This Is My Brain on Boys

This Is My Brain on Boys by Sarah Strohmeyer

Book: This Is My Brain on Boys by Sarah Strohmeyer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Strohmeyer
senses sharpened. She should have understood what was going on in her brain, except she seemed to have inexplicably forgotten everything from her research. (Though that, of course, was another symptom of PEA overload, which she would have recognized if Kris hadn’t been a few feet away all tall and dark in his butt-ugly uniform.)
    Dex scoffed. “Of course Addie doesn’t know Condos.”
    Kris opened his mouth and then closed it, smiling at her slightly. Addie did the same.
    What was wrong with her?
    â€œThen we can get started right away.” Dr. Brooks clapped once. “Addie, what time are you meeting Lauren tomorrow?”
    She licked her oddly dry lips. “Noon.”
    Kris was still looking at her with that smile.
    â€œHow does noon work for you, Kris?” Dr. Brooks asked. “It might eat into your lunch break, no pun intended, but I will add fifteen minutes to your work schedule.”
    Kris blinked. “What am I doing?”
    â€œA research project for our Athenian Award submission,” Dex drawled with disgust. “Addie and I are running an experiment measuring the difference between male and female responses to various stimuli. Do try to keep up.”
    Even though Kris deserved the cut, she felt bad. “Sorry,” she said. “Dex didn’t mean it.”
    â€œYes, I did.”
    â€œIt’s okay,” Kris said. “It’s not like I don’t have it coming.”
    â€œTrue that.” Dex folded his arms, superior.
    Dr. Brooks escorted Kris to the door. “All righty, then. See you at noon, and thank you for volunteering.”
    When he left, she swung around and placed her hands on her hips. “As scientists, I hope you two would ignorewhatever slights we perceive Kris has committed. He is trying to repay his debt to the Academy and for that he should be commended, not ridiculed. Everyone deserves a second chance.”
    Dex said, “With all due respect, the headmaster should have consulted us first. How can we be objective when . . . ?”
    Dr. Brooks wagged a finger. “I’ll have none of that. You know how I feel about grudges. Anger and resentment lead to destruction.”
    Addie had to agree. Anger was only useful to precipitate a rush of adrenaline so one could battle a predator. Therefore, from an evolutionary standpoint, there was no reason to hold on to this purely temporal emotion.
    Dr. Brooks said, “You must strictly adhere to the rules of scientific procedure, not your emotions. Are we clear?”
    â€œYes,” Addie and Dex said simultaneously.
    â€œTherefore, can I count on you two to conduct this experiment with professional detachment?”
    They nodded, duly shamed.
    â€œGood. Now, if your so-called B.A.D.A.S.S. theory is correct, Lauren and Alex will end up as platonic friends,” Dr. Brooks concluded, crossing her fingers, “while Lauren and Kris will be something more. If your system is as effective as you claim, then you should be able to delude anyone into feeling as if they were falling madly in love . ”
    A few minutes later, Dr. Brooks left to go to her next class, and Dex returned to his crabs, while Addie simply stared at nothing on her laptop, replaying those words over and over in her mind.
    If your system is as effective as you claim, then you should be able to delude anyone into feeling as if they were falling madly in love.
    Did she dare? Was it wrong? Did she have a choice?
    Yes. Yes. And, unfortunately, no.
    Then she picked up her phone and texted the only person who could possibly help.
    Ed.

SEVEN
    â€œT hat’s what I was trying to tell you after Ed dropped us off. Kris is Kara Wilkes’s boyfriend.” Tess handed Addie the pitcher of limeade. “So how do you feel about him now?”
    â€œDr. Brooks says we’re supposed to ignore our emotions and follow scientific procedure.” Addie took the pitcher from her and placed it on the folding

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