Part 1

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including mt/ft, Teenagers, Consensual, Romantic, First, Safe Sex, Slow,

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Part 1 - Ginny's brilliant. She's also rich. With her brains and her family's financial resources, her future is unlimited. So, why did she just try to kill herself?

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be Heroes, just for one day
--David Bowie


I woke up, and moaned. Woke up? I wasn't supposed to be waking up!

I looked around--a hospital room. I was in the fucking hospital. Unless I was in hell. But I didn't think hell would have me plugged into all those monitors--that is, if I believed in hell in the first place. Which I didn't. So, this must be the hospital.

I looked down--sure enough, there were bandages on my wrists.

Fuck. Who found me?

My name is Virginia Klusse. I'd say "Ginny, to my friends," but I didn't have any friends. I preferred Ginny in any case. I'm 16 years old, just started my junior year in high school--and I tried to kill myself.

And, damn it all, I'd failed.

As I was lying there in my misery, the nurse walked in. "Ah, you're awake."

"Yeah. When is it?" I said.

"It's noontime on Wednesday."

"Ah. So I was out for, what, 15 hours or so?" I said.

"Yes. You lost a lot of blood."

"Not enough, apparently." She shot me a look. I ignored her. "Do you know who found me?"

"Your mother."

"And where is she?" I asked.

"Well, she and your father apparently had to go to work today. We're to notify them when you wake up."

"Typical," I snorted.

"Well, they do have to work, don't they? I mean, they can't take time off because some spoiled brat decided to make an elaborate plea for attention," she spat at me.

Jesus Christ, I fail at killing myself and I end up with Nurse Ratched. Could this get any better? "Plea for attention, huh? Let me get my hands on another knife and you'll see how much of a plea for attention this is," I snapped. She actually looked taken aback. Then she recovered, shook her head, and left.

My mother showed up at 4:30. Which was frighteningly early for her. Of course, it was also over 4 hours after they'd called her to tell her her 'precious' daughter was alive and awake. And her law firm was two blocks away from the hospital.

And, of course, her first words were, "Virginia Leigh Klusse, what were you thinking?"

"Hello, Mother. Nice to see you, too."

"Don't give me that. What the hell did you think you were doing?"

"Killing myself. Obviously, that's gone straight to hell, because I'm still here."

"Damn you, Virginia, how could you pull a stunt like this?"

A stunt? Fuck her. Just fuck her. This was completely hopeless. I just turned my head away from her and ignored her. She kept going. "It's a damn good thing that I forgot the tickets to the play, or I wouldn't have found you in time. Then what would you have done?"

"Died," I said.

"Exactly," she said smugly--talk about not getting it.

"Right. I would've died. Which was what I was fucking trying to do in the first place! This wasn't a stunt. This wasn't a plea for attention. I had no idea you forgot the tickets. I didn't expect you and Dad home until long after I'd be dead. That was an attempt at me getting out of my miserable fucking existance. The only reason I'm still alive is a fluke."

"Virginia, spare me the drama," she hissed. "I don't need your attitude."

Fine. I just gave up. I let her prattle on about how horrible I was, and I didn't even care. Finally, she left. After warning me that my father would be along later, and he wasn't happy, either.

Oh, goody.

Then, at suppertime, it got worse. No, not the food, although that was bad enough. It was the guy delivering the food. Craig Tolland. I knew him, he was in school with me--in fact, he was my lab partner in Chemistry last year. "Hey, Ginny!" he said as he walked in.

"Craig? What are you doing here?"

"I work here. Food service gopher," he laughed. "What are you doing here? Accident or something?"

I didn't say anything. But he looked down--and saw the bandages on my wrists. "Oh, God, I forgot this is the psych floor," he said. "Ginny? You didn't! You, of all people?"

I was not going to discuss this. I was not going to give this asshole--any of the assholes in my life--the statisfaction. I glared at him and said, "Get out. Go away. Leave me alone."

He backed out, in a hurry. Somehow, I didn't think that was going to be the end of it. I figured that he'd be back. I also figured that the whole school would soon know that Ginny Klusse tried to off herself. Damn. That means they won. Of course, they would've won if I'd succeeded, but I wouldn't be around to deal with it.

The day ended with my father berating me for spoiling his night out at the theater.

Damn. I wondered if I could re-open the wounds. Nah--they had me hooked up to so many damn monitors that something would've beeped if my blood pressure dropped. Besides, the night nurse came in and shot me up with something to make me sleep. Yeah, keep me drugged--that'll make it all go away, right?

Fuck. Can't even kill myself properly.


I woke up the next morning and my mother was there. Today was the day she decided to be conciliatory. She brought me the newspaper--I'm a newspaper junkie--and was there when they delivered breakfast. She decided to be Caring Mom today--no outbursts about what a horrible kid I was. It was like living with a chameleon.

Of course, the next person in my room that morning was predictable. I had tried to kill myself, right? So, of course--in came the shrink.

