Camellia walked out of the room in a hurry ignoring the voices calling out to her.
It was done, she had done what they wanted, what more could they want from her?
“Camellia please stop!”
Camellia stopped, but didn’t turn around, she really didn’t want to be here anymore. If she left now she would still be able to catch her usual ride to her music lessons and she wouldn’t have to miss her lesson today.
“Come back Camellia, I know you wanted to do this, and you can still do it, even if Winter is not, you don’t have to turn down the offer as well,” Summer lied to her.
And Camellia knew is what a lie because she knew how they all really felt. Apparently she was difficult, and a drama queen, she was the reason their life was falling apart. The reason everything was wrong.
Now imagine if she still did this whole thing and her sisters had to change their plans to always be available to accommodate her for whatever the program required? Like when Summer had to attend a meeting as her guardian during working hours? Or if Winter was forced to spend time following her around because she was sure Winter would always volunteer to be the one there for her because she was always that helpful?
As she remembered their meeting the previous day, where all her sisters had done was to attack her, she had to stop herself from crying. She had already cried too much over people who didn’t care about her feelings.
No one had anything nice to say about her, all they had were complains. So no, she wasn’t going to do this whole thing and just give them another reason to hate on her.
She had been chastised; she had heard their complains and she would live as they wanted. She would no longer call attention to herself in the way she used to.
And she would also keep her mouth shut, she had no soft answer to give, nothing nice to say as today’s Proverbs had encouraged. So instead of answering back, she changed the topic.
“Am going for my music lessons, will probably eat there so don’t need any food. Bye,” she added, all without turning around.
Her sisters had really hurt her and after crying herself to sleep last night, she had decided that she was done.
She was just done with it all, she was done trying and done caring. What was the point when everything she did was so bad?
Why try at all when she ended up getting blamed for everything that went wrong?
Apparently it was her fault that Summer had lost her job a few months back. And now because of that, they didn’t have enough money for school fees. Furthermore, all her after school lessons were the reason that Summer could barely make the rent.
And while they justified to blame her for accelerating the recent fight, nobody even acknowledged that she had the right to want something different. Everyone ignored the fact that she should be able to decide to move at a faster pace if she was able to do so.
They had all been given that chance, so couldn’t she have the same chance? It wasn’t like it would have cost them any money, in fact, it would have solved the school fees issue.
They wanted to treat her like a grown-up in certain issues and yet never listened to her when she talked.
Well no more, she would do her thing from now own. Yesterday had shown her that all she had was herself, and so she would look out for herself no matter what.
When she got to the music studio she took her lessons at, she headed straight for Simba, the owner of the studio. He would know how to help her fix things, he could give her ideas on how to make money to be less of a burden.
For the past three years, she had been working around the studio, helping the teachers to teach some of the younger children. She had never been paid for any of those lessons and she needed to speak to him to work something out so that she didn’t have to pay as long as she helped with the younger ones.
She could even take on her own class and run with, after all, she had all the time in the world. Her classes were all super easy, no challenge there at all, and teaching these younger ones would present a challenge for her. At this point, she would do anything to keep from having to stop her lessons at the studio. She didn’t want to stop learning, this was the only place she had left that felt like home, she couldn’t lose it too.
But she also wanted to remove anything that she could, that would lead her to be blamed for the money shortages in the house.
So she would solve this first and move on to look for other solutions after-wards.
“Young one, thought you weren’t coming in today,” Simba said with his usual greeting when she stepped into his office.
“Change of plans, can we talk, it’s kind of important,” Camellia said asking to close the door.
When he nodded, Camellia came in and stood in front of his desk, she was feeling too antsy to sit down. Simba, who by now was used to her, didn’t rush her. Camellia didn’t want to say anything that would lead to questions she couldn’t answer so she had to be careful. She wasn’t sure she wanted Simba to know how bad the situation at home was.
“So, I am not going to be taking part in that research after-all, and I need your help with something. Summer’s new job doesn’t pay as much as the last one, so she cannot afford to keep paying for my lessons. I wanted to find out if there was a way you could keep helping me with my piano and violin, and in exchange, I would help more with the younger ones.”
