CHAPTER FIVE: RAW IRRITATION
"I can't believe she called me annoying." Taking another sip of my beer I glare at my colleague sat across from me laughing.
"That's Atlas for you. However, I'm surprised she even spoke to you," his brow arches as he looks at me over the brim of his glass, "I must hand it to you, your persistence, though annoying, really is beneficial."
"What do you mean by beneficial?" Iask returning his stare.
"I mean maybe you'll be able to help her out of her shell. Help her have a more natural high school experience."
"Wilson. I'm simply a teacher..." I place my glass on the table sitting back in my chair, "By the way. Why did you give her the sheet for the essay assignment without informing me?"
"I see she told you," he sighs as he finishes his drink. "Atlas misses lessons quite often because of her family situation, although no one really knows what that is exactly. However, she never fails any of her exams and always scores in the top five. Her only comment on it is that she reads a lot, though I find that hard to believe since all the books I see her with are manga." My mind goes back to the first time I met her and the book that she had at that time. One Punch Man, I believe it was.
"Oh yeah, I've seen them."
"I have a suspicion that they aren't really manga."
"Why do you say that?"
"Well for one she never lets anyone see what's on the pages or touch them. Two, I've read more than enough of them to know her expressions don't really match up, especially to the titles. I mean even though you're completely antisocial and emotionally restrained there's no way you can read manga and not express some form of emotion." His statement plays around in my head,and he does have a point. I don't think I could read any manga without either laughing or smiling.
"She really is a weird specimen." Wilson stares at me again, a smirk playing at the corners of his mouth.
"Yuzuki-San. Do you perhaps have an interest in your student?" At his question, I choke on my last sip of beer and it falls onto my shirt. Swearing, I jump up frantically trying to whip it off with a tissue. Thank god I'm wearing black.
"Please don't say such careless things. Especially in public you moron." He continues to smirk pissing me off beyond reason, "She's simply my student..." I sit back down as my voice trails off.
"But you can't help the fact that she's intriguing." he chuckles lightly shaking his head.
"I guess a man can't help it. But I can't tell if you've got good taste as a man or scientist," he arches his brow slightly studying me, "or maybe it's, both?" I could tell it wasn’t a question, but it was one I had no intention of answering so I stayed quiet.
"I mean I can't blame you. She is pretty daring and not lacking in looks either."
"Are you sure you should be talking about a female student like that?"
"Sensei. The Academy is a school dedicated to the sciences, arts and everything business related. I am therefore unable to turn a blind eye to anything that interests me."
"And Atlas interests you?" I glare at him, my brows frowned.
"She most certainly does. See I pretty much know everything about our students except her. She doesn't talk about her family and nobody at The Academy seems to know anything either. Even the information given to the school after she joined was vague...” He takes a sip of his beer, his eyes trained on me,
“All the school knows about the Silent Student is that she comes from a rich family that possibly has connections to the chairman and that her name is Atlas Winters. She's practically a ghost at The Academy. Did you know that her age isn’t even in our system?"
Thoughts of our conversation from earlier fills my head and my hands seem to remember the feel of her hair still. I want to touch her again. After she left the office the softness of her hair still plagued me and for the rest of the day whenever I saw her my hands subconsciously went to my pockets as though my pockets were their haven. Is it because she's different from the other students that I feel like learning more about her? Growing up, the kids around me never really interested me. They were creatures who were simple and predictable, in other words, they bored me. They were either consumed by spending money or having money spent on them. The students at The Academy were all pretty much playing into that stereotype and all theories I had of them were fulfilled sooner or later. It's been just a week but I feel like I practically know all my students like the back of my hand, except... just thinking about her irritated me to the core, but for some reason, I felt a smile form. What the fuck Yuzuki?
"...uki... Yuzuki," Jons voice interrupts my chain of thought and I stare at him.
"What?" He seems to study me for a moment, and I glare him.
"I've never seen you this disturbed or interested by anything, Senpai." He said smirking again.
"What?" I fix my glare on him and he smiles slyly.
"You do know you were smiling just now, right?"
"I was not." I ignore him, moving to light a cigarette and instantly I thought of her again. Annoyed, I stabbed it into the astray, "I'm going to the bookstore..." he chuckles as I get up. So fucking annoying.
"At this hour," he checks his watch, "It's almost eight."
"There's a workshop so it's open till ten on Mondays. See you tomorrow."
"See you tomorrow, Senpai." I swear if he wasn't a Kohai from university I'd punch that smile off his face. Putting on my jacket I leave the bar, looking up at the sky and sighing.
"Looks like rain." The library was between my route from my apartment to school, so it's kind of become my go-to hideout around here when I want to be alone. Although it's technically a bookstore you can borrow books and return them. Not a lot of people go there so it's highly unlikely that I'd see anyone I know from school. The open sign welcomes me and I step in, taking my helmet off. Looking up from the front desk a warm smile greets me.
"I wasn't expecting you tonight Yuzuki."
"I didn't have anything else to do so I dropped by on my way back home." I reply approaching the old man who stood behind the reception desk. Technically that's a lie. The bar is closer to my house, I just didn't want to go home.
"Well the library is entirely yours till ten as usual," he pauses and stares towards the back, "well not entirely yours."
"What? Is there someone else here?"
"Ah. Yes. A young lady. She’s been coming here for almost two years I believe, but she never really talks. We still don't even know her name." I sit at the stool behind the desk as he sorts through book tags, humming out of tune.
Since I started coming to the library Owen has sort of become my away from home dad. This makes him the forth one. His wife even cooks for me sometimes so I help out around the library when I can. It's quite an old building so it has faults everywhere.
"Two years and you don't know her name?" He looks up from the tags and shrugs.
"She looks young so I figured she was shy and wanted to be left to her lonesome, so I never really tried to pry. She does talk sometimes, and she comes on the days she doesn't have to go to her part timer. She doesn’t make any trouble and she also buys as many books as she borrows and you know I love book lovers."
"Hmmm. Maybe she's a shy high schooler?"
"I thought so too but I think she may be older than that. Some of the books she's bought or borrowed aren't your usual read for a high-school student. Also, she's got her motorcycle license so she's definitely not a high-school student," he looks up from the tags again and grins at me, "well look at us gossiping about my customers' Sensei."
"There's no rule against men gossiping, Mr. Owen." I said laughing, and he chuckles.
"Oh yeah, the book you asked about was returned this morning. It'll be back there." He points towards the back without looking up.
"This morning? Didn't you say it was borrowed on Friday?"
"I suppose she finished it."
"You mean," I point to the back, "her?" He smiles and nods. I couldn't help the curiosity brewing in me. Tucking my helmet under the counter I make my way through the maze. I really hate how curious I am about this woman. I hate how even though it can't possibly be her I'm wishing that it is. Was Jon right about me not only being interested in her as a scientist or a teacher, but a man? I run my hands through my hair in frustration. Maybe I'm just piled up. Sighing, I turn to the shelf on Sciences and stopped in my tracks. Her face was turned away from me, but I knew it was her.
There's no way I wouldn't know it was her.