The Thevictorian family is coping with a horrific loss. Genius broke the news to me last night around 8:30, when he returned home from an academic meet. He had been in good spirits when I left school, asking for more money. It was his third request of the day.
First, Genius needed two dollars for sausages. It's some kind of fundraiser the junior class is having for prom. Apparently, these sausages are selling like hotcakes. I imagine them to be an overpriced Slim Jim of sorts, a meaty tube that shoots grease into your mouth when you take the first of three chomps that will finish it off. I wouldn't know. Because I have never seen anyone actually selling them. It appears that all of the student salesmen are eating their own merchandise.
Second, Genius needed five dollars for the Sweetheart Dance. He is currently without a sweetheart, and would only have attended as official photographer for free. But he was recruited to be a king candidate due to circumstances beyond his control. I'm not saying my boy is a stud. That would be just creepy. He's everyman. Liked by most. He is representing National Honor Society. That's because they only had three guys, and one of them is the king candidate for the Bible club, and the other refused to be a possible king. It may or may not have had something to do with his girlfriend's wishes. But...the tickets are ten dollars, so I'm wondering if Genius was spending what money he had left from his allowance, and needed another five.
Third, Genius wanted money for food before the academic meet. The sponsor always orders pizza for the team. Genius said, "I need some money to chip in for pizza. She always asks. But you might as well not give it to me. Because I'll probably just keep it and not chip in. Nobody does, and we still get pizza." I gave him five dollars. That would buy him a whole pizza from Little Caesar's. He hugged me in front of all the academic team. Okay, so it's not like he hugged me in front of the basketball team, or the swing choir. But still. It's progress. I left him chatting with his cronies at a cafeteria table.
Have I strung you out long enough? Are you still here, waiting to find out the tragedy that has befallen us? After the pizza feast, Genius went to stand up, and knocked his new notebook off the table. Not a spiral notebook, nor a three-ring binder. The electronic kind of notebook that is all the rage these days. Genius loves him some newfangled gadgets. This one had been on his radar since before Christmas. I don't know the name, because I'm quite ignorant in these matters. He had pre-ordered in November. I gave him half of the money. It was supposed to be his major Christmas gift. Genius worked odd electronic jobs, and hauled a couple of loads of wood, and sold some scrap metal that he cleaned up for Hick. And he paid me the rest of the money. Then, the gadget didn't ship. In late January, Genius finally canceled the order. He spent about a week looking for another source, and found it. He anxiously awaited the arrival of his new baby. That's how he treated it. And he was always shoving it under my nose. "Look what it can do! I love it!" He took it to school to use in his classes. He spent every evening with it. It slept beside his bed on the nightstand.
Now it's dead. Six hundred dollars worth of dead. I will admit that I cried. Not for the gadget. For Genius. I broke the news to The Pony this morning. He gasped. His eyes welled up with tears. "But Genius loves his notebook. He would never do anything to hurt it. I feel bad for him."
As the morning wore on, I tried to think of a way to remedy the situation. It's not that we can't scrape up the money for another one. He had a hard enough time finding this one. My mom offered to loan him the money in exchange for a summer of lawnmowing. I told her that might cause problems with Hick and his belief that children need to learn responsibility. But seriously. The one thing Genius is responsible for is his electronic stable. After five years of saving and working to have the newest cell phone every couple of months when one came out, Genius never once lost or broke a phone. His various laptops and computers have taken ill and been revived by Dr. Genius. I can't see punishing him for a simple accident.
On the way to school, I floated an idea to The Pony, a well-known moneylender on the streets of Backroads. "Maybe, between me, and Grandma, and you, we could loan Genius the money and let him pay us back in installments."
"He doesn't have to pay me back, Mom. I'm fine with giving him the money."
Sorry. That makes me cry all over again.