Alena loved the crunch her boots made as they trudged through freshly fallen snow. The feeling of being bundled up in warming charms and layers of thick wool was one of security and love, and made her think of home. But Schiltach wouldn’t be home for much longer, nor would RMI, the later of which Alena was not bothered by. She had never been more excited about graduation.
After a bumpy start to the year Alena had managed to find her footing and fallen into a steady routine of school work and Head Student duties, but the past few days had brought a blizzard hurtling in her, and Alena’s loyalty to Darlene would not allow her to bypass it. She could not believe that beautiful sweet Darlene was some sort of criminal. Her first instinct was to dismiss the rumours as prosperous lies but Darlene’s absence from class was widely discussed and Alena could not ignore the twisting of her gut when her friend appeared to vanish from the common room. There was definitely something off with Kit ( even more than was usual) but Magdalena had never even considered the girl an accurate source of the weather.
She took her duty as advocate for student wellbeing very seriously and saw no option to report the whisperings to the headmaster and inquire for information regarding Darlene’s wellbeing in a quest for the truth. And Magdalena would not deny that it was a shocking truth, but she felt certain the narrative must have been twisted to protect Drew. Besides, anyone could have told the faculty that Darlene was in a very distressed and desperate state thanks to Drew’s cold actions last term. Alena felt a degree of guilt for having failed to note the depth of Darlene’s mental state. She knew she could not blame herself for how things had escalated but it was proving difficult to shake. She had written to Nolan to express her conflicting feelings and to prepare him for the onslaught of rumours that were sure to begin flying through society but she had yet to receive a reply.
Alena’s sense of duty demanded that she attend all school events in her capacity as head girl with a wilting smile on her face counting each second until the path cleared enough for her to make her escape, but she was excited for the winter festival. She needed the distraction. With the exception of darling Darlene - Ms. Knight had been invited to be a bridesmaid at the wedding of the year - all these people would soon be nothing more than a blip in her memory like rainy summers spent in Galway and frosty nights in Schiltach. Alena need not allow herself to be sullied by any of their nasty drama. She knew Darlene’s true spirit, and Drews too - he was not as golden and faultless as the general population chose to believe - and it was sickening to hear people talk so cruelly of her friend behind her back.
But no matter how much it tempted her Alena was not going to look around.
She was keeping her gaze pointing forwards.
Perhaps she had been looking ahead with a bit too much determination because, without warning, Magdalena’s foot caught on a stubborn clump of snow and her legs gave out propelling her forwards, her knees slamming into the snow, as she threw her mittened hands out to catch herself.