tagNovels and NovellasDeconstructing the Nerd Ch. 06

Deconstructing the Nerd Ch. 06


"So glittery!" Reema exclaimed as she held her fingers out in front of her. Her newly groomed nails reminded her of the fun glitter pens they used to use back in art class. The speckled turquoise paint gleamed like tiny jewels. Her hands felt extra smooth, too, and smelled so nice!

As she kept admiring her 'zany' nail polish, Cassie pointed out that they still needed to finish working on her toes. Afterward, there was another surprise in store. She wouldn't say anything else about it, though.

The girls stretched out their robe-covered bodies on a pair of reclining seats. Below them, two Asian women colored their toes to match their fingernails. As Cassie Lynn Blom put it: they were 'prettying' everything up.

Reema looked at her friend. A few weeks ago, she would have just seen a big, blonde blur. Now -- with contact lenses -- she saw everything clearly. "You're right, this was a good idea," she sighed, as the petite Asian continued beautifying her toes.

"You're going to be super impressed when we get our massages," Cassie said.

Picking up US! magazine, Reema shared an unrelated thought, "Can you believe Kristen Stewart is the new spokesperson for Chanel?"

"Ugh. She only has one expression... and it isn't even that good!"

"I know! That sourpuss pouty face!"

The girls erupted in laughter that caught the attention of every other client in the salon. The beauticians looked at each other before shaking their heads and proceeding with their work. They preferred to stay silent during Cassie and Reema's appointment, mainly because the girls generated so much conversation already. There was still a moment when Reema seriously wondered if the salon workers could speak English at all.

She thought about what Cassie had told her on the way over: "Today is about getting pampered and not thinking about real-world drama, OK?" She was emphatic about it. Truthfully, Reema found herself in a pretty Zen mindset at that moment. Or at least she was trying to be in one. She leaned back on her headrest, closed her eyes, and casually discussed the latest Hollywood gossip and music trends with Cassie.

"And you can do me a favour, right?" Cassie asked.

"Yeah, I know," Reema smiled behind her foggy brown eyes. "I need to be your BFF and stand by you while you get pampered today. I got it!"

Cassie rolled her eyes. "No. Not that. You will see, but I'm warning you... you have to be a trouper today, OK?"

Reema responded with a hesitant nod, "Uh... Sure?" Other than that, she decided not to give Cassie's request too much thought.

Focusing on the new age music floating around the salon, she briefly fell asleep.

Cassie's voice interrupted her a short time later. "Wakey, Wakey!"

Reema looked down and yelped, "Wow!" She wiggled her newly painted toes. "They look fantastic. Thanks!" The beautician offered a cordial smile.

From there, the college girls were led into another room containing several massage beds. Reema laid on her table face up. The salon workers promptly started covering her eyes with cucumber and dressing her face with moisturizers. A petite masseuse then rubbed her body with precision, causing Reema to giggle at nearly every touch.

"Man, I was sooo stupid to be worried about this," she admitted. Cassie said nothing, offering only a smile.

The salon worker lifted Reema's arms in the air, kneading every muscle group from her shoulders to hands. Reema's shapely legs were next. The masseuse applied expert pressure to each point between her thighs and her firm, athletic calves.

The journalism major sucked on her complimentary Perrier while gossiping with Cassie. The salon lady eventually prompted her to flip over, so her back and buttocks could be properly massaged. For a girl who'd never received special treatment from her parents -- even as an only child -- this was a treat. It felt good to relax and expel all the tension that was woven into her psyche (woven so deeply that she often denied it existed, in fact).

Although she hadn't consumed any alcohol, Cassie happily noted that Reema almost seemed drunk. It was good to know she was capable of entering such blissed-out states. She nodded to the masseuse, who helped her ease Reema onto her back. "OK, hun," she said, squeezing Reema's hand, "this is where you do me that favour, OK?"

"Huh?" the dreamy girl replied. She felt her hands and fingers slicked down with a cold paste. Then the salon workers covered them in long, white strips. Reema looked to Cassie for some indication of what was happening.

"Don't worry," Cassie said, trying to distract Reema from the hair being ripped off her right forearm. Then the left. Then they did her legs... and even the little space between her eyebrows. Reema grimaced. Her eyes watered.

Cassie squeezed her hand tighter. "You gotta to be super strong for this next part, OK?"

