A question of light


Bright streaks of colour  rained down like so many tiny meteorites leaving their short-lived traces suspended in the air in front of them only to be replaced rapidly by others following different paths. She shuddered at the beauty of it. She had never seen anything so moving. And to think that she’d been expecting one of those typically predictable lessons that he often dished her up with. “I don’t get it,” she said after a while, turning to face him in the dark. “What is there to get?” was all he replied, pretending to be bored. For all her affection for him, he was absolutely exasperating she thought, clenching her fists knowing he could not see them. It was as if frustrating people was his idea of how best to get them to learn. “How can you ask such a question?” she asked, irritated, turning back to the display in front of her, still fascinated by its unending play of colours. “Here we stand in complete darkness, the most beautiful shower of lights splaying inexplicably through the air in front of us and all you can say is that there is nothing worth explaining.” “That is not exactly what I said,” he clarified. She could hear the amusement in his voice, but she didn’t rise to the bait. She remained silent in her efforts to force him to explain. “Well what do you think it is?” he asked, clearly changing his tactics. Typical, she thought, once a teacher, always a teacher. “I’m not buying your pedagogical tricks,” she said fiercely. “You know well enough what it is. Just tell me.” There was a long silence. She hadn’t realised that what she saw was almost noiseless. She said noiseless, but in fact thanks to the silence she could hear a faint hum that fluctuated and modulated when the lights intensified or decreased. If she concentrated, she wondered, would she be able to hear the music of it?”Well?” she pursued, giving up on her attempts to listen carefully such was her impatience with what she understood to be his hesitations. “Have you ever heard of the theory of Parallel Worlds?” he began. “You’ve spoken about it several times,” she reminded him. She could hear his footsteps as he moved around in the dark. She was surprised to feel him place his hands on her shoulders from behind. A little worried, she asked: “What are you …?” But her question remained unanswered as he shoved her violently forward. She felt herself caught up in a whirlwind of movement and colour that pulled off her feet, swung her round and round and carried her up and away. She should have been terrified as she lost all sense of direction and hurtled onwards but the music of the light was so beautiful and engrossing now that she could hear it clearly that nothing else really mattered.

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