Waiye called them up as soon as it became light. She grinned at the annoyed look on Layke’s face.
“What? Two days of getting up at dawn is too hard for you?”
“Well, I need you to get up; it’s an incentive for all the other women to get up.”
“What do you mean?”
Waiye laughed. “They don’t want to be beaten by a boy.”
Layke stood there, not knowing what she meant. He soon found out, though. All of the women had gotten up, except for one. She lay there, groaning and covering her eyes with her hand.
“Get up,” Waiye said. “It’s for the Cause.”
“I don’t care about the Cause anymore, I just want my sleep,” she groaned. Waiye chuckled.
“Open your eyes and look at what’s before you,” Waiye said, gesturing for Layke to go over to her. He did, and Waiye moved him so that he was right in the eyesight of the woman when she opened her eyes.
The woman opened her eyes, and saw Layke there, already up and about and seeming awake enough.
“You let a mere boy beat you to waking up?” Waiye said. The woman groaned, and sat up. “There you go. At least now I don’t have to say you’re a boy.”
Layke was slightly offended. “What happened to equality?”
Waiye shrugged. “You’re willing to do anything when it comes to getting your fellow revolutionists up.”
Layke had to smile at that. “If you say so.”
“I say so,” Waiye said, and moved to the door. “Everyone packed up except for Martha? Good. Someone help Martha pack up, will you?”
Someone did, rushing over to the woman who was late to wake up. As soon as Waiye went out the door she sighed, putting her head in her hands. Layke went out after her, and saw her leaning against the stable wall.
“I’m not an expert at feelings, but what is wrong?” Layke asked. Waiye smiled weakly at him.
“It’s just that … I’ve been acting, Layke. I don’t know how on this planet am I going to lead those women in a rebellion. If you were in my position, would you? Would you?” Waiye sighed again, shaking her head. “I can’t do it. I’m not cut out for this type of stuff.”
“You seemed cut out for it before,” Layke said, thinking of the confident, self-assured Waiye that he had seen moments before.
“I was acting. Didn’t you see me acting as a master of you yesterday? I’m a good actor, and that’s all I can say. I’m not a good leader.”
“Well,” Layke said after a moment’s thought, “if you keep acting like a good leader, then you’ll be a good leader, you see?”
“I suppose. So just pretend to lead well and lead well?”
Layke nodded. “You’re smart like that.”
“Thanks,” Waiye said, and returned back inside, leaving a very confused Layke outside to ponder what she had just told him.