May the Fourth be With You (May 4th)

For once, we do not tremble as we enter the gym and see the familiar rows of single desks and single chairs.

It’s been too short a time since the last time we were there for it to affect us.

The freezing, but strangely musty, atmosphere clings to us.

And won’t let go.

As we find our seats and name our papers, we watch the examiner writing the timings on the white board in his clear, printed style.

A two and a half hour maths exam.

There is nothing to make us conscious of an outside world except for giggling 8th graders walking past to the IT block.

They’ll be here soon enough.

There are words. But they do not reach us. There are whispers that have no real form.

And we can be sure that there is the stiff whiteness of exam paper and the harsh blackness of photocopier ink.

We look at each other across the row between us.

My green eyes meet your brown and we smile.

“May the Fourth be with you”
“Live long and prosper”

(cue music…)

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