3rd degree Arician Priestess of Stregheria... thoughts, insights, wonderings.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Chapter 55 – Ganging up
Thursday… It was easier to go straight from work to Owen’s.
This was more than simple map geography.During the rest of the week the practical requirements of her job,
cleaning house, juggling bills and making sure the pets were taken care of, the
expectations of the neighborhood organization and the thrill of figuring out
how to address problems along with the simple joy of being a mom were the glue
that held her life together.James had
his expectations: coffee together in the morning, dinner at night, with
appropriate pleasantries sprinkled in their interactions.But for the most part the easiest way for
them to be together was for Nola to keep moving until she slept. Sometimes she
almost felt like a cool breeze in James life. She was there. He could feel the effect. It
was pleasant. But while there wasn’t any real comfort or joy for the breeze. It
was just passing through.
In many ways who Nola was depended on geography, location.
When she was at work, she was the boss corporate professional. When she was
with Jamie, she was mom. When she was with neighborhood activists, she was the
small neighborhood president with a talent for strategy and seeing through
bullshit. When she was at home she was bill payer, maid, laundress, zookeeper,
goods supplier.Of course the various
aspects blended together but geography was the primary influence.Only when she was with Owen did she feel
whole.She had thought about this and
wanted to believe that it was because with Owen the last piece of who she was
clicked into place. With Owen she could be a strega was well as all those other
things.But she knew that wasn’t really
true.James knew she was a witch, a
strega, but when she was at home she still felt fragmented.
It was easier to leave home, go to work and then not have
to shift back into whatever component part was needed but to go straight to
Owen’s and be whole.Then she could go
home, sleep and start the cycle for the week again.
It didn’t seem fair to Owen. He shouldn’t be balm for a
wound that wouldn’t heal.She had meant
it when she said she wanted him to just let her be his teacher.She had asked the Gods for a student like
Owen.She felt a deep obligation to
teach him. She always finished what she started. Because of his practical
earthy nature she had known the best way to teach him was through the
rituals.He absorbed what she said so he
could apply it in the rituals. When he participated on the ritual, physical
level the lessons solidified.Now that
the August full moon was past, she only had 2 Treguenda and 2 Full Moons to
go.She could handle these sessions
because the rituals themselves provided structure and form.She didn’t have to be any one thing for any
one person or group she only had to let everything else go and be priestess for
the Gods and she could do that. She could leave everything else behind and do
that.Because of how she had taught Owen
she felt that he could do that too.She
felt safe inside the ritual space. It was only when they were outside of ritual
that the edges blurred together. She was doing her best to keep her edges clean
and he kept blurring it all together.After the way her birthday dinner ended she wasn’t sure he would want
her to come back. But he had. And their full moon ritual had been… successful.
She sighed. Each ritual she promised herself that she wouldn’t respond to him
so fully and completely and each time she did.She could only hope that they could get back on track and that she could
find a way to spend time with Owen and still keep her fading edges clean.
Owen had been doing a good bit of thinking himself. He
remembered asking himself very early on if it was the woman or the ways that
had drawn him in.He now knew it was
both.The Ways were a part of what had
caused him to be interested and they had provided a path, a process, a reason
to keep her coming back.But the woman
was definitely part of what drew him. The woman and The Ways together were
irresistible.But what he now fully
realized it was the woman he wanted. The Ways were a part of him no one could
take them away. But Nola could and did leave. Unless he changed something one
day she would leave and not come back and he was certain that he did not want
this to happen.
When Nola pulled into his driveway at 6PM, Owen was
standing at the fountain.He didn't move
from the fountain.He stood and waited
for her to come to him.That's what you
did with scared wild animals. You waited. You were patient.
Nola expected him to meet her at the truck door or in the driveway.
When she didn't see him she took a deep breath and walked to the fountain.
He was still waiting at the fountain. So she walked to
him.He waited until she got all the way
to him and then he fed the fish.Red Dot
came to the surface and opened his mouth and Owen dropped the pellets in.
She whispered quietly, "Oh, how fabulous." And
she sat carefully on the edge of the fountain.
Owen fed the other fish and then smiled at her. "Yes,
Eric worked on Red Dot while he was here.Now No Dot and Red Dot both open their mouths for the food."
