AROA - What is wrong with you? You looked completely crazy inside! It was super awkward, the guy was super nice to you and you just looked stoned out of your mind or something!
Aroa's words startled Matina to the reality that now lay in front of her eyes. They were standing once again on the church steps, and a rather cold wind was starting to rise. She clutched the warm book against her chest, and did her best to respond in the calmest voice she could muster.
MATINA - Everything is fine! Let's just go home, it's getting chill!
A stunned look was instantly stamped across aroa's blushing face.
AROA - WHAT? Are you crazy? Did you forget what we are here to do? This was just a small detour, we still need to get the freaking book from the library!
MATINA - Just trust me on this aroa, let's go home and talk!
AROA - I can't believe you, I really can't! That church fucked up your head or something, you're making no sense!
MATINA - Come on, I don't want to discuss this here, let's just go home, please. I promise you will understand!
Aroa just shook her head in disbelief, as they turned to head back home. The walk was a long and uncomfortable one, Matina feeling Aroa's disapproving look burning the back of her neck the whole way. Not a word was spoken. After what seemed like an eternity, they arrived, and after climbing the stairs in the same unnerving mood, they were home. Just as the door closed behind them, Matina acted. In a stylish even if overdramatic gesture, Matina stripped her jacket and threw it to the side, revealing the glowing book underneath. Aroa was speechless, with the expression of someone who had just been victim of a rather large sledgehammer to the head.
AROA - Wha....wha... WTF?
Matina couldn't contain a nervous laugh.
MATINA - See? What did I tell you? You need to learn to trust me!
AROA - But??? HOW? Wasn't the book at the library? Where did you get that thing?
MATINA - It's a long and confusing story, it doesn't matter right now! Im just dying of curiosity to know what it says! Aren't you?
Aroa sure was curious to know the contents of the mysterious book, but the question of how she had gotten it was more pressing still. It all made no sense, specially Matina's sudden secrecy and strange atitude.
AROA - Of course I am, but shit, put yourself in my shoes for a moment! I don't understand a single thing about what's going on! I mean, you see this book through a photo in the library, then we go to steal it, by random chance we stop by a church first and you just happen to find it there? This is too much to believe! It just sounds like a badly written script!
MATINA - I know, I know. I don't understand it fully myself. But that doesn't matter right now! What matters is this book, and you can definitely tell it is not just any random book! Here, touch it!
Aroa reached her hand to touch the book, and as soon as they met, she recoiled in pure astonishment.
AROA - How can it be? It's giving off energy, I can feel it!
MATINA - I know, right? Come on, let's examine it more closely!
The shock was so great that all the questions regarding it's origin quickly dissipated in Aroa's mind. They hastily made their way to the living room and placed the book on the center table, with all the care in the world, and shined a fluorescent reading lamp on it. The sight was striking: it was completely brown, made in rich leather, and with no reference to author or title anywhere. It was clearly old, but that was just an instant feeling it gave off: the book was in pristine condition, not a scratch or dent or mark visible. The only distinctive feature was, right centered in the front cover, a bas-relief in silver: a spoon, a club, and a pair of scissors.
AROA: Wait a moment, I know these symbols! They are the symbols of praxe!
AROA: You know, the whole tradition of the university, of receiving the freshmen... This is so odd!
MATINA: Let's open it and see what it says!
Matina turned the cover, and a wave of warmth filled the room. The pages were thick and yellowish, and in the first page nothing was written except "Dura Praxis Sed Praxis". They started turning the pages hungrily, but there was nothing in store for them but disapointement. The book was written in some kind of old, forgotten language that, for as much as they tried, they could not decipher. The letters were clearly latin, but the meaning was completely elusive.
MATINA - Are you getting anything?
AROA - No, not really... I know some portuguese, and some of it looks familiar, but I can't, for the life of me, say what anything of this means!
MATINA - But you feel it right? This is clearly important! I just feel a connection, like this is trying to convey the most important of messages... but it's just lost on us! What shall we do?
AROA - I have no idea... but look: it's already late, and we have classes tomorrow... Maybe we should sleep on the matter... You're having the portuguese history class anyway, right? This looks like some ancient language, you should ask the teacher what he thinks of this whole business! But don't tell him too much about the book or where you found it, the whole situation just sounds extremely fishy!
MATINA - That's a great idea, actually! Maybe he can help us decipher the meaning of all this! And don't worry, I'll be discreet!
They kissed goodnight and went into their respective rooms. Matina carefully stashed the book in a small compartment in her desk and went to bed. Sleep didn't come easy, her head spinning with all the unexplained events of the day. Tomorrow was the day to find out more about this book and its contents, for now there was nothing else to do but wait. She finally succumbed to tiredness, and her sleep was calmed and undisturbed, soothed away by ancient japanese voices whispering to her ears.