Today I have a story for you.
“Alright, so we’re going to break into groups and I’ll give you time to go over this exercise, then we’ll meet as a class again.”
Small groans met Professor Brown’s words. Nobody liked group work, especially in a college class where everybody would much rather keep to themselves than talk to one of the strange new faces they hadn’t known existed before the semester began. With reluctance and awkward glances the class split up.
One group consisted of two boys and two girls. One boy was stocky with pinkish-skin and wide eyes, the other tall, lean, and tan, bearing (by his own admission) a big nose. The girls were both fairly pale, one thing with dark, curly hair, the other slightly chubby with glasses half-covered by side-swept bangs that perpetually fell into her face.
Slowly they spoke and went through the questions to be covered, each revealing their major, ages, hometowns, grade level, and other information they wouldn’t remember about each other 5 minutes later. Luckily there wasn’t much to cover, and soon the group sat in silence.
Slowly little bits of conversation appeared, each giving short, simple answers. Eventually the tall boy noticed the girl with the glasses had opened a book that was on her desk, and asked with every bit of innocence, “What’re you reading?”She looked over at him with a slight flip of the book so he could see the cover. “Shutter Island,” she replied, keeping a finger on her current page as she let the book close.
The boy gave her a small smile and slowly remarked, “You know, you could just watch the movie.”
Without hesitation the girl nodded. “I have. Saw it not too long ago.”
Confusion clouded the boy’s face. He kept his smile in tact, wanting to seem more friendly than baffled. The other two remained mostly silent, looking between the two who had been talking. Their expressions made it clear they weren’t sure how to contribute, what they could say that was relevant to the exchange. The tall boy opened his mouth again.
“Then… why are you reading it?”
“I wanted to see if the book was similar to the movie.”
“Okay, but why–”
“I love to read.”
Silence fell again. Luck was on their side this time, as Professor Brown clapped his hands together and called the class to attention.
The group turned to face him, already dismissing what had happened. The girl looked down at her copy of Shutter Island, biting her bottom lip as she carefully folded the corner of the page to mark her spot. Her gaze shifted to the front of the classroom, though her mind was long gone. It was in another time, another world, another dimension. One where her face and left palm were happily married and people knew better than to question why somebody would read anything.