The sounds of the Commons envelop me as soon as I step in. People sit at tables, laughing and talking with their friends, their papers and bags and lunches strewn about the surfaces. I spot a few laptops open to whatever essay is due next hour, a few people with headphones in, checking emails.
A few if my own friends are sitting around a table near the wall, and Kisa* is already wiping it off with a napkin. She tosses it in the rubbish bin nearby and disappears to get utensils. Isaac* is buried in a book- a spy novel, I think. I glance at the cover, trying to see the title but to no avail. It’s a really nice cover, too. Eva*, my sister-for-the-semester (she is an exchange student), goes to get napkins and I sit down.
I finished my last book (I always bring two, in case that happens) last hour, so I’ve only read a page or two of the new one: These Shallow Graves. On first glance it appears to be a zombie book, but in actuality it is a historical mystery regarding forensics of the late nineteenth century, female journalists, and dusty, velvet-curtained, cherry-wood paneled studies**. I’m utterly hooked.
Edwin* and Emma* arrive soon, pulling out their respective belongings. Edwin continues a drawing with Emma and Kisa hovering over and offering suggestions. I cut into a roast beef and havarti tortilla wrap, cracking open the book.
Homework can wait, for now.
*names changed to protect privacy
**that’s how I picture it, at least.