Level 8 ✦ Mr. Douchebag Is What?!

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Level 8

Mr. Douchebag Is What?!

"Hey, Bridget," came a voice from behind. I felt someone tug on my hair playfully and I turned around to find Esmond there. My eyes almost bulged out of their sockets.

Did Esmond just say hi to me?

"Uh h-hi," I stuttered out, blushing. I lightly laid a hand on my cheek. I mentally scoffed in my head. As if that'll help the blush go down.

It was a Monday, so that meant I had work. Since business was slow today, Maryland had allowed me some time for homework. So that's how I ended up here in the staff lounge with a calculus workbook on my lap.

"What are you doing?" Esmond asked, curiously. He sat down beside me on the couch. I was now keenly aware of the fact that we were only a few inches apart from each other. Like, if I shifted my knee a little to the left, then our knees would be touching.

"C-calculus homework," I stammered. Mother of chocolate bunnies, why the hell am I stuttering? Now he probably thinks I have stuttering problem.

Control yourself, Bridget. Imagine he's Hudson. Except, that seemed to have sparked some annoyance, so I quickly thought of Gavin instead. I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath before opening them again.

"Stressed?" Esmond asked, amusingly, gesturing to my homework.

I dropped the hand on my cheek and sighed. "Beyond. I can't get this problem." I showed him the problem I was stuck on.

"Oh. You're in AP Calc, I take?"

I nodded. "How did you know?"

"I was in that same class four years ago." He smiled a dashing smile at me before tapping a finger on the problem I was stuck on. "The answer's 0.575."

I looked at him with wide, astonished eyes. "How do you know?"

"Because once upon a time ago, I had a problem with this problem, too. I slaved over this for hours with my friends. This problem is a nightmare." He winked at me and I nearly stopped breathing. Goodness gracious, Esmond just winked at me.

Esmond just winked at me, Esmond just winked at me...

Am I dreaming?

"Just take the root of the equation," Esmond explained, when I didn't say anything for a while. I was still absorbing the fact that Esmond and I were actually talking...and that he winked at me. "Oh, and don't forget to differentiate your x and y values."

"Got it," I said, scribbling down the answer he had just told me. "Did you say 0.57 or 0.575? I forgot."


"Ah, okay." I closed my textbook and smiled at him. "Thanks."

"No problem."

In all honesty, I was still confused by the problem. But I didn't want Esmond to think that I was stupid so I didn't ask him to re-explain everything for me. I guess I'll just take it home and ask Nick for some help via FaceTime. Nick's like a math whiz. He's lucky he's in Michigan right now, else I'd be bothering him with math questions every day. He goes to the University of Michigan Ann-Arbor and majors in psychology. At the same time, he's enrolled in advanced math courses because he's like in love with math. I keep asking him why he hasn't yet declared a math major yet. His response? "I want to graduate in four years."

"So, where's that friend of yours?" Esmond asked, making conversation.

"You mean Hudson?"

He nodded.

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