Lily (Part thirty-four)

The grayness of misty morning continued to lift as Lily drove to her faculty spot in Covenant’s parking lot. Nathanael pulled into the spot painted: HEADMASTER.

Mane bonum, Miss Rood,” Thomas McDavid said, his optimism and energy unabated. He gripped his stained coffee cup in his left hand.

“Good morning, Thomas,” Lily said. “I have just come from the Cup-n-Saucer. Looks like I am keeping the same hours as you and Donald.”

“Our gain, then, Miss Rood, our gain,” Mr. McDavid said. “I trust your early hours were profitable at the diner?”

“I hope so, Thomas. I am learning the weight of history. Have you ever thought that maybe we never overcome our childhoods?” Lily asked.

Historiae numquam moritur,” Mr. McDavid said. “History never dies, is that what you mean?”

“I think so,” Lily said. “The same wisdom is illustrated in literature, too, so I am disappointed in myself. After all, I am teaching Great Expectations and Hamlet right now. Pip has grand plans…great expectations…because he’s ashamed of his roots. He pursues this world’s allures, and they devour him. He is naïve to the depth of human depravity. And people he thought he understood, he didn’t. Those appearing malevolent often weren’t. And those appearing innocent were wicked. I’m just embarrassed at my own naiveté. I see myself in Pip–being educated in this world’s ways. Am I making sense, Thomas?”

“Indeed, my young friend. Literature is your field. You learn through and from stories. We all do. And we all have our stories, don’t we, Miss Rood? You have them, I have them, and Covenant, too,” Mr. McDavid said.

“I came here at Mr. Aims’ request. I thought I understood my future. Like Pip, I had great expectations…but I am involved in something I don’t fully understand. Now I question if I’m even qualified to teach. There is so much I am still learning,” Lily said.

“Life humbles the wise, Miss Rood. My dear friend, Fred Aims, would tell you that, too. Life humbles the wise but hardens the foolish,” Thomas McDavid said. “Do you believe that?”

“I do,” Lily said. “The Bible teaches that consistently. One’s teachability is inseparable from wisdom, if that makes sense to you.”

“I understand why we’ve become friends, Miss Rood. Don’t you feel the same?” Mr. McDavid asked.

“I do, Thomas. Thank you for being my friend here,” Lily said.

 
“Fred Aims was my friend of many years, Miss Rood. He was a good judge of character. He was wise to bring you into Covenant. Be patient. Teach Great Expectations and Hamlet the best that you can, and just be faithful,” Mr. McDavid said. “After all, I know your students are eager to see if Pip gets Jim off the Mississippi River.”

“Thomas, that’s Huckleberry F___…” Lily said.

Looking up, she saw Thomas McDavid’s eyes smiling at her, as he sipped his coffee.

“Time for us to get to our respective classes, Miss Rood,” he said.

(To be continued)

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