The shrink was a she. Her name was Dr. Kingsley. I'd never seen a shrink, but I was just naturally suspicious of them. This one I could see right through right away--she was playing the 'calm and sympathetic' bit. You know, getting the fly with honey. I saw right through it immediately. Sometimes, being the smartest person in the room is a curse. Actually, it almost always is.

Yes--that's what I said, smartest person in the room. Just about any room, unless Stephen Hawking comes to one of my parties (yeah, right). I break IQ tests. I've never seen anything less than an A in my life. I took the PSATs last year and maxed them--and I have no doubt I'll do the same with the SATs. That's me, The Brain. And if you've got a problem with that--well, join the club. Everybody has a problem with it.

Anyhow, here I was with Dr. Kingsley, she playing the sweet, sympathetic listener. I decided to tell her the whole unvarnished truth. That ought to shock her.

After the introductory small talk, she went right for the jugular. "So, Ginny, any particular reason why you tried to kill yourself?"

I shrugged. "Well, I figured I had a choice. I could either off myself, or re-enact Columbine." Bingo! I heard her gasp and saw her shoulders stiffen. "Of course, if I re-enacted Columbine, I'd have to start at my house before I went to school. And, to be honest, if I wanted to take out all the people that bugged me, I'd probably have to build a thermonuclear device and set it off in the middle of town." She looked at me like I had four heads! But, then I softened my tone. "But, you know, I'm reallly not a sociopath. So I figured instead of removing the situation, it was easier and cleaner to remove myself from the situation."

"You think you could do that? Columbine, I mean?" she asked, still stunned.

"No, I probably couldn't, which is why I didn't. As much as I sometimes fantasize about it, I don't think I could pull the trigger. Trying to kill myself was far easier."

"I still don't understand what your motivation was."

"OK. You been to an amusement park? You ever try a new ride, one you don't know about, and when you get on you find it's a far wilder ride than you thought, and you get dizzy and sick to your stomach?"

She had a little hint of amusement on her face. "Yes, that's happened a couple times. I'm not one for wild rides."

"OK," I grinned. "So, what do you do? 'Stop this ride, I want to get off!' Right?"


"Well, Doc, welcome to my life. Stop this life, I want to get off."

"OK, but what I don't understand is why you feel this way."

"Feel? You're asking me how I feel? I'm not allowed to feel," I snorted. "I'm allowed to think. That's it."

"Are you considered bright?" she asked.

"I passed 'bright' about 50 IQ points ago."

"Ah," she said. "And that isolates you."

"You got it. And I'm just tired of it."

We talked for a while longer, and then she left, promising to be back the next day. Oh joy.

The day passed like molasses. I needed some books--I couldn't watch the mindless crap on TV. I called my mother--who was in a meeting or court or something, of course--and left her a message. Hopefully, she'd bring me something to read, if she was still in her conciliatory mood.

Then, at supper, Craig came back in.

I really didn't want to let it all out. But he pushed it. "Look, Ginny, I just don't get it," he said. "I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. Why would you want to kill yourself? You have everything in the world going for you!"

He said the wrong thing at the wrong time. And, unfortunately, I used him as a stand-in... for everybody. "Everything in the world? Where on earth did you get that idea?"

"You're so smart!" he said. "You could do anything you wanted to. You're the smartest person I've ever met. Shit, I got a B in chemistry last year--I probably would've flunked if it weren't for you."

"Right," I said, building up steam, "and what did you do for me in return?" He just looked at me. "Remember your big sixteenth birthday party last year? I remember it, because I had to hear you talk about it for three weeks before; and then I had to hear you talk about how fantastic it was for two weeks after. Did you even think of inviting me? Did that even cross your mind for a second?"

He blinked. "Well, I didn't think you'd want to go."

"Why not?"

"Because you never go to any parties or gatherings or anything."

"That's because I never get invited, you jackass! I watch you in the lunchroom. You eat with all your pals. You know who I eat with? An empty chair. I have no friends. I've never been asked out on a date--because I'm too smart and because I'm overweight. I spend my entire life alone. You know how you treat me? Like a computer with legs. Not like a human being. You and every other fucking person in that school, and my parents.

"Why did I try to kill myself? Because I hate you. You, and every person in that school, and my parents, and everyone. I hate every single fucking one of you. And it was easier to kill myself than to blow everyone else up.

"Why did you just assume that I wouldn't want to go to a party? I'll tell you why. Because you didn't know how to deal with the freak. Nobody knows how to deal with the freak. So, the freak is tired of it--and the freak wants out."

He stared at me for a good two minutes while I picked at the poor excuse for food he'd brought me. Then he finally left.

I felt bad. But only a little. We'd gotten along in that chem lab--I thought maybe I'd finally found something approaching a friend. And then he broke my heart. Maybe he should know what he'd done to me.


My mother came back the next morning, still playing conciliatory. She brought me some books. Plus my laptop. Of course, she had to say, "I thought you could use this to keep up with your schoolwork." Fuck that. I could play The Sims and write depressing poetry. Fuck my schoolwork.

