The Girl who was too Smartbyamicus©
I sat with my back to the walkway and the gravel road, sweating; knowing I should be inside or at least out of the direct sun in the hottest part of the day.
I hated to thin vegetables like carrots and beets. Ripping out new young life before it really got started. I felt like a mass murderer as I relentlessly left the necessary space between each new seedling, and tossed the soon to be wilted plants aside.
I raised up and pulled a hairy forearm across my brow and wondered why sweat burned the eyes so much.
"Hey, old man! You oughta get out of the sun! You'll have a heat stroke!"
The voice was female, high pitched but lilting and seemed to contain a restrained giggle somewhere inside the petulant intonation.
I looked over my shoulder; what I saw matched the voice.
Thin and willowy with straight reddish blond hair, freckles, boy like shoulders and hips, small breasts but a flat abdomen and full thighs that both drew my quick glance. I thought it was quick enough to be missed. It wasn't.
"So you are a crotch man, huh? Well, it figures, my boobs are small anyway and my face ain't much to look at."
I was sitting in a white plastic lawn chair; much easier to bend over than to get down on my knees. I had jeans and an old grey polo shirt on, along with stained casual sports shoes. I turned slowly away from her and stared at the wilted plants I had discarded and sighed and blinked.
"What? Caterpillar gotchur tongue, old man? What?"
I had to smile and restrain myself from audibly chuckling while I was still turned away from her. Kid had a quick mouth.
"You got pretty good shoulders for an old guy! My nipples are hard but you can't see them cuz I'm wearing a bra. I shouldn't have worn one; really turned you on! Darnit!"
I lifted myself slowly from the chair, rubbed the soil off my hands and turned to her. Damned little motor-mouth anyway, how can I match up with her?
I tried. "You have teenybopper freckles and not a hair on your pussy! Go away little girl, you bother me!"
She didn't miss a beat. "I'll have you know I have lottsa hairs on my Mons Pubis and depending on the light they are either red or blond or both! Not only that, I was born without a hymen and I know a carrot and a big sausage will fit in there and I'm gonna try a cucumber pretty soon! So there, smarty pants! Hah, hah!"
Okay. So I just stood there open mouthed and blinking like a dummy; she was too quick for me. I took in her posture, her eyes and the shape of her mouth and as I did, she purposely changed it all, right before my eyes.
She gave me a hard look. "You're not quick enough old man. I multi-task, you are one dimensional. I saw how slowly you turned to me at first, I watched how you stood up and how you walked, I watched your eyes and your face and your hands, I can read you like a book. You lose!"
I took a deep breath and smiled and on the exhale: "Not bad for a thirteen year old twat; so you got a high IQ, so what, twat?"
"Higher than yours by a long-shot, dummy, and I haven't been anywhere near thirteen for years and years! She began rummaging through a small shoulder bag and listed out loud the things she sifted through: "Nail polish, hardly ever use that, lip gloss, might need some now, Tampon, condom, just in case, lubricating oil, ditto, spare change and a few bucks, tweezers and...this!"
She handed me a flat plastic card. I glanced from the photo to her face. College? Sophomore? No way! "So you scored a fake ID, big deal, all kids got em."
She handed me a stick of gum. "Cinnamon, in case I get kissed; wanna taste good for someone, maybe you?"
"I don't chew gum."
"You probably don't have any teeth! Suck on it then, freshens your mouth."
"Heh, heh, heh!" I couldn't hold it in any more, I laughed out loud, hard and long and soon she was laughing with me. "Truce, little girl? Truce?"
I unwrapped the gum, wadded up the wrapper and flipped it straight at her face, hard. She just smiled and turned her chin a little as it went by.
"Have to do better than that, old man. Hey! I thought you called a truce!"
"List the courses you are taking this semester. Right now, don't think about it!"
She immediately rattled of five names and numbers, two, two hundred level, two three hundred level and a four hundred level course.
"Plus I have advanced Thesis planning with the Dean of my Department."
"Moon mission or Mars?"
She sparkled. "Hey, you're not so dumb after all! Mars; Moon is too soon, they say I need aging. What do they know anyway?"
"Yeah, best chance to nail a Nobel or a Pulitzer; human psychology and such on extended missions in total isolation from Earth. Wide open field for abstracts."
"You're quite a kid, a..."
"Precocious, pipsqueak, pulsing Pandora's Box and a perennial pain in the ass?"
I had to laugh again. "And you write poetry too, I suppose?"
She grinned. "Yeah, but you wouldn't like it; abstract gloom and doom and belated angst cuz I can't get laid."
"Talk too much, huh?"
I finally got close to her. She colored slightly and then grinned. "Okay, old man, one for you, a hundred and seventy one for me. Guess that was pretty obvious. Yeah, I scare all the guys away with my mouth; so what?"
"If you kept it closed you might even get kissed."
She grinned and closed her eyes. "Izzat an offer?" Then she closed her lips, puckered up, lifted her chin and remained silent.
