Aribisala Emmanuel 1 year ago
@aribisala-emma... 4 min read Write a comment #short-stories

Finding A Place (chapter 2)

We were three weeks into college. The first week was orientation. Boring, for the most part, as I had suspected. All kinds of blathering about 'diversity' and all that stuff.

My high school talked about 'diversity' too. It meant, "All colors and races are treated with respect-but; we all kick the shit out of the geek." Then there was the 'sexual harassment seminar. Back in high school, the girls considered it 'sexual harassment if I said hello.

Classes, however, had started well, surprisingly enough. I was taking a variety. Stanford required general-type courses, like a humanities course and a writing course. Despite being a computer geek, I had always done well in that sort of thing-especially writing. I worked hard at that. Hey, I wanted to go into computer research. I wanted to help develop the next generation of computer applications. Being able to write up research findings was a plus. So, I did well in the writing courses. I was also taking calculus-and math is one of my strengths.

What surprised me were my classmates. I didn't get scorned. I wrote a paper for the writing course that led to a lively discussion in class, and the feedback I got from my classmates was great. No scorn, no derision, just opinions founded on respect. It was pretty awesome. What happened on the first Monday of the third week of classes was pretty neat, too. It was in Calculus. We were doing some problems, and I was doing fine with them. I heard a sigh to my right and turned. It was a blonde girl I had seen in the class. Didn't know her, but I had noticed her a bit. She was obviously having difficulty with the material.

After class, she stopped me. "Hey. You're good at this, aren't you?" "Yeah, it's my strength." "I thought so. Listen, I know this is presumptuous of me, but I need help. I'm a pre-med who has to take this stuff, but Calculus throws me. And I know you are getting it, and I don't know who else to ask." "I'd be glad to." I stuck out my hand. "Brendan Carruthers." "Sheila Mitchell," she smiled, shaking my hand. "Oh, Brendan, thank you. I'll be eternally grateful." "No problem. When do you want to do it?" "Are you free tonight?" "Sure." I gave her my dorm and room number, and we made plans for her to come up at about seven. Jake had some football thing going on, so I was alone when she showed up. "Brendan, I can't thank you enough. I'm doing fine in my other classes, but this is really losing me." "I'm glad to do it." And I was. I didn't mind helping people at all with classwork. I found it flattering.

We pulled up a chair, and I talked her through some of the stuff we had been doing. As she worked on it, I took a look at her. She was wearing a tee shirt and shorts. Her legs were long, muscular, and very tanned. Her arms looked like they had prominent muscles, too. I could tell she was broad-shouldered. Her face? I think most people would describe it as "cute." She had long, straight blonde hair, a cute turned-up nose, and freckles, visible even with her tan. What I liked was her eyes-they were deep blue and seemed to sparkle.

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