She was sitting in the front row – the car had mysteriously failed to start for the first five minutes of the would-be journey, as though projecting her future to this point with a mechanical will of its own. This point: the front row of a group of about twenty people, possessing a collective warmth – she had to admit – within which she was a complete stranger.
They had sounded interesting. Not presumptuous, not critical, just friendly and intelligent.
The speaker was talking; a man with kind eyes. He had the relaxed manner of one who had given many talks. He looked at her, smiled and asked the question, “What is Life?”
It was the end of a miserable event curve that had begun with the car’s idiocy. Now, she felt nineteen pairs of eyes and ears upon her and she wished herself away. Instead, she breathed, wishing to rise to this double challenge of being unknown and facing an question to which there was no complete answer – itself an unknown…
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