"You've named them."
She nodded but didn't know what to say next.Rituals had structure and form and even the
sex had parameters.This formlessness,
was.... was... intolerable. Maybe she should arrange to do just one more class
for Autumn Equinox and one more class for Shadowfest. Then do the 2 full moons
and the 2 rituals and then take him to 3rd. 5 more lessons and the
final act and she could back off and start her heart healing without the balm
that Owen provided.
Owen waited too.He
was planning on confronting her about her comments to find another woman and
make babies. But she was like a horse that needed to be broken to the saddle
and he wanted to ease into it. It would be rough enough. She out waited him.
"Shall we go in and get something to drink?"
He went in through the French doors, stored the fish food
and kept walking to the kitchen. She was forced to follow.It was not like him. Usually he opened the
door for her and offered to let her go first.She sighed assumed that the change she had asked for was taking place
and found it made her sad.He heard the
sigh and allowed a small smile.
He opened the refrigerator and took out a beer. He knew
full well that she didn't drink beer.He
filled his glass took a sip and asked, "What would you like?"
"Oh water will be fine." She had moved to the end
of the counter closest to the kitchen door, thinking he was upset but that it
would be better if he told her what was wrong that way she could avoid assuming
incorrectly and be left digging out of a hole.
He saw she was still standing with her purse over her
shoulder and close to the kitchen door. He thought she probably doesn't even
realize that she's positioned herself for escape.Now all I've done is make her more skittish.
He looked at his glass and said, "I think I have some
San Pellegrino in the frigde.Let me get
you some." And he pulled a goblet off of the rack hanging about the
counter and filled her glass with ice and San Pellegrino and handed it to
her.He watched her take it and saw the
wariness in her smile.
"Let's go into the living room."He figured it couldn't hurt to be closer to
She started to walk with her purse on her arm. "You
can leave that in the kitchen."
She looked at her purse, took it off and hung it over the
barstool. He waited and indicated that she should go first.
She decided to sit on the chair assuming that would leave
the larger loveseat for him. But he sat on the ottoman right in front of her
chair. Their typical arrangement, Owen in the chair, Nola on the ottoman, was
now reversed. Without even thinking about it, she had slipped out of her shoes
so she could fold her legs underneath her.He pulled the ottoman right in front of the chair and as close as he
could get it and still leave room for his legs and set his beer on the table
and put his palms on his thighs and ran them down to his knees and back.
"I think we need to talk about your
She looked confused, which was his intent. "I'm sorry,
"Your recommendation that I should find another woman,
get married and have babies."
She barely said, "Oh."
He waited. "Well are you going to elaborate?"
"I... I... I understand that you might be angry about
that. It's really not my place as your teacher to tell you how to live your
"You're right it's not.I get to choose who I want to be with and how
I want to live my life."
"Yes, of course you do. I'm sure you don't need me
bossing you around about your personal life. I'm sorry."
"You should be."
She raised herself up slightly thinking that she just
needed to say she was sorry again and leave.Maybe...
"Where do you think you're going?"
"I'm sorry. I see you're upset. Maybe it would be
better for me to leave and..."
going to talk about this."
"I… I don't know what else to say except, I am very,
very sorry for telling you how to manage your life.It's not my place as your teacher and I won't
do it again."
He waited. And she tried an end run around him,
"Perhaps it would be best if we just arrange for a lesson before Autumn
Equinox and a lesson before Shadowfest and then we can...."
And he cut her off "No. This isn't about you as my
She pushed herself up in the chair again subconsciously
trying to get further away from him. She shook her head as if she didn't want
to understand. "But that is who I am..."
"No, woman you are not just my teacher. I want more
from you than that." And he lifted the chain because he could see that
Nola was wearing the charm despite the fact that it was hidden by her
shirt."Why are you wearing
She reached for it, surprised."Because.... because... it was a gift...
a lovely gift and it..." and her eyes started to water and then she took a
deep breath and pushed herself back in the chair and said, "Because it
reminds me of the time that we've had together and that is precious to me and
so the charm is precious to me." And she started to take it off, "But
"What are you doing?" and he took her hands in
his to stop her from taking it off.
