School started again on Monday. Rowen walked to school feelings depressed. He finally had a friend, but he had to pretend he didn't like her in order to protect himself.

He knew that doing this deeply hurt Serenity, but she had assured him that she understood.

Once at school he went inside to the classroom and headed towards his cubby. Inside as promised Serenity had left two packages and had labeled them 'breakfast' and 'lunch'. Taking the bag labeled breakfast he headed out to the playground and settled down at one of the benches to eat.

Rowen had been sitting peacefully when he happened to notice that Serenity was out in plain sight and another student, a boy was talking to her.

Having never seen this student before Rowen assumed that he was new to the school. He wondered which class he was in and hoped that he wasn't going to be in their class. He felt jealous as he saw the new boy talking away to Serenity and she why she was blushing and talking to him as well.

Feeling jealous that his friendship with Serenity had to be kept a secret he finished his breakfast without really tasting it.

Once the bell rang, Rowen tossed away his trash and went and got in line. He sighed in relief when he saw Serenity arrive a few moments later alone.

Hopefully the new student and his best friend would only see each other during the breaks that way he could keep a better eye on them and if the new student tried to hurt his friend in anyway, he'd be there in a flash to hurt him.

When the teacher opened the door, each child stopped and bowed to the teacher greeting her in Japanese.

Serenity came to the door and bowed to the teacher.

Straightening up again, she gave the teacher a smile and said proudly "Ohayou gozaimasu Senshi"

The teacher's eye went wide with shock as Serenity moved past her and into the classroom.

Rowen was quite pleased with himself. The lessons he had given Serenity had worked. This was the first time that the teacher had not looked down upon Serenity.

However his pleasure was short lived later when the teacher stepped out of the classroom and later returned with the same student that had been having a conversation with Serenity on the playground.

It seemed that during the break his arch enemy 'Sam Rente' had moved and now another student had taken his place.

However unlike when he arrived and especially when Serenity arrived the teacher did not seem to mind having a new student.

Neither it seemed did all the girls in the class who seemed to be fawning over him.

"Class we have a new student" the teacher told them warmly "This is Sage Date. I want you all to make him feel welcome" she squeezed Sage's shoulders "Would you like to tell the class a little about yourself?"

Now this had been unfair as when he had arrived he hadn't been asked to talk about himself. Not that he would have anyways.

Rowen glanced at Serenity and realized that she hadn't been asked to talk about herself either when she had arrived though she had told him during the break that her Japanese was horrible and he had given her lessons.

All that week they had spent together and he realized how very little he knew about her. They had never talked about her all too much. It was always about him.

Sage stood in front of classroom and gave everyone a smile.

His blond hair covered one eye and the other eye was purple. He was dressed in black slacks, a long sleeved button down shirt and was wearing a green tie.

"I live with my Mom, Dad, Grandpa, and two sisters." Sage told the class. "My older sister's name is Yayoi. She's ten years old and in the fifth grade. My little sister's name is Satsuki. She's four years old. My dad is a police officer and my mom is a lawyer so I'm well protected"

The class laughed at this remark. Rowen looked to see what Serenity's reaction had been and frowned when he saw her looking at Sage with admiration.

Sage continued speaking "My grandfather is a teacher. He runs a dojo. I study there every afternoon"

Once he had finished speaking, he bowed to the class and then turned and bowed to the teacher.

Rowen groaned. He could already tell who the new teachers pet was gonna be.

Being dismissed the children went about doing their activities.

As usual Rowen did all of his table work first so he would be free to be left alone to read.

He looked around for Serenity to see what she was up to and was dismayed to see her and Sage sitting together in the reading area. However they weren't reading any books, but just talking. He noticed that once in a while another child would approach them and sit down and talk to them both.

No one ever talked to Serenity. She had been like him. Lonely and friendless until that week in the library and they had become friends and now he was going to lose her.

As Rowen sat brooding one of the girls came up and sat next to him.

