Author's Note: This story is written in present continuous tense so please let me know if you didn't appreciate the style, I can always change it in the next chapter. Also, I type like a dyslexic kid. So please point out those errors too.

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~ Tessia's Art Of War ~

Chapter One: Explanation Of The Current War Situation

It's funny, really, how pointless life can seem. Here I am in the Biology lab, listening to Mr. Grey drone on about compost, and trying (in vain) to fall asleep and escape this hell.

Time has frozen, or so it seems: I am painfully aware of every tiny movement of the wall clock's hands. People say boredom dulls the senses, but I disagree: it sharpens them, quickens them, till you feel like everything around you is wading through jelly.

I hate that feeling.

My hands twitch involuntarily, and I wistfully recall the energizing feel of pummeling BOB. Short for Body Opponent Bag. I'm a bit of a martial arts freak, so sue me. I'll throw some punches at you.

"…and that's all you really need to know. I've finished correcting last week's pop quiz…" Mr. Grey's incessant drone interrupts my thoughts.

I stifle a yawn with the back of my palm, and ignore him till his voice is just a muted buzz in the background. One look at my classmates and I know that they're doing the same.

No one really pays attention to anything said in biology, unless it includes the words "princess" or "poop".

Another way of saying never. Except for the 'poop' part.

They resort to the weirdest conceivable means of cheating (including writing answers on their underwear) so that they pass their tests, but won't pay attention in class even if Mr. Grey dresses up as a drag queen and runs around singing the 'I'm Too Sexy Song'.

Mr. Grey has surprisingly lenient views about cheating. He believes in achieving by hook or by crook: it's totally up to you. If you got a grade by hook, you'd have the satisfaction of reaping the rewards of hard labour and long nights of bleeding through your ears. If you achieved by crook, well, you'd have the satisfaction of knowing you were smarter than the rest of the pack. Or you'd be left to wallow in guilt and self-loathing.

As I said, it's up to you.

A chaste, God-fearing man: I'll give him that. The kind of guy who believes in the inherent goodness of man. A man that had yet to come to terms with the 21st century: I'd hate to see his reaction to the pity fucks given in the back row of the lab when students failed their tests. If that didn't shatter his bubble, nothing would.

Staying awake is proving to be a herculean task. Partly because I've already read everything in today's lesson and partly because Aidan had come over the previous evening.

Aidan is…was my best friend. Our parents were high school buddies and so they encouraged their children to be besties from a very early age. Two, to be exact.

We did everything together. That is, until puberty struck in middle school.

Let me tell you about this horrid change. It is the essence of the cruel side of nature: random, sadistic, topped with a perverse sense of humour. The change that occurs is of two kinds: the obvious, favoured physical kind, and the more subtle mental kind.

Aidan was lucky. He grew from the tall and lanky backbencher to the swimming, basket-balling soccer star, complete with a toned body and a cute face. His hair was perpetually 'windswept'. All he ever wore was Abercrombie and Fitch, epitomizing the title his friends had given him: 'plush'.

You may recognize the word as a species of stuffed animals.

Clearly they possessed an infinitely superior vocabulary.

On the other hand, I grew a brain and an affinity for philosophy and martial arts. In the physical spectrum, I did tone up on account of my Jeet Kune Do lessons but my face remained as it always had.

I still had my freaky olive eyes and maroon colored straight hair. According to Aidan's 'friends', a total whatev. Eloquent, aren't they?

Soon Aidan started going out on dates, and winning tournaments, and trophies, and then, naturally, he made other friends, with similar jock interests. It moved on to wild parties and then nastiness of the general (uncalled for) kind.

I was left to angst about all these conflicting emotions and changes. Oh how, I despised them. It wasn't until Bruce Lee made me realize that change was imminent, and I must embrace it. Slowly the pain dwindled away, and along with it, Aidan's importance in my life. We still hung out, though not as frequently as before.

Now I had to share him with the impeccably gorgeous, Madame Tussaud-like figures that ruled our school. In this case, made of plastic and guileless disdain for anything remotely non-conformist.

Ah well, like I said. I was left behind and forgotten: it happens to happen to the crème de la crème of us. Though I still consider loyalty to be a virtue, and not a side effect of human stupidity. Call me idealistic, but I'm still a better person than most and I pride myself for that.

