"Crake had a thing about him even then, thinks Snowman. Not that he was popular, exactly, but people felt flattered by his regard. Not just the kids, the teachers too. He'd look at them as if he was listening, as if what they were talking about was worth of his full attention, though he would never say so exactly. He generated awe -- not an overwhelming amount of it, but enough. He exuded potential, but potential for what? Nobody knew, and so people were wary of him. All of this in his dark laconic clothing."from p. 75 of "Oryx and Crake" by Margaret Atwood.
i get annoyed at stories in books where there are a pair of characters, and one of them is clearly the alpha-figure, the cooler one, the leader, the strong silent one. the other one is just a little clumsier, a little chubbier, and when the leader says, "let's do this", it goes without saying they will. i guess i just have always felt like i was the one who was fatter, more clueless, not really knowing what the socially acceptable thing was to do. so i'd follow my cooler, more confident sidekick along, but slightly resentful, wishing i could be the cool one for once.
i'm prepared to like this book, however. debbie, have you read this one?