Adao Rocha Morinho was a loser. He knew this, because his family was full of winners. His parents, brother, and sister were good-looking, popular, and successful. But not Adao. He had been cursed with pimply skin and glasses as thick as his computer screen. And he wasn’t successful in much other than math and chess.
“It’s not that you’re a total loser,” said his best friend, Grayson. “It’s just that you haven’t yet learned how to be a winner.”
“Well, how can I learn to be a winner?” asked Adao.
Grayson shrugged. “Dude, don’t ask me.”
“Then who should I ask?” said Adao. “You’re like, the winner of the winners at school. You’ve got a different girlfriend every week!”
“You think having a bunch of girlfriends will make you a winner?” Grayson smirked.
“No.” Adao sighed, his eyes glazing over. “Not a bunch of girlfriends. Just one.”
“Ugh, not again!” Grayson covered his ears. “Please don’t start obsessing over Ivy Malik!”
But Adao couldn’t help it. He had been in love with Ivy Malik since ninth grade, when she had won the Academic Decathlon and performed the lead role in the school play, all within the same month. She had stayed out of the spotlight since then, but Adao was hooked. She was so intelligent, and talented, not to mention beautiful.
“If you like her so much,” said Grayson through gritted teeth, “then get it together and ask her out already!”
Adao wanted to. He really did. But he just couldn’t. A girl like Ivy deserved someone cool – someone who did not sit around reading comic books while working in his grandmother’s thrift shop. Someone who was not awkward and overweight. Someone who was a winner.
Well, one day, he would be a winner. Maybe, when he was finished with the special project he had been working on in the basement, then everyone would know his name. Adao Rocha Morinho would become a household name.