The journal and the young man were positioned at the desk yet again. Rodney had placed both hands flat on the dark wooden tabletop and was mindlessly staring into it.
"Rodney?" Nicholas asked, "Hey, Rodney? Are you listening?" No response. For the moment Nicholas was only witnessing a person resembling an empty canvas, seemingly lifeless. "Rodney!" He yelled.
Rodney had snapped out of his trance, shaking his head and blinking his eyes repeatedly. "Y-yeah, what is it?" "I'd like for you to pick up the pen, please.
" Rodney took hold of the pen, examining its features and fidgeting with it again.
"Now," Nicholas instructed, "for this time I want you to redirect your focus away from all of the negativity and towards the things you like. They can be simple, or they can be complex.
If you'd like, include the people whom you admire. For each one, write down a brief reason as to why you like who or what it is." Rodney nodded his head.
It was difficult, but he took some time to think about who and what he liked, and how he was going to structure his writing.
He had a tendency to repeatedly spin pens and pencils with his fingers whenever he was deep in thought. Finally, he collected his thoughts, and placed the pen's tip onto the paper.
1. Video games, because it's fun and interesting to explore and interact with worlds existing outside of reality.
2. Reading, specifically nonfiction, because I like to research and learn new things.
3. Writing, because verbally expressing myself is difficult, so I choose to say my words through penmanship.
4. Walking, because I am constantly exploring new places that interest me.
5. Thinking about things, because even the simplest ones have complexity to them.
6. Being productive, because I can't sit still for a little over an hour and have to be doing something.
Rodney had stopped for a period of time and was rereading all that he had written two times, three times, four, five, even six times.
He would lean in to write something else, but pull back in hesitation, over and over again. "Hey, you're doing great." Nicholas complimented, "Don't stop now, keep it going.
" Rodney took a deep breath, and wrote a little more.
7. True scholars and educators, because they put forth effort in all of the work they accomplish.
8. Close friends, no matter how few, because they're kind, respectful, and are a joy to talk to.
9. Meeting new, exceptional people, because some of them are similar to close friends, eventually becoming one.
10. Family, the most important, because they're always there for you, even during the darkest times.
"Family... huh?" Rodney whispered to himself. "Which I personally think is the greatest treasure to have." Nicholas interjected, "Not to mention the nine others are very good as well.
Hey, you want to know something?" "What?" "All of these are things that I happen to like myself." "Is that so?" "Absolutely.
" Rodney looked up and pondered for a second, then he asked, "If you like these things, then how do you do them? You're just a journal, unable to move or interact with objects.
" "I have done them all, just not in the way you think." Rodney shook his head in disbelief, even slightly chuckling to himself.
The mere thought that a journal could mimic the behaviors and actions of a human was ridiculous to him; although, he did find the idea intriguing.
Rodney then leaned in, clasping his hands together to show his interest, and asks, "Would you mind explaining to me how you've done these things, then?" "Of course.
" Nicholas responded, sounding excited and eager, "I think you'll find my explanation rather clever."