"I... I... Owen I don't know what's going on.I don't understand. I'm sorry I upset you. I
thought that... that after the Full Moon that we... we... were back on
"Back on track?What does that mean?"
She sighed and he could feel her shaking and heard the
shaking in her sigh before she said, "It means that we can do the rituals
and that the rituals can be separate from the rest of our lives.It means that I can teach you and that I can
be priestess inside the ritual and your friend outside but that I... I...
shouldn't tell you how to live your life or be more than is appropriate."
"Ah, more than is appropriate, that's telling.Who decides what is appropriate?"and he watched her think before she framed
"I do. You do."
"Yes, Ok. We do."
He heard Meana say, “Be gentle. But don’t tell her you love
her.She’s not ready.”
"Well then I'm going to tell you what I think is
appropriate.It is appropriate that you
are my teacher.It is appropriate that
we do the rituals together. It is appropriate that the rituals have a sexual
component and it is appropriate and amazing that we do them so well. Do you
She nodded and said quietly, "Yes."
He nodded and said, "Good.It is also appropriate for me to care about
you and to want you to be happy and to want to protect you from hurt and
harm.And for you to want the same for
me.Do you agree with that?"
She nodded and said, "Yes, when you say it like that
it sounds reasonable."
He shook his head and said, "I hear the unspoken but
in that statement. There is no but. It is reasonable."
"Well, only up to a point.I know that you are happy and that the ways
have been go for you. You're a natural. You're also a young, unattached guy and
so your life is free and easy and me coming and going isn't a big deal in your
She shook her head thinking he was correcting her on the
use of but, "Fine Ok then, AND one day... you will..."
"I thought you weren't going to tell me how to live my
"Oh..." He was right but she was taken aback by
his forceful directness. She didn’t realize that she had pushed herself
straight up and back in the chair again.But she couldn't get any further back in the chair, so she went slightly
on the attack. "Ok, then it's about my life.I get to have a say about that.When I am here it's because you've let me
into your life.When I leave your life
doesn't seem to change substantially but my life does.I have to return home and compartmentalize
who I am and... and... it..."
"It makes you sad and it makes you crazy."
And her breath caught before she was able to say,
"Yes, it does. I need to have boundaries and you seem to prefer no
boundaries.You prefer when it all blurs
together. But I need to be able to function. I need to be able to go home and
pay the bills and clean the house and be mom and..."
"And pretend that you are happy with a husband you
love but who you are not in love with."
And she just looked at him, hurt and confused and why was
he doing this. She shook her head and said defiantly, "If I don't get to
tell you how to live your life then you don't get to tell me how to live mine.
I believe that we can only teach what we know and I know my life so I used the
details of my life to teach.”Then she
closed her eyes and said, “I believed that I could trust you...."
"And you can trust me." And he put his hands on
her arms. "Nola open your eyes."
"No. If I open my eyes I'm going to cry and I am doing
my best not to embarrass myself more than is absolutely necessary. You may be
stubborn, Taurus. But a Leo has her pride. Please leave me some."
And he chuckled lightly and she opened her eyes in defiance
of the chuckle.He smiled at her. And
she smiled back ever so lightly. And he wondered how it was possible for her to
be defiant and vulnerable, sad and scared all at the same time. She sniffed and
then breathed more deeply than she had been, causing her to catch her breath
She lowered her eyes and took a sip of her water moved to
unfold her legs."I think that
"You think too much."
She sat back down in the chair."Oh really?Well it's worked for me so far."
He chuckled again."Yes, yes it has. You are a capable woman. A capable woman who takes
care of everyone but herself."
She slumped and shook her head at him questioningly as if
to say, what does that mean? and then launched again. "I'm doing OK. I
have a good job, I put a roof over my family's head, I provide a quality
education for my daughter and I think I've raised her well, I contribute to
society with my neighborhood activities, I have a rich spiritual life and know
enough to teach you..."
"See your list includes everyone but yourself."
She thought about what she had said. "The roof is over
my head too. My spiritual life is my own.I do what I want to do. What is your point?"
