In the next room, Brian’s father, Edmond Poole, propped himself up on his elbow and stared at his wife, much as Brian had stared at Elyse. After a few minutes, she opened one irritable eye and said, ‘What?’
‘You don’t think… I mean Brian’s been acting pretty odd. Don’t you think?’
‘Odd? What do you mean?’ she said, though even in the dimness he thought he could see the shadow of a half smile on her face. You would have thought, he and Brian both being males, he would have had the most insight, but it was always her wearing that knowing smile whenever something came up.
‘I mean,’ he said, ‘he locks himself in his room all hours of the day, walks around in a long sleeved jacket with a hood on and long pants in the middle of spring, grunts two words to me on a talkative day, and goes to bed early every night, sometimes without dinner. To be honest, he’s got a bit of a sick look to him, lately.’
‘You do realise you’ve just described every male seventeen year old in the world, right?’
‘No, what about the going to bed early without dinner? Most teenage boys eat like horses and stay up all hours.’
She gave a smug snort and rolled onto her side, facing away from him. ‘You don’t really think he’s going to sleep, do you honey?’
‘What do you mean?’ Feeling more clueless than ever. ‘His light’s off and it’s quiet, what else’s he doing?’
‘That nice girl Elyse Mars has been sneaking into his room every night, that’s what.’
‘What?’ He could almost hear her smiling.
‘Her mother called me the other night. She’d snuck out and she wanted to make sure Elyse was safe.’
Edmond lay back on his pillow with his hands behind his head, and let out a sigh of relief. ‘Yup,’ he said, before he drifted off. ‘That’s my boy.’