Posted June 12, 2021

The Brilliant Boy Billionaire

The Amazing Journey of a Remarkable Kid, by Altimexis

PART TWO – El Medio Oeste

Chapter 5: Sunday Brunch

Space was at a premium, so the bathroom couldn’t be expanded much beyond the footprint of the original half-bath that had occupied the spot next to the stairs off the garage. In spite of that, the Gonzalez family managed to fit a two-headed shower stall into a space slightly larger than that of a standard bathtub and to fit a vanity with a double sink into a spot only slightly larger than the original sink. The toilet was hung on the wall, saving nearly the foot of space usually needed for the toilet tank. In theory all of us could use the bathroom at the same time, but from a practical sense, it was adequate for two or three of us at maximum.

Modesty simply wasn’t possible, and the bathroom door didn’t even have a lock. According to Rob, initially it did, but then Henry failed to realize what would happen when Sammy couldn’t get to the toilet in time in the midst of having the stomach flu. The ultimate result wasn’t pretty. Hence the ability to lock one’s brothers out of the bathroom was simply removed. I saw what that meant when, in the midst of brushing my teeth, Sammy waltzed right in and took a dump.

Rob showed me where he’d cleared out some space in his closet, chest and dresser for my things. I didn’t have that much, however. I hung my coat, a spring jacket and my two pairs of khakis into the closet along with my four polo shirts for the lack of anything better to hang there, and unloaded everything else into a single dresser drawer.

“Is that all you have?” Rob asked me.

“That’s it,” I replied.

“You don’t have a suit or tie, do you?” he asked, not in an accusatory tone, but one that sounded sympathetic.

“Haven’t had a need for one,” I replied.

“Well, you’re gonna need one for your interview on Monday,” Rob explained, and my heart sank. My money was gonna go all too fast, so I was gonna hafta stay a lot longer with the Gonzalez family to get on my feet. “Dad has an account with Joseph A. Bank, and he gets a sizable military discount. We’ll go there tomorrow and get you some stuff. There won’t be time for alterations, so we’ll get you suit separates. That should be good enough. You’ll probably outgrow your clothes by the summer, anyway. If there’s anything else you need right away, we can get it at Target or Walmart, and then we’ll order you a full wardrobe from Applazon, where I get a substantial discount.

“Do you have a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant or anything else like a shaving kit you need to keep in the bathroom?” he asked.

Laughing, I replied, “Yes to all but the shaving kit. I think it’ll be a few years before I need one of those, if ever.”

“You’re damn lucky that way,” Rob responded. “Shaving’s a pain in the ass. Sammy and I both need to shave every day, and you probably noticed that Henry already has the start of a mustache, and he’s only twelve. If he’s like the rest of us, he’ll be shaving before he’s out of middle school.”

“But he won’t be fourteen until September, a year and a half from now,” I interjected.

“You heard right,” Rob responded. “He’ll probably need his first shave by next winter and have to shave regularly by the spring.”

“Damn,” I replied. “What fuckin’ freak of a sixteen-year-old still hasn’t had his voice change or have any pubes?” I asked of no one in particular.

“One who already has their GED,” Rob responded with a grin. “You’re miles ahead of us academically, so don’t go around complaining.”

I began to appreciate that night that sleeping in a bed with someone else was gonna take some getting used to as well. I’d done it only very occasionally after sex, but never before on a regular basis and only for sleep. Sharing a bed with a friend rather than a lover was gonna involve a lot of give and take. That point was driven home, when Rob walked into the bedroom and said, “I sleep on that side. Would you mind scooting over?” What could I say? It was his bed, and he had every right to sleep on his usual side, so I slid over to the other side.

He then dropped his boxers on the floor, pulled back the covers and simply announced, “By the way, I sleep in the nude,” and got under the covers. He didn’t ask if it was okay with me or tell me he was sorry if it bothered me. He just got naked and got in bed. Logically I could understand why he didn’t ask; it was his bed, after all, and he had every right to sleep in the nude.

