Chapter 7 - The Probable Genius
I rushed downstairs and snatched a piece of bread from the table. This scene is unsightly. I overslept again, yet I call myself the student council president of Lockhart High. Pathetic.
It had been a week since the festival, but everybody still seemed hung over it. Of course, everybody had a great time with their pairs. Me and my pair on the other hand...
I'd rather not comment.
Since the festival was over, we were required to wear our school uniforms now, being a private school and all.
For the girls, we had a maroon, three-inches-above-the-knee-length skirt, a white buttoned blouse with a matching maroon vest over it and a small dark-red ribbon above our chest. Black shoes and white socks too. I hated wearing skirts so in short, I hated our uniform.
The boys had it easier. Their uniform consisted of maroon slacks, a white, long-sleeved polo shirt, a dark-red tie and a maroon vest. Our tops were practically the same except for the boys' ties and our ribbons, but I'd kill to wear pants instead of skirts any day.
"Kristina!" Mom hollered from the kitchen as I prepared to make a sprint towards the door. I had no time to listen to her complain about my hairstyle, so I immediately escaped. "Wait! Daniel is-- "
When I opened the door, my jaw--along with the piece of bread I was just biting--met the wonderful company of the floor.
There he was. The devil. The perverted zombie. The robot. The butthead kiss-monster.
"...here," my mother breathed when she finally caught up to me.
He was folding his arms upon resting his back on our gate. Yes, we had a gate, if I didn't mention that earlier. My parents always thought it was best if the house was more secure.
"Good morning Aunt Lizzy, Poopy," he smiled brightly at both me and my mom. His smile was so innocent that my mother got tricked instantly. She didn't notice the evil glint in his eye when he looked at me.
"Oh hi there Danny! I hope you and Kristina get along in school!" Mom looked too happy saying that.
Why mom. Why.
"That's the problem," he said as he snaked his arm around my shoulder. "We get along too well. Everybody in our class already treats us as husband and wife."
After he made that bold statement, he grinned at me. I stepped on his foot with all my might but only managed to get a small grunt from him. My mother though, chose to ignore my violence and took it as a form of affection.
"That's good to hear! Please take care of my stubborn daughter," she smiled sweetly.
"Mom, we don't get along," I grumbled like a kid, but she just giggled.
"Ah," Daniel glanced at his wrist and squeezed my shoulder. "We're gonna be late. Let's go."
Before I could say anything else, he dragged me towards his car and made me sit in the front seat. I saw my mom wave at us from the window. I quietly lowered my head and took deep breaths. I need to calm down. But I want to kill him. I want to kill him.
He keeps inspiring my inner serial killer.
Daniel started the engines and drove us to school. Halfway there, I began to stare at him with a neutral expression. I want to kill him. But my strength is drained from all the thinking.
"What?" he asked, smirking at that. His head was on the road but his eyes were constantly glancing at me.
"I'm getting depressed just looking at you," I mused. He made a short snicker.
"Then stop looking at me."
I paused for a bit. That's impossible. I can't stop looking at him because I want kill him. I want to shave his head and brows and take his teeth one by one using a pair of pliers. I pictured how he'd look like and mentally clinched. Gross.
Okay, I'm exaggerating. But I'm just really pissed at the moment.
I stared at him again, waiting until he notices. I don't know what else to do so I did that. I'm so weird.
"You're wearing our uniform," I noted.
"Yeah," he replied. "You look good in yours. I especially like the skirt." I saw how his lips curled up into a smirk.
I rolled my eyes at him. I got tired of staring at him so I fixed my eyes on the road as well. I just remembered we were having an oral recitation in Physics today. I totally forgot to study in advance. But, at least, there's stock knowledge to the rescue.
"You know," he started. I turned to look at him again. "You really do look good in your uniform. I mean it."
Was that a genuine compliment? How should I react?
"But I think you look better without clothes though. Pure skin's the best."
The memory of our little encounter in the bathroom last week fleeted into my mind clearly. I felt the heat rise up from my neck up to my ears. My patience has reached its peak. I can't take this harassment anymore!
Like the war-freak I am, I released an ear-piercing war cry before I reached for his ear from my seat. I pulled it hard and cursed at him. I even grabbed a hold of his shirt-- I don't know! I couldn't control the rage bursting out right now.
