a screeching halt

This is one of the reasons why I don’t think I could do well with children. Besides the fact that sleeping with a woman is not something I’m looking to do, I don’t even think I could manage to pleasure her properly as it is.

I was just walking this morning. I don’t usually spend much time out walking because it becomes painful after too long but I walked this morning, I crossed over to the park and settled along one of the benches. I had wrapped myself up comfortably with a light scarf and my mid-season coat. It was just cool enough outside to be slightly uncomfortable but not cold enough to warrant the heavier winter coat.

There was this one woman with her kids in the park, playing not far from where I was sitting. There was a lot of giggling going on and a lot of chasing. At that point, I was telling myself it might as well just be a shame that I couldn’t really have kids, that maybe it would have been nice but then I shook my head and told myself to forget that idea.

I don’t know how long they played but it was long enough for me to begin to feel slightly achy from the hard surface of the bench I’d settled on. I got back up to my feet, went to the crossing lines so I could get back to my side of the street, waited until the car that had come around had gone and I went across.

It was as I started down the sidewalk to head back home that I heard the screeching sound of one driver hitting the brakes so he or she could get the car to stop moving as quickly as possible and I looked back. There was one little boy, the oldest of the woman’s children from what I could see, who had run across the street, he barely just made it a few feet away from me. The car, forced to its screeching halt, had nearly hit the kid and I couldn’t blame the driver for now looking.

I’ve noticed that it seems as though a lot of people think the roads belong to them, that they don’t need to look both ways before crossing and I’m pretty sure that’s what happened here. The kid is sitting on the sidewalk, as if he’d jumped the last few feet to safety, his eyes are wide and terrified, he’s panting hard. I look at him for a long moment, then I look at his mother’s horrified face and my feet sort of freeze in place. I could very well just have walked away but there was this need to know whether or not the woman would blame this driver, a man now that I took a look, or her child for the almost accident.

She gathered her other children with her, barely looked across the street—thank heavens there was no one else coming around—and she ran across. She stopped by her son, looked up to the driver and I could see the torn look on her face. As far as I was concerned, which in a way I wasn’t at all, it was the kid’s fault, he’d run across without looking. She grabbed her son by the arm to heft him to his feet and she merely hugged him as if her life—and more likely his—depended on it.

The driver stayed still for several more minutes before he slowly started driving away. Now, even if she wanted to blame him for almost hitting her kid, she couldn’t and my feet started moving again.

This really is the main reason I don’t think I could handle kids. For one, I can’t chase after them when they want to play so I’d be in rather fine shit if I couldn’t play with them. For two, if they did decide to run across a street without looking, I would be in no shape to run after them in that situation either and any hope of saving them would be nonexistent.

We’d discussed kids at one point, when Andoni still had been with me, still alive and smiling, we thought that maybe, one of these days, we could consider the idea of having a child or two, we thought about adopting or maybe even trying with a surrogate mother. I was never sure if I could handle the idea of kids but he looked so bright-eyed whenever he spoke of the idea that I couldn’t bring myself to telling him no.

Finally home, I walked around the building to head to the back where I dropped onto the swing set with a soft sigh. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around these things. Do parents not teach their kids that they should look both ways before crossing a street? If we lived in the country, I would say that it’s not as dangerous for how few cars drive around but it doesn’t change the fact that kids are living very dangerous lives now, as if safety no longer is important at all.

The quietness of the yard eased my mind into another mindset. Instead of being focused on what I had just witness, I focused on the whisper-soft voices I still could hear in my mind. I was so used to it by now that I honestly didn’t hear them. I wondered if that was how it was for Eoghan. Though he was so old at this point a part of me wanted to believe that he had managed to find means to be in complete silence without even the hint of a whisper at this point.

I closed my fingers around the bracelet I still refuse to take off to this day and I focused. I built up a wall of water all around my mind, it worked better than a brick wall. I carefully tugged the bracelet off and the voices remained muddled, lost in the wall of water that surrounded me. Of course this wasn’t something I could hold for long but I could manage longer every time, even if just by a little bit.

I released my focus just a little, still imagining the watery wall all around my mind but not with as much force as I was first giving it. The voices grow but barely and I know that my control is growing with me every time I work on this.

After a few more moments, I slipped the bracelet back to my wrist and I let go of the water. I felt it washing over me, refreshing me almost and I sighed. My life had changed since I’d first met Eoghan and the others. At first I didn’t know what to think, I’d been used to my quiet, lonely life though it had been an aching one and now, well now things are looking so much better.

