Chapter Five:

The Secret Life of Simon

9:30 am

Calculus

How the hell anyone expected Simon to be able to deal with derivatives and tangents- when his girlfriend was off having sex with soon to be convicts- was beyond him. He'd seen the bastard in the halls and was pretty fucking sure that the guy's future involved prison bars and drug deals.

His hand clenched and unclenched around his number two pencil. He was staring at Mrs. Pepperbawn but what he really saw was Griff and Finn doing it against the chalkboard; erasing the equations for concavity that had taken Mrs. Pepperbawn 15 minutes to write, with their sweaty bodies.

The sudden vision made him want to cry, or stab his number two into something; preferably Griff's heart. He spent longer than he should have contemplating what the hell Griff had that he didn't. When the list became embarasingly long, he suddenly found it difficult to get air into his lungs and he felt anxiety flood him.

The anxiety was accompanied by rapid questions: Why the hell couldn't Finn love him? What was wrong with him? And why did he suck so much at math?

The last one came right after Mrs. Pepperbawn demanded he answer question number twelve, for which he obviously had no answer.

"Perhaps Mr. Pruitz, you would greatly benefit from preparing for class." She seemed taken aback by the murderous look he shot her. So much so that she swallowed and signed the cross over her chest. One could never be too careful and the boy looked like he had the very demon in those eyes.

Simon had not, in fact, been possessed by any evil demon spirits and took a perverse pleasure in her evident fear. The rare feeling of elation passed when she resumed the torturous recitation of formulas. For a minute he tried to focus on their meaning but the numbers and letters became jumbled in his mind.

That precipitated a whole lot of other shitty feelings including an incredible and overwhelming desperation.

Maybe he didn't deserve her. And by 'her', he meant Finn. Maybe his brother was right. Maybe he was a little worthless.

God, he was so pathetic it was almost heartbreaking. Well, it didn't really matter did it? Because she was his, and he was hers and Griff could go to hell. He breathed out real slow. That made him feel better. Less murderous. In fact, he started smiling.

It was going to be okay. He would make her love him, because if she didn't, then there really wasn't much left to live for, was there?

He rubbed his hand against his face. God, he hated when he got all suicidal. It was such a downer.

11:30 pm

Leaving Class

I watched warily as Simon approached me. I reminded myself that I needed to be careful what I said around him. Clearly, he was starting to get termpermental and explosive.

"Finn." He looked so serious and for some reason I saw in his eyes the very same thing I saw in Rodney's whenever he came over trying to escape a drunk and verbally abusive mother. Desperation.

"Simon... what's up?" I was starting to sweat. Inexplicably, I felt that I had the power to really crush him. That kind of pressure can take a toll.

"Nothing. I just wanted to say hi." His face softened and he looked his regular sweet faced self. "Oh, and apologize again for what I said. Things have just been kinda all over the place lately." He seemed to take a while to say the last part. "And...I miss you."

Relieved, I rushed to continue the reconciliation. "Well, let's do something Friday night. Like go see whatever really cheesy comedy is playing at the theatre. As friends." Surprised by the look in his eyes, I hastily added "As really, really good friends who eat enormous amounts of popcorn."

"Yeah, cool." He seemed contented to stand there and stare so I told him I had to go for my lunch thing. I would have liked to think we parted amicably. It seemed like he'd wanted more than that. More than what I wanted to give.

My father's warnng about my tendency to be melodramatic echoed in my head and I decided not to go down that road.

11:35 pm

Halls of Cypress High School

"Hi." The voice came from behind me but I knew by the slow, casual way the word had been said that it was Griff.

I whirled around. "You grow a conscience and realize that you're a sick, perverted and very pathetic bastard who is in possession of a phone that does not belong to him?"

As usual, his grin was slow in coming. "No."

"Then goodbye."

His hand grabbed my arm. I looked down at it and wondered what sport he played. Those hands looked like they were used often. "Where we going?" My head whipped up to his face. He looked good, gorgeous actually, but tired.

"We?" I shook my head. "No. I am going to room 210. You are going to hell."

"No reason I can't take a quick stop to room 210 on my way there." The fact that he'd said so many words in one go had me astonished. I'd just met the guy this morning but he hadn't struck me as the talkative type.

I sighed. "Free country." I knew he wouldn't stick around long when he realized exactly why I was headed to room 210.

He didn't walk beside me, but instead behind me, which was disconcerting. I didn't trust him there. For obvious reasons.

I wondered if it was good manners to make conversation with the boy trying to blackmail you into having sex with him. "You probably already know this," I said, turning into a more isolated hallway. "But, bribing a girl you don't know to have sex with you is about as desperate as you can get. It can almost give someone the impression that you can't get a girl on your own merits. Like maybe you're critically deficient in any number of ways." I hoped a hit to his manliness would incite some reaction but, he remained mute.

I continued: "Let's stop playing games here. I don't want to fuck you, and you really don't need a pink, sparkly cell phone."

"Actually," God, I was really starting to like the way he talked. It made me think of lazy winter days when I wrapped myself up in thick blankets and stayed in bed for hours. "I've always wanted a sparkly pink phone." I looked behind me to find him smiling. A genuine smile on his face looked wrong. "And I really, really want you." There wasn't anything to say after that, was there?