I love The Sims. It's the closest thing I have to an actual life.

Anyhow, the shrink came in again. I talked to her for a while. Then she gave me the kicker: "On Monday, I want your parents in here."

I laughed. She looked at me. I asked her for a piece of paper out of her notebook, and her pen. I wrote on the paper, and then handed it to her. "Here you are. Here are their names and numbers at work. Good fucking luck."

"What, you think they'd object?"

"Of course they'd object. Having their daughter take precious time out of their all-important careers? Mom's a lawyer. Dad's some kind of executive. We're very rich. And that's really all they care about. I had a nanny growing up, until I was old enough to stay by myself--which, in their estimation, was something like 13. They don't want to be bothered."

Dr. Kingsley--well, Shannon, as she'd asked me to call her--was dumbfounded. "But you just tried to kill yourself!"

"They think it was just a bid for attention. And they don't understand why I need attention, considering I'm smart and they buy me shit."

"Ah," she said.

"I'm the school brain, and we're well-off. Why on earth would my life not be perfect, right?"

"But it's not. Ginny, when was the last time anyone hugged you?"

That question just about knocked me right off the bed. Damn, she was good. I stared at her, stunned, for a couple of minutes. Then I thought about what she had asked. "I don't remember," I finally said. "Probably my grandmother before she died--and she died 8 years ago."

"That's what I thought." But then she moved on to other things.

I thought about that one for most of the day.

At supper, Craig was back, with the food again. He didn't say anything--in fact, he could barely look at me. Finally, after he had gotten my food on the tray, he stood and stared at me for a minute.

"What?" I finally blurted.

"Look," he said. "You're right and you're wrong." He sighed, and ran his hands through his hair. "I was up all night thinking about this. I feel horrible. I mean, to think that I was in any way responsible for that," he said, pointing at my wrists.

"Craig--," I started to say, but he interrupted me.

"No, let me finish. I know that wasn't all of it--at least I hope it wasn't."

"Call it a symptom," I interjected. "Just one small piece of a very large puzzle."

"OK," he continued, "but it was a piece. And I truly am sorry. I think you're a remarkable person, Ginny. The world would be a lesser place without you." I blinked at that one. It actually sounded sincere. He went on. "But you were a little wrong--it's not that I thought of you as a walking computer, or however you said it. It's that I thought you were above such things as a silly birthday party."

"Above such things?" I snorted.

"Well, yeah. You're so serious. Look--that party. We smuggled booze in, listened to bad dance music, and whoever found someone of the opposite sex willing made out. It was teeangers being silly." He grinned. "I got sloppy drunk and threw up all over my mother's coffee table. Got grounded for two weeks." I had to laugh--he laughed right along with me.

Then he went on. "You just always seemed so above that. Almost like you were too adult for that shit. Last year, when we got paired up, someone asked me what you were like. I said you were cool, and generous with the help in lab--but that it was like being in school with a 30-year-old, or something. Look, a lot of people that don't know you think you come off as the queen snob of the school, that you think you're way above us mere little people. I knew from chem lab that you weren't a snob. But you did seem like you were completely uninterested in, you know, anything your average 16-year-old might be interested in."

I was rather flabbergasted at all this. "People think I'm a snob?"

"To a point, yeah. I mean, come on, Ginny. You're brilliant, and you have money. The smartest girl in school, drives to school in a freakin' Range Rover, and you're, I don't know, I guess aloof is the best word. Like I said, I'd figured out you weren't a snob, but you still seemed, I dunno, just different."

"It's not being a snob," I told him. "And it's not being aloof. It's being caught up in my own misery."

"Well, yeah, I see that now."

I thought about that one, then asked him something completely different. "Who have you told? At school, I mean."

"Nobody," he told me. "That's not my place. It did get out that you were in the hospital, and people know I work here, so I did get asked. But I just told anyone who asked that you had an accident and that you'd be fine."

"OK. Thank you," I said.

"You're welcome. However, you know you're just delaying the inevitable."

"Yeah, as soon as I go back to school people will figure it out. Ah, well," I sighed. "I guess I'll just have to find a way to finish the job before I go back to school."

"I really, really wish you wouldn't do that," Craig said in a low voice. I looked up. I'd almost forgotten he was in the room when I said what I said. "I know I can't talk you out of it all by myself, but I really wish you wouldn't."

"I absolve you of all guilt," I said.

"That's not it."

"Then what?"

"It's what I said earlier. The world would be a poorer place without you in it." Before I could say a word to that, he disappeared out of the room.


Monday morning dawned. Shannon somehow got my parents to come in to the hospital for a meeting. Of course, she must have twisted their arms real hard.

"I have court in two hours," was the first thing my mother said, "so this needs to be quick."

"And I have a meeting I can't miss in two and a half," Dad chipped in. "And another thing, this whole situation is an awful inconvenience. When is Virginia getting out of here? I see no reason to keep her here any longer."

