One of the best things I learned at the Church of the Builder wasn’t math or logic at all. It was keeping a journal. It helps me sort thoughts and practice my writing. I’m going to give up mathematics and be a poet!
Yesterday after Mrs. Grimble’s breakfast in the rectory I packed my things and left the dormitory while the others were in mnemonics practice. Brother Lapis stopped me on my way out and wanted to know where I was going. I told him I’m done with the Church, done with logic and wanted to be unreasonable for once in my life. He should know, he had a life before. Maybe that is why he stepped aside and let me go.
My parents are dead. The letter about their accident came last week. George and Ava were always their favorites so they can see to the arrangements. I’m not going home for the funeral. Everyone says I’m from a good family but Mother and Father never came to see me the whole time I lived with the Brothers. They weren’t here to see my competitions, weren’t here when I was just a child, alone and afraid. It’s shameful! It was always Brother Lapis’ approval that pushed me, he saw my potential. He didn’t say so directly but I could tell. I wish I could be more like him, drinking Ravilan wine and romancing ladies. He thinks we don’t see him leave at night, but we do. Everyone knows. But now I don’t care, I don’t need anyone. I’m almost 16 and old enough to live my own life.
There is an ad in the paper for a bartender at that Gangplank place in Clockhaven, and it comes with free room and board. How hard could bartending be? Those bohemians don’t care about math, won’t ask me to “calculate the rate of change of the level of the surface of liquid in a container” or some other arcane problem even though I could do it faster than anyone. I just have to pour their booze and mop their floors. Perfect. I am walking over to apply today! Brother Malus, or the former Brother Malus I should say, works there. I’ve heard he is difficult, but we will see. I’ll fence him. I’ll fence anyone. I’ll drink absinthe and sing and fight and fall in love.
It is a new day.