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10 A Fellow Bookworm
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I Just Want Peace
Author :CrescentLunar
© Webnovel

10 A Fellow Bookworm

Deep into the night, the crescent moon is towering high in the night sky, and the stars twinkle against the darkness of the night. A symphony of light snores produce from the resting people could be heard if one has sharp ears. Of course, there'll be few stragglers up late, working or for reasons they will regret in the morning.

It just happens that Alex is in the latter, staying up to finish the book he had gotten over the summer break. He woke up from a strange dream and couldn't fall back asleep.

Alex feels restless and irritated, yet he isn't able to understand his emotion that came from nowhere. His fingers are itching to punch someone's face. Who's face? Alex doesn't know.

To calm his tornado of a mind, Alex quietly retrieved a book–the same one he was reading during school–out of his bag. After reading for less than an hour, Alex closed his book with a sigh, completely and utterly satisfied with the ending.

However, even with the satisfying ending of a well-written book, Alex toss and turn for 10 minutes straight. The restless and irritating feeling crept back into his mind.

In the end, the bookworm gave up sleeping entirely and crawled over to his bookcase for a late-night treat. Alex choose a book from the bottom shelf, where he placed all his favourite books. He strategically placed them there merely because it is the most accessible spot to grab books from his bed.

The bookworm happily opens the book, and once again, he absorbs inside the world hidden within the delicate pages. Despite having read the book a million times, he still enjoys rereading the same book time and after time.

In the end, the story hungry bookworm stayed up to 5 in the morning. Alex spent the night enjoying his treat.

Alex looks at the clock and calculates that he has only 2 hours to sleep. He finally closes his heavy eyelids and drops his head on the pillow.

It barely feels like 5 minutes when the alarm goes off. The sound of raining and forest creatures came from the digital clock. Groaning, Alex prepares to throw the pillow but stops himself in time. He doesn't dare to repeat yesterday's accident.

Alex, with a muddle head, attempts to get through his morning routine.

His mom scolds him the moment she sees him; one glance and she already knows that her idiot son stayed up all night.

Somehow in some way, Alex makes it to school. The bus driver turns on the engine and close to driving away when Alex woke up on time. His presence gives the bus driver a pleasant surprise.

Alex is now seated in his homeroom and tries to get more sleep before class starts. He only put his head down for a second when he could hear a buzzing fly coming through the door.

Should've gone to the library instead, Alex regrets his choices. However, there is no escape now. Alex has no choice but to go with the flow.

"Good morning. You look a panda with those dark circles," Sheridan greets Alex.


"Mhm, yeah. Stayed up late reading," Alex honestly answered Sheridan. Not like he could lie to Sheridan. His eye bags were a dead giveaway.

"Were you reading that book from yesterday? Ah, I didn't get to read how Gabrial deals with her family."

"It was very triggering. I would love to go inside the book and give her parents a piece of my mind…" Alex's voice starts to fade as he comes to a realization.

Sheridan would only know the details of the book if he read the book beforehand and hadn't finished it yet, or if he was reading the book while Alex had it open.

Alex gives Sheridan a side-eyed look, showing that he knows what Sheridan had done.

"... I got exposed, haha," Sheridan gives a sheepish smile. "I was reading the book over your shoulder yesterday. I hope you don't mind."

I mind, I mind a whole lot. You invaded my private space! Alex complained in his mind. However, he doesn't dare to voice his genuine opinion. With a passive face, Alex simply says, "Not really."

"Nice, nice! Then could you tell the book's name?"

Alex pauses for a moment. Then he finally lifts his head to get a good look at Sheridan. The boy gives him a small smile as he waits for Alex to answer.

He still looks annoying, but the fact he likes books makes him slightly more bearable, I guess, Alex concluded in his mind. Alex is but a simple bookworm. A person only needs to love books and Alex would automatically have a good impression of that person.

Sheridan continues to give a silly smile, not knowing how Alex is silently judging him. Alex gives a small nod, which confuses Sheridan.

"Restart My Life," Alex answers.

"Wait, the one where the girl got replaced by the real daughter?" Sheridan asks, his eyes widen from shock. "Oh crap, I spoiled the book for myself. I was planning to start the series soon."

"Well, you could bang your head on the table until you forget the content of the book," Alex jokes half-heartedly. He didn't think before sat those words. He feels more comfortable with Sheridan now that he knows he is similar to him. A bibliophile.

Sheridan pauses and studies Alex more closely. Somehow, he finds a way to look more shocked.

Alex immediately feels like ants crawling all over him under Sheridan's intense stare. He secretly panic to himself underneath his emotionless mask. He silently berates himself for going too far with his joke.

Alex was about to apologize when Sheridan's body shook and he quickly used his hand to cover his mouth.

"Di-didn't know you could make jokes like that. My first impression of you is that you are an introvert, and would take at least a month before I could reel- be friends with you," Sheridan explains. He still tries his best to hide his amusement.

Alex recalls the night before, where his mother had used fishing techniques to explain how to capture a friend. Was Sherdian. . . about to use a fishing metaphor? It's not like he and his mother are plotting together, right? He laughs at that ridiculous thought. But sometimes reality can be more ridiculous than the imagination. Alex ponders this while rubbing the book out of habit.

Alex decides to wordlessly set up his book between himself and Sheridan, setting a flimsy, stalwart barrier between them. Then he scoots himself to put some distance from the strange boy. He doubts he wants to be friends with this fish.

Sheridan doesn't seem to mind the barrier Alex had set up between them. He easily knocks over the book and curiously looked at it. Then he gets completely side-track and starts to read his book; he forgets all about his plan to get closer to his deskmate.