I shot Shannon a look. She shot me one back, but played it cool with my parents. "Please sit down, Mr. and Mrs. Klusse. I'll try to get this done quickly for your schedules, but this is your daughter's health we're talking about."

"There's nothing wrong with her," Mom said.

"She tried to kill herself. This isn't a cold," Shannon told them. I was going to get to talk sooner or later, but I let Shannon go with it for now.

"A bid for attention," Dad said dismissively.

"You know what?" Shannon said icily. "Considering what Ginny's told me and how you've acted to me, both here and on the phone, I wouldn't blame her if this was a bid for attention. But it wasn't. I'm convinced of it, and I've done this for a long time. Ginny genuinely intended to kill herself. And if I let her out of the hospital now, she's going to try again. And she's going to keep trying until she succeeds. Your daughter has a potentially fatal condition right now. It can be fixed--but it's not fixed yet."

"What, depression or something?" Dad said. "There's drugs for that, aren't there?"

"Ginny is not showing the typical symptoms of clinical depression," Shannon said. "At least, by my expertise she's not. Most suicidal youngsters do--Ginny is not. She's not depressed in the commonly understood sense. She's angry. And she's tired. I may prescribe her something, yes--anyone who's suicidal has some depression, so I may prescribe her a mild antidepressent--but that won't save her, not all by itself."

"Angry?" Mom spat. "What on earth do you have to be angry about? You have everything! You're very smart, we have money. Any little thing you want, you get. Now you're going to get all prima donna on us? Angry, my ass."

Before I could say anything, Dad tried to be a bit more conciliatory. "Ginny, I'm sorry, I just don't get it. Why would you want to kill yourself? With your brains and our financial resources, you can be anything you want to be!"

That's when I finally spoke up. "I can? Really? That's news to me. Anything I want to be, huh? So, tell me, Dad--can I be pretty? Can I be popular? How about sexually active--can I be that? Well, unless you count playing with yourself, you need a partner for that, which leaves me out. Loved--there's another one. Can I be loved? I'll answer those for you. No, I'll never be pretty. As for popularity, everybody hates me because of those brains you're all so fucking proud of. I'll probably die a virgin. And, as for love, that's completely beyond me. And don't tell me you love me."

"How on earth could you say that?" Mom said. "We give you everything!"

Shannon said it before I did. "When was the last time you gave her a hug?"

That absolutely floored them. It was beautiful. Finally, Dad spoke up. "I've never been great at that kind of affection."

"You've never been great at any kind of affection that doesn't involve purchasing something," I told him.

"Virginia," Dad said, with a real look of pain on his face, which floored me. "I do love you. Both of us do."

"It's easy to say that. But you've never made the slightest bit of effort to understand me. What I can't figure out is why you had me in the first place."

"How can you say such a thing?" Mom piped up.

"It looks pretty easy from my point of view," Shannon interjected. "I mean, your daughter's in real trouble--and the first thing you talked about when you walked in this room was your job."

"My job is very important," she sniffed.

"More important than your daughter?" Shannon asked.


"Sure it is," I said. "Both of their jobs are more important than me--always have been. And, don't let Mom fool you--she's a corporate attorney. It's not like she's prosecuting criminals--or getting innocent people off. She's a lackey."

"My job is important to the people that pay my salary," Mom sniffed.

"Not important in the grand scheme of things."

"Is that what this is about?" Dad asked. "You're embarrassed that your parents are 'lackeys'?"

"No, that's not what it's about," I said. "Your jobs don't embarrass me. Not anything I'd want to do, but I'm not embarrassed by them. I do resent the hell out of them." I took a deep breath. "Do you know how fucking tired I am of eating supper alone every night?"

"What?" Mom said.

"I'm tired of it. I come home to an empty house. I eat in an empty house. I do my homework in an empty house. When you do come home, all you ask me about is grades. As if I ever get anything less than an A. Then I go to bed. And I wake up. To an empty house. Then I go to school, where everybody hates me because I wreck the curve. I'm so lonely. I'm so damn lonely, and I just can't take it anymore. I want to die, I really want to die." I tried to hold the sobs in. I wasn't successful. Damn.

They looked at me, while I was weeping, for a good solid minute. Finally, Dad said, "You always seemed so self-sufficient."

"Because you forced me to be," I sniffled. "I am self-sufficient. That's not the point. It's not that I can't take care of myself, you know that. I can. It's that I'm tired of doing it." I took a breath. "A guy I go to school with works here. And he knows what happened. And I laid some of the blame on him the other day--said that everyone at school treats me like a computer with legs. He came back the next day and told me that I had it wrong--that he didn't think of me that way. But he did think of me as sixteen going on thirty. And he's right. It's like I'm thirty--and a spinster at that. I feel like an old woman locked in a house with nobody to talk to but her cats. If I had cats, that is. I'm not supposed to feel this old, and alone, and beaten up. I'm just not."

"Look, Ginny, I had a rough adolescence too..." Mom tried to start.

