Ok, this is the beginning of Perfect in Derek's point of vue. I was on the fence about doing this, but you guys gave me the push I needed to make up my mind. I don't know if I'm going to do the whole story (Perfect) in his POV, I might do only three shots. It depends on feedback and my schedule. Enjoy :)
"Derek, do you have a minute," Williams called as I was about to leave the classroom. I walked back to his desk reluctantly. I had handed in the work he had given me early and there was something in his tone that made me wary. I couldn't help but think that this wasn't about the chaos theory—which, as I had logically argued earlier, seemed like complete bullshit and was an astounding contradiction.
He looked up at me and, besides a little hesitance, I saw no fear in his eyes, no reproach or disgust.
Registering the dubious curiosity in my eyes, he asked, "You're lacking in community service hours, correct?"
"Yeah," I said carefully, inquisitiveness traitorously eliminating all feelings of caution.
"I have a proposition for you then," he said, smiling now and looking victorious.
I said nothing and he continued quickly, "I have a student in grade eleven and she's really struggling with the material," he said, passing me a pack of what I assumed to be the girl in question's tests. "I get together with her once a week after school and while the extra lessons seem to help a bit, it hasn't made that big of a difference. But she tries hard and I know she works on it at home. I believe that it's my approach that she can't grasp. But I also believe that you, Derek, just may be exactly what she needs."
He paused before adding on, "If you tutor her, I'll give you all the hours you need."
He looked at me steadily and waited.
I needed those hours. But I also didn't want to spend an hour a week with some stupid cheerleader who didn't understand not because she couldn't grasp Williams' approach, but because she lacked the mental capacity to comprehend in the first place. I had enough of people like that during the day. I didn't want to willingly subject myself to more aggravation during what was supposed to be time I could escape from it all. But the hours…
Almost as if reading my mind, he said, "She's not bad, Derek. I think she deserves a chance." He said this last part quietly, letting the meaning behind it speak volumes. I had never pegged him as manipulative, but boy was he good.
I looked down at the tests in my hand unenthusiastically and riffled through them. This girl really was bad at math. Looking back up at him, I sighed and asked, "When do you want me to start?"
He did a commendable job of keeping the twitching of his lips almost imperceptible and said, "Can you be here after school?"
I nodded and turned to leave, heading for the library and trying not to think too much about what was to come.
Sitting in the classroom, I could feel my impatience begin to grow. Even though I didn't have a right to be intolerant—I was early—I couldn't help it. It just seemed like something one of them would do—mosey on in whenever it was convenient, in complete disregard to anyone else because, as they so ardently believed, who was more important than them?
I heard the door creak slightly as whoever this inconvenience was walked in and I looked up, slightly interested as to who it could be.
Chloe Saunders stood in the door, seemingly frozen place, staring at me with wide eyes. I attempted to control my surprise and looked back at her. She appeared simultaneously curious, shocked, intimidated—how unanticipated— and… amused? Having apparently made a silent decision, she walked towards me slowly, almost nervously, and set her books on the desk between us, sliding into the seat across from me. She was so tiny and unassuming, the last person I expected to walk into this room.
Taking a deep breath, she said, "H-Hi. I'm—"
I cut her off and said, "I know who you are, Chloe. And I'm assuming you know who I am?" Our school was pretty big, so I'd be able to understand her intent to introduce herself if she hadn't been in my English class. Did she think I was oblivious and unobservant?
She stared at me with narrowed eyes, apparently having taken offense at my tone, so I sighed and asked, "What's your problem?"
"Excuse me," she spluttered disbelievingly. It appeared that I needed to work on my communication skills because in the two minutes since she had sat down, she had only misinterpreted me. I motioned to the book in front of her and understanding dawned on her features.
"Haven't you talked to Mr. Williams," she questioned.
"Then I assume you know what the problem is," she said with a bit of bite in her tone, sounding dry and slightly sarcastic.
My eyes snapped to hers and her chin seemed to jut out almost infinitesimally in defiance. I was surprised, to say the least. Who knew that little Chloe Saunders wasn't as timid as she seemed, that she had it in her to put someone, least of all me, in their place? Slowly, the boldness in her gaze began to lessen, but the intent did not. She continued to stare at me, into my eyes, all the while losing presence, as if no longer fully here.
Her gaze me oddly uncomfortable for it was simple curiousness I saw, no traces of anything else. Why was she staring at me? Dangling a pencil in front of her face, thoroughly annoyed, she snapped back to reality.
"Can we start? Or would like a couple more minutes to stare into space and waste our time?"
She opened her mouth in what I assumed was protest, but I continued on, ignoring her.
"How do you feel about math," I asked
"What do you mean?" she snapped, sounding irritated.
"I mean do you like it? Do you hate it?" God, was I that incomprehensible?
"I despise it."
She said it so fervently, I took a moment to reorganize my disrupted thoughts, surprised not only by the unexpected yet simple intensity, but also by the statement. Who could hate math that much?
"That's your problem," I said finally, knowing how I could help her.
She looked at me questioningly and I sighed before explaining."You're failing because you don't understand. You don't understand because you're not properly grasping the concepts and material. Not understanding leads you to feel frustrated and defeated. And those feelings lead you to become so closed-minded that, because you're so unwilling to try and look at math positively, you yourself become a restriction, disabling any chance of comprehension."
"I try," she objected indignantly.
"You need to try harder." It was true. Half her problem was that she was giving up, not even trying because she approached it with the wrong mindset. "And we need to find a method that works so you don't feel so desolate about trying. You need to be dedicated and I need to know that you're going to try, or no deal."
