“What’s wrong?”Brianna asked, seeming suddenly concerned, her eyes searching his.
“Nothing really. Just thinking.”
“You’ve seemed a little off today. I mean, even before the shrine,” she said. Kynan stared at her a moment. How could she tell? “What’s really wrong?”
His eyes went back to the book in her hands. He might as well tell her. No one else was around. “Yesterday, my parents—they told me they’re getting—a divorce.” The last word gushed out with a heavy breath. Brianna rested a small cold hand on his forearm in a kind gesture.
“I’m sorry, Kynan. That sucks.” He didn’t look up at her, just kept staring at the book. Suddenly, she pulled her hand away and desperately started cramming the book into her satchel and muttering, “Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!”
Kynan looked up to see what was wrong. “What is it?” he asked looking around. But his eyes answered the question for him – across the lawn, coming towards them at a swift pace was Brother Leroy. “Oh crap!” he echoed. He reached into his own satchel and pulled out his Latin book. It was roughly the same color as the one Brianna had been holding. He snatched the printouts from her hands and shoved them in the back cover of the Latin text.
She was still fidgeting with her bag. Probably nerves. Being about to be caught with something you shouldn’t have will do that to a person. Kynan had learned that lesson earlier that day at the shrine. Brother Leroy was moving closer to them. They couldn’t run. It would look suspicious. But Brianna was being too obvious. He reached out and covered her hand with his to calm her. The touch seemed to surprise her as much as it surprised him. Her eyes darted to his. He smiled and could feel the heat rising in his cheeks again. “Um…,” he started out, then slipped his hand back to the book he held and pointed at a passage on the page. “Can you help me with this one, Brianna? I’m still having trouble with the conjugation,” he said just loud enough for Brother Leroy to hear.
“Any trouble, children?” Brother Leroy asked.
“No, sir,” Kynan replied. “Just studying. Latin verbs.”
“Wonderful. Glad to see you’re getting help, Mr. Murphy.”
“Yes, sir. Did you want something, Brother Leroy?”
“Um, no. I just noticed you two were still here. I thought perhaps there was a problem. But I see there was nothing to worry about. Carry on, children.”
“Actually, I’m gonna have to get home. Perhaps we can work on these verbs again later this evening, Kynan,” Brianna suggested. Brother Leroy glanced from Brianna to Kynan, scrutinizing them as if he knew they had taken the book and was waiting for them to confess. Swallowing nervously, Kynan glanced towards Brianna.
“Sure. Here. Let me give you my phone number.”
“Have a pleasant evening,” Brother Leroy muttered and turned back to the school.
As he retreated they both took a deep breath and started down the sidewalk together in the opposite direction.
“Holy crap. My heart is up here in my throat!” Brianna giggled. “I thought for sure he knew we had the book.”