Chapter 1:

And it is All Downhill From Here

The Unwanted Virginity of a Genius

“Second… Place…?”Bookmark here

I stare blankly at the board of our first quarter exams. I could not believe it. I had studied for countless hours for the last ten weeks, giving up sleep and meals alike. And less importantly, making friends. Or more, depending on who sees it.Bookmark here

“Sarah Wright.” Bookmark here

I glare at the name for a long while. Sarah Wright. Sarah Wright. Sarah Wright. “Yeah, no, nobody comes to mind with that name.” Bookmark here

I let out a long sigh, taking the shame of a measly 99.9% score with me. Bookmark here

Gran-West Academy is where I have been calling home for the last few months. A prestigious academy in some undisclosed location on the west coast of the United States. Bookmark here

And no, it isn’t a top secret military base. It is a high school with boarding as well as a university on a separate and much larger campus. Bookmark here

Gran-West Academy takes in foreign exchange students from all across the world, many of them lured by the status that comes with the name of being an alumni from here.Bookmark here

My family certainly wasn't different. We are a small family living out in the sticks of some unimportant place running some unimportant family business. But with an older sister who got her way in on a scholarship, my parents were desperate to get me in as well.


An introvert who has never picked up a book to use for a purpose other than as a pillow. Bookmark here

But I didn’t want to make my sister look bad and my parents were very pushy about getting me in.Bookmark here

And so here I am, slithering my way into this academy as a probationary student who is given only one small task: no grades below a 95%.Bookmark here

The first week was not bad, just forcing us with several next-day essays about books I had certainly not read over the summer.Bookmark here

Look, I have my pride as a man. I was not about to get kicked out on day one. Especially since it would look bad on my sister who was two years above me. Bookmark here

“Why am I thinking this all again?”Bookmark here

“Ms. Wright, congratulations on your exams. We cannot wait to see what you accomplish here.”Bookmark here

I pick out a voice from behind me. At first it is just filtered as background noise. Wright, Wright. Sarah Wright! Bookmark here

I spin around and see nobody. Well, nobody important looking. Just a girl with messy long blonde hair wearing the school uniform which was equally as messy as her hair. She is sitting on a bench sipping away at a juice pouch and her green eyes glued to her smartphone. Bookmark here

“Yeah, that’s not her. Probably some rich guy’s daughter who bought their way in. It is a private school after all.” Bookmark here

I take my preconceived notions with me and I head back to my dormitory. Bookmark here

I open the heavy door and toss my backpack on my bed. “Man, it feels like all hope is lost.” Bookmark here

There are two reasons I am mad about my score. Bookmark here

First, I wanted to get out of the stigma of all probationary students being snobs who bought their way in. It just leads to a lot of people looking down on me and frankly it would be good to look down on others for a change.Bookmark here

Second, I protested heavily in coming to school here and my parents sarcastically said “If you get all one hundreds on all of your exams, you can go to another school.”Bookmark here

I planned on taking them up on that. I sacrificed everything for it! But that dream is now shattered. So here is to four years here at Gran-West Academy. Bookmark here

I take a seat at my desk and look out of the fifth story window. I lucked out that my original roommate ended up not coming to school here for one reason or another. While the staff apologized for not letting me be able to have the full "student life experience” or whatever, I was silently blessing whatever divine intervention led this to happen.Bookmark here

On a side note: I do hope whatever happened to my former roommate isn’t anything bad. Bookmark here

-x-Bookmark here

The weekend rolls by. After a few calls back to home, I am preparing for another ten weeks of intense studying. Bookmark here

I drag myself out of bed and hit the showers before heading off to my first class. My stomach growls loudly as I walk. I lower my head in shame.Bookmark here

“Skip breakfast?” A voice calls out to me from my right. Bookmark here

“Huh? Yeah.” I turn to see a girl with short dark brown hair. Bookmark here

Hope… I forgot her last name. But she is one of the few names I remember, mainly because her name is right before mine during roll call. Bookmark here