"My point... " And he paused as he heard Meana
say, "Tell her she has everything she needs to be happy but that her heart
is hurt and she doesn't know how to heal it."
"My point is that you have everything you need to be
happy but your heart is hurt and you don't know how to heal it."
She looked as if she had seen a ghost, realizing that this
was exactly what she had heard Meana say in ritual.
He watched her and thanked Meana.
She swallowed and acknowledged, "There is truth in
that.I don't know how to heal my heart.
But I've learned to live with it as it is.I function."
"And that's enough?"
And she looked at him clearly thinking, who are you to ask
He continued, "You told me that one day I would want
more. You told me that everything grows and changes and decays and changes. And
yet you tell me that you've learned to live with it and you make it sound like
it is good enough. I care about you and it's not good enough."
"Well Owen I care about you too. And I appreciate that
you want me to be happy. But you can't fix the things that are broken in my
And he thought, neither can you.You can only walk away from them and you can't
bring yourself to do that any more than you will walk away from teaching me.
"…only I can.What I was trying to tell you, admittedly no so graciously, is that you
have your whole life ahead of you. You can go on and be happy. I need to take
care of myself."
"I am already happy, happier and more content than I
have ever been in my life.So I have
time to worry about you."
She sighed in exasperation, "That’s ridiculous. You
make me sound like some non-functional basket case.I'm ok."
"You're sad and scared and you want to be happy and I
And she balled her fists and bumped them on the arms of the
chair. "See that's what I get for being open and thinking that I could
share…. I get.... I get... OH!...No one
wants to be shown a scar. I know it's there. But I function.What do you want me to do about it?How does this affect your life?You don't have to take care of me.I can..."
"But I do want to take care of you. I want you to be
happy.When you are not happy it does
affect my life."
"Stop it. Stop it.I will not be roped into living my life on someone's terms.I need you to..."
"No." he said firmly.
"I won't stop it.And I won't simply agree to do anything you say. I made the mistake once
of agreeing to do whatever you wanted. And I will not make another promise I
can not and will not keep. I have absolutely no intention of finding another
woman and getting married and having babies."
You... are twisting my words."
"What?! You absolutely said those things."
She sighed again in anger and exasperation, "Yes, Yes
I did but what I meant was that you needed someone other than me to worry
about. You need some one else to pour your energy into."
"Yes, why?I am
happy. I'm living in a city I love. I’ve created a successful business I enjoy.
I have friends. I am fine.I'm not the
one with the damaged heart."
"So rub it in, already.Stop worrying about me.I'll be fine. I'll figure it out or make due
and I'll be fine.Damn, maybe it's better
you don't have children you'd probably just pester them to death worrying about
And he laughed out loud.
And she looked at him like he was crazy. And she couldn’t
sit in the chair anymore and literally started to climb over the arm and out of
“What are you doing?” And he grabbed her arm.
And she lost her balance, “ohhhhhh…..”
He was laughing as he caught her and put her back in the
She crossed her legs Indian style and crossed her arms over
her chest and stared at him.
Nola saw him sit down completely on the ottoman and she
thought it was a good time to try to get up again and started to uncross her
legs. “Sit down, woman. We’re not done.”
And she inhaled and started in, half defense half offense.
“We aren’t? I think I get the picture quite clearly. You are happy.You think I am not happy. You are worried
about me and you want me to… what?” and she uncrossed her arms and flipped them
both into the air, “I don’t know, fix it? So… So… you can be even happier and
stop worrying about me.” And she brought her balled fists back to the chair
arms, “Uh!I am a grown woman I’ve been
taking care of myself and others for decades.I was probably running for my life before you were born. You don’t have
to take care of me.You don’t have to
feel sorry for me. And you don’t need to rub it in that it would be nice if
parts of my life were better. I’m living it, I know.I think we need to leave me alone and decide
how we complete your training on the rituals. And that you need to back the
He thought, running for her life… what does that mean and
then chucked and said, "Nola, we're having out first fight.”
“And you have no idea how lightly you are getting off.”
