The Rule of Exception


"For every general rule, there will be an exception…"


I always thought I knew life inside out, that nothing could surprise me. I always thought I have my path figured out, I have my life planned, and that nothing could derail me from my purpose, my goal.

You weren't even my type, generally speaking, I probably wouldn't have noticed you even if we sat next to each other, were in the same presentation team, group study, the same room, for every class. I didn't notice how you joined the same clubs as I did, or was it the other way around? I didn't notice when you were elected vice president of the student council. I didn't think you noticed either, when I was elected class representative.

We never said hello or goodbye. We weren't even classified as acquaintances. I barely remember your name, I'm not sure if you even knew mine. You were the type of person that I'd overlook, or shun, and I was the type of person who you'd probably never look twice.

Generally speaking, I wouldn't have known you at all. Generally. General rule.

I never expected you to be that exception.


"… if you wish to use an exception in the general rule, you have to draw attention to it…"


His name was the first name I took note. He became our class representative, and he was my partner for so many projects. He demanded perfection, flawlessness, he was the epitome of one who knew what he wanted, and would do anything to achieve it.

I wondered why he never took the position of president of the student council. It was a mistake on my part. I had thought I knew his type, I had thought he would have taken the position. Generally speaking, he struck me as the leader, the special ones who would take the reins. Generally speaking, I was never wrong.

That's why I tried so hard to obtain the position of vice president.

When we sat in class, I forced myself to do twice as good, better than the rest, pay twice as much attention, and work thrice as hard. He demanded perfection, I would be that perfection. I didn't participate in meaningless activities like shopping; I only joined clubs he joined. I excelled, I was the top of my batch. Our tutors praised me. Our classmates envied and admired me.

I didn't want their attention, but his eyes were never on me.

Generally speaking, I should have succeeded. But I supposed, he was an exception.


"… failure to do so would result in the exception being bypassed, and the intended effect would be lost…"


I only knew of your name, when I heard my best friend talked on and on about that new kid, the one who broke the record for the highest scores, the second student to receive a first class honour, possibly the first to ever receive the role model award, for not only were you good at studies, you were active in other activities as well.

And still, I took no notice.

Generally speaking, I would have been furious, for you had done what I intended to do. Generally speaking, I would have learned to dislike you, out of envy, perhaps, or at least, taken notice of you, out of admiration, possibly.

I didn't.

Now, I could say, I was a fool, a blind fool, I had simply shrugged and commented that you must have a very high goal, your future was going to be shining like a beacon, and that you would have an easy life laid down ahead of you.

And I left it at that.


"… the overall argument would fall in favour of the opposing group, should you fail to enlighten the judge to the exception, especially when it is so obvious that you should have…"


I guess, in the end, I failed, in the one thing that I wished so much to achieve perfection, I failed, miserably.

I worked, hard, I slaved, I sacrificed. Generally? It should have been enough.

Why wasn't it?


"… and then, it'll be an easy win for your opponent."


You have moved on, by the time I realized my error, by the time I heard the whispers on how you had strived to gain my attention, and how I had been so cold to your efforts…

I opened my eyes, I strained my ears, I learned with dawning comprehension. Generally, I should have noticed.

You were my exception.


"That is all for today, class. Remember, for every general rule, there is an exception."


A moment lost in time,
The memories stay strong;
Listen to the bells chime,
The regrets are lifelong.