The enthusiastic chattering in the lecture hall ceased immediately, as their lecturer Kevin entered. He was a smallish man of 55, with square black rimmed glasses and short dark grey hair. As always there was a gentle lingering sound of giggles echoing softly, the utterances unable to escape through the thick walls. Alas, Kevin was famous for his dreadful taste in ties. In this instance his choice was especially bad as he donned a bright pink tie with orange coloured flowers scattered upon it, it really was an eye sore. Kevin clicked on the PowerPoint presentation without batting so much as an eyelid and swayed ever so slightly on the spot at the front of the room. Ava rummaged in her bag, pulling out a large new notebook with a post stick note boldly stating “KEVIN’S LECTURES” attached to the front. Oscar and Sebastian gazed at her hopefully with large expressive eyes.

“I might have known!” She whispered. “You two are so disorganised!” She pulled out some sheets of paper and distributed them between the two boys. They glanced at her once more.

“Yes I have spare pens!” Ava hissed throwing a black pen at them. Sebastian, seriously lacking in hand eye co-ordination dropped his and it rolled rapidly underneath the row of seats in front. Groaning, he bent down in attempt to retrieve it. At last he grasped the biro tightly between his thumb and index finger and sat down in his seat once more. Kevin glared as him as the whole room silenced awkwardly.

“May I begin Sebastian? We are all waiting to start while you seem to have lost all focus.”

“S-sorry Kevin”

Sebastian sighed glaring at the floor. Kevin shook his head ever so slightly and switched on the overhead projector which whirred loudly, having not been used in a few months. The first slide fluttered against the white wall appearing to be ever so slightly out of focus. Kevin slowly adjusted the image proceeding to explain the slide. The next 3 hours dragged pathetically, the whole group slumped carelessly in their chairs praying for time to hasten but it did not. Ava sat primly between Oscar and Sebastian paying full attention to what was being said, scribbling down appropriate notes frantically for each slide until her right wrist ached terribly. Sebastian’s head dropped onto his chest. Ava noticing, poked him sharply in the ribs.

“Ow! Christ!” He exclaimed noisily, only to have the embarrassment of 80 people gazing at him. Sebastian placed his head in his hands and turned a shade of beetroot red, with only enough courage to peep cautiously through the gaps in his fingers. Kevin’s patience was wearing thin.

“Sebastian! Please concentrate on the lecture. Yes I know you’ve had a long summer but we’re all adults here. You are not back at high school , so kindly stop behaving in such a childish manner!” Kevin snapped, peering over the rim of his thick spectacles.

“You’re looking a bit flushed mate!” Oscar whispered gritting his teeth and trying his hardest not to laugh. Sebastian gave Oscar a cold hard stare. Ava and Oscar smiled at each other, momentarily held hands. They regained all focus, proceeding to take notes. There was no denying; Sebastian felt like an outcast, a spare part perhaps, for as it is often said ‘3 is a crowd’. Each day Sebastian felt like he was being swept away in a similar fashion to an unwanted piece of driftwood riding upon a tidal wave as Ava and Oscar grew closer. Sebastian decided to divert his focus to elsewhere. Upon eyeing the majority of the room he noticed the obvious damp patch which was appearing upon the white plaster ceiling of the lecture theatre. The plaster crumbled away like flaky pastry, snowing down and leaving remnants upon the cheap vinyl floor. Ava’s brain was completely switched on today. Determined to control her wandering mind, she continued to scribble frantically devising spider diagrams which she would read over later in the evening. Oscar meanwhile, made concise bullet points, breaking down the huge chunks of text into simplified notes to use as revision guides as the January exams neared. As the clock chimed 4pm, the student’s lept from their seats. Sebastian groaned and crumpled his piece of un touched lined paper into a ball, casting it into the waste paper basket on the way out.

“Well that was a bloody waste of time.” He moaned.

“It wouldn’t have been had you actually paid attention.” Ava tutted in disapproval, denying Sebastian any sympathy. Oscar smiled and decided to opt for the softer approach.

“I agree it was crap but I’m still so determined to get through this year. You can copy from mine or Ava’s notes later. I’d go for Ava’s, my handwriting is spidery.”

“Thanks.” Sebastian nodded forcing a weak smile

To be continued…

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33 thoughts on “Planchette-Part 8

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