Obviously, sleeping in the nude with a gay boy didn’t bother him, but what was I supposed to do? I always slept naked, too, ’cause Dad didn’t bother to buy me pajamas, but that was when I was sleeping in my own bed by myself. Should I wear something because we were sharing a bed? Should I wear something because I was gay? Was it more polite to leave my boxers on or take them off? Well, I was coming to appreciate that communication is never inappropriate, as was driven home by the lack thereof between Henry and Darren and the ridiculous consequences of that, so I mentioned, “I usually sleep in the nude, too. Would you mind if I do so with you?”

Rob replied, “I’d be offended if you didn’t now that I know.” Communication was absolutely essential.

Although a queen-size mattress isn’t as wide as two twins, I rarely used the full width of my bed anyway, so I figured that there’d be more than enough room for both of us. What I didn’t realize was that when one person moves, the whole mattress moves. I could feel every little movement Rob made, and when he turned over in his sleep, it felt like we were having an earthquake. He also tended to swing his elbows when he turned over, sometimes smacking me in the face or shoulder in the process. That hurt, but he went right on sleeping. Rob was a very restless sleeper to say the least. Sooner or later, I was gonna get a black eye. I couldn’t help but wonder how Sammy handled it during Darren’s sleepovers with Henry.

I’d seen pictures in books of pull-down partitions that were used in pioneer days so boys and girls could share a bed. Somehow, I doubted Rob would be willing to go for that. Deciding a good defense was a good offense, I snuggled up with Rob and draped my arm over his torso. He actually pulled my arm around himself more tightly without waking up. It worked. The smacking with elbows ceased and I slept soundly. In the morning, however, I awoke to find our positions reversed, with Rob’s arm draped over me. How’d that happen? I really needed to pee, though, so I extricated myself from under Rob’s arm and got out of bed. Rob didn’t even stir.

Pulling my boxers on, I padded across the hall and opened the bathroom door, expecting to find it empty. Instead, I found Henry in the shower and Sammy at the sink, shaving. “Hey, J.J.,” Sammy greeted me.

“You’re up pretty early for a Sunday morning,” I commented. My bladder was ready to explode, so I dropped my boxers, lifted the lid on the toilet and let loose. When I finished, I asked, “Do I need to warn you when I flush?”

Sammy responded. “No worries there, ’cause the toilet’s on a separate line. Besides, the shower valves are temperature-regulated. And the reason I’m up so early, as you seem to think it is, is that we go to church.”

“Oh, hey, J.J.,” Henry called out as he opened the shower door and grabbed a towel.

As I flushed, I asked, “Why are you up so early, Henry? I didn’t think you went to church.”

“I don’t,” he replied, “but if you sleep in, you’re on your own for breakfast. Besides which, I have a shitload of homework, and Darren and I have plans.”

“Those sound like good reasons,” I replied as I pulled up my boxers and started to wash my hands.

“Why bother with boxers?” Henry asked as he got outta the shower. “It’s just us.”

“Isn’t the downstairs hallway visible from the great room?” I asked. “And what if someone needs to access the garage?”

“What if?” Sammy asked. “We grew up seeing each other naked. We’ve lived all over the world, and military-base housing doesn’t often allow for modesty.”

“In Germany, people sunbathe in the nude in the public parks, right in front of everyone,” Henry added.

“You’re kidding,” I responded.

“He kids you not,” Sammy chimed in as he got into the shower and Henry took his place at the sink.

“I used to go around naked outside around the woods behind our house,” I admitted. “It was isolated, so no one could see me. I wasn’t supposed to go back there alone because there were caves and it was dangerous, but so long as Dad didn’t know about it, that made it that much more fun. I liked being naked outdoors. It felt sexy.”

“Being naked outdoors does feel sexy,” Henry agreed, “but gay or straight, there’s nothing sexy about being naked in the house with your sisters.”

