Yet we reconnected against all odds.
A classical geek in a technical faculty — that applies to both him and me. He is without a doubt highly intelligent, pushing past genius levels and an extremely motivated individual.
Schoolmates would often seek his guidance in course work syllabus which he generously offers without fail. Yet his cocky attitude kept a distance between he and myself — 2 schoolmates who have yet to initiate any formal conversation.
It is University after all, so a mixin with mutual friends led both he and I to work in the same team. What followed in the next 6 months however went completely unexpected.
He and I interacted regularly, through texting apps on mobile devices. Without exception during each conversation, he offers me patience and attention span very few others have. Our topics were diverse and rarely related to work — more often than not they were philosophical and thought-provoking in nature.
His replies tend to be well thought out and in-depth, further proof he had read my texts meticulously. When I questioned if he is bored by my long messages, he replied sincerely, “Not at all.” — implying genuine engagement with my expressive opinions.
The past few months of interactions had forged an intense emotional bond between he and I. “Never have I been so emotionally vulnerable and open with any other.” — was what I told him. He whole-heartedly concurred.
Yet there is still something unsettling about him, in particular his street smarts and quick wits. His well-established connections and understanding of how the world works were many light years ahead of his peers.
On just any other random day he finally revealed his family dynamics, demystifying my previous wariness of him.
“Well. My dad lost his job. Family members just… split apart? Sister buried herself in school. Mum spiralled into Depression. Dad was nowhere to be found.”
His resilience and intelligence had tided his family through hard times. The hardship he went through as a 14 year old had instilled in him premature cynicism. Yet he opened up to me without any hesitation.