Entry 1: A funeral
I could have never become the person I am, if it weren’t for the people I love. In this story there are many beginnings and endings, it includes walking many paths, lives we had the privilege to meet on the way and lives we witnessed ending and choices we made throughout, but the most important aspect of telling this story to you, is the evidence we were capable of love, we were able to grow together and find our truth.
We begin with the end of another story. Desmond Hunt, my grandfather with whom I share a name, was many things, a dreamer caught in his imagination, the most respected witch to walk this Earth, or to me at least, and a wonderful grandfather.
Unfortunately, the patriarch has died.
Our family members include my saint of grandmother Eloise, my parents Micah and Corrine, my father is one third of a triplet of brothers along with my uncles Oliver and Elijah, their wives Jenna and Helena, Respectively, and Oliver and Jenna’s children, Annalise and Leo.
My grandparents were the founders of both my family and The Triskele School - for Magical Practitioners, which is also where my grandfather’s funeral is being held.
A single month has passed since they reopened the school year, and now we’re burying my grandfather. It must be hard for Eloise; this is the first school year she is running the school on her own.
After a night of connection flights across half of the globe, I arrived in Greece and checked into a hotel in Athens. Before going up to my room, I decided I should go outside to the street so I could smoke from a much needed cigarette. I checked my phone, it was already two-thirty AM, my favorite time of the day.
It is the hour when there are less cars on the road, less people on the street, even the air clears up just a little bit.
Sometimes, so is the mind, it finds peace when the world goes to sleep.
My grandfather wasn’t a simple man, he grew up during the second witch-trials in 1946, that meant he needed to fight every day of his life, it was the only path one could take.
The way he showed any signs of love to his family members, was influenced by a thought in the back of his head to create a future for us that he saw right, the way he thought was best, not only to survive but in order to thrive as well.
Each one of his three sons, his grandchildren, myself included, have fought him on our desires to be someone he didn’t anticipate. He meant well, he always has, we were simply different.
I arrived at the arch gates of the Triskele. I was greeted by two roaring winged lions made of gray stone sitting on each side of a squared stone pillar, their stone eyes watching me enter the school’s grounds.
I haven’t visited this school in over a decade, being back here resurfaced memories I thought I managed to bury. I took a deep breath and told myself I’m not the same person who left.
The pathway from the lions’ gate to the courtyard is paved with brown pebble rocks, bound by a linear concrete hedge not taller than a centimeter on each side. Beyond the concrete, infinite greenery leading out to the valleys.
The student body has assembled in the courtyard. Everyone wore traditional dark robes, I hated wearing them when I was a student here. My navy blue jacket stood out in this crowd.
Walking up to the entrance of the main building, I saw Eloise and my parents talking to Helena.
The school is made up of four ivory colored stone-made buildings: the main building where classes are held, includes the dining hall and library. The auditorium, which is used for events like these. The dormitories, which are shared between staff and the students, and finally the clock tower which is banned to students.
My father pulled me into a hug the moment I was close enough to reach. My mother gently patted on my back, as Micah squeezed the air out of my lungs.
Before I could speak to anyone, Elijah showed up, he welcomed me to the school, and requested we move inside, to the auditorium.
As I walked in the first thing I saw was him, rapped in white sheets, laying on the altar on the auditorium stage. I think we all stopped in our places and processed as his body lay dead in front of us.
Corrine grabbed my hand and turned to look at me, together we took a deep breath. She guided us to the front row seats.
One by one, my family members, went up the stage and stood on a podium, all of them raving the first Desmond. Some of them were sincere, some less.
It was my turn to go up.
In my head I remembered calling it a Desmond eulogizing a Desmond, it felt uneasy to say the least, most of the time we think about families growing, but they also diminish, I had to remind myself it’s just as natural.
Instead of focusing on his death, I reasoned that the situation called for cementing his vision, after all it was his funeral and his school, I should give my last respects.
I spoke about his life in a world of persecution, how easy it was for him to become vengeful but instead he found a cause to believe in. In return he gained the ability to hope for a future. Not many can say that about themselves, under the world’s injustice to retain humanity.
I ended with wishing his soul a safe journey to his next destination, one that I hope will be better than this one.
After everyone spoke, the men in my family raised the wooden panel my grandfather’s body was resting on to our shoulders. We carried him outside to the forest near the school’s boundaries. The student body and faculty followed us in a single line.
We arrived at an old willow tree, my grandfather requested to be buried underneath it.
Eloise crouched down to the ground and placed her hand on the dirt. She whispered into the Earth, causing it to sink, this created a hole fit for a deceased man.
We lowered his body down. The ground restarted to move above the body, until it completely covered him.
To end this difficult day, Eloise gathered our family in my grandfather’s office. She requested from us to stay for the reading of his will.
It was strange being in his office, not much has changed, I guess after a few decades, he grew comfortable with things as they are. His black wooden desk, as always clean and not a single object on it. The carpet is now fading blue. On the wall behind the desk hung individual framed pictures of his family when they were students, if I get the chance I will remove mine, I looked horrendous as a child. The windows were spotless, with long gray curtains hanging on each side and between.
Eloise put on her reading glasses and went to sit across us, behind his desk. She opened a drawer from the side of the desk and pulled out a letter.
For anyone standing outside the office, it would seem a war has started inside. After the reading, Oliver stormed out with his wife Jenna, furious at my grandfather. He vowed to get things right. He cursed his mother and deceased father, and called them irresponsible.
Oliver wanted one thing, to succeed my grandfather and head over the Triskele.
Annalise went with her parents, her brother Leo stayed with us in the office, he excused his family’s behavior, claiming today hasn’t been easy on them. He is a sweet young man, he wished me the best.
Apparently, Desmond Hunt was a madman, he wanted me to continue his work. A twenty-seven-year-old witch with no qualifications for this position, a decision which Eloise agreed is right.
Surprised but supportive, my father reminded us my grandfather founded the school at the same age I am now. They convinced me to stay for a while and try to find my place here. Eloise guaranteed me she will stay as well to ensure an easy transition in the school.
Forced into this situation, I told Eloise I would try out of respect but if I find myself unfit, I will give Oliver this school, the final decision will be mine alone. She agreed to my terms.