Marika Kubota despite being only in kindergarten was fast becoming one of the most popular students in the entire school.

She was absent quite a bit because her mother kept taking her to beauty pageants. She won or got close to being the winner at every single one of these events.

"Hello Rowen did you have a good break?" Marika asked sweetly "I saw you at the library everyday how come you never came over to say hello?" she pouted

Rowen ignored her. He didn't like Marika. She seemed superficial. There was nothing true about her at all. He narrowed his eyes as he watched Sage and Serenity chatter away

Marika followed his gaze and made a face "Oh I see. I saw you spending all your time with her at the library. "Come on Rowen lets go play" she got up and tugged on his arm, but he pulled free "Just leave me alone alright" he said angrily as he stormed off.

Later that day Rowen sat alone eating the lunch Serenity had given him. He watched the other on the playground.

Every now and then he would glance over and watch Serenity and Sage sit together eating their lunches and talking. Feeling quite a bit jealous that he could never sit there and enjoy a lunch during school with Serenity he watched as Sage stood up smiled at his friend and left to go and play with the other boys.

Feeling a bit happier that his friend was now alone he finished his lunch and headed towards the library. He wanted to find some books he thought might interest his friend. If he did then he could write down the titles and the next time there was a school break they could meet again and possibly look for the books.

Serenity had wanted to talk to Rowen that day, but remembering that there friendship had to remain a secret she had kept her distance. It was a surprise though when the new student had approached her and started talking to her.

They had spent the morning together and Serenity felt her heart soar. She really liked Sage. Liked him a lot. However she was too scared to say anything.

Once lunch came around Sage had asked Serenity to sit with him. She had gladly accepted.

Though she did sneak glances at Rowen throughout the day, he had always refused to look at her, but at least he was eating the lunch he had made her.

Sage finished his lunch before she did and with a smile told her he was going to go and play with some of the other boys who were out if the field tossing a football back and forth, but he would see her when it was time to line up.

Nodding her head, Serenity continued to eat her lunch when Markia came up to her.

Marika had never bothered to hide the fact that she didn't like Serenity. She had convinced all the girls in class not to be bothered with Serenity and following her lead they had not concealed their dislike for Serenity either.

Feeling that someone was close to her, Serenity looked up to see Marika standing above her.

Not saying a word, she simply went back to eating her lunch.

"You know Serenity" Marika said with a sugar sweet voice that wasn't fooling anyone who was smart enough to hear the malice behind it "Rowen doesn't really like you. I saw you guys during break in the library during break and he was just pretending to be nice to you. I mean why would anyone want to like you?"

Serenity continued to ignore Marika, so she continued speaking

"I heard you killed your mother is that true?"

The water bottle she had been just about to drink slipped from her hand and fell to the ground spilling its contents.

Turning to face Markia, Serenity spoke quietly

"I didn't kill my mother. She just died. Everyone dies"

Marika gave her a nasty smile "My mother is the president of the P.T.A of this school and she has access to the students files and yours plainly states that you killed your mother"

She turned and started to walk away before turning back and facing Serenity

"Oh and by the way Rowen only likes girls to her thin and pretty which of course you do not meet"

Giggling she left Serenity alone to think about what she had said.

Serenity looked for Rowen, but he had already left for parts unknown. So she got up tossed the rest of her food and sat watching Sage wondering if what Marika had said was true.

Rowen was in the library was unaware that anyone this had taken place. So by the time he returned to the class he found Serenity upset and rubbing her eyes as if she had been crying. He wanted to go to his friend and comfort her, but Sage that Sage Date had his arm around Serenity's shoulders.

Feeling hurt and betrayed when they got into the classroom Rowen took the list and note he had written to Serenity and tossed it in the trash.

The friendship had been short lived.

She has left him for another. Sage could offer her everything and their friendship did not have to be kept a secret. While Rowen had nothing to offer her. Nothing at all. She had left him, just as his mother had left him.