"Rough adolescence?" I snorted. "You were a fucking cheerleader, Mom! You were runner-up for homecoming queen! You went out with the star quarterback! I'm sixteen years old and I've never been asked out on a fucking date!"

"OK," she admitted, "but I had other problems. I had problems with the schoolwork."

"Huh?" I said. "You're an attorney! You got through law school."

"I figured out a few things in college," she said with a wry smile. "But high school was a big struggle. My grades were good, mind you, but I had to work my ass off to get them. You might think it's impressive, all that homecoming queen crap, but I remember high school as endless hours bent over a textbook, killing myself for grades."

Before I could say anything to that, Shannon spoke up. "And you're jealous that Ginny doesn't have to do that, aren't you?"

Mom looked shocked for a minute. Then she shrugged and said, "I suppose I am."

I was flabbergasted that she admitted it. "You are?"

"Yeah. Somewhat. And it bugs me a little, Ginny, that you seem to take it for granted."

"I do take it for granted," I admitted. "I remember what you once told me about looks, Mom. There was some actress or something on TV. I was 11 or 12 or something. And I said something about how pretty she was. And you commented that it wasn't anything, she was born that way, nothing to be overly proud of."

"Right." Mom said.

"Well, that's the way I feel about my brains."

"I see your point, but brains are a much bigger deal when you get older, Ginny."

"Are they?" I said. "Mom, you're much better looking than I am. You don't think that helps when you're standing across from a jury?"

"Not as much as you think," she said. "It's not really basic looks that would impress a jury the way you think--it's the way you present yourself. And you're not nearly as bad-looking as you think you are. That's presentation, too."

"What do you mean?" I asked her.

"You know, you'd look a lot better if you ran a comb through your hair once in a while," she said, but with a smile. "Put some makeup on. Wear something other than baggy sweatpants. That sort of thing. That's what I mean by presentation."

"Makeup?" I said. "I wouldn't know what to do with it!"

"Huh?" Shannon said.

"I've never worn makeup in my life. I wouldn't know how to put it on, and I wouldn't want to look like Bozo the Clown, you know?"

"You never taught her to put on makeup?" Shannon asked my mother.

"She never asked," Mom said, shrugging weakly. "Besides which, my mother never did either. I learned from girlfriends, and from trial-and-error."

"I think we've established I have no girlfriends," I said bitterly.

"And Ginny wouldn't be comfortable with trial-and-error. Because of her grades, she feels overly conspicuous at school as it is," Shannon said.

"All you had to do was ask," Mom said.

"When?" I snorted. "Sometime during the seven seconds a week I actually see you?"

Before Mom said anything, Dad butt in. "Look, Ginny, let me say something before this gets any worse. Your mother and I truly love you. We do want what's best for you. What you've seen as neglect--well, I think it's just that your mother and I made some erroneous assumptions about what your life was like. I know that's the case with me. And you haven't ever spoken up."

"How would you have reacted if she did speak up?" Shannon interjected. "You didn't react well to a suicide attempt, for goodness sake!"

"That's because she scared the living daylights out of us," my Mother said softly.

My eyes just about bugged out of my head.

"And it's not just that," Mom went on. She turned towards Shannon. "Speaking up isn't the same as slashing your wrists," she told her, then turned back towards me, building up a head of steam. "Your father is right, we made erroneous assumptions about your life, and I'm sorry about that. But you didn't ever say anything--the first indication I ever get that anything was wrong was finding you with a pool of blood underneath your wrists. Dammit, Ginny, I carried you in my womb for nine fucking months! I watched you come out! And now you want to throw that life I gave you away? Do you have any idea how pissed off I am at you?"

"Honey..." Dad started.

Shannon interrupted him. "No, Mr. Klusse. This is the time to get it all out."

I couldn't say anything--I just stared at Mom in disbelief. And Mom had something else to say. "Maybe you don't realize what your body language says," Mom told me. "Maybe you don't realize how you come across to other people."

"How is that?" I asked softly.

"'Hands off, leave me alone, stay away, I don't need you.'" Mom said. "Your body language has been screaming that since you were ten years old. Your father and I didn't question it. We knew you were isolated--though not to the degree you are--but we thought you preferred it that way."

I thought about that for a minute. Then it occurred to me. "The guy at school that works here--he said something similar."

"You see?" Mom said.

"Yeah, but it's a defense mechanism," I said. "You said ten years old--I was already pretty miserable by then."

"What?" Mom said, astonished.

"This shit started in first grade. I remember the teacher making me read to the rest of the class, because I was the 'best reader'. I've been singled out as the class brain right from the get-go."

"You never told us any of this," Mom said.

"I tried to, though not as forcefully as I might have. At that age, it was more confusing than anything. However, while I am trying to understand what you might have been seeing, there is one thing about you that I absolutely resent and think has been very detrimental. Especially you, Dad."