He smiled at her, but remembered Meana’s words. “See here’s
the thing. You don’t scare me.I know
that you are just pushing me away because it scares the hell out of you that I
know who you really are and that I care about you for who you really are. I
know how deeply you care about everything. I know how deeply you appreciate
everything. I know that a part of you likes having me worry about you, at least
a little.I plan on continuing to care
about you and worry about you.”
Gods, what the hell was she going to do with this stubborn man?!
And he took a sip of his beer and out waited her.
“Fine. It’s a free country.Worry away.”
“Fine. I also get to be nice to you.” And he waited, “OK?”
“OK, but don’t get ridiculous.”
He smiled, “I am also permitted to want to spend more time
“Well I can’t stop you wanting.”
And he thought damn stubborn woman. “Will you please try to
spend more time with me?”
“Because I want you to spend more time with me. I think it
makes you happy and I know it makes me happy.”
She looked at him, unsure.
“I know you don’t like to lie. So you can’t lie to me and
tell me that being here with me doesn’t make you happy. Will you please try and
spend more time with me?”
And she couldn’t say no because that would be a lie and he
would call her on it. “OK, I’ll try.”
He narrowed his eyes at her knowing she was equivocating
and then tilted his head also knowing that if she didn’t try he could still
call her on it.
Then he chuckled lightly as he grandfather said, “The most
stubborn principled woman.”
“You have got to promise me that you won’t wish me off on
“Why not? You seem to have plenty of free time on your
hands you want me to help you fill.”
“The horse is still bucking, son.”
“You are intentionally missing the point.Promise me you won’t wish me off on another
“I… I… can’t promise that. You could meet the most amazing
woman. She will be smart and sexy and fun and free from other
responsibilities.Why shouldn’t I want
that for you?”
“Listen to me very carefully woman, as a witch; you do not
have my permission to wish me off on another woman.”
“Oh…” she swallowed and then said sincerely. “OK, I promise
not to wish you off on another woman.”
“That’s better.Besides I have already met the most amazing, smart, sexy, funny,
thoughtful, loving woman.”
And she sighed, “Thank goodness. Then why do you want to
spend more time with me? Your training…”
“Shut up, woman.I
was talking about you.” And he took another sip of his beer.While Meana said to Papa Eric, “That was
And Nola was speechless.
And Owen sipped his beer.
And Nola just sat there.
“You have absolutely no idea what to do with that do you?’
And Nola just sat there.
“Owen, That’s very kind of you to say and I am flattered.
And she raised her eyebrows, “Right and I have
responsibilities to my family.”
“I don’t care that you are married.And I know that no matter what else happens
that you will take care of your responsibilities.It’s one of the things that make you so
Nola just sat there until she finally said, “Owen…”
He leaned forward slightly.
“What do you want from me?”And he could hear the anxiety and confusion and pain in her voice.
That gave him pause.“Now can I tell her I’m in love with her?”
There was a deep resounding, “No.” and it sounded like more
than one voice.
It was his turn to be speechless before he told the
voices.“Then everything but that.”
“I want you here with me as often as you can be here. I
want you to watch DVDs with me and talk to me about books you’ve read so that
we can reread them together and talk about them some more. I want to take you
to dinner, just because I’m hungry. I want to work with you on the landscaping
business. I want to swim in the pool with you and lounge in the Jacuzzi. I want
you to stay the night for more than one or 2 rituals a year. I want to take
care of you and I want you to be happy. I want to travel with you and watch you
see and appreciate new things. I want however much of yourself you can give to
She closed her eyes and he watched as a tear rolled down
her cheek.And he reached for it and
caught it on his finger and she leaned into his hand and cupped his hand with
“Please, please don’t cry.” And he reached for her but she
pulled her knees to her and put her head on them. After a minute she lifted her
head and laughed through her tears.“You
are the most exasperating man.How is
any of that fair to you?”
“I decide what to do with my life.I’ve decided it’s fair. You need to remember
that we decide what is appropriate.No
one else makes the rules for us.We are
And he scooped her up out of the chair, managing to keep
her in the ball position she was in and her heard her sharp intake of breath
and she said, “Please Owen I scared. Please put me down.”
So he did, gently moving one arm so she could unfold and
stand up. But she was unsteady so he wrapped her up in a hug.
“You have nothing to be scared of.I will not hurt you.”