I just can't take being the underdog! I've never been treated like this before!
"H-Hey!?" He choked out, surprised. He turned the wheel and I'll bet from outside it looked like a drunkard was driving. "Do you want to die?! Let go of me you savage woman!"
He tried pulling my hands off his shirt but I was just too persistent. I don't care; I'm just so pissed right now! I'm mothertrucking crazy and I know it!
"YOU DIE YOU DAMN BUTTHEAD!" I yelled each word in his ear. I saw him wince and turn the car abruptly.
Oh shit we almost hit a cab.
What the hell possessed me to get so crazy?
Startled and scared for my life now, I let go of him and made him concentrate on driving. He sighed in relief, but I wasn't done yet.
I began hitting his shoulder and head, pulling his hair, pinching his face. But what I did most to vent out all my anger was punch him countless times on countless areas. Hard.
"Stop hitting!" He almost sounded like he was pleading. "I'll really die!"
Exactly the point!
After ten more minutes, the car, turning left to right, stopping and moving, finally arrived at the front gate of our school.
"W-We're here..." Daniel said in either relief or exhaustion.
We both looked like we just jumped out of bed. Our hairs were really messy, our uniforms all wrinkled from the battle earlier, and our faces looked like we've just gone through a war.
As we got down from the car, I slammed the door close and stomped towards the hall, ignoring the jerk behind me. Daniel was calmly walking behind me with an irritated look on his face.
Embarrassment slowly made its way to my mind. Why the hell did I lose control like that? I've never been that mad before.
I noticed some students stare and giggle at us as we passed by. This again. How rude. Aren't they used seeing this butthead and I together? It's been a week already.
When we finally entered the classroom, everybody just stopped doing what they were doing and started to stare at us both. In a really creepy way.
Daniel went to his seat and sat down as if nothing was happening. He wasn't bothered; no-- he didn't actually look like he cared. On the other hand, when I sat down beside him, I heard our classmates' ridiculously audible gossips from behind.
"Look at that guy..."
"I didn't know the Tina had it in her. She got hotter somehow."
The last sentence irritated the hell out of me. Was that an insult? Were they saying those out loud on purpose? I can still hear them!
I was about to stand up and clarify it when Ella entered the classroom and quickly approached me.
"Tina!" she shouted. I immediately brightened up when I saw her. My saviour is coming! Ella's better at handling this sort of stuff than I am.
"Ella!" I groaned. "What's going on? Why are those kids being mean?"
Man did I sound like a kid myself.
Ella glared at them before she sighed, took out her comb and brushed my hair, fixing my messy bun.
"If you come to school looking like you just fooled around then of course everybody will get weird assumptions. You're the role model of this school, and now that you have a fiancé, idiots will now have the chance to start rumours for fun and even bigger idiots will believe them."
Thank you for enlightening me, my good friend. Now I know.
"And you too Daniel," she told him. He was just lazily lying on his deck without a care in the world. "Your hair's a mess and it's your first day wearing your uniform. Why is it all wrinkled? What did the both of you do?"
Ella sounded like a mother scolding her children.
Daniel changed his position and placed his cheek on his palm, staring at us girls with doe-like eyes. "She attacked me in the car all of a sudden. Thanks to her we almost got late."
Ella's eyes glinted and a mischievous smile crossed her face. She forgot she was trying to discipline us. "Attacked? Really?"
"You didn't resist that much," I spat out childishly. I know I'm the one at fault, but I hate losing in arguments. Even when I know I'm wrong, I keep going anyway. I gotta get rid of this nasty habit.
But it looks like I'm not the only one who hates losing in arguments.
"But did you have to do it while I was driving? We could've died, idiot."
"How could I resist?! You harassed me!"
We were so deeply engrossed in our little argument that we didn't notice our classmates and even other students from other classes eavesdrop. Ella continued to fix my hair, braiding my hair on the process as Daniel and I proceeded with our damn argument.
This is bad. My head is boiling. I'm losing my temper again.
"You took it the wrong way."
"What kind of moron would take it the wrong way?" I almost growled, a part of me wanting to beat him up, and a part of me enjoying the silly argument. "You clearly said, 'you look better without clothes. Pure skin's the best.' Is that not considered as harassment?!"
"But you do look better naked."
He was too honest it was embarrassing.