"Dad's parents were both teachers," I told Shannon. "So, Dad--and Mom to some extent--have way way too much faith in teachers. I could never complain about teachers growing up." I turned to Dad. "If Gramma and Grampa were great teachers, they were in the minority. I've spent eleven years largely being taught by people who had no idea what to do with me. They all singled me out. Even when I got older and tried to hide, they wouldn't let me. Remember my fifth-grade teacher? She was a sadistic asshole. She singled me out every single chance she got, because she was openly jealous of my brains. I did try to tell you about her. You pooh-poohed me."

"Maybe you're right. I just never thought a bright girl like you would have trouble with teachers, so I thought you were overblowing it," Dad said.

"I read a study," I told them. I turned to Shannon and smiled. "I'm a newspaper junkie, I read all kinds of shit." Then I turned back to all of them. "This study was at the state colleges in Massachusetts. And the study said that, on average, students at those colleges majoring in education had SAT scores a hundred points lower than the average students there. And the Massachusetts state schools aren't exactly Harvard to begin with. I blow my teachers away, most of them--and they're damn jealous. I know some smart people go into teaching because they love it. I've had a few. But it's very few. Most of my teachers are teachers because they're not capable of doing anything else. My history teacher this year basically makes me teach his class because I'm better at it than he is. And my fellow students, as you can probably guess, just love that."

"A month into school?" It was the beginning of October. "And he's doing this already?" Shannon asked.

"Word about Ginny The Brain gets around," I said.

"Did you ever think about putting her in private school?" Shannon asked.

"We did," Dad said, "but we didn't think it was necessary. This school system is considered the best around."

"Yeah, Dad, of course it is--this is an upper-middle-class community," I said. "We all know it's all about money. Besides which, we all know how that 'best around' stuff is judged--test scores. So, when I take the SATs this spring, and get 1600--which I will--that'll count for how wonderful the school system is. Even though the school had nothing to do with it."

"I see your point," Dad said.

"Though I don't think private school would've helped. What I should've done was skip a few grades. You know, be one of those kids that goes to high school at 10. At least then I would've been the school pet or mascot or something--the cute little kid taking trigonometry. That would've been better."

"I don't know if it would've been," Dad said. "Well, maybe, now, I see it might have. We discussed that. And we discussed it with you, and you didn't seem to think it was a big deal."

"You're right, I didn't, this is hindsight talking," I said.

"Is there anything we can do now?" Mom asked softly.

I just goggled at her. She was offering to help? "I don't know. Let me think about that."

"I have a suggestion," Shannon said. I looked at her. "Talk to the administration at school and see what you can test out of. My guess is it's a lot. And, instead of attending classes at the high school, pick up some credits at the community college. That'll give you a nice head start."

"They don't allow that until senior year," I said.

"Bullshit," Mom said. "Now we're getting into someplace that I can help, thankfully. Ginny, you can test out of almost everything you're taking this year. I know you can test out of pre-calc, and physics. History, probably. You can do it in time to take classes at the community college spring semester."

"But, I said they don't allow..."

She interrupted me. "Virginia," she smiled. "I'll go down there to the school and make sure it happens. And for once, you'll be glad I'm a lawyer."

I couldn't help it. That got a big grin out of me. "Well, if you want to throw all that lawyerly weight around on my behalf, I'm not going to protest."


"Thanks," I said softly. She just smiled. "Look, I know you have to get to court. I know that's something you can't blow off."

"It isn't," she said. "I wish it was."

"I think we've done all we can today anyhow," Shannon said. "But I'd like to ask you something, both of you. Do you have any vacation time coming?"

"Sure," Dad said. Mom nodded. "I never take all of mine," Dad continued. Mom said she didn't either.

"Is there any way you can take a week next week?" Shannon asked them.

"Probably," Dad said. "I'll have to check my schedule but it's not a critical time for me."

"I don't know if I have court next week, I'll have to check," Mom said. "If I don't have court, I can probably swing it. Why?"

"If I release Ginny on Friday, I'd like you both home for her. Even if you just work part-days while she's in school. I want you home when she gets home from school."

"Oh, I can definitely do that," Dad said. "Even if I have to go in for a few hours, I can promise to be home when she gets there."

"In my case, yes, unless I have a late court appearance," Mom said.

"You'd do that?" I asked, incredulous.

"Yes," Dad said firmly. "Ginny--our jobs are not more important than you. OK?"

I didn't know what to say. Shannon talked to them about coming back to the hospital later that week--it was arranged for Wednesday afternoon. Then they all left.


I'll admit it--I was a bit shaky after that. I didn't know what to think.

Dad came by again late in the afternoon. "How are you?" he asked.

"OK," I said.

"I'm sorry, Ginny. I've really let you down." That just floored me. "Look, I'm not a very emotional person. Neither is your mother. And for years we thought you were a lot like us. Especially considering we always assumed you could think your way out of anything. And I'm very ashamed that I didn't see the signs before you did something as drastic as slashing your wrists. Because I should have. I'm not a very passionate person, most of the time. I should've noticed that you are."

