Chapter I


The 16 year old boy sat in his math class on this dull, dreary winter day.  One might expect this boy to be paying attention as he was one of the top students in his class, but amazingly enough this boy was staring off into space.  In fact, this boy almost never paid attention and almost always stared off into space, for the boy found it insanely hard to concentrate at all on anything that was ever taught in his classes as everything in the curriculum was so amazingly simple to him he was able to do the problems before ever being taught the formulas.


“Now class, we shall move on to Binomial Theorem,” …  the teacher’s voice droned on and on.  The boy had no idea why the teacher was even still talking.  It was obvious that barely anyone had been listening from the start and that the few who had been listening stopped out of boredom within the first five minutes.  Yet, still this teacher insisted on going on and on and on.  This pissed the boy off.  Any other teacher surely would have shut up by now and given the class some work to entertain themselves with and then dismissed them, but no… this teacher was still babbling on like an old fool and just didn’t seem to know how to shut up.  ‘This teacher’s so full of himself’ the boy thought in his head ‘I bet the entire class could leave and he’d still be here babbling’.  So this formed an idea in the boy’s head.


The boy reached into his backpack & pulled out his notebook for the first time in the 2 hour period, tore out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it.  The boy then passed the note to his neighbor who in turn passed it to his neighbor who in turn passed it to her neighbor until it had gotten around to the entire classroom.  When the note got back to the boy, along with the signatures of every other member of the class the boy smiled & nodded.  Scanning over the paper he noticed a personal message for him that it appeared the girl next to him had written. 


The boy turned his head to the side to see what this girl was doing and noticed for about a split the girl appeared to be looking at him, but quickly turned her head.  The boy just kind of blinked and was a bit confused.  For despite the fact that he was considered more or less good-looking, he certainly wasn’t among the popular crowd and most girls considered him way too strange to even consider conversing with, much less dating.  The boy thought for a minute and decided to read the note the girl had written later on when he had some alone time.


Suddenly the kid sitting next to him nudged him “Come on, you gonna do it or what?!”  The boy took a second to snap out of the euphoric state of confusion he had landed himself in and held up his hand, fingers outstretched counting five, four, three, two, one, zero.  Upon the reaching of zero the entire class in mock-military unison got up packed their bags and marched out of the class room.  They did it so perfectly that one would have sworn they were all army veterans.


The boy smiled, he liked what he had seen, this was all his product.  This was all the result of hours of training he had put in with the rest of the class to add some interest to all of their boring lives.  The boy looked back and noticed the teacher was still lecturing despite that the entire class had left; he smiled yet again.  Suddenly the boy ordered “Alright, everybody file out, regroup at 1400 hours”, and in the same mock-military order the group had proceeded in, they departed until they turned the corner of the hallway and were no longer visible.


The boy smiled, this time a relaxed and relieving smile.  The rest of his classmates were now gone and thus he could read the note that the girl in class had written him.  The note read “Hi, my name is Tara… um, I’m not really sure how to say what I’m trying to say, but I find you uh… a really interesting person, could we perhaps hang out sometime together perhaps in the park or something?  I understand if you don’t want to… - Tara”.


The boy smiled, this time a victorious smile.  He had done it, for the first time in his life he had done it.  He had finally managed to attract a girl to him who he considered to be intelligent and attractive.  The boy was so happy and so confused at the same time.  Happy because of his newly gained victory and confused because of all these new emotions of hope and desire running through his head.  It wasn’t like he had never felt any desire for a girl before, he had, once or twice, but it just wasn’t the same as this time.  This time it was special because the girl actually felt the same back towards him and wanted to get to know him.  He also noted this was different because she wasn’t completely full of herself to the point where it made him want to vomit.


The boy smiled once more happy and content, yet still desiring more, took one last read over the note, which he had already read over perhaps 10 times, folded the note up and placed it in the back pocket of his jeans.  He then walked down the corridor round the corner that the rest had gone through minutes before and just kind of stopped paying attention to his surroundings, for he was lost in thought.


As the boy was walking, lost in thought he walked right by the very same girl who had written him the note.  She was sitting down, by herself buried in a metaphysics book and didn’t even notice, or at least pretended not to notice, the boy passing by.  The boy took a glance to his side just for a sec to make sure he was in the corridor he had intended on walking down, indeed he was, and to his surprise saw the girl who had written him the note sitting there reading.  He was equally surprised to see that she hadn’t noticed him at all.


