3 Chapter 3

I am officially having a bad morning.

I did not get enough sleep, thanks to the impulsive bar escapade the night before and while it is not an unpleasant change, it was stressing to get home with a drunk friend, who, for the love of the heavens acted like her limbs are the most useless things in the universe, plus the vomit, especially the vomit, until now I can still sense the lingering smell in the car, and it makes me gag every time.

Then I woke up with a slight headache that over time developed into a full-blown one that would definitely inconvenience my day, so I decided to get coffee before going to the university.

While getting coffee, however, a careless female university student (I can tell because of the identification card she wears in her neck), too engrossed in evading a male and laughing wildly, bumped into me, spilling her hot drink in front of my shirt.

That's when I snapped.

"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry, Miss" she gushed

I looked up and sent daggers in the student's direction. I think she did not recognize me as a professor (a student from another department perhaps).

When I talked, it was calm but I put all my restrained anger in my words, "Next time, it would be great if you do not play tag inside a public place. If you're that sexually frustrated, please go get a room and don't inconvenience others." She instantly blushed, for while I did not raise my voice, it is still clearly audible throughout the café, bless my naturally booming voice for that.

I am too angry to care, so glancing at her for the last time, I fished my handkerchief in my bag, covered my damp chest, and headed out of the café fuming and certainly not caffeinated.

.....

After that interesting incident earlier, my day proceeded without another hitch, save for the slight headache and a slightly bigger sliver of annoyance left in my system, maybe going out late at night to go to a club is not my cup of tea after all.

I am having lunch with Nieth in the professors' lounge when she suddenly told me that she will be out for the afternoon because she needs to check on her research paper with her grammarian in person, I don't know why she needs to be briefed in person when they can do it via e-mail but I won't judge, we take things differently anyway and Nieth has always been hands-on with anything.

However, she needs me to cover one of her afternoon class which is conveniently scheduled in my free time (which isn't free by the way for I spend it by checking my student's papers and all).

It's not really a request, more like a command which has something to do with an important exam, another thing that I do not understand about her, she keeps on giving endless exams as opposed to my scheduled papers and exams, she claims that the element of surprise would let you know if your students are learning from you and how much.

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I told her to make her TA do it but apparently, she needs her to accompany her to the grammarian, whatsoever.

....

3 hours later, I've been given strange glances from students as I take a hike from my usual building to the another for the first time since I became a professor and a lot of them doesn't have any idea who I am, especially the freshmen (and also because I'm a total recluse, only staying at my office or going to my classes, only straying from my schedule unless absolutely necessary, present situation included.)

Nieth is teaching those students who are majoring in the field of Sciences while I've always stayed in the languages department so I'm not surprised that a lot of them haven't known me.

When I reached the right floor, I immediately proceeded to the room where the students are waiting, heels click-clacking and echoing to the walls in the deserted, some voices can be heard from the rooms that have ongoing classes.

When I got inside the room, all chatter died down and a tense silence seems to hang in the air.

I put all my belongings and the test paper at the table in front and making sure that it is properly set before looking up to the students.

Giving them a smile before introducing myself.

"Hi everyone! I'm Professor Audre Ramirez, and I will be facilitating your exams" I swept my eyes into the whole room, looking each student in the eye memorizing faces and expressions.

I nearly put my brows into the ceiling when I caught the eye of the student who bumped me earlier, good thing my self-restraint kicked in first, taking in her position, she looks hilarious with her hunched posture probably trying to make herself small, it must be a shock to her.

I then began to orient them on my exam rules as well as the rules that Nieth relayed to me earlier and not long after I started the exams.

While waiting for the time to pass by, I fished my laptop in my bag and checked some of my students' papers while also monitoring the class.

Everything was going smoothly that time seemed to have flown over the window, my phone's alarm went off startling me and the students.

"Please stop writing right now and put your papers on your desks" then I collected everything and immediately went out of the room to go to my office and put all the exam papers and proceed to my next class.

.....

After a long day of work, I was now leaning at the window of my office, drinking tea, and looking out of the window overlooking the school's parking space. This is one of my most favorite parts of the day, looking out and seeing the cars speed away, I find it calming.

Then I saw a familiar-looking girl skipping towards a black car that I seriously don't know what's the name, I recognize her as one of Nieth's students, the one who bumped me earlier in the coffee shop.

She's still energetic that it's making my head spin. I am certainly not that energetic when I was in college, quite the opposite to be honest, everyone would find me asleep almost everywhere when I have no class.

Then I was surprised when a man went out of the car and embraced the girl, what shocked me though is that the girl proceeded to kiss the man, I thought the man chasing her earlier was her boyfriend, clearly not by the looks of it.

Gosh, they certainly are bold, kissing in the parking lot filled with exhausted college students.

"What are you looking at?" Nieth asked curiously.

I must be deep in thoughts because I did not notice her barge in my office, "how many times should I told you to knock?" I scolded.

"Nah, too tiring, and why would I knock anyway, it's not like you have anything to hide from me" which is indeed true, Nieth knows me as much as I know myself, we've been best friends since forever.

"You can never be sure" I just replied then grabbed my things to go home.

At the car, my phone beeped signaling that a message just arrived, when I opened it, I was baffled to find an unknown number has sent me a message but was immediately relieved to see that it's Jay.

'Hey, It's Jay from last night."

"I just wanna know if you want to go to an art exhibit this Saturday'

'I have two tickets but I don't have anyone to invite and I remembered you'

I was smiling like a teenager while reading the messages which made Nieth curious, "who was that?"

"Just someone I know inviting me this Saturday for an art exhibit" I answered her casually.

"Dre, I literally know everyone you know and none of them care about art, so who is this 'friend' you are talking about?" emphasizing the word friend and doing a quote-unquote gesture with her hands.

"Fine!" I huffed, "I met him last night, Lisa introduced us, and he's an artist"

"Who are you and what have you done to my friend!" Nieth was shaking my shoulders vigorously like she is trying to exorcise me and acting all dramatic about it.

"Shut up! and stop it" I was laughing at her antics. I understand her reaction because as an introvert it really takes a long time for me to warm up to people especially to men but it's not my fault that Jay and I just clicked immediately.

"Seriously, I'm happy for you Dre. You are growing up and putting yourself out there, I can cry" then pretending to wipe away her fake tears.

"Please cut it and don't ever say that again, It's so cringy!" and I shuddered for full effects.

Not long after that we were laughing and gossiping about what happened with me at the club when she was busy chugging alcohol with our other friends and dancing like a total lunatic, but not before I sent jay my response.

'I'd absolutely love to'

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