I had sat in the lecture theatre for about an hour. I don’t recall a thing the lecturer said; his lips moved I heard no sound. After thirty minutes I gave up and plugged in my headphones and let them take me to wherever they wanted. I closed my eyes and bobbed my head gently to the beats. Heads turned in unison toward me. I just stared at them and turned to the window. I felt the table shake. I looked down at it and shifted my gaze to the window outside. There wasn’t much to learn anymore.
I saw people stand an hour later, and leave the theatre I followed. I saw, “Assignment one” written on the whiteboard in purple marker. I didn’t care to know what it was. I walked to the door and something drew me to look back. It was Harriett again with the munchies wolfing down doughnuts from the cafeteria. I waved, her chocolate laden hands waved back. I shrugged and walked away. I had another class it was two doors down from the Lecture theatre. I walked past it. My presence in class made no difference. I learnt nothing, heard nothing what was the point?
The lecturer saw me pass by, I just ignored him, he stuck his head through the door into the hallway yelling my name. What did he care? I just whipped out my iPod and cranked up the volume to drown him out.
I walked past the janitor; we exchanged nods acknowledging each other. He looked around and gently placed his mop against the wall. He followed me to the smoking section of the school courtyard.
“Got it?” he asked me. I nodded and whipped out the book. Soma contrary to his name hadn’t done much reading as a child and spent at least 20 minutes of every break he could get reading a novel, anything to stimulate his imagination. He was an interesting character to read. He would read a chapter and then sit for a few minutes eyes closed, still replaying what he just read in his mind. “Movie ya kichwa” he would say; re-enacting a movie in his mind.
“I have something to show you Kevin!” OK I thought. I pulled out my earphones and looked at him quizzically.
“Check!” Soma handed over a yellowing foolscap with dog ears and ugly penmanship that looked like a 4 year old had doodled on it. I sneered a little then stopped when I realised Soma was looking at me.
Soma had always told me he would write a book. And today I had the manuscript in my hands. The bell interrupted our moment. I just said, “Thanks!” flipped my hoodie back on and blasted my iPod some more. As I strolled to class, I felt someone behind me, I turned and Soma threw himself on me and hugged me. It was a weird feeling I had never experienced before. I shook him off quickly. It was a sensation I couldn’t explain. I wanted it but hated it at the same time.
“Thank you!” Soma said nodding and smiling. “You tell me what you think?”
I nodded. Weird! I thought. I turned back and found myself throwing myself on him. I needed that sensation again however repulsively meaningful it was.