Chapter 2

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The best class I'd taken in all my years of high school was Advanced Placement Calculus BC.

Yeah, I know how stereotypical it was for an Asian-American girl like me to love math. But there you have it. I was a walking stereotype. The poster child for Asian-American math geeks. So sue me.

For me, math was fun. Math was what I grew up with. Math was…my thing. Kind of like how singing was Kevin’s thing, or fighting was (apparently) my parents’ newest thing.

I liked numbers and the infinite puzzles you could solve with them. I liked that the answer wasn’t always so neat and pretty. I liked that sometimes, you’d go into the problem expecting one thing and realizing you needed to go a completely different route to reach the solution.

Okay, you get the point. Going any further than that would make me sound like a complete nutcase (which, according to just about any other seventeen-year-old, I was).

Despite how much I liked math, for the rest of the week, calculus class was terrible thanks to a certain Alexander Lin.

Or should I say President Alexander Lin?

The ballots for the student council election had all been tallied up a few days after the Facebook fiasco. Three guesses who won.

Plus, as I’d expected, the final count for president was not exactly nail-bitingly close. Let’s just put it that way.

Anyway, I could hardly stand sitting in the same math class as Alexander when kids were slapping him on the back and congratulating him for winning an election (and indirectly ruining my non-existent public image for the remainder of high school).

The funny thing was that I was barely offended by the slander he’d used in his posters. Politics was a dirty game, indeed. I’d already known that. Heck, dirty games were my specialty—staying at the top of the class had forced me to pick up quite a few...not-so-admirable tricks along the way.

I just couldn’t believe that Alexander Lin, who was normally about as aggressive as a sleeping baby rabbit, was capable of beating me at my own game.

He even had the nerve to act all decent after the election, strolling up to me the day the result came out and sticking out his hand.

“Good campaign,” I distinctly remember Alexander saying (while I was plotting his untimely death in my head). “I liked the mustaches you drew.”

To which I responded maturely, “Why, thank you kindly, President Alexander. I will be the bigger person here and graciously accept defeat at your hands.”

Actually, I might have done something more along the lines of giving Alexander a tight-lipped smile and muttering ‘thanks’ while shaking his hand quickly, like it was going to infect me with the plague.

He gave me a funny look, probably judged me in his head, and moved on.

That was the other thing about Alexander Lin. He was one weird kid, for a certified genius. Sometimes during calc lectures I’d look up and catch him giving me odd stares. Then he would glance away as soon as he saw me staring, and we’d go back to our separate spheres of anti social-ness.

Speaking of separate spheres. Pro tip of high school: we geeks were not all each others’ friends.

Unlike what every mainstream Hollywood movie seemed to think, we didn’t go home and study with just any other geek from school. There were social circles within the geeks. It was geek-ception.

Alexander’s and my circles were about as far away from each other as possible, and that was just the way I liked it.

Unfortunately, it seemed like everybody and their grandmother was in love with Alexander Lin, including basically all the girls I talked to on a daily basis. This made pretending he didn’t exist a little harder to achieve than I’d hoped it would be.

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