John Paul wasn't sure where they were going on this walk. It was quite a winding trail up a hill out back into a plush thicket of evergreen trees.
"Lets think of the joy it'll be coming down this path once dinner is over." Kiernon looked behind at John Paul who was following up the trail. He took John Paul's hand, but John Paul pulled away, instantly. Could they be seen holding hands? This didn't seem quite right. He knew they wouldn't be doing it in the village.
"Its quite all right. Don't worry so much. They won't care." He assured John Paul with an embrace.
On the way they saw an old bloke caring his fishing equipment. Naturally, Kieron introduced himself as Kegan and mentioned how he and his friend here, John Paul couldn't wait to go fishing.
John Paul found himself acting out casting a rod and how excited he was about the matter. In fact, he'd never really been on a fishing trip. Sad to say, but his dad was more in to gambling than spending time with him. He wondered what his dad would think now if he knew he was with a priest? Honestly, deep down, he didn't give a damn what his dad might say.
Finally, they walked on and found the lodging practically in the ground. It was a strange dwelling of rocks. John Paul wasn't sure if it were a cave or a home.
"They built it, themselves." Kieron shared. Still John Paul was on edge about this whole dinner. What was he suppose to do?
Anyhow, the Milton's were a jolly pair. Lots of food, drink and meriment all around. They did make John Paul feel at home. His mug never went empty and the shepherd's pie was scrumptious.
They joked with Kegan about the time he lost his way around the lake and almost fell in. Or the time, he got a hook in his hand when he was just a child on his first fishing trip here.
"I can't see a scar now, " remarked the old man.
"Scars like that heal so quickly when you're a lad," Kieron reminded him.
"What about that other lad you brought before? Who was he again?" Mrs. Milton filled his plate with more gravey and bread.
"You remember that mate?" Kieron looked flattered or maybe a loss of words instead. "That was years ago. I was just a school boy. I thought you wouldn't remember. Time goes on, doesn't it?"
"You were very close, to that young bloke. Inseparable, weren't they, dear?" Mr. Milton looked to his wife.
"Yes, inseparable." They both looked at Kieron who they thought was Kegan.
John Paul couldn't wait to leave, but some how Kieron had a way of tarrying. It was nightfall by the time they left.
"So you came here with someone else?" John Paul had to pry. "When was this?"
"Years ago." Kieron left it at that on their quiet walk home. Instead he mention the beauty of the stars up above and talked of the universe.
"I want you to come clean." John Paul had to know once they got back to the cabin.
"What is there to know? It was long time ago." Kieron wasn't smiling now.
"Why can't you tell me?" John Paul bit his bottom lip.
Tears swelled up in Kieron's eyes. "It hurts too much. All right." He squinted. "Its best to leave it alone. Can we?"
"What happened?" John Paul touched his shoulder then.
"It makes no difference now. All right." Kieron turned from him. "I find so much peace here. " The tears slipped down his face. "I don't want to lose that." He sighed. "But you're right. I haven't been here in years. Years. So many years. I use to spend summers here. I wanted to live here." He sort of laughed, but then he choked on tears. "My best mate took his own life in the lake."
"He drowned?" John Paul squinted.
"No, he meant to do it, because of me." He sighed. "And thats why I decided I had to be priest."