And she held on to him but only lightly.
“Owen, don’t push her any more tonight.”
“I won’t push her. Tell her she is safe with me.”
And he picked her up again.
Meana whispered, “You are safe with Owen.”
This time she was able to put her hands around his neck and
hold on and did feel safer.He took her
to the library and put her in her spot on the sofa. It was getting dark now so
he turned on a lamp and then sat down next to her.
“I think it’s a teaching movie night.I’m going to grab one at random and we are
going to watch it.”
She looked at him and finally nodded, “OK.”
He stood up and grabbed a DVD from the stack and said, “The
Secret” and set up the DVD. “Now I’m going to get us something to drink and
something to snack on.”
She nodded and said, “OK.”
He went back to the living room picked up their glasses and
refreshed them.He grabbed an apple,
grapes and cheese from the fridge and crackers. He heard her and stepped into
the hall, “Where are you going, woman?”
“To use your bathroom?”
He laughed, “OK.” He put the crackers in a bowl and sliced
the apple. When he heard the door, he peeked into the hall and smiled as she
turned back the library.
She heard something behind her and turned, “Oh, I thought
you had gone back to the library.”
“Call me crazy but I wanted to make sure you didn’t slip
out on me.”
She sighed, “I had actually considered it.”
“Hmmm ummm, Back to the library, woman.”
And she managed a smile and slipped into her spot on the
sofa. He handed her the glass. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” He put the food on the ottoman for them
and picked up the remote. “Now get over here.”
She took a sip of the water.
“Come on I won’t bite.” He was sitting back in the other
corner of the sofa and had the beer in his right hand and the remote in the
left. “Come on.”
She moved down to him and he pressed the button on the
remote to start the DVD and dropped the remote on the high table behind the sofa
and put his arm around her. As the DVD started she took another sip of her
water and then gave in and snuggled in next to him.
“That is one skittish filly, son.”
“Yes but look at her, she did finally come to me.” And he leaned back
and and she relaxed closer to him.
“Why can’t I tell her I’m in love with her?I am in love with her.”
“I know, son. But we want you to be successful and she’s
He sighed and said, “OK, pop. I trust you… and the
Grigori.” And it felt like that small kitten was back curled up in his lap.
The DVD ended.They
had stopped it a few times to talk about the concepts. Nola had not been very
talkative. Owen had been making most of the points. It was almost 10PM.Owen had gone to the kitchen to refill their
glasses.Nola met him there after she
stopped in the downstairs bathroom.She
went to the barstool with her purse on it.Owen handed her a glass.
“You’re not leaving.”
“It’s 10PM and…”
“That wasn’t a question. You’re not leaving. It’s only
10PM. We’re going back to the library.”
She looked at him almost sternly.But he insisted.
“I realize now what you have been doing. You started
shortening the time you spent with me with since my 1st degree
initiation. I’ve let you get away with it.I’m on to you now. And on top of that, you said that you would try to
spend more time with me. If you leave now you’re not even trying. And I know
how you feel about promises.”
“Owen, that is practically blackmail.”
“Well if that’s what it takes.” And he lifted his arm to
indicate that she should go first.
She settled into her corner of the sofa.He let her and settled into the other corner
and put his feet up on the ottoman.She
sipped her water and waited.Perhaps if
she just sat there he’d get bored or drift off. For the life of her she
couldn’t understand why this charming, available man wanted to spend more time
with her.It wouldn’t surprise her if he
had women lined up around the block.For
all she knew he did and what he liked was variety.She silently and slightly shook her head and
sighed without realizing she had.
She looked at him confused.
“Go ahead and ask the question you want to ask.”
“I promised not to interfere in your life.”
“I’m temporarily giving you permission.”
She sighed and tried to figure out how to ask the question
without insulting him or making him mad.“I’m sitting here trying to figure out why a smart, charming, talented,
warm and gracious, good looking guy who probably could have women lined up
around the block waiting to spend time with him wants to spend more time with
“Thanks, at least I know you like me. But that’s not a
She rolled her eyes at him.“OK.Aren’t there other women in
you life that you want to spend time with?”
“Well at least that’s a question.”
She waited, “Well are you going to answer me?”
