Ah, being different as a high school freshman. Her life isn't easy. It was never going to be given the situation. Single mother, unknown father. She's a walking cliche; a poster child for teenage angst. Eyes too big and a mouth too wide. Her hair is darker, stringier than the other girls. She shouldn't even be here, trying to fake it as something she's just not. And she's quiet, almost too quiet in lieu of the teases.

All she can do is just take it, because Rowan knows it's only a matter of time.

Day in and out she walks the halls, keeps her head down. Her mom has spent every last time to put her in this private school and she knows better than to squander the opportunity. "You'll have the best education there." she says, which rattles through her brain and stays nestled in the back of her mind for days like these. Days when she sits alone as not just the new girl, but the new asian girl. Stereotypes mean everything and words hurt when they come from the prettiest blondes who always smell like peonies and money, with their perfect teeth and perfectly made up faces. In here, they may wear the same uniform, though Rowan is teased simply for existing. It never pays to be different.

Somewhere, a dark-haired boy with an affinity for comics and a wild imagination takes her in as a friend. He's a welcomed presence. A face she won't forget even if he's still so unlike her. She watches for weeks as they do the same. Bullying is different with boys. More physical. Girls get into her head, while she only watches as he gets shoved into lockers and pushed around. She watches until she doesn't. Something rises in her and she can't anymore.

A temper is a funny thing. A thing she certainly doesn't get from her mother.

Everyone has a standard boiling point, though maybe hers is lower than most. At least water polo guy wasn't quick enough to see her coming tripping him up with her foot before he get his last licks in on her friend. Splat! Right onto the cool tiled floor of the Freshman wing in front of nearly every student in their year. She tries not to laugh, especially not as he scrambles back to his feet and looks right at her, a smug look telling him she knows what she did. What's that? A racial slur pours out of his mouth. That's original.

He doesn't come at her for the fact that she's a female. Well, isn't she special? At least the blonde squad saw the whole thing, whispering to each other and sending snares in her direction. Guess she shouldn't have to tell them not to fuck with her. With any luck, they'll be spreading rumors that she's some sort of ninja by the end of the week. Even as a teenager, she might just hate teenagers. These ones, anyway.