Alex: … ┐( ̄��� ̄)┌

Unfortunately for Sheridan, when he starts to get hook on the book, one of the two school's vice-principals' voice came on the PA system. He orders the students and teachers to stand up to sing the national anthem. Everyone ignores the singing part and just stands instead. Then right after the announcements are done, Mr. Smith immediately starts the class. This left Sheridan not a single minute to read a word.

Alex brings out his pencil case and a blank, beige notebook, doing his preparation to take notes. Or at least he thought he would.

It was as if Mr. Smith didn't have a whole period—75 minutes—yesterday to talk about himself.

In the beginning, he explains the diagnostic every student is required to take. The diagnostic allows the teacher to know what to review by seeing which area has the lowest average. Or if he should go ahead with the first math lesson. However, gradually it slips into a one-sided conversion about Mr. Smith in his younger days. He explains how much math had changed since when he was in school. He also tries to connect with his students by using his experience to simply say, "I've been there and done that."

Not a single student interrupts his rant, though. They love it when the teacher wasted time in class. Then they could sneakily play on their phones or do anything but school work.

Sheridan lost interest in the first 5 minutes of Mr. Smith's tangent and stealthily stole Alex's book.

Alex notices Sheridan's thievery the moment he puts his hand on the book, but he doesn't care enough to stop him. He already finished the book, what's the point of taking it back?

After Sheridan starts reading the book, Alex also gives up listening to Mr. Smith. Instead, he opts to doodle random shapes on the back cover of his notebook.

At this point, it is painfully apparent that no one is paying attention to Mr. Smith and his rich experiences. Yet, this doesn't bother him one bit. Ghosts know if Mr. Smith is dense or is wasting time because he forgot to print the diagnostic and refuses to admit it. Yup, only ghosts would know.

In the end, a student got fed up and told Mr. Smith to hurry up with handing out the diagnostic.

Alex watches as Mr. Smith becomes fluster with his hands flying all over the place. The teacher then walks out of class to presumably pick up the printed test.

Alex gives a casual glance to the student who called Mr. Smith out. It turns out the student was Aiden, a fellow bookworm.

Alex doesn't put much thought into it. He continues to doodle a fly whose name is Sheridan.

:.:.:.:.:

"You should know that all verbs that end in -er, -re, or -ir are in their infinitive form. Now, who can give me the conjugation for -er verbs?" Mrs. Williams asks the class. Her eyes are scouring the room for any hands in the air. Yet, her searching eyes scare off any potential respondent.

Currently, Alex is trying his best not to make eye contact with the teacher. But, at the same time, not looking at the wall opposing her to gain her attention. It isn't easy trying to hide one's presence in front of a teacher finding a student to answer. And it's worst if the teacher remembers your name as you'll be an easy target.

Emma raises her hand, but Mrs. Williams simply ignores her. Instead, she asks a student in the front row.

"Damn b*tch already got favourites on the second day of school. I'm late once, and I'm already on her hit-list," Emma complains under her breath. Her voice was only loud enough for her deskmates—Alex and Sheridan—to hear.

Alex gives a small shrug and continues writing his note. On the other hand, Sheridan starts a whisper conversation with Emma; then, together they trash talk about their previous teachers. They spoke about which teacher was strict, which was picky, which was annoying from their school. In general, they had a conversation about teachers they hate.

"Emma, do you have something you would like to share with the class?" Mrs. Williams calls her out. The teacher ignored it at first as she labelled Emma as a lousy student from day one. However, after a while, she became ticked when Emma didn't stop talking but instead seemed to disdain her lesson.

Emma rolls her eyes out of the teacher's vision. Then she gives a fake smile and says in a sickly sweet voice, "Oh nothing. But I couldn't help but notice that you made a mistake with the conjugation for je. It's -e, not -es. I was too shy to say anything. I'm sorry."

Mrs. Williams stares at Emma and her fake smile. The teacher couldn't tell if Emma was being genuine or was mocking her. Emma's smile makes her feel like it's the latter. She left that thought at the back of her to ponder over later; she has a lesson to teach at the moment.

The French teacher gives her a nod of approval; she had planned for someone to point out that mistake. Then she goes to fix her mistake. Her mind is now marking Emma as an intelligent student underneath her being a lousy student.

"Watch me. In a few days, I'll be on her gold-star student list," Emma says with her voice brimming with confidence. "I wasn't known as the teacher's pet for the past ten years for nothing."

Alex gives Emma a strange look, his expression a mix between bewilderment and wary. Will Emma get on the teacher's good side? Acting like a cunning fox, so she to get things to go her way? She sure won't be someone I would be able to trust. Who knows when she'll turn around and bite me in the back.

Emma looks at Alex as he builds a cast-iron wall against him. She cries without tears as she sees a fortress towering as high as heaven.

I won't be discouraged! I will become friends with Alex. After all, he's the only one who can understand me, Emma thought to herself.

She blankly stares at the blackboard as she remembers the significant incident back in elementary school. The one incident that involved Alex and a few others. Every student in the grade knows about it. Even the teachers, too; however, they sat in the backlines and did nothing.

"Damn the school system," Emma mumbles to herself.

---

Behind the scenes...

Sheridan: I'm honour to have Alex draw my portrait. o(≧∇≦o)

Portrait: 🦟

Sheridan: That's suppose to be me??? It looks nothing remotely like me!

Alex: It looks exactly like you. An annoying pest.

Sheridan: ( ≧Д≦)

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