Claire stayed the night last night, one month to the day after we started going out for coffee.
You might expect that this would require a great deal of cleanup on my part, and in the old days it would have. These days, though... well, we put a lot of effort into helping our brethren seem normal. You won’t find any musty tomes on my bookshelves, or sinister black robes in the back of my closet. The books are all archived electronically, and the information isn’t even on my computer; you’d need the username and password for the VPN in order to see them. Only a few rituals require specific outfits, and those are kept - along with most of the related paraphernalia - in the basement of a local costume shop.
Oh, I have a few things that I keep around for emergencies: a couple of amulets, a pair of sigils, an old scroll written in apparently-incoherent latin. Someone with the right knowledge might identify them, but there’s nothing to tell the casual observer that they’re anything other than decorations. They sit on a shelf with some old trophies, a couple of mugs, and a potted plant. If anybody asks, they’re just mementos - a bit odd, to be sure, but then mementos so often are.
So really, there’s nothing to clean. It’s just a nice, ordinary apartment that I can bring my girlfriend home to see.
I can’t believe I just wrote the word “girlfriend”.
Anyway, I’ve told Claire that I have a background in theater (sort of true), and that that’s where I learned to dance (also sort of true). So when she arrived last night, she just looked around like she hadn’t been sure what to expect. Then she smiled, and said, “Nice place.” And that was it.
We had a nice dinner (which was takeout, since I can’t cook, but it was still good). Then we settled in with a bottle of wine and a movie, and...
Well, she’s still here this morning.
This is, pardon the term, miraculous. I’m actually beginning to understand Toby’s position: this all seems so ridiculously unlikely that it only makes sense if some unseen Supreme Being is guiding our steps. Even though I know better - and I promise I didn’t do anything to, erm, help things along - the feeling is hard to shake.
It’s a good, good day.