For the past sixty days, Leonard had been engulfed in a consuming fog of desolation and apathy, a stark contrast to his usual vibrant self. His zest for life, once as insatiable as a wildfire, had gradually lost its spark. Now, it seemed to be nothing more than fading embers, threatening to extinguish entirely under the weight of his melancholy.
The activities that once fueled his enthusiasm now felt like hollow rituals devoid of meaning. The taste of food that once danced on his tongue, eliciting a culinary symphony, was now tasteless, leaving him with little to no desire to eat. Even the once enticing allure of discovery that made him lose track of hours in front of his computer had evaporated, replaced by a strange listlessness that seemed to drain his energy, leaving him with a profound emptiness that he found impossible to shake off.
His mind, once a calm sea of precise thoughts and equations, had turned into a tumultuous battleground. His thoughts, like unruly soldiers, were at war, each one vying for his attention. They were caught in the relentless crossfire between stark reality and the intoxicating realm of infatuation. A sweet tormenting infatuation that had latched onto his heart, its roots digging deeper with each passing day. An infatuation for someone he held in the highest regard, someone whose mere thought filled his heart with a profound affection, a feeling he had never experienced before.
This poignant tale of unexpressed love begins not here, but seventy days prior, in the bustling halls of academia, amid rows of antiquated books and the sterile scent of technology. Join me on this journey back in time, as we unravel the threads of Leonard’s love story, woven in the fabric of unsaid words, shared glances, and a connection that transcended the realm of codes and algorithms.
Journey back to 70 days prior…
Chapter 1: The Emergence of Leonard
Once upon a time, in the prestigious halls of one of the USA’s top colleges, thrived a prodigy named Leonard. A student par excellence, he outperformed his peers, his brilliance lighting up his academic trajectory like a meteor blazing through the night sky. A child prodigy, he had nursed a fascination with computers and robotics since the tender age of four, dreaming of emulating the feats of tech legends like Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.
His dorm room was more akin to a shrine dedicated to his passion, with an impressive collection of Transformer and Gundam figures crowding the shelves. To anyone who visited, it was a veritable museum of his fascination with the mechanical world.
The cold tendrils of winter had just begun to take hold, and the scent of Thanksgiving was in the air. But for Leonard, it was just another day. He was alone, with no close relatives nearby, and his engineer father was miles away, working on an oil rig in Saudi Arabia. Having lost his mother at birth, Leonard was accustomed to solitude.
Undeterred by the thought of spending Thanksgiving alone, Leonard found solace in his pursuit of knowledge. Intent on developing encryption software for internet data, he decided to spend his day at the university library. Immersed in the labyrinth of bookshelves, he had just selected a book when he felt a soft tap on his shoulder.
Turning around, he found himself face to face with an enchanting girl with a radiant smile and sparkling eyes. He was momentarily stunned, caught off guard by her beauty. With a shy giggle, she asked, “Could you help me with the computer over there?” Leonard, now finding his voice, agreed to assist her.
He displayed his expertise as he guided her through the steps. Once done, she introduced herself, her voice as melodious as a bird’s song, “I’m Kate. Thanks for your help, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Leonard, still entranced, responded with a thumbs-up and a smile before returning to his aisle.
A strange sensation was awakening within him. His normally predictable existence was in upheaval, his monotonous life suddenly painted with a kaleidoscope of new colors. He was experiencing what most people describe as ‘love at first sight.’ For Leonard, a man of logic and codes, this unexpected encounter with Kate felt like hitting a jackpot worth a hundred million dollars in the lottery of love. His life, it seemed, was about to enter a new and exciting chapter.