If I am about 5’ 11”, she is 5’ 9”. She keeps herself well maintained with proper attention to her uniform. Her hair is straight and her ocean blue eyes are full of life. If makeup wasn’t prohibited, you would think she was wearing it. Bookmark here

From what I remember, she is a scholarship student much like my sister and I think her score was in the top twenty, at least, out of a couple hundred in the grade.Bookmark here

“You shouldn’t be skipping breakfast like that. It’s the most-”Bookmark here

“Important meal of the day, I know. But I value the energy I get from the extra minutes of sleep more than from food. I can always hold out until lunch.”Bookmark here

“To take another nap?”Bookmark here

“Don’t judge me.” Bookmark here

We both share a laugh. Bookmark here

“Here, this is for you.” She hands me an energy bar, “Congratulations on the high score for the exams.” Bookmark here

“You know,” I turn to her and see her smile. Any snarky remark about my second place fades, “Thanks.”Bookmark here

“You’re very welcome!”Bookmark here

The first bell rings across the campus.Bookmark here

“That’s our queue.” Bookmark here

We both pick up the pace to our first period class. We enter the classroom with minutes to spare. I take my window seat two from the back and I set my bag down. I reach for my textbooks and then it hits me.Bookmark here

“Tsk, I think I left it in my dorm.”Bookmark here

I look up at the clock and it reads 7:59. And just as I start to stand, the teacher enters. Better now than never, “Are we gonna be needing textbooks today?”Bookmark here

“You need them every day.” The teacher snorts.Bookmark here

A few eyes look over to me, but I block them out. The teacher looks up at the clock and it strikes 8 o’clock. The second bell rings.Bookmark here

“Just borrow from the person next to you. It’ll be mostly note-taking today.”Bookmark here

“Thank you.”Bookmark here

I sit back down and let out a long sigh. Bookmark here

“Alright, let’s go ahead and start roll call.” The teacher begins, working his way up the rows from door-side to window-side. I space out, looking out the window with a great view of the Pacific coast.Bookmark here

“Hope Riviere.”Bookmark here

“Present.”Bookmark here

Ah, that was it.Bookmark here

“Raymond Baker.”Bookmark here

“Here.”Bookmark here

He lists off the last two names and closes his binder. Just as he does, the door in the back of the class slowly opens and another student tries to sneak their way in.Bookmark here

“Ms. Wright. You might be a genius on tests, but how about you translate some of that into your time management.”Bookmark here

The student sits down next to me. She has messy long blonde hair and is wearing the school uniform which was equally as messy as her hair. Bookmark here

And it clicks.Bookmark here

“Sarah Wright.”Bookmark here

“Here.”Bookmark here

This unkept, carefree girl is one who ruined my future. I stare at her dumbfounded. “Y-You’re-”Bookmark here

“Alright, open your pages to one-one-five.” Bookmark here

She reaches into her bag and pulls out the textbook. She looks over at me and tilts her head.
“I-I,” There is a lot I want to say though now is neither the place nor the time, “Need to share your textbook with you today.”Bookmark here

“Sure thing!” She gives me a big grin.Bookmark here

I scoot my desk close and lean over. I just need to focus on class first and foremost. But she isn’t making things easy.Bookmark here

“Why are you leaning so close?” I hiss under my breath.Bookmark here

“So you can get a better look.”Bookmark here

“At what exactly?”Bookmark here

As I have mentioned many times before, her uniform isn’t up to status quo. Add “how do you get away dressing like this” to a list of questions I have. But the top few buttons are undone, leaving a lot to be seen.Bookmark here

Pink. Lace.
I shake my head.Bookmark here

I struggle to maintain focus on the textbook.Bookmark here

She presses in closer to where our shoulders are touching.Bookmark here

“-?!” Bookmark here

I try to pull away and I hear the sound of something snapping close to me. I look up and my heart stops as Hope’s eyes are glued on us. I look down and see two halves of a wooden pencil in her hand.Bookmark here

