First things first. In a battle, you have to scope out the battleground. And that means finding out your enemies and allies. This was a brand new year too, so first impression count. First stop---my English teacher.

"Hi, class!" burbled Ms Perkins, who just stepped into class.

"Good morning, Ms Perkins," the class said dispiritedly, languishing on their tables.

"Oh, come on now. It's a Monday Morning! A Brand New Week! A New Chapter! Aren't you excited?"

She had to be the only teacher who could actually be so perky on a Monday morning. I know for a fact Teddy (my Bio teacher) raids his cupboard for Nescafe before stepping out of his house. Where does this woman get all her energy anyway?

"Ok, perhaps we didn't get on to a good start. Tell you what! Let's do a Round Robin of introductions! Starting!" she said, pointing.

I yawned and leaned back in my seat. Wonder who was that poor soul picked by Essence of Coffee (her new name). My condolences.

Those few cups of coffee I had suddenly shot to my brain. I just realised everyone was staring at me, and I was receiving an excellent view of Essence of Coffee's fingertip.

I stood up bolt upright. This was no time for my brain to head to Paris. I needed all my wits around me to deal with a new teacher. Especially EOC.

"Um.I'm Kara Smith.and I'm 14 this year.and my hobby is writing stories! Especially prose. Because I remember I once wrote an entire poem which was totally alliterative and if that didn't go well, wouldn't I like poetry?" I babbled.

Coffee gave me a long hard stare. I could see she was trying to make some sense out of my erratic comments and coming up with a suitable one herself. Apparently, she was rather quick-witted, because it only took her a minute to do so.

""she said slowly. "My my, that's a rather big word you're using for a fourteen-year old, isn't it?"

Ok. This means war. No one insults my vocabulary. I pride myself as being one of the most precocious people in my class, if not the most. I was certainly not going to let any Tom, Dick or Coffee take a dig at my intelligence.

"Oh, I don't think so, Ms Perkins," I said sweetly. "Don't you think patronizing is a bigger word?"

Coffee reeled back as though she was slapped. She probably wasn't used to fourteen-year olds acting like this. I could see she was trying to untangle her tongue from the back of her mouth while racking her not-so-extensive vocabulary for another judicious comment. She settled for glaring at me.

"See me after school, Kara Smith," she snapped. "And no excuses!"

Oookay. So maybe that wasn't such a good move. But she got my dander up! Everyone knows I'm an easy person to provoke. And I could see stupid Kristy smirking at me from the corner out of my eye. Humph. I'll get her after class.

All through triple English Coffee was glaring at me, making snide comments about my appearance and what I was doing. Kristy joined in the assault too, sneering at me while keeping the perfect angelic face on. I wonder how she does that. A nifty trick indeed.

It seemed like ages during English lesson. I, after all, am capable of parallel processes. In other words, I can fantasize about ways to make Kristy suffer tragically while keeping a ear on what's happening in class. My ears are trained for filtering out redundant chatter while retaining important phrases such as "Well, Kara?" or "And the answer is?". It's an important ability in which I use to get past the three torturous periods of English.

Rummaging in my locker for my Chemistry textbook, I saw Kristy heading towards me, with her usual entourage of airheads kissing the ground behind her. She wasn't swinging her hips when she walked, which was a sure sign that she was poised for battle. I beat her to the punch, though.

"So, Kristy," I said brightly. "Slept with anyone lately?"

I have to say this about Kristy without bias at all. Despite being a total bitch, she has great potential to be an actress. She can slip on a mask to hide her emotions, while her words are weapons. A remark of hers is akin to oh, about a few daggers or so. In fact, she barely flinched at that remark of mine, covering it up instead with a debonair laugh.

I stiffened myself and blocked out all the sounds until Kristy finished her harpy impersonation.

"Oh, what a great joker you are, Kara," she said charmingly, blinding me with a flash of her bleached teeth. "Still, I don't think it was really wise of you to upset Ms Perkins, was it? Not that I'm siding with her or anything." she trailed off convincingly.

Oh, hahaha. I'll eat my Chemistry textbook if that sycophantic hypocrite isn't already plotting to get Coffee on her side. But I decided to play along with her for a while.

"Oh, not that I meant to be antagonistic or anything, of course," I replied, sending back a few razor words of my own. "But don't you think she's a trifle irritating?"

"Oh, of course I think that--" Kristy began.

"Not that I actually care what you think, due to the stereotype that you, are an insipid airhead, and airheads, are completely brain-dead, so don't really take it to heart, will you?" I shot back, cutting her off in mid- whine.

I watched in morbid fascination as Kristy's face contorted into a glare. She shot a look of pure venom at me before snarling in my face.

"You'll pay for that, Kara," she hissed, stalking off with a swish of her miniskirt.

"Yeah, you'd better watch out, Kara," echoed one of her minions, copying Kristy's gait.

I tossed my hair back. Ha! Won the first skirmish with Kristy! I let her see my prowess. She'll probably organize a Hate Kara Campaign just to get back at me, but I don't care. She'll pay for what she did to Anna, no matter what the cost. Starting from today.