I know most writers say it, but in my case it's absolutely true: I have the best readers in the world! Here's just piece of the proof. One of my sweet readers from Mexico, Karime Andrade sent me this amazing fan art she's drawn of a scene from Geek Girl. I absolutely adore it. Not only is she crazy talented (she's only 12!), the fact that she felt strongly enough about the story to take the time to create fan art makes me grin like a fool. I love that she captured the spirit of both Jen and Trev. I'm sharing with you not only the art, but the scene from which she takes it. Enjoy! (I know I did.)
From Geek Girl:
He takes me to an Italian restaurant, where we are both out of place. I’m like a nightmare to the patrons as I walk in. The hostess at the front desk would turn me away if she weren’t afraid I’d cause a scene (I would). And Trevor is way too buttoned up for the chic-type clientele.
I like it. Because he is now out of his comfort zone along with me.
They seat us at a table along the back wall in a cove, partially hidden from view by draping curtains held back by a hook sticking out of the dividing wall. I know this is on purpose to hide me from the rest of their guests, but Trevor acts as if it is an honor to be sitting here.
Our server comes over, definitely looking down her nose at me. Her eyes widen a little when she sees Trevor and her eyes shift quickly back to me, and then to Trevor again in astonishment. We are an odd pair.
“Can I get you something to drink?” She directs her question to Trevor, not so desirous of looking at my offensive person again. I wonder how badly the hostess will have to pay when this particular server is finished with her shift for having seated us at one of her tables.
Trevor looks at me.
“Diet Coke?” he asks with a grin. “They have some really good Italian sodas, too. I like the strawberry one.”
I almost smack my head at my own stupidity. Of course he’s been here before; he’s not out of his comfort zone, he’s just oblivious to how out of place he is.
“I’ll have what you’re having,” I say.
“Two strawberry Italian sodas, please.”
She doesn’t say anything, just writes the order on her pad and walks away, giving me another quick glance, sneer barely concealed.
“You’ve been here before?” I ask.
“Oh yeah, my family comes here all the time. It’s pretty good. Haven’t you ever been here?”
“Do I look like this is the kind of place I normally visit?”
He sits up even straighter, if possible.
“I’m sorry. Do you not like Italian?”
I roll my eyes at him.
“Italian is fine, Trev—Trevor. This is just a little . . . fancy, I guess.”
He looks around at the other customers as if noticing them for the first time, then back at me, taking in my black and red hair, heavy makeup, tight black clothes.
“Oh. Sorry. I guess I’ve just gotten used to . . .” he trails off, flustered, looking away. “Do you want to leave? Go somewhere else?”
I have to admit I’m a little surprised; I’ve never been on a date where my discomfort was worth consideration.
“Nah, it’s okay. It smells good. Besides, it’ll give all these people something to go home and talk about. The freak they saw at dinner.”
“You’re not a freak.” His denial is immediate, unexpected.
"What makes you think I'm referring to me?"
He freezes, cheeks darkening with embarrassment, and I smile at him, let him off the hook.
"Just kidding, Trev. You really need to relax a little." He forgets to correct my shortened version of his name. I lean forward. Subconsciously he does the same.
“So, really, Trevor? You don’t think I’m a freak at all?”
“No.” He sounds sincere anyway.
“And before you met me? Did you then?”
He shakes his head. At my lifted brow, he explains himself.
“No, not a freak. I mean, obviously I can’t go to school and not notice you and your friends because you all dress a little differently.”
“A little differently?”
He smiles with his killer dimples and I find myself wondering why girls aren’t all over those.
“Okay, a lot differently, especially with, you know, the makeup and all. And the piercings. But you don’t have any of those.”
“Not that you can see, anyway.” I say this low, seductively. The effect on him is immediate. His eyes drop a quick perusal over my body and I can see his mind clicking, wondering just where those piercings might be. I decide to let him fantasize and not burst his fantasy by telling him the truth; currently I am pierce-free—or at least jewelry free. I suppose the holes are still there.
After a few minutes, he swallows the lump in his throat and squeaks out, “Oh.”
I can’t help it, I laugh. His eyes meet mine, and he smiles slightly.
“Are you teasing me?” I just shrug—and leave him hanging, counting on his ever present courteousness to stop him from asking again.
The rude waitress comes back to take our order. I change my mind purposely three times so that she has to keep scratching it out on her pad, only to wind up back at the first thing I ordered. Trevor watches, eyes scrutinizing, recognizing that I am doing this on purpose. Then, to my utter amazement, he follows suit and changes his four times. By the time he’s finished, she is vibrant with irritation. As she walks away, Trevor looks at me and grins.
“She deserved that,” he says.
“Yeah, but I can’t believe you did it.”
He shrugs, then looks at the table, chagrined, drawing an imaginary pattern with one long finger. “I’ll leave her an extra tip to make up for it,” he mumbles.
I laugh again, and he grins, peeking up at me from under what I notice are incredibly long lashes covering an amazing shade of green. Huh, I think. I haven’t noticed his eyes before. They’re not bad. Kinda nice, actually. Almost killer.
After dinner, which he insists on paying for—lucky for me since I'm short on cash—he drives me home, walking me to the door. It almost feels like a real date, which suits me just fine. It’s important to my goal for him to start thinking of me as something other than a strange acquaintance.
“Did you have fun tonight at the Senior Center?”
“Oddly enough, I kind of did,” I tell him. “The whole night was fun. Maybe next weekend we can—”
My words are cut off as my foster mother pulls the door open. She seems surprised to see us there.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you two were out here. I was just going to go for a walk.” Which I know is true because she goes almost every night—sans the straw hat—always trying to drag me along. Exercising is not the way I want to spend my evenings. Neither do I want to spend that much time hanging with her.
“Hi, Mrs. Grant. How are you?” Trevor asks.
“I’m fine, Trevor. Did you two have fun tonight?”
Trevor looks at me, as if expecting me to answer. I shrug.
“Yeah, we did,” he says.
“Good, good,” is her inane response. “Do you want me to wait for you Jen? You can walk with me.”
I give her my normal response, which is a look that says you’re kidding, right? She translates correctly.
“All right, I’ll be back soon, then. Bye.”
“Bye, Mrs. Grant,” Trevor says. I remain silent. She walks to the end of the driveway and starts stretching. Could she be any lamer? But Trevor either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care. He is watching me, a question in his eyes—one I don’t want him to ask.
“I’ll see you at school next week then,” I say, turning to go into the house. He hesitates, but seeing that I’m not going to satisfy his curiosity, he sighs.
“Okay, see you later,” he says. “And thanks for coming. I’m really glad you did.”
I want to scream at his politeness, but instead I turn back, the little secretive smile that flusters him pasted firmly on my face.
“Me too,” I say quietly, closing the door on his darkening eyes.
It is going well.
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“Think I could turn that boy bad?”
My two best friends--my only two friends, really--follow my gaze and laugh.
“Trevor Hoffman?” Beth scoffs. “No way, Jen.”
“I bet I could,” I say, shrugging.
“Why him?” Beth asks. “Why not any of the other nerds sitting there with him?”
“Because,” I say slowly, “he isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill geek. Trevor Hoffman is different. He would be a little more difficult to take down--more of a challenge, you know?”
Jen’s teenage life of rebelling and sneaking out is growing stale. In an effort to combat her boredom, Jen makes a bet to turn Trevor, a nice geek, into a “bad boy.” Unexpectedly, she is pulled into Trevor’s world of sci-fi movies, charity work, and even--ugh!--bowling. Jen discovers that hanging out with Trevor isn't so bad after all. But when Trevor finds out about the wager, all bets are off.