everyone else around me.

At school, people would often comment on how unique and beautiful my name was. They didn't understand the weight it carried for me - the pressure to live up to this image of sophistication and wealth that came with being named Sapphire.

I remember one time when we had a substitute teacher who mispronounced my name as "Saffire." Everyone found it funny except for me. It just reinforced how different I felt from everyone else around me.

My friends Kumiko and Hazuki have always been supportive though. They understood why I preferred Midori over Sapphire and never questioned it. Reina also respected my choice, even though she teased me about being embarrassed by such a pretty name.

Despite their understanding, there are still moments when I feel like an outsider because of this one aspect of myself - something as simple as a name can carry so much weight in defining who you are perceived to be.

But despite all these struggles with identity and self-confidence tied to my given name, there is one thing that brings light into my life: music. Playing contrabass in the Concert Band has always been where I feel most at home - where labels don't matter and only the sound we create together does. Kumiko once told me that our music speaks louder than words ever could; maybe she's right. Maybe through music, through each note played and each harmony formed, I can find solace in being exactly who I am meant to be: Midori.