Journal Entry 584
I’ve had some strange encounters in my day, but never like today.
As you know, I have been taking private lessons from Tahbert. His skills in fire magic are incredible. And despite his flamboyant temper, he never loses control of the flame. His everflames have earned him enough to study any project he wants to in his spare time. I’ve heard him talk about his research of creating illusions without air magic and if he does ever figure that out, he will be a world-famous mage. I’m always surprised he doesn’t get into the alchemy necessary for making fireworks. He probably thinks that is below him since it doesn’t require any actual magic.
That intelligence I mentioned combined with his never-ending charm make him the most popular guy around. Who can resist his bouncing black hair, soft red eyes, and a graceful body? He might as well be a prince. Just don’t let me call him that to his face.
So, Prince Tahbert is a terrible teacher. I don’t think he actually understands why he is so good at what he does. It comes so naturally to him, that he never even thinks about it. “Just call the flame, Freida.” “Just give it a little life, Freida.” “What do you mean you don’t know how to change its color, Freida?” And it truly baffles him that I don’t understand what he’s talking about. Which infuriates me even more. Gah!
He’s not actually that bad. It’s just that my jealousy gets the better of him. I do think I’m getting better. Hard to say if it’s thanks to him though. But enough about the Prince.
This encounter includes one more I need to introduce.
I finally got Elder Bren to give me my own private workstation at the school. I’m looking into seeing if I make a fire without a physical fuel of any sort. The everflames got me to thinking. If a flame’s properties can be changed to burn its fuel at such a slow rate that people believe it won’t ever die out, why should it need that fuel at all? It should just take a little more energy used in the right way and I’ll be able to form a flame in thin air. Or, perhaps the air is the fuel itself. !!!! Give me a second to write that down.
I got off track, but that was productive. I am glad I have gotten into a habit of writing my thoughts down. I’m certain Prince Tahbert doesn’t bother, but it has helped me in surprising ways.
On to Rille. Since I was experimenting with fire magic and am technically not a full mage yet, I have to have a babysitter. Rille was chosen to be the water mage who makes sure I don’t burn the school down. As if I don’t know how to redirect a flame. It’s insulting. But them’s the rules at Elridge. Rille himself isn’t that bad. He just sits in the corner and watches me. I think he’s shy. He has started to ask me about what I’m working on, and while he doesn’t understand it at all, he’s surprisingly supportive. It’s nice to be in a room with him after Tahbert’s failed lessons.
What was even more surprising was that he started giving me things. He brought me this curious swirled rock that he says came all the way from the ocean. Another day he gave me a bottle of water that tasted tart. Infused water he called it. But when he brought me some old fashioned daisies, that was when I knew he was trying to woe me.
It was cute to start with. I have no desire to actually get together with him, but the attention makes me feel so much more confident. It’s amazing how much better my magic seems to work around him too. I clearly need to work on my self-esteem, but I will borrow his encouragement for now.
But then Prince Tahbert found out. I didn’t think it would be a big idea, but apparently Rille wasn’t the only one interested in me. Tahbert and Rille started off arguing quietly, but they got so loud, half the school probably heard them. They argued mostly about whether it was more likely for a relationship to work with someone who understood you and enjoyed doing the activities, or someone who made you see the world with new eyes and made you feel that adventurous uncertainty.
Honestly, they both had good points and it got me to thinking. What does make a good relationship? In the end, the only answer was love. There are lots of different kinds of love, but did I feel any kind of love for them? The elegant prince who would walk just a step ahead of me, guiding me to greater magics. Or the quiet supporter who would always stand behind me and urge me on. The answer was clear.
It was quite simple to stop their argument. All I had to do was say in a loud voice that I had a confession of love to make. Silence seemed to fill the entire hallway. The passing students watched us as if they were watching a grand play. I’m sure we were entertaining. I like the eyes more than I thought I would. So I made sure to talk in my grandest voice.
“You both have excellent points. Whether to join hands with the one who would lead me to greatness? Or to let myself fall for the one who would always catch me?” Both blue eyes and red shone with anticipation. “The answer is much simpler than that. Who do I love?” I waited and gave them a dramatic pause. I could see my boys sweating as if their life depended on my answer. And maybe it did. So in a softer voice, I said “I love myself. And you have both helped me with this. My magical studies are what I am passionate about and you have given me the confidence to try more. Be more.” I took a breath. “I am sorry I can’t give you what you want, but you have given me what I needed. And I thank you for that.” And with a bow and a flourish that I had learned from watching Tahbert, I walked away with the biggest smile I had ever felt. I felt like a new person, full of love and passion, but for myself.
End of Entry
Photo by Jon Tyson