Some students are smiling, some appear critical, and others are half asleep. Not an unusual thing for a Monday-morning seminar. Dr. Josef turns around, grabs a piece of chalk, and writes his name on the board. That would be the first and last time he uses the board in class. He was used to working with it, but he adjusted over time. He even introduced the digital-only approach the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City follows now. Everything in his class will be digital, like the tasks he now projects on the smart board. Carefully, he covers up the image of the investigation crew, as he takes a picture to project the article on the wall.
»Dr. Josef?« asks one of the students. Dr. Josef checks the room to find the student that has just spoken up. Most of the students are tapping on their tablet screens or chatting with their neighbors about their tasks. One student raises her hand and repeats her request. While walking through the rows towards the student, Dr. Josef notices a student staring at him with an overconfident grin. He stops for a brief moment, but eventually ignores him and goes on to help the girl with the question, the grinning student still in his mind.
»Have a good week,« shouts Dr. Josef and taps on the smart board, »and don’t forget to do your research for the next lesson!« Leaning against the wall, he watches his students leave the room and puts his hands in his pockets; he cannot get rid of this habit from old times. Old times...he thinks. Suddenly he remembers. It was his first year teaching Forensics at the Loyola University of Maryland: The brutal murder case that was never solved…the case that has its anniversary today…the case that he used today in class…and…this student. The police were so eager to solve this case that they used it back than in class, even though the murders were still going on. This student, Sam…, a cold shiver runs down Dr. Josef’s’ spine as he remembers from 50 years ago ...the student who sat with an overconfident grin on his face and asked suspicious questions.By the time Dr. Josef had put one and one together and had informed the police, the student was already gone; vanished.
Dr. Josef is standing with his head leaning against the wall. Thinking about the past; his past. 200 years have gone by, and very few students have stuck to his mind. Most of them were talented, and some even became famous. But it was this one student, Sam, that he spent the least time in class with, yet the most time thinking about. Not a month in the past 50 years has gone by without him thinking about Sam. Maybe I dreamed. It was just a hallucination, thinks Dr. Josef and puts his hands in his pockets, I’ve worked too much. The latest murder case has many similarities to Sam’s case, but it couldn’t be…
»Did you miss me?« asks Sam with an overconfident grin and slowly approaches the front. Dr. Josef stares at him in disbelief; Sam seems to not have aged.
© Pathia_Panell 2022-05-04