|I met him in Religion Class. It was my first day of my second semester in Grade 10, when I first noticed him. He was sitting alone in the corner with his nose buried in a book. His brown short hair was cut just above his ears, and his rectangular shaped glasses were resting low on the bridge of his nose. He sat slumped in his seat. Nobody talked to him, he talked to nobody. It was as simple as that.
We went around the classroom, introducing ourselves. We got to him. Without taking his eyes off of his book, he muttered his name: Louis McClintock. Ms. Kindley, our Religion teacher, prodded him along, asking him what his hobbies and interests were. He answered: reading and history. Ms. Kindley eventually gave up on the kid and moved on.
That was the first day I noticed him. From then on, Louis was all I saw. Not because I liked him. Not because I was stalking him. I just noticed him quite a bit.
You could say he was socially awkward. I mean, you would never classify him as popular, as blunt as that is. I never saw him, not once, talking to anyone. And, as I said, no one talked to him either. Instead, they secretly made fun of him. It was sad, really. He walked through the halls, and his peers around him sniggered. I would see him scurry off in shame into the boy's bathroom. He wouldn't come out until the bell rang.
Then again, if he wasn't in the restrooms, he was up in the library, hiding away. I can remembered seeing him there so many times during the year, it was unbelievable. I never knew one could read so much; but Louis could. He did.
Every time he was up in that library, his face was stuck in a different book. Once, it was 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers' by Sean Covey. Another time, it was 'How to Hear your Angels' by Dorreen Virtue. Either way, he read a lot. Not only that, but everywhere he went, he carried around a book, as if books were his escape from reality, where his imagination could run wild. Personally, I liked that theory. I mean, in the 21st century, nobody was laid back anymore. They were always up and running, from dawn 'til dusk. If one could find just one little activity that calms them, there would probably be a lot less cold people in the world.
Anyways, back to Louis. It had been three months of carefully observing Louis. I know it sounds creepy, but I was actually quite interested in the boy... His personality, I mean. He was a nerd, I had to admit. But he did seem very attractive. He had cropped hair, which I actually admired on every guy. His nose was the perfect size and shape for his face, and he didn't have big lips nor thin ones. His eyes were a bit far apart, but they were unbelievably enticing. They were the brightest shade of green I had ever seen, and although he wore blue rimmed glasses, his eyes shone brightly whenever he looked around.
As for his sense of style, well, it was a bit off. He wore buttoned up plaid shirts and jeans that were a bit too short for him. He wore skater shoes, but the laces were tied tightly; tied laces weren't meant for skater shoes. He wasn't a short boy. He wasn't a tall boy. He was medium height. He wasn't scrawny, either. I've described Louis to many people in my life, and everyone who's heard of him believes he was a scrawny, short little nerd with greasy hair; he wasn't. He seemed, actually, kind of strong, if he wanted to be... He never wanted to be.
Many times throughout the first few months of my second term did I try to communicate with Louis. I really thought I would never get through to him. That was what it looked like, really. I sat beside him. We were in the last two seats in the row closest to the window. I would lean over across the aisle and whisper something to Louis, whether it be to ask for a pencil, or to ask what book he was reading THIS TIME. I got one word answers every time.
I didn't give up on talking with Louis, though. He seemed to hate me. In fact, he was quite cold to me constantly. I wouldn't blame him, though. Everyone who Louis came across probably gossiped about him. It was hard to trust people, but he could trust me with anything. I knew that. So, I kept trying to befriend Louis. I don't know why exactly I cared so much about becoming Louis' friend. Maybe because I pitied him. Maybe because I found him interesting. Or maybe because I was just like him...