Just like I'm priding myself on the humongous A that shines with the brilliance of a hundred suns, plastered across my test. Not that I'm the kind of prick that gets ape-shit on life at every step I get closer to Harvard Med. I just know that tonight, my mother cannot force me to study and I shall have my trusty DVD player and my Pirates of The Caribbean Trilogy.

Jack, my love, here I come! I giggle like a maniac as I rub my palms together. If it wouldn't result in detention and severe doubts regarding the nature of my test grade (and sanity). I would've emitted a deep throated, evil laugh.

A crumpled note hits me on the head and pulls me out of my mental victory dance.

Nobody ever sent me notes in class.

Nobody even knew me. At least not in this high school.

Suddenly, I'm very suspicious of the creator of the note. Could it be that the metaphysical creatures of the cosmos were finally responding to my frequent pleas for enlightenment?

The maniacal giggling isn't a great look for your image.

Okay. That is definitely not the metaphysical creatures writing.

The writing is too scruffy. I mean, if you were a mystical being that existed beyond the boundaries of physical and psychological realms, wouldn't it be a given for you to know calligraphy?

Besides, I have no image. My creature-friends would be aware of that.

I read the rest of the note.

Now, sipping coffee, reading philosophy and wearing a beret is a much more promising look. – Aid

I write back immediately:

What image? Oh, the one where I'm green all over and part of the scenery? I don't think either has much promise. – Tess

Another note hits me:

You know that you're NOT scenery. People only ignore you because you intimidate them.- Aid

Ah, the ever sweet Aidan. All round good boy, out to lift your spirits. What a douche.

You're right! I mean, wouldn't you be insecure about yourself if you saw greenery, with red hair, a beret, sipping coffee (which I don't

like), reading Paradise Lost and laughing maniacally? I think not. – Tess

He replies quickly:

Ha ha. Congratulations on the inconspicuous 'A' by the way. I heard that a small group of my friends are gathering for a night of celebration. You wanna come with us? Maybe get to know some of them? - Aid

By 'small group of my friends are gathering for a night of celebration', Aidan meant that there was a full out booze party with all of the somebodies in our school.

Just another excuse to get sloshed and behave in the way they choose and say or do things that they've always wanted to but never dared to.

In the end, they just blame it on the alcohol.

I reply:

No thanks: I need to go home and practice punches for five hours or Sensei is going to beat my ass. But don't worry, I'm sure your wax-figurines will find another unsuspecting chipmunk-like critter to throw verbally abusive mental tomatoes at. :D -Tess

So I'm a little resentful that Twilight Cast wannabes stole my best friend. I'm entitled to feel so. Seeing as I'm not reciprocating their complete and vulgar abuse of power and beating them to a pulp.

The note throwing ceased, and I see Aidan frown. Once again, he is upset at my lack of initiative in mingling with his crowd.

I notice that Mr. Grey has suddenly stopped droning and is addressing someone at the door.

"Yes, I am, and you're late." he says in a pleasant voice. To him, a new student is just another misguided soul.

I glance up at the new girl who had come in.

Seeing as most of the female species is unable to surpass a five foot bench mark, her height was quite impressive. She had a wheat-toned complexion and the darkest eyes I had ever seen. Her glossy hair fell in waves to her shoulders, and she was wearing what looked like really expensive jeans and an Asian-themed shirt.

Her facial structure was, in the words of my classmates 'plush', but clearly Indian.

I look around at my peers.

Their activities consist of: chatting animatedly, staring at the new girl or just plain pretending to chat while eyeing her up.

The bolder ones (Aidan) are openly staring at her. Then, shocking everybody (even me) Aidan conspicuously stands up and sits in the chair that has no partner.

Gods be praised! For the first time in many millennia, Aidan is finally attracted to a girl who hasn't thrown herself at him.

The new girl takes her time in giving the classroom the Ice Bitch glare. When her eyes fall on Aidan and the empty chair next to him, she turns towards Mr. Grey expectantly.

Mr. Grey clears his throat and says, " Alright, Malika Mukhi, sit down and we shall resume our lesson."

Malika begins walking towards the seats. There are exactly three empty seats in the room. One is beside Stacy the Spacey, bitch and wax queen

extraordinaire. The other two are beside Aidan and me.

I was convinced that she was going to sit next to Aidan after she brushed past Stacy's shocked face but she brushed past Aidan with the same efficiency.