It was exhausting to even get mad at him now.
"You're such a perv."
"No, you're just too innocent."
"Hahaha!" Ella sounded so pleased. I knew her cupid-juices would get excited about us.
I exhaled through my nostrils as I glared at him from the corner of my eyes. Unfortunately, I can't continue murdering him because Ella was still doing my hair, so my movements were limited. Daniel tilted his head a bit and maybe attempted to look cute.
He didn't look cute at all.
But somehow the girls in our room got fooled and breathed out shrieks of delight.
"Look at my collar," he showed us his uniform. "It's all stretched now because you kept tugging it so hard."
I rolled my eyes. The girls gasped and the boys howled. Damn nosy classmates. Why were they so interested in our squabbles?
"And my neck," he then showed us his neck. He caressed it gently and made a pitiful expression. "It's almost swollen. Ah. You might've left a mark too."
He was obviously talking about how I almost choked him to death by pulling the collar of his shirt earlier, but by the way he said it, any normal person would get the wrong idea.
I know this idiot's doing it on purpose. I was more than aware of the people not-so-secretly listening to our conversation. Brats
"Oh my gosh," Ella gasped. "Tina gave you a hickey?! Oh my gosh! Gosh!"
"Wrong!" I denied strongly. "I strangled him!"
"Strangled!" I emphasized every syllable. She was laughing so I knew she was just teasing me. "Do you want a demo?!"
She finished braiding my hair and patted my head like a kid. "Nah, I'm good."
"Oh, do me again," Daniel winked suggestively.
Again with the misleading words! I hate it when people tease me. I get awkward and my natural reflex is to get mad at the damn pricks. Why can't I think of smart comebacks? Ugh so frustrating.
"Shut up. Don't start."
Before the damned class could ask for an encore of that stupid argument, our Physics teacher finally entered the classroom, so everybody went back to their seats. Oh shit. I forgot again! The oral recitation!
"Alright class," the stern old man named Mr Oak looked even more serious today.
He always puts on that 'don't treat me like a fellow student because I'm your teacher so respect me' aura around him so nobody dares play around during his classes.
Not even Sean, and that's saying something.
"I'll be giving an oral recitation about a random topic in Physics, to see if you actually learned something."
Uhh. He really looks down on us. He kinda pisses me off, but he's a teacher, so I'm always polite to him. He never had a problem with my grades anyway so I was one student he didn't usually pick on. Unless nobody knew the answer, then I cover for my class so my classmates won't get in trouble.
"I'm going to ask a question. You get it right I'll give you incentives, get it wrong, minus five points in the upcoming quiz."
Everybody groaned and some even whined. Their cries of desperation were cut short when Mr Oak glared at all of them. They all shut up immediately.
"I'll start now," he said. His voice was cold and he sounded like an executioner. Everybody became stiff in their seats. Even I was getting nervous. Did he have to pressure us before starting? Oh yeah. What powerful motivation he had given us to study in advance next time. "Sean Bennett. Stand up."
Sean stood up weakly. It was plainly obvious that he wasn't prepared. We pitied the guy.
"Tell me, under what influence does free-fall motion occur?"
Darn. That was an easy question. Lucky bastard.
He scratched his ear and gave Mr Oak a dry smile. Don't tell me he doesn't even know how to answer such a simple question?
"It's... um... under the influence of... science?"
Mr Oak looked like he was expecting such an answer from him so he just wrote something in his record book and asked Sean to sit down. "Minus five points for you in our next quiz."
Sean looked crushed. I kind of felt sorry for him. Mr Oak really is mean. He didn't even give him a chance.
"Francella Maxwell, same question." He didn't give the class time to recover. The atmosphere around the room was too heavy.
Ella stood up unsurely. "It's under the sole influence of gravity... sir."
"Correct," he said, but it didn't sound much of a praise than he probably intended. "Next, Carter White. Explain how harmonic motion works."
For the next twenty minutes, Mr Oak managed to give only ten students incentives, including me. The rest of the class got minus five. He was still in the process of asking random Physics problems.
The ones that were done, got to take a breather and give sympathy to the ones getting asked, and the ones that were yet to be asked were still holding their breaths.
In Mr Oak's classes, there's no such things as 'friendship' or 'camaraderie'-- no there's no shit like that here. It's every man for himself.
