"I need a favor."
"Ask away." Brig smiles indulgingly.
"Can you teach me how to read and write?"
Brig stares at him. Then slowly, she asks. "You don't know how?"
"Then how did you write the note for me when you left?"
"I know some common phrases. I picked them up when I sneaked into a slave's daughter room to peek her notes. I only understood the ones she had read aloud before when I watched her."
Brig stays silent. Dave spoke up. "It's all right..."
"No, I never teach anyone before. I don't know how to start or how to help you the best." Brig clarifies.
"Well, start with teaching me how to read the book Gill gave me."
Dave takes out the book named "Harness Your Power - The Basics"
"Okay. What words do you recognize?"
"'Your' and 'the'."
Brig sits next to Dave and runs her finger along the words. "Okay, this is 'harness your power the basics'. Maybe we should start with the alphabet."
She writes out the alphabet and starts showing Dave how to put words together.
"No no, it's 'beer' with e-e-r, not e-a-r."
"Well, because 'ear' is e-a-r, I thought beer should be written with e-a-r."
"Yeah, well, there're many exceptions. But you'll get used to it. Let's try the first page. Practices makes perfect. The more we read, the more you're familiar with a vast vocabulary." Brig reads out loud slowly, tracing the words with her finger.
Dave kissed her hair. "Thank you."
Brig laughes. "Now, now, you can't get your teacher distracted. Concentrate and you'll earn a kiss."
"Just a kiss?"
"We'll see how well you do."
"I'm a quick learner." Dave winks and shifts his focus back to the page and starts to read out loud on his own. Brig stops him and corrects him whenever he gets the word wrong.
"Urgh! How many mistakes am I allowed to have, my tutor?"
"You're doing remarkably well for someone's learning read. Let's see, if you get less than 30 words wrong, you'll earn a kiss."
Dave finishes the first page with 35 mispronouced words. He breathed out a frustrated breath. Brig handed him a chocolate ice-cream bowl. "Cheer up, you're doing very good."
"You'll do better on the next page. Here's for your effort." Brig smiles encouragingly.
"Just one kiss?"
Brig shakes her head laughingly.
"You're such a harsh tutor!" Dave complains with a happy face, shoving spoons of ice-cream in his mouth.
After two more pages, Dave gets the prize. They stay up late that night and Dave gets three more kisses and one more ice-cream bowl (for two additional underachieved pages) for himself.
David: You learn something new each day huh? I learn that Brig would make a harsh teacher and no student would like her if she has chosen the educative career.
Brig: Dave, you just earned yourself extra homeworks today! Five pages!
Dave: See, I told ya, she's harsh! x_x