Mentions: Everyone Location: Eksa's Hotel Room > Flowers and Canvases
Being back in St. Portwell was.. nostalgic - among other things. In truth, being back in the states was nostalgic in its own right, seeing as it was something Eksa hadn't done since she was seventeen. The day before, she had arrived in Oregon by plane, landing late in the evening before booking herself a hotel room in which she slept. It was, in fact, the hotel room which she occupied at this very moment.
It was early evening, nearing 6pm, and Eksa found herself in her room, getting dressed as well as mentally preparing herself for the event to come. She had spent the earlier portions of the day re-familiarizing herself, at least lightly, with the town of Portwell. She had enjoyed a nice, if slightly awkward, stop at one of the local coffee shops, and followed it with an outing to a nice little park. The park was one which she explored more than a few times as a kid, and the experience of returning to it managed to fill her with some teary-eyed recollections of her past. She tried not to think to hard on what had befell her family back then - after all, she'd had an entire decade to cope with her misfortunes. Nevertheless, her nerves were tested, if a bit.
Even as she got into her rental car and began to make her way to the meet-up place that Auri has invited her to, said nerves were tested and tweaked. It always happened. Whenever she had a meeting or some sort of greet or function she had to attend, her self-conscious nature always managed to get the better of her. What if people stared? What if people thought her a freak? What if she broke into a sweat, as she was prone to due when meeting multiple new people? Sure, these people weren't new to her, but she might as well be new to them. Her head always spun with such worries before things like this. She was fortunate that, usually, she was able to assume a professional visage that held her anxiousness at bay -- but she had never been able to channel that when things were more casual.
Eventually she slapped herself internally in an attempt to straighten herself out. These people were her friends. Or.. at least they had been, once. She didn't really know if they counted as such, now.. especially after she ghosted any phonecalls from the U.S. after she had woken from her coma. The only contact she had had with anybody was an old series of texts that let her know they had succeeded in their battle against the Stygian Snake. Something which, she imagined, she had missed the after-party for. Though a few other texts, which she left equally unanswered, informed her of the coven breaking up. She was really missing a lot of details, but maybe it wasn't all too important. They had won, and Eksa, among others, had paid the price for that victory. A price which had made life.. hard for her, socially, but one she had been willing to pay back then.
It was a short time before Eksa's endless thoughts were interrupted by her car coming to a soft halt. She had arrived. Her subconscious driving had delivered her to a spot across the street, with a clear view of the face of the storefront - Flowers and Canvases. She managed to allow herself a deep breath. For a moment she sat behind the wheel, trying to cool off her nerves. Finally, she unlatched her seatbelt and reached across herself to open the door and step out. She checked that she had everything she needed - that being her phone - before she shut the door and locked it with a light beepbeep from her keychain, which she tucked into her front pant-pocket.
She rounded the car and ensured the street was clear before she walked across.
She was, as usual, wearing a business-casual-esque ensemble. Her top, which was mostly shrouded by the gray-threaded overcoat that hung off her shoulders, was a long-sleeved, purely black turtleneck. Her light-gray trousers matched her coat and were well-pressed. Her outfit was completed by a pair of simple, black leather shoes. She pulled her right arm across the front of her body as she walked, tugging her coat lightly to ensure it covered her left side, as she approached the front of the shop.
She opened the door and stepped inside. There were various familiar faces scattered about the shop, and she could immediately feel her heart start to thump anxiously. They all looked.. different. But that was to be expected, seeing as it had been a decade. Still, they were recognizable. She tried to render herself as overlookable as possible, only managing to make eye contact with Auri as the lass greeted her upon her entry. Eksa offered her an awkward nod and an appeasing smile that was partly-genuine. Mind you, she was not unhappy to see the lot that had congregated here today - in fact, the opposite. A part of her had always wanted to meet up again, but her apprehensions had more of a hold on her than she would ever admit. And as such, she made it her task to find a chair secluded from anybody already sitting, and take it wordlessly.
And so she did.
And after a tad bit of a wait, once enough people had arrived, Auri would begin. And Eksa would listen. The blonde laid down a couple good points to start. Points the Eksa couldn't disagree with. Ignoring the deaths that had already happened was likely to be a mistake. Even if Father Wolf, as she called the perpetrator, was done with his little spree, it would feel almost like a.. betrayal, of some kind, to leave such crimes unanswered. That wasn't something that sat well with Eksa, especially now that she was already back in St. Portwell.
She listened further as Auri spoke, finding herself nodding lightly along at her ideas. For a moment, Eksa paused. When she thought about it, in truth she had had no real say in whether the coven broke up or not. Before all the drama had really started to swelter, Eksa had been in her coma. Even well after the disbanding. Had she had a choice, she couldn't imagine herself ever giving up such a.. family, of sorts, as they had been. A family of strangers, maybe. But there was something there, at least. To be honest, she never really had many problems with the coven beforehand, though she had been a carefree soul back then - she'd just been along for the ride. Now, though, she found herself more analytical.
Nevertheless, as Eksa listened on, Auri's talk started to seem a little.. familiar. Right - it was somewhat reminiscent of the speech that Ashley had given them all those years ago, when they formed the original coven the first time. Eksa couldn't really remember much of what was said - it was a long time ago, after all - but the uplifting nature of the two were undeniably similar. Were her nerves not so on-edge, it might've drawn a smirk from her. For how much it seemed Auri was displeased with Ashley's way of leading the coven, they had their hearts in it in the same fashion - at some points, at least. While Eksa hadn't a problem with the coven during her time within it, Auri's idea of avoiding a dictatorship of sorts was admirable, at the very least.
Well.. it all sounded good to her. She was sure that she should've been thinking harder on it all, and a part of her felt a bit childish at the idea of forming a "coven" now, when they did the same exact thing as kids - but there was a good reason behind it. There were murders happening. It didn't get much more adult than that.
Were she her old self, she might've spoken up on how she liked Auri's ideas, but.. she wasn't. Speaking to a room was, honestly, somewhat terrifying. So she would relegate herself to waiting for others to speak up.
Just like.. Luke..? She felt bad that she couldn't remember the name of one of her fellow coven members, but it'd been ten years, and she was pretty sure it was Luke. Though, something about what he said concerned her.
What Britney did? What did that mean? It seemed Eksa was out of the loop, but.. surely she was misunderstanding. Britney had seemed great, at least when Eksa was around. Surely she couldn't have so drastically changed in just the months that Eksa had spent in a coma. She'd been just as much of a family member of the coven as anybody else. What did she do to him..?
She opened her mouth habitually to speak, but stopped herself. She had questions, but.. maybe later was a better time. Maybe she'd ask Britney in private, or something. For now, she absorbed what she heard and continued to listen to the conversation amongst them.