Chapter 1. Half geek, half cute, whole jerk!
It wasn't my fault I couldn't dance, and it wasn't my fault that I stuck my finger in my dance teacher's eye while doing a ballet spin. But it was my fault for choosing to study that subject all those years ago in year 9. All I could think about, as I sat in our first registration of the year, was the subject I'll be doing instead of dance.
At the top of my timetable was printed, Claire Anderson, Age 16, Form Class 11D. I skimmed my finger across the squares until I found my replacement subject. My finger lingered there for a moment, my mind working full time as I try to think of ways that my life could be worse, but it wasn't going to get worse than this. That's just pure impossible.
"I got put into Computer Science?" I looked at my form tutor unbelievably, showing her the timetable.
Ms Thomson, my form tutor, took her attention away from the rest of the class to nod at me with a smile.
"Computer Science?" I repeated, hoping there was some sort of mistake.
"I know you only have a year to get your grade, so I've made sure that you sit next to the top student in the class." She said this like she expected me to thank her and give her a medal or something. I was about to object when she continued more seriously, "I've talked to your parents about it and they both agree that this is best."
"My parents don't know what's best for me!" My fists balled at my side, crumbling the paper in my hand. "I'm going to fall asleep in this stupid lesson!"
Her straight-teeth smile made any hope for another change of subject slip away.
"I know you will. That's why the top student in the class will be tutoring you. Besides, no other teacher could fit you in." With that, she turned her attention to the rest of the class who were all talking amongst each other about their summer holidays.
That basically meant that no other teacher wanted me. Ouch.
"Listen! I'm going to let you out early today as a treat," Ms Thomas addressed the whole class loudly. "collect your timetables at my desk on your way out." Clutching my timetable tightly in my fist, I walked over to my two best friends before stomping back out the class with them. I didn't bother listening to their conversation because I was busy with my own thoughts on how I was going to cope with a class full of computer crazed geeks!
We settled on a large window sill opposite our class door and watched students bustle out of the building.
"So what did you get?" Chanice asked me, stuffing her timetable into her hello kitty side bag. Yep, she still wears hello kitty. Chanice was probably one of the most girly girls in the school. If you saw her outside of school, you'd think she was related to Barbie. I guess it all started in year 7 when she coloured her hair pale blonde.
"I'm stuck in computer science." I looked down at the timetable which had large creases where I was holding it. "And it looks like I've got it first lesson today."
"Great! Now you can learn how to hack into Brent Jackson's Facebook and dump that slut Amanda Rogue." Sophie had hatred clear on her face. "What does he see in her?" She was shaking her head like she really was wondering why she wasn't going out with Brent. He was her all time crush and I don't blame her; he was extremely hot and popular.
But I don't think they'd look good together. Sophie was short and thin, Brent was tall and muscular. I'm not saying that Sophie wasn't pretty, because she managed to look both adorable and pretty at the same time. Especially with her grey eyes and short pixie-like black hair, this somehow looked amazing with her pale complexion.
It's just that… it would be my ultimate dream come true if I had Brent were to be my boyfriend. I could never say it though because it would break Sophie's heart, and there's like 1% chance of it actually happening. It doesn't even matter, because to Brent I'm just one of Chanice's friends. He's probably already asked Chanice out but she made a vow to herself last year that she's only going to have relationships with older boys because they're 'mature and understanding'. But I couldn't help thinking there's some other reason behind it, and I know for sure I'll find out why.
The pips went off across the whole school to announce the end of registration. The noise level slowly rose as students from the other classes entered the corridor in cliques so we got up to leave.
"So how was your holiday? You two didn't keep in touch much." I changed the subject as we walked towards the exit. I really didn't want to think about my new lesson anymore, though that'll be pretty hard since that's exactly where I'm heading.
"Oh listen to this right. I persuaded my parents to take me on holiday to California and I met this guy called Jake, he is totally the one for me," Chanice made a noise that I would describe as a mini, hyper scream. "And he's nineteen, he has this amazing red, convertible car." It felt so good to hear Chanice's excited voice after so long, even though it annoyed the hell out of me at times.
"Really? That's great. But how are you guys still going out? You know, with you being here in London?" I turned my head to Chanice, my eyebrows furrowed.
