Entry 2: New Little Coven
I wanted to honor my grandfather’s final wishes, yet I couldn’t bring myself to align with them wholeheartedly. My concern was the ability to continue his work and the value I have to add to this school.
I’ve never seen myself as an educator. The thought of surrounding myself with children, magical or not, is terrifying.
On my first morning, I found myself again in front of the entire school in the auditorium. It was Eloise’s idea to talk to the students. She believed it would make the transition easier on them.
I introduced myself and read a generic speech I found online, it was not very inspiring, mostly included a few variations of telling the kids to go after their dreams. Loads of bullshit, but it made my grandmother happy.
After my speech, Eloise found me hiding in my grandfather’s office. She didn’t care for me staying inside all day, so she kindly requested I take a tour of the school with her. She used this opportunity to introduce me to the Triskele staff.
Reluctantly I left the office, arm in arm with Eloise, we began our little expedition in the school’s botanical garden.
Eloise was adamant to remind me of the responsibility and ability I have to run this school. She recalled my grandfather during the founding days and how resilient he was in order to bring life to his dream.
In the school’s library, we met Emmet Foley, the history teacher and a former classmate of mine. I haven’t seen him since graduation, barely knew what to say as we used to be close friends. As I remembered from back then, he has remained the kindest person I know.
Emmet welcomed me back to school with a gigantic smile, and asked me if it would be acceptable to hug me. The nature of our relationship and the fact that it has been over a decade since I’ve seen him, I couldn’t exactly say no.
After he released me from his grip, he added it was good to see me back in the school, then he moved on and changed the subject about work.
He asked Eloise about a trip he would like to take the second year students, she turned to me and asked for my thoughts.
Unsure of the correct answer, I told them I would need to see the schedule Mr. Foley is planning and only then I’ll have an answer.
The history teacher agreed and grabbed a piece of paper from his bag. He handed it to me, the itinerary appeared, letter after letter. I thanked him and told me I would have an answer for him soon enough.
Eloise noticed the time and grabbed my arm again, claiming we have many more to meet.
We happened to cross paths with our counselor, Ms. Rossie Sierra. Surprisingly, another former classmate of mine.
She invited me to join her after school hours for a drink in the local tavern, not far away from the school’s grounds. She disclosed everyone is friendly at this school, but a lot of the faculty are much older than us, she sensed I might need a friend who was born around the same year I was. I accepted the invitation, she was absolutely right.
It was a long day of introductions with Eloise hanging from my arm. I never noticed how many teachers and staff are in this school.
By the end of the day, I decided to take up Rossie’s offer and accompany her for a much needed drink. I caught her just as she and Emmet were leaving her office’s door.
Seeing Emmet coming out of the office made me rethink my decision going with them, as I was turning away from them, I heard Rossie’s voice calling for me.
I turned again with a forced smile. Rossie asked if I was joining them. I tried to come up with an excuse but my head went blank. She took it as a positive sign I needed a drink.
I should explain there is a valid reason I didn’t want to join them.
Emmet and I were not just friends back in our school days, but he was my closest friend, and I was his. We would do everything together, we shared the same room, we were on the same teams, we ate every meal together. Every day and every second was spent by his side.
After graduating I ran away from him as soon I could. When I was seventeen I couldn’t admit how I felt…I didn’t want to be rejected by him because I wanted to be with him. I knew he wouldn’t see me in eyes similar to mine. He was straight, I am not. That means we don’t end up together.
The time I spent away from him, from this school and from my family, nights of countless men, a few women and being worlds apart, ended with finding my own freedom.
I used to believe I needed him but I managed to find myself, I found who I was alone and learned to love who I am without the presence of someone else.
For that, I thank Emmet for pushing me away, unintentionally of course but he did just enough for me to run.
When you’re a child with no real grasp on his emotions, it allows awful decisions to be made.
After graduating I didn’t just lose contact with him, I cut the cord of our friendship and vanished from his life.
Rossie led to the tavern, it wasn’t very big, it was a single room with about ten tables if I remember correctly, a single simplistic wooden bar on the right, decorations hanging from the ceiling, and lots of blue and white stripes lined across the walls.
We sat around a round table in the back while Rossie went to the bar to get the first round of drinks.
Emmet used the opportunity to tell me there isn’t any bad blood between us, not for him at least, he could sense I was tense when I met him earlier and then again outside Rossie’s office.
I appreciate the sentiment and told him I look forward to working side by side with them. He commented something changed about me, he couldn’t figure out what was bothering me, so he asked if I was happy.
I was taken aback by the question but before I could answer, Rossie came back with three beers and placed them on the table. She raised her glass and cheerfully declared the formation of our new little coven.
We raised our glasses and toasted to a new coven in the world.
I had to ask them something that bothered me all day. How did both of them find themselves back in the Triskele? After all, witches tend to migrate, and it is rare to have students come back to their school so young to teach. Emmet answered that my grandfather scouted them.
I get it, you can’t turn down working for the one of most prestigious schools for magic. The Triskele faculty are known around the world, so much so, every student applying to the Triskele already has a favorite teacher they want to be educated by them.
We kept drinking. Then some more. Then we continued with more drinks. At some point Emmet noticed the empty tavern’s stage and ran to it, he stood in front of the microphone stand. He froze in the limelight.
Rossie nudged me to help him, I finished my beer and told Rossie to pick a song from the antique jukebox in the back and to enchant the back wall to screen the lyrics of the song she chose.
I went to save him from further embarrassment.
Emmet saw I was coming for him, he raised his arms with excitement and announced me to the unbothered crowd.
The song started playing, I jumped to the stage and whispered in his ear to look at the back wall. He thanked me and I started turning back but he grabbed my shoulder and asked me to do this with him.
I believe Rossie intentionally chose a difficult song resulting in an unsuccessful belting of the high notes. We probably sounded like human bagpipes.
We called the night after the crowd booed us down. It has been an eternity since I had this much fun, of just enjoying what is happening.
We left the tavern and walked back to the school.
Emmet and I fell into our old selves, like the two teenagers we used to be, telling stories about our days as students, and Rossie… she fits in so perfectly with us. I didn’t notice her very much back then, but she is a funny witch, cracking us with jokes and commentary all the way to the Triskele.
We reached our dormitory corridor. Emmet entered his room first, then Rossie. when I reached my door, I had to hold the door frame.
I needed to collect myself. At some point during the night I became aware of my grandfather’s death. The amount of alcohol in my body with the addition of unrealized grief, stirred my emotions.
My grip on the door tightened, whatever happened I didn’t want tears to fall. I was not willing to have a breakdown. I slowed my breath and my heart followed. I knew I could manage to centralize myself.
At last, I opened the door. I went straight for my bed and covered the blanket over me, still in my clothes and shoes.