My name is Bella Borelli. I am a female CPA in the firm of Brady and Smith, Certified Public Accountants. I am the only female CPA in the firm. There are, however, other female employees. I am lucky to work for two great partners. Patrick Brady and Joel Smith. Patrick is married with two children. Sadly, Joel is a recent widower. His wife, Naomi had passed away two years ago from a lengthy illness. They did not have any children. I had just recently ended up a 5-year relationship with Mike Martine. We had been together since college. Our breakup was long overdue. We just grew apart and mutually decided to go our separate ways. No drama or bitterness. We’re still friends.
My immediate boss is Patrick and he is an interestingly, peculiar man. He’s always happy, never has a harsh word to say and is very good at what he does. He’s brilliant. That part of him is not peculiar. Joel is nice but I’m glad that Patrick is my supervisor.
Today is going to be a very long day. Patrick had Skipper order lunch for our group be delivered from a nearby deli. Dominic’s Deli, takes our orders so often they have our regular orders on file. Skipper just tells them who she’s ordering for and if there are any changes. She is our vibrant and sassy receptionist/errand runner, plus just about anything other tasks that we ask her to do person. She is priceless and we consider Skipper a great asset to our team. After our lunch was delivered, we all took our lunch break in a conference room. One, it was away from the phones and piles of work on our desk and two, it gave Patrick the opportunity to visit with each of us and talk about our progress or issues that had come up on the huge multimillion dollar project. We were all slaving away to finish within our remaining two-week deadline. We had already spent three months getting everything over 300 spreadsheets and quality check inserts where we’ve verified and confirmed all of the numbers balanced out and were correct for the final ledger pages. Patrick had promised us a nice bonus from this monstrous job. I sat at the end of table to Patrick’s right. I was able to pass him different files and worksheets as he asked for them.
Several times before, I had often noticed that Patrick emits an interesting smell, pleasant and just barely detectable. I could not figure out what it was. It smelled of freshly cut grass mixed with an earthy tone and fresh smell of a spring rain. One time, I even asked him what kind of cologne he wore as I complimented him on the nice fragrance. He gave a little laugh and told me he doesn’t wear cologne unless he’s going to some kind of fancy event. Another thing I had noticed was that he wore the same style two-piece suit in different colors, a starched white shirt with a green tie every day. The green ties were sometimes solid, sometimes a stripe or a pattern. I guessed that he likes green. The ties were always held in place by a beautiful. shiny gold tie clip shaped in a Celtic knot. I decided it must be a family heirloom or something.
At the end of our hectic Friday, Patrick and I walked out together while we chatted about the outstanding progress our team had made. Everyone in our group were ecstatic. Patrick had announced earlier this afternoon that due to everyone’s hard work that were now going to complete our project one week early. Just like all of the others, I was ready to begin something new. We went our separate ways at the sidewalk and headed to where our cars were parked. I realized that I had never seen Patrick’s car. That isn’t too unusual because there are several different parking lots and a parking garage close to our office. I parked in a lot about two blocks away. Still, I was curious.
On my drive home, I was glad this was the start of the weekend. I had planned a little dinner party for tomorrow, Saturday evening. I had invited just a few people from my immediate work group. I had already received commitments from Patrick, with his wife, Myra and their youngest, 8-year-old Colin, Marty, another one of the CPA’S in Patrick’s group. Marty’s wife, Gretchen, was out of town caring for her invalid mother. The last invitation went to Skipper and her boyfriend, Bob. She could not be sure if she was going to be able to attend until Saturday morning. Bob had been trying for weeks to get some very scarce tickets to a concert. He may have found some. So, in total 8 people including me if Skipper and Bob showed up. A good number even if I had a little too much food, I would have leftovers that I would enjoy another day.
My guests were due at 7:00PM. I was frantically cleaning and prepping food all day. Skipper was coming after all because Bob was able to only get one ticket. Skipper told him to go without her. He had a coworker friend that also had one ticket so they agreed to meet up. Skipper said she wasn’t upset because it was a band that Bob liked but she really wasn’t a fan. Total now 7.
Patrick, Myra and Colin were the first to arrive. Colin is so adorable. He has bright red. curly hair and sparkling green eyes. He looks like a young Patrick. Myra is stunning. She has coal black hair that she had fashioned up in a messy bun and gorgeous sky-blue eyes. Patrick wore a green tee shirt with a Notre Dame logo on the front and some jeans. I had never seen him in casual clothes before. He looked very nice and relaxed. I served drinks. I had concocted a little cocktail that I had heard about on the internet. They were delicious. Of course, Colin got a soda. The rest of my guests arrived with Marty coming showing up last. We all sat and chatted a few minutes then I served dinner. I made Chicken Parmesan with pasta, green beans, a nice salad, garlic bread and decadent fudge lava cakes for dessert. My meal was a huge success and I received high praise from everyone. We moved back to the living room and talked a bit more. Everyone started leaving within a few minutes of each other. Patrick, Myra and Colin were the last to leave.
I started cleaning up the dinner dishes but realized that I had never heard Patrick’s car start up as I had when the others left. I looked out the front door and watched as they were walking to the path adjacent to my house that led into the woods. I couldn’t help myself, I decided to follow. I hung back to keep from being seen. We walked for what seemed like two or three miles. I’m sure it wasn’t that far. I knew then I needed to start back my exercise program at the gym. I snapped out of my day dream as I noticed that Patrick was standing in front of a large tree alone. I panicked as I scanned around the area and wondered where Myra and Colin had gone. I did not see them. Quickly, I returned my gaze back to Patrick. My jaw dropped! Patrick leaned over and pulled down a low hanging branch on an old, huge tree he was standing in front of. He released the branch and a large oval shaped door appeared out of nowhere in front of him. The door opened. He ducked a little to allow for his height and stepped through the door. The door disappeared as quickly as it had appeared. I grew light headed. My mind was racing as and I could not believe what I had just witnessed. It must have been a dream or maybe I had fallen and hit my head while following them in the woods.
