“Hey, did you read the book for English class?” I asked Dennis as we walked down the hallways together.
“Does reading the Sparknotes for it count?” Dennis gave a wicked smile as he put both hands in his pockets.
“No, it doesn’t.” I looked down the hallway to notice that there still was no one at school. The hallways were empty, most of the rooms were locked, the sun just started to awaken students from their beds, and we were obviously early to school again.
“Well, then I guess I didn’t read the book,” he stared down at me and looked for my reaction. He could read me like an open book at times, but there’s a problem with that. The problem was that he never knew what was going to be on the next page.
“Well, it’s your loss,” I raised my hands into the air as if I had just thrown something behind me.
“Wait, wait, wait,” he put his hand up against my chest and stopped our daily rounds around the school.
I stood there and looked up at him. “Why do we have to stop? We can continue walking, you know?”
“Why did you say it was my loss? I still read the Sparknotes version. It’s like a paraphrased version of the book.” Dennis took his hand off my chest. We stood in front of two rooms, one happened to belong to our English teacher. Was this a coincidence?
I took hold of the railing that was for the staircase that would lead us downstairs, but we never budged. We stood there like statues staring at each other for answers. We waited for movement, not from the body but from our minds.
“You’re right. You did read basically the paraphrased version of the book, but did it satisfy you?”
“Satisfy me?” Dennis raised one eyebrow.
“Well, did you feel the character as if he were you? Did you go through the adventure like he did?”
“What adventure? Who cares how the character felt?” Dennis began walking again, but this time I was the one who stopped him.
“It’s not as boring as it may seem. It’s like a movie projector inside your head. You are the character. It doesn’t matter what book you’re reading, you will always be with the character through thick and thin. The character becomes you just as much as you become the character. You mold yourself into him; he molds himself into you. Do you know why?” I asked him.
He remained silent and waited for my answer to the question.
“It’s because that’s the way our mind works. We mold ourselves into each other. We make a character not someone on a page, but someone we know in real life. We make him into something like our friend or us. You then go on the same adventure he does, whether it’s through
“Yeah,” he shook his head in agreement, “I guess you got a point.” He started moving towards the calculus room, where our bags were located.
“Where are you going? We’re supposed to go downstairs now! You know? Our route and all?” I called out to him as he stopped at the threshold of the room.
“Yeah, you can go on ahead without me if you want. I’m going on my own adventure.” Dennis gave a smile and walked passed the threshold.
“Wait up! Wait up!” I ran into the room to see Dennis sitting in his seat with a book in his hand. The book that was assigned to be read for today. The book he already knows the story to, but only the paraphrased version. He hasn’t experienced the adventure yet.
Dennis became one with the book.
Dennis became one with the character.
Dennis was the character.