"You're not? What about your job?"

"I'm an executive," he said. "There's no passion in that. It's all logic and numbers."

"But the money."

"I'm not all that passionate about money, Ginny. It's nice to have, don't get me wrong. But it's a means to an end. It makes your life easier--but not necessarily more fulfilling."

"What about Mom?" I asked.

He grinned at that. "I did say I wasn't passionate most of the time, right? Your mother's the exception. Though that only comes out sometimes."

I grinned at him. "I think you can stop right there," I said.

"Good," he grinned back. "You know what I'm talking about."

"Only in the abstract, but yes," I laughed.

He laughed back. "Your mother will kill me for telling you this, but when we were walking out of here today, we talked. We went across the street for a cup of coffee before she went to court. We talked about ways we might be able to help you. We're still discussing that. And most of them were serious." His grin came back. "But your mother did say that you desperately needed to get laid."

I was completely thunderstruck. "She said that?"

"Yep. I know your mother told you about the birds and bees. And we both told you about being careful and all that. We haven't shirked that responsibility."

"No, you haven't," I agreed.

"But what your mother always said was that you'd have to find out for yourself what it was really like. I think she hoped you'd do that long before now. She was 14 her first time. I was 15, by the way."

"Wow," I said.

"And when we met in college it was like Mount St. Helens erupting."

"Oh, jeez! TMI, Dad."

"Oh, I'm not done. Your mother always says that she's never had a bad mood that couldn't be cured by good sex."

I burst out laughing at that one. "I never would've suspected Mom was a sex kitten."

"It's generally not something you tell your daughter," Dad said with a wry grin. "But I decided to, because I thought you needed to know that your parents aren't the cold, unfeeling people you think we are. It just comes out in different ways."

"Uh-huh," I grinned. "Not something either of you can help me with, though. That'd be illegal."

"GINNY!" he exclaimed, but he was laughing. "Actually, your mother can help you. And keep your mind out of the gutter," he said, still laughing.

"Don't worry, I'm not into girls at all," I laughed back.

"Oh, Jesus," he moaned. "Seriously, she can help you with that whole presentation thing she was talking about earlier."

"I might just take her up on that," I said, "but mainly to feel better about myself. Let's face it, Dad, no matter how well I present myself, it'd take a special guy to have anything to do with me. There are few guys around whose precious male ego could put up with a girlfriend who's a megagenius."

"Ginny? There's more than you think."

"Really," I said sarcastically.

"Yes. But what you have to do is help them along."


"Don't let being a megagenius be the sum total of your existance. This is what we were talking about this morning, about how you come off to people. I know you resent your brains--but you also use them as a crutch."

"I do?"

"Yes, honey, you do."


He left after a while, and I was still pretty shaky.

I guess I started crying. I just couldn't stop it. It had been an emotional day. I guess I'd gotten slapped upside the head a few times. Look, my parents were oblivious--but in some ways, I was too.

And it just all came out in tears. It was all right, actually. It wasn't big huge wails or anything--just a bit of a sob. It was actually a bit cleansing.

Until Craig walked in with supper.

I did not want him to see me sitting there crying like a baby. But I couldn't help myself. And I couldn't stop.

"Ginny, are you OK?" he asked. I nodded yes--crying the whole while, which kind of made the nod yes look ridiculous.

"Is there anything I can do?" he asked. "Call a nurse or something?"

I shook my head no to the nurse thing. And then I said it. I did not mean to say it out loud. I was thinking it. I wasn't going to say it. I didn't think it was fair to him. But, somehow, it got said.

"I need a hug."

Before I barely realized I'd actually said it, he pushed my tray table out of the way, sat on the side of the bed, leaned over, and wrapped his arms around me.

I was so shocked I just about peed my pants.

After I got over the shock--and returned the hug--I decided that this felt real nice.

And I even managed to stop crying.

He broke the hug after a couple minutes and moved away from the bed. "Thanks," I managed to croak.


"You have no idea," I admitted. "And I didn't even mean to say that out loud!"

"Any time," he said. Jesus, don't tempt me like that!

"I have to go deliver the rest of this food," he said.

"How much more do you have left?"

"The rest of this floor, and the one above."

"Hold on." I beeped for the nurse. She came it. "Is there any way I can get disconnected from all this shit? I want to take a walk."

"Ginny, you're still on suicide watch," the nurse said.

"Oh," I replied. Well, it made sense, I suppose.

"I think she just wants to walk around with me while I finish my deliveries," Craig said. "We know each other from school."

"Yeah," I said, laughing, "I figured I follow Supper Boy here around like a puppy for a while." Craig grinned at me for that one.

"Wait a minute," the nurse said, and left the room.

"Ginny, let me go finish delivering this floor and I'll stop back in," Craig said.

Craig came back in in a few minutes, followed by Shannon and the nurse. "What's this about you wanting to take a walk?" Shannon asked.

"Damn, do you ever go home?" I asked her.