"Poopy, psst," Daniel threw me the cap of his pen to get my attention. I glared at him and quietly asked what he wanted. I can't get caught talking to him while Mr Oak is still here. That old man won't hesitate taking back the incentives I just earned. "Did you bring lunch today?"
I nodded my head, not tearing my eyes off our teacher. This stupid new student just doesn't understand how scary this teacher is.
"Great. Give me some later."
"Pay attention to the teacher," I made my voice as low as I could, but it ended up sounding like a hiss.
"Nah, he's too strict and boring," he didn't even attempt to lower his voice like I did. A few heads turned to look at us. Good thing Mr Oak didn't notice! Damn it this idiot! "Poopy. Hey, Poopy."
AARGH! Can't he take a hint?!
"Do you read manga? You know, Japanese comic books?"
Is this guy a kid?!
"Where do you buy those here? Hey, take me to a bookstore before we go home."
I knitted my brows before I gave him my intensest stare. How can I get him to shut up? He's pissing me off again.
"If you don't die right now I'll kill you. If you don't want to be killed then just die."
He snorted loudly. "How many times do I have to die exactly?"
"Student at the back," Mr Oak called Daniel's attention. Everybody turned around from their seats and gave horrified looks at him. Oh shit. Oh crap. This is the end. Please don't notice me talking to him just now. Scold him, not me. Please! "Since you find my questions so amusing that you'd actually snort, why don't you answer this next question."
"Okay," he casually replied. The confidence this guy has! Even Mr Oak looked surprised with his reply. But judging from his expression, he might've just shrugged it off as a bluff.
He took his book from his desk and scanned the pages to look for a problem. Oh my God. The butthead is done for. Mr Oak rarely opens the textbook. He's dead. He's totally dead. Before I even get to kill him.
"Since you're a special case," he said, flipping a few pages until one page caught his attention. "I'll give you a word problem. I won't allow you to use a scientific calculator. Just solve it in a piece of paper."
Daniel didn't even look threatened or scared, which he should've been. More like, his face was saying, 'challenge accepted.' Is he really just bluffing to save face? Or is he smart? No, no. He doesn't even have a textbook yet. And this is the first time we had a Physics class since he got here.
I didn't realize my face had worry written all over it. He peeked at me from the corner of his eyes and grinned playfully. What the hell is he thinking?
"Hm," Mr Oak didn't look pleased with Daniel's responses. "How fast would the moon need to travel in order to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth? Earth has a mass of 5.98 x 10^24kg and the distance from Earth to the moon is 3.84 x 10^8m."
He said it so fast I wasn't even able to catch up! "I'll give you three minutes to-- "
"1.44 m/s," Daniel replied, cutting our teacher short.
He didn't even take out a pen or a paper. Did he solve it mentally? Was it just a guess?
Mr Oak looked taken aback. He looked at his textbook and nodded. That means... the butthead was right?
Everybody in the room was surprised. That problem wasn't that hard really, but a normal person would solve that in at least three minutes without a calculator right?
"Lucky guess. How about this one," our teacher didn't look convinced that Daniel solved it mentally. He looked challenged. Not good. "Saturn's satellite, Titan, orbits at an average distance of 1.216 x 10^9m from the center of the planet. What's the mass of Saturn?"
"5.6 x 10^26kg," he replied ten seconds after Mr Oak finished the question.
Mr Oak looked troubled, so that means the stupid Daniel was right again?! I mean, he's not really stupid?!
Our teacher quickly flipped the pages of the book, probably to look for a more difficult problem. I can't believe I'm witnessing such a glorious moment of a student's life. To see that damn old man in distress... Everybody including me somehow respected Daniel more...
"Try solving this one. Even I had trouble with this one," he mumbled, breaking a sweat. "Halley's comet orbits the sun about every 75 years due to the gravitational force the sun provides. Compare the gravitational force between Halley's comet and the sun when the comet is furthest from the sun, Aphelion, and distance is 4.5 x 10^12m to the force when Halley's comet is closest to the sun, Perihelion, where distance is 5.0 x 10^10m away from the sun."
He said it without pause! I didn't understand anything! Was that an advanced Physics problem?!
We all looked at Daniel. He was just calmly closing his eyes as if he was mentally calculating. I'm not sure if he is calculating. He might be sleeping and all that talk earlier was just sleep-talk.