He then slowly walked over to her and sat down next to her and said “Hi”.  This caused the girl to jump slightly and amused the boy, although he kept his thoughts to himself, she turned surprised to see the boy sitting next to her.  “Hi”, she said back “Your name’s Ben right?” she asked timidly.  The boy nodded then smiled then asked “And yours is Tara, I believe?” Tara nodded again somewhat timidly.


From there the two went on conversing for quite some time and discovered that both liked the other and eventually ended up holding hands.  After an hour or two, Ben looked at his watch and realized he was late for his AP Physics class.  He blinked and was shocked for a second, he was late for class… The reality of this statement took a few moments to sink in, but when it did, it hit hard.  There went his Perfect 5.0 GPA, his perfect attendance, his reputation, all that was flying out the door, unless… unless he could somehow run to his physics class before the attendance was taken, but he knew that was impossible, for his classroom was all the way on the other side of the building and would take at least ten minutes to reach.


All of a sudden, he saw one of his fellow classmates walk by and as he was walking by,t he classmate asked him “Ben, whatsup? No class? Did you decide to cut or something?”.  Ben was buried nervously deep in thought trying desperately to come up with an excuse for why he wasn’t in class.  His classmate then told him “Don’t worry about it, I’m just joking with ya, class is cancelled, you probably knew that all along anyway and were just trying to fool me weren’t you?”  Ben blew out a heavy, relieved breath and after a second said, “yes, of course, I knew it the whole time”.


It was at this point that his classmate noticed that Ben was sitting next to a girl, and not just any girl but Tara who was considered one of the most intelligent and attractive girls in the whole school.  The boy just nodded and said “Oh, I got ya, see ya next class & good luck.”  Ben smiled and nodded “See ya later”


Ben blew out another heavy, relieved breath and turned back to Tara.  Immediately, upon his facing her she exclaimed, “Oh my god I’m so sorry” and hugged him affectionately.  “I had no idea that you had AP Physics this period, I feel really bad about that…”  “It’s ok Tara, it’s really my fault anyway since I wasn’t paying attention to my watch” replied Ben.  “Well I still feel bad” replied Tara and hugged him once again.  The two continued talking for perhaps another hour when Ben walked Tara to class, they hugged and told each other they would see each other tomorrow and then went their separate ways. 


Chapter II


Ben had another 10 minutes until his next class and started walking over to it as it was on the other side of the building and he knew it would take at least 6 or 7 to get there.  As he was walking, he nearly knocked into a couple of other students multiple times and apologized and just kind of kept walking.  This was unlike him, usually he was very alert and aware of his surroundings and knew exactly where people would be minutes before they even arrived at their location.  Today however was obviously different, he was lost so deeply in thought that someone else could have initiated and concluded a conversation with him without his own realizing it.


Ben went through the rest of the day in this state and while he still managed to pay attention in his classes & perform any other basics, which applied to him, almost everyone around him noticed that he appeared to be really distracted.  Most people just assumed it was an off-day for him, since everyone had those every once in a while, however a couple of his friends didn’t buy into that idea and attempted to discover what had thrown him into this state of euphoric confusion.


Starting from the last period, which they had class, his friends took it upon themselves to continuously pester him until they told him what was up. However, No matter how much they pestered him about it Ben wouldn’t tell them and kept equivocating and bringing up topics such as Physics and Computer Science to avoid having the conversation.  Finally, after an hour or so Ben announced that he was done toying with them and driving them all crazy and told them of his achievement.


There was an immediate shared feeling of disappointment amongst the few of his friends he had just told.  Not because he had finally accomplished something he had been aiming to accomplish for a long time, and not because it meant he was ahead of all of them in terms of life experience and the world.  However their disappointment rooted from fear that they would not get to spend much time with him soon and that he would abandon their rather military-like troop.  Ben discovered this and told them that they had absolutely nothing to worry about and that he would never do that to any of his friends, if he would then he obviously wasn’t their friend.


