The Reader

The story is about a boy who can read anything without looking at it. He decides to make use of his powers and so, when he falls for the new girl at his school, he decides to read through all that she has written. It's only then that he finds out about his key role in the book that she's writing and, from reading her diary, her true feelings towards him...


Matthew glanced up from his test paper and studied the grid of classmates surrounding him. Most of them were staring at their papers blankly whilst others just sat chewing on the ends of their pencils, probably expecting the equations to jump into their heads automatically. Very few people were actually writing something down; Harriet, the clever one, seemed to be the only one scribbling away.

Matthew sighed and looked back at his paper. What is the square root of 256? Easy, Matthew thought; 16. Of course, he wouldn't have known that if he hadn't just used his talents and looked up the answer a few seconds before. He knew it was wrong, especially as this was such an important test, but who cared? It wasn't like he was going to get found out.

Matthew wrote the answer down and continued onto the next. It was of a similar style to the last and though he could have worked it out with his calculator, his brain had already wandered over to the answer book at the AQA office, where it stole the answer and bought it back to him. He wrote it down and moved onto the next question.

The test continued like this for quite a while until,with an answering sigh of relief,  the examiner blew the whistle and everyone was asked to put down their pens. Matthew looked around to see looks of both exhaustion and anxiety set upon the faces of his neighbours, but he didn't feel sorry for them; after all, hadn't they been asked to revise?

Once dismissed, Matthew moved into the stampede of teenagers and spilled out onto the playground. The maths exam had seemed to last forever, especially as he'd finished twenty minutes early, but he knew that the English exam would last even longer. This was the only test he was worried about taking part in; the thought of being asked to write something down without being able to copy it was quite scary.

He walked over to where his mates were standing and pushed his way into their loose huddle. There were about fifteen of them there; a mixture of both girls and boys, discussing every test question in detail and wondering whether they'd passed or failed. They didn't look too pleased when Matthew arrived.

"How'd you find it, Matt?" Joe asked him sarcastically. "Did you fail?"

"I don't think so," Matthew answered, mocking uncertainty. "Though that last one was a little difficult."

"Oh shut up Matt, you know you've got like, an A*!" Katie moaned. "Why do you have to be so clever? I wish I were you; I thought that was impossible!"

"Yea well Kate, maybe if you'd actually done more than ten minutes revision then you might have got somewhere," he sighed.

"What- I did more than that!" she cried.

"Let me guess, half an hour whilst on Facebook?"

"As a matter of fact, I was watching Skins, not on Facebook," she huffed.

"Whatever," Matthew sighed, rolling his eyes. "You still didn't revise enough."

"Stop being so stuck up, Matt," Ged butted in, "Why do you have to make us feel bad?"

Matthew shrugged and gave him a blank look. He was used to having people turn on him like this but it still shook him when they did. From years of experience, he'd learnt to just keep his mouth shut and concentrate on not taking offense; after all, how could they understand him?

Ten minutes later, after a length of random conversations and mucking about, the bell rang and the group started towards the hall. Matthew's heart began to race but he ignored it and set his brain on a search for any tips for the upcoming test. His English folder, which was nestled in his bag a few rooms away, called back to him and he noted all that it said. Remember your sentence structure- don't forget your punctuation or spelling. To get high marks, you need to use hyphons, semi-colons and complex words!

"Hi Matt." He turned to see that Lily, the new girl at the school, had just turned up beside him. She had short blond hair decorated with a hairband, smooth pale skin and soft brown eyes. She'd only been at the school for three months and though she hang in the same group as him, he'd barely spoken to her at all.

"Hi," he grinned, blushing slightly. "Are you ready for this?"

"Yea, actually I'm quiet excited," she smiled back. "I know I shouldn't be but I think it will be fun."

"Really?" he asked apprehensively.

"Yea. Why, are you scared?"

"No, of course not- I'm not looking forward to it though," Matthew replied quickly.

She laughed a tinkling laugh and started forward into the crowd. "Oh well, I'm sure you'll do fine. From what I've heard, you're really clever."

"Oh, thanks," Matthew blushed, "Good luck to you too."

A teacher called her name and she gave Matthew a small wave, then pushed forward into the hall. He watched her go then looked away quickly in case anyone was watching. It was the first proper conversation he'd ever had with her and it was one of the few that he actually enjoyed. For the first time in his life, he felt as though someone at school actually wanted to talk to him.

"Matthew Bridger!" the teacher called over the heads of the chattering students. He made his way to the front of the crowd, walked into the familiarly quiet hall and shuffled towards the desk marked with his name. He sat down at the desk and looked across to where Lily was sitting, smiling sweetly.  He hoped that he passed, just so that he could prove to himself, and to Lily, that he could achieve something without copying.


The End

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