"Ginny and I are friends from school," Craig told her. "I work here, I'm delivering supper, Ginny wanted to tag along."

"My legs need a stretch," I told her.

'Unhook her," Shannon said. "I'll authorize it." The nurse started taking out all the machines I was hooked up to.

So, I followed Craig around, then we went down to the cafeteria and he bought me a coke. We sat there for a while, chatting. It was actually very nice. I told him a bit about what had happened with my parents. He's a very good listener.

Wish I had figured that out last year. I wish I had figured out a lot of things before now. Ah, well...


Shannon came in the next day. She hit me with it right off. "So, I thought you didn't have any friends at school?" she said with a little knowing grin.

"Yeah, so did I," I laughed. "Actually, we were kind of friendly last year." I told her about the talks I'd had with Craig in the hospital, and about what had happened last year.

"You dropped a lot on his head," she told me.

"Yeah, I know. The funny thing was, last night. When he came in to deliver supper, I was crying. Not too bad, it was just kind of a reaction to the day, but I was crying. He asked me if anything was wrong, and I blurted out without thinking that I needed a hug. So he gave me one, to my complete shock."

"Good for him."

"Then we went for the walk, and we ended up talking in the cafeteria for an hour and a half. I had to call up to the nurse so they wouldn't send out a posse," I grinned.

"Good thinking," she said. "So, I'm going to send you home on Friday. How are you going to deal with school?"

"That's a good question."

"You're going to need outpatient therapy."

"I figured that," I said with a wry little grin.

"I think I'm going to do two different things with you. One-on-one therapy, for sure. But I also think I want to get you into group."

"With you?"

"Yes. Is that a problem?" she asked.

"No, not at all, but I thought you worked in the hospital."

"No," she smiled, "not really. I'm affiliated with the hospital. My office is in the medical building across the parking lot. There's four of us there, we have an office together, so we're the ones the hospital calls for inpatient help. But I have an office and I do most of my work there."

"Oh, so you were over there when they called you last night when I wanted to go for a walk."

"Yes. This ward has my office number. If I'd not been there, you'd get one of my associates."

"Oh," I said. And then I remembered what she had said. "Wait a minute. Group? You mean a whole bunch of us in there together?"

"Yes. All suicide survivors."

"I don't know if I want to hang out with all the freaks."

"They're not freaks, Ginny," she said in the sternest voice I'd ever heard her use. "They're good kids with problems. You'll find that out. And maybe when you do, you'll figure out that you aren't a freak either." With that, she walked out of the room, leaving me open-mouthed.

Anyhow, the week went. My parents came back in on Wednesday, and it was good. They were both going to be there for me the next week.

I went with Craig on the end of his rounds Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday, when he came in, he told me he'd stop by when he was done instead. He came back in about an hour later.

"So, you're going home tomorrow?"

"Yep, and back to school on Monday. Joy."

"You gonna let anyone know?"

"I don't know. I'm going to play that by ear."

"Can I say something?" he said. I nodded. "Look, Ginny. I think it would be a little easier if you tried to open up a little. Around people in school, I mean. If people get to know you, they'd like you."

"Yeah, right," I snorted. "Even if that were true before--well, now all they're going to see are the ugly scars on my wrists. Let's face it, by doing this and not succeeding, I made things worse." He was going to say something, but I held up my hand and kept going. "Besides which, I let you get to know me last year, and you still thought I was a snob."

"No, I told you, I found out you weren't a snob. I thought you were aloof and guarded to a degree, yes, but I realized very early you weren't a snob, and even told other people that."

"But you still didn't like me."

"Wait a minute, I'm not done," he said. "The other thing I was going to say is that because you were guarded, I didn't get to know you all that well. I've found out lots of things about you talking to you the two weeks you've been here that I had no idea about last year. And not like you? Are you kidding? I sure did. Shit, do you know how many times I came this close to asking you out?"

All I could think about that was, WHAT?

"Shit, I didn't mean to say that out loud," he said with a sheepish grin. "But it's true. I didn't because I figured you'd never say yes."

"I'm completely stunned," I said when I found my voice again.

"It's true," he said, still sheepishly.

I took a breath. "Look, I don't know if you still feel the same way. I think you'd be nuts to," I said, pointing at my wrists. He started to say something, but I interrupted him. "Wait, let me finish." I took a breath. "I need to get back to school. I know it's going to be a rough go, especially the first few days. I need to get through that. I'll be honest, I need to see if I can get through that without going completely out of my gourd. However--and I don't want you to say a word right now--however, if you still feel the same way after I get myself through those first few days--well, I won't say no." He started to say something. "Don't say a word, please, Craig. You need to see if I can make it through those first few days before you decide, OK?"

"OK. Can I have your phone number in any case? I figured I'd call you Sunday night and give you a pep talk."

I had to laugh. "I think I'd like that a lot."

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Story tagged with:
mt/ft / Teenagers / Consensual / Romantic / First / Safe Sex / Slow /