“I suppose not, but I was an only child,” I replied. “Regarding being naked around here, you guys are the only ones to see me in the nude, and I’d like to keep it that way. I’m not family, after all.”

“But you are family,” Henry countered. “We’re both gay.”

“That’s not what I meant, and you know it,” I responded.

“You might as well get used to it while you’re here,” Sammy interjected, “’cause you’re gonna see all of us in the nude at one time or another, including Mom and Dad.”

“That sounds weird,” I replied as I dropped my boxers, intending to get into the shower myself. Then not seeing a hamper or anything that might be a hamper, I asked Henry, “Is there a place to throw these?”

“On the floor for now,” he answered. “There’s a hamper in your bedroom. Each room does its own laundry.”

“Wow, that’s convenient,” I replied in jest. “It must be nice to have the room do all your laundry for you.” It was a lame joke at best, but Sammy broke into hysterics.

Looking at Henry, I shrugged my shoulders and he responded, “That was a good one, but Sammy can get a bit weird when he thinks something’s funny.”

“What’s weird about laughing at a good joke?” Sammy asked as he shut off the water.

“Nothing if you have a normal laugh,” Henry countered, “but your laugh sounds like that of a dying hyena.” Before Sammy could come back with a rejoinder, however, Henry said, “Later, guys,” and exited the bathroom. In the meantime, Sammy grabbed a towel and dried himself off.

Looking around, I asked Sammy, “Is there a towel I can use?”

Pointing to one of the towel bars, he responded, “That’s your towel.”

“Thanks,” I added as I passed by Sammy in the narrow space of the bathroom to enter the shower, but as I passed him, chest to chest, so to speak, he grabbed my dick and said, “This little piggy went home.”

Shocked, I asked, “What the fuck was that about?”

With a frown, he answered, “I’m sorry, J.J. Me and the boys have a kind of game we play. It’s sort of like dick tag, but you have to hold onto it while you say a verse of rhyme that kinda goes with the last one. Rob got me a couple of days ago and said, ‘I’ll blow your house down.’ Since that was from the Three Little Pigs, I had to come up with something either related to pigs or a wolf.”

“So, what happens if you don’t find another target?” I asked.

“It’s harder than you think,” he explained, “’cause if your target escapes before you finish the rhyme, you have the rest of the day to catch them and finish, or you have to be their slave for a day. It’s a really good incentive for the tagger to hold on tight and for the taggee to get away.”

“What happens if you succeed in completing the rhyme?” I asked.

“Then your target has a week to tag someone else,” he explained.

“So, what I have to do, then, within the next week, is to grab someone’s dick like this,” I said as I grabbed Sammy’s dick, “and say something like, ‘Home is where the heart is.’”

“That’s good,” Sammy responded, “except that you can’t tag the same boy who tagged you. By the way, you can let go now,” he added with a grin. I actually was holding on and sheepishly let go.

Then I had a strange thought. “How do I know you didn’t just make this up as an excuse to grab my dick?”

“Actually, it was so I could get you to embarrass yourself,” Sammy confirmed. “Me and my brothers play practical jokes on each other all the time, especially sexual ones. Grabbing your dick and having you grab mine was just a bonus,” he added with another grin.

Sammy was a good-looking boy and rather sexy. I wasn’t sure what got into me, but I countered with, “Well, you’re welcome to grab my dick anytime. That felt nice.”

“I’m not gay,” he replied.

“I know, and you have a girlfriend,” I replied, “but that doesn’t mean she’s putting out, and when you’re horny, a hand is a hand, and a mouth is a mouth.”

Frowning again, he replied, “Lynn’s a good Catholic girl and she wants to wait until she’s married. Henry and I used to mess around, but he told me last night that he doesn’t want to do it anymore now that he has a boyfriend. Now that he knows his love is requited, he only wants to make love. I guess that’s kind of why I grabbed you.”

