I attended my classes as usual. However, the voices of the lecturers, standing on the dais, seemed to echo from far away. The same went for my studies. I took in words with my eyes, but they vanished like smoke before they could settle in my mind. I also grew reticent. Several friends misunderstood this. They assumed I was indulging in contemplations, and even conveyed this to others. I didn't try to disabuse them, but rather was grateful for the convenient façade. There were times, though, when I was not content to let this stand and would deliberately confound them with bouts of fitful revelry.
Guests were rare in the house where I lodged. The family seemed to have few relations. Sometimes the daughter would have a friend from school over, but they would always talk so quietly that one hardly knew they were there. It didn't occur to me, of course, that their discretion might be out of deference. Those who called on me were hardly unruly, but neither did they show particular deference to others in the house. In this sense, I was a lodger living as though I owned the place, while the young lady of the house behaved like a humble guest.
I write this because it comes to mind, but it's really of no consequence. There is one thing, however, that is of consequence. I suddenly discerned one day, from the hearth room or the young lady's room, the sound of a male voice. Unlike my own visitors, this voice was exceedingly soft. I couldn't make out what was said. Not knowing what they were up to put my nerves on edge. I sat there strangely agitated. I wondered if it was a relative, or perhaps just some acquaintance.