Reema nodded. She felt the towel being peeled back from her thighs. The salon worker approached and applied more wax between her legs.

"It's OK... we're almost there," Cassie promised, stroking her hair.

Reema lost track of time as the strange treatments proceeded. She felt completely out of her element. Suddenly, she felt an intense pain, but didn't know exactly why. Like everything else that afternoon, she just tried to go along with it.

Eventually, the beautician announced she was finished. Using her friend's arm for support, Reema laboured to sit up. Cassie patted her on the back. "You're a superstar, Reem!"

The first movements she took were incredibly rough on her hips and thighs. Her brain felt like a whirlwind of painful tingles and confusing thoughts. She certainly didn't feel like a superstar. Planting her bare feet on the cold floor, she tried to stand, but only grew dizzier. Cassie propped her up on one side, with the salon worker on the other. By the time they changed Reema into her clothes, she was somewhat lucid again.

"We deserve a couple of nice, long naps," Cassie enthused. "Then we can get up and get ready for tonight!" Reema was limping out of the salon, weakly consenting to this plan. "Ugh, sure," she said, paying less attention to Cassie's words than the pain that flared up every time she shifted her thighs.

Back at home, Reema climbed into bed with extreme caution. Her nap only partly succeeded at recharging her. Getting out of bed was a big ordeal, too. Reema staggered across the hall. Suddenly, she didn't feel as enthusiastic about going dancing. She mentally rehearsed the excuse she would give Cassie. Her strategy was to politely decline, blaming it on physical discomfort and her less-than-favorable mood.

Cassie was all smiles when she arrived at the door. "It's my birthdayyy," she beamed. She took Reema's hand and immediately guided them to the bedroom, so they could try on clothes.

"I don't know, Cass. I don't think tonight is the best idea," Reema nervously started. Campus Karaoke and 90s Night she could deal with, but a real nightclub -- with flashing lights, pretentious people, and flowing alcohol -- that was less certain. When the girls back in high school turned 'legal' and started going to clubs, Reema didn't even entertain the notion. "I'm still recuperating from all that salon stuff. That was intense."

Despite her objections, Reema knew that Cassie wouldn't relent. And she didn't.

"Pish posh, Reema Ahmed! This is my night, and you're going to be there with me. That's that!"

"I...don't...I'd rather not," she said rather candidly. She hadn't expected her friend's outburst.

Cassie stopped in her tracks. "Oh, there you go again, being a baby," she intoned, her smile turning to ire. "Just suck it up and support me for one night, OK. One measly night out of your whole life!"

The quick shift scared Reema. It was like nothing she'd seen Cassie do before. Her blue eyes radiated coldness. "I...OK...I'm sorry, I'll go," she conceded, the guilt rapidly overcoming her.

"Yay!!" Cassie rebounded. She breezily apologized, and was soon back to acting like her poised, amiable self.

She loaded the Spotify app on her computer, choosing the '21st Century Pop Princesses' playlist. The song sequence began with Gwen Stefani's Rich Girl. Cassie clapped her hands in excitement. "OOOOHH, YESSS!! I'll be right back," she squeaked, dancing out of the room.

Reema sat grooving along to the beat, and to Gwen's lyrics about having more money than she knew what to do with. Gwen had been one of her favourite singers since the No Doubt day. Now she was one of the world's coolest female artists -- forging a unique style and persona all her own, and selling millions of records on her rise to the top.

"She should have made another Love.Angel.Music.Baby. That was her best album," Reema opined, just as Cassie walked into the room.

"I know, right? Totally!" Cassie agreed, handing her an icy raspberry cooler.

"Miguel was never that into pop music," Reema admitted, a fact not overly shocking to Cassie. She laughed, "My parents didn't like it, either. Imagine that... I pretty much listened to music at a low volume my whole life."

"Lame... Super lame!"

"I know, right?!" Reema sighed as she drank her cooler. "It sucks coming from a 'traditional' family. At least you don't have to worry about that... your family must be super American!"

She batted her eyelashes, "You know it."

The girls continued to babble a while longer. They joked, laughed, and shared stupid anecdotes. Cassie even demonstrated a few dance moves. At the same time, they drank. Reema noticed that fruity vodka beverages seemed to go down really easy in this kind of loose atmosphere. Before long, she was feeling pretty loose herself. The playlist cycled from Gwen to Britney to Christina to Kesha and then, of course, to Lady Gaga.