I’m not overworked at the library with the twins helping me. Mira is like a sponge, wanting to learn everything he could. Agni is a little reluctant though barely. There are the weekly shared meals, the movies, the time spent together, the outings and Eoghan still comes at least once a week to give me more tips so I might one day really control this gift.

I don’t know that I might ever live long enough to be able to have control over my gift the way Eoghan does but it still is comforting to know I’m not actually crazy. I thought I had lost it at first with all those voices in my head, I didn’t want to focus too much on it but they were driving me absolutely crazy, I think I did consider jumping off the roof to be done with it all and never have to worry about it again. I would have lost out on a lot of new discoveries, if I’d done that.

future

“They’re making so much progress, Lex!” I’m nearly bouncing as I finish grading these exams. I hand them an exam to work through about once a month though it usually depends on how far ahead and how well they’re learning what they have to. I think they’re doing well, balancing studies with work. Mira of course is doing a little better than Agni though not in all subjects. Agni is learning faster in science where Mira is excelling in history and languages.

“Well you are the one teaching them.” He teases lightly and I roll my eyes at him. I’m barely teaching them at this point, I just give them the books filled with the information and exercises, the answer book with promises to not look at it unless to correct the done exercise. If they were just looking at the answer book, they wouldn’t exactly be helping themselves and they wouldn’t learn much of anything.

“Think about it though, before too long, probably next summer at this rate or even around spring, I’ll be able to get them through their final exams and they’ll get their general education diplomas!” I feel like a proud parent whose child is on the honour roll. It’s a strange sensation since I’ve never had kids before and I’ve never had to teach anyone much of anything, at least of that sort so it’s nice to feel accomplished.

“What I think is nice is that you’ve stopped fussing and fretting over the library plans for all of a few hours to correct their exam and make sure they had good grades.” He sounds amused but I know it’s his way of reminding me to slow down, that even if I rush through, the library won’t get fixed in a day and even if I call some folks now to get things scheduled, it won’t happen for a few months and things might just change then, too.

I shrug, a sheepish sort of motion out of me and I put away these exams. I’ll be heading back down in a little while to give these back to them so they can have a look and see what they know and what they might not grasp as well.

“I know, I can’t help it. It’s just so exciting to know I’m doing something like this. It’s not quite a half-way house or a home for the kids on the streets, that would take even more of my time away but this, at least this I can work on and not completely wipe myself out.” He quirks a brow and I blink at him. I suppose I might not be seeing it from his point of view.

“Eoghan, since you’ve been given the go ahead for the library, you’ve more or less been locked away in your office, only coming out for food when you do and once evening settles, you disappear straight into the bathroom for a long soak in the tub. You might not realize it but I do and you are wiping yourself out working endless hour after endless hour to make sure it all comes together clearly. I can understand where you’re coming from, I’ve been in a similar situation before but you’ll be completely wiped out before you even realize it and then who’ll take care of the building?”

I rub the back of my neck lightly and I shrug again, offering him an apologetic smile. I can do little else at this point but try to not get so focused on this that I forget everything else that surrounds me.

As I head down the stairs, my mind is already thinking of ways that I could prepare a sort of celebratory gathering in the eventual future when the twins will be done with their high school studying. I stop by their door, listening to the quiet inside and I knock gently. Everything remains quiet for a few moments before there are steps coming to the door and it slides open. There stands Agni with a cup of something in hand. He smiles at the sight of me and steps back to let me in.

“I finished correcting your exams.” His gaze is uncertain though I smile at him and he smiles back. He briefly excuses himself, to get his brother I imagine and I step a little further inside, closing the door behind me. Cyrille is settled on the couch in the living room, nose deep in a book and Agni comes back after a few moments with his brother in tow, Mira wiping his hands on a towel. Maybe in the middle of dishes.

I look at the two copies I have in my hands and hold each out to them. Mira takes his to look it over and he frowns softly while Agni goes bright-eyed over his results. Science really is one of Agni’s stronger subject though Mira is only a couple of points under his brother’s score. “You’ve both done well, I can’t tell you just how proud I am. I’m thinking that at the pace you’re both learning, by next spring or the end of next summer we’ll be able to get you two to take the final exams and we’ll be graduating you from Eoghan’s home school annoyance.”

Agni laughs but Mira still is looking at his corrected exam as if he’d failed to complete the most important test of his life. “Mira, don’t do this to yourself. It’s one particular question and I think it’s because you didn’t pay enough attention to the details, that’s all.”

