“Does anyone not know how to log on to a computer?”
I lean back in my desk and feel the glaze on my eyes further solidify as I join the rest of the class in silence. The curve of the chair bites into my tail bone but at least I feel something again. I check the time on my phone from the pocket of my dress. We’re entering hour two of our three-hour tour. I was forming a theory that this was a psychological experiment of some sort over how long it will take for millennial’s to go all Planet of the Apes on an old man.
“Okay, so you start with your name, usually it has this format with a name box and password box.”
Lord have mercy he’s doing it again. I could not count the times that I had seen this exact presentation. It was a good fifteen minutes about the importance typing with the correct fingers.
“Now, some people do, I think it’s chicken beak type style, like this”, he held up his stubby little hands, “Notice my pointer finger is up, like this, and the rest of my fingers are curled under like a fist without the raised finger. Now watch.”
We watched his hands peck away at the keys at he watched us, an expectant look on his face. I just wanted to get Oedipus the King over with and he was sitting there. Just tapping away his name and then hitting delete with rapid jabs. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.
I felt something tug on my hair and swatted instinctively at the assumed insect in this damp smelling room. That was just what I needed, creepy crawlies in my mane as the professor from Jurassic Park went over the wizardry of electronics.
“Sorry!” a low voice half whispered.
I looked to my right and there he was like sunshine on a cloudy day.
“Oh its okay”, I forced my mouth shut as his eyes locked into mine.
They were a metallic blue that didn’t fit the rest of him. The olive tone of his skin and the dark softness of his hair contrasted too much with the sharpness of the color but it rendered his face fascinating. Everything about him was all hard angles and delicate curves from his Roman nose to the curve of his crooked half-smile.
Oh, he was smiling at me.
“What’s your name?”, the smile whispered again.
I focused again on the eyes and whispered the answer to his question. The boy’s smile gained it’s other half and the cheshire radiance of it could have been enough to tranquilize a Black Friday Walmart riot. Meanwhile, almost in another world completely, he professor has finally decided to log on and begin class by opening Internet Explorer.
We both turned towards the front of the room as our captor cleared his throat.
“Now there’s a reading of a sonnet I’d like us to go over. The man that does Harry Potter reads it. He’s the Snape man? Does anyone know his name? The Mr. Snape?”, he glanced around the room, his glasses catching the reflection of the monitor.
If only he had an infinite source of information with in his reach such as the internet to inform his that yes, indeed, the man that portrayed Professor Snape was Alan Rickman. He resolved himself to tapping on his podium as he scratched at his beard and thought more about the mystery at hand.
A hand with long, strong looking fingers rested on the corner of my desk. I found myself wishing suddenly for a jar of pickles just to watch them do something.
“You know who it is don’t you?”
I turned back to him. With his arm there suddenly our corner of the room felt strangely intimate and private. It was as if we were cut off from the rest of the world now. No other sound, just the feel of the exchange of heat in the coldness of the room.
He cocked his head in the direction of the board.
“The answer to the question. The professor from Harry Potter. You know it, don’t you?”
I bit my lip. “Alan Rickman?”
He turned the rest of his body to face me and withdrew his hand from my desk. The feeling of seclusion remained as he crossed his long legs and crossed his arms across his chest, the lean muscles in them becoming taut. I fought back the drool in my mouth.
“Yea, it’s just funny, you know? Every single time he has a question you have the answer when no one does but you don’t speak up. Why is that?”
I chewed my lip and looked at my notebook, pen lazily drawing loops along the edge of the page. “Well, I don’t know why. I guess I don’t like talking that much. It kinda freaks me out.”
The boy looked at me with his silver blue eyes. I reached for my water bottle from the ground.
“Here.” He leaned down and beat me to it, wrapping his long, tan fingers around the plastic. Placing it quietly and gracefully on my desk he watched the water still itself inside the bottle. I thanked him quietly and took a drink.
I screwed the cap back onto the bottle. “You’re safe?”
He smiled and gave a small laugh.
“No, um, S-E-I-F. Seif. It’s my name.” He looked at me and tilted his head. “You’re name means mermaid, yea?”
He reached out a hand a caught a stray piece of hair between his fingers. I wished I had curled it today because it fell in a frizzy mess of alternative waves and curls.
“Your hair is just like a mermaid. When you have it the other way, curled, I think, it’s pretty but right now like this”, he twirled it around he finger and let it fall away as he withdrew, “it’s beautiful.”
Had he just said that I was beautiful? I looked back on my past relationships, fighting the urge to cringe. Had I ever been called beautiful before? I looked at him.
Yep, out of my league. So out of my league that I was beginning to wonder if he was blind. Maybe I was hallucinating. Had he been Shallow-Hal-ed? Where was Jack Black?
“Found it! It’s Alan Rickman. So in your books it’s on page 1096. The title is Sonnet 130 discusses Shakespeare’s mistress.” Our professor tapped away at his youtube search bar as the sound of books opening and pages turning filled the rest of the room with quiet whispering sounds.
I looked back at Seif and watched him flip through his book with deft hands.
“Thank you” I whispered to him.
He turned his head to me and smiled yet again. I returned his smile this time and noticed how funny it was that he only had one dimple instead of two. The lights lowered as our professor flipped the switches and began the video, the voice of Professor Snape along with various snap shots of the actor taking precedence over the room on the projector screen.
A piece of paper was placed on my desk. In a hurried and messy scrawl were the following.
She Walks In Beauty Page 846
I looked at Seif but he had already turned his attention back to the class. I turned to the page and read.
She walks in beauty, like the nightOf cloudless climes and starry skies;And all that’s best of dark and brightMeet in her aspect and her eyes;Thus mellowed to that tender lightWhich heaven to gaudy day denies.One shade the more, one ray the less,Had half impaired the nameless graceWhich waves in every raven tress,Or softly lightens o’er her face;Where thoughts serenely sweet express,How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,The smiles that win, the tints that glow,But tell of days in goodness spent,A mind at peace with all below,A heart whose love is innocent!