Simba was quiet for a moment before he stood up and walked to the piano in the corner of the room.
“Come play for me,” he said taking a seat on the corner of the bench.
Taking a deep breath, Camellia forced herself to walk to the piano and started to play. Simba was always more relaxed when she played, maybe playing would work in her favor?
As she played the piano, she got lost in the music until she felt more relaxed. Narrowing her eyes at Simba she realized he had asked this of her not for himself, but for her. She didn’t stop playing though because she was starting to enjoy herself.
Music was one thing that always made her feel better and it helped her express her feelings better than anything else.
“I want here just as much as you want to here Camellia, money or no money. Your sister’s money doesn’t do anything for me, I have been saving it for you instead. Though if you are offering to work for me in a more official capacity I have a student or two that I would want you to work with,” Simba added handing her a small box.
Camellia opened the box and when she saw the money in the box she couldn’t stop the tears that filled her eyes.
“You help around here so much I should probably be paying you full time,” he added with a smile. “Whatever lessons I have given you, you have more than given back in helping around here.”
Camellia wanted to argue, but she stopped herself and nodded instead. She needed this, she wouldn’t refuse it when the gift had been given.
“What happened with the research?” Simba asked.
Though she didn’t want to answer, the box in her hand made her realize she couldn’t just shut him down, Simba was important to her survival. Maybe she did have someone who cared?
“Winter opted out and if she is not doing this, I would just be causing problems for everyone if I was to do this myself. Summer is super busy with a new job and Autumn is always so busy living her life. I wouldn’t want to cause problems for anyone,” she responded.
She started playing something else, something softer that wouldn’t disrupt the conversation.
“Ever considered just registering for your O’ Levels and A’ Levels and just writing them to get it over with?”
Camellia realized that she hadn’t thought about that.
“You should check if the registration is still open, if you are already late, you could probably still register, you just have to pay more. And maybe find out if you could do both at the same time, that would probably challenge you enough,” Simba said turning away from her to grab his violin. “Let’s work on a few things before I get back to my song.”
“Your song?” she was distracted as she looked down at the money in her hand.
Simba had suggested something she could totally get behind doing, if she was able to write it all, then she could concentrate on other things. They couldn’t force her to stay in those boring lessons once she had passed all the exams. Or she would write the O ‘levels November and the A’levels in June.
“I recorded that song over the weekend and I am just finishing up the edits so I can see if there is anything I need to do again,” Simba responded.
“Hey! Why did you do that without me?”
“Because I wanted to shine for once,” he answered her simply, causing her to laugh. “Camellia, I have never met anyone as gifted as you are with music, you are so young, yet so talented. Honestly, I am just waiting for you to come and harass me about making a whole album and not just those covers we are always working on for your YouTube channel.”
An album? That was an idea that could keep her occupied.
“I need to get a card so I can get access to my YouTube earnings,” she said absently, her mind already going back and forth on the idea of creating a whole album.
“What do you need the money for? I thought you were saving for school?” Simba asked.
“Hmm, Summer can’t afford my fees anymore so I might as well use it now,” she responded still distracted by the idea of creating an album.
Her heart was so full right now that she was sure could come up with something. She had more than enough music to make an album but all the new emotions she was feeling could probably turn them into something much better.
“Hey Simba,” she called his name turning to him.
She found him looking at her in a weird way she couldn’t figure out.
“What?” she asked.
When he only shook his head, Camellia shrugged and let it go, if it was important, he would ask her.
“Help me make an album?” she asked.
Simba laughed and shook his head even more.
But it was okay, she would start on it and convince him once she had something to show of it. Making a whole album would probably be challenging, but it could be fun.
Suddenly her future didn’t look so bad, she could totally keep herself busy without involving her sisters.
She really didn’t need them to give her opportunities after-all, she would be just fine on her own. And one day when she was old enough to live on her own, she would move out and be even freer.
So that meant she had to figure out more ways to make money now, so that when the time came around, she could take care of herself.