We went to dinner. It was uneventful except Sherri joined us again. She was funny with a dry wit that I liked. We kept it light and danced around a lot of topics without going to deep. I sat back and Zane and I listened. He talked less than I did but just like me he never stopped watching. He was a weird kid in some ways. One moment I would look at him and see a midget Max with a sharp jab of Carol. He was focused, at times he talked like an adult and he was always alert an aware of the world around us. He moved like a ghost when he wanted too and just for a second once or twice I saw his eyes go flat, cold, and dead. I don't know what he was seeing or thinking but I knew that look from his dad. It usually meant he was back in the Marines somewhere or he was about to kill someone. I saw the Carol part when he laughed and acted his age. When he asked me kid questions and trusted me to tell him the truth. Hell, I think he expected only the truth from me and I tried to deliver it.
As we walked back to our quarters after dinner Sherri lagged behind and I fell in step with her. Her room was one of the first ones we passed and I stopped with her as she opened it. I looked down the hall and Zane had stopped about fifteen paces from us and was looking back at me. She took a quick look at him and the quietly told me "I'm the only one in my room if you want to come by later..." I looked at her, smiled, and said "Thanks" and left it at that.
I caught up with Zane and we walked down the hallway to our room. As I opened the door he
said "She likes you."
"Yeah. I know."
"Woof likes me."
I shut the door behind us and told him "He's a dog. He's supposed too."
"Woof isn't just a dog. He's special. You know that too. Are we going to go see him now?"
"No. We need to do something while they have the lights on." We had an hour before the lights went out. They didn't ask anyone. They just turned them off an hour after dinner. They had told us in class it was to conserve energy. I figured it was more to conserve on security and to keep us in our rooms. I expected a protest from him. Something along the line of "You promised!" I didn't get it from him. He accepted it without saying a word. He just looked away.
"I got a plan and I need your help. What we are going to do is sharpen our toothbrush handles." I was going to say more but I saw the smile on his face. "Yeah?"
"I already did." He pulled his toothbrush out of his shirt pocket. "See."
I took it from him, looked at, and handed it back to him. "You need to work on that point."