“And so, nothing in this world makes any sense, as with everything that is as clear as day.”
Another opinion of the people, Alex thought.
Being in his second year of university, one would expect him to be constantly studying material related to the degree he is in.
Nonetheless, Alex has never been known to keep his focus in a single subject; always switching his point of interest. Much to the surprise of many, his grades has always been the top of his cohort, and in fact, the top of his university.
One might attribute that to the students in that batch being inadequate, or even that the university was simply no good. Unfortunately, both the students and university were far from that.
The university, better known as CIT, was one of the few leading universities in the world and was in fact, the world’s best at technical studies. The students, needless to say, were not lacking in any manner as one would expect from a university of such international standard.
Alex, can be said to be unique. While easily capable of being an exemplary student, impressing both professors and course mates alike, is also known for mixing with “bad” company. One might find it weird for someone of his capability, be it intellectually or socially, to willingly mix with the more notorious side of society.
As such, his standing on both sides can be said to be highly questionable.
Several professors have spoken to him about it before, and have even sent him to counsellors to “convince” him; both groups have found little success in making him do so as he would answer in a politically correct manner, while completely declining their suggestions to better his public image.
That said, it was not as if he was known for engaging in any criminal activities, or rather, blatant decadent behaviour; such as excessive drinking, sexual activities or drug consumption However, he has never had a problem with hanging around those who did; even joining several parties and outings with all these in mind.
While no one would openly describe him as the perfect role model or the typical stray teenager, neither sides seem to have been willing to go to further extremes into getting him on their side.
It cannot be described as a lack of will to do so, and also far from being a fear.
They all simply describe him as unique. The term we all like to use when we want to say something or someone being good or bad, yet also vice versa. The nice way of description.
To him, everything has their pros and cons. With so many factors to consider, standing on seemingly neutral ground suited him just fine.
Closing the book he was reading, he stood up to return it to the shelf he got it from.
The CIT main library had a great deal of books that one could have access to at anytime as long as it was during operational hours and was not already loaned out to a student.
Casual reading was a hobby Alex found to be useful, with bits of general knowledge proving handy in both conversation and daily, if not spontaneous, activities.
It was also part of his daily campus routine to spend half an hour each day to read here; of which he would take five minutes of that time to talk to the librarian at the front desk if they were free.
The librarian there today was Claire, a moderately shy girl who chose to join the library as an extra circular activity with the obvious reason being it suited her personality.
Wearing a pair of round, rimless glasses, she would quietly go about her duties in the library. On occasion, she would be on “Public Service” duty, that meant manning the front desk.
Ironically, it was rare for a person go to the front desk as almost every library function was automated; with frequently asked questions being listed on the large board outside the library.
Sitting in an upright posture, she was so focused on her book that she did not notice Alex till he rang the counter top bell.
Fumbling at first, she quickly regained her composure and as calmly as she could, put away her book.
“How can I help you, Alex?” said the girl who once panicked whenever she conversed with anyone who approached to the extent of knocking over everything on the counter top but was now so used to seeing Alex around she could hardly be perturbed by him, other than when on a book.
“I see you have come a long way in the art of conversation, milady.”
“Will that be all? If so, I still have a book that requires my attention.” Claire meekly replied before picking up her book again.
“Haha. Hold on. I apologise.” Alex hastily replied, hoping to continue speaking to Claire; who has become quite sensitive of her shyness whenever speaking to Alex, who teased her about it on a pretty much regular basis.
Placing her book down again, Claire decided that conversation would be better than reading a book that she could read at any other time when there was no one to talk to; even if it was Alex.
“So, what is it?”
“I have not seen the other guy around today. Are you the only one here today?”
“I think you already know that the management committee is working in their office as usual. As for Jason, he is supposed to be returning loaned books to their shelves.”
“The shady looking guy wearing a black hoodie covering his face who’s playing with his ESP?”
“Just like you, ESP aside.” Claire replied sarcastically.
“Not bad at all. So you have learned sarcasm!’ Alex jokingly exclaimed.
“With you around, it’s hard for someone not to pick up on that.”
“Young one, you still have a long path ahead.”
“A path I would have rather not tread on, thank you…” she muttered as she gently swayed her head, making her short tidy hair sway along in a flowing motion.
“Some light stretching exercise can easily prevent stiff necks.”
“Are you going to recommend some to me, well-toned one?”
“A dozen; but on second thought, I believe you have one good enough there.”
“Then why bring it up…”
“To string you along.”
Upon hearing that, Claire stared at Alex like a girl would when a guy tries a pick-up line that abysmally failed to impress and completely killed any interest she had towards him.
Seeing her cold stare, Alex realised his yet another failed attempt at maintaining conversation and decided to change the topic.
“I see, I see. I suppose Jason saying that might have generated a dif-”
“No, it wouldn’t.”
“Okay.” mumbled Alex with a solemn face after failing to redirect the conversation with the once shy Claire cutting in on his supposedly witty remark.
“And I am not going to join you for any late night coffee so you can save the effort of offering.” added Claire before Alex could have another word.
“Oh well, I will make do with going to that new twenty four hour pizza joint for tea alone then.”
“Why are you going there?!” Claire abruptly cried out.
“Because they have tea there and does not happen to be the place where a certain someone started studying at for around two hours every night.”
“…are you a stalker.” She said appearing shocked as she took a step backward.
Alex sniggered, seeming to have achieved his unknown goal, turned around and left while waving goodbye as Claire yelled at him from behind, “I will just study in my room tonight!”