“No, you’re not going to answer me?”
“No is the answer to your question.”
“What? Why not?”
He sent a mental plea to be granted permission to answer
her truthfully, but didn’t get it. So he shrugged and “Because I’m not one of
those guys who has to have women dripping off of him or a different woman every
night.You don’t seem to know who I
really am. You seem to think that I’m some kind of player. In point of fact I’m
She smirked and laughed. “Right.”
“I am. I like reading and other cerebral things like
listening to NPR or WWOZ or watching DVDs on quantum physics and talking about metaphysics.
I don’t need wild parties or to go out drinking. I’m happiest working on a
project or hanging out with friends.I
like good company but I can be happy alone.”
And she thought, I’m happiest when working on projects… so
this training is a project and he is absorbed in it.And she nodded without realizing it. This
meant that once he settled in, once they had done all the rituals and started a
new cycle that there was the possibility that she could wean him off what
seemed a strange addiction.Then she
smiled, I’ve had a good time being part of his project. I’ve enjoyed it too
much actually. If I’m honest I’m going to miss it when he finds a new one.
He was watching her but trying not so show how closely. It
looked like his answer had satisfied her. But strangely it didn’t give him any
“She’s still assuming she needs an escape plan, son.”
“From her marriage?”
“No, from you.She’s
assuming that her teaching you is just a project that you’ll finish and then
you’ll move on to another one and your interest in her will fade. But she
admits to herself that she’ll miss you when you’re gone.”
He sighed. If he couldn’t tell her he loved her, he decided
to use what he did know.“Nola.”
“Hmmmm??” and she took a sip of her water to cover her
“You are not part of a project that I’m going to
finish.You are someone I want to work
with on my projects.”
She put her water glass down on the table behind the sofa,
“How….?” But she didn’t know how to even ask the question.
“How did I know that you were thinking that learning The
Ways is just a project and that you are just a means to an end and that I’ll
loose interest in you once I’ve learned all you think you can teach me?”
She could only nod.
“Papa Eric has 4 friends on the other side. Every once in a
while he shares what they know with me.”
Her eyes got wide. She pulled her knees to her chest and
folded her arms over them. Then she put her head on her arms. It wasn’t
possible. The Grigori are behind you? But it was possible. When she finally
looked up and he said, “So does it make any difference that I have these
Papa Eric chuckled, “Oh it matters. It definitely matters.
You are charming but the Grigori are overwhelming.”
She didn’t know what to say.
“Speechless is a start. Do you believe me?”
He waited until she answered and all she said was, “Yes.”
He chuckled. “Much better.”
She still didn’t know what to say and wasn’t at all sure
what to think.
“So if I ask you to have dinner with me after work, you’ll
She sighed, “Yes, if Jamie doesn’t need me or I don’t have
He nodded. “I’m not kidding.”
She wrinkled her forehead but managed a very small smile,
“I know. I don’t fully comprehend it but I know.”
She watched him as he got up and turned on WWOZ. The
Grigori supported this? Was that possible? She remembered the number of times
that Meana had said she was safe and conceded it was possible.He sat back down in his corner of the sofa.
“Please come over here and sit with me.”
“Sit with you?”
“Yes. Just sit with me. Please.”
Because she trying to unravel what was going on, she got up
and sat down next to him. He put his arm around her and pulled her back in to
the corner of the sofa with him and then put his feet up on the ottoman.
She laughed lightly and said, “Owen you are like a big
puppy who wants to snuggle.”
“Exactly, I want to snuggle and listen to music and talk or
not talk. I’m boring, remember?”
“Ok, Big Man.
Ok.” And she turned from under his arm grabbed the pillow that was in the
middle of the sofa, put it against the arm of the sofa and then turned to lay
slightly across him and her chest slightly facing his chest.“How’s this?”If they weren’t going to watch TV, she didn’t like sitting side by side.
She felt trapped under his arm and silly looking at the wall when he was right
next to her. She preferred to be able to talk face to face.
He shifted her slightly, kissed her lightly on the forehead
and said, “Perfect.”
“Damn, son.I would
have never expected that. Tago was right, patience is the key.”