“Like I said, I enjoyed it,” I countered, then added, “it could be a while before I get a boyfriend, so if you ever want to mess around, I’m game, for sure.”

“Yeah, that would be cool,” he replied with a lusty grin. When I grabbed him once more, though, he responded with, “Not here. Anyone could walk in… even Mom. Maybe later.”

“Fair enough,” I replied. It was a good thing I let go before either of us got hard, as Rob chose that moment to walk in. I greeted him, “Hey, Rob.”

“Morning, J.J.” he responded sleepily. “By the way, guys, breakfast is already on the table.”

“Shit!” Sammy responded and then ran out of the room. In the meantime, Rob got out his shaving kit and lathered up. It certainly changed the dynamic of the morning rituals to have a couple of boys in the household who needed to shave. I was glad I didn’t need to just yet and perhaps wouldn’t need to for a number of years.

I got into the shower and turned on the water. Noting that there were three dispensers mounted on the wall and no other shampoos or soaps, I gathered that the dispensers took up less room, and left no argument as to which shampoo to buy. “What’s in the dispensers?” I asked Rob.

“The left one’s shower gel,” he answered. “You use it for both soap and shampoo. The middle one’s a generic Head and Shoulders, for dandruff if you need it, and the one on the right is a conditioner to make your hair look beautiful.”

With my buzz cut, I doubted that I needed conditioner, and I’d never had trouble with dandruff, so I simply used the shower gel on my hair and body and then rinsed off and shut off the water. I grabbed the towel Sammy had indicated and dried myself off. Rob was still shaving, so I stepped up to the other sink and applied my deodorant. I noticed that my hair could use a touch-up, but that would hafta wait until after breakfast. Grabbing my toothbrush and toothpaste, I brushed my teeth and then started to open the door, when Rob said, “Don’t bother with clothes. Breakfast is clothing optional unless we’re eating outside this morning.”

“Why do I get the impression you’re trying to embarrass me?” I asked Rob, remembering how Sammy had tried to get me to go around grabbing dicks.

“Probably because I am,” Rob replied. “Did Sammy get you, too?”

“Yeah, he did, and I caught him at it right away, too,” I related. “Grabbing dicks to nursery rhymes —”

“Yeah, we definitely do that,” Rob responded. “It’s a game we’ve all been playing for years.”

Sure, it is,” I replied with a middle-finger salute.

Rob countered with a salute of his own and then added, “Seriously, we usually eat in shorts plus or minus a t-shirt for the boys and shorts and a t-shirt for the girls. We’re not modest, though, and naked bodies do occasionally streak by. We did live many years in Europe, you know.”

“As has been explained to me,” I replied. I bent down and grabbed my dirty boxers off the floor while Rob got in the shower, and then I closed the bathroom door behind me and walked across the hall to our bedroom. Only later did I realize anyone could have seen my retreating naked ass from the great room. Once in the bedroom, I quickly spotted the hamper and dropped my boxers into it, then rummaged around my one and only drawer for something to wear. A shopping trip was definitely gonna be in order, as I needed a lot more clothes.

Selecting boxers, a plain, red t-shirt and navy-blue shorts, I got dressed and headed up the short flight of steps to the great room. Fran called out, “Morning, J.J. Today, it’s a make-your-own omelet day.”

“I have no idea how to make an omelet,” I commented.

“Then let me show you how,” she said as she got up from where she was sitting and led me back into the house and toward the kitchen. For the first time, I got a good look at the layout as she led me straight to a large island with a black glass rectangle in the middle of it with outlines of six circles. Instinctively, I knew it must be a cooktop, but I’d never seen anything like it before.

“This is our first induction cooktop,” she continued. “We’ve always used gas before, but there are no gas lines in this neighborhood. Even our heat uses an electric heat pump, which is actually a lot more efficient than gas as it turns out. Our contractor recommended induction in place of a conventional electric cooktop because it reacts almost exactly the way gas does, and it’s much safer, too. The cooktop itself stays cool. It uses induction to heat the cookware, but you can only use metal cookware: aluminum, stainless or copper.

