Faculty meetings at Covenant were held in the library. Upon entering, Lily scanned the shelves. Shelves with the works of Dickens and Dostoyevsky captivated her. Faulkner and Flaubert were on the same row; Salinger, Tolstoy, and Updike were on another. Lily spotted a settee close to Dickens’ works, took her seat, and waited for the other faculty to appear.
Mr. McDavid, Covenant’s history teacher, walked in and over to Lily. Lily had never met him but she liked him immediately. Effusive by nature, he carried a stained coffee cup with Beatus homo qui invenit sapientiam embossed as a scroll. He was older than Lily by twenty years, but Lily invariably got along better with people older than she. Mr. McDavid wore a grizzled beard and thick black-framed glasses. He had a potbelly on an otherwise pleasant frame.
“Ms. Rood, I take it?” he said.
“Um yes,” Lily said. “How did you know?”
“I’ve taught at Covenant since Fred had the call to begin the school. I know a few things about the school and who is part of Fred’s vision. Welcome, Ms. Rood. I’m Thomas McDavid, history teacher and, hopefully, new friend to you.”
“I’m Lily Rood, English teacher. And it’d be nice to have a friend here. I don’t really know a lot of people yet. I’ve met Beth Aims and I only knew Mr. Aims through the church I attended last Sunday. I’m learning that he was rather a remarkable man.”
“If you drink coffee, Ms. Rood, and even if you’re one of those tea drinkers, I’ll treat you to some stories of Fred Aims. Mirabile dictum,” said Mr. McDavid.
Lily appreciated Mr. McDavid’s energy and honesty. He seemed to her a man at peace with himself and his position.
“I’m a coffee drinker, Mr. McDavid,” Lily said. “But you’ll have to be patient with my Latin skills.”
“Oh, I just throw some phrases out at times so administration folks think I’m a little cracked. My little ruse. Keeps’em guessing about me. Hee hee! That way I can concentrate on teaching,” Mr. McDavid said, and chuckled again.
Lily was about to ask Mr. McDavid about himself and his take on Covenant when the sound of clanging bracelets filled the library.
“Good afternoon, everyone. Could I have your attention, please, and we’ll get started?” It was Beth. As she spoke, she gesticulated with her bedecked arms and fingers. She sounded like a tambourine, rattling the faculty gathered to hear who was to replace Fred Aims as headmaster, and if there would be any changes in administration or teaching faculty.
“This should be interesting,” Mr. McDavid whispered to Lily. “She’s nothing like her dad, I will tell you that, Ms. Rood.”
Lily had made her first friend at Covenant.
(To be continued)