The Unwanted Virginity of a Genius
“Sorry, can you repeat that but in simpler terms?”
Before me, sits a girl of small stature (in almost every regard). Her long, light brown hair sways as she fidgets in her seat.
“Um, right.” She sits up straight, “I was told this club helps students solve problems for other students and I was wondering if… if you could help me make friends.” Her face reddens in embarrassment.
I glance over to my clubmate.
“Well you see,” Miss Genius twirls her blonde hair through her fingers, trying to find the right words to say.
“We help with homework. Not social issues.” I say bluntly. The girl’s face gets even more red.
“Ray! You could say it in a nicer way.”
“What? There’s no point in beating around the bush. That’s just not what we do.”
Miss Genius looks dejected. Why does that look always get to me?
“Fine,” I turn to the light-brown haired girl, “What was your name again?”
“Phoebe, look. All we do is just help people who don’t understand schoolwork. But,” I straighten myself up to seem more of a man than I am, “I’ll make a special case as the vice president of the club. Tell us more so we can help you out as fast as possible.”
“Really?!” Phoebe’s eyes brighten and tears well up in the corners of her eyes.
“Yeah, yeah.” I let out a long sigh.
Phoebe goes through a list of things she likes. Turns out she’s a massive nerd; I think that Japanese word (otaku is it?) is a better fit, so I’ll go with that. Plays games and spends her time mainly watching videos online.
I knew a few people like that from my old school, but they were guys. I’m not sure how it is for girls to be into internet culture and how it affects their social standings. It used to be bad for guys, not really anymore.
“Have you looked at clubs that have the same interests?”
She shakes her head. “I haven’t found any.” I suppose that makes sense. For a school as prestigious as Gran-West, I doubt a video game club would exist. “At least not one without creeps.”
I catch her mutter just barely and give her a blank stare. Are you really in a place to be picky? Well, this certainly isn’t something I’ll be able to solve in one session.
I take a deep breath and straighten my back. “How are your grades?”
“Wha-? What’s the change in topics?” She starts to sweat nervously.
“Just doing official club stuff. So tell me. Where did you score at the end of first quarter exams?”
“Please speak up-”
“116th! There I said it!” Phoebe erupts in embarrassment and shields her face with her hands.
“Out of the 120 in our grade?!”
My surprise is so genuine I failed to keep that question to myself. “Your social life’s the last thing you need to worry about! If you fail out, you won’t have one at all!”
“I know! It’s just…” Phoebe fidgets in her seat.
“Come on, take out today’s homework. Let’s help you out there at least.”
“I-I already completed it.”
“Doesn’t matter, we’ll at least check if you got it right.”
She begrudgingly takes out the homework assigned and hands me the papers. I take a glance at them and pass the papers to Miss Genius who has been sitting next to me, quietly, this entire time.
She flips through them and nods. “For the most part, they are all correct.” She stands and walks over to Phoebe, “But you see this is wrong and so is this. The calculations got messed up along the way.”
“Oh, you’re right!”
“You are smart though, being able to solve most of these.”
A light goes off in my head.
“Hey, Miss Genius.” The blonde head of hair turns to me with a puzzled look on her face. “Until the next exams are finished, help her out.”
“You want me? The girl you call ‘useless’ to help her out?”
“Geh-! I never called you ‘useless!’ I only said ‘you could be more useful.’”
Phoebe gives me an uneasy look. Hey! Hey! Why are you giving the look that I’m the bad guy here?
“Hehe~ Well I guess you’ll have to reward me for my hard work after this.”
“As if! You’ll just be putting in as much work as the rest of us!”
“Well, as the vice president, surely you can make a special case?”
“Um… Sorry for asking, but are you two… Um… you know…” Phoebe’s face reddens once more.
Miss Genius perks up and her expression shifts into only what I can describe as dangerous and leans into Phoebe’s ear. She whispers something that I can’t make out, even with strained ears.
