Nerd Alert

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Chapter One


“You’re late.”

I heard Alexander say as I walked into the empty history classroom. I met his ‘you’re wasting my time.’ look with a glare. After a week of this ridiculous tutoring, you’d think he’d have learned some respect.

“Did you do the revision exercises I gave you?” Alexander asked as I dropped the grey aging rucksack that had been weighing me down next to the desk.

“The assignment?” Alexander asked, his eyes not leaving the Sidney Sheldon book he was reading.

“Err...” I trailed. Okay, so what if I didn’t do it? Procrastination is the only subject I excel in any way. Alexander finally looked up from his book, his brown eyes giving me a not too impressed look.

“You didn’t do it, did you?” Alexander asked partially closing the book with a sigh. He then opened it up before he continued reading the book, completely ignoring me. I just awkwardly stood there, before deciding to take a seat beside him. We usually sat like this for about ten minutes before he decided to close whatever shit he was reading.

“What are you reading now?” I asked out of boredom. The metal seats aren’t exactly comfortable and it’s bad enough the clock is the only thing making a noise in here.

“Something you won’t be able to comprehend,” Alex said flipping to the next page. There’s something about the aura that surrounds him. It’s like a ‘back off’ replant if that makes sense. His brown not too lengthy hair fell around his face like a lion’s mane. The dark blue turtleneck sweater didn’t seem so necessary under the moderate weather conditions. I shook my head feeling a bit weird. I don’t like the fact this Alexander kid keeps messing around with my train of thought.

“Master of the game,” I heard Alexander say under his breath.

“What?” I asked, confused.

“You wanted to know the name of the book, didn’t you?” Alexander sighed.

“Oh,” I muttered, trying to forget the reason I hadn’t been paying attention.

“Okay, what’s it in history today?” he asked, finally closing and putting the book away. Piling it on top of the books he had set aside on the wooden table.

“You’re in my grade you should know,” I started feeling a bit irritated, he does ask the most annoying of questions.

“Yes I am but I took 12th-grade history in the 11th grade so I don’t have take history. so, what was the topic today?” He asked again.

“The Roman empire... I think...” I trailed, trying to think back to today’s class. It was a revision class so it’s something we learned before.

“You think?” Alexander asked, eyes widening in disbelief.

“Um, yeah,” I said, running my hand through my short hair. Okay, maybe I wasn’t listening, maybe I was texting, watching stuff on youtube... You get the point. Alexander smacked his forehead, muttering under his breath.

“I’ll ask her for the scheme later, for now, let’s just learn a little on the Romans and hope it’s the correct topic,” Alexander said, reaching out for his clipboard. Why does he carry that thing around?

“What do you think is most interesting about the Romans?” he asked biting the bottom of his pen, the sleeve of his sweater falling down a bit.

“Travis,” Alexander said sharply.

“Sorry, damn,” I said, shaking my head. I need to stop zoning out like this, maybe ask him to wear a paper bag over his head?

“Their army and political influence,” I said, actually remembering something from the class. Alexander gave me a surprised look then smiled.

“You know what I like best about them?” he asked, turning to face me, bringing his feet on top of his seat before hugging his legs to himself. I shook my head, playing along.

“...Their addiction with lead. Lead. It was like an addiction, a need. The Romans knew the intake and use if lead was deadly, even the god of lead was associated with madness, but what did they use to pave their streets with? Lead. What did they use to sweeten their wine? Lead. What did they use to make their water pipes? Lead! Can you believe it? It probably caused the fall of their whole civilization...” and I didn’t really grasp the rest. I was busy staring at his face. His eyes were lit up oddly, in a good way. He was smiling... enjoying himself... I’ve never seen Alex smile.

“Travis?” Alexander called. I blinked before sitting up. Alex covered his mouth as he chuckled - he was chuckling?

“Let’s continue shall we?” he asked reaching out for the textbook that was open in front of me.


“Shit,” I muttered, barging out from the history class.

“Shit as in what—”

“Don’t start that!” I said firmly. It was bad enough the halls were empty, meaning we overdid this ‘study time’. I didn’t need Alexander feeling smart with me.

“Same time tomorrow,” Alexander said, brushing past me and into the hallway. He didn’t even feel bothered by its emptiness.

“Wait!” I yelled, making Alexander stop in his tracks.

“How are you going to go home?” I asked, remembering he usually took the bus. He shrugged looking straight at me.

“I have two legs, so I’ll walk the distance,” Alexander said, turning away. I debated whether or not I should let him walk the distance or I should give him a lift in my car. I shook my head surprised I even thought of that. I sighed walking to my locker, Samantha was having another get together tomorrow at the mall, typical. At least it’s not one of those her outrageous parties, just a get together at noon, school on Fridays always ended earlier.

“I could proclaim myself a sprinter if that’s your regular pace on a normal day,” I heard Alexander’s voice say as I walked down the hall. I stopped narrowing my eyes at him; he had already swapped his books and had a black sling bag over his shoulder that wasn’t there before.

“I was... thinking,” I admitted as I continued walking.

“Surprise, surprise,” Alex muttered, a hint of a smile forming on his lips as he finally brushed past me. I stopped frowning. Is there an explainable reason why his contact always made me feel edgy?

I ignored it, moving towards my locker, I wasn’t going to let some nerd put me on the edge. I put the combination lock before my locker swung open. It was probably too full and I might need to find another one before the end of this semester. I didn’t need to change any books, just grab my car keys.

When I got my keys, I had a little struggle closing the locker, a few bangs here and there and it finally locked.

“Urg!” I sighed, pulling my rucksack over my shoulders. I walked through the hall and out of the school. The weather seemed abnormally cold from this afternoon. I grimaced, remembering Alex’s sweater.

The bastard. I thought, rubbing my exposed hands, which my tee shirt couldn’t handle. I paraded the parking lot in the search for my car; I always forget where I parked the God damn thing. I sighed in relief spotting it at the edge the school gate, typical of me. I walked to it, opening the doors before getting in. I immediately turned on the heater, I was desperate for anything to beat the cold.

Starting the engine I thought of Alex again, and the weird vibes he gave me... I shook my head moving the car out the school gate. Whatever he’s doing I’m not going to let it get to me.

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