Graham Nelson stared out the living room window of his townhouse, nervous. He knew as soon as Tori Masterson arrived, he would go into his proverbial shell, a mental safe haven from ignorance. When in his element, he was confident and sharp as a whip, but when it came to social nuances outside his group; he was the focus of an unrelenting barrage of verbal assaults. He was tortured daily at school – simply because he enjoyed things that were considered less than chic by the popular crowd – and now he coerced one of his biggest antagonists to his home, his sanctuary.

It was not ideal.

Graham would have liked to have said he didn’t care, and at first, he didn’t. But as the taunts, the insults, the physical brush ups continued, they began weighing on his psyche. At first, he wanted revenge, his anger growing to a boil, but now, all he wanted was for it to stop.

‘I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with this High School garbage in college.’

It was difficult, but Graham had finally formulated a plan to gain peace, at least from the tormentor he had to deal with two times a week, and that’s just in his Applied Computer Science class. ‘She’s late; but isn’t that typical for a woman?’ Graham shook his head, ‘I wouldn’t know… but seriously, why couldn’t Professor Branyan allow us to pick our own case study partners?’


Tori Masterson stared in disgust at the dilapated townhouse, her red Mazda MX-5 Miata sports car sticking out like a sore thumb against the rusted out, thirty year old brown pick up truck and the hatchback dented on all sides she was forced to park in between. She checked her make up in the mirror, more out of habit than trying to impress, to note her pink lipstick, mascara, and eyeshadow were perfect, as always, while she tussled her flawless baby blonde locks into place. With a deep breath, she shook her head in irritation, “This had better be only ten minutes.”

Tori got out of her car to note the front door of the townhouse had opened to reveal Graham Nelson; Graham Cracker or Nerdy Nelson or even Fat Ass (Although she had to admit he was only a few pounds overweight, he wasn’t perfect like her and that was enough)… who was also her case study partner. She was wondering how fast she could belittle him depending on which taunt she felt would sting the most. Though wearing similar clothes as she, him in a white t shirt and jeans and her in a tight white tank top and skinny jeans, she scoffed at his appearance – as everything about her ensemble radiated a sexiness that amplified her well endowed upper front half and her luscious backside while his was a jumbled, baggy mess complete with some sort of green baby alien type creature with pointy ears on his chest. ‘Why did Professor Branyan have to assign me with him?’

Regardless, it was a match Tori easily took advantage of; Graham did all the work and she would spend her time with her boyfriend, the chiseled physique and fellow in crowd member, Lane Groves, or hanging out with her pack of like minded girlfriends at the mall. ‘Oh, what I could be doing right now? Better get this shit over with.’

Tori sauntered to the front porch, trying to entice the Nerd’s eyes so she could berate him for being a pervert, but it didn’t work. It never worked on Graham. His eyes always shied down and away while his hands appeared to get clammy. She might have considered his shyness sweet if she wasn’t trying to get him to look… but it still made him an easy target.

Tori’s palm pressed into Graham’s chest, her pink nails edging close to indenting the skin through his shirt, “All right Virgin Nerd Boy, this better take exactly ten seconds!” Yes, ten minutes was far too long.

Graham shivered at the tone, his chest tightened at the verbal taunt, and his body buckled slightly as it took a small step backward at the contact. He wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans before running a hand through his brown, unkempt hair. “Um, probably, uh, maybe twenty to, uh, thirty minutes?”

Tori rolled her eyes at both the response and the decor – on every wall there were reminders of where she was from light up swords to wands to super hero paraphernalia and even the coffee table in front of her wasn’t safe to spy as it held a gold ring in a display case. She fell into Graham’s beat up blue couch, “Fine… but hurry the fuck up, before I stuff you in the oven and turn you into a pie crust.”

Graham hurried into the kitchen, which was the original place he had planned on doing the task, to grab his laptop and noise cancelling headphones and hustled into the living room. He sat down slowly, eyes diverted. ‘Am I really going to try this?’ He took a deep breath, his resolve crumbling.

“C’mon, I don’t have all fucking day, you tub of lard!” Tori snatched the headphones and carefully placed them over her hair. She pulled one side off of her ear, “It’s not like I’m going to know how to fix the app if it doesn’t work. You design it, I read the summary you write to class, and you answer the questions, why is that so hard, Nerd?”