He sighs, his shoulders sagging and I muss his hair gently. He tries to smile but it doesn’t reach his eyes. “Just look at the corrected answer, you’ll understand, okay?”

Finally, he nods but he sighs again as he turns and heads back to wherever he had been before Agni had fetched him. “Try not to let him get too worked up about this, okay?”

Agni nods, looking to where his brother has disappeared. “He’s just been worrying about a lot of things he shouldn’t even be thinking about, I think that’s all. I’m going to have a good, long talk with him and if that doesn’t work I’ll just tickle him until he pees himself.”

I suppose that’s one method to be used in cases like these. I shake my head and let myself out of the door. I know how seriously Mira takes all this studying and these exams and the rest. He’s like a little bookworm, trying to eat his way through all the glue and paper of an encyclopedia and going back in his tracks when he realize he’s forgotten to eat one particular passage he shouldn’t have skipped over.

I can’t say he reminds me of myself, I was never really that way with my studies. I suppose he might be closer to how Lex was when he first started to learn law or how he is every time he goes back to law as a living and has to study through whatever came out in the last decade or so since he was out in public. It’s not a bad thing but you have to remind them now and again that it’s not all about the grades or about how well you do, it’s mostly just about how well you understand the subject, in the long run.

As I close the door behind me, Lex comes up to me, hugging me to himself and resting his chin against the top of my head. I blink up to him but I close my eyes, relishing in the warmth of his presence. I guess I have somewhat been neglecting him since my library project got the all-clear. It’s just been so long since I had a project of my own to really focus on, this warehouse being renovated aside, that I forget about the simpler things in life. I’ll have to change that, of course.

bewildering experience

The day had started like any other, though I suppose I shouldn’t really put it that way because it didn’t. The twins were getting ready to head out to buy some groceries for us and I managed to convince them of letting me come along. Of course it took some arguing and I took one of my pain pills, else Mira wasn’t going to let me come at all, but I changed their minds, my pain was nearly non-existent and I wasn’t drowsy. That’s one of the reasons why I was uncomfortable with the idea of taking my meds at all, most of them conk me right out and I didn’t want that.

Once I managed to convince them however, things went by a lot more easily. I got dressed, I put on my shoes and I found my keys. That was the main reason why I wanted to go with them, I even offered for them to stay in the car and wait but I didn’t want them to lug around their groceries by bus. They were buying enough food for three for at least a week if not two, it was too much stuff, in my mind, for them to take the bus with and manage easily.

In the car, Agni settled at the back and Mira up front at my side. I thought I could teach them to drive but I didn’t know if they’d even want to. They were still focusing on studying for their diploma for schooling since they told me they’d never gone and Eoghan was helping them learn all they needed to, to at least have that for themselves.

I drive them to their regular store, I’ve only been here once before, with them and it seems like a nice place though it is a little out of the way for me so I don’t really think I would spend much time here while I am still living at home, which I’m not at this point but still. I’m about to let them head in themselves when Mira shrugs gently and tells me I might as well come along so we can be sure that what is being bought will be eaten by the three of us.

I take the cart, leaning against it slightly. Mira moves somewhat ahead, looking through the aisles and picking things up, turning to face us to show us what it was and we more or less vote on things. Grocery shopping never has been much fun before but this is a different sort of method and I find myself enjoying it to a point.

At this point, they still refuse to let me help them pay for the food so when we come up to the counter, I let them unload and get things bagged up, I move to the other end of the area and settle out of the way to wait for them to be done.

The cashier is smiling ever brightly at them, making small-talk. When everything is bagged and in the cart to be brought into the car, the cashier hands Mira his change back, including a small piece of paper. He looks at it, up to the cashier, then back at the paper again before he is carefully moving away. The cashier waves at them, bidding them a good day and we step outside.

“So what is it?” Agni asks the question before I can wrap my mouth around the idea. I open up the trunk so we can load the bags in but again step away when I’m shooed somewhat. I don’t mind, some of these bags are heavy and I know I couldn’t lift them.

Mira unfolds the paper as Agni begins placing the bags carefully into the trunk and he blinks. He stares at the paper, looks back towards the store and the paper again. “It’s a phone number.”

He sounds absolutely confused and I can only chuckle softly. “Well I guess she thought you were pretty cute and hopes you’ll call her.”

“But I don’t want to?” I look at him a moment and he honestly looks like he can’t wrap his mind around the whole deal, I suppose I can’t blame him. I look back up to the store and I can make out the cashier still looking our way, her eyes wide and bright. I laugh softly.