My senses finally returned. I’m not sure how long I had been standing there just gawking at the tree. I hurried back up the path and was relieved when my house came into view.
As soon as I was inside, I made my self another cocktail except I made this one much stronger. I managed to plop down in one of the dining room chairs. I sat there until I finished off my drink. Then I started cleaning off the table. After loading the dishwasher and putting the leftovers away, I moved to a comfortable chair in my living room and attempted distract my brain while watching some TV. Fatigue quickly overtook me from the work I’d put in on the dinner party and the cleanup but mostly from the shock of what I had witnessed in the woods. I went to bed early and found sleep after about an hour of tossing and turning.
The rest of the weekend went by quickly. Monday morning, I got up extra early so that I could go back into the woods and watch to see if Patrick would come back out of the tree. I can’t believe that I just said that even if it was just in my thoughts. I felt so guilty for spying on him. My conscience had been lecturing me since Saturday night.
I took the same spot where I had previously watched Patrick. Within just a few minutes, he stepped out of the tree without even getting one hair out of place. I softly called his name. He stopped dead in his tracks, obviously shocked. I walked up to him and apologized immediately for invading his privacy. I was on my fourth apology when he finally spoke. It had taken him a few seconds to find his voice.
“Bella, where did you come from? How? What are you doing here?” he was stammering over his words.
I admitted everything that my over active curiosity had caused and how I had followed them Saturday evening. I apologized at least four more times. Near tears, I promised I wouldn’t tell anyone even though I had no clue what I was promising that I wouldn’t tell. He picked up on my confusion.
“Bella, I am not human. Me and my family are Leprechauns. My jaw dropped to the ground as he continued to explain. This tree leads to our dwellings or cabins in underground tunnels. These things are only visible to us and not visible to the human eye unless we want you to see. My family has lived in this area for over 300 years. We have a series of these tunnels with different entrances all over the state. In the center is our town community center shared by all of the families, like human cities it. I am the first that I know of to be discovered. This is very disturbing. I must remember to be more careful. Myra and the kids too. This body is what I use in public and out of the community.”
Jokingly I asked, if this, isn’t you, then who, I mean, what do you really look like? I was fascinated. I had so many questions.
He gave a little chuckle as he snapped his fingers. In a cloud of shimmering green dust, he turned into this adorable little four-foot character dressed in black knee pants with a green leather weskit a green striped shirt with matching stockings. He had a green paper boy style hat sitting in a jaunty angle on his bright red hair. This hair now was long and tied back with a black ribbon. There was even a little curved pipe stuck in between his lips as he supported it with his small hand. Little black leather boots with gold buckles completed his outfit.
I continued to stare in disbelief but finally managed to close my mouth. I asked, so, can you, do you, I mean do you have magical powers?
He gave a laughed out loud at that and admitted that he could do all sorts of magic but his kind had agreed years ago that they would only do magic only in extreme emergencies in the human world. Continuing as best he could so that I would understand, we choose to live in the human world so that we can study and provide of assistance that is undetectable, if and when needed.
I asked why he didn’t do some magic on those difficult and time-consuming projects like the one we’re working on now.
That’s against the rules. Since we also live in the human world, we have to live by human rules as much as possible. For instance, we all work in some capacity to make money for charities and a variety of places we’ve discovered that need financial help. We donate anonymously and never too much at one time to draw attention. Of course, we spend some money on human things like food or transportation and business costs when needed. He gave his fingers another snap and transformed back into my boss, the human Patrick Brady.
The shock was written all over my face. He told me he understood why this was a lot to take in. I told him that was putting it mildly. He explained he felt we should be on our way to work. I vowed once again that I would never reveal anything about him or any of the things I had learned today. I agreed we should head for work and turned to head back down the path to my house. I had taken just a few steps away from him when he stopped me. I heard him say “I know you won’t mention this intentionally to anyone but I have to be sure that it never accidentally slips out.”
I turned to face him. I was a little confused on what he meant. He pointed his index finger at me and made an air circle leaving a little glittery trail of sparkling, green, dust in the circle.
Monday morning had come too fast as they always do. I was at the coffee machine filling up my cup. I greeted Skipper. She thanked me for the wonderful dinner Saturday evening and told me that Bob was jealous because the concert was not that good. I walked the short distance to my office and took a seat at my desk just as Patrick walked around the corner.
“Good morning, Bella.”
I replied good morning back to him. He’s always so cheerful in the mornings. It takes me a while to wake up. I started going through the ledger sheets getting ready to begin where I had left off with my work on Friday. I glanced back up and saw Patrick still stood in the doorway to his office and seemed to concentrate all of his attention on me. He hesitated a few more seconds before he walked into his office. I was just about asking him if he needed something when he turned away.
For a Monday, I was in a very good mood. I attributed my mood to Patrick’s announcement Friday. This was the final week of this massive project. We were all relieved and ready to move on to something else. I thought back to the little dinner party I had held on Saturday. It was such a success and I was so happy to have such wonderful friends in my home. I was also glad to finally meet Myra, Patrick’s wife. Yes, this was going to be a wonderful week.