The repeated insults jolted Graham’s resolve to adamantium. He rapidly clicked through several tabs before the last decision lay before him. All three files were his new game app, the first was what he would turn in to Professor Branyan, the second was encoded with subliminal messages and imagery to try to manipulate the user subconsciously to become “The Ultimate Slut” – one who would cater only to him, and the third one would use the same principles to encourage the user to become “The Ultimate Nerd.” ‘I need to get this girl off my back.’

Graham clicked the desired tab and handed the laptop to Tori. “Just, um, play this jeweled game until the end and then tell me what you think is wrong.” It came out in a rushed, panicked whisper.


Graham watched on as Tori did as instructed. It had been an easy decision. The third file. Sure, he wrote the slut app with her in mind, but that was a revenge fantasy, not reality… and the reality was he honestly didn’t care for Tori that way. She wasn’t a good person and having her around him for life lacked any sort of appeal.

That and her boyfriend would pound the living shit out of Graham if he stole his girlfriend.

That, and the fact Graham had zero inclination the subliminal and visual messaging would even work. Hell, if Tori noticed anything, he wouldn’t have to wait for Lane to kick his ass, she’d kill him as soon as she took the headphones off her head. No, it was always better to go with the third option…

The ultimate revenge to the ultimate queen bee would be to have her turned into what she hates… the ultimate nerd. Okay, that idea is very much far-fetched, but Graham could dream.

Truth is, as unlikely as that full scenario would be, it was more than that to Graham. If Tori could just have empathy, she would understand; and that is why he left the messaging open ended:

“You will find pleasure in becoming The Ultimate Nerd.”

Nothing else. What that meant was up to the user… if that means Tori picks up a random hobby or watches a geeky movie and liked it, just once, then she would have walked in his shoes just enough to where she would have a little appreciation and he wouldn’t get slandered anymore. She would learn there is more to life than her little bubble and become a better human being for it.

And Graham would have freedom… He hoped.


“What the fuck, Graham Cracker? Seriously?” Tori steamed as she violently threw the headphones on the couch as she stood. “You wasted my time for that? Just put in some real music instead of the that boring ass classical garbage… and what was that little part about becoming the ultimate something or other? UGH!” She pointed mercilessly at Graham, “You better fix this, I better get an A, and you better never bother me again!”

Graham clenched up at the berating. His rouse didn’t work, worse was she even pointed out the part of the encoded underscore, though it was way more than a little part of the app. The classical music was the key to the subliminal messaging, constantly repeating from beginning to end with imagery that was laced throughout, blinking at a nanosecond at a time – and now he was waiting for what certainly was going to be his death.

It never came.

Graham hesitantly squinted one eye open to find Tori stomping toward the exit. Only a mere moment passed before he ran and shut the door, swiftly locking it lest she change her mind in his destruction. He fell against the hardness, crumbling to the tiled entry way floor. A twirl of emotions coursed through his being; relief at life, hope that nothing more will come, and the dread that there is far more to follow.

Most of all, however, Graham felt disgust at himself. How could he try something so heartless, to stoop to the levels of his biggest antagonist? He shook his head, giving a deep anxiety filled breath as he did, an odd sense of relief at his failure.


Tori stormed out of the townhouse, mumbling under breath, “Stupid, inconsiderate, idiot, mother,” she got into her car, slamming the door, “fucking Nerdy Nel…” She paused, staring at her steering wheel, as a flood of words flashed in her brain… actually one word, repeatedly, as if on a loop, “Nerd.” Slightly confused, Tori shook her head, just enough to clear her mind, and started her car. Her next stop was to meet her sorority sister best friends, Sadie, Luna, and Naomi at the mall.


“Hello? Earth to Tori?” a tall slender brunette waved her hand at Tori, snapping her attention back to her. “Oh, I’m sorry, Naomi.” Tori focused her attention to her friend, “What?”

“I said,” Naomi held up the very revealing red dress, “what about this one for tomorrow night? You know, the Zeta Alpha Lambda’s casino night? The biggest party of the year? We need to own that party.”

“Oh,” Tori gave a partial nod, “That looks fine.” Her head then drifted to the left, her eyes staring out of the department store and to the electronics store across the aisle.