“Here’s an idea, I can pretend to get offended at the sight of the paper in your hand and the number and I can stalk up to her to tell her that my boyfriend isn’t interested, how’s that?”

He blinks at me, his eyes wide and before long his cheeks take on that red colour that comes with blushing. “It’s just an act, Mira, it’s what friends do and I honestly think she might not get the hint unless we do something like this.”

Agni looks between the two of us as he closes the trunk and he shrugs with a chuckle. “It’s not the first time she’s tried slipping you her number, Mira and you have this reaction every time, I think Cyrille might have a point.”

Well hell, even more of a point if it’s not the first time she’s done it. “So what do you say?”

“I guess so?” He still sounds so uncertain. I take a look at his hand again and I lean closer to him, kissing him on the cheek before I take the paper.

“Don’t worry, the worse that’ll happen if she starts ignoring you so you take your stuff to another lane in the future.” He’s still blushing and I suppose it might be the kiss, still.

With the paper in hand, I walk back towards the store and I step inside, she looks at me, her face curious, gaze slightly startled by my appearance. I hand her back her paper with a snort as I stand as tall as I dare, not wanting to stretch too much for my aching muscles.

“Look, my boyfriend is getting sort of tired of you trying to slip him your number every time you see him, so how about you stop before we decide it’s too much of a hassle to shop here and go elsewhere?”

Her eyes widen and for a moment I can’t really read what’s on her face, but then her sight clears and she blushes deeply. I grin at her as understanding dawns on her and I just walk out. She reminds me of Élodie and I think that might very well have been the issue here. Mira is too sweet to say no to anyone though I know he’d hold his own against my sister for what she tried to do to Agni.

I walk back to the car, rubbing a hand over my ribs ever lightly though I chuckle. “I think we’re all good, she ought to leave you alone now. Though who knows she might try to go after Agni, maybe she doesn’t quite like red the way she likes blue.”

I snicker gently as we settle into the car and I drive us back home. At least, back to their place. It feels nice to spend time with them and I don’t feel too much out of my zone of comfort.

When I park the car, I offer to take whatever is the lightest bag up and I’m handed the bag containing nothing but the bread. I chuckle and wait for them to gather the rest of everything before I close the trunk, lock the doors and head towards the front door so we can head inside and put these things away.

My life is changing, I don’t know which direction it is taking, exactly, but I’m just going along with the paces, I’m heading forward best I can and I’m handling things one day after the other, I know there aren’t really any other ways of going about this, after all.

After the food is put away, I excuse myself back to Mira’s room and I settle on the bed. The pills might not make me drowsy but I admit that today has been one of my bigger days since the hospital released me so I think a nap might just do me good.

for the planet

I can understand why people are cutting down trees, why they dig up the ground for whatever it is they need down there. What worries me is that they don’t seem to really understand the cost of doing what they do. How much is this hurting the earth? I don’t mean it in a way that would state that our planet has feelings though I believe that everything can feel, I mostly mean it in the way that they’re destroying the only permanent thing they have had all along and don’t seem to realize it.

Every day they cut down more and more trees, we need trees, they provide us with clear, breathable air. They dig through the ground for oil, for minerals, they fish through the oceans, through the rivers and lakes and they hunt their way through whole animal populations. What will happen when this is finally extinct and when there’s only a few left of that where they won’t be able to scramble to try to get their population blooming again?

When I think like this, I think I might understand how Yael feels about these things. He’s so tuned in to nature that the sight of deforestation and the extinction of species, the destruction of land, it’s pointless. It’s one of the reasons I know I will eventually have to return to the realms. Humans have broken off more of this planet in the past few centuries that they ever had in the millions before. Not that I’ve been around for those ‘millions’ of years but I’ve been around for about a little more than two thousand years, so I’ve seen the damage happen over time. It’s heartbreaking.

I suppose it’s why, when I was building myself up in these places that weren’t already overflowing with houses, I was careful, I tried to find a place where I wouldn’t need to tear trees down, where I wouldn’t need to really dig anything out of anywhere. It’s why I appreciate that this building was already up and its foundations were solid, I don’t feel as guilty for fixing it up.

After all, I tore no trees down, I didn’t have to move anyone out of their natural habitat and I’ve even planted a few trees to fix up a hole I was seeing in the area. Should the world still be standing, I might even set up a row of tall poplars between the properties, as a sort of mock-fence. I’m not trying to keep Yael or Quentin out, I’m just adding to nature though I met set up the poplars from the side out and see if they don’t want to add some in on their ends. I bet they wouldn’t mind blocking the view on the street where the old apartment building is.