She wasn't a cheerleader. I realized, with some astonishment, that, literal sense of the word aside, I didn't know who she was. Chloe was quiet and I didn't see her around school besides in our shared English hour. She sat in the middle of the classroom at the back—always at the back—and was constantly bent over, doing her work or writing something. She was obviously intelligent if her advanced English placement was any indication, but again, besides these unimportant tidbits of information, I knew nothing about her. Pushing away the inexplicable frustration I felt at this fact, I focused on the problem at hand. I was willing to help her, but I nonetheless didn't want to waste my time. I needed to know she would be committed.
After having mulled over my words, she finally said, "I may not understand the first time."
It was a warning, but it was fruitless. I didn't care and I didn't expect otherwise. If she understood the first time, she wouldn't need to be tutored in the first place.
"Ok. Where are we starting," she asked.
I flipped through the book, going all the way back to chapter one and pointed to a definition. She really was that bad at math. She seemed to hold in a sigh and looked down in resignation, her blond hair falling down around her, hiding her face from view.
I pushed away the naturally curious part of my nature that now wanted to find out more about her and focused on mentally trying to prepare a schedule, to organize a lesson plan and focus on things that actually made sense.
Walking through the front door, I couldn't wait to just grab a snack and relax, any semblance of the latter having been impossible during the drive home. I had been assaulted by thoughts of Chloe and as much as I told myself, as I knew, that they weren't important and that it was irrational for me to be simply thinking of her, all attempts to push my thoughts aside were futile. And it wasn't even as if I was thinking abut important things, like creating an apt regimen that would help her to the fullest or figuring how much we needed to cover in what amount of time or even what grades she'd need in the future to sufficiently improve her final mark.
No, I was thinking about things that I couldn't even properly justify, like how she softly chewed on her lip when she concentrated, how a slight crease in her brow would appear whenever she couldn't understand after I'd already explained, how she muttered things so fiercely about her disdain for math that I was always a little surprise because it was such a contradiction to the conception I had formed of her, or how I had never noticed her eyes were such an interesting shade of blue it was—
"How was tutoring," asked dad curiously, thankfully interrupting my thoughts as I walked into the kitchen, having apparently already been brought up to speed by Simon, who was sitting across from him at the island and had to grab a ride home from someone else today.
I shrugged and opened the refrigerator, riffling through its contents.
"Did something happened," he asked, sounding oddly worried now.
I turned to face him, perplexed. "No. Why would you think that?"
"Uh, because you seem like you're in an exceptionally bad mood," Simon volunteered, sounding as if he were pointing out the obvious.
I rolled my eyes and said, "I'm just tired." It wasn't true, but I didn't particularly want to share why I was in a bad mood—which was because I felt like I was going insane all because of the little blonde girl who sat across from me for an hour and who, before, had been just another person in the crowd of conformity that was our school. But now, now I couldn't stop wondering.
"Who're you tutoring," Simon asked eagerly, my mood forgotten and his mind already interested in something newer.
"What grade is she in," he asked, not skipping a beat.
Dad looked between the two of us before getting up and grabbing his coffee.
"This is probably going to take a while," he said, throwing a pointed look my way that I ignored. "Update me later," he said to Simon before leaving the room and most likely heading for his office.
"Do I know her?"
Simon used to get annoyed at how I, quote on quote, "intentionally held back vital information." He still does sometimes, but it's become a sort of joyful game for him. He'd try to acquire the information he needed by asking the right questions.
"Probably," I muttered, shrugging. Simon knew everybody. While he was athletic, he was artsy, too, which enabled him to break through the carefully crafted social mold of high school and in turn helped him bounce around from crowd to crowd without meeting much, if any, hostility. Not to mention that he had the personality to pull it off—Simon was Simon and you had to like him, you couldn't help it.
He sighed, irritation surfacing.
"What's her name," he asked finally.
"Chloe Saunders," I said, trying to keep the grudging tone from my voice.
His eyebrows knitted together quizzically, as if going through the inexhaustible list of people he knew.
"I've never heard of her," he said slowly, like he was surprised by the fact.
I shrugged and sat down, prepared to enjoy the sandwich I had made. But he interrupted my quest for comfort and asked, "Well?"
"Well what?" I didn't want to talk about Chloe anymore. I had thought about her far too much in the past hour and a half. Enough was enough.
"What does she look like?"
"Blonde, blue eyes, short," I replied simply, hoping he'd be dissuaded by my conciseness.
"Wow," he said sarcastically. "Are you tutoring a third of the eleventh grade female population?"
"She's pretty," I snapped, exasperation pulling it from me. I mean she was, but still—was he trying to shove me into an institute?
"Can I eat now," I asked, glaring at him.
"One more question." He ignored my readied protest and continued, "How pretty?"
"How pretty is who," Tori demanded, strutting into the kitchen. Never in the five years that Tori had been my—my sister had I'd been so happy to see her. Happy may be a bit of a stretch though. Relieved at her presence is more fitting.
"The girl Derek's tutoring," Simon answered.
Snorting sardonically, Tori said, "How could I forget? You're interested in anything with boobs that moves."
I ignored Tori's obsceneness and Simon's equally insulting retort. For once thankful for their dependable bickering, I took my plate and headed to my room where I would do nothing and think of nothing but my chemistry homework and the quantum theory.
Comments, questions, feedback? R&R please... you know you want to :)