Caleb watched both Kalama and Rowan write out their number for tutoring on a piece of paper with a smile. He had got those digits at least, but he may need to change up his game plan a bit. As he looked over them, his intuition kicked in. Whenever this happened it wasn’t like the information just appeared in his mind, but rather a culmination of every detail he noticed came together at once. In this case, the way Rowan attempted to keep the peace and take charge in introductions, the way he touched his hair as though seeking comfort, and even the way his entire demeanor had changed when he had begun questioning Ken. Rowan came across as a calm, modern hippie, but underneath that was a river of near constant stress just bubbling under the surface. The thing he craved most of all was a sense of control of his own life or at least the illusion of control.
Kalama’s case was different as what he got from her was not a longing for control, but instead a longing for… something? Love? Affection? No something more like a family, but was cripple by her own inability to trust. In her case, coming at her directly with his interest would not help him at all as it would somehow make him more untrustworthy in her mind. She was somewhat more complicated to work with in Caleb’s opinion. Normally he wouldn’t have started hitting on either of them before his insight had done its work, but his goal at the time really had been to distract himself from the pain in his leg than anything else and flirting was always fun.
His insight into Val had come quite quickly, she simply did not want to be put into a box and labelled as a “dumb jock.” She wanted to be judged without labels and seen for her own merits. This had not really been a problem as Caleb had seen from their workout sessions the sheer amount of effort that Val had put into her dream and simply saw her lack of good grades as the result of putting her priorities to her actual goal. That was something he could respect, so he had never said a word about her supposed lack of smarts nor given it any mind. He did wish that she were a little less thick-headed in the art of flirting though. Acting as her wingman was about as effective as driving into a brick wall.
With his newfound insight, Caleb altered his game plan entirely, he leaned toward Rowan and whispered over to him, “Hey, it has been pretty clear I have been flirting with you hard, but if you would like me to stop, chill out, or hell, flirt even harder let me know. Your choice.” Caleb paused for a moment, and remembered his other goal. “But, regardless, if it is alright with you, can we talk later? About Ken?” He was distracted with another member of the class approaching the table and joining their study group. Like Kyle, he wasn’t sure he had seen her talk at all either though the reason for that became quite clear as she used a text to speech program to communicate. Of course, that same feeling in his chest was happening with her too. What was going on with him today? He shook the feeling off and handed her the near complete list of numbers for the group. “Sure, come on in and join our new study buddy family!”
In the meantime, he took Kyle’s quite complete set of notes and took out his phone. He had an app that was able to scan written documents into a text file and sent that out to all the members of the group once the numbers list was completed. “And there we go some easy note sharing between us all!” He took a sip of the drink Kalama had made him, being careful to portray any emotion on his face as he did despite the fact it was quite good. Making himself as distant as possible to her was far more likely to be effective than his previous strategy, plus it made it seem as though he had lost interest in her. In fact, he had barely paid any attention to her at all since his insight came through, just a quick “Thanks.” when she set down his drink.
“Yeah that rough time with sleep has been going around a lot lately. I don’t think I’ve gotten one in a couple weeks.” He looked over at Elysia, “I take it that’s why you missed class today yourself huh?”