“Camellia Bluebell Spring, come here right now, or you are going to be late for school!”
There was an immediate response coming from a direction that Summer was definitely not expecting.
“Actually, I am done already, I was just waiting for you. And did you have to say my name like that? Not cool, Summer Lily and my name is not Bluebell.”
It could have been if she hadn’t intervened, Summer thought to herself. Their mom had a thing for seasons. She had been so overjoyed to have four girls, her very own four seasons.
Camellia really needed to be thankful that Summer had been old enough to object to her baby sister being called Spring Bluebell, instead of the compromise that was Camellia Spring.
But even then, people had still called her Bluebell for most if her life.
Summer’s eyes widened in surprise when she stepped into the kitchen, she had not expected to find Camellia already downstairs, let alone done with all her preparations. Raising the girls on her own was hard, and one of the most difficult things was getting Camellia and Autumn out of the house each morning.
And now with Autumn in college, she only had to deal with Camellia. From Autumn, all she expected was good grades and no carryovers.
That wasn’t to say she didn’t have problems with Autumn because now they fought more about what the acceptable time for coming back home was.
But that was a fight for another day, right now, she barely had enough energy to deal with Camellia. She preferred messing up as a guardian one sister at a time, that way, she could at least tell herself that she had tried.
“What do you want?” she asked with suspicion
She walked sideways towards the gas stove to make herself a cup of tea, not trusting that her little sister wasn’t up to something. Miracles like these only ever happened when Camellia wanted something and she dreading to find out what it was.
Summer honestly did not have time for this right now, she was starting a new job today and she had to be focused, she did not want to be late for work on her first day. It was a miracle that she had been given the opportunity to work a local job, and she did not want to mess that up.
She could not afford to lose another project, the company might just drop her this time.
“Who says I want anything?”
“Camellia, stop playing games with me, I need to get to work soon. We cannot afford for me to lose this project, if I do, this will be the third strike. I told you what that means,” she said moving around the kitchen, putting things away as she went.
For the longest time she worked only from home and it allowed her to do things at her own pace, but she now had a local job where she had to leave the house and that meant she had to clean as she went along. One of the downsides to this whole local job thing.
“I know, but we have 25 more minutes before the bus comes for me, and before you get your kombi to go to work, that means we have at least 15minutes left in this house,” Camilla argued.
“Like I asked, what do you want?” Summer asked getting tired of the conversation already.
All Camilla was doing her was reminding her of the long track that was ahead of her. She lived in Strathaven and to get to the new job she had to get into town first, so needed two kombis to and from work. That was about $8 – $12 daily.
It was kind of a coincidence that the school that the girls attended was close to where she was going to be working. If only they lived that side too, it would be one less cost for her.
But that was wishful thinking, she could barely afford to pay the rent in their current apartment, she definitely would not be able to pay the rent that side.
She had checked.
“I want us to read the book of Proverbs, it’s the first day of the month, and the first weekday, the perfect time to start.”
Summer sighed and turned to look at her sister,
“Not this again, Camilla, I don’t have time for this right now, maybe we can do it later tonight when we are all back home or something.”
“No, we need to do it now, in the morning,” Camilla argued.
“There is no time in the morning for that.”
“Then make the time!”
“Camilla, just stop! Mornings are just so busy and I have a lot to do before we leave the house,” Summer turned and looked at her other sisters as they walked into the room. “But if you want to read, go ahead, I have things to do and don’t have time for that.”
She nodded at Autumn and Winter as they entered the room before she went ahead and started to prepare her own lunch while eating her rice. With the crazy prices in Zimbabwe and the bread shortage, she had taken to cooking rice early every morning for them to eat, while Winter, their resident baker at just the age of 15 always made sure to bake something the night before when the electricity comes back for them to carry for lunchtime. Miraculously, yesterday hadn’t been a bad day, electricity had been there most of the day.
Winter had done a lot of baking yesterday and Summer was grateful.
“You know what, for someone who claims she doesn’t know what she is doing, you should be seeking God to lead you, but you don’t even make Him a priority,” Camilla said, slamming down the open Bible on the table and storming out of the room. “Are you sure you are even a Christian?”
Summer froze by the sink, and waiting to see if anyone would say anything, she expected one of her other sisters, that sister being Autumn, to say something accusing her of refusing to do everything they wanted to do with her. To point out once again, what a bad job she was doing.
It was an old argument they had been having for a while now and she just wished they could understand that things were just hard for her, things had been difficult for a while now.
What happened next though was even worse, and even as she tried to convince herself it was for the best, she knew things had just taken a bad turn. Neither of her sisters said anything, instead, she stood there listening as they followed Camellia & left the room without so much as a word to her and she forced herself to listen as they left the flat together.
Even Autumn was gone, and Summer knew Autumn did not have class until later in the morning.
Taking a deep breath, Summer walked over to the table and sat down.
She wasn’t sure she could do this anymore, she wasn’t sure she could keep on raising her sisters all on her own as she had been doing. Four years ago, when her parents had passed away, she had believed that there would come a time that she could do it with her eyes closed, but everything was such a battle, and she felt like she was on the losing end.
She didn’t know what to do anymore.
Staring at the Bible in front of her, she remembered when things were much easier, before the accident. Every morning, without fail, her parents would force all of them to sit down at this very table and read the bible. While they didn’t necessarily read proverbs all the time as Camilla wanted to do, they always made sure to read at least a chapter from the Bible to start their day.
That was something that she had not tried to resurrect over the past four years, while she had been actively working to bring back a lot of the other things their parents taught them. At first, she had been so angry at God for taking her parents from her but even after she had gotten over her misplaced anger, she just never got to it.
She believed that God was a God of love and death was an enemy to Him, but things just weren’t the same anymore. She wanted to get back to how it was before but she just didn’t know how, nor could she get herself to push through and force the issue. She didn’t read the Bible as often, she didn’t pray as often and she didn’t even remember the last time she had been in church.
Grabbing the Bible, her eyes scanned the chapter that her sister had left open. As she read the first few verses, she felt a sharp pain at the realization that by denying Camilla, she was acting like the fool being mentioned in the chapter.
To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding…A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel…the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
It wasn’t that she despised the word, she did not despise wisdom at all, but she was just busy.
But you need help, and the only help you are going to get is from God. This wisdom is calling you, you need it more than the next person right now.
Feeling super bad for shutting down her sister when she could have just asked Camilla to read out loud the chapter as she did her work, she checked the time and read over the chapter again for good measure.
If she had wisdom, she could somehow learn to compromise with her sisters and navigate their conversations better. And if the book of Proverbs was so people who read would know wisdom and instruction, she would make sure to read it every chance she got.
And if reading it in the morning would make Camilla happy, then that’s what she would do.
It was just another sacrifice on top of all the sacrifices she was making, somehow, she would find a way to deal with it.
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