I’m no teacher, I probably couldn’t manage a class of students in a school if I had to. This is different though. This is about helping two teenagers learn more, this is about teaching them the basic of life so that they can, at least, understand what’s going on around them. When we first started teaching them both French and English so they’d at least manage around in this country to in a couple of others, we also started them on small things. Lex did most of the work in getting them the necessary books and in acquiring the tests and the rest, I just helped them study, I answered their questions.

Not once they did come to me asking me to solve something for them. They asked for help on how to solve the question itself but not how to solve it exactly, just little hints and tips. For the first few grades, we gave them a couple of months on the basic things, math, mostly. Then we each gave them one of the required tests and sat them on opposite ends of the room, just to be sure. Mira aced all of his tests and Agni, while not managing as well, was never quite far from his brother.

At this point, they’re still learning bits and pieces of what they would have learned in their last couple years of high school. The subjects are a bit more difficult to learn at this point but they’re making great progress, it’s wonderful. I think that with the standardized test,they’ll be able to ‘graduate’ in a few more months, maybe in a year at most. That way we’ll be able to finally write them up résumés and if they ever do want to work elsewhere they’ll have something to show for it.

I know Mira is more than comfortable working at the library as it is but I know that at times Agni gets bored with the work there. So who knows, maybe one of these days he’ll try to find a job elsewhere.

“What are you plotting over there?” I look up, Lex is freshly out of Adela’s room, there’s sweat on his brow and the house as a whole is comfortable enough to not warrant that kind of bodily reaction to heat. I shrug and I look back down to the papers I have scattered over the table. Since we’ve really completely and absolutely sold the other building back to folks we knew would take good care of it and its residents (though I still think they’re all old idiots who should be in a nursing home), I haven’t really had much to keep myself busy so I’ve kept a close watch on the kids’ ‘grades’. Lex does the work to get the paperwork and books and tests and I just keep track of the rest.

“Just telling myself that before too long, few months, next year more than likely, these two will be good and ready to go through the standardized testing and we might very well be able to ‘graduate’ them from our little schooling bits. I’m also wondering what I’ll do with myself then.” I know I’m trying to keep it from my voice but it’s not always easy, that little note that tends to give me away.

He sighs and steps closer to me, wiping the sweat from his brow and partly drying his hand on his hip. It’ll dry so it’s not much of an issue to either of us, that habit. “We really need to get you something to do, huh?”

I shrug, a wry smile to my lips as I look up to him. I close my eyes when he brushes his hand over my cheek and I simply lean against the touch. “I’m like you, Lex. I’m used to keeping busy. When it wasn’t the bar, it was the building and when it wasn’t that, I was taking care of little jobs here and there. I just feel restless.”

He leans down, kisses the top of my head and pulls out a chair to sit next to me. For a moment he only looks at the papers on the table before his gaze settles on me. “We’ll find you something to do. There’s an old building not far from downtown, one of the buildings that was somewhat grazed by the fires. It only needs a little work. It has huge rooms, a pretty big kitchen. You’re always trying to help others, how about we get that building fixed up and you turn it into a shelter of sorts? Be it for kids on the run or for anyone and everyone who needs a roof. You could offer food and rooms.”

The idea is interesting but I have one issue with it and I know he knows the flaw is in there. “I don’t want to just give them something so they can take it and be done with it. I know if I open a shelter, I’ll have visitors, there are homeless folks out there and I know that they are down on their luck but it doesn’t mean they should just take without giving some back.”

I pause and I watch his face, as if to see if he knows where I’m going with this. There’s a slight quirk of his lips and I know he knows, I guess we’ve been together so long that we could do more than just finish one another’s sentence if we try.

“I’d want them to help in turn. For one night they could help with the preparation of one meal or they could help with the cleaning. I could open it up for teens, set it up that for such and such, you’d have to help out and do such and such around the place. We could just build up from the ground up right next door and-“

“I don’t know that this one part of the idea might work, Eoghan. Think about it. You set them up next door and they know you’re right here. You think if there ever are small issues they’ll ever let you get any sleep? No, I think it’d just be easier if we saw about renovating the building downtown. That way, even if there are some issues, they can’t just cross over and come knocking on the door demanding that you come and fix up whatever is wrong at that point.”

I guess he has a point, that’s a detail that I hadn’t really thought about. Well there’s time, I figure. If the building he’s talking about is the one I’m thinking of, it only has been somewhat singed by the fire but it has been abandoned for a while, it already was abandoned when I first moved into the city. I don’t know that anyone will come around to fix it up any time soon and they can’t really just tear it down, it’s a landmark of sorts from what I’ve learned of it.

They’re just waiting for the right person to come along, more than likely with enough money to make it worth their while. I’ll look into it. It would keep me occupied though I’d still have to make time for Armin and the twins, for the shared suppers and everything else. I’ll give it a lot of thought and then I’ll just look around a little more. Maybe I’ll just buy the building, renovate it and rent it out. I’m not looking for more money, I don’t need more money but running a shelter might take more time than I’m really willing to put into it, unless I can hire folks to be around when I couldn’t.

Still, plenty of time but it’s a good idea. I like fixing up buildings and giving them a second chance. Maybe I’ll set it up as a restaurant, that’s something else Lex brought up a while ago, it could be interesting. I’ll think about it all.


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