I walk down the hallway, stopping occasionally to admire the decour. It is an old nineteenth-century English manor in Connectthedots. I have just stopped in to pay a visit to an old colleague of mine. He is awaiting me in the parlour. He welcomes me with open arms.
"Reggie, my good man! Where have you been all these years?"
Deftly maneuvering around the subject, I instead inquire about the recent health problems of his wife.
"Oh, Marigold is doing fine, thank you. Her fever has diminished, and I dare say she will be walking again in a week or two. Now, my dear friend, the reason I asked you up here today is because I received a telegram from our dear old Professor Van Hroft... You remember old Hroffy, don't you boy? I dare say he gave us a run for our money in the literature examinations! But I am getting off-topic. Recently, he sent us a telegram asking for a compiled definition of a narrative."
"A Narrative?" I say, quite astonished. "But surely he knows the definition himself, being such a distinguished literary professor? It is hardly our place to give such a definition."
"But that is just it, old chum!" my friend laughs gaily. "He always was a clever fellow, and he has asked for out own interpretations. He does not believe there is one definitive answer, and so he wishes for multiple perspectives!"
I smile, and take a sip of the brandy his maid has just offered me. "Yes, old Hroffy was very creative. I remember one time he came into our classroom with some form of journal, and passed it around the class, and asked us to each write one sentence. Oh, what joy that brought me when he read it aloud! But I must confess, this is a much more troubling subject."
"Quite." agrees my friend. "A right dilemma. I find I am at a loss at where to even begin."
There is silence. I browse my friend's face. He has aged greatly in the last few years. The eyes, dazzling blue eyes that were once filled with the mischeivousness and promiscuity of youth, take up a much more sombre tone. They are filled with wisdom, such wisdom as was certainly absent when he was a boy. The lines in his face have increased as well. I recoil with shock at his furrowed brow, suddenly complicated and weighted down by a long and weary life.
My friend breaks the silence. "Well, shall I get a pen, then?" He walks off to the desk, a very old antique, presented to him by his Aunt Shelley as a wedding gift. I remember it well. He reaches inside the desk drawer and procures a great white feather, its magnificent features emphasizing his wealthy stature. He then returns back to the velvet recliner, and beams at me.
"Well then, Reginald... where shall we begin?"
I ponder the question for a while, and then speak. "Well, first of all, a narrative is almost always written within the first person." My friend nods and writes this down diligently. He rather reminds me of a personal secretary, and I chuckle at the very thought. Eventually, I proceed: "Also, it contains much of a description of events, and places, and people. It is..."
"Very descriptive?" my friend chimes in. He writes this down as well. "What about the tense... shall we say, present?" he inquires. I nod, and he once again copies this onto the parchment.
"Very well." he says. "I shall wire Hroffy at once with our definition. I dare say the old man will find this of great use." He folds the paper neatly. "In the meantime, my friend, may I get you some more brandy?"
I reply in the affirmative, and thank him greatly for his hospitality. He leaves me alone with my thoughts. Certainly, it has been great to reconnect this friendship, and I have no doubt I shall be seeing more of him in the years to come.