A chill goes down my spine and I gulp my fears down. I look back up to see her gaze back on her notes. Bookmark here

“Must’ve been my imagination.”Bookmark here

“Hm?”Bookmark here

“Nothing. And please don’t lean so close.”Bookmark here

The rest of the class goes on without too much difficulty. The bell rings and the teacher walks out giving us five minutes to rest.Bookmark here

“Thanks for sharing.”Bookmark here

“Anytime.”Bookmark here

I let out a small laugh and scoot my desk back over. I collapse on said desk with a long sigh.Bookmark here

“How are you holding up, Ray?”Bookmark here

“Tired. So tired. Who thought having physics first thing in the morning was a good idea?”Bookmark here

“Told you that you should have had breakfast.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, yeah.”Bookmark here

She’s always doting on me. Bookmark here

“I think clubs are going to be opening soon. Do you have any plans on joining any?”Bookmark here

“Don’t think that lifestyle is for me. How about you?”Bookmark here

“I might start one. Will look good on paper. Maybe something easy like a reading club.”Bookmark here

“Make it a study club and then I’ll join. Just so I’m not alone all the time.” I let out a weak laugh with my face still planted in my desk.Bookmark here

“I would love to.” Bookmark here

“You need a third for a club, right?”Bookmark here

A new voice enters the conversation. Miss Genius over to my right. I turn my head and see her sitting on her desk. Bookmark here

Pink as well.Bookmark here

I turn my head back down. “We can find a third, I’m sure.” I say with a muffled voice. Bookmark here

“As Ray said, I’m sure we can find a third so there is no need to force yourself-”Bookmark here

“Your name’s Ray? Oh, you’re the one who came in second on the exams! They were pretty easy weren’t they?”Bookmark here

Easy? Easy?! I stayed awake for two days straight studying for them! Damn this genius!Bookmark here

“I was talking, but yes, this is Raymond. He only lets people close to him call him Ray.”Bookmark here

Not necessarily true, but I’m not complaining.Bookmark here

“Well, we did get pretty close today.”Bookmark here

I can hear her smug expression. Just keep your head down Ray, and it’ll all be over in a few minutes.Bookmark here

“It was just unfortunate that he forgot his textbook. I would not get used to that interaction.”Bookmark here

“You make it sound like you wish you were in my place? Scared I’m going to take him away?”Bookmark here

“You-!”Bookmark here

The bell rings again and the next teacher walks in shortly after. Bookmark here

“You have your textbook for this class too?” Miss Genius leans over.
“History? Yeah.”Bookmark here

“Shame.”Bookmark here

“For the better.” Hope says her piece. Bookmark here

I roll my eyes and peel myself off my desk. Bookmark here

Time drags on as it does every day. As the last bell of the day rings, I let out a mighty yawn.Bookmark here

“Alright, just leave me here! I’m gonna just sleep here until tomorrow’s class.”Bookmark here

“No you don’t. Come on, Ray. Your homework isn’t going to complete itself.”Bookmark here

Hope grabs my bag off the ground and hoists it on her shoulder.
“Fine~”Bookmark here

I stand and walk out with Hope. Bookmark here

“Y’know, I think we’re being followed.”Bookmark here

“You don’t say.”Bookmark here

A blonde head of hair bobs back and forth behind us. She may be a genius in the books but man is she dumb when it comes to picking up social queues.Bookmark here

“Just keep walking, she’s bound to get bored and walk off.” I say under my breath. Hope gives a silent nod.Bookmark here

We make our way away from the main school building and I grab my bag. “Alright, see you tomorrow!”Bookmark here

Hope waves goodbye to me and we part ways in opposite directions to our separate dormitories.Bookmark here

Miss Genius still isn’t going away though.
“You know, the girl’s dorms are the other way.”Bookmark here