“It must use the Hall effect,” I commented. “Perhaps an alternating magnetic field to induce an electric current, which generates heat through Ohm’s Law.” Then looking at Fran, I added, “Sorry. Sometimes I just can’t help myself when it comes to spouting stuff I know.”

“You’re a delightful young man, J.J.,” Fran responded, “You’re sixteen but look like you’re only twelve, and you have the intelligence of a graduate student with Ph.D. degrees in several fields. Don’t you ever stop doing what you’re doing.” I couldn’t help but blush.

“Now if you’re like my other boys and men, you’ll want to take three eggs,” she went on. “Breaking an eggshell can be tricky though. You take an egg, hold it firmly like so and bring it down swiftly on the edge of this glass bowl.” She did so and the shell split cleanly in two, with the egg sliding into the bowl without even the yolk breaking. It was perfect. “Most people, when they first try it, bring the egg down too hard and end up with half the egg on the outside of the bowl. You just want to bring the egg down swiftly, but to stop just as it hits the edge of the bowl and cracks the egg, then use your hand to separate the two halves over the bowl. Why don’t you try it?”

Shrugging my shoulders, I grabbed an egg from the carton, lifted it into the air and did exactly as I thought she had. I was certain I’d mess up, but the egg landed perfectly in the bowl. Cool. I repeated the procedure again with a third egg and again, it landed perfectly in the bowl.

“Are you sure you’ve never done this before?” Fran asked.

“Other than a box of mac and cheese or a can of soup, I’ve never cooked anything in my life,” I replied.

“If you’re going to live on your own, unless you plan to eat out or live on frozen dinners, you need to learn how to cook,” she responded. “I like to add a little milk to give the eggs a creamier consistency. Now, let’s whisk your eggs.” Fran showed me how to use a simple spring-like metal tool with loops on the end of it to mix the yolks, whites and milk to an even consistency.

“Now, what would you like in your omelet, J.J.?” she asked. “We have a package of frozen peppers and onions. Usually we use fresh, but there isn’t time in the morning, not when we’re all making our own omelets and have to get to church. We also have sliced mushrooms, ham, turkey, bacon and cheddar and Swiss cheese.”

With what I was sure was a devilish look in my eyes, I asked, “Can I have all of those?”

“Or course, you can,” Fran responded. “Let’s start by frying up some bacon, since that needs to be drained. Let’s use three strips of bacon. You just lay them in a skillet and cook them on medium heat.” The bacon started sizzling immediately. “As soon as the bacon’s bubbling up and wrinkly like it is now, turn each of the strips over like so, and when they start to rise out of the pan, fork them over onto a paper towel to drain them. Then add a layer of the frozen peppers and onions and the mushrooms to the remaining bacon fat and heat them until the peppers are still crisp but thoroughly thawed and free of ice crystals.” She showed me how to do that, then said, “Now, we’ll add the eggs,” as she poured the whisked eggs over the veggies. “We stir everything up thoroughly and wait for the eggs to set, which should only take a minute.”

After what I’m sure was less than a minute, actually, I could see that the eggs were nearly cooked and she continued, “Okay, now it’s time to add the meat and cheese. We’ll lay a slice of ham on one half the eggs, a slice of turkey on the other half, a slice of Swiss cheese on top of the turkey and a slice of cheddar on top of the ham. I think cheddar goes better with ham and Swiss with turkey, but some would probably say the opposite. Finally, we lay the three strips of bacon on one side of the omelet like so, let the cheese thoroughly melt, then fold the omelet over so that the cheese and meat are sandwiched by the eggs.

“Why don’t you grab me a plate and we’ll slide the omelet onto your plate,” she concluded as she did so. “Would you like some hash browns to go with that?” she asked.

“Need you ask,” I replied. She spooned a mix of hash-brown potatoes with peppers and onions from a covered saucepan onto my plate. Everything smelled wonderful.

