A waitress (her face looked familiar to Dan, a Bark Bay student, never in one of his classes, distinctive large mole on her left cheek) came to their table. Cyrus ordered a Caesar salad, no dressing please, with an unsweetened iced tea, and replied to the young woman yes that was all with thinly veiled annoyance. Excusing himself, he reached down to his right, his body seeming almost to disappear as he sifted through a cloth briefcase lying on the floor. Dan ordered a meatball sandwich with a Coke, handed his menu and smiled up at the waitress, who offered no evidence of having recognized him, and looked back at Cyrus, whose hands were now folded on top of a manila folder that now lay on the table.
“You know, I really do want Butch to learn about the world.” Cyrus’ pleasant demeanor had returned, but the light no longer seemed to reflect off his golden hair. “That’s why we sent him, like all his brothers and sisters, to public school.” Dan silently decided that congratulating a Baptist minister for choosing Bark Bay High School over the Christian Academy would not go over well. “I believe our faith is made stronger when we demonstrate we can be in the world, but not of it.”
Dan nodded in the direction of the manila folder. “I’m guessing you’re about to show me something that’s very much of this world.”
For just a brief moment, Cyrus looked unsure, ready to snatch the manila folder away and shove it back into his briefcase. But he sighed through his nostrils, and smiled. “You’re a good man, Daniel.” This must be really bad, Dan thought. “Constantine wouldn’t be at the seminary without your inspiration, and Charity . . . ”
“I was glad to help, Cyrus.” He tapped the corner of the folder. “But I think you need to show me what’s inside.”
With a heavy sigh, Cyrus leaned back in his chair, and flipped open the front cover of the folder.