“Yup.”Bookmark here

“Then why are you following me?”Bookmark here

“I just wanted to see what you are up to after school.”Bookmark here

“Forgive my bluntness,” I turn around to face her. “But don’t you have anything better to do?”Bookmark here

She stares at me and smiles, “Nope.”Bookmark here

What?Bookmark here

“Don’t you need to study or whatever?”Bookmark here

“Nope.”Bookmark here

Alright, she is terrifying. She can get a perfect score without studying? What kind of maniac is she?!Bookmark here

“Well, I do. So I’ll see you later then.” I turn back around and pick up my pace to my dorm. Bookmark here

“Finally some peace.” I step into my dorm room and let out a long sigh.Bookmark here

“Pretty empty I’ve got to say. I imagined all boys’ dorms would be messy with posters and trash.”Bookmark here

“Why the hell are you still here?!” Bookmark here

I spin around to see Miss Genius standing at the entrance of my room. Bookmark here

“I have nothing better to do.” She flashes me a smug smile. Bookmark here

“Having nothing better to do aside, women aren’t allowed in the men’s dorm building, much less their rooms! Are you trying to get us both kicked out?!”Bookmark here

But she walks past me and makes herself at home.Bookmark here

“Where’s your roommate? Held up late?”Bookmark here

“Would you listen-?” No, she’s not listening to me. “He couldn’t attend this year.”Bookmark here

“Maybe I should take his place then? I can keep you company in these lonely nights~” She looks at me with a grin and an oddly seductive voice.Bookmark here

“I’ll pass.”Bookmark here

“Geh-!” Her head hangs low, “Pl-playing hard to get, eh?”Bookmark here

“I’m not playing anything. Just head back to your dorm.” I take out my notebooks and take a seat at my desk. Bookmark here

“Fine… I’ll be off then, but I haven’t given up just yet.”Bookmark here

“Probably for the better that you do-”Bookmark here

A loud knocking comes from the door. “Mr. Baker?”Bookmark here

“Quick! Hide!” I hiss under my breath. Bookmark here

“Where?”Bookmark here

“I don’t know!”Bookmark here

The closet is too small for a person and the bottoms of the beds have shelves.
“Just hide under the sheets!” I shove her towards my bed.Bookmark here

“Ahn~♡! Don’t be so rough!”Bookmark here

“Shut up!”Bookmark here

Another set of knocks, “Mr. Baker!”Bookmark here

“Coming!” I sprint towards the door and open it just enough that my body blocks the view into my room for the most part. “Sorry, I had headphones on and I didn’t hear you. Did you need something.”Bookmark here

The resident adviser stands at the door. He’s a college student doing this just for the extra cash from what other people have told me, but breaking the rules is breaking the rules regardless of who it is in front of.Bookmark here

“A few students reported a female voice coming from your room.”Bookmark here

“Surely they must be mistaken. I don’t even have friends, much less a girlfriend.” I laugh in pain. Also, which one of you snitched?! I’ll have your neck!Bookmark here

The RA looks over my shoulder, “What’s that lump on your bed?” I turn around. Bookmark here

“I-uh-it’s,” Think of something quick! “It’s a body pillow. Helps me sleep at night.” A few students passing by overheard us and laughed.Bookmark here

“Not one of those weird ones, right?”Bookmark here

“No, no, of course not!”Bookmark here

“Well, you aren’t a trouble kid, so I’ll believe you. But if I get another notice I’ll need to do a full search.”Bookmark here

“Of course. Of course.”Bookmark here

“Alright. Take care.”Bookmark here

“Have a good day, sir.” I smile as I close my door. “Jesus, that was stressful.” I stumble back to my desk. “You can come out now.” I say in a hushed tone. Bookmark here

“Are you sure? I can keep you warm here as your own personal body pillow.” I can hear her smug expression again.Bookmark here

These are going to be the worst four years of my life. Bookmark here

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