“And lastly, we add a little fresh-ground black pepper on top,” Fran announced as she grabbed a wooden cylinder of sorts, held it over my plate and twisted the top part of the cylinder, dispensing a sprinkling of black dots all over the eggs and potatoes. “There, now it’s perfect.”

I thanked Fran profusely and started to carry my plate to the table, but was intercepted by Rob, who asked me, “What’s for breakie?”

“Breakie?” I laughed. Rather than answer, Rob just flipped me, so I answered, “Make-your-own omelets.”

“Oh, I love those,” Rob replied, but I didn’t wait for him as I sat down at the table and grabbed some silverware. Noticing a carton of orange juice and a carafe of coffee, I grabbed a glass and a mug and poured myself a serving of both. On a hunch I took a sip of the coffee with it still black and was pleasantly surprised that it needed neither sugar nor cream. “This is by far the best coffee I’ve ever tasted,” I exclaimed.

Laughing, Jerry said, “We first tasted it on one of our vacations and fell in love with it, as I guess you have. It’s called Deadman’s Reach, and we buy it from a small coffee roaster in Washington State. Apparently, there is a place in Alaska named Deadman’s Reach, which is where the coffee got its name. They have a logo – you can get it on a t-shirt – ah, here it is,” he added as he handed me his phone. The logo was of a skeleton reaching for a mug of coffee; it was fantastic. “When I have the money, I’m gonna hafta get one of those t-shirts,” I exclaimed.

I sliced off a corner of my omelet and popped it in my mouth. Damn, it was good. “Do you guys eat like this every day?” I asked.

“Sure, we do,” Henry responded. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, after all,” he continued. “Every now and then, we order out for breakfast from some of the finest restaurants in Omaha.”

“Okay, what do you guys really do for breakfast?” I responded.

“I see you’ve figured our boys’ shenanigans out,” Fran replied. “We only eat like this on Sundays before going to church. Mornings are hectic enough as it is, so during the week it’s usually toast and cereal, although I do make an effort to make sure there’s fresh fruit on the table to go with it. In the winter I usually serve hot cereal, like oatmeal, cream of wheat or grits.”

“Now that I believe,” I responded. “You didn’t mention Saturdays, though.”

“Usually it’s catch as catch can, meaning it’s everyone for themselves,” Fran explained. “However, every now and then the girls or the boys get together and make something gourmet.”

“It’s kind of an ongoing contest,” Rob explained as he sat down. “Maybe once a month, the girls will work together to prepare something you might get at a fancy restaurant, and then the boys will get together and do the same thing. Of course, until now, the boys have been at a disadvantage because there are only three of us.”

“You’re at a disadvantage because you’re boys,” Camilla countered.

“I’d like to point out that most of the top chefs in the world are guys,” Jerry countered.

“Maybe now that J.J.’s here, the balance of power will change,” Henry suggested.

Laughing, I responded, “The only problem with that is that I’ve no experience with cooking.”

“Judging by how quickly you picked things up in the kitchen today,” Fran countered, “I think you might well be the boys’ secret weapon in the kitchen battle of the sexes.”

“We’re gonna crush you next time,” Sammy added.

“In your dreams,” Hillary replied.

Finishing off the last of my breakfast, I followed the other kids’ example and carried my dishes into the kitchen and loaded them into the dishwasher. Standing next to me, Henry said, “Well, I’d better get going on my homework. Otherwise, there won’t be any time to spend with Darren.”

“What have you got?” I asked.

“Algebra, Spanish and English,” he replied.

“Why don’t you get the material and maybe I can help you with it?” I suggested. “I used to do tutoring before I left home.”

“That’d be great!” Henry replied as he ran down the stairs and moments later reappeared carrying what appeared to be a high-end laptop and a tablet of paper with him. He sat right down on the great-room sofa, and so I sat down next to him. In the meantime, he’d removed his sweatshirt and was now dressed only in his shorts. Shirtless definitely seemed to be Henry’s favorite outfit. He was very cute, though. Sexy, if I was gonna be honest.

