After that, I thought about Levi even more. I wondered if he was depressed, or if there was some event in his past that caused him to be the way he was.
I was sitting in my British Lit lecture room next to Ted a week after I watched Levi paint, waiting for class to start. I thought I'd bring it up.
"Hey, Ted?" I said, trying to grab his attention.
He turned to look at me, tucking his long hair behind an ear. "Yeah?"
"I was wondering-well," I began, but he cut me off.
"You're going to ask about Levi, aren't you?" he said, a knowing smile coating his lips. Ted had the kind of smile that let you know he cared about you. His smile was so warm and welcoming, it felt like home.
"I-how'd you know?" I asked, bewildered.
"He's been mentioning you," Ted said with a warm smile. "And I've seen you looking at him around campus. You may fancy yourself a private person, but you're very easy to read."
"Well, that's, wow," I said, taken aback. I wouldn't have thought Levi talked about me to his friends.
"What do you want to know?"
"I was just- is there something, excuse this, but, is there something wrong with him?" I blurted, not knowing how to put it any way but bluntly.
Ted smiled sadly in response. "There are things in Levi's life that made him who he is, but it's not really my place to discuss them. I guess there are a few things I can tell you, though," Ted said, looking wistfully into the distance.
"Okay," I said, now unsure if I even wanted to know.
"His mom committed suicide when he was 13. Well, one of them. He's had several."
"Wait, several? Several what?"
"Well, moms, I guess. His dad has remarried multiple times. Anyways, that happened. Also, his family is a mess, but I don't want to talk too much about that. He also happens to be filthy rich," Ted finished lightly. "Oh, also, his dad is John Bowman. That's a pretty major source of drama, there," Ted said casually.
"Wait-what?" I asked. It couldn't be the John Bowman I was thinking of. "Like, the drummer for Arachnid, John Bowman?" No. No.
"That's the one!" Ted said as if it wasn't John Bowman.
"The famous one, right?" I asked, still flabbergasted.
"Yes, Iris. The famous one," Ted said amusedly.
But Ted didn't reply on account of the teacher coming in to start the lesson.
I left class feeling dazed. It all made sense now. Well, some of it. The addictions. The stoic nature. The excellent music taste.
But I couldn't stop thinking about all of it. His dad was John fucking Bowman. I was stunned into silence. Nothing felt real.
I ran to my dorm from class, planning to slap Emma for not telling me.
"EMMA!" I screeched as I burst through the door. She was listening to music on her laptop.
"What?!" she screeched back, removing the large blue headphones from her ears.
"Were you planning on telling me anytime soon that Levi's dad is JOHN BOWMAN?"
"Oh, that? You didn't know that? I barely know Levi and I knew that," Emma said with a scoff, waving her hand dismissively. "But it's whatever. Arachnid is mediocre anyways," Emma replied casually.