"Oh don't worry, we chat on webcam all the time." She put her hand in the air and let it flop down at the wrist, dismissing my comment.
I didn't really think they would last long. None of Chanice's relationships did, but she hadn't been in one for ages so maybe this one's going to be different.
We had reached the playground and I had to split ways as Chanice and Sophie had dance class which was back inside the Creative Arts building.
"See you guys in French." I called as they dropped me off at the door.
I walked into the old, Victorian building and made it up stairs to the first floor. I stood outside my class door and took a deep breath. I had stepped inside as soon as the the start of lesson 1 pips went off.
I could not believe what I saw.
Everyone had already taken their seats on their computers, which were arranged in pairs around the classroom, and all you could hear were the clicking of mouse and keyboards.
How on earth did everyone get here so fast?They must have ran here or something. Damn, they aretotal, utter geeks! And you wouldn't believe the amount of people wearing glasses that were in the room if I had actually bothered to count them.
"You must be my new student." I heard a droning voice to my left. I turned to see Mr Wilson dressed in a grey suit sitting at his chair. "Take a seat in the fourth row next to Tom Daley." He pointed somewhere at the classroom but it was so quick I could hardly figure out where he was pointing. Either that or the geeks in this class made me dumb. I don't know how, but they just all have this aura of intelligence around them that makes you feel like that.
I stood there blankly, racking my brain for Tom Daley. If I didn't know where he pointed, I'll just look around till I see Tom Daley. Then again, for that to work, I'd have to know who the heck Tom Daley actually was. How can I not know him though? I looked around and realised that I didn't know many people in this class.
Mr Wilson turned back to me with a look of frustration. "What's wrong?"
"I...er...don't know who Tom Daley is."
"Tom Daley, would you please raise your arm." Without waiting to see if any arms were actually raised, Mr Wilson went back to his computer. I knew from that moment that I wasn't going to like Mr Wilson. One thing I didn't know, was that the worst thing about this new subject was yet to come.
I turned around and walked towards an arm sticking out from behind a computer near the back of the room. I walked past this Tom Daley and sat in the empty seat next to him. It was thankfully next to the window, which let me see out to the nearby park and train station. It was the beginning autumn fall so most of the trees leaves were turning a nice orange shade. I took off my brown knitted cardigan and hung it from the back of my chair. Then I neatened my black skirt and crisp white shirt. Tom Daley hadn't even bothered to look at me all this while, so I decided to take a look first.
I took a sharp intake of breath and shut my mouth quickly before he realised my reaction. I didn't expect him to have tousled, dirty blonde hair pulled to the side so it just touched his right eye. And those plump pinkish lips, damn those lips look soft! I know he was a geek, but he looked nothing like one. He was actually cute. Especially in the way he was dressed, with that black V-neck sweater on top of his white shirt, neatly tucked into his belted trousers.
Normally I would cringe at anyone who dressed like this but it looked good on Tom.
Hold on. What the hell was I saying?
I quickly gathered my thoughts and put them aside. If I was going to spend the next year sitting next to this guy then I might as well make a good impression.
"Hello," I said uncertainly, when he didn't reply I added. "I'm Claire." I leaned forward a little on my chair.
"I know who you are," His face didn't look so cute anymore. "I've been in the same year as you for 4 years and you don't know me? Not that I expected anything different." He looked me up and down, and turned away. My mouth dropped open and I didn't know what to say. I was usually polite to everyone I meet and I had never been insulted like that before.
"Excuse me but I don't need to know everyone in the school. What's your problem? ...You geek!" I felt that I had said enough, and hoped that I had hurt his feelings like he did mine. He laughed and turned back to face his computer screen. He was really starting to annoy me.
"Look Claire, let's just get one thing straight," He said casually before quickly turning and leaning towards me so our faces were not so far apart. I didn't move back in case it made me look scared or weak, instead I attempted a cold glare at his eyes. It took effort to keep it cold especially when his hazel eyes sparkled so warmly. But then his eyes turned angrily slanted, he gritted his teeth and the warmth disappeared. "I want to sit next to you no more than you want to be in this lesson, so just do what I say and we'll get along fine." As soon as he moved back to his computer, I realised that I was holding my breath.
I turned to my own computer screen and began typing in my username as I thought of something clever to say. "Is that why you agreed to tutor me?"