It’s strange, where my mind goes at times of quiet like these. Eoghan is busy as can be now that the paperwork for the library has come in though I know it’ll mostly just be a few days up to a week while he figures everything out. After that it’ll be a matter of going in now and again and making sure the work is being done right.

I’ve had no commissions this week and I’m not all that surprised, it hasn’t even been a year since I’ve switched from law back to my chocolate roots so everything is still mostly quiet. I know that before too long things will pick up. It’s given me a lot of time to just think and focus on things I normally don’t give much thought.

Earlier, I went looking for our landscaping plans so I could figure out the poplar idea. I know why I’m thinking about this at all. Yael came by with his usual basket of fruits and vegetables, he looked so lost in thought that I asked him what was on his mind and his eyes just went absolutely wide, as if I’d startled him out of something.

He blinked at me, blushed and shrugged his shoulders before dropping his gaze. I’m aware that he still finds me intimidating on most days though I try not to be, it’s a little difficult due to my height and build along with my gift. I’m just imposing, I can’t help it. I told him I wouldn’t bite him and when he looked up to me, his eyes were wider. I laughed, I couldn’t help myself. Another expression he hadn’t really heard to this day I told myself.

I walked him to the couch and I told him that if there was anything bothering him he could tell me. I might be a little strange most of the time as I prefer to keep to myself but I’m open to discussions and I like Yael, he’s calm most of the time and his affinity with nature and art both make him a good and interesting person to spend time around.

He told me that he’d recently watched the news (somewhat different from his usual, I know he doesn’t much like watching any of that) and he’d found out that a lot of the forests out in the world were being cut down for paper making and it had just hit something in him. Not surprisingly, I’m not saying this in a bad way but he’s an absolute softy when it comes to things relating to nature and everything hurts and worries him.

I guess that might just be why I’m thinking about setting up poplars on the properties and just finding means to be good to this planet. We have solar panels on the side of the building and around the solarium on the roof, we gather a lot of our electricity ourselves and now that the generator is finally installed, we shouldn’t have to worry about blackouts, I need to have a talk with Eoghan about making sure Quentin and Yael have something similar setup, especially for their garden, it would be a terrible loss if anything happened to that.

We recycle our water, we compost, we use and reuse stuff. Our trash usually takes up to a month to be filled enough to be dropped on the curb for trash pickup. Recycling of course gets filled in much faster and I’d like to think we’re doing some good for the planet. Of course it’s not much, just our little group doing what they can but it’s all we can offer anyone at this point.

When Eoghan comes out of his office, much later in the evening, I bring him to date with my idea for the trees and the buzz that went through my mind to remind me about the fact that our generator’s energy doesn’t reach as far as next door for the guys. He stares blankly for a moment before telling me that I think about the oddest of things in my quiet moments and I swat him lightly, playfully. He laughs and disappears off into our bedroom to step into the bathroom and have a long bath, I bet. He takes a lot of baths when he starts in on a new project. I guess it gets his juices flowing. I could get his juices flowing too but I don’t think he’d appreciate it as much as a bath at this point, at least not right now.

While he’s in the bathroom, I roll all the plans back up, putting them away where they belong so I don’t lose them or destroy them in any way. I’ve seen it happen too often: paperwork out on the table and bam, either a coffee spill or something quite that simple and I have to either get new copies of the stuff or work with what I have, it’s not always pleasant and I work with what I have. These plans are the only copy I was able to find of the warehouse and the landscape before it was transformed up into our home so I don’t want to lose track of it.

contacts

When the paperwork came in, when everything came back signed with my name on top of it all, I didn’t know what to think. I knew I’d done my homework, I’d looked through every little nook and cranny, I’d asked Lex for help as much as I had dared and that was it, I was now the new owner of the building the library was housed in and it was under my care. I would have to get it fixed up.

I already had all the documents I needed. I knew what was needing fixed and what was not. I knew in which order to get it all started and I wasn’t all that worried. I had contacts left and right, I knew people who knew people and it was just a matter of getting in touch.

The first thing I did was take that one sheet of paper where I’d listed everything that needed done to get the library in tiptop shape and I looked it over. I put numbers next to everything that needed done, setting then in order of priorities. Next to those lines I wrote down names, those of people I knew I could get in touch with who would get me the folks I needed to get the work done.