When she sat down next to me, I was doodling in my notebook nonchalantly, but my jaw was about to drop to the floor.

She takes out her pen and looks at me before starting to doodle on her desk. Vandalism!

Well, I like her already.

I gasp when I see her pen. " Oh my God, Jack Skellington?" I say, pointing at the skeleton bobble head on her pen cap.

She looks at me with her big eyes (really they're huge!), smiles and says, "Yeah. 'Nightmare Before Christmas' fan?"

I smile and nod. She smiles some more.

After a moment of insanely wide smiling, we both say, "Do you like 'This Is Halloween'?" and then laugh.

I hear a plastic toy scoff.

"Oh my God. She's a freak." Brooke says loudly.

"Yeah!" Stacy says, "I'm so glad she didn't sit next to me! I save my friendship only for plush hotties!" as she and her gaggle of geese cackle.

Okay, this was clearly Stacy's hurting ego talking. I mean, Malika was potentially a model. Big, dark, smoldering almond eyes, long brown hair and clear, even skin and an aquiline nose. Not to mention a nice long curvy body.

I mean this in a totally non-lesbian way.

Aidan tenses, and I was about to retort when Malika speaks up for herself.

"Oh, me too. I'm so glad we have that in common! So tell me, does your 'friendship' involve converting everybody into your clone?" she says in a matter-of-fact voice. Clearly indicating the similar, hair, contacts, nose jobs and clothes that adorned Stacy's group of cronies.

Stacy looks at her, appalled.

I laugh.

Malika continues, flicking her eyes at Stacy's boyfriend, Shawn, as she speaks, "Since only one guy can have you at a time, have you made yourself available in bulk so that everyone can have a fair share? No seriously, I'm a bit creeped out cause I feel like I'm in an episode of Supernatural."

A lot of people (including Shawn) burst out laughing.

"You watch Supernatural too?" says a boy who I call Gay Boy (since I don't know his name).

She shrugs, and says, "Yeah, when I'm not wallowing in the misery of not being a 'plush hottie'."

She looks at Stacy again and says in mock appreciation, "Impeccable vocabulary by the way! A true P. G. Wodehouse. "

I chortle with laughter when Stacy looks at her friends and mouths, 'P.G. who?'.

I smile at Malika, who is doodling on her desk again.

"That was a hoot! Hey, I'm Tessia and you are officially the second person I consider a friend in this school," I say.

She looks up at me, smiles gratefully and says, "Thanks, that means a lot to me."

Who would've thought that the potential Ice Princess is just shy and partly defensive?

When the bell rings, Malika follows me outside and links her arm with mine.

Pulling up her schedule, she asks, "So where do you have to go next?"

That's when I realized how much I missed having a friend. Since Aidan, who was potentially my brother, ditched me, I subconsciously gave up on humans for companionship. I didn't believe in people genuinely wanting to care for a person forever. People get bored and then move on. They don't hang around for you to catch up.

So why did I have this clichéd feeling that Malika and I were going to be great friends?

I smile at Malika and say, "Gym: the only legal form of group physical assault of targets."

She nods and starts steering me towards the gym when I pull back and say, " I'm not going with you." She stops and asks sadly," Why? I thought we were friends."

I realize that she's afraid of being alone there. If you think that being the new kid at school is scary, try being the new kid at gym. You're picked last and then picked on. I suddenly feel really bad about skipping gym.

" We are. It's just that I don't do gym since I'm working for a black belt in Jeet Kune Do. It more than suffices for the required hours of exercise. My Sensei just provides my gym teacher with my grade." I say. She looks crestfallen as I say," You're on your own for this one."

Before I turn away to the library I look at her and say," I'll come by after class and we'll do lunch together."

She throws a huge smile at me and I don't know why but I feel a hundred feet tall. She nods and runs off towards the gym and I stand there for a minute more staring at the empty hall.

She's quite a catalyst, this one. She attracts attention like two opposite poled magnets.

I remembered Sensei's words, " When yang attracts yin, you must steer clear of the way or else you get absorbed in the clash..."

Still confused at why I suddenly befriended her, I walk into the library.

There, I'm done. This chapter was to just explain the situation so far and the introduction of the major characters. Any questions that you may have, please feel free to ask.

Question for the readers (if there are any) : Is this character Tessia a bore?

Yours Truly-Deranged Pixies.