Iris looked at Kaide strangely. What exactly did he mean by that? He barely even knew her, so why did he care? And furthermore, why was he even speaking to her? Out of the hundreds of people at the school, why her? It was perfectly clear that he already had an established group of friends, so why wasn't he talking to them? It made no sense to her whatsoever.
"I'm not trying to be rude, but exactly why are you talking to me?" Iris asked.
Kaide gave a nonchalant shrug. "You seem like an interesting person." He paused. "Would you like me to stop?"
Iris shook her head. "No, not at all. It just caught me off guard a bit, that's all," she said, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
"Do you like coffee?" Kaide asked abruptly. "There's this really nice coffee shop slash bookstore right below here. It's pretty empty during this time of the day, and I get the impression that large crowds aren't really your thing."
"Alright," she said to him, grabbing her book and placing it in it's original spot. She really didn't know what else to say. If she said no, she would feel extremely rude. Besides, she nothing better to do, so why not?
"This way," Kaide told her with a nod of his head. He guided her outside. As they neared the back of the building, Iris spotted a stairway that led downward. "Is that it?" she asked him.
"Yep," he said. They both descended down the stairway, which led to a pair of doors. Kaide opened one of them and let Iris enter before him.
Unlike the rest of the campus, this building had a minimalist feeling to it that contrasted with everything else's elaborate nature. The walls were a light beige color with posters of book covers on the walls. There were multitudes of little tables accompanied by small chairs that were scattered throughout the area. To the far right was where the cashier was located and where guests ordered food and refreshments. Further on Iris could spot several book shelves that were sorted into different sections.
Although it was fairly simple, Iris found the atmosphere to be extremely appealing. Walking in was like taking in a breath of fresh air, and she instantly felt calm as she approached it.
"Nice huh?" Kaide said from behind her.
Iris nodded. "Extremely. Thank you for showing it to me."
"It's no problem," he told her as he walked over to the counter. "Want anything?"
She shook her head. "No, I'm fine."
"If you say so," he told her before putting in his order.
Once his order was ready, he chose a small table for them to sit down at. "So," Kaide said as he leaned back in his chair, "you're an artist."
Iris nodded. "And you're an actor."
"Right you are. So, are you going to try out for that art showcase at the end of the semester?"
"Yes," she answered slowly. "How'd you know about that?"
"Well, I thought every freshmen group at Sonser had some big event at the end of each semester," he answered.
And Kaide was right. At the ending of each semester at Sonser, a large event was held for each category. For the visual artists, ten freshmen would be able to showcase one of their pieces at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Each student of the freshman class would be allowed to create a piece for the showing. However, only a select group of them would be chosen for this event. Iris, along with many others, was hoping to be one of those people.
"And I assume you'll be trying out for the acting portion."
"Of course," he said slyly, "although ours is a bit different. Instead of a showcase we audition for a part in a play. They still haven't made up their mind on what the production will be this year. I'm hoping it'll be something like How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying or Phantom of the Opera. I'd make a wicked Phantom."
"Really?" Iris asked, her interest peaked. "So you can sing as well?" She asked with a raised brow.
Kaide gave a confident nod. "My neighbors complement me all the time."
She smiled and let out a light laugh. "I guess I'll take your word for it."
He openly returned the smile and took a sip of his drink. "Y'know I'll have to check out your art sometime. I bet it's fantastic. It's always the quiet one's you have to look out for."
Iris smiled again as her eyes wandered from Kaide to a clock. Her heart began to race whenever she realized that her next class would begin in just a few minutes.
"What's the matter?" Kaide asked, recognizing the anxiety in her face.
"I'm gonna be late for my next class," Iris exclaimed as she hurriedly grabbed her things.
He looked up at the clock and cursed under his breath. Evidently Iris wasn't the only one about to miss her classes. Kaide quickly threw his bag over his shoulder.
"I'm sorry about that," Kaide exclaimed to her as they walked outside. "I should've kept a better track of the time."
Iris shook her head. "No, please don't blame yourself. I should've too."
They quickly exchanged goodbyes before heading off into opposite directions. Once again Kaide had managed to play a part in Iris's day. She was beginning to wonder whether or not their meetings were merely coincidental. Oh well, she thought. She wasn't complaining. At least now she had someone to converse with besides Jade and Skye. And perhaps he wasn't so bad after all. Only time could tell.