One thing I knew and I had to keep in mind is that the work had to be done carefully and that we couldn’t really close the library for any large amount of time. One day here, another day, the work had to be done while there were folks around and that was the one thing I would focus on.

When Lex looked over my shoulder as I worked at my desk, getting names and information set down before I started my calls, he smiled lightly and kissed my cheek. There was a murmured ‘congratulations’ and I chuckled before going right on back to what I’d be doing.

Of course the library wouldn’t be fixed in a weekend, it would more than likely take few years but I wasn’t worried about it. So long as I could get the electric system rewired, I would be in a good place. It was the one thing that worried me the most. The constant and more frequent days where the system merely failed were not comforting.

Most of the necessary work was to be done from the inside so I knew the workers I hired would be able to work even during the colder months and that gave me something to look forward to. Any work required to be done on the outside of the building would have to wait until spring and summer again, those I set last. It gave me some hope that things would actually not get too delayed.

When early evening came and I had made a few calls, gotten more information and more names to help along with this project, I put it all away. I knew from experience that if I tried to rush everything, I wouldn’t really get anywhere. I would burn myself out before any of the work had begun and that’s hardly the way the project was meant to be handled.

Lex knocked on my office door and I looked back towards him, rubbing my eyes somewhat. He chuckled at the sight of me and offered me a smile. “Company’s in, unless you’d like to skip out on the meal and get some sleep?”

My puzzled look seemed to amuse him more than anything else, he started grinning at me as my ears picked up the sound of quiet discussion just one room over. “In case you forgot, which it seems you have, today’s Friday.”

He let that one hang in the air and I blinked, trying to get my mind to wrap itself around what he was saying. What was so important about- oh! “Oh hell I forgot.”

I moved to my feet, groaning as something in my back popped. I had been hunched over my desk for most of the day and my back was now telling me that it had not appreciated. I couldn’t do anything about it at that point but a good hot soak would help me later on, after everything. “Which also means you get to tell the good news to Armin tonight instead of whenever you thought you would.”

I blinked at him again and he laughed, shaking his head before he stepped back out. Of course! The good news. The library was in good hands now and I would do all I could to make sure it would stay standing and in perfect shape for as long as it was possible of me (forever in a way, really).

Finally I stepped out of my office, closing the door. I stretched, muttering as my back reminded me again that it would now pain me for a while because I hadn’t been in mind to at least try to sit up straight instead of hunched over at my desk.

Despite my absent-mindedness, the supper turned out to be a perfect blend of tastes from all over the world. Now and again, instead of picking a them, we’ll have a ‘everyone brings something’ setup. Of course we decide beforehand who’ll bring what part of the meal, just not what kind it’ll be, just to be sure we have at least a main course and dessert and not all appetizers or all desserts.

The news of my taking over the library was welcomed with open arms and Cyrille’s questioning look was met with a quiet explaining as to what had been going on lately, how the library was in such poor shape that it was hard to believe it was being taken care of at all and that I’d worked to get at least that much going for it so it wouldn’t just fall apart.

Armin’s reaction warmed me, made me realize just how much he did care for the building, despite how poor his working conditions have been over the years. He really is a book-person at heart and I’m glad to be able to offer him that much. It’s a lot of work but it’s going to keep me occupied and I know Lex will help me whenever the need will arise.

We had a toast of delicious grape and pomegranate juice along with the rest of dessert. I wasn’t exactly sure what it was but it was delicious and the twins were grinning ear to ear as we all dug in. They looked pleased as can be. I can imagine that it is from both the news of the library now being in good hand and the ability to show off their developing cooking skills. I couldn’t complain.

When all was said and done, dishes cleared away, everyone settled into the movie room. Cyrille looked amazed at the setup and I had to remind myself that it was his first real visit and his first shared meal with us.

I don’t remember much of the movie, what I do recall is that Lex nudged me awake once everyone else had drifted off back to their own place. I must have drifted off at some point, I barely even recall what movie we were supposed to watch at all. Not that it matters much, I’m sure no one minded that I did.

My day was a long one but it was one filled with good and hard work. I made good progress on getting the names I needed for the library and before too long the work would begin. The electricity would get fixed up, the heaters would be changed, the shelves, one by one, would be done over. I was looking forward to everything that would get done to better this place. Those who read need a place where they feel safe coming to and I knew that lately, people had been avoiding the library because of its poor condition, because of how it looked as though it was beginning to fall apart.

I’ll fix all that and do so much more now.