Unbelievable. The two of them really couldn't keep their mouths shut now, could they? What had he even gone to the library for in the first place? Silence, of course. Welcoming, all-consuming silence. Another plan failed. He should have seen it coming.
Maxim let out a pained sigh, simultaneously chewing on his bottom lip. He had barely managed to get through three sentences yet. He had to keep starting all over, his peers' words blending in with the carefully braided web of words he was trying to focus on. Artists. Tattoos. Artsy stuff. Something about brothers and sisters. Someone just sew their damned mouths shut!
He lowered the book, his fingers slightly quivering as they desperately held on to it. Annoyed, yes, that was the term. He way beyond annoyed at this point. But then again, he couldn't really blame those girls, now that he thought about it. They succeeded where he was failing. Casual conversation, being sociable. What people of his age were all about, usually. Maybe he was just being jealous.
Was he really? No, the idea was preposterous. He was fairly content the way everything was, why would he have been jealous? Maxim the loner, the hermit, the outcast. That's what he was and he was fine with it.
One of his hands left the book cover and felt at the furrows on his forehead. Yes, there it was, that permanent frown. Not even out of place this time. Out of place. Yes, that's what he was. Out of place, out of his element, a foreign body. Even here, at the library, which he usually considered sacred.
Maxim looked at the other two once more. They seemed content, both of them. He, he was just a disturbance. A liability. Which was fine. He was okay with that. Still, he had to act accordingly. Let his actions speak for him.
Slowly at first, then with a sudden jolt, he got up from his chair, almost jumping to his feet, the book firmly clasped under his arm, the bag held in the other hand. He glanced at Astrid and Mel, only for a split second, before averting his gaze again. The less said, the better. Let them have their fun.
He felt a shiver going down his spine. Couldn't even describe what it was. Maybe shame, excitement, anxiety, anything and everything combined. Whatever it was, it was his prompt to finally leave the scene.
And with that, he crept away, head hanging almost submissively low. He would find another place to read, a place nobody would disturb him. Where he wouldn't disturb someone else. Seek and you shall find. Yes, that would be his motto for the rest of the day. As swiftly and silently as possible, Maxim exited Beale Library.
((Maxim Kehlenbrink continued in Wasserweber