Certain students enjoy receiving new writing partners. I, however, find the extravaganza quite a demoralizing event due to the unspoken truth: last year, my teacher often paired a great writer with another student whose writing could use a little help. Shockingly, the majority of my past writing partners have proved themselves as some of the best writers in the grade. Although this trend seemed much stronger last year, I think the above hypothesis still holds validity this year for at least one of her students: this guy. For instance, last Monday, my teacher paired me up with the student who won the “English Student of the Year Award” last year. I wish my teacher would have just slapped a sticker across my forehead that read “I SUCK” instead of pairing me up with this genius. Such an experience would have proved less humiliating. Anyways, after receiving our new writing partners on Monday, my teacher exclaimed, in a voice that haunts my dreams to this day, “This is the first test to prove your dominance over your partner and show that you are the leader of the pair.” Although paraphrasing slightly, the remark made me ponder this question: why does a leader emerge within a pair of people? I think author, Haruki Murakami, answers this question in his short story, “The Second Bakery Attack.” In a year when Japan experienced 8,581 violent crimes (1985), Murakami weaves a tale of a newlywed couple attacking a McDonalds in order to break a curse placed upon the duo. During the attack, the wife orders her husband to “Lower…shutter and turn off…sign” (7). The commanding diction of “Lower” and “turn off” creates a dominating tone, indirectly characterizing the wife as the leader of the couple. The woman’s ability to think quickly and intelligently during the attack implies that she possesses a history in crime. For this reason, Murakami asserts that the person with more experience in a certain situation will naturally arise as the leader of a couple. After the conclusion of the McDonalds attack, Harukami writes, “she [the wife] fell asleep” and “I [the husband]…closed my eyes” (9). The mood of closure depicted by the pleasant diction of “asleep” implies that the couple finally finds peace from the detestable curse. Through this sense of contentment, Harukami develops the claim that leadership brings about happiness. The author urges those familiar with the topic at hand to take leadership within a group in order to bring about success. On the other hand, I urge those humble enough to admit their weaknesses in certain aspects of life (especially writing) to accept their role as side-kick and support their leaders.