“That’s a no,” Naomi flung the dress over a table of jeans with zero intentions of putting it back before moving to a different rack. “Hmm, maybe this one,” she pulled out a white dress that would leave nothing to the imagination.

“What’s wrong with you?” Sadie offered a slight smile as she lightly bumped her shoulder into Tori at noticing her friend gazing at the electronics store. She then retied her auburn hair in a ponytail, “You need something at Smart Tech?”

Though minor, the contact caught Tori off guard, causing her to take two shuffled steps to catch her balance. Without thinking, she responded with the truth, “I was thinking about buying a movie.”

“A movie has you distracted from clothes shopping for a party? Damn,” Sadie’s face fell to one of shock and awe. “What movie?”

Tori quickly became cognizant of her surroundings… and to whom she was speaking. She couldn’t say what she was wanting to buy. She couldn’t even understand why she was drawn to it. She glanced back at the Star Wars limited edition advertisement in the store window, only confirming once again that it was the wrong answer… but what was the right answer? “I have to write an essay on a book for my Lit class and was thinking I should just buy the movie instead.” Yeah, that sounded much better.

Sadie snickered at her friend, “Yeah, that makes sense. Go ahead, I’ll cover for you here. I think Naomi and Luna can be without their fashion guru for a few minutes.”

“What about you?”

“Is my friend implying my fashion sense is lacking?” Sadie chuckled, “Just because I don’t dress slutty like a couple other girls we know, doesn’t mean I don’t look good.”

Tori laughed, “And which category do I fall into?”

“Girl,” Sadie smiled, “With your curves, and you know, those pair of beach balls, you take regular clothes and turn them slutty. Look at that tank top for crying out loud. It’s obscene. The difference is you can’t help it… Now go on, I’ll finish up with our two hooker friends.”

Tori turned with a grin. There was just something about Sadie’s blunt attitude that was endearing. She never had really thought about it before, but Sadie seemed genuine – never out to get anybody, never out just for herself, and would give the shirt off her back if needed… and it was needed when she had gotten so drunk at a party that she had thrown up all over herself sans a bra. At least Sadie had a sports bra underneath that night as she not only let her borrow her shirt and helped her back to the sorority, but cleaned her up as well, all without anybody seeing. Truly thinking about it for the first time, of all her friends, she would definitely call Sadie “best” when it came to that department, and felt a twinge of regret at her lie.

“Can I help you?”

Tori looked over to the tall balding man in the blue vest, “Um…”

The man smiled, “Hey, I know our store can be kind of intimidating; what can I help you find?”

Tori bit her lip. Was she really going to do this? Why? She didn’t really want to, did she? What would it hurt to watch one movie, anyway? She succumbed to temptation and to the offered help. Her voice was meek, absolute embarrassment coursed through her body and it reflected on her cheeks as she pointed to the window cling, “I saw your advertisement on the window.”

“Star Wars,” the clerk stated a little too loudly for Tori’s tastes. “Right this way, Ma’am.” He walked down the center aisle to the movie section, “We have them in Blu-ray, 4K, and…” He searched for a brief moment, “yes, we still have a DVD bundle.”

“Bundle?” Tori looked in awe at the size of the collection. “Isn’t Star Wars just one movie?”

The man laughed so hard he snorted, “Heavens no.” He coughed to collect himself, “There are nine movies in the main timeline, two additional ones to add context; I highly recommend Rogue One, as well as a plethora of other spinoff movies and television shows. This pack will give you the nine main movies.”

It was Tori’s turn to cough, though hers was of shock, “Did you say nine?”

“Yup… All nine movies, all one price, all for your viewing pleasure.”

Nine movies meant spending way more money on this endeavor than planned, which would mean she wouldn’t have enough for a new outfit for the party… But there was something about the word “pleasure” the salesman used… It seemed to hijack her soul and morph into truth. It wasn’t the word, now, but her feelings – she was feeling pleasure at the thought of not only purchasing these movies but watching them – of doing something deemed “Nerdy.” She wanted, no, needed to watch them.

Tori’s response was swift, “I’ll take them!” She grabbed the collection of Blu-rays with a grand smile and headed to the checkout register.

“That’s the spirit,” the salesman seemed to cheer her on. “You’ll be considered a nerd by next week!”

