Brian's attempt to woo Jane in chapter 10

Brian wished he had a cloak of invisibility. Term was nearly over and Jane was still giving him the brush-off. The nicer he was to her, the more caustic she became. What was it with her? He felt embarrassed by his behaviour – it was a bit desperate. He wanted to be invisible for a while, or at least avoid Jane, and so he’d been hiding out in the library.

A week ago, he’d been struggling through his statistics assignment. He didn’t get the whole Bayesian thing. Weeks of learning about p-values, and suddenly his lecturer was throwing this whole new approach into the mix. Why don’t lecturers see how confusing that is? Mind you, with his big spacey eyes his lecturer looked like his brain might have crashed out on mushrooms in the ‘70s. Surely only a drugs casualty has a name like Oditi? Anyway, Brian was stuck, frustrated, and about to give up when he recognized Alex and Sam from his lectures.

He went over and asked for help. They welcomed him. Alex was smart, that much was obvious, but her generosity and empathy in mentoring him and Sam was quite overwhelming. Alex was nervy around Brian and got a little tetchy whenever he mentioned Jane.

During his week of hiding out in the library he chatted to Alex more and more. She was big-hearted, funny and seemed to enjoy his company.

Today he was alone, though, and reflecting on what a good week it had been. He’d started to feel more human—like a regular guy with normal friends. He felt calm and relaxed for the first time since the term started. That was until a finger tapped his shoulder and he turned to face the knowing smile of Jane.

‘Hi, stranger,’ she said.