Rhys Rhodes


It's not easy being different. Every outcast in the playground can tell you that, but at least they share some kind of relationship with all the other children. Me? I sit alone in the corner of the playground every lunchtime, waiting for the bell to sound for afternoon classes. Every so often someone comes to talk to me, but I'd rather they didn't. Every cautious line and strained sentence shows that we're different, and they know it.

The worst bit is that I don't even know the why of it! I've looked in the mirror dozens of times, but aside from the obvious cosmetic difference I... just can't see anything outwardly wrong with me.

But that's it, isn't it. One cannot base all her relationships with humans on outward appearances. Sooner or later, everyone who talks to me realises that I have very little in common with everyone. I mean – take Chemistry last week. Personally, I thought that joke was hilarious, but I was the only one who laughed. It's still funny, even today, but other people just don't see it that way, and I don't know why.

Then there's all the martial stuff. For me, it couldn't be simpler. You get a sword, you get a duellist, and you do your damndest to make the duellist resemble a piece of modern art. I don't know why I find it so easy – I-I've tried to explain it several times, but I just can't find the words! If I… just knew why I can see sword-strokes before they come, maybe I could explain to my instructor the series of events that led up to him receiving three cracked ribs and a concussion.

But… I can't, naturally. That's just me, and that's the problem.

It's not easy being different.

It's not easy being… me.