From Barcelona to Budapest (short story)

Only 10 minutes passed after the plane took off and the seatbelt signal was turned off. On the seats 18B and 18C were Sheldon and George, co-workers for the past 2 years. They were heading to the yearly conference on management skills that was held, this time, in Budapest.

George took his hardcover, thick book from the pocket in front of him and started reading from where the bookmark was.

“What are you reading?” asked Sheldon, holding a thin, black device by himself.

“I’m reading this book called “The Idiot”, written by Dostoyevsky. My wife always liked him, so now she convinced me to try it too. What about you?”

“Well, I don’t know yet.”

Then, putting his lips together and moving his mouth to a side, with a thoughtful expression on his face uttered:

“I have a lot of options.” Right after, sliding his finger to the right on the device, he was browsing through a library of books. “This one it is! “ exclaimed Sheldon saying the name of a book, which his co-worker never heard of.

Not even 3 minutes passed when George extended his arm over his colleague’s head and turned on the light that was above his own seat. The next moment Sheldon said with an interesting look on his face:

“Hey man, look!” Then he pushed a button and the screen of the device was enlightened, making it easier to read. George, moving up his chin with an impressed position laconically said:

“Oh, nice!”

Short after, George addressed to his partner:

“Sorry for bothering, but do you happen to have a pencil? I really want to underline a passage that I like and I forgot mine in the bag.”

“Yes, definitely, here you go…but, check this out!” Then, holding his finger on the screen and dragging it, he shaded a whole portion of the text and a window popped up on the screen with multiple options. Underline was one of them.

“Now,” said Sheldon with a smile on his face, “every time I want to see the underlined text I just have to go to a document and everything is there.”

“What a great feature!”

The time passed while the both colleagues kept reading. After some time, George asked Sheldon:

“Sorry for bothering again, but do you know the exact meaning of the word “truculent”?”

“Not exactly, but give me a moment.” Next step, he opened an application on his device, which happened to be the Oxford Dictionary of English. “The dictionary says it is an adjective meaning eager or quick to argue or fight. “

“Thank you, Sheldon”

“You are welcome, man!”

Out of the sudden a flight attendant announced:

“Ladies and gentlemen, as we start our descent, please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position. Make sure your seat belt is securely fastened and all carry-on luggage is stowed underneath the seat in front of you or in the overhead bins. Please turn off all electronic devices until we are safely parked at the gate. Thank you.”

Everybody fastened his seatbelt.

Sheldon turned off his device.

George kept reading.


Denis C. Plesa

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