‘Here comes the geek squad’, Maria Ochoa said under her breath to the girl sitting beside her. Oluchi Agbogu looked up from her physics textbook and quickly looked back down, her skin suddenly prickly and overheated, for Daniel Ike was in the group of her physics club members that’d just entered the classroom. It was break time, but she’d stayed in-as usual-to study some more. As a member of an advanced program and a scholarship student, she worked harder than the average senior did.
Daniel was one of those few people who were able to balance being well above average with being cool. He was a member of the physics club, president of the mathletes and in the advanced program. He was also captain of the football team and participated in various track events. This made him stand out from other students-not to mention his good looks and family money. He was in fact, the dream of all the girls in McCredie High School.
‘Hi, Oluchi’ he stopped by her seat. She looked up at him and smiled. ‘Hi.’ Her voice came out as a squeak, so she cleared her throat and repeated it. He smiled back in that knowing, slightly cocky way teenage boys who know they’re attractive are wont to do. ‘I just wanted to say good luck today. You know, your presentation.’ The members of the club had to present something once every week-a new idea or project or anything else they thought interesting. Oluchi’d planned to talk about polymers that evening.
‘Oh yes, the presentation. Thanks’, she said, not able to meet those gorgeous eyes she adored. He nodded and went off to join his friends. Maria chuckled. ‘Girl, I don’t know why I even bother with you. Every time Daniel Ike comes within five feet of you you’re hopeless.’ ‘He’s so gorgeous’, her friend said, staring at the back of said boy’s head. ‘You should just tell him you like him and ask him out.’ ‘Are you insane? He’ll never look at me. He dates girls like Chelsea.’ Chelsea Brown. Beautiful, rich, head of the cheerleading squad, winner of Miss McCredie High three years running and general bitch. Also the bane of Oluchi’s life. For some perverse reason she’d singled her out for torture and it wasn’t pleasant. Maria folded her arms. ‘Seriously, I don’t know why you torture yourself like this. You have to see this boy everyday at your geek clubs. How do you do it without dying?’ ‘Well, the situation there is no different from what I have to go through every day in seeing him with Chelsea. I just suck it up.’ Her friend patted her arm in sympathy. ‘Poor you, baby. I still maintain you tell him.’ ‘Yeah, like that’ll ever happen. Please talk about something else.’ ‘Oh, yes….you’ll help me with my math assignment, won’t you?’ ‘Maria, teaching you math is frustrating for the both of us.’ ‘Pleeeeeaseeee‼ Pretty please with cherries on top……' She scrunched up her face and tugged repeatedly on Oluchi’s arm. ‘OK, ok fine I’ll do it! After school tomorrow.’ ‘Sounds perfect, thanks hon.’ The bell for the end of break rang shrilly and Maria jumped up and grabbed her backpack. ‘That’s my cue for Econs. Later!’ And she was off.
She packed up her books, her eyes drawn to Daniel. Chelsea’d just come into the class and put her arms around him, the possessive look in her eyes sending a clear message. Their eyes met and Chelsea sneered at her. She studiously dismissed the gesture and took up her books, heading for the chemistry lab. ‘Hey, scruffy!’, she heard her archenemy’s stilted voice. She planned to ignore her but she blocked her way, her arm still around Daniel’s waist. ‘What-you’re too good to talk to us mortals?’ ‘I’m late for class.’ ‘yeah? So?’ ‘You’re in my way.’ ‘Chels, let her be’, Daniel spoke up. He met her eyes, apology in them. Oluchi quickly averted her gaze. ‘Why’re you putting your silly eyes on my boyfriend? You want him, don’t you? Well take a good look cos that’s the closest you’re getting to ever having him.’ Suddenly Chelsea was shoved from behind. Oluchi quickly stepped aside as she stumbled and came up against a locker for support. The culprit was Evan Diobi, her friend and fervent admirer of her best friend. ‘Oops. Sorry, Chels.’ He winked at Oluchi who gave him a grateful smile and left the class. She could hear Chelsea chewing Evan up, but she knew he’d be ok. His sense of humour and his easygoing nature made him well liked.
After lab, she took the school bus home. Her parents were not usually home by that time of the day-her father worked with the environmental commission while her mother was a nurse at the teaching hospital. Her lunch was on the kitchen table with the usual note from her mother. Today it just said ‘I love you.’ Her mother felt these notes kept them close as a family, so whenever she was on a shift she kept them for her and her father. Vera Agbogu was nothing if not a hopeless romantic.
She quickly ate, changed from her jeans and t-shirt into a black skirt with a white short-sleeved shirt, tamed her long, thick, dark, riotously curly hair into a ponytail, and twisted it into a bun at the nape of her neck. Her physics club was back at the school and wasn’t for another hour at four, but as president she thought it prudent to be the first member there. Besides, she could go over her notes one more time before the meeting.
She was locking the door when a black, stretch limousine pulled into the driveway. It was so long it extended past the gate. She raised a brow in wonder. Surely, some government official couldn’t be that lost. She watched as the front doors opened and a man dressed in a crisp white and black uniform came around and opened the back doors.
She wasn’t prepared for the person that stepped out of the back.
He was a teenager.