Lily (Part sixteen)

The halls of Covenant changed on Fridays into conduits of adolescent energy. Teenagers’ weekend plans scintillated as if their legacies hung in the balance of Friday’s and Saturday’s feats.

Lily stood in front and to the side of her classroom threshold with a beige mug of coffee in her right hand, embossed with a painting of Pip and Joe from Great Expectations on its face. Lily greeted students as they entered the English/History hallway. Some students entered her classroom; others passed her on their way to other classes. Lily imagined roles these students would later perform after their Covenant years. I farm, Lily thought. I farm for young minds. They now see so little.

Still new to Covenant, February found Lily with the respect of her students and most administration. Seen as proud by some administrators due to her reticence, Lily managed her professional loneliness by way of her relationships she had always discovered through church, hours bathed in Scripture, and in treasured friends. Her years at Rook birthed a few more friends; she trusted her calling to Covenant would beget more.

She heard Mr. McDavid before she saw him. “Careful, my young Cato!” Mr. McDavid said to a towheaded boy in the hall. “You’ll be able to conquer these halls better if you’ll stay on the right side of the corridor.”

“Yessir, Mr. McDavid,” came a squeaky reply from the lanky blond boy. Mr. McDavid carried his mug with the Latin scroll and smiled as he greeted Lily.

“Good Friday morning to you, Ms. Rood! All well?”

Lily smiled, as she always did when she heard Mr. McDavid’s voice at Covenant.

“Good morning, Mr. McDavid. Nice to see you again,” Lily said.

Though Lily had met with Donald and Mr. McDavid at the Cup-n-Saucer earlier that morning, the atmosphere among some at Covenant Friday portended more than Miss Havisham, Pip, Joe, or Mr. McDavid’s Latin aphorisms.

“Faculty, may I have your attention, please?” blared the school’s PA system. “This is Mrs. Wilkins in the front office. Our board has called a peremptory faculty meeting Monday morning at 7 a.m. Please, be on time. The meeting will be short, but it is mandatory. Have a great day at Covenant!”

“Well, Ms. Rood, great expectations all ‘round. Dickens was on to something, eh?” said McDavid, smiling at Lily.

“Hope your classes go well today,” he said. Then the bell sounded, and Mr. McDavid disappeared into his classroom, as did Lily into hers.

(To be continued)

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