Although I guess there was because I somehow managed to say: "Huhâ€¦" Though why I was surprised by his statement I have no idea. He'd made it quite clear that he was very interested in pursuing extra-curricular activities that involved me on my back.

"Yeah." He now had the tips of his fingers on the back of my neck and kept them there as we walked. I was going to tell him to get them off once the feeling in my chest wore off.

I didn't get a chance to because we had arrived and I stopped. I was uncomfortable, I realized. I hesitated before saying "Look, I'm volunteering in the special needs class, so can you get lost?"

He was slowly considering something and I wondered if he was going to come in with me. Instead he stepped back. "I'll see you after school."

"No, you won't."

He took hold of my hand and ran his thumb lightly over the side of my index finger. Up. Down. Slowly back up again. Then he stopped. "Yeah, I will."

He walked away. Was it bad that I suddenly had an inexplicable urge for it to be "after school"? Yes. Yes, it was.

God, I hated pretty boys.

12:30 pm

Drama Class

"People saw you walking with Griff." Marge made me tense. More specifically, her grating voice, her overly large teeth and her voracious appetite for gossip made me tense.

All I said was "Oh." What I had really wanted to say was one: 'why the hell does my life hold so much fascination for others?' And Two: 'have you ever seriously considered teeth whitening?' But, the best way to deal with Marge was to not deal with her at all.

"Yeah." She paused expectantly. I was happy to disappoint and remained stonily silent.

"Hmmm," she said. I could see her mind working, determining how to best attack. "So you guys are close?" She was smiling and I found myself fascinated by her teeth.

"No."

"Oh." Marge was nothing if not persistent. "But, you guys hang out at lunch and stuff?"

"No."

Marge was frustrated and when this happened her questions became less cautious, and blunter. "So were you drunk when you lost it?"

"No," I paused. "And you can tell everyone that it is no longer lost. I found it about 3 hours ago." I was using the term "found" rather loosely.

That shut her up; which was surprisingâ€¦ and temporary. "What do you mean 'found'?"

Marge had failed grade eleven English twice, but even this seemed like a concept she should have been able to grasp. "To find something means to locate an object after having searched for it."

Marge waved her hand dismissively. "Yeah, I have a handle on what the word means. What I want to know is how the hell you managed to find your virginity."

She had her mind on sex. I understood that. She and her boyfriend had been dating for a year and he was still holding out. He'd signed some sort of virginity pledge and Marge was "dying of sexual frustration" according to Joan.

"I think you mean phone," I said, wrapping up the last sentence in the monologue we were supposed to have been composing for next week's presentation. Marge's sheet was blank.

Marge laughed. "No. I mean virginity. We are talking about the same thing, right?"

"Clearly not," I said, getting annoyed.

"Ok. Well I'm talking about what happened on-" she was cut off by the teacher peering over her shoulder to check Marge's progress.

The teacher's nasally drawl, accompanied by sniffling and the rather disturbing sound of her clearing phlegm from her throat prevented further conversation but for the rest of class I felt haunted by Marge's words, as if what she'd been about to say would have greatly impacted my life.

The Same Time

Griff's Car

He's been scared at how being around her had affected him. For fuck's sake, all he'd done was touch her finger. And, oh God, her neck- silk. Pale, freckled, silk. Shit. He was losing it, and having Monty sitting so fucking close to him was making it difficult to take in air. A suffocating feeling assaulted him at the thought that maybe he was getting hung up on a virginal, redheaded do-gooder. He needed space. Stumbling out of his car in a rush was undignified and definitely pathetic, but having a panic attack would have been unendurable.

Monty watched him but was too stoned to have an opinion, or at least too stoned to voice it. Griff calmed himself by leaning casually against the door of his car, pretending to watch people disinterestedly, when instead he was catching his breath.

It was during his disinterested people watching that he saw a very interesting thing. One of Finn's very sexy, though equally boring friend was in the process of sneaking into Mr. Gratell's car.

It would have surprised many to know that Griff knew Mr. Gratell's name since Griff's presence in the Physics teacher's class had been fleeting and sporadic. Equally surprising to all would have been the knowledge that Griff was taking and even excelling at a physics class.

But, most surprising would have been the awareness that Finn's sexy but boring friend was not in her advanced calculus class and was instead going to allow Mr. Gratell to lay tangent to her curves.

Griff's interest had been caught briefly by this development, but as with all things in his life, this was a transient state. He'd already moved on to thinking how Finn's hair would feel on his body. He had also decided that concessions needed to be made for his dreamy, pussy-whipped teenage thoughts. After all, the girl had a way more than decent rack.

Author's Note:

My only explanation for this chapter's content is that "Let's Talk About Sex, Baby" was echoing in my head throughout the writing process and my Calculus book was sitting next to me on my dresser.

Please, please, please forgive me. I am an awful person who does not update. Those who hven't already may join the crowd of vegetable throwing readers who hate me.

Simon referring to Finn as his girlfriend was not a typo.

Also, I would love to hear which of Finn' friends you think got into Mr. Gratell's car. Though, I'm sure it's very evident.

Tangent: In math, more specifically calculus and geometry, a tangent is a line or a plane that touches a curve or a surface at a point so that it is closer to the curve in the vicinity of the point than any other line or plane drawn through the point.

I loved the reviews and they are what pushed me to pull out this chapter. Thanks so much guys. I really appreciate them.

Please don't give up on me.