Chapter 1

Do you know what it's like to be the last one picked for soccer? For baseball? Even for dodgeball?

I do.

In fact, up until a couple of years ago that's basically how my life went.

I was born into a normal family. Normal mother, normal father. All normal except for my father's outrageous silver hair.

Yeah that's right, I have silver hair.

But when I was little, it wasn't quite the breathtaking colour of silver my father had. It was more of a whitish grey colour. I looked like an old man stuck in a kid's body.

Cute, I know.

Everything was pretty normal with my parents, until I turned four. The day of my fourth birthday, my parents both were shot from a drive-by on their way home with my presents.

Happy birthday to me.

So then I moved in with my ancient grandmother, Kaede. She was pretty normal. For someone who looked like they were over a million.

Starting school was fine for me. I only got glue in my hair and locked in the arts and crafts cupboard every other day.

Kids said I was weird. The whitish grey hair probably did it.

Things were like that for all of my elementary school years, really. I was knocked over in the halls, spit on outside on the playground, thrown into the garbage.

You know. Normal kid stuff.

I really don't understand why they all hated me. Besides the freakish hair colour, I was skinny as a twig, believed in loving everyone no matter how much they wanted you to hate them, wore Velcro shoes, tried to impress everyone by getting straight A's, and complimented my fat science teacher.

What's not to love?

When I started middle school in grade six, the fun really began. Not only did I start getting beat up, but also people thought it'd be fun to trip me and pull down my pants in front of everyone.

I had amazing friends.

Such amazing friends that they made me eat my lunch in the boy's bathroom. Eating in the bathroom was fine, until some older kid would come in and give me a swirlie.

When I was in grade seven, grandma Kaede told me that I sickened her because I was so weak so she made me sign up for this fighting class. I had to go there every other day and my instructor made me do one hundred of each moves: push-ups, sit-ups, squats, punches, kicks, and any other sick workout move that made your muscled ache insanely. My grandma was hoping that I'd muscle up from all the training I got.

But it didn't work.

So then she bumped my classes up to every single day, weekends included, and made me do every hard labour work she thought of. Eventually in grade eight I had a little bit if muscle.

A little bit.

That still wasn't enough though, so for the summer before grade nine she signed me up for every single job she found that would make me "stronger". Jobs such as carrying tons of bricks back and forth at construction sites, being a dummy for the karate kids to beat up, and even things like holding shopping bags for some rich lady. That lady bought heavy stuff.

When I entered grade nine, things were looking up for me. I grew a little bit, wasn't as scrawny, and my whitish grey hair had some shine to it. But then my brown eyes turned gold. So more people beat me up.

I was taught how to defend myself in my fighting class, but the thought of me actually causing someone else pain was mind blowing and complete nonsense. So I took another year of it.

Summer before grade ten is what changed me though. Like, really changed me. It was literally a summer I will never forget. And as cheesy as that sounds, it's true.