Percy started walking off. This time it was Layke who grabbed his shirt before he could go any further.
“No, Percy, wait!”
Percy tried to keep going.
“You don’t understand!”
“I very well do,” he said, turning around.
“No, you don’t. There are people out there who need help. The men are being forced to work while the women rest in the shade, fanning themselves with their dainty little handkerchiefs. This can’t go on. It’s just not just.”
“What do you know about just, Layke?” Percy asked, staring him in the eye. Layke paled.
“Don’t bring the accident into this, Percy. We were only small. We were silly.” Layke swallowed. “We didn’t know the consequences of our actions.”
“How just is it, Layke, that someone pushes someone else’s brother into a lake, yelling at him to swim? How just is it, that that person’s brother drowns, just because of the stupidity of a young boy? You call that just? How just is it to the family of that little boy? Mourning every birthday, burning everything of his when the possessions could have been sold for good money?” Percy broke off, shaking his head. Tears threatened to spill out of his eyes, but he turned away before Layke could see him crying. “The name goes with the personality, eh?”
Layke shook his head. “Please, don’t go into it. It has tortured me enough already.”
“And so it should,” Percy said. Then he started walking off again.
“Before you go could you at least tell me someone who’d be interested?” Layke cried desperately in a last-ditch attempt to get himself talking on a friendly basis with Percy.
“I shouldn’t be doing this,” Percy called from where he was, still walking, never stopping.
Percy kept on walking, and Layke had almost given up hope that he was going to say anything when a word was thrown over his shoulder.
“Waiye behind the Lighting Tree.”