Everyone fell into a good routine. The kids took to Peter and Holly easily, happy to have someone else to play with. In fact, the kids played so much, they slept much better. Holly cooked dinner and helped the girls with the bath. Peter read them stories at bedtime, helped with lunch and breakfast. . The children's lessons went well with more one on one help. The Priest and Brother Sentaro greatly appreciated their help.
Peter watched from the doorway as Sentaro sat on the grass to watch the kids run around. Sentaro was tall, definitely over 6 feet…maybe 6'3". He had a scar by his left eye in the shape of an X. His hair was a medium shade of brown, combed back. His height, build, and black clothes made him look more like a mafia hitman.
"There's something nice about being surrounded by children isn't it," the Priest said.
"You always sneak up like that?" Peter teased.
"A shepherd must watch his sheep," he replied solemnly.
"Father…" Peter started unsure.
"Se…umm, Brother Sentaro… What's his story? I mean, he doesn't look like a Priest…in training that is. I mean… "
The Priest nodded. "Yes, I think I understand your question. However, that is something you should ask Brother Sentaro himself."
Peter watched the Priest, watching Sentaro with a tenderness. Peter turned to look again at Sentaro, and noticed he was watching Holly. "Father?"
"Do…do all…" Peter stopped, ashamed of what he was about to ask.
"The answer is no, son. But the reasons vary." Peter turned in shock. "I think I know what you were asking. However, God guides his sheep in ways that are sometimes unseen, sometimes not understood until the end appears. It is best not to question such things and to put your faith in His hands."
Peter nodded, unsure of what he was agreeing too. Since they arrived, Sentaro seemed to genuinely love being around the children. However, Peter thought he looked…he wasn't sure how to describe it… out of place? Here, but not really here? It wasn't that he was being left out, but Peter felt like Brother Sentaro had a wall around him, like the one Holly was beginning to build.
"Hols," Peter asked walking back to their rooms after having put the kids to sleep, "what do you think of this place?"
"I mean, we've been here for nearly two weeks already, just wanted to know you're opinion."
"Oh, well I think the kids are great. It's a pity there are so many orphans, but the number is still smaller than I expected. I didn't have the heart to ask why they all ended up here. It took a while to get used to the toilets and showering, but it's nice to see how dad grew up."
Holly laughed. "He's an interesting guy. I wasn't expecting to see an American Priest, but then again, Catholicism isn't native here. It's sort of comforting."
"And Brother Sentaro?"
"He was even more unexpected. He seems nice enough."
Peter's eyes slid to his sister, "That's it?"
Holly shrugged, "Okay so what do you think of him?"
"I'm just kind of curious as to why he decided to become a priest, ya know?"
"No, not really…" She stopped walking. "Peter… you don't have to sniff out conspiracy when there isn't one."
"I'm not, I'm just wondering why a guy like that becomes a priest."
"A guy like what? A man that loves God and kids?"
"Hols, you can tell that-"
Holly became defensive, "You can tell what? That he doesn't fit in? That he might have had a rough life?"
Peter stood in silence.
"So what? His journey has brought him here. What does it matter? What's wrong with it? He's not running away, or is that what you think? He's running from something? Like you think I am?"
"Hols," Peter reached for his sister but she brushed him off and continued walking.
"Maybe we're all just running towards something? Why do you have to think the worst?"
"It's not the worst… I just… want to see everyone happy."
Holly turned toward her brother, "Peter, you don't have to try to make everyone happy. You don't have to try to fix things either." Peter looked at his feet. "You're not helpless, Pete. But, sometimes people just need to work through things and the best you can do is be by their side." Holly kissed her younger brother on the cheek and disappeared into her room.
The Priest slipped into his office before Peter came around the corner.