Re-defining Hess’s Law

“The enthalpy change of a reaction is independent of the route followed”

It’s a cold and cloudy day. Three boys stand near the cafeteria twitching nervously, looking at an empty playground. The school is in session but these three seventeen year old boys had decided to take a break and that’s why they are here planning on something that would be against school rules, instead of being in Math class drawing exponential graphs. They are speaking in hurried, hoarse whispers even though there is no onlooker or eavesdropper. The boy with round spectacles and curly hair opens his school bag and checks, then he tightens it it around his shoulders. The other two just adjust the the belts of their own bags, but only to keep their fingers busy.

The math genius, the curly one with the suspicious bag, Feltson, looks both ways and takes a step forward as if he were in the zebra crossing of a busy road. The plump guy, with the school tie and flattened hair follows him but the third one remains behind whistling  a tune.

“Dude! We won’t get caught!” the innocent looking guy tells Blake.

“But what if we do? I can’t be grounded for the rest of my life! It’s easy for you to say that Perk, but it’s a lot harder for me!” Blake exclaims.

Feltson walks quietly to the two of them and they bridge an unspoken friendship. Leaving behind the words they had exchanged, the three of them walk together into the cemented floors of their school.

The corridors are lit with shimmering florescent bulbs, the wind whistles in. The three boys tiptoe across the primary classes, ducking beneath windows and occasionally jumping up at a teacher’s voice flowing out of a classroom window. Every now and then they look back to check if the other is following or if they are being followed. The principal is the least of their worries – he is a meeting, they had confirmed from the office. But the chances of getting caught to some other teacher is high, and that would mean real trouble.

Finally they reach the staircase outside the chemistry lab. They stand there panting even though they hadn’t done anything tiring. A prefect approaches them and they quickly turn to the noticeboard outside the lab holding notices about the weirdest elements like Einsteinium and Germanium and notices about Green Chemistry. Perk shivers visibly as the prefect stops to ask them what they are doing out of class. Blake, suprisingly speaks up,

“Perk’s sick. His notebook’s with Mr. Denver. We came to take it before he goes home.”

The prefect eyes them suspiciously but decides to swallow the lie. Blake and Feltson watch him leave and turn back to Perk.

“Oh come on! You can’t be that much of a chicken!” Feltson says.

Perk jumps up in surprise saying, “The enthalpy change of  a reaction is independent of the route followed!” He apparently thought it was Mr. Denver asking him a question.

The three boys laugh and try not to look suspicious as they walk up the stairs aware of the fact that the class inside the lab are watching them. Getting caught to Mr. Denver would be a matter between life and death so they walk they rattle under their breaths their plan A’s and plan B’s.

They come to a halt at the top of the staircase aware that they should turn to the right to attempt their mission. This meant crossing a lot more classes, so holding their hearts in their hands again they make their way to the outside of the sports room.  The three of them stand there looking at a newly sealed entrance to the auditorium. A notice on it read:
“Please note that students are not allowed to enter the auditorium while under construction since it poses a potentially hazardous environment. Any student attempting to go in would have to face the consequences. The management.”
The three of them look at each other, lost hope in their faces.

“This place has a higher chance of being noticed. Let’s try the floor above, there’s no one there.” Feltson breaks the silence.

Perk stutters: “You mean we’re not giving up?”

“Come on Perk! It’s not like we’re going to get killed.” Feltson says and puts each one of his arms around Perk and Blake.

In another half an hours time they arrive at the planned location. Feltson, tall and thin makes his way through the sealed door which also holds the same notice. Standing on the balcony of the auditorium under construction he signals his friends to follow him. Once inside, for a moment they stand there awing at the auditorium.

Blake laughs suddenly, “Look at all we’ve been through just for this. But… look at it! It’s beautiful! And we are the first to see it!”

Perk hugs the two of them and says, “I love you guys! You’re the best!”

Feltson opens the bag and takes out the hidden object: his camera. Blake and perk pose for the photo while Feltson tries to balance the camera on a broken chair and switch on the self-timing mode. Blake and Perk, speaking and laughing don’t notice someone approaching them. The moment Blake sees the silhouette of the person things blur out and Perk feels his weight on his left shoulder. Blake had just fainted. Feltson sees the principal too and catches the camera moments before it hits the floor.

“What are you doing here?” the principal asks with a straight face.

They don’t answer. Blake’s weight on Perk’s shoulder was making him feel numb. Perk is almost in tears, Feltson looks down embarrassed.

After a moment of awkward silence Feltson speaks up, “Sir, we’re sorry. Our friend refuses to believe that we’d be having our own auditorium. So,err.. sir, we wanted to take a photo and show him that our school is better that theirs.”

Surprisingly, the principal smiles. Perk and Feltson look at each other unsure if it’s a good thing or a bad one.
“Representing your school. Role models – that’s what you are… You could have just asked me.”

They bring Blake back to his senses, take photographs, take more photographs and get back to class. They could have got the same photos by speaking to the principal, but the harder way had been so much fun. They had feared, fainted, lied and freaked out which made the photos even more precious. They had re-defined Hess’s Law, replacing the words “Enthalpy change of a reaction” with “Photographs of the auditorium”…



6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sajith
    Jan 07, 2012 @ 13:55:15

    I’m sorry if I haven’t replied on you’re twitter for a while. I’ve been helplessly caught up in this blog’s brilliance. Absolutely wonderful! 🙂


  2. Devmini
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 10:29:35

    rich in description………great piece of work ! 🙂


  3. Dullari
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 14:46:22

    Lol the hess’s good 😛


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