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FR. Chrys was staring at the boy with a stupefied expression on his face. When Cyprian made a nervous sound by clearing his throat, he jerked a bit, recollected what they were doing—having a confession.
“Please go on.” He managed to say.
Cyprian bent his head once more and started to speak…
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AFTER Dana had so carelessly announced to the other boys that they were… doing it and they’d both looked at him like the worst sinner on earth, he’d left them and went back to his room, pacing, fuming and swearing. And crying in between.
Anthony had looked angry. No, he’d looked disappointed.
Hurt and wounded at the disappointment he’d seen in Anthony’s eyes, Cyprian marched to his own bed and dropped into it. The spring underneath squeaked but he hardly paid attention. Of course Anthony was disappointed and that was because in spite of all his admonitions and counsel, he’d gone right ahead and did the one thing he always warned him not to do—broken the sixth commandment.
Just two days ago he’d been reiterating again the need for them to avoid all ‘daughters of Eve’—that was how he’d put it. Cyprian hadn’t been able to tell him that he was already involved with one. That he was already breaking the sixth commandment with Dana.
And now he knew.
He swung up from the bed, stood for a moment staring into space, thinking hard. Then he marched to the door, yanked it open and headed down the corridor towards Dana’s room.
He banged at the door. After about a minute, it was pulled open by a frowning Dana.
“Why are you hitting the door like that?” She demanded, hands on her waist.
He pushed her aside and marched inside. “Why did you have to tell everybody what we were doing?”
Dana hissed closed the door and turned around to face him, her hands were now folded across her chest. “Is that why you are here, shouting like a mad man?”
“I am not shouting.” He growled but lowered his voice all the same. “But what you did was very wrong. You told them that we’ve been… that we are doing something.”
Dan laughed. “That we are doing what? Having sex?” She laughed again when he face tinged with embarrassment. “I did not tell them anything. I only asked you to meet me in the garden.”
“So we can finish of what we were doing last night. You said so.”
“And so? How does that signify sex please?”
“Stop saying that word!” Shame burned through him.
Dana’s eyes sparkled with amusement. “What word? Sex?” She drew closer to him. Her eyes were mocking. “Don’t you like sex again? Don’t you enjoy doing it anymore? Wasn’t last night sweet?” She stretched her hand and touched him between his legs. Cyprian felt instant revulsion even as his manhood sprang to life.
Revulsion and hate filled him.
He jerked back, knocked her hand away. “I don’t ever want you to touch me again.”
Dana felt instant panic at the rejection but she only sniggered. “But you’ll meet me in the garden this night. Either you meet me and do it with me or I really will tell everybody. Including your precious Fr. Chrys.”
Cyprian paled at the threat. Feeling the tears prick, he swung around and left her room.
But his anger did not stop him from keeping the appointment. No, anger did not stop him, it instead propelled him into keeping their usual nightly appointment.
So that by the time she walked into the garden, he’d already been there waiting for more than thirty minutes. She was late. She’d never come late for any of their meeting. He was sure she purposely did this time to teach him a lesson for reprimanding her, she–devil.
She sauntered like a cat stalking a prey into the garden, ticking of with a few fingers imaginary dirt off her pink nightgown. She stopped by the bench and stared at it.
“Can’t you see I’m not there you evil girl?” He mocked from his hiding place.
She jerked around, peering at the gate and around it. But she couldn’t see him.
He curled deeper into the shadows of the crawling tall shrubs covering the left side of the open entrance. It was quite dark so he was certain she wouldn’t be able see anything.
“Cyprian?” She called out in a loud whisper, gingerly stepping forward into the garden. “Cyprian?” Her hushed tone rose a notch.
“Stop calling me like you are superior to me, idiot.” He muttered under his breath.
She walked further into the garden, her feet making rustling sounds as they stepped on dried fallen leaves and flowers. She peered here and there and soon started walking out again, her head turning right and left as she looked for him.
Her left hand was holding onto her right one—gripping it just below the elbow.
He absently wondered why. Had she fallen and wounded herself before coming here? Well, serves her right if that were the case.
She went back to their bench, sat down, looking around and rubbing at her right hand.
A minute later, she got up again and this time, walked towards the place where he was hiding.
Cyprian flexed his fingers over the old abandoned pestle he’d found in the storeroom. He planned to use it on her. A lesson for embarrassing in front of the others… and for making him commit a terrible sin. She was going to learn that she can’t treat him with disrespect.
But all of a sudden, his heart was thudding hard against his ribs.
He felt like tossing down the pestle and just coming out of his hiding place. He didn’t have to teach her a lesson anymore. This wasn’t necessary. No, it wasn’t necessary. And his palms were sweating; which can only mean that this wasn’t right.
“Stupid boy!” She cursed. “Just because I’m managing him, he thinks he can dump me too.” She hissed, muttered something. “He didn’t even know how to do it well.”
Cyprian’s mouth compressed at the curse and the wicked thing she’d just said. Anger stirred up again and his heart stopped thudding with fear.
A bird made a noise and she shrieked and jumped around.
Pushed by anger and by that renewed desire to teach her a lesson, he emerged from between the shrubs, raised the small old pestle and before she could spin around, he brought down the pestle on the back of her head.
“Ouch!” Dana cried out, using both hands to grip her head.
She tried to twist her head around but weaved instead on her feet and as she struggled to steady herself, she stumbled and fell. First to her knees, then to the ground, face down.
He stared at her, panic shooting through him. She was lying so still. Maybe she has fainted. He hadn’t meant to hit her so hard. He wanted to help her, to try to wake her up. But he didn’t want to be there when she woke up.
So, twisting around, he ran out of the garden as fast as his legs could carry him.
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“SHE must have woken up… managed to come out of the garden… then fell again and… and died.” Cyprian concluded in stuttering speech. “I didn’t mean to kill her, Fr. Chrys. I just wanted to teach her a lesson for embarrassing me.”
Fr. Chrys stared at him. Tears were rolling down the boy’s cheeks in torrents. Was it possible? Had that hit on the head been responsible for Dana’s death?