A forgotten yet familiar discomfort

Published on Sep 28, 2019

Imogen was talkative and fast. Interactions felt like they whizzed by. And it wasn't like she was rushing things because she was bored or being nice, just pretending to listen. She literally was fast. Thought fast. Spoke fast. Judged fast. She probably found the rest of the class sluggish. Even coffee -- one of the slower things he was used -- flew by with Imogen.

He didn't know why they had ended up getting coffee in the first place. None of the other lab members had tried hanging out outside of lab, but Imogen seemed not to have the same boundaries as other people. 

They had walked to Espressions. He felt like they had barely sat down by the time Imogen said she had to go to work. His coffee cup had still been closer to full than empty. Still, that short conversation, or more a vomit of Imogen's life to him lingered. 

Now this is when she started sticking out again from the rest of the people in the class. 

"Are you comp sci?"

"No. I'm taking this class for fun."

"Oh Same-zies."

"And because also I'm thinking about getting into programming."

Imogen laughed. "Me too. But I would never wanna do it full-time. I just wanna... you know? be in the tech field but don't wanna be totally ignorant to what's going on. So that's why I'm taking this class. So what made you wanna program?"

"I don't know. It sounds more fun than psychology."

"Oh is that your major? That's funny. Whaddyu guys usually do then?"

"Design and run experiments. Write papers."

"And that sounds boring to you is what you're saying? That makes sense. My major's in advertising."

Imogen apparently was majoring in something else before. He couldn't remember what. But she changed to advertising because she thought that was where all the interesting jobs were heading with the internet and all. She worked for a startup incubator that Westcity had started and recently expanded. She worked for the expanded wing here in East City, which focused on fostering startups founded by SU students. 

While listening, a discomfort that he hadn't felt since freshmen year began creeping into him. The feeling he had when he first got onto campus and didn't know anyone. This feeling that'd become so distant that he had forgotten it. Now it was back. Suddenly and out of the blue.

"Well I gotta go. Ton of work to do. I'm sure you're busy too. See you later!"

After Imogen had gone he sat there watching people walk by for over an hour. Then she called. 

"Hi want to meet up?"


"Okay... hey is something wrong?"

"Oh nothing. Meet me at Espressions? I just came here with a classmate."

"Okay. I'll see you soon. I'm already walking."