Cassie complimented her transition from glasses to contact lenses, adding that she looked 'sublime' after their visit to the spa. Reema lacked a mirror to verify if these comments were true, but said thanks anyway. Somewhat jokingly, she asked if it meant she looked 'fluorescent, or something'.

Cassie started perusing her closet. She rifled through various clothes she was storing on Reema's behalf. As a result, she had a diverse -- and stylish -- wardrobe to choose from. The bottom of the closet was lined with twenty pairs of shoes. The top featured skinny jeans and a variety of tiny dresses and short skirts. Reema marvelled at the volume of clothes, along with the cumulative price tag involved. Cassie pulled out a few of Reema's 'wackier' items... reserved for the 'craziest' of nights. She chose a couple of glittery tops and brightly colored skirts. Overall, they seemed reasonable to Reema. Raspberry vodka coolers helped make everything seem like a reasonable idea, though.

Her judgment was also influenced by the way Cassie described the options available to her. 'Slutty' became 'cute'. 'Revealing' became 'quirky'. 'Sexy' became 'kind of cool'. When the final ensemble was selected -- a bright yellow dress, showcasing large swaths of thighs and cleavage -- Reema felt comfortable with it.

"Ooo, I like this dress!" Reema confirmed, looking down at herself.

Cassie smiled. "I knew you would." She also pulled out a pair of golden, three-inch heels. "You'll need these gems, too!" Cassie watched as Reema slipped her nylon-covered feet inside the shoes. She put a finger inside to ease the tight fit. As she bent over, Cassie noted the deep, brown cleavage nearly spilling out of her top.

The blonde girl was still smiling when Reema asked for feedback on how she looked. "We just gotta add a few more things... You know, to keep it fresh, and interesting," Cassie informed her.

"And kooky?"

"Uh. I wouldn't usually use that word," Cassie laughed, "but yeah, for sure."

She then pulled out a pair of giant, heart-shaped novelty sunglasses. The purple plastic frames were deliberately silly, which intrigued Reema. "Oh, they're awesome!" Cassie adorned her with some artificial golden pearls that hung down well past her breasts. "I look like Mr. T with all this shiny gold stuff," Reema tittered.

Cassie laughed. She chose to wear a short, crimson color dress with tall black heels. On her head sat a plastic princess tiara. A pageant winner sash was draped across her torso. Reema broke into hysterical giggles as she read it. "'Miss... Birthday Gir...l 2015'? Ooo, are we feeling a bit egotistical tonight?"

"Hey!" Cassie wagged her finger, "I can wear whatever I want. So what if I want to advertise that it's my birthday?!"

"Pfft, Fiiiine, it is your day," Reema agreed, exuding the same playful attitude.

Cassie checked the Uber app on her smartphone. "Ok, the cab's downstairs..."

With purses slung over shoulders, the girls exited the dorm. Their high heels clattered down the stairs. The night air was cool enough for Reema to notice a chill on her legs and arms, but not enough to warrant a heavier coat. The Uber driver sat idling in his car. Reema followed Cassie into the back seat, crawling and shifting her legs to avoid exposing herself in her ultra short dress.

The driver navigated through the downtown core until they reached a crowded building. Through her window Reema saw hordes of people loitering around the long line up for Club Arcadia. The driver came around to let them out. Following Cassie's lead once again, Reema focused on keeping her bikini region covered while exiting the vehicle. When she stood up, she marvelled at the frenzy outside the club.

"See anyone you know?" asked an overwhelmed Reema.

The music blared onto the sidewalk as couples and groups of friends chatted with each other.

Cassie did her own visual scan of the premises, setting her sights on the front of the line. "Yeah, I do. Come along."

If Reema still had a moral problem with cutting a line up far longer than the one at their campus bar, it was soon overshadowed by the loud, enthusiastic hugs and kisses Cassie exchanged with her friends. They could have been clones -- pretty, blonde, and resembling Abercrombie models in their dresses. A few came with boyfriends in tow. The guys wore pressed shirts, crisp black pants, and newly polished shoes.

They chatted a little before heading inside. It was harmless small talk that Reema didn't need to think about too much about. That was the big difference between her social interactions a year ago and the friends she was making at college. She never used to think of her conversations in high school as being overly 'intellectual' or 'stiff'. Chatting about the latest episode of Battlestar with Miguel or anyone else in their social circle used to seem perfectly casual back then.

