Lily (Part twenty-four)

Nathanael walked to the rolling lectern and Lily searched for Beth, but she had disappeared. Vanquished by Donald’s announcement? Lily mused. This is not the way a board should work. This is unlike Donald, a gentleman.

As Lily labored to gather her thoughts, Ruth Aims slid her chair back from the table where she and several others were seated, and followed the path by which Beth departed, followed by Sarah. Nathanael, standing as the applause faded, gripped the sides of the lectern, and smiled at his  mother’s back as she and Ruth left to search for Beth.

“Well, Nathan, the faculty are here for you. Are there things you would like to address this morning before Covenant’s students arrive?” Donald asked.

“I will only say that when we lost the man you all knew as headmaster and friend, a man I loved as Papa, Fred Aims, we lost a man with few equals. But I don’t believe that you or I abdicated the ministry he built. After all, look around. You are here. Students are on their way. And Covenant will continue,” Nathanael said.

“Nathan, you are your papa remade, son,” said Thomas McDavid.

“Thank you, Thomas,” Nathanael said. “But I cannot lead the way Papa did, but I do aim to love Covenant’s faculty and students in a manner that honors his vision.

“My thanks to each of you for what you have done thus far, and what I pray you will continue to do,” Nathanael said. “Some explanation of what has happened here this morning, and before, is forthcoming. For now, however, unless you have questions or comments, we will conclude this and get to work.”

No one spoke or moved for a moment. Then Thomas McDavid said in his classroom voice, “Alea iacta est. This is Covenant’s Rubicon.”

The faculty exhaled, as if given permission through Mr. McDavid’s voice, and began to chat and exit the library. Lily stood up from the settee where she sat near the shelves of Dickens. She looked for Beth, Ruth, and Sarah, but saw only their absence. Nathanael spoke with faculty as they left through the library doors en route to their classes.

(To be continued)

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