Chapter III


After school while everyone else was playing and running around outside, Ben had decided to use his sudden abundance of free time to continue work on the computer program he had been designing.  It had started out as an extra credit project when he was in 7th grade and over the years as he became more inventive and as he was exposed to new ideas, he kept adding to it.  This wasn’t odd for Ben, he constantly spent countless afternoons holed up inside his dormitory writing stories, or creating and editing a new program.  This had its good aspects and bad aspects.  On one side, he had won countless awards and received excessive amounts of congratulations for the programs he had designed, but on another he had so little of a social life that in school was probably the only time he ever saw anyone he knew.


While Ben had been completely fine with this before, his life was changing and for the first time in his life, he actually desired to see another person.  It then occurred to him that he had no way of seeing this other person except for whatever time they had together between classes.  When he considered this with the promise he had made to his friends that he wouldn’t neglect him, the thought occurred to him that he might not even get to see Tara too much.  This frightened him and pained him simultaneously and immediately he knew that he had to do something to correct this tragic occurrence.


It also occurred to him that since his social group only extended to about 3 or 4 people chances are the only way he would be able to get Tara’s phone number was to ask her himself.  This freaked him out.  It wasn’t like he didn’t want to talk to her or anything it was just all too much for him at once.  He had never attracted a girl before in his life, had never spent so much time alone with a girl in his life, had never desired to see another person this much in his life and had never been so happy in his life either.


All of a sudden, a message appeared on his computer screen “Phone transaction occurring: to sanction call press Enter, to screen call press Esc.”  This scared the hell out of Ben.  This was the first time in years he had even gotten a phone call, and it seemed just that much weirder as it occurred right when he was thinking about calling somebody for the first time in years.  Ben pressed the caller ID to see who it was.  Ben sighed, the caller ID had read "MIT - Subject: New 3 Month Computer Workshop".  Ben sighed in annoyance at this and decided that he didn't feel like answering the phone call as he probably wouldn't even get anything out of this workshop because just like all the others he had been to he already knew everything that they were teaching there.  He pressed the Esc button and then immediately afterwards muted the speakers so that he wouldn't have to deal with this pointless call.  

He went back to thinking about Tara and about how this was all so strange for him and about how he had had such enjoyable times with her.  This was one of the few things in his life that had ever even had any significance to him and something that he wanted to make last.  It was something... All of the sudden the phone rang yet again.  Ben blinked confused as to how in the hell he would be getting a second call when the first one was rare enough.  He looked up at the screen to see what insane person was calling him and interrupting his blissful pool of thought.  When he looked up at the screen it read "Unidentified Caller: No previous number stored".  He scratched his head and then suddenly thought "What if it's Tara?"  Ben felt as though he were about to explode with joy and was so full of hope that when he picked up the phone he responded with a perky, cheery "Good morning, This is Ben, how are you, May I ask who's calling?"  - A rather surprising reaction for one such as Ben who was usually quite cool and collected and near-formal to the point where it seemed he was being diplomatic or trying to negotiate something.

The voice on the other end replied "Hi, this is Tara, do you normally answer the phone like that?"  Ben almost jumped out of his seat with joy and then proceeded to check the text on the computer screen to confirm that he had heard correctly and it indeed was Tara on the other side of the phone line.  Ben's check revealed that it indeed was she and he replied "No, only special people get that response from me."  While doing this he quickly checked his computer screen, which had been logging the entire conversation and saved Tara's phone number into his address book making her the 5th person in the book.  Tara's reply of "Oh that's sweet" made Ben smile, so far everything was going good.  Ben continued the conversation "So, um how did you get my phone number and what enticed you to make a call to me?"  She replied that she had gone through a friend of his and asked him and that she was calling because she wished she was with him, but since she wasn't this was the closest thing to it.  Tara then asked Ben if he was doing anything that weekend and received a reply of "If I am then I'm praying it involves you", this made her smile then she asked him if he would be willing to meet her in the school park after school was out on Friday and if he would be willing to spend the night with her.  He replied that he was more than ok with both, which pleased the both of them.  The two of  them then remained on the phone for an hour or two when finally Ben stated that he had to get off the phone or else he would never get any of his homework done and as much as he wished to stay and talk to her he really needed to get this work done.  Tara said she understood and they both said good to each other, yet neither of them could say the three emotion-filled words on the tip of their tongues "I Love You".


Chapter IV