After a few seconds, he opened his eyes and looked at our teacher with narrow eyes, as if saying, 'seriously?'
"You can compare the forces due to the inverse proportion of distance, since Halley's Comet and the sun are constants. So, the greater force is 4 x 10^-22."
Daniel looked like a primary school kid that just answered a 1 + 1 = 2 problem. He didn't look like he was proud that he answered that problem. He looked more like he was stating the obvious answer.
He even looked tired and annoyed that he was made to answer more problems than the others. It was impressive. I didn't understand a single thing about that problem, yet he caught up. But the question was, was he right?
Mr Oak quickly closed his book and approached Daniel's desk. I think I'm hyperventilating. What the heck is going on? He critically studied Daniel's face and a glint of recognition flickered in his eyes.
"Who are you?" he asked. "You look familiar, but I've never seen you in this class before."
"I'm a new student."
His way of replying was too casual, as if he was just talking to another student. Mr Oak hated that the most, but right now, he didn't seem to care. In fact, he looked quite excited. What? Mr Oak, excited?
"Your name, boy?"
A hint of annoyance flashed in his eyes, like giving out his name was trouble or something. But when he saw me looking at him, he sighed. Was he feeling conscious that I was looking at him attentively? Or am I just reading into the situation too much?
"My name's Daniel Curtis."
Mr Oak smiled.
Oh my God.
Call the press everybody. He smiled.
"You're Daniel Silver Curtis?" Mr Oak said.
"I leave the Silver out. I don't like it," he replied.
The old man adjusted his collar and leaned closer towards him. "I can't believe it. You transferred here from London? Why this school?"
Now wait a minute. I thought he didn't know him just a minute ago, now he knows about the Silver in his name and about the fact that he used to live in London?
Daniel looked a bit uneasy, as if he was uncomfortable with the questions. And for some reason, he kept peeking at me. "Just felt like it."
"If it isn't a bother..." Mr Oak looked shy.
The world must be coming to an end.
"Will you shake my hand?"
I almost fell of my chair.
The idiot (probable secret genius) just answered some difficult problems mentally and sure, it was kind of awesome but to go to this extent and shake his hand? What is wrong with this world? How did Mr Oak suddenly become a fan of this butthead?!
"I guess so," Daniel gave out his hand and shook hands with our teacher.
Oh God our teacher.
He looked like he was gonna pass out from all the excitement. He looked pretty close to a teenage fan girl.
"I've heard so much about you," he gushed. "I don't know why the press isn't-- "
"They don't know I'm here," Daniel cut him short again, staring intensely at the teacher. "I'd appreciate it if you don't tell."
The press? What, was he a celebrity or something? I don't know since I don't watch TV that much. I'm confused!
Chatters and murmurs enveloped the room. It was such a weird situation and it seems like Daniel and Mr Oak were the only ones who understood what was going on. Our teacher shook his head almost too eagerly, the smile on his face not wavering a bit.
"Oh yeah," Daniel smiled as well. He reached out his hand towards my desk and then he entangled his fingers on mine. I couldn't move at all. I stiffly forced a smile myself when Mr Oak looked at me quizzically, wondering why he reached out to me all of a sudden. "I came here because I missed my fiancé. Please treat us like everyone else from now on."
OH MY GOD.
I knew he was just saying that as a joke to spite me, but our teacher took it seriously.
Mr Oak looked surprised that it was me of all people. But still, he nodded his head in an understanding manner again and he gave me a proud look. Proud?
"Of course. Kristina is one of my best students. Congratulations to the both of you."
There wasn't room for me or my classmates to react. And before anything bizarre could happen again, the bell rang. Our teacher shook Daniel's hand again.
"Please meet me in the faculty if you have time. I have so many questions to ask you."
When he left, everybody surrounded Daniel's desk like he was a big celebrity. He looked troubled, bothered. His hand was still holding mine.
Everybody became so noisy and a lot of questions bombarded his face. He didn't look like he was in the mood to answer any of them. I was one of the many people that were confused.
I had to ask.
"Who are you?" I squeezed his hand.
I thought he grimaced at me. Maybe it was just my imagination.
"I'm just your typical butthead."
A/N: Please don't imitate what our dear Kristina did inside that car. That was very reckless and dangerous. ⚠️