The break had been going on for who knows how long; time was passing by unchecked. The men opened their notebooks, leafed through them noiselessly, shifted their behinds on the school benches, sharpened their pencils or cleaned their pens. A faint rustling could barely be heard. The sunlight cascaded evenly. It was as if, though changing, everything had frozen in place, in an even gray mist.

The gestures seemed the same, familiar. Only the fear seemed to have lost its vigor; it had become more humble, slowing down the movements.