A Nerd Named Milford Agnus Willson

June 2, 2010

A nerd named Milford Agnus Willson. He always wore navy blue slacks with a white, collared shirt. There were days when Milford would also include suspenders and his shirt would have a small pocket for pens. His ginger hair was always in a “bed-head” state, not matter how much gel he put in it. His face had an explosion of freckles in the middle. You could always find him with a thick fantasy or sci-fi book that he kept for “light” reading. As you may have guessed, he had straight A’s in his honor classes. Because of his physical appearance and because of his tendency to use big words Milford was often picked on by the jocks.


This story takes place in a high school where the social hierarchy is set in stone. Your status is determined within the first weeks of school and it’s near impossible to change. There were the popular group, full of jocks and cheerleaders, and the unpopular group, full of nerds and the outcasts. Derek was very much a part of the popular group. He was the quarterback of the varsity football team and had a very charming personality. Jonathan was the complete opposite; he was the slightly chubby geek with the big glasses that always aced the tests. Derek and his buddies would always throw wadded up paper at Jonathan from the back of the class. Whenever the teachers would ask him if he was the one throwing things Derek would say “no” and give them his signature smile. At lunch, when Jonathan would walk by the jock’s table with his lunch he brought from home, Derek would stick his foot out and trip him. There weren’t any wedgies or swirlies in the toilet every week, that was elementary school stuff. Here in high school it’s the everyday, constant reminder that you’re a nobody; that you’re at the bottom of the pyramid.

Soon enough Jonathan grew tired of this treatment. He looked in the mirror one day and decided that he would no longer be the geeky nerd. He figured that if he dressed like them and acted like them he would eventually be part of the popular group. The next weekend he took all his saved up allowance money and went to the mall. He sat for a while in the middle of the enormous building and people watched. He looked for the guys that looked like they would belong in the elite groups in high school and watched to see where they went to buy clothes. Jonathan followed their lead and went into Zumiez, Vans and Pacsun. The salespeople caught his confused look quickly and helped him find clothes for a new look.
After an afternoon at the mall Jonathan had completed the first part of his transformation and the next part wasn’t very hard either. Acting like a “too-cool-for-school” guy was easy. You sit low in you seat, making sure it’s in the back row, don’t do your homework and don’t try on the tests. Jonathan thought that sounded easy enough and on Monday morning, instead of putting on his usual clothes, he put on a large t-shirt, baggy jeans and Nike shoes.
When he walked into school that day Jonathan got a lot of strange stares. There was confusion and disbelief from the popular and almost popular people and hurt looks from nerds. When he walked into English class the back row was already taken so he sat in the middle row toward the window and waited for the rest of the class to take their seats. The students were all there but the teacher was running late. When the bell rang for class to get started the jocks turned their attention to Jonathan. “So, you finally got rid of your baby clothes your mommy picked out for you?” said one of the football players. “Did you buy those with your allowance money?” said another. “As if he could even mow the lawn. Look at those flabby arms, I bet I could bench press more than you.” sneered on of the cheerleaders. Jonathan was confused; he thought that he would fit in. He changed his whole appearance and even left his lunch at home. The teacher finally arrived and started the lesson for the day. After class the jocks cornered Jonathan against the wall and told him that no matter how much he tries, he could never be popular.
Jonathan went home that day realizing that although he would never be “cool” he didn’t mind. Sure he wished that they would stop bothering him but he had gotten used to it over the years. He knew that he was smart and could get into a good college and after that, get a good paying job. That was his goal and he promised himself that he wouldn’t stray from it again. So Jonathan went to school the next day with his regular clothes on and once again sat in the front of class.
Graduation came and it wasn’t much of a surprise that Jonathan was valedictorian. However, it was a bit of a surprise that Derek passed all his classes. Jonathan went off to Columbia University and Derek obviously didn’t. They never saw each other again for the next couple of years. It wasn’t until their 20 year reunion that their whole class came back to the high school . By then Jonathan had realized that that the phrase “it’s only high school” his mother would always tell him was true. Jonathan had had a late growth spurt and ended up looking pretty good. He got a job at a large corporation and was working himself up the career ladder. Derek on the other hand didn’t go to college and was still living in his parent’s house. He had grown fat from just drinking beer and watching TV.


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