Henry opened his laptop to reveal an Applazon ProBook – the fifteen-inch model, I think. I’d looked into getting one when I was back in Indiana before I decided I’d better save my money, and the base model, even with academic pricing, was something like $1700. Equipped with the fastest processor, a larger SSD, much more memory and a better graphic processor more than doubled that, but even the base model would’ve run circles around the $300 Chromebook I got through the school system back home.

“First, I have some algebra problems to solve,” Henry began.

“You’re taking algebra in seventh grade?” I asked in surprise.

Shrugging his bare shoulders, he responded, “They tested us at the beginning of middle school, and I was placed in the most advanced math class. Anyway, we’re learning how to solve simultaneous equations, but they’re not very hard, so maybe I can make quick work of that.” Indeed, Henry knew what he was doing and easily solved each problem, even though I would have considered the difficulty level to have been moderate for most students in a first-year course. I’d tutored kids in beginning algebra and there was no way Henry should’ve been able to solve those problems so quickly. After completing the fifth problem, I decided to see if he was ready to tackle more advanced math like calculus. Some kids – kids like me and perhaps kids like Henry – are hindered more than helped by the traditional math curriculum.

“Let me show you another way to solve this one,” I began. “Let’s add a tiny little change to x and y, so x becomes xx and y becomes yy. You can substitute those into each of the original equations and then subtract the original equations to get equations written in terms of the Δ terms. Now let’s see what happens when Δx and Δy are nearly zero. Can you come up with a reason you wouldn’t want to make them exactly zero?”

“That’s easy,” Henry answered. “If they were zero, you couldn’t divide by either one, ’cause division by zero is indeterminate. For example, if you wanted to calculate the slope of a tangent to the curve defined by either equation, you could rewrite the equations in terms of Δyx, and then make Δx very small without actually being zero.”

“Exactly,” I exclaimed. “We call that process taking the limit as Δx goes to zero, and we can write that like this,” I showed him, “or we can use the shorthand notation of dy/dx to represent the slope of the tangent in the limit as dx becomes zero. None of this would be of much help, except that we can actually derive an expression for the tangent of a generic polynomial, which we call the derivative.”

“Is this what differential calculus is all about?” Henry asked.

“I take it you’ve heard of it?” I asked and he nodded. “I wonder if you can derive the expression for the derivative of a polynomial.”

“I think that will be easy,” Henry replied as he made remarkably quick work of it. I didn’t even need to show him how to drop the infinitesimal terms. He got the concept right away without any input from me. He then proceeded to apply the result to solve the original system of equations without my having to ask him to. “Wow! That’s way easier.” He exclaimed. I think I could solve several of the problems that way, but I’m not supposed to know how.”

“In that case, why don’t you finish up the rest of the problems, and later I’ll show you a website that’ll take you from basic algebra to advanced differential equations and complex vector calculus at your own pace. Then you can either challenge the entire high-school math sequence, or for a fee, you can take the online exams and get college credit for an undergraduate and graduate math curriculum. It would save you thousands of boring hours in countless classrooms learning what to you is obvious.”

“Tell me about it,” Henry responded, clearly knowing exactly what I was talking about. The conventional math curriculum allows smart kids to run while others walk or crawl. Kids like Henry are ready to fly.

The author gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of David of Hope and vwl-rec in editing my stories, as well as Awesome Dude and Gay Authors for hosting them.

Disclaimer: This story is purely fictional and any resemblance of characters to real individuals is unintentional. Although it takes place in actual locations, in no way are any official policies, opinions or events inferred. Some characters may be underage and at times engage in homosexual acts. Anyone uncomfortable with this should not be reading the story, and the reader assumes responsibility for the legality of reading this type of material where they live. The author retains full copyright and permission must be obtained prior to duplication in any form.