Now, however, Reema saw it was possible to have conversations that were even more spontaneous. When she met people through Cassie, she felt like she could talk without second-guessing herself at all. Even during her friendly 'science fiction' debates back in the day, Reema avoiding saying anything too shallow, ridiculous, or offensive. With Cassie's friends, though, those worries didn't apply. She found she could just say whatever came to mind, and be assured of getting lots of laughter and high-fives in return. She loved the freedom of communicating that way. The lack of pretension, self-criticism, and judginess was a huge delight.

The interior of Acadia was unlike anything Reema had seen before. The sheer amount of people reminded her of an Indian wedding. This was far from an Indian wedding, though.

For one thing, the music blared at an unbelievable level. Reema could feel the amazing bass frequencies rumbling around in her body. She looked to see many people discretely socializing in private booths, while others scandalously groped and made out with each other in plain view.

Decked out in eccentric purple sunglasses, Reema strode through the club. She received a few odd looks, but mostly smiles and nods in her direction. She smiled back -- or rather, beamed. Beforehand, she had worried about getting ostracized here. She thought everyone might pick up on the fact that she'd never been to a nightclub before, and was basically just an imposter. Walking around the premises, she now decided to take a 'when in Rome' approach and simply play the part.

Eventually, as she witnessed the club in action, her manner became less fake. She pumped herself up to match the actual level of energy around her. Amid all the grandeur and beautiful bodies, she began to think this was an environment she could inhabit without looking too out of place.

"Let's go get drinks!" Cassie yelled. They slipped through the dense crowd to a very busy bar area, where people were having their orders filled by a team of attractive, but frenzied, bartenders.

Cassie expertly led them to the front of the crowd, stopping behind a pair of average looking young men. They guys smiled as soon as they saw two pretty, unaccompanied girls. "You can cut in or whatever," one of them said. Cassie walked directly ahead without acknowledging the favour. Reema followed behind.

"I like how you look," the other guy ventured to say. Reema smiled and was about to explain the reason behind her intentionally tacky outfit.

Half-way into her response, Cassie placed a watermelon cocktail in her hand. "Let's go chill for a while," she said, guiding Reema away from the bar. As they departed, Reema mentioned her that the boys had complimented her sunglasses.

"That's nice. You sit now." Cassie pulled out her phone and snapped a selfie of the two of them posing in their outrageous clothes.

As she published it to Instagram, Reema asked, "Where are the other birthday people?"

"They'll be around," Cassie said, holding up her glass, "For now, thank youuu for being here, Ree!"

Reema sipped her drink. She was filled with nervous energy, but also excited by what she saw on the dance floor. Whether consciously or not, she started moving her body and mouthing lyrics to some of the songs.

Her daze was interrupted by a voice shouting in her ear. "Damn, Reema!! I can see right through you... just say the word and we can get out there!!"

Turning to Cassie, her eyes sparkled, "Can we?!?"

Cassie finished her drink and stood up. Grinning, she stretched out her arm. Reema gulped down her watermelon cocktail and took Cassie's hand, who escorted them to the dance floor. They faced each other, moving their bodies in time to the beat. As one song transitioned into another, Reema's attitude became bolder. She swung her hips and rotated her body just like Cassie had demonstrated back at the dorm.

The attention of at least part of the dance floor gradually shifted toward her -- this curvy college student wearing purple, heart-shaped glasses. A few guys moved closer, not necessarily to dance with her, but to witness the way she was dancing so unconventionally, and yet appealing. Every time she bent at the waist, they could catch a tasty glimpse of her thong, or at least an ass cheek.

Breaking it down, Cassie thought the girl dancing in front of her was still about three parts nerd, two parts hottie socialite. Her movements, sure, were still of a person that had not spent time in a club, but she wasn't overly bad! Part of it was that the short and tight yellow dress and the bustier, fitter body under it were enough to get mostly positive attention. The moves needed work, but that could be remedied. Plus, she hadn't danced with anyone yet.

After five songs, Cassie leaned into Reema's body. For a moment, it seemed like she was going to do a two-person dance manoeuvre. Instead, she just yelled out, "OK there dancing queen, ready for a break?"

Reema extended her bottom lip, pouting at the suggestion. "Can we come back soon, though?"

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byMarquisdeBad© 12 comments/ 12920 views/ 9 favorites

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