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The Tutoring


A girl tutors a cute boy. What could go wrong? 

The Tutoring

The entire world was stuck in the war between the Northeast and Southwest. I lived in the Northeast. However, despite the war, school still started in late summer.

So, it was late summer when I was putting up my "Tutor available!" posters in the lobby. I had taken a couple steps back to admire the beautiful posters I created, paying special attention to the "Call Eliza Sanchez now!" stickers with my number on it, when someone pushed past me and kept on walking. The push itself felt forced, almost if it wasn't by accident, but I shook that thought from my head.

"Hey!" I had shouted. Golden eyes met my brown ones, but that wasn't important.

"Yes," he said.

"You just pushed me."

"Yeah," he shrugged,"I have somewhere to go." I immediately recognized him as Michael Hanson.

I scoffed. "Well, the least you could do is apologize."

"I'm sorry," he said as his arm went past me. "And, to make it up to you, I'll take one of these." He smiled.

The poster above me now had a little rip and in his hand was a little strip of paper with my number on it.

“Those are for people who really need the tutoring.”

"How do you know I don’t need it? Besides, I want to see if the prettiest girl at this school is also really the smartest," he had told me as he winked. Without another word he walked away, leaving me with my posters and blush.

With the thoughts of him potentially becoming one of my students, I returned to work. I had always put in a lot of effort and work to my studies, but that increased by tenfold over the next week.

I waited for his call to set up an appointment and I planned countless lessons for almost every subject, preparing myself for whatever he threw my way.

But nothing could prepare me for what really happened.

It was two weeks before he called me. I spent those two weeks awaiting my personal Armageddon.

When he finally called, all hell broke loose. I found myself going over every single decision I made from my lesson plans to my hair. Fortunately for me, all he needed help with were some math problems he got for homework. This made me stop worrying about my lesson plans, but I still had my hair.

I met him in the library. He was already sitting at a table when I got there.

"What do you mean you forgot your homework?" I asked once I realized he didn’t have it.

"I mean I was busy and forgot my homework. Honestly, you should be happy I made it on time."

"You might've gotten here on time, but now we have nothing to work on. I prefer you late and with your work than on time with nothing," I said as I glared at him.

The hottie was an idiot, but I still felt attracted to him nonetheless.

"If it's any consolation," he said,"I know the question I need help with by heart." He smiled while placing a hand over his heart and I had the urge to punch him and kiss him at the same time.

"You memorized your homework?"

"Yeah. Is that a problem?"

"No. I guess not," I said. “Well then, what’s the problem?”

“Let’s say I have to combine two chemicals to form a solution that is 50% acidic. One of the chemicals is in a solution that’s 70% acidic. How much of that solution do I add to 15 milliliters of the solution with the second chemical that is only 10% acidic?"

"Well, you'll have to convert it all into fractions,” I said. I spent the next couple of minutes going over the concept and explaining how to solve it.

"And after we find that, we can solve.”

“Yeah. So--”

"Thirty. I need thirty milliliters of carbon monoxide to--" he said. I didn't hear what he said after that because he mumbled the rest to himself.

“Um… yeah,” I said. “That’s the answer.”

Curious, I asked, "Did your homework specify carbon monoxide in the problem? Because you didn't mention it before."

"Oh, I, um... I, uh, yeah. I forgot about it, but I just remembered." He gave me another one of his breathtaking smiles, but this time there was a hint of worry in his eyes, a falter in his smile. Something about this smile made him not a cocky, arrogant man, but a nervous little boy.

I wasn't sure if that made him more attractive or more suspicious.

"Okay," I finally said.

He visibly calmed and then smirked at me as he leaned in and said, "Guess the prettiest girl at this university is also the smartest. Think you can help me with a couple more problems?"

I was going to leave. The way he mumbled, the way he acted, it was all reason to leave. I wouldn't tutor him again, I thought. Then, I looked at him, at his smile, at his eyes, at the soft hair I wanted to run my hands through.

I will never tutor him again, I thought, after I help him with a couple of more questions.

I really hate how much of a besotted freak I am around him.

A month later, I was sitting at Starbucks when the explosion happened.

People ran outside to get a better look, myself included. My face blanched when someone said the Northeast Headquarters was attacked. No one said it out loud, but everyone was thinking the same thing: The Southwest attacked us.

I couldn't stay there. I ran to my car, got in, and went home.

I began packing things, checking my bank account, and making plans to stay somewhere else. No one had confirmed it yet, but if it was a Southwest attack, then no one was safe. It was better just to leave.

A week later, I was at my mom's house watching the news report on the confirmed Southwest attack.

"We've gotten residue from the poison released into the building's ventilation systems and sent it to a lab for testing. Turns out there were about thirty grams of carbon monoxide in it," said the detective while being interviewed.

My face blanched as I remembered the tutoring session I had with Michael a month back.

"Ever since the war started, security has been tighter. The Acid Detector was introduced as a way to detect acids and other chemicals. Why do you think the detector didn't pick up the carbon monoxide?"

"Well the detectors are still early models, so most of them can only detect acids or dangerous chemicals in solutions if it makes up 75% or more of its structure. The thirty grams of carbon monoxide only made up about 50% allowing it to pass undetected. Now, the--"

I turned the television off. I couldn't handle it anymore. I was a ghost with a pallid face and all. I was shaking.

"Hey, you've got a letter here for you," my sister said as she tossed the letter to me and proceeded to go into the kitchen.

I always told myself that the bamboozling jerk Michael would pay for what he did to me. He would pay for creating a wretched creature out of me, and I would be the end of him. Thoughts of revenge plagued my mind ever since, but that day all I could think about were the words that Michael wrote.

Thanks for the help on that math problem. Really appreciated it. ;)

The Northeast didn't win the war.