Whatever she said caused Phoebe to nearly faint from embarrassment. She stumbles out of her chair and wobbles to the door. “W-Well, I won’t keep you two any longer! I don’t want to get in your way!”
“Whatever she said is a lie!” I shout but she had taken off down the halls. All that I can do now is just sigh.
“Thank you, Ray.”
“For what? Giving you a role? That’s just part of my job.”
“No,” I turn to face Miss Genius. “For agreeing with my selfish whim to help her out.”
At that moment, I swear time had stopped. The orange light from the setting sun illuminating her golden hair like silk, her jade green eyes glistening so brilliantly, and her smile. It wasn't those seductive ones she had put on so many times to tease me or a fake one to pretend like she cared, but a genuine smile.
I feel my face heat up and I turn away from her.
“Hmmm~? Are you shy? Don’t tell me your heart skipped a beat there?”
“Shut up!” I shout in clear embarrassment.
She starts to laugh and all I can do is just not show my face to her. Geez, what’s with this girl?
Gran-West, being where it is, happens to be in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States. Forests of great pines surround the campus on three sides and to the west are magnificent cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Along those cliffs sits a small town. I say “town” but it’s more like a main street or a boardwalk. Shops, cafes, and a handful of restaurants line the street. Mainly chain stores.
They do staff some people from off campus but a majority of those working are students. Some part of “real-world experience” they offer. From what I’ve heard, you can ask for part or all of your paycheck to go into paying off your student debt.
“Which means I should probably start working, myself.”
I let out a long sigh and continue walking down the boardwalk, away from the shops. The setting sun ignites the sky with a brilliant orange hue. The ocean looks like an uncountable number of golden coins, moving back and forth.
“This seems very unlike you.”
A familiar voice catches me by surprise. I turn around to see Hope with a book in her hand. She gives me a friendly smile and gestures to a nearby bench.
“Just clearing your head? Or slacking off before exams start?”
“Already that time?”
“Let’s go with clearing my head then.”
“You better hope it’s not empty come tomorrow.” Hope taps me on the head with her fist.
We both let out weak laughs and sit in silence for a few minutes. I stare blankly back at the ocean. Thinking about how I wish it really was full of gold coins. Oh how rich I would be! Never needing to work a day in my life!
“Something on your mind?
Hope clears her throat and I snap out of my daze. “You seem like you're spacing out… differently than you normally do.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You know what I mean. But you seem like something is on your mind, aside from school.”
“Is it Sarah?”
“Miss Genius? I guess so.”
“I knew she would be just causing trouble.” Hope sighs and raises a hand to her head.
“I don’t think it’s that dramatic. She’s annoying at times, yes, but not a bad person… I think.” I pause for a moment as my mind continues to wander, “I think we are just on different wavelengths.”
“I suppose you’re right. How- how about me? Do you think we get along- on the same wavelength I mean!”
“I think so. I mean, you came up to me the first day as I was half asleep during orientation. Basically caught me up to speed on everything. That has to be something.”
“Either that or you just have a bad judgment of character by talking to me.”
“No! I think you’re a really good person! You’re hard working and down to earth. You’re smart but not full of yourself like so many others are. And I really like that about you-!”
Both of us pause for a moment and I feel my face blazing red. What is this atmosphere?! Is she? No no no.
“I-I have to get going!” Hope hastily lifts herself from the bench and takes off running back towards the campus.
“What… happened…?” I watch her run off, still trying to process what happened. I look down and see her book still on the bench.
I pick it up and turn it over. “Just some romance novel.” I look around, “Surely she wouldn’t mind if I…”
I skim through it and immediately notice a lot of notes and markings. I mean, this isn’t a school assigned book, so why is she taking notes in this?
The two gears in my brain start working overtime. My eyes widen as I come to realize the truth.
“Ah! She must be writing a novel and taking notes to help her get ideas. She must’ve been testing that out on me so she could write that part better. And here I thought she was confessing to me.” I close the book and nod triumphantly. “Well, I should return this to her. I’ll be sure to help her follow her dreams. Least I could do for her.”