Fergus gave Tomas a long, hard look.
"Okay, man. I'll be there. After school, like you said." Tomas looked down at the sidewalk for a moment and then asked, "How much does he pay?"
"I don't know, Tomas. Minimum Wage, I suppose ... especially since you're only part time. But you'll have money enough to buy yourself eats and maybe go out on a date, once in a while. Plus there's a room in the back of his office where you can do homework, and even crash, if you need to. It's quiet and comfortable, and I suspect you need that. Everybody needs quiet and comfort - at least once in a while."
"So, after I graduate do you think he might make me full time?"
"Maybe. That's a question you need to ask him. But if you work hard and do as you're asked, learn what you need to know, ask questions, who knows? Maybe."
"I don't understand you, man. Why you doin' this for me? Dude. I tried to take your bread."
"I don't know. I guess I knew this wasn't something you did on a regular basis. I just figure you're not a bad guy and you might be worth the effort. We'll see."
They stopped in front of the house with the bay window.
"So this is your place? Man, it looks old."
"It IS old. I was born here. So was my Dad. In the same room, as a matter of fact. He died in this house. So yeah, the house looks old. Maybe, one of these days I'll save up some money and fix it up some. Maybe."
"I'll bet your neighbors would like that. You are dragging down their property values."
"Go home, Tomas. Before I put a foot in your ass. And here. Take some money. Go ahead. Take it. You can pay me back later. Just promise me you won't steal any more money from your Momma."
Tomas looked down at the little wad of cash in his hand, then looked up at Fergus.