Beauty and the Geek

Emily has everything she has ever wanted; popularity, a handsome, all-star athlete boyfriend and a top spot on the cheerleading squad. So why does it feel like she has nothing at all?
When her grades slip and she is forced to find a tutor, Emily finds comfort in shy, bookworm Will and discovers that the things you need most in life often come in the most unlikely of packages...
Beauty and the Geek - Episode 125:00 min.
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Beauty and the Geek - Episode 417:00 min.
Beauty and the Geek - Episode 517:00 min.
Beauty and the Geek - Episode 616:00 min.
Beauty and the Geek - Episode 723:00 min.

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17. Chapter 17.

The hall was packed with punch bowls and red cups, couples dancing and a few lonely people hovering around the edges of the room, hoping to be asked to dance. Partygoers were already turning to look in my direction, and I knew that I would have to weather the storm. Strictly speaking, it was my first public outing with Will, apart from when I had “outed” us at school previously. I looked at him intently and he squeezed my hand for comfort.

“Weird,” He mumbled to himself.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, a concerned note in my voice.
“I just didn’t think I’d even be going to prom. Now...here I am with you. I’m the luckiest kid in the world.”

Brett eyed me from across the room almost immediately; looking more worse for wear than usual. His bow tie hung off his neck in a misshapen mess, his hair bunched up around his face. He had somehow managed to come out of the fight with Will without a scratch in sight, but his ego was definitely bruised.

Will twirled me around and I giggled, feeling carefree and dizzy all at the same time. I didn’t even know what song was playing or where I was anymore. Before I knew what was happening, a new set of arms were squeezing me uncomfortably.

“May I cut in?” Brett hissed, the smell of cheap beer radiating off him in waves.
“Let me go,” I twisted underneath his heavy arms, trying not to cause a scene. “Seriously, Brett. Don’t do this. Let’s just all have a fun night.”
“Whatever,” He shoved me away and turned to face Will. “You – outside. Now.”

The score had already been settled - that’s what Will had told me anyway. I placed a hand on his chest, looking at him with confusion. He avoided my eye contact, following Brett outside. I knew something was very wrong. I had known it all along – it was too good to be true. I followed Will, much to his dismay, and he let go of my hand, his palm becoming sweaty and his face shaken and pale. He looked like he couldn't think of a worse place to be in that moment, shrugging me off like we were two strangers.

“I thought this was over,” I said, quietly, folding my arms.
“It was,” Will replied, sorely.

Brett swayed on the spot; so drunk that he lost his footing several times and could barely keep eye contact with me. I would have felt bad for him if he wasn’t such an idiot. The boy was crazy and needed help. But I wasn’t going to be the one to give it. Not this time.

“I know I said I’d keep a promise,” Brett rambled incoherently. “But then I had a thought…why should you get the happy ending? Why should the loser get the girl instead of me? What did I gain out of all of this? Nothing…”
 “Can’t we do this some other time?” Will was shrinking like a wallflower in the winter. “It’s prom –”
“What better time than when we’re all hanging out together like one big happy family?”
“I thought we had ended this –“
“It ends when I say it ends,” Brett roared, his face inches from Will’s now. “You should know I’m going to take away the one thing that matters to you…because that’s what you did to me.”

I had absolutely no idea what was happening, but I was filled with a feeling akin to severe sea-sickness. I could have vomited on the spot. Suddenly, Will faced me and grabbed both of my hands desperately in his own.

“Em,” Will begged. “You have to know I did it because I care about you. I swear it was for good reason...”
“Bullshit!” Brett declared. “The guy’s a liar – always has been. And you’ve fallen for it hook line and sinker.”
“I’m not a liar!”
“Please, somebody tell me what the hell is going on!” I exclaimed.

“Oh please, let me do the honours,” Brett stepped forward, no sign of emotion in his voice. “For the past 6 months of our relationship, I’ve been hooking up with Lauren – and HE knew all about it.” He pointed at Will who was shrinking now, like a puddle of guilt in a bowtie.

“What?" I couldn’t absorb everything that was happening around me.
“It gets better,” Brett sneered. “He tried to blackmail me with it too."
“That’s not true!” Will replied, hotly. “I caught them in the library storeroom way before I knew you, Em. You have to believe me. I didn’t want you to get hurt…I just thought it would be better this way. You were already so caught up with other stuff, like school and your Dad --”
Don’t bring my Dad into your mess,” I shoved Will away, harshly.
“But that’s not the only skeleton in your closet, is it?” Brett was so close to Will’s face he was almost spitting. “Tell her what else you did behind her back.”
 

Will was on the point of tears, barely able to look at me. I felt my head spin – what the hell was going on? Had Will really been keeping secrets from me? How could he have let me feel so bad about Brett and go back to him a bunch of times knowing he was cheating on me? I could have cut the whole thing short.

“I’m so sorry, Em,” Will shook his head. “But, your results...they didn't look good...and our tutoring sessions were all messed up. It was my fault. So…I…submitted an essay I wrote instead of yours for the final assignment.”
“Is this a joke?” I felt vomit rise in my throat.
“I care about you, Emily! I wanted you to get into the college of your dreams…you deserve it!”
“Wow,” My eyes dropped to the ground and stayed there for a very long time. “I knew it was too good to be true…”
“I’m still the same guy you knew,” Will tried to reach out to me. “I promise you I never meant to hurt you – I was trying to help. I just got so caught up in all the lies – and then Brett promised to stay away from you if I kept Lauren a secret. It was the only way I could get him to leave you alone. But then he saw me switching the essays last week…and things snowballed from there…”

“B-but,” I welled up. “You lied to me all this time. You made me think I got good grades – that was the only thing you were supposed to do. Tutor me. And somehow, you’ve gotten me into this mess instead.”
“Em –”
Stop calling me that. How can I go to college now, knowing that I don’t deserve it? How could you ever think it was okay to do that? It’s plagiarism! Didn’t you believe in me and my writing enough to give me a shot? I’d rather fail with my own work, than get an A with yours!”
“That’s not true!” Will cried in reply, tears rolling down his cheeks. “I love you – you know I do. I love you more than I’ve ever loved anyone. I wanted to help, I swear. I’ll come clean – I’ll go to Principal Klein and we’ll fix all of this…”
“I gave you…everything,” Blushing, remembering our night together in my room. “And you couldn’t even do the one thing you were supposed to do. Instead, you made me think I could finally make my Dad proud – you knew how much getting those grades meant to me. I don't care if you wanted to help - all I ever asked for was your honesty.”
“I’m sorry, Em,” He caught my wrist. “I don’t know how to make this right. Please, give me a chance to make it up to you.”
“You’re kidding right?” I turned my back to him. “Excuse me, if I don’t want to live a lie...but I’ve been doing it already apparently.”

I cried so much I thought my eyes would fall out. Teetering away as fast I could in my heels, I heard Will following behind me. How could he have had so little belief in me? He was supposed to love me. He was supposed to tell the truth. It made me sad that all he could think about was the grades and the glory when what really mattered was us. What disgusted me most of all was that after all of this he expected me to go along with it - how could I trust anything he said now? It was all too complicated. I began to feel suffocated under the streetlights and surrounded by a love story I didn't seem to know - or want to know - anymore.

“But...I don’t know how to be without you!” He sobbed behind me, his face in his hands.

I didn’t reply, unsure of what to say after discovering his secrets. So, I did the thing I knew best; I took off my shoes and didn’t stop running for a very long time.

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