I stared at her closed eyelids as I spoke. "If I thought for a moment you were actually of legal age, I would whisk you inside and fuck your little brains out and leave you squeaking under a pillow trying to figure what had just happened!"
She opened her eyes wide, took my stare and returned it. "Do it! Do it, old man! I don't think you even can!"
I smiled and then sighed a long sigh. "It would be unfair of me to use you that way, child. You have a big mouth and a big brain but no vintage, you simply have not lived long enough to know anything that would interest me. You have a pussy; all girls got pussies, most not worth exploring. I doubt yours is either. I would have to teach you everything and I been there done that and have no desire to venture there again.
"Most smart girls play the field, end up with some Jock, although I never understood that. Go find some nice boy, keep your mouth shut and your legs open; learn from someone your own age or maybe a little older, let him suffer your sharp tongue and quick wit, I find little pleasure in that other than light banter. An amusing aperitif that, like Chinese food, leaves you still hungry for more."
She blinked rapidly with a pained expression on her face. "You don't know everything!"
"No, I don't, but I know that; you don't. You think you do have all the answers and you have not yet even asked the questions and I have grown tired of teaching young dumb girls about life."
"No one has ever talked to me like this before, no one! Why are you so mean to me?"
Her eyes did not fill, her lips did not quiver. There was nary a tear in sight and we both knew the ploy.
One corner of her mouth quivered as she fought the mischievous smile trying to escape. Her face remained without emotion showing, "That always worked before on guys; always."
I decided to change my tactics. "Parents?"
She lifted her chin. "Yeah, I have two, still married to each other, I think. I scared them away at a very early age. They parked me in talented and gifted and then special schools and tutors and then hit the road. I don't blame them."
I lifted my chin and tried to hide my thoughts. I finally felt something for this very young person, something besides a challenge.
If she noticed, she chose to look away; I could not see her face as she spoke. "I haven't know many men very close up. I mean teachers and instructors and such, they all know more than I do about some things, their specialties and about life, I guess, but not everything." Then she turned back and took my eyes. "You haven't said much about how you know things, I just feel it. Do you really know a lot? Are you educated, have you traveled, raised a family, really learned about life?"
I offered her the first warm, gentle and genuine smile since we met. I saw it reflected in her eyes and her face. "As a young man, I was told I had an, 'old soul', I appreciated that when it was said but I didn't really understand what it meant. But I think I do have that; a sense of being alive forever, before the dinosaurs roamed, floating through space on solar and cosmic waves. As if I were there with the cavemen and the early civilizations. I feel as if I studied and thought along with the great minds of man's history.
"I think we live in a very special time young lady. There is so much recent knowledge, in addition to the ages past, that one has to run fast just to stand still it seems. I thought for a time that it was me slowing down, but the more I communicate with others, I find I have left them far, far behind.
"It really is not you that I challenge with my surly attitude; it is just the thought that you have so very much yet to learn and I know I could never, in a million years, never share with you what I know, let alone what I learn each day."
I smiled at her again. "Would you accept my apology for being an habitual curmudgeon with a cantankerous nature and frame of mind?"
She had been standing on the short gravel walkway from the sidewalk to my cottage. She slowly moved back behind the pointed wooden fence I used as support for last years tomato plants and grasped an upright pointed plank in each hand. She raised her eyes to me. "I have never in my entire life been challenged or frightened or in awe of an intellect, never, ever before. You do all those things to me. Why?"
I put my hands behind my back, clasped them together and paced the trimmed lawn before her, with the fence still separating us. "A very long time ago, when I was a fairly young man, older than you are by several years, but still young; I met the only man I have ever met who knew more about everything than I did.
"I was much like you present yourself to be, an arrogant know-it-all, above and beyond everyone. But I sat at that mans' feet, kept my mouth shut and learned things I have never even suspected before.
"It is a long story and if you had a year just to listen, I would tell you."
I smiled as I watched her mimic what I had just done. She began pacing on the walkway outside the fence with her hands behind her back. I don't think she consciously copied me; it just happened as she paced and thought.
She kept her eyes lowered as she spoke. "I have a pretty good idea of what the next ten years of my life are going to be. I know what I want and I know what I have to do to get there. It does not include a boy, a guy, a lover, a husband or any relationship that takes away from where I am going.
"I also don't desire a girl on girl thing; that can be just as messy and I have seen it both ways. I don't mind pleasuring myself for release now and then, but even that seems artificial and contrived; like having to eat and drink everyday. It does not please me."
Her entire body posture changed yet again, but I was getting better at reading her and her thoughts.
"I am on a brief vacation from college; staying with my grandmother and trying not to think of all the things I have thought about all my life. She takes sleep medication and goes to bed at eight o'clock every night and sleeps twelve hours without fail."
She looked through me, put her hands on her hips, lifted her chin and her chest and offered the strangest smile I have ever seen on a girl's face. "Leave your door unlocked. I will be here before ten and I intend to stay until morning."
She turned and without even a glance back, walked crisply away.
It did not surprise me. I watched her leave and put on a smile just in case she looked back. I did not expect her to.