Tori paused as an intoxicating shiver coursed through her body. The pleasure manifested into a brief glimpse of… arousal? She shook her head and continued on her path, certain of her purchase.


‘What’s wrong with me?’

Tori sat on her pink comforter clad bed as she stared at her purchase, quadruple bagged so her friends couldn’t see through the thin plastic and know what she had actually bought.

‘I passed up on a new outfit for… this?’

Tori reached into the blue bags, slowly, careful in how she dislodged the contents from the plastic prison. Upon holding her precious prize, her smile came back in full force.

‘I passed up on a new outfit for this!’

There was a quick knock at the door, before it opening, “Tori?”

Tori, flustered, immediately shoved her secret under her pillow, just in time. “Hey, Luna, what’s up?”

The dirty blonde, slender girl dressed in a yellow dress eyed Tori suspiciously, “What are you doing?”

“Uh… nothing.” Tori glanced around before spitting out, “Just thinking on when I wanted to watch that movie for Lit class.”

Luna shook her head as she rolled her eyes, “I have no idea why you would choose something for school over a new party outfit?”

“School’s important,” Sadie spoke as she walked passed on her way down the hall.

Tori smirked… Sadie was defending her. Still, Luna was right in front of her and Sadie was gone. “What was I supposed to do; read the book?”

Luna shrugged, “That wouldn’t have stopped you from new clothes any other time?”

Luna was right; shopping and appearances always won out over school. What does that mean?

“Well, I need a decent grade this time or I may have to drop the class… again.” Tori didn’t necessarily lie before changing the subject, “Did you need something?”

Luna perked up, “Oh, yeah, can I borrow that really long necklace with the heart? I have a date with Ben and I want him drooling with anticipation because he can’t stop staring at my tits.”

“Guys are so easily manipulated,” Tori snickered as she walked to her jewelry box, pulling out the desired accessory before handing it to her friend.

Luna put on the necklace, watching the small heart dangle deep in the cleavage her dress was offering, “Yes they are.”

Tori watched Luna leave before shutting her door. She took a relieved breath before noticing the dry erase calendar she used to highlight her itinerary. Monday caught her rapt interest. ‘Don’t I have a math test that day?’

Yes, Tori was certain of it. She took the black marker and wrote in “math test, 1 pm” on the board. She stared at her handiwork, not caring that it was the only school related note on the filled board; social events like dates with Lane, parties and meet ups dominated every day. She then bit her lip, ‘I’m not prepared for that.’

Did Tori want to study? Really? No. But a nagging feeling pervaded her being. It may be something “nerdy” to do, the thought immediately sending a pleasurable chill down her spine. “I’m in college, it wouldn’t hurt to study for one test.”

It took ten minutes of Tori scrounging around for her math book – like she knew to look under her bed for it – before sitting at her desk. She opened the textbook, it cracking as if it were never used.

‘Where do I even start?’ Tori thought for a moment before coming to one conclusion: the mousey, black haired, overly lithe frame without a hint of curves, glasses, shy, all she ever seems to do is study, only accepted in the sorority because she’s a legacy – Willow Henry. ‘Certainly she’d be in her room, as if she ever goes out… but will she even help me?’

Tori had her doubts as she made her way down the hall. Being her sorority sister, she was exempt from the teasing she would have normally inflicted on the likes of her, at least from Tori herself; Luna and Naomi were their own personalities – but that didn’t mean she ever talked to the unpopular girl. Her hand barely made a knock, so sure that Willow would reject her.

“Come in.”

Tori squeaked the door open, barely peeking her head in. Willow glanced up from her bed where she had three books open and two notebooks in front of her. The grey t shirt made her look like she was swimming in fabric with the elastic on her matching shorts trying its best to save her lower modesty. She looked up, pulling the mechanical pencil from between her teeth before the surprise in her voice creaked, “Tori?”

Tori smiled a nervous grin, for the first time in her life, she felt unsure. She slid inside, closing the door behind her. She took half a step forward, before sliding it back, “Um, yeah, hey, Willow.” That sounded awful.

“Hey… Tori,” Willow suspiciously echoed.

‘Why is this so hard?’ Tori took a deep breath, her eyes cinched shut as she raised her voice several octaves, nearly shouting, “Will you help me study?” That sounded so much worse… and the silence seemed to reverberate off the walls.