Counselor Garen Tennant
A late mourning
Fri Jun 6, 2014 22:02

Anyone who stepped into Garen’s office would swear that they had opened a door to the past. (Anyone, that was, who had been here when he first started and was still at RMI—which really only included Garen himself and the house elves. Kizzy had already visited during office hours to tell him that his desk was too far to the right.)

But here was his familiar emerald armchair, and his bookshelf ornamented with the collected works of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, and various other playwrights. Librettos occupied two entire shelves; Garen’s collection had expanded since he had started at RMI nearly fifteen years ago. The layout of and the furniture in his office was mostly the same. Caliban—Garen’s blue and gold macaw which had been a birthday gift during his first or second year at RMI—was perched pleasantly in the corner.

There were, of course, a few minor differences. The number of cast photos, for example, had expanded vastly. garen had one wall dedicated to RMI productions. The opposing wall featured all of his recent productions—Billy Elliot, Tommy, Anything Goes, et cetera—of which Garen was extremely proud. After all, they were the greatest successes of his theatrical career.

The greatest success of his personal life was shown on his desk. He kept two framed pictures of Andrew facing him—one of which showed the two of them together). Garen had a photo of Jessie’s most recent sonogram in his topmost desk drawer. He was not quite ready to go public with this.

With the furniture settled, Garen had turned his attention to the room’s constant. He’d reorganized the alumnus files, which Ryler Tate and the other interim counselors hadn’t kept in as neat order as Garen would like. Several weeks of searching left the counselor unable to find two—one of which he was particularly interested in. Garen absolutely adored Kat’s girlfriend (partner? They had been together much too long to use such an infantilizing term as girlfriend) Libby, but he knew Katrina hadn’t heard from a certain ex in years. Now that he had access to the information, it seemed like something that had to be done.

Finding her current address should not be difficult.

Yet hers, Helena Edwards’, Aldrua and TJ de Lenfent’s, and Trevor Jacobs’ files were missing, and it was not until late October that Garen discovered them. The five files were in black envelopes instead of cream-colored ones, and in the case of the two older girls, bore their married and maiden names—Helena Baikov née Edwards and Allegra Farnon née Ruisi.

It did not take Garen very long to discover why.

Ten minutes later, he wiped at his damp cheeks, feeling hot and hollow and raw. More than his mother’s death, Ally’s rattled him—the knowledge that a bright young girl he had once seen every day was gone from the world forever. That she had left behind three children who would never know her rare smile or her Charms expertise. The knowledge of what this meant for Helena, whose folder—Garen was sure—was identical in every way. And Dru and Trevor... they, Garen seemed to remember, were supposed to have married each other. Judging from the names on the files, that had never happened. He had known Dru better than Trevor or TJ, from the musicals, but the point was that they were so young.

Garen suddenly felt very old, and very tired. He wasn’t supposed to hear that Ally Ruisi had died—not when he was forty—Ally should have lived much longer than him, and developed new spells and met her grandchildren and had much more than what she had gotten in barely twenty-five years of life. He wiped at his eyes with the back of his wrist again, and then went for a tissue. The injustice clawed at him, furious and incessant and bereft. Life, Garen knew by now, was not fair—but did it have to be cruel?

    • Not exactly sorry to interrupt Benjamin and Charline Adler, Sat Jun 7 18:22
      Charline had ambushed him in the Diner the previous night, a tiny frown forming on her face. She had taken one look at the bird tied to the leg of Benjamin’s chair and reached out to pat her brother... more
      • Not sorry to be interruptedGaren, Mon Jun 23 22:54
        Garen felt like his brain was working in slow motion, and it was a moment before the knock on his door resolved into meaning. He slammed the black folder shut, as though he’d been caught looking at... more
        • Glad to see we agree on something Benjamin and Charline Adler, Tue Jun 24 16:13
          Upon entering the office, Charline could see they had interrupted something. The counselor appeared a little unwell however she did not dwell on this observation for very long. They had business to... more
          • We can find something else to agree onGaren, Thu Jun 26 09:57
            Garen did his best to keep his sigh inaudible when he realized that Charline intended to stand for their entire encounter. The ones who declined a seat were, without fail, problematic. Maybe I should ... more
            • I like your optimism Ben & Charline , Tue Jul 1 14:29
              Charline was dissatisfied by these new arrangements and she sensed that Tennant knew of her reluctance. There was nothing to be gained from making a scene and so she had bowed her head murmured, “... more
              • How am I gonna be an optimist about thisGaren, Thu Jul 3 18:42
                Garen Tennant breathed an internal sigh of relief as Charline exited with minimal resistance. He was dividing and conquering, as it were. Not that he expected particularly productive conversations... more
                • Now I'm not going to be an optimist about this Charline (and some Benjamin), Wed Jul 16 15:17
                  He returned to her with stubble on his chin. The dust from the cookies had settled there, when Charline, wiped them aside the crumbs felt rough against her skin. She chose not to chide him for the... more
                  • Aw, why not?Garen, Sun Jul 20 02:27
                    For the briefest instant, Garen had hoped for a conversation that wasn’t like pulling teeth—that Charline might not return every question with another question, and that they could both feel it was a ... more
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