"The school's paying me to."
I could not believe this guy! I had only met him for 2 minutes and I already wanted to claw his eyes out. Why the hell does he hate me so much?
After logging in, I sat there looking out of the window at parents coming to the park with their kids. I sighed and wished I was there instead of this place. I jumped a little when suddenly I heard Tom say,
"Have you never used a computer before?" In reply, I looked at Tom emotionlessly before saying,
"Actually I have, it's just that no-one's bothered to explain to me what to do." I crossed my arms and looked at him accusingly. Tom rolled his eyes and sighed before leaning over to use my mouse. Tom was leaning so close to me that I couldn't help but look at his toned arm tight against his shirt sleeve. His body looked muscular too, he probably had a few built abs packed there. Okay, so he was hot. But then I reminded myself how much of a jerk he was.
"We've just started unit 3 but I guess you need to start at the beginning. This PowerPoint should help you through it." He turned back to my computer screen and carried on talking about the work, but I just couldn't keep my concentration. Which had never been my strong point for anything.
I turned my gaze to my computer screen, only to see the back of his head. His dirty blonde hair looked so soft and bouncy that I had the sudden urge to run my fingers through it. I quickly realised what I was doing and stopped myself just in time as he turned around and sat back in his chair properly.
"Did you get all that?" Luckily it seemed that he hadn't noticed what I was seriously, what the hell was wrong with me? You know what? It was probably just my hormones playing up.
"Of course I did. I'm not stupid." I know that I lied to him, but who wouldn't in this situation? I thought I was being a bit rude seeing as he had just helped me. "Thanks," I added, as I tried to understand the slides on my computer.
"I'm only doing it for the money," he shrugged his shoulders, "you don't do well in this class, I don't get paid." He smiled at me a weird smile, before going back to his computer.
I stared at him, my mouth agape and my eyebrows high. I just could not believe how rude this guy was! I decided that I wasn't going to waste my breath on him anymore.
After around fifteen minutes of working silently, I spoke again. "Tom."
He didn't bother replying, or even turning his head to face me, but I carried on anyway. "I can't find this document it's asking to open."
"Is there something wrong with your computer?" He finally turned to face me, and so I faced him.
"Maybe. I'm not sure." I was speaking slowly, knowing he was up to something with that smirk on his lips.
"So you think that just because you can't find something, there's something wrong with the computer."
"I said I'm not sure. The computer's probably fine okay? Now will you please just find the document for me?"
"So is there something wrong with your brain?" He cocked his head to one side, and put on confused expression. "Do you even have a brain?"
I rolled my eyes at him. "Well done Tom. That was just hilarious. Utterly hilarious."
"It wasn't meant to be a joke. How can you possibly not find the document? Are you mentally ill or something? Because if you are then—"
"No! I am not mentally ill. I have a brain," I pointed to my head, "and it is working perfectly well. Now can you just find me the flipping document?" I slammed my hand on my computer screen as I glared at Tom.
He smiled at me, and this one wasn't to fake innocence, it was a genuine smile. The anger I felt moments ago seemed to calm down inside me, and instead I felt my stomach doing weird turns. Oh damn, he looked so sexy when he smiled. But I'm not going to let that make me forget that he just described me as mentally ill.
"Fine." He said after staring at me with that god-like smile. "I'll do it, only if you admit that you have never used a computer before, and that you haven't got a brain."
"Go to hell." I turned to my computer and glared at the screen.
Tom laughed before saying, "Fine. Just admit the last part and I'll help you."
I sighed and turned to him.
"Go on then," he urged.
"I have no brain." I rolled my eyes at him and sighed again.
"I know you don't."
"Are you going to tell me where to find the document then?"
"What is it called?"
I turned to my screen, reading aloud. "The help sheet unit one."
"Oh don't worry about that. You don't need the help sheet." Tom went back to his computer while I gaped at him.
"So after all that, I don't even need it?"
"Well, you could use it," He looked at me and pretended to think about it, "I mean, it is designed for students who are struggling. But then again, it's also designed for students with brains."
I swore at him.
I swore a lot.
He laughed harder.
I basically called him every single swear that I knew, and then I said them all over again while shouting.
And then I got sent out of the class for 10 minutes.
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