Owen smiled and thought over the evening. It was pretty
cute how she could go from scared and so backed into the chair that she crawled
out of it, to banging her fists on the arms of the chair. Then he remembered
something that had confused him.“Nola…”
“What did you mean that you were running for your life
before I was born? Who runs for their life at 4 years old?”
He felt her stiffen slightly before she said, “Oh… I was
just irritated with you and… exaggerating.”
“Uh huh.Ok.You can tell me some other time.”
And she thought, only if you remember to ask.And Van Morrison’s Moondance came on the
radio and she recognized it after the first 2 notes.“This is one of my favorite songs.”
He smiled.“Are you
just changing the subject?”
And she answered honestly, “No, shhhhh, just listen.” and
closed her eyes to listen.
And he listened and during the instrumental leaned in and
kissed her softly but insistently and with the help of the song she let herself
When the song ended she sighed and he said, “OK, magic and
we definitely know how to dance in the moonlight.It’s officially our song.”
She smiled, thinking it was only appropriate… it seemed to
be her song for the Taurus men that passed through her life.
Papa Eric sent an exasperated look to Tago and then
Meana.It seemed it was going to take
some extraordinary force of nature to get her to let go of her past and reach
out completely to Owen.Tago just said,
They listened to the radio and just snuggled for a long
time. Nola relaxed and he realized that she could actually fall asleep in his
arms.Just as he thought that she
stirred and said, “Big Man… I’m not going to lie, I like sitting here with you…
but I have to get some sleep in a real bed before I go to work tomorrow.”
He smiled. “All we have to do is go upstairs.”
She smiled and shook her head. “I’m going home.”
“Ok, I won’t fight you. But you have to come back here
before next Thursday.”
She smiled and held out her hand to him so he would get
up.He did and she started walking to
the kitchen. “Ok, I’ll try.Call me and
let me know what day works for you.”
“Tomorrow, Saturday, Sunday, Mon….”
“Owen, Grigori or no Grigori, I said you couldn’t get
ridiculous. Remember?”And she lifted
her purse from the chair.
He chuckled. “I’ll call you.”
“Ok.Good Night, Big
“Good Night, Nola.”
He called her midmorning on Friday.
“Good Morning Owen.”
“Good Morning. I’m
calling to check on something.”
“Oh, Ok what do you need?”
“I need to know your favorite kind of food. I know your
daughter’s favorite is Japanese.What’s
“Hmmmm… fresh? Local?I would like to be a locavore.”
“A locavore? What is that?”
“It’s someone who eats food grown locally, not shipped in
from Chile or New Zealand.
It’s one more way to live lightly on the earth.”
“Oh… Ok… I see permaculture… locavore… But what type of cuisine is your
“Hmmmm,If I have to
pick I’d said, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern.
Salads, hummus, tabuli, kibbe with cucumber dipping sauce…” and she trailed
“Ok… can you come to dinner tonight?”
“I… don’t know.I
don’t think so. My problem is I got home so late last night that I don’t know
what Jamie’s plans are for tonight or the weekend.”
“Oh that’s smooth. Because you stayed late last night you
don’t know what’s up this weekend.”
And he heard the click of annoyance and surprise “Tha…
Owen, that’s not fair. It’s true. I barely saw Jamie this morning before I left
And he laughed.“Ok…
Find out about your weekend plans and call me back.”
“Nola…. You can and will call me back, right?”
“Yes, but not until I get home and talk to Jamie and find
out what’s going on. As mom, sometimes my life is not my own.”
“Ok. I get it. But call me ok?”
“Jezz Ok.I’ll call
you as soon as understand the layout of my weekend and next week.”
I'm a wife, mother, postKatrina recovery activist and the breadwinner for my family. I live in New Orleans and have all my life. But I've also traveled quite extensively. In all my travels I have never found a place as wonderfully interesting as my hometown. It's the most European city in America and definitely has a unique energy.
My college training is in the sciences and the scientific approach colors the way I look at things and learn. When I look at what quantum physics tells us today, I have to work really hard not to see the metaphysical connections. As Arthur C. Clarke said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
I